Tributes flow after passing of legendary racecaller
RACING: The country racing community has been saddened by the passing of long-time racecaller Barry Jones.
Born July 22, 1944, Jones called his first meeting at Jandowae in 1967 in what would begin an incredible career spanning almost a half-century.
A veteran caller of 48 years, Jones lived in Dalby after being born in Charleville, and called at a number of tracks around the Downs and South Burnett regions, including Dalby and Warwick, replacing Harold Kirwan in the 1970s.
Such was the reach of Jones, he was honoured with life membership at Warwick, Warra, Taroom and Burrandowan.
“Barry was an institution in country racing in southern and western Queensland,” Sky Racing broadcaster Anthony Collins said.
“He covered a lot of tracks and served a lot of race clubs to the best of his ability over the years. Nothing was ever an issue for him.
“He called a lot of Warwick Cups, and while he was doing that he formed relationships with a vast amount of people.
“Everywhere he went, he made friends because he was such a likeable blokes.
“Barry loved being a good bloke, and that’s what he was. He was loved by all and going to be missed by a lot of people.”
One of Barry’s most shining qualities was his selflessness, attested to by Collins.
“When he saw I was coming through, he saw this young bloke at the start of his career and in his eyes he saw I was ready to take over,” he said.
“He stepped aside. I mean who does that in today’s society? It gave me the ability to go full steam ahead.
“Barry welcomed me with open arms when I called Warwick, and stood in the broadcast box behind me when I called my first race
“He stood in that exact same position at Royal Randwick when I called the Country Championships (in 2017). To go from a nervous little broadcaster to someone taking on the biggest country race in Australia, to have Barry there meant the world to me.”
Ben Hall is another broadcaster that has seen his career rise because of the help of Jones, something his is immensely grateful for.
“I met Barry when I was in my early teens and under Pat O’Shea as a budding racecaller,” Hall said.
“Pat sorted out an introduction with Barry, and I was able to go out to a lot of the country tracks that he called at on the weekends he was working.
“He’d have a listen to my tapes and helped me with my first live call at a meeting, and got my leg into places like Taroom and Wandon. He was so helpful.”
Hall said that his impact extended beyond the broadcaster’s box, where he was always willing to help whatever track he was calling at in any way possible.
“One of the things he taught me was to help out the club in any way,” he said.
“Even if it was little things like helping at the gate or picking up sandwiches for the jockeys.
“He was such a likeable bloke and one of the nicest you’d ever meet.
“Barry was never threatened by other callers, he was always so unselfish and willing to help out and give advice.
“He was one of the best in the business.”
Jones called his final race meet at Kumbia on Melbourne Cup day in 2015 and passed away aged 75.
Barry’s funeral will be held on Friday 15 November at St Johns Anglican Church, Dalby at 1pm.