Venancio Parga Vila
While in Spain, in 1972, for the first World Roller Hockey Championships that Australia ever participated, the then President of AFARS (Con Galtos) befriended a highly respected and well known Roller Hockey Coach, Venancio Parga Villa. ‘Parga’ (as he was called by all friends) accepted an invitation to come to Australia and tour the country, coaching Roller Hockey. He was accompanied by his wife Vera and he was not paid by the AFARS. Parga had a tremendous effect on the Australian Roller Hockey players of the day, he also assisted Con Galtos in his fforts to bring to Australia (in 1975) the first FIRS World Artistic Roller Skating Championships that were held at the Stafford Roller Skating Rink. Parga will always be remembered as a great friend of all Australian Skaters.
After competing in the World Congress Championships in New Zealand in 1959 and being appointed the Australian representative to the RSPOQ by the World Congress, Ces returned home to help establish the first roller skating organization in Australia (RSAA). He was the secretary to president elect Arthur Johnson and they ran the first Australasian championships in which he also competed and won the senior dance with partner June Pearce. Ces assisted Con Galtos to form the AFARS and became its first secretary. After ten years (1966-1975) in that position he handed over to Margaret ‘Peg’ Nugent. Ces used to tour Australia (at his own time and without pay) assisting in the development of skating officials and competitive skating. Ces passed away in December 1996, aged 75.
Con Galtos- MBE
Con was a visionary and pioneer for the Australian Roller sports Federation. He remains the longest serving president in history (1963-1987). During this time, he established AFARS in 1966, was the first ever Australian Skating official to participate in a FIRS meetings (1968) and with his wife’s assistance revolutionized FIRS by the introduction of its first democratic Constitution (1977). Con managed Australian teams and became the first Australian to be elected FIRS Vice President. The Galtos Companies managed several rinks in Queensland including Inala, Mt Gravatt, Mackay, Townsville and they also established a roller skate factory. During the 70s and 80s development of the industry, the Galtos Companies were (directly or indirectly) involved with the development of the industry throughout Australia. One of Con’s proudest achievements was the adoption of the FIRS constitutional changes that he and Beverley compiled to give skaters a fairer go in competitions. He occupied this position until the World Speed Skating Championships in Adelaide in 1986. In the same year he was awarded an MBE in 1986 for his services to youth and roller skating.
Beverley was instrumental in the early establishment of Roller sports. As an Australian School Teacher, Beverley had meticulous attention to detail and was the first Australian international calculator and also the first to calculate at many World Championships. Beverley was the person who kept the AFARS administration going (until paid staff were made available) and was instrumental in the establishment of proper Constitution and Regulations to govern the sport and give a fair go to all participants. She was the details person who always assisted Con Galtos in the establishment and promotion of the sport throughout Australia and the World. She has always been pleased to help other people achieve their goals.
Carol Jessop became the most highly respected Australian and International Artistic Roller Skating Judge of her time. She started as a competitive skater who became involved in 1962 and achieved high proficiency test scores. She started judging in 1964 and became the first female Australian to officiate at World Championships (1973-Germany). Carol judged at nine World Championships and was also the chairman of the Australian judges committee 1967-1979 and again during the 1980’s. She was the fifth person to be awarded Life membership and received the 2000 Australian Sports Award issued by Federal Government through the federation (RSA).
Jeff became involved in Officiating in 1966 and was the first Australian to officiate at World Championships (1973-Germany). He went on to judge at nine Worlds Championships. Jeff was a part of the Junior development committee in the 1980’s and was also a chief examiner for Freeskating. He was the sixth person to be awarded Life Membership and also received the 2000 Australian Sports Award issued by Federal Government through his Federal MP (Margaret May).
Margaret ‘Peg’ & Frank Nugent
Frank & Peg Nugent were an inseparable couple who worked very hard for Roller Skating during the 60s, 70s & 80s. They were the owners of the Mitchelton Roller Skating Rink, Brisbane, and always ready to assist the sport. Frank was a Roller Hockey Official and Peg held a number of positions during the time that all work was done by volunteers who also paid all their expenses. Peg was a very strong person and one who would accept “no nonsense from anyone”.
George was a Roller Hockey player & Dance/Pairs skater. He was on the Inala club executive 1970-73, before becoming the long standing Queensland Chapter President who sat on the AFARS board from 1973-1989. George, supported by his wife Lorraine, worked very hard to make sure that Roller Skating was properly administered in Queensland. He was always there to assist at every Championship and administered the sport in Queensland “without fear of favour”. He also was a referee in Roller Hockey and Speed Skating and was the ninth person to be awarded Life Membership.
Lloyd was instrumental in the establishment of Roller Sports in South Australia and was the president for many years. The venue which hosted the 1986 World Speed Skating Championships was named after Lloyd in acknowledgement of his contributions.
Mary was awarded her Life membership in 1988. She was one of AFARS’ strongest supporters and worked very hard for many years in an effort to improve the services offered to all AFARS members. Mary was a CAOC & AAC Chairman. She was also a referee and voluntary secretary of the Qld Chapter. Mary passed away in 2008.
Paul was awarded his life membership in 1988 for the first Australian to medal at an Artistic World Championships in Italy in 1985, which he repeated in NZ in 1987. He later became a successful coach who inspired and encouraged young children.
To read New Idea's article on Paul Irving from 1991 ‘Skating was my life’click here
Allan was a part owner of the Modbury rink in Adelaide and Speed branch Chairman for several years during the 1980’s. He was awarded Life Membership in the same year he retired from Roller Sports in 1991.
Eric helped commence the WA Chapter of AFARS in 1980 and such was his commitment that he attended interstate meetings at his own expense. He was championships director for the World Speed Skating Championships in 1995 and awarded Life Membership in 1991. Eric passed away in 2008.
Lorraine was the club Treasurer of Inala Club, Treasurer for AFARS in the early 1970’s, International Calculator (including 3 World Championships 75,81,91), a member of the constitution committee and the first chairman on the AAC in 1979. Lorraine was awarded life membership in 1993.
Dot Johnson has been the backbone of Artistic skating in Queensland since 1987 when she was elected as the AAC Vice President and is one of the longest serving members of the Australian Artistic Committee (AAC). Dot was awarded life membership in 2006 and retired from her position on the AAC in 2008.
Valerie Leftwich was Artistic VP NSW from 1980-1984 becoming an Artistic judge and then President of NSW for six (6) years from 1984-1990. Val was Championship Director for the 1991,1999 & 2007 World Artistic Championships and member of the CIRILH from 2001 to date. She was elected as President of Skate Australia in 1992 and held that position until 2004 when she was elected as FIRS 1st Vice President of FIRS. She has since been re elected and still holds the position today.
Kevin’s involvement with roller skating started as a skater when he was in his late 30’s attending family sessions with his children. When his daughter started competing, he became a judge as there were none in South Australia. He skated nationally and won three (3) National Esquire Men’s Figure championships in the 80’s. He became an international judge in 1987 and has attended six (6) world championships as a judge. He was the South Australian Chairman for six (6) years and the State President on the National Executive for six (6) years.
Rosemary filled numerous roles in South Australia as club president, state CAOC Chairman, State Artistic Vice President and State President serving on the National Executive for 8 years before being elected as a member of the first National Board in 1998 serving in this capacity for 4 years. On resigning from that position, Rosemary later took on the AAC Chairman’s position when it became vacant and was recently re-elected for her 3rd term.
Dr Patricia Wallace
Pat was the inaugural Chairman of the WA Artistic Officials Committee and Chairman of the WA Artistic Committee for a number of years. She was Chairman of the National Officials Committee (CAOC) from 1993-2006 and again 2008 onwards. She is Chairman of Skate Australia’s & FIRS Sports Medicine Commission, an International Artistic Judge and was elected to the Skate Australia board in 2006. She was recently elected to her second term and replaced Simon Wilkins as President of Skate Australia.
Chris was a competitive dance skater in the 1960’s representing Australia at the South Pacific hamps. He became involved in administration and calculating when his children started kating in the late 1980’s. He held the position of AAC Branch Chair from 1994-1996 and again from 2000-2003. He has held his International Calculating Commission since 1995 and has held the position of chief examiner of Calculators. Chris also wrote the calculating software program that is used throughout Australia. Chris was Team Manager for the World Artistic Team from 1995-1998 and 2000-2003. Chris has been president of Rollercade club and is currently president of Revolutions club.
Lorraine was Chairman of CAOC during 1980’s, and has held the position Chief Examiners for Free skating, Figures and/or Precision since the position was created. She has been a presenter at the National Judges Seminar for 10 years and judged at every National Championships since 1968 and WA state championships since 1982, with the exception of 2 years. Lorraine has been a member of CIPA since 1993 and has judged numerous competitions including QLD, Victoria, NSW and SA State Championships as well as Oceania, Asian and World Championships World Games.
Jim has been actively involved with the sport since 1981. Jim is an International Referee and has been the Chairperson of Speed Officials for a number of years. Jim recently restructured the officials accreditation to include auxiliary official certification, to help improve judge recruitment. Jim has officiated at every National Championships for the past twenty-five (25) years and continues to do so today. Jim was awarded Life Membership in 2006.
Harry has been actively involved in the sport for more than 25 years. He has been the WA President of Speed and Chairperson of the WA Officials for the last 12 years. He has officiated at every Nationals for the last twenty-two 22 years. He has also officiated at numerous Oceania’s/Junior Pacific’s since 1995.
Pauline has been the administrator for Skate WA for fifteen years (1994-) and the Australian Speed Branch Chairman for nine years (2000-). Pauline has been Australian Speed team manager for Oceania & World Championships 2002-09 and WA State Team Manager 1996-2002. Prior to this she, filled various state roles including Skate WA Speed Secretary, Morley Panthers Speed Rep (1989-92) and club president (1992-96). Pauline was awarded life membership in 2007.
Barry started roller skating in 1979, initially involved competitively in speed skating then progressed to artistic skating. He represented Western Australia at national level in both dance and figures and represented Australia in Oceania championships for dance with partner Renae Brams. He officiated as speed official from 1984 until 1993, artistic judge since 1988 judging at state and national levels. He designed the artistic coaches accreditation courses and developed electronic scoring for Artistic used both nationally and at world championships. The offices he held in skating include Armadale club Artistic Representative, WA State Artistic VP, National Artistic chairperson and National Coaches chairperson. He was awarded life membership in 2008.