The News has a look back at the top feature stories of the year.ASHLEIGH WILLIAMSON December 28, 2012 4:40am
JOE THE COCKATOO
Rushworth woman Denise Corbin became the third owner of Joe the cockatoo almost seven years ago.
Ms Corbin became the first person to physically touch Joe, who has never flown in his life of more than 55 years.
However, Joe still squawks the name of the first owner, Rita.
‘‘When Rita died, he was handed to her kids and was living in the bush near Rushworth with the second owner,’’ Ms Corbin said.
‘‘He barks like a dog and coughs like a bloke with emphysema. He mumbles to himself while the dogs are barking.’’
Joe is a real character who Ms Corbin intended to keep for as long as she could.
‘‘Cockatoos can live up to 100 years,’’ she said.
Meeting Donald Bradman as a teenager gave Stan Brown the knowledge to become a great cricketer in his own right.
Stan played cricket for Yalca North for 73 years, retiring aged 84.
The all-rounder represented Nathalia Cricket Association at Country Week every year from 1934 to 1967.
His unbeaten 100 in just 57 minutes against Alberton in 1937 is still believed to be the fastest Melbourne Country Week century.
That century led to Victoria Country selectors naming Stan to play a touring English side at Benalla.
Stan had then English captain Sir George ‘‘Gubby’’ Allen caught at cover in that game.
Stan also played football for Yalca North until he was 51 and was recognised for 70 years of firefighting service this year.
His service pre-dates the Victorian Country Fire Authority.
‘‘We used to fight fires with a bamboo pole and canvas hose about three inches wide at the end,’’ he said.
‘‘We had to beat fires out.’’
Stan, 98, still lives on the Yielima cattle, grain and sheep farm where he was raised by his parents.
He helps his sons Don and Ernie manage the farm.
‘‘When I get in the tractor, I’m as quick as they are,’’ Stan said.
For the rest of the year’s best feature stories, grab a copy of today’s News.
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