Inductee Hall of Fame 2021
Paul Linton Bullock joins the Hall of Fame, having participated in, and influenced strongly, virtually every aspect of Tasmanian greyhound racing. Born at Launceston 13 May 1945, to parents Linton and Elsie (nee Munley), his father was a coal miner and an expert in animal husbandry, whilst his mum was housemaid to her mother-in-law. Paul’s family lived at St. Marys and were heavily into pacing. His father had success in pacing cups at St. Marys, St. Helens, Avoca and Oatlands.
Paul’s early years were quite harsh. He lost his mother when only nine, and shortly before turning eleven, his father also died in April 1956. Paul’s only sibling, sister Claire, married Eric Bean around the same time. Eric was the Secretary of the St. Mary’s Hack and Trotting Club for over fifty years. Several relatives of Paul’s mother lived in Hobart, and it was to Hobart Paul was dispatched; not to live with them, but to St. Virgil’s College as a boarder in 1957. These were harsh and trying years for Paul. On leaving school in 1961, Paul Bullock, the self-declared “no saint”, returned to St. Marys. Initially working in the Shell Service Station with thoughts of becoming a mechanic, he soon changed tack. Successfully sitting for the Junior Postal Exam, he landed the job in his hometown in June 1962. The position alternated weekly between mail delivery and night telephonist.
In 1963, the female day telephonist became seriously ill, and a relief operator was temporarily sent from Launceston. She was young and very attractive. Paul was smitten. Now Paul, was a decent footballer, played seniors for St. Mary’s and represented the Fingal Association, playing on football legend Geoff Long in a match against the Northeast Football Association. His deeds didn’t go unnoticed and North Launceston wanted his signature.
Paul’s one stipulation was to get him transferred to work in Launceston, which happened in just three days. Paul’s moving arrangements weren’t with North Launceston in mind, although he did play with them for one season. The temporary telephonist was one Glenda Young, and she lived in Launceston. Engaged in the May of ’63, Paul married Glenda on 30 November that same year, making it 58 years this year. They have four children, Michael (b.1964), Anthony (b.1965), Annette (b.1966) and Craig (b.1969).
Paul was no stranger to hard work and was always active. He worked at the PMG for five years until 1969, when he became a meter reader for the HEC. Soon after, he rose to Supervisor, Superintendent and Debt Collector with a big number of staff under him and remained with the Hydro until 1990. To
help make ends meet, Paul initially worked part time jobs in an ice cream van, service station attendant, barman and bookmaker’s clerk. After missing two years due to a serious peritonitis episode, he began playing football again.
A natural leader, Paul, along with former Footscray player Ray Walker, also started the Northern Tasmania Junior Football Association in 1973. His role as Chairman covered every base, from registrar, program printer, tribunal, radio presenter and oversaw a full-page spread in the Express every Saturday night.
It was Paul Bullock’s part-time job with Bookmaker “Dolph” Cooper, where he met a customer named Cliff Woodfield who dabbled in greyhounds. Paul offered to help him with a troublesome litter, and it was only then, that Paul virtually “limped” into our great sport. In helping Cliff, Paul’s ten-year-old son Anthony, who loved the dogs, became smitten with greyhound racing as well.
Paul Bullock’s greyhound “life” can be divided between breeding, owning and training on one side, and a plethora of Administration roles on the other. We’ll come back to the latter.
Paul built kennels at their Canning Street abode and started training on a small scale. A leased bitch called Skithery Lass was his first winner at Devonport 20 October 1976. He bred his first litter after this, which produced the extra smart Rapooka Rouge and King Karrawarra. Paul purchased Otensia Girl from Cranbourne based Sam Amore in 1981 for $1500. She became the Bullock number one, firstly as a racer, then as a producer. This highly versatile chaser, mixed it with the very best, scoring 16 wins and 7 placings from just 38 Tasmanian starts from 452 to 722 metres. Additionally, she provided the Bullock’s greatest thrill by scoring over 718 metres at Sandown in Victoria. In 1983 she produced an ill-fated litter with Tempix, but Otensia Girl subsequently turned out 3 highly successful litters to Rodway Lad, Kid Scandal and National Star.
During the mid-1980’s Anthony’s promising football career was ended due to a serious arm injury, and he was determined to train dogs. In 1987, Paul and Glenda sold Canning Street, and purchased 5 acres at 3 Five Acre Row, Westbury, opposite Richard and Jillian Stamford. They only reluctantly moved back into Launceston in 2008 due to Paul’s ailing health.
With purpose-built yards and training kennels, they were much better setup at Westbury. In 1990, Paul and Anthony took out a joint Trainers License, but their world was rocked with a contentious positive swab from Aim To Fire in 1991. Anthony was given a 12-month sabbatical and spent a year in South Australia, before returning to train in his own right at Westbury. Glenda officially took over the training duties of his parent’s team in June 1992 (with the obvious input of Paul). Paul’s gradual shift into various administrative roles, made it impossible to continue as an outright trainer, except for a brief period “in-between roles”, during 1995 96.
Anthony relocated to Exeter in 1996, initially as private trainer to Kevin Tolputt. In hindsight, it was a brilliant decision, given the huge success he has achieved there to this day.
There were many standout chasers trained by Paul and Glenda, and some trained jointly with Anthony (1990 – 1991). Many they bred, owned and trained; some they mentored for outside owners. Apart from Otensia Girl, her son to National Star, Scarlet Star was exceptional. This hardy chaser raced 87 times for 24 wins and 31 placings. He won the 1990 Show Cup at Devonport as well as the Heat and Final of the Tom McKenna Memorial. He was also beaten a nose by Valediction in a Young Star Classic in Hobart. His litter sisters Scarlet Denim (13 wins, and 1990 Easter Plate Final winner), and the stayer Scarlet Ivy (10 wins, including a National Distance Heat win in 1991) were also highly useful. Other chasers bearing the Bullock’s signature “Scarlet”, included Scarlet Port (13 wins, including 4 hurdles), Scarlet Satin (7), Scarlet Lace (6), Scarlet Joker (6) and Scarlet Linen (5).
Many other top graders graced the Paul and Glenda Bullock kennels. Raider’s Knight won 11 from 38, including both Heats and the Final of the 2006 Minister’s Gift at Devonport, in fact, beating Anthony’s Classic Amali. Flying Fort was top notch. In 2003, he won the Heat and Final of the Furniture City and Gold Collar Final at White City, besides the Young Star Classic at Hobart.
Whywoe had 12 wins and 12 minors from 43 starts, including a Heat win and Final 2nd in the Tasmanian Derby, as well as winning his Heat and Final of the 2001 Easter Plate in Hobart. Foolish Padre had 13 victories and won the last top-grade race at White City, prior to the move to Mowbray. He also ran 4th in a Gold Cup Final. The powerful but unlucky sprinter Blue Me won 15 races, and was a finalist in a Derby, National State Sprint, Devonport Cup and Easter Cup. Topping off the cream of the Bullock team were Rapooka Rouge, Carmel’s Star (12, and a Gold Collar 3rd), the middle-distance chaser Rose Of Tenthill (8), Le Ringo and Lady Rex (8 each) and Power Bill (8 wins, including 7 hurdles).
Paul Bullock’s “second” greyhound life was his deep involvement in greyhound administration and media. After leaving his junior football roles, Paul was asked to join the Launceston Greyhound Racing Club Committee in 1984. By 1987 he was Deputy Chairman under Vic Berne, and became Chairman for 18 months, ending with his resignation in 1991. Paul oversaw a volatile period for the L.G.R.C., initially with the departure of a chairman, the departure due to ill health of long-serving Secretary Ray Foley, and a Club with serious financial issues. His tenure included the appointment of a new Secretary in Wayne Spotswood, improved lighting and electrics, track re-alignment and the moving of the winning post, and a significant increase in the bar trade on race nights. He left with the Club in a better position than he found it. It’s fitting that he is now a L.G.R.C. Life Member.
In 1992 Paul was surprisingly asked by the Director of Racing Michael Martin, to leave the H.E.C. and join the Tasmanian Racing Authority. There was a huge problem with the Hobart Greyhound Racing Club at that time, and Paul’s principal role was its restructure. For 2 ½ years, Paul was based in Launceston but spent 1 ½ days a week in Hobart. It was a job Paul loved, made all the better due to his wonderful working relationship with Peter and Amanda Wesley, Steve King, and the Board staff, which Paul held in the highest esteem.
Paul’s positive influence saw Hobart’s on course turnover spike upwards and a huge turnaround in the exorbitant electricity costs, with the hitherto, troubled relationship between the H.G.R.C. and the Royal Agricultural Society. Paul also initiated a well listened to radio program on Thursday nights with John Thwaites on 7HO.
Added duties for Paul included Guide Editor and Producer, where he wrote up the thirty winners each week in the three coloured guide. Further, he was the Form Guide writer for the Advocate, Examiner and Mercury. As general dog’s body, he even acted as the Vet for a night, as a Steward and a Starter. Paul also had a role with the Licensing Panel, and was Assistant Grader for a time, as part of his 60 hours plus, weekly workload. HGRC. Chairman James Henderson presented Paul with a certificate of appreciation for his unyielding efforts in pursuit of a better outcome for Hobart greyhounds. Paul Bullock disappointingly left this role in 1994, coinciding with a change of T.G.R.B. Chairman. Enough said!
In 1996 Paul Bullock’s business acumen came to the fore once again, this time at Devonport, where the Devonport Greyhound Racing Club had handed their license in, due to severe financial difficulties. Racing Authority Chairman Laurie Caelli gave Paul 12 months (which became 20 months) to help right the ship of the Northwest Club, and to form recommendations. Principally, Paul suggested 50-day meetings a year, all on Sky Channel. This would give the Club a permanent profile and day meetings would cut electricity charges. Paul Bullock also saw the necessity of Stake money parity, which he eventually saw happen when later Chairman of the Board himself. At the conclusion of his overseeing of Devonport, the Club acquired its License back, with Peter Gilmore as Secretary/Manager. The D.G.R.C. certainly appreciated the $69,000 Paul had spent on maintenance; not so much the Racing Authority!
In 1996 Paul Bullock became the Northern representative on the Tasmanian Greyhound Racing Board. He held this position for almost nine years, the last 3 ½ as Chairman, ending in 2005. Paul’s interest in greyhounds has never waned, despite ill health dogging his life in recent times. Two months after moving back from Westbury to Launceston in 2008, he had a quadruple heart bypass. Dire kidney issues now see Paul endure three sessions of debilitating kidney dialysis each week. Driven by love of family and our great sport, Paul Bullock now enters the Greyhound Hall of Fame, having positively influenced virtually every aspect of greyhound racing in Tasmania.
- A younger Paul with Rapooka Rouge in 1979
- Paul and Glenda marriage
- A young Anthony with star bitch Otensia Girl
- Bullock siblings Michael, Anthony, Annette and Craig
- Minister’s Gift winner Raiders Knight
- H.G.R.C. Appreciation
- Foolish Padre wins last top-grade race at the famous White City
- Paul and Glenda Bullock
BY Greg Fahey