Thursday Snooker at St George Leagues

Bill Chan, a regular snooker player at the St George League’s Club, finds happiness and companionship in his weekly games.

A highlight of my week is my Thursday snooker day at the St George Leagues Club at Kogarah. Both the game and the people I play it with have contributed to my happiness over the years.

I have played snooker for more than ten years, ever since I was introduced to the game by Diane’s brother, Henry Au. From the start I really liked the challenge of putting the ball into a pocket, so I took it on and never looked back. The game provides me with the happiness that comes with the satisfaction of being able to time a shot and to make that shot, with the ball responding to my wishes. The natural happiness resulting from this is the type that brings out the best in a person.

I also enjoy the friendship and fellowship of the group I play with. These friends are former Chinese citizens from Hong Kong, who now live in Australia. I met them through playing Mahjong and found we all had an interest in snooker. Through their companionship, snooker has become educational as well as entertaining for me because we all, including myself, speak only Cantonese when playing. While I still speak Cantonese at other times, such as at home with Melisa, I felt I needed to practise it and use it more often. This helps me to maintain fluency in the language while enjoying the company of my friends. I also receive good advice and information from them on a variety of matters from Chinese cooking to Chinese culture.

Other people I have met through playing snooker at the club include one of the
St George Leagues Club employees, Bruce Hancock. His duties include welcoming people in the snooker room and showing them the finer points of the game, as well as sometimes acting as a chauffeur for members of the club’s management. He is a friendly person who does his job very well.

Bruce’s history with the club is older than the present building which was established in 1963. Before that, he worked at the former club building which was up the road from the present one. Now in his seventies, Bruce was married for forty three years to his wife, Joyce, who sadly passed away in 2010. He met Joyce at tennis, and says it was “love at first serve.”

Bruce has now been with St George for a total of fifty three years and is still going strong. He is happy to be there and is quite rightly proud of his record of service.

When I play snooker I have a sandwich at the club’s Jubilee Café. Through this routine I have made another friend, Jane Green, who works in the café and prepares my lunch when I am there. Jane has worked at the club for seventeen years. Her father, Kevin, who died twenty two years ago, was a passionate Saints fan and, as a tribute to his dedication, Jane has placed posies of red and white carnations, the club’s colours, on either side of his grave. Kevin would be very happy to know of Jane’s association with the club.