THERE is an old evergreen tree at Murwillumbah Racecourse.
The majestic camphorloral stands beside the Tweed River Jockey Club’s public bar and has been there for a long while.
Longer than Bernie Quinn has been Chairman of the TRJC, which is around 44 years.
Last Friday the TRJC officially opened the decking around that evergreen tree, decking that former club secretary Brian Charman had started before he was appointed Country Racing NSW chief executive officer around 12 months ago.
So when Brian returned home from his new Sydney residence the former chartered accountant received a nice surprise – two actually.
The first was in the shape of a TRJC life membership and the second when the decking was named in his honour.
Bernie Quinn, said Brian’s dual honour was richly deserved.
“He was on the board for 13 and half years and then sec-manager for three years,” Bernie Quinn said.
“And he’s doing a great job in Sydney too.”
Brian Charman is now the CEO Country Racing NSW and enjoying the many challenges that entails as well.
An accountant by trade he decided for a change in life when he applied for the secretary manager job about four years ago.
“I fell in love with it,” he said of the job.
He had already fallen in love with racing as a young boy helping his father, Murwillumbah trainer Barry Charman, out.
Barry was a trainer and Brian reckons he must have run around the Murwillumbah race track a thousand times at least.
Later on he joined the TRJC as a board member and served for some 13 years before he took the next step.
Bored with accountancy he applied to replace an outgoing secretary manager, got the job and hasn’t looked back.
As he said, he’d fallen in love with racing.
Fallen in love with working out how to “bring people back to the track”.
“That’s what we’re doing here,” he said.
Building structures such as decking areas to make it more comfortable and enjoyable for spectators and punters alike and interest for all ages to make it an entertaining and a memorable day.
He was the secretary manager of the TRJC for just over three years and one of his “jobs” was to source funding for and build that decking around the Camphorloral.
Like everything in racing it didn’t run smoothly.
“It was a challenge,” Brian said.
“Half way through its erection we had the flood and it was all washed away! Having my name on it now is an honour. That sort of thing doesn’t happen every day.”
That deck and the life membership is something Brian said he “will cherish for ever”.
He is now the CEO Country Racing NSW and enjoying the many challenges that entails as well.
“It’s a move I haven’t looked back on,” he said.
Having met Brian for the first time you can feel the sincerity, honesty and determination in his voice and words. You know he will be striving to bring people back to all country race meetings and clubs.
It’s an evergreen feeling of positivity for the future of Country Racing.