What if Murray Bridge had a hall of fame?

The Adelaide Festival Centre opened a "walk of fame" in January.

Rather than listing famous performers who originated in the City of Churches, however, it lists those who have visited for one show or another.

I love Adelaide, and it's a beautiful place to live; but the walk of fame might still be the neediest, most "Adelaide" thing ever: "look at all the important people who have paid attention to us," it gasps.

I got thinking the other day: who would make the cut in a Murray Bridge hall of fame?

When one thinks of famous people from Murray Bridge, the list usually begins and ends in a few words.

There's Chad Wingard, of course, Olympic medallist James McRae ... then maybe TV's Danielle Catanzariti...

Actor Peter O'Brien, suggests a colleague; Katrina Webb, the Paralympian ... shoe designer Jaime Wright ... Andrew "Cosi" Costello was born here, and conservative commentator Andrew Bolt spent some of his formative years in the Murraylands, as The Standard revealed.

The great inventor David Unaipon lived at Raukkan, of course.

As ever, Wikipedia is here to help.

If we're thinking of Olympians, we ought to remember Jo Hill's silver medal for basketball, Carmel Bakurski's bronze for hockey, trampolinist Ben Wilden and rower Bryn Coudraye's Olympic feats.

Then, of course, there are the Murray Cods of the 1924 Paris games: Sladden, Jarvis, Graetz, Cummings, Taeuber, Thomas, Scott, Pfeiffer and their coach Teddy Higgs.

John and Robert Hickmott are among a stable of well-known horse trainers based in Murray Bridge, and there's Alex Bolt in tennis, Alex Wilson in basketball, and Robert Zadow, the Smith brothers and Ben Dougall in cricket.

Would musician Steve Foster make the cut, or pro poker player David Steike with his millions of dollars in winnings, or local business leaders?

In political circles, you can't go too much higher than state Governor Sir Donald Dunstan – not the premier, the other one.

Sir John Cowan and his son John served as Liberal and Country League MPs, as did Clyde and Don Cameron and Geoff McLaren on the Labor side.

Did you know former Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Simon Overland was born in Murray Bridge, or remote area nurse and OBE recipient Ruth Heathcock?

I did not know fantasy author Tony Shillitoe came from Tailem Bend.

Steamboat captain William Randell and engineer David Shearer were both at Mannum.

Menigie has AFLer Brodie Martin and stained glass artist Nora Burden.

Murray Bridge remains a city in search of a positive identity, and the Murraylands a region still establishing a name for itself.

As I have written before, the river and the food industry are part of it, but remembering some famous faces could not hurt, either.

Who would make your list?

Peri Strathearn


Discuss "What if Murray Bridge had a hall of fame?"

Please note: All comments made or shown here are bound by the Online Discussion Terms & Conditions.