Retiring Ipswich Turf Club jockey room attendant George Sawyers with photos of racing paintings he has done.
Retiring Ipswich Turf Club jockey room attendant George Sawyers with photos of racing paintings he has done. David Lems

Generous George draws on other skills

KEEN painter George Sawyers has selflessly put his extra talents to use as a jockey room attendant over the past two decades.

The retiring Ipswich Turf Club stalwart has prepared a number of portraits and black and white drawings for jockeys and their families, especially when they were doing it tough and needed help raising money.

Bundamba racing people he's drawn include hoops Larry Olsen, Tony Pattillo, Chris Munce and Jason Taylor, some with Ipswich Cup links.

"One of my highlights was when Wayne Wilson retired after 40 years down here as a race caller,'' George said.

"They asked if I would do it and I done a picture of him with the microphone and his glasses calling the races.

"The day that they wanted to give it to him, present it to him where all the horses all go round in the enclosure, I was in the jockeys' room. And Brett (Kitching) was hinting to me to come out.

"I thought 'what's wrong' and he said: 'You painted this, you're going to present it'. So that was a real thrill for me.''

Sadly, Wilson later passed away.