By Joe Minici
Walter Lindrum – Master Billiards Player
It is one hundred years since Lindrum was born, thirty eight since he left us we remember and mourn. For outstanding champions seldom are seen, immortals are rarer and few there have been,
Who excelled at their sport with his skill and flair, he shattered opponents they were left in despair!
Lindrum played billiards, like Mozart composed, his genius inspired your emotions exposed. Enthralled you would listen to the tune from his table, for Lindrum made music as a maestro is able. His cue a baton that caressed and excited, each change in the tempo surprised and delighted,
Until there came, a crescendo you felt you should cheer, but on went the music no end was near. Rules were soon altered, he’s to good they said he has to stop cannons and play in-offs instead, But it just didn’t matter what committee decreed, he kept on scoring at an incredible speed.
Record after record flowed from his cue, how good was Lindrum? Well all the world knew! He defeated the best in September 31’, for a gold cup in England and his legend had begun. He gave 7000 start to the best in the land, the king called for Lindrum, he was in great demand.
He met every challenge thrown in his way, he become the world champion in an awesome display, He defeated Joe Davis with nonchalant ease, Lindrum untroubled, just did as he pleased. He returned to Australia, winning at will, he gave exhibitions, every hall he would fill.
He raised millions for charity and the same for the war, play on those tables not seen before. His break of 4000 will never be beat, made in three hours a miraculous feat. When we toast Walter Lindrum, we are toasting the gums, we are toasting the wattle as well as this son,
Who was born of Australia, a spirit of our nation, like Sir Donald Bradman he had one destination,
To inspire all Australians to reach greater heights and that feeling is with us I sense it tonight.
When I’m near the mechanics, I sometimes go in, it is long deserted no tables within,
I stand by the wall where cues filled the rack, I gaze over that room my memory goes back, To the day Lindrum played there, I see him once more, a master at work a magician for sure. And I again hear the music in that old empty hall, the call of 1000 as he pots a red ball.
I see him shake hands in his dignified way, I hear thunderous applause as he continues to play,
Long Jennies and massés and drags and check side, those balls at his mercy with nowhere to hide.
I leave the room proudly with my head held up high,
Knowing Walter Lindrum’s immortal, while I’m passing by!
Written by Barry from the bush, 1998. Original version printed 1998.
Barry from the bush is a silent name for Joe Minici.