Ivan?s fighting spirit watches over Cup
By CRAIG ROSScraigr@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org
FOR 20 years Ivan Bode was a fixture at the Calliope Gold Cup race day and his wife Pat believes he won't miss this month's event either.
Bode, who waged a long battle against emphysema before passing away at the Gladstone Mater Hospital on December 4, aged 72, served as secretary/treasurer of the Calliope Jockey Club.
Pat believes Bode will be watching over proceedings at this year's Boxing Day meet.
'He'll be there in spirit, he wouldn't miss it,' Pat said.
'But he's reluctantly handed over the reins to the others.'
'(The club) was his absolute baby, it was the love of his life for 20 years and he always said the people he worked with there were the salt of the earth.'
Pat said Bode's passion for racing and for the Calliope club was best evidenced by the fact he conducted a lot of the preparations for last year's event from his hos-pital bed.
On December 21 last year, Pat was told her husband would not live to see that Christmas. She said the fact he came close to surviving another one was a tribute to his fighting spirit.
Pat, who can be found working at the Marley Brown gate during the rugby league season, said Bode had loved his sport and had previously served on the Gladstone Turf Club committee prior to his Calliope racing stint.
A keen rugby league follower, Bode was also a regular at Gladstone and District Rugby League meetings while he and Pat operated the Marley Brown Oval kiosk for many years.
Pat said the fact a diverse gathering of people attended her husband's funeral last Thursday showed his life had a positive impact on many others in the community.
This year's Gold Cup meeting, the 95th in the event's history, will be conducted on December 26 and the five-race program will feature $26,000 prize money.
Race nominations close on Tuesday at 11am and acceptances must be received by December 22 at 10am.