BRIAN "DOC" PADDICK WITH JOHN TERRELL
December 14, 2009
Brian “Doc” Paddick began his association with bowls in 1980 looking for a venue to stage an eight ball championship.
As President of the Western Australian Eightball Association, he approached the Perth Tatts Bowling Club with a view to holding the Country Championships at their premises. Informed that club rules would require two of the eightball organisation to join the Bowling Club, he signed the dotted line.
Prominent billiards exponent, Ralph Isaia, who could roll down a bowl alright, soon challenged Paddick, who has never been known to refuse a bet, to a game, at twenty cents an end. After quickly discovering that the arrangement was beginning to prove expensive, “Doc” got some lessons unbeknown to Ralph, and eventually was able to get over him.
Of course, in the meantime, the game got hold of “Doc”, and he took it up seriously in 1984, winning the club singles twice, as well as many other club championship events, and, although not a regular participant in State Championship events, made the last sixteen of the State Pairs with brother, Colin, in 1990.
“Doc” has been heavily involved in interstate Tattersall's Club Championships since 1986, managing and playing in ten carnivals for six wins, successful in every State. He has served as either President or Secretary of Perth Tatts Club every year since 1984.
From a shaky position a few years ago, Perth Tatts are going through a period of rejuvenation.
With fresh and hard fought assurances from the City of Perth, who informed the club two years ago that they should prepare to shut down, Paddick and his committee are confident that good times are coming. “We have recruited thirty new members this season, our pennant teams have doubled, and we have money in the bank,” he said. “We feel we are about to have our best season.” Ten organisations now have their headquarters at Perth Tatts.
A recruiting drive at the now defunct Carlisle-Lathlain club was successful, and the City Council is exporing the feasibility of a revamp of the area, with a recreation complex under consideration.
“Originally located near the corner of William St and the Esplanade, the club was moved to it's present location, and, with the Esplanade area, was the original favoured site for the 1962 Commonwealth Games, before it was discovered the salty soil was unsuitable for growing grass, and plans were changed, the bowls moving to Dalkeith,” “Doc” said. “There were once six bowling clubs in the Perth City area, now we are the only one. We pushed that argument with the Council, along with the need for a recreational area backed by the Esplanade, and it won support.”
During his eightball career, Paddick captained teams to the Brisbane Championships, which WA won, and Adelaide, where they were runners-up.
A Kalgoorlie boy, Paddick got lumbered with “Doc” at an early age, when someone kept spelling his surname wrong, Paddock instead of Paddick, and so he ended up with the wrongly spelt Paddock shortened to Doc.
“Doc” became a jounalist with the Kalgoorlie Miner, and it didn't take long for him to learn his first lesson.
“There was a horrific aircraft crash just out of Kalgoorlie. All of the five or six on board perished, it was death and destruction all around,” he recalled. “ I was about eighteen at the time, and got pretty cut up at the sight, ending in the back of the ambulance on it's journey to town. Back at the office, the editor said: “Write something about the scene.” I couldn't recall much about the scene, so, remembering a line I'd read in a report about an earlier crash, I penned: “It cut a swath through the trees,” which went onto the front page.”
“The plane actually crashed on the side of a lake, and there were no trees in sight.”
“From that day on, the importance of getting the facts right was never lost on me.”
A keen cricketer and golfer, “I was a good B grade player bordering on A grade in both sports,” as secretary of the Eastern Goldfields Cricket Association, he would bring WACA sides to the Goldfields, with the bulk of the State side, captained by stars such as Barry Shepherd, Ken Meuleman, and Bob Simpson.
A life member of the Great Boulder Cricket Club, he was co-opted onto the committee formed to lobby for the granting of Perth's first Test Match, eventually held in 1970.
When Paddick moved to Perth to work for the Daily News, among his new workmates was John(JJ) Carter, the newspaper's bowls writer, who wasted no time in recruiting the new boy for his press bowling team, which was “Doc”'s first flirtation with the game. He later wrote for the Sunday Independent, before working for the Government in the Premiers Department from 1986 to 2004.
Brian Paddick was a panellist on the bowls show panel, with Reg Cribb and Terry Sheridan between 1994- 96.
“Doc” Paddick is a raconteur of sport, and it goes without saying that he has a propensity for a punt. He is a keen student of all racing codes, and from the day forty one years ago that he agreed to do the books for the Racehorse Trainers Association for twelve months, he has held the position of secretary.
He has raced gallopers, pacers, and greyhounds, “and I can't say I've been successful.” His favourite horses were Kingston Town and Mount Eden, while he reckoned it's a shame that greyhound Benno went amiss, because it was a great dog.
These days, “Doc” is enjoying his life, with the odd punt and game of bowls, and, ever the journo, is writing stories of his life for his grandchildren to read. They should make entertaining reading.
Brian “Doc” Paddick is a true character of the game, a down to earth bloke who you'd love to be having a beer with at the club. To chat with him is to listen to a man with some fascinating thoughts on the state of the game, and his ideas on where bowls should be headed are both constructive and sensible.
Perth Tatts in particular have the right man at the helm in “Doc” Paddick; maybe a “Doc” Paddick would be a good shot in the arm for WA bowls in general.