No I haven’t been running a marathon as part of my preparation for the NZ Open.
The real marathon men are Cas and Jonesy, the guys who paddled from Australia to New Zealand, and are now just 10 kms from walking all the way to the south pole unassisted.
They have been trekking now for the last 61 days. You can follow their progress on CasandJonsey website, although I must admit, it looks like a heap of squiggles on a white piece of paper.
What’s this got to do with croquet?
In 1929-30, Macpherson Robertson sponsored the British, Australian and New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition which ensured Australia’s hold on the Antarctic mainland.
Sir Douglas Mawson named MacRobertson Land (on Antarctica) after him and he was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Geographic Society in 1931. He was Knighted in 1932 and appointed K.B.E. in 1935
Macpherson Robertson had made his fortune through his confectionary works ‘MacRobertsons’ introducing chewing gum and fairy floss to Australia, plus successes that included the Freddo Frog, Cherry Ripe and “Old Gold” Chocolate Box.
And he trained young war veterans business management skills utilising CROQUET. Finally made the link 🙂
Croquet proved a wonderful teaching aid for training them in “Technique” (self discipline) “Tactics” of Management and the “Strategy” of Business Risk Management.
In 1925, Robertson wanted to do something spectacular to create media interest (free advertising) in his products, so he sponsored the croquet’s “MacRobertson Shield” between Australia and England.
Initially the Test Team was comprised of Veterans who wanted to return to the United Kingdom to visit the graves of their mates they had left behind. In some cases to marry the girls they had left behind.
The International Croquet “MacRobertson Shield” is still the most skilled and prestigious Tournament Series on the International Croquet scene. It is now played with the addition of New Zealand and USA.
I was fortunate to meet Cas and Jonsey in Wagga Wagga in August 2011 and hear their account of their “Crossing the Ditch” adventure and of the preparations for “Crossing the Ice”.
Their vision, passion and desire is truly inspirational.
Cheers guys. Will be raising an icy cold beer for you on New Year’s Eve.