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Posted by Franz Huber on Nov 02, 2017
Arranged by District Treasurer and Public Accountant Doug Lipp who, in a parallel universe also runs racehorses, last Wednesday's guest speaker was Robert “Bob” Berryman. Bob lived in Melbourne for 48 years around the Flemington area.  He was a licensed stable hand at the Flemington track and held a Trotting trainers license.  He has a diverse knowledge of the Melbourne Cup and has developed a tape/cd of the greatest Melbourne Cup ever (in his opinion)  He is former Rotarian and has been involved in many Melbourne Cup "Calcuttas” for various clubs in the Gold Coast area.  
 
"Well, in my days if one lived near a race course, he would either own a horse or he would ride one..." Bob quipped. When he was about 15 or so, he was too heavy to ride. Owning a horse was not quite on the cards either, so he had to think of something else.  Well, Bob ended up becoming one of the most renowned Race Callers this nation has seen [or should I say "heard"?]
 
Over half an hour, Bob regaled us with one light hearted story after another of life "in the olden days" on Melbourne's race tracks and in their communities.  You know the style: "There we were on our way home from a Calcutta night, we found a loose horse on Racecourse Drive..." Stories of what may be perceived as "insider jobs". The enormous change of - well - everything over the past 5 decades, from the size of the horses (they used to be as high as 17 hands) to security on the stables.  
 
But the classic entertainment would be Bob's calling of 'The Greatest Melbourne Cup of ever run'.  The field includes 20 horses from Carbine (1890) to Phar Lap (1930) to Think Big (1974/75) and Makybe Diva (2003/04/05)...  [Your editor has been searching all over the Internet for a recording - unsuccessful, I'm afraid.  You should have been there!]