- 47Wallaby Number
Eddie Dore, known also as ‘Edgie’, was born on 9 November 1879 in Shanagolden, County Limerick, Ireland, son of Robert John and Sarah (née Creagan) Dore. The couple migrated to Australia with their three children aboard the Sir William Wallace, arriving in Rockhampton in March 1880 and then settling in Brisbane, initially at Kangaroo Point and later at Spring Hill. Robert joined the police force in Brisbane. There were eventually ten children in the family, including another international rugby player, Michael (Mickey) Dore (q.v.) and Queensland Rugby League player Vince Dore (b. 1895). Eddie attended St. Joseph’s Christian Brothers’ College, Gregory Terrace, and played rugby for the North Brisbane Club.
Eddie debuted for Queensland in 1904, and was described as a “hard-working prop and good in the loose”. He was selected to represent Australia following a Queensland game in Sydney that year. He played in a forward position in the first of the three international Test matches against Great Britain on 2 July, 1904 in Sydney. While the visitors won the match 17-0, Dore and the other Australian forwards ensured a scoreless first half. At 5’ 9” in height, Eddie was known for his agility on the field. He missed selection for later Tests and for the 1905 tour to New Zealand. While Eddie idolised his younger brother, Mickey, whom he regarded as a “real champion”, he was unhappy with the start of Rugby League and Mickey’s role in the breakaway, professional game. As a result, he would not allow his son, Joe, to play League while at school in Brisbane, and would not attend League games.
Eddie worked initially as a cooper, or barrel-maker, but work shortages and a back injury sustained in his international Test match led him to join the Queensland Police Service around 1905. He began his police career in Charters Towers and Mt Perry, and served in Brandon, Townsville, Cardwell, Mirani, Cordalba, Tully, Innisfail, and Mt. Isa before his last placement at the Petrie Terrace Barracks in Brisbane, where he resigned in 1935. While in Tully he had bought land near Euramo Station with his son, on which he began to farm sugarcane after his retirement from the police force. He later moved to Cairns. Eddie married Annie Guerin, a hotel manager from Ayr, in Townsville on 13 April 1910. They had five surviving children: Therese, Robert, Basil, Joseph and Patricia. Eddie Dore died in Cairns on 3 September 1964. He is commemorated by his former school, which named the “Eddie Dore Field” at St Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace, in honour of the its first international Test player, and by the Edmund Dore Bridge on the Murray River at Tully.