Jack Longville.   2 comments

The Henderson Racing Pigeon Club which meets at the Avondale Race Course is holding another Jack Longville Memorial Race this coming weekend from Raumati. Jack left this world January 19th 2009 aged 84.

Jack Longville was one of the sweetest and kindest men I’ve ever known. I remember him for his good character as well as his pigeon racing achievements such as 1st Invercargill to Auckland 1995 and on the day at that!

Jack was a former President of the Auckland Racing Pigeon Federation and a pretty darn good one!

As a younger man Jack was a senior rugby league player, a humble, big man, always a peace maker.

I worked with Jack in the Western Union Racing Pigeon Association, he as President and myself as the Secretary. Jack was always easy going, laid back and a pleasure to work with and enjoyed a good joke.

As a reward for my diligence at my post Jack started picking up some of my birds twice a week from my residence, even dropping off the boxes on his way home from the Glen Murray toss which was about 50 miles airline to where I lived.

He would say to me from time to time, “Don’t tell the Henderson fliers I’m tossing your birds”! I think he was serious though! I was in the Avondale Club at the time. Also from time to time he arrived, no doubt on time, but I kept him waiting and he would gently chide, “Come on Fergus”, as I went back to the loft and filled another box of birds.

I think that we all miss Jack, and his loved ones can be reassured that he touched a lot of lives in our sport and the harness racing fraternity too. I believe that he was the first person to drive a horse and cart over the Auckland Harbour Bridge soon after it was opened on May 30, 1959. Reading that recently online it really did sound just like good old Jack! He’d have been 34 then.

Apparently he did meat deliveries by horse and cart too. Horses were certainly his first passion and the harness racing fraternity have a Jack Longville Memorial Race too.

Perhaps some of you have memories and true stories about Jack you’d like to share in the comments section.

One that Jack told me, and he laughed while telling it, was that once he got home from pigeon tossing at Glen Murray and wondered why his pigeons weren’t home and then he realised he must have left his boxes full of pigeons in the paddock and driven off after letting the other fanciers pigeons out of the pigeon transporter he had.

All ended well, he contacted the farmer who owned the paddock and they released the pigeons in good time for them all to come home that afternoon.

What did I personally learn from Jack? Apart from Jack’s great example of kindness, cheerfulness and generosity, Jack always encouraged me not to be too hard on people. He basically believed that we all had weaknesses. Using someone’s weakness against them in an over bearing way wasn’t something that Jack encouraged and Jack, like my late father, was very much into bridge building and reconciliation.

I think of Jack from time to time knowing that his good deeds followed him to the next life and I look forwards to partying with him there!

He had an amazing wife Lilla. She had sparkling eyes and a very loving heart. I expect she’ll be there too.

Jack Longville, we salute you, truly one of the better guys in pigeon racing Auckland. Rest in peace till the curtains of time are closed and eternity beckons us all!

Posted May 23, 2013 by ferguselley in Food for thought

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2 responses to “Jack Longville.

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  1. Hi Fergus,

    Interesting information on Jack Longville. I am a member of SARPC and this is my first Jack Longville race its good to know the story behind the man.


    Steve McLuskie
    • Hi there Steve, nice to have you on board!

      No doubt I’ll get to meet you in the Old Bird Season.

      Until then, all the best with the approaching breeding season.

      Cheers, fergie.

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