Day At The Track

Ron Bisman attends Hall Of Fame meeting

02:33 AM 15 Feb 2011 NZDT
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Ron Bisman (left) pictured in the
Ron Bisman (left) pictured in the - NZ Trotting Hall of Fame with president Gilbert Myles.
Duane Ranger photo

The New Zealand Trotting Hall of Fame has lost some mighty committee members in recent years - Les Callender, Bill Moat, Neville Southey, last month Kevin Coutts and now Leo George is close to heaven's call. So when harness racing journalism giant Ron Bisman attended the quarterly meeting last Friday (February 11) it was just the tonic the committee was looking for.

Surfer's Paradise-based Bisman and his wife Eunice were in New Zealand and thanks to the initiative of president Gilbert Myles the couple were able to attend the meeting. Mr Bisman is an outside committee member and receives all the minutes via post.

What Bisman doesn't know about harness racing isn't worth knowing. He is a trotting book of knowledge and his past DB Annuals and books like ‘Salute To Trotting' are proof of that.

Spending just 10 minutes with Mr Bisman is in fact like reading one of his many books.

Myles described Bisman as the doyen of all harness racing writers and said had it not been for his early contributions there may not have been a New Zealand Trotting Hall Of Fame.

"Without people like Ron, Alby Douglas and Bill Moat we wouldn't be here today and in the sound state we are in. We must never forget the work they did in our foundation years. Ron told me that there is no trotting museum in Australia that even compares to this and nothing better in the United States.

"We have one of the world's greatest harness racing museums here because of people like him and those people that did all the hard yards early on. We must never forget that," Myles said.

The president fondly remembers Bisman lighting up his past Christmas's.

"I remember every Christmas I would look forward to receiving one of Ron's DB annuals and couldn't wait for the Christmas lunch to get out of the way so I could spend the afternoon reading it. I know there were a lot of people who thought the same. Ron brought a lot of happiness into people's lives and always will because his books were and are still widely read."

Bisman himself was typically modest and full of praise for the Hall Of Fame.

"I'm very proud to still be on your committee and am proud to have played a part in the development of this wonderful facility. There is nothing like it in the world.

"That Hambletonian photo you have hanging there for example could be the only one of its kind in the world. I don't even think the Hambletonian people have it. I think the original ended up here. That is just one of many prized possessions you have. Keep up the good work," he said.

Also present at Friday's meeting was Mrs Pam Coutts, the widow of Kevin Coutts, who was a Hall Of fame committee member for 25 years.

Mrs Coutts thanked the committee for a recent donation it made when Kevin passed away last month and also donated masses of books and breeding information that Kevin had used over a lifetime's commitment to harness racing.

The present thanked her and also paid a tribute to her late husband.

"Kevin was a book of knowledge when it came to harness racing breeding. He was also an enthusiastic, honest and dedicated committee member who will never be replaced.

"His hard work and commitment will always remain with his. He will be sorely missed," Myles said.

By Duane RANGER (editor and NZ Trotting Hall of Fame committee member).

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