Barry Gust began his athletic career with the Yallourn Club as a fifteen year old in 1952. Yallourn had been started in 1950, due in no small part to Collingwood Life Member, Bill Tunaley, who had shifted to the Latrobe Valley with his employment.
The Yallourn athletes came to Melbourne on Saturdays to compete in the lower grades of the Interclub (now Shield) competition. Barry was part of this arrangement during 1954 and 1955. With the establishment of a few more clubs in the region, such as Warragul and Bairnsdale, a more localised competition was set up in which Barry took part in 1956 and 1957.
Barry, despite his tender years, filled the role of Secretary of the Yallourn Club from 1955 to 1958, when he moved to Melbourne. He also filled the same role with the Latrobe Valley Amateur Athletic Centre when it was formed in May 1955. This latter job was assigned to someone else when Barry was inducted into the compulsory National Service scheme in play at the time. Barry was at Puckapunyal from August to November in 1956, moving back to “Civvy Street” just two weeks before the beginning of the Melbourne Olympics.
Barry came to Melbourne and joined Collingwood in 1958. By this time Bill Tunaley was back in the city, but Barry also knew Derek Fife and Charlie Kirkwood who had previously made the move from Yallourn to the big smoke. He was to compete with Collingwood from 1958 until 1967.
He is one of our heroes, being a member of an A Grade Track Premiership Team, the second one, in the 1958-59 season.
Barry was a most consistent competitor over his time with the Magpies.
He finished in the first four in our Club 5 Mile CCC for eight years in a row, (1959-1966), including two wins and three runners up.
In the Victorian 5 Mile CCC, Barry had a best finish of 6th but was never placed lower than 14th from 1960 to 1964.
Add to this a 4th. placing in the Victorian 10 Mile CCC and one can see ample evidence of his talents.
But wait there’s more.
Barry was runner up in the 1961 Victorian Steeplechase and as such made the Victorian Team for the National Championships as well as the Victoria (v) New South Wales meet for that season.
That same year of 1961 saw Barry selected as an emergency for the tour to New Zealand as part of the Victorian Cross-Country Team. Unfortunately for Barry, no one fell ill and he missed the trip!
Barry held seven Club Records over his career in the steeplechase as well as both three and six miles.
He also served as the Club Record’s Officer for a five year period on our committee.
We are rapt that Barry is able to join our Parade of Champions each year at ‘The 5’.
Photo of the Yallourn Amateur Athletic Club from the 1952-1953 season
Barry is in the front row, kneeling on the left.
Bill Tunaley is second from the left in the back row.
Another future Collingwood Harrier, Charlie Kirkwood, is on the extreme right of the back row.
…….and the little bloke front right is Earl Tunaley, (Bill’s son) also later to become Collingwood Harrier!
Updated December 2018