Tuesday, 9 May 2017


TROVE just keeps on giving...

I thought I had found all I could there re my family, but each time I revisit, there is more.. I began to compile the articles re Con Catsoulis's boxing career, which ranged from when he was a teenager till he joined the army... There are numerous articles about his fights, some he won, some he lost, but he seemed to be considered a formidable opponent by many.  I cannot stand boxing to this day, but it played a big part in my uncle's life in those days... 

Con was born in Bellingen, in 1913... the second son and third child to Theo (Theodore) and Chrisanthe Catsoulis. 

 From what I can find, he started boxing around the 1930s, and by the time he was 19, he was boxing regularly. There were a few different venues, School of Arts Halls were popular as were other small country halls.. my father told me that some were held in beer gardens or rings erected in the showgrounds. 

 Please click on images to enlarge..

Coff's Harbour Advocate 21 February 1933 loss

Coff's Harbour Advocate 11 July 1933 hopeful

Coff's Harbour Advocate 25 April 1933  win..

Coff's Harbour Advocate 30 May 1933  draw

It seems Con, ever ready for a challenge, decided to show his strength, and set out to push the local publican, Peter Gleeson around Urunga's outskirts in less than an hour. Let's just say Peter was not a lightweight... the event soon became known as the Wheelbarrow Derby...and the townsfolk came out in droves to watch.

Coff's Harbour Advocate 12 July, 1935

Con, labelled as a youth, was 22..  Grafton's Daily Examiner also picked up the story.. on 11 July, 1935.. a slight weight difference between the pusher and the passenger ..

Boxing remained part of Con's life..
Daily Examiner Grafton 12 May 1936..

Con joined the army with two of his brothers, in 1941.  They were all sent to New Guinea.. In 1945, Con was injured when the truck he was in, rolled over down an embankment.. he fractured his hip, and pelvis.. with what was described as a traumatic injury and was sent back to a military hospital, then to Concord, Sydney. He suffered from this the rest of his life, developing arthritis, and was often in extreme pain. Insomnia also accompanied him.

In 1946, the three Catsoulis brothers were among the group of URUNGA soldiers welcomed home...

Con passed away in 1984, having been a farmer, a hotel roustabout, a hotel cook, a boxer, a qualified sign writer and commercial artist, a soldier, the family prankster, and the teller of very imaginative tales, especially to small children. He never married and spent the last years of his life sharing a home with the oldest brother, Harry.

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