Barry reflects on life spent on (and off) a footy field
WITH a name synonymous with the very foundation upon which the modern-day Tweed is built upon, Barry Boyd has always been steeped in our region's history.
Born on the Boyd family farm at Condong on March 31, 1933, Mr Boyd was one in a long line of a family lineage synonymous with the Tweed, since arriving aboard the ship John Barry, on July 12, 1826.
Born the fourteenth child out of 16, the family farm which milked cows, cultivated sugar cane and supplied pigs, is but a remnant of times gone past, with landmarks such as Boyd's Bridge and Boyd's Shed serving as a reminder of the profound impact of the Boyd name on the region.
Now nestled on a hill overlooking the Tweed valley and surrounded by his extensive array of beloved exotic birds, Mr Boyd reflects on a life which took him from the family farm, to the Sydney Cricket Ground and Lang Park and back again.
A celebrated rugby league full-back and referee, Mr Boyd once laced the boots for Parramatta, Balmain and Wynnum-Manly in the 1950s, after developing at Condong Primary and Murwillumbah High and with the Murwillumbah Kangaroos and Cudgen.
"From there, I decided I'd go and have a try out in Sydney," Mr Boyd said.
"Other Tweed players had gone before, so I thought 'There's no harm in trying'."
Mr Boyd played five first grade games for Parramatta from 1954, before returning to Cudgen for the 1956 season. "I represented the Tweed from the Cudgen club and I was their first grade full-back," Mr Boyd said.
"I also played against the Seagulls, we had some wild games against that mob."
It was during his time at Parramatta that Mr Boyd met his future wife, the late Veronica, which led him back to Sydney in 1957.
But after playing a season with the Tigers the northern pull came calling.
"The wife and I wanted to get out of Sydney, so I transferred to Brisbane and finished up my last six years with Wynnum Manly which were my best years of football," Mr Boyd said.
They later returned to the Tweed where Mr Boyd became a respected rugby league referee, right up until the day he gave away the game for good.
"I walked down to the Tweed River and threw my boots in," Mr Boyd said.
"I walked away from the game and have never been back." Married for 57 years, the Boyds shared a wonderful life, travelling Australia in a caravan until Mrs Boyd was tragically developed dementia.
Mr Boyd nursed his wife for nine years, refusing to give up.
"I nursed her right up until a week before she passed away. She didn't know my name or what was going on, but she knew what a nursing home was and she'd break down and cry and beg me not to leave her there. I vowed that I would never put her in a home," Mr Boyd said.
He never did and the pair lived around Tweed and Banora Point until Mrs Boyd's passing. Now living in a flat attached to his son's home in Duranbah, Mr Boyd misses his wife dearly, but life has gone full-circle, leaving him feeling back at home among the vast expanses of a region his family helped cultivate.
"I've got my birds and it's like being back on the farm where I was born," Mr Boyd said.