William (Bill) Franzke (1946-) – Life member 1989

15 January 2017

Bill attended Wesley from 1958 to 1965 and was a member of the athletics team from 1962 to 1965. He competed in the APS Carnival 880 yards in 1964 and 1965, coming fifth in 1965.

Bill joined Old Wesley AAC in 1962 and competed in any track and field event that he was asked to do, from the jumps through sprints, hurdles, middle and longer distance events. There are probably only three events he has not attempted in his career, the hammer throw, pole vault and marathon. In his last competitive track season in 1980 aged 35, Bill managed to run every 800 metres for the season under two minutes and get under four minutes for 1500 metres.

Bill began running with APSOC about 1966. Whilst never a champion, in his day he was quite competitive and would finish in the first half of the field.

He was on the Old Wesley committee for many years through the late 1960s and early 1970s, when he then took a break for three or four years. He returned to cross country in 1978-79 and became largely responsible for organising Old Wesley as its Secretary from 1983. It is probably fair to say that without Bill’s commitment and dedication over many years, Old Wesley would have struggled to field a team in the competition.

A knee injury in 1981 and consequent surgery put paid to his serious running career, but he continued to compete, albeit rather slowly. Bill won the Jamieson Handicap in 1979 and the Most Improved Athlete in 1988.

Bill was President of APSOC 1981-1982 and elected a Life Member in 1989.

Adapted from Luke Travers – Hill and Dale 1991