Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

A rare collection of boxing memorabilia is being donated so that it can be maintained as part of Inverell’s sporting history.

Over a century ago, Charles Tennant Jardine packed his bags and waved goodbye to family and
friends at Inverell and Moree before setting off from Sydney on the journey of a lifetime –
representing Australia as a Heavyweight Boxer at the Olympic Games held in Paris in 1924. Fast forward a hundred years, and a small personal archive of photographs, letters, newspaper clippings and ephemera from Charles’ boxing experience from the 1920s – 1924 will be donated to the Inverell Shire Public Library and Inverell District Family History Group by members of the Jardine family on Friday 2 February 2024, at 10:00am.

Grand-daughter Ann-Maree Dyer (née Jardine) said the collection is quite remarkable and provides a fascinating insight into social and boxing history from the early part of the 20th century.

“Our family, particularly my father the late Charlie Jardine, has looked after this little collection over many years.”

“Some of the scrapbook pages have mould damage which represents a huge challenge from a preservation and conservation perspective, so we are delighted that a more suited cultural agency can continue the appropriate care of the items, and more importantly, to allow access for researchers and historians for years to come.”

Described as a ‘fine, genial young giant from up-back around Inverell’, Charles Tennant Jardine started boxing in earnest at age 24 in 1915. The youngest son of five boys and three girls, he grew up on ‘Birralee’ outside Inverell and lived at family properties ‘Gundare’ and ‘Myall’ at Moree. Initially boxing under the nom de plume of S. Baker or ‘Snowy Baker’ given the early stigma associated with the sport, he quickly rose through the ranks of the amateur boxing circuits in country NSW and Sydney stadiums.

Once Jardine was selected as the Australian Heavyweight Boxer by the Australian Olympic Committee in 1923, the Inverell and Moree communities rallied behind a call to raise funds to send their man to the prestigious sporting event.

The collection ranges from a scrapbook with various newspaper clippings of Jardine’s rise to prominence in boxing circles in the northwest of NSW and Sydney, plus telegrams, poetry, handbills and some transcripts of articles. Over 71 photographs showing the Olympians in Paris, UK, USA and Colombo are included, plus letters, programs, luggage tags, an Olympic entry tag, postcards, an autograph book, a pair of opera glasses from Paris, a passport and Jardine’s official Olympic blazer and two Australian boxing medals.

The carefully curated newspaper clippings, posters and photos speak volumes about the immense pride of the family and more broadly the local districts and boxing fraternity about the local athlete.

“Inverell has always celebrated the achievements of our residents and it is a privilege to become custodians of a collection regarding a sportsperson who has reached the pinnacle of their sport, ” said Mayor Paul Harmon.

The free morning event at the Inverell Shire Public Library will include a visit from another Inverell boxer, Rick Peter Sandral, ‘The Lumberjack’ who was recently crowned the Australian Amateur Boxing League Champion.

Music composed for the 1924 Paris Olympics will also be performed by Jardine’s great-grand-daughter Madison Dyer on violin. The morning will conclude with light refreshments for morning tea.

Please contact the Inverell Shire Public Library to reserve your seat on phone 02-6728 8130 or email library@inverell.nsw.gov.au

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