Nicholas Carpenter has left an indelible mark on the Irish Community in Brisbane, particularly the Queensland Gaelic Football and Hurling Association. Nicholas sadly passed away in April, 2010 after a short battle with Asbestos Cancer.
Nicholas is a proud native of Grangegeeth, just outside of Collon, Co. Louth. However the family property was inside the borders of the Rathkenny Parish, Co Meath, hence the reason many will remember Nicholas proudly donning the Royal County’s Green and Gold. In his youth, Nicholas straddled the county borders, by playing and winning county football medals for both Rathkenny and Mattock Rangers, in Collon, Co Louth. Even at this young age, Nicholas assisted with Youth groups, tug of war teams and coached juvenile football.
At the age of 22, and married to Sally from Downings, Donegal, he moved to Brisbane Australia in 1972. Nicholas was instrumental in the continued growth and success of the QGFHA over a 30 year period where he was president and vice president of the QGFHA and Vice President of the Australian Gaelic Athletic Association at different times over the many years. Nicholas was passionate about the development of the game he loved, and supported new ventures over the years to promote youth involvement and the introduction of ladies football.
Nicholas was a founding member of Western Districts Football Club, later to become known as Shamrocks Gaelic Football Club. Nicholas contributed in all aspects of the clubs operation to ensure that the club was successful; that it provided a home for young Irish visitors and importantly for him; introduced new people to the game he loved so much.
He was always remembered for his generous nature and commitment to his family, friends and community. He was involved in supporting Irish support groups, and he often welcomed many young Irish visitors into the family home concerned for their welfare, but also to ensure a good time was had by all. This is the reason why the family home was often referred to as Hotel Carpenter. But the lasting memory many will have of Nicholas will be the simple things; like being the first to the pitch on Sunday mornings, marking the fields out, collecting the flags and nets at the end of the day, refereeing up to three games each Sunday and always willing to assist and help wherever it was needed.
The Pre Season Cup has been now been named The Carpenter Cup as a way to acknowledge and celebrate the commitment and life of Nicholas Carpenter. A true gent devoted to the development of his beloved game in his adopted country of Australia.
Written by Glenn Carpenter