Left – Right: Leslie Briggs, William Briggs, Pastor Sir Douglas Nicholls, Selwyn Briggs Aaron Briggs , Hartley Briggs
In the round of the newly named Sir Douglas Nicholls’ Round we pay homage and respect for the foundations laid by Uncle Doug. Our Club’s origins are steeped in the greatness of many of our families that called Cummeragunja home; and in those Giants who knew excellence of the self and spirit. Their generous spirit, strong and steady characters, hard-working and family values are the essence of what Rumba celebrates every day.
Paul Briggs, President, Rumbalara Football Netball Club, had these words to say:
“Uncle Doug is a legend of the Yorta Yorta. He was drafted ultimately to Fitzroy Football Club from Cummeragunja. Like all the champions, and champion teams from Cummera, with dignity and respect, he was an influential leader of our people. Uncle Doug and the leaders of our families delivered to us the origins of Rumba FC . Along with our young people and elders, these family legends are the inspiration for Rumba’s emergence and for our sustainability over generations to come”.
Uncle Doug was an important figure in Paul’s life. Paul’s grandmother, Nanny Minnie, was a sister to Uncle Doug’s mother Aunty Florence, making Uncle Doug’s and Paul’s father Leslie, along with his brothers and sisters, and cousins, in the way of Yorta Yorta people, brothers and sisters.
The brothers all boxed, played football and ran professionally together. Leslie, older than Doug, provided much support from Cummeragunja to Uncle Doug’s work in his advocacy for better treatment of our people, through the Christian Fellowship.
At request of Paul’s parents, Leslie and Mary Briggs (née Kelly), Paul, at age 18 in 1972, moved from his home at Cummeragunja to Melbourne, and joined Uncle Doug, where he began work with the then Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs. Under the mentorship of Uncle Doug, Paul was an admin and youth support worker, setting the course for his aspiration to uphold the legacy of Uncle Doug and others in their vision of a better life.
The Sir Douglas Nicholls round is a great opportunity for all people to embrace and realise the potential of what our nation can be and celebrate his amazing legacy.
We are forever indebted to their selflessness and unshakeable resilience to maintain a sense of identity in the new world, in whatever way the occasion calls, in this instance football.