http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/regional/gascoyne/a/-/sport/10172662/twins-gift-to-hero-dad/20 year old Jack Hannan (right) after winning the
1926 Mullewa Gift.Twins' Gift to hero dadBy Tom Davis,
September 2, 2011,
Tomorrow's Be Active Mullewa Gift will hold a special place in the hearts of twin sisters Judy Hannan and Joan Cunningham.
They will commemorate the day in 1926 when their father Jack Hannan won the Gift and with it, a bounty of 60 pounds.
In those days, 60 pounds was a tidy sum, considering 412 pounds could buy you a brand new Studebaker straight six motor car.
Since their father’s passing in 1992, Hannan’s twin daughters, both 77, made a pact to one day travel north and celebrate his achievement.
Eighty-five years after Jack’s win, two generations of the Hannan family will be in attendance at this year’s Gift.
Judy and Joan and Joan’s daughter Jude Fitzgerald will watch the top WA sprinters of today compete in the $2000 120m race.
Judy Hannan felt proud to revisit the ground where her father struck gold as a 20- year-old.
“He always had fond memories of Mullewa because he won Gift there all those years ago,” she said.
"60 pounds was a lot of money back then so it was a big deal.
“Joan and myself always said we’d go to Mullewa — it’s quite a coincidence that it has fallen on the 85th anniversary.”
Tomorrow’s race, organised by WA Athletics, is the highlight of Mullewa’s Agricultural Show.
Other races include dashes over 70m and 550m.
A total of 35 athletes have nominated this year.
It’s a steady uptake compared to the 50 which took part in 1926, as reported in the Geraldton Guardian.
Its profile was highly celebrated, the Guardian reported “cameras were very much in use” during the presentations attended by Parliamentary dignitaries.
In a memoir, Hannan described the race as “the Stawell of the West,” comparing it to Australia’s most lucrative sprint in Victoria.
Fast forward to 2011 and this year’s Gift has lured a host of track stars.
Poppy Schwass, a fifthplace finisher in the 2010 Australian 100m Hurdles final, is among the nominees.
Jordan Makins has the 550m race in his sights.
Makin scooped an 800m bronze this year at the Australian Junior Championships and won the City of Perth 550m Gift last November.