The organisers of Queensland’s largest schoolboy rugby league carnival have thanked Lionel Williamson for his decades of service after the Kangaroos legend announced he would step down from the management committee.
Williamson advised Queensland Independent Secondary Schools Rugby League, which organises the Confraternity Carnival, that he would end his 21 year stint on the committee.
Williamson will continue to attend Confraternity Carnivals with his beloved St Augustine’s College from Cairns, including next year’s event at Iona College and the 2022 Carnival in Mackay.
He has attended each Confraternity Carnival since 1986 and plays a key role in speaking to participants each year about the importance of “Spirit of the Confraternity” based on values including respect, sportsmanship and honesty that have underpinned the event for 40 years.
“We can’t thank Lionel Williamson enough for his work on the committee over many years and we’re rapt that he will continue to be at our Carnivals delivering our message of the Spirit of the Confraternity,” QISSRL President Peter Elmore said.
“When asked about the importance of the carnival in the development of his players, Lionel would say that ‘you take away boys and bring back men’. Lionel continues to be passionate about rugby league and the positive impacts it has on so many young people. He is a wonderful ambassador for the game.”
Williamson was an outstanding player during a long career that included club stints in Sydney and his hometown of Innisfail. He represented Queensland and New South Wales during those periods while also becoming a regular for the Australian team.
He scored tries in two winning World Cup finals teams, featuring alongside players of the calibre of Arthur Beetson, Johnny Raper, Ron Coote, Bob Fulton and Graeme Langlands. Williamson was named in Newtown’s team of the century.
However, he has always been at home mentoring younger players, developing their skills on and off the field. Williamson’s long tenure with St Augustine’s included the 1993 Carnival which the College hosted and won the Confraternity Shield.