Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club

Tara Raceway, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

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Cadillac Racing Sponsors of Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing
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Industry recognition for Mount Gambier couple

Ray Fewings and David Lewis first crossed paths back in the early 1960s out at Waterloo Corner where greyhound racing was being conducted on Sunday afternoons.

That was a time when there was no mechanical lure or legalised betting. No, that was a time when the greyhounds chased a specially-trained greyhound pilot dog that, even like the lures of today, sometimes failed to complete the course.

And if you wanted a bet, you had to seek out Doggy Brennan who always had one eye on the road leading into the track in case the constabulary had decided to make a surprise visit.

Even back then, Fewings was out there trying his hand at race calling. And he was always going to be a great caller.

Lewis used to go out to Waterloo Corner with his Somerton Park-based grandfather, Perce Alsop, who had trained coursing greyhounds, judged coursing events and by then was president of the SA National Coursing Association (NCA).

Ray Fewings presented the Outstanding Service to the Industry award to Ruth and David Lewis.

It wasn’t long before Fewings was calling the greyhounds and Lewis was racing his own greyhound at Waterloo Corner. Later, pilot dog racing would be conducted at Elizabeth, Campbelltown, Murray Bridge and at Thebarton Oval.

And as a forerunner to greyhound racing as we know it today, mechanical hare racing with no betting was conducted at Bolivar.

When legalised greyhound racing was finally given the go ahead, licences were allocated by the NCA – the controlling body at the time – to Angle Park, Gawler, Strathalbyn, Port Lincoln, Whyalla, Port Pirie and Mount Gambier.

The paths of Fewings and Lewis had crossed from time to time over the years and once again crossed last Saturday night at the TAB Greyhound of the Year awards at Angle Park in Adelaide.

Fewings, a Greyhound Racing SA board director, made the presentation for Outstanding Service to the Industry to Mount Gambier-based Lewis and his wife Ruth, long-time secretary of the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club.

“I’d raced greyhounds at Glenburnie and one day prior to TAB racing being introduced at the Lake Terrace East venue we basically just walked in – and never left,” Lewis said.

“The Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club comprises a lot of good people – from the current president Noel Perry down. And it’s a club that makes visiting trainers and newcomers to the track more than welcome.

“Also, our charity-based Tara Tipsters competition is so unique to this industry. And it remains a very positive feature among many negative issues currently being promoted.”

Lewis said of all the congratulatory messages they had received, a short one from his brother Steve, who lives in Cairns, had best summed up the award: “Perce would have been so proud.”

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