The Longest Walk -

  • by R2K
  • February 27 2004 12:00AM

Organisers of the Legends' Walk at Oki Jubilee Stadium have just over one week to complete the much-anticipated project that has been supported by both the St.George and Illawarra rugby league communities.

Based on the state of the surrounding parkland on Wednesday, it looked unlikely that the Legends' Walk would be ready for the March 6 official opening or even for the Dragons first game against the Raiders at Kogarah a week later.

Peakhurst resident Joan Watt expressed her disappointment yesterday at the prospect of another delay on the worthwhile venture that was originally timetabled for completion in May 2003.

"I purchased a granite tile for my brother Reginald Watt who passed away in early April last year," she said.

"Reg was a very loyal Dragons supporter who had the honour of attending the Dragons' 11 consecutive premiership grand-finals. I thought a paver was a fitting way to pay tribute to my late brother and support the rebuilding of Jubilee Oval."

When the Legends' Walk wasn't completed for the Dragons' jubilant homecoming against the Sharks, Frank Bates from JOCA (Jubilee Oval Community Appeal) contacted supporters to advise that the grand opening would be in November 2003.

However, following another delay, the opening was pushed back to the March deadline that JOCA is now struggling to meet. Despite this, Bates has promised that the construction will be completed on March 6 "come hell or high water".

Despite having concerns over the delay, John Ormsby from R2K (Return To Kogarah) has asked supporters to keep the faith in the Legends' Walk concept.

"It is a very important project from a historical and fundraising point of view," he said.

"However if JOCA is to maintain its credibility the Legends' Walk must be completed by the extended deadline. I believe R2K should have had a representative on the JOCA steering committee to keep the Legends' Walk on the right path."

"R2K's successful campaign showed that we are very capable at marketing the positive aspects of Oki Jubilee Stadium."

JOCA, whose steering committee includes Dragons' CEO Peter Doust, will be left with a supporter relations crisis in the St.George and Illawarra regions if the grand opening doesn't take place on March 6.

* R2K assisted JOCA by distributing promotional material regarding the Legends' Walk across the majority of the suburbs in the St.George district. R2K also handed out the promotional material at the 2003 Charity Shield, the 2003 Australia Day Carss Park function and at the Saints vs Raiders match at Oki Jubilee Stadium last year. In addition, the R2K committee donated funds to JOCA, bought 3 pavers and paid for 2 representatives to attend the JOCA Grand Final fundraising function.

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