Vic Gust’s time with Collingwood Harriers was relatively short, however he did play quite a part in the development in athletics away from our Club.
Vic, the father one of our finest distance runners, Barry, became president of the Yallourn Amateur Athletics Club in 1956 and served in that position through to late 1959. The Club had been formed in 1951, due in no small way to the efforts of Collingwood’s Bill Tunaley who had been shifted to the area with his employment.
Barry joined in late 1952 as a fifteen year old and Vic got involved as a lot of parents do!
The Gust family had shifted to Yallourn from Horsham in 1942, again through a new posting with Vic’s employer – the PMG (now Australia Post).
The Yallourn Club competed in the Inter Club competition in Melbourne in the first two years of their existence, winning premierships in the lower grades in both seasons.
With the establishment of more clubs in area, the Latrobe Valley Amateur Athletics Centre was formed in May 1955. Vic Gust was the first President of the group through to the early sixties when the family left the region. Vic began an association with the V.A.A.A. as an official during this period.
The Gusts retired to Ballarat, however Vic did join Collingwood Harriers in 1974 as an official and assisted at Inter Club meets for a couple of seasons beside the quite large number of very experienced officials we had in those days.
The photo below, shows Vic, back left, in a Yallourn Club shot taken in 1955 – the year prior to Vic taking on the Presidency. The two ‘youngsters’ on the left of the front row are Derek Fife and Vic’s son Barry, both of whom went on the become Club Champions with Collingwood Harriers with two wins apiece in the Club Five Mile Cross Country Championship.
Vic passed away in 1989.