THE touching story of an Aussie scattering her father’s ashes at the 2012 London Olympics has brought back memories for a few locals.
Not many would know but the ashes spread across the triple-jump were those of a former Moree boy.
The story of Robyn Glynn sneaking her father’s ashes into the Olympics made national news on Friday.
Ms Glynn told ABC radio that her father George Avery, who died in 2006, had wanted to attend the London Olympics because it was where he won second place in the triple-jump, then known as the hop, step and jump, in 1948.
"We decided in 2000 that we were going to bring my father back here but unfortunately he passed away a few years ago," she told the radio station.
She admitted the family had taken things a little further.
"Actually, we did more than sneak him in, we snuck ourselves down to the edge of the track and in the breeze we let his ashes go and they went right over the triple-jump run-up," she said.
George Avery grew up in Moree with his family.
Former resident Kevin Locke told the Champion yesterday how he witnessed Avery’s first ever jump.
“I worked at Logan’s furniture store with his father and George was in the workshop one day talking to us when we saw Olympic sprinter John Treloar and another fellow doing this hop, step and jump at Taylor Oval.
“It was a work day so it must have been a week day. It must have been school sports or something,” Mr Locke said.
Curiosity got the better of Avery and he went across and asked the distance measured between the jumps.
George returned to the workshop where his father measured the same distances with a tape measure and marked them with a stick in the gravel laneway.
“He took his school shoes off and cleared the sticks no worries,” Mr Locke said.
With that George and his father returned to the oval asking if he could have a go, adding he had just beaten the Olympians’ efforts - to their disbelief.
When he proved them wrong there was much excitement at the Moree boy’s efforts.
Mr Locke remembered Avery as being a “perfectionist”.
“Everything he did had to be spot on according to his father,” Mr Locke said.
Alf Scott also remembers his former school mate.
“I remember at the school sports he used to do the hop, step and jump up to 45ft easily, and barefoot,” Mr Scott said.
According to both gentleman Avery left Moree to become a policeman.
Mr Scott said he joined the Botany Harriers Athletic Club after leaving.
“I lost touch with him but he did return when the sporting hall of fame was opened,” Mr Scott said.
George Avery features in the hall of fame at the Moree and District Services Club.
The piece tells that in his heyday, Avery was NSW Triple Jump Champion from 1943 to 1949, Australian Triple Jump Champion from 1947 to 1949, and triple jump silver medallist at the London Olympics in 1948.
George’s family came to Moree from Tamworth in 1928 where his father took on the role of undertaker and upholsterer for Logan’s, enabling George to continue his schooling locally.
George was included in the first class to go through to Moree High School, established in 1937.
George left school at the age of 14, spending a year as a storeman and packer at the Shell depot.
His interest and involvement in athletics continued after leaving Moree, resulting in his honoured performances in competition.
Avery was a contender for the gold at the 1948 London Games after consistent jumping in the preliminary rounds, but he finished second in the final by just four centimetres.
Ms Glynn said her father never made a major fuss of his Olympic success and had kept his medal in a drawer, but after attending the Sydney Games in 2000 had decided he wanted to revisit London.