Years involved in industry: 30
Category : Pioneer
- First Chairman of the Greyhound Racing Control Board in 1956
- National Coursing Association Secretary 19 years
- President ANZGA
- Vice-President ANZGA
If Chris Flint was alive today he’d be 110 years old. A hard-hitting Barrister and Solicitor, Flint was responsible for some of the most significant administrative decisions in the history of Victorian greyhound racing after following his father into the administration of the sport. “Chris brought greyhound racing out of the dark ages”, Adrian Flint, a nephew of Chris, recalls.
Perhaps the best example of Chris Flint’s foresight was in 1956 when, as Vice-President of the sport’s then controlling body, the National Coursing Association [NCA], Flint had the satisfaction of seeing legislation passed that abolished proprietary [privatised] racing and brought all racing under the control of one body. It was not to be the NCA but a new Greyhound Racing Control Board [now Greyhound Racing Victoria], of which Flint became the first Chairman.
The abolishment of proprietary racing created anguish, particularly among race clubs like White City, Maribyrnong and Napier Park. However, Flint wasn’t afraid to tread on people’s toes if it meant he could achieve something he believed in, and something that would benefit greyhound racing. “If anyone got into an argument with him he’d [verbally] cut them to pieces. He wasn’t someone you’d want to cross. He was a switched on barrister who was always impeccably dressed in his Jodhpurs [horse riding pants] and Harris Tweed Jacket. We nicknamed him ‘The Squire’. He was a fairly big man who had a photographic memory, and he was an excellent public speaker. He was never afraid to upset the apple cart”, Adrian recalled.
Chris Flint’s daughter-in-law Joan Flint, 85, who was married to Chris’ son Geoff, recently said of him. “Chris was an unusual man and was very hard to get along with. I remember when he was working as a solicitor in Melbourne he arrived at work one day to find that a suitcase had been left for him. He opened it up and it was full of snakes. He called the zoo to get them to take them away but they didn’t believe him [at first]. They eventually came and took them away”, Joan said.
While Chris Flint’s outspoken nature may have earned him a few enemies, he also had a generous side, as Joan revealed. “He bought Geoff and me our first house, which was in Kyabram.” That generosity extended into Victorian greyhound racing, as evidenced by what Flint was able to achieve. His greyhound administrative career began in 1933 as Secretary of the NCA, before stepping into the role of Vice-President in the 1940′s. He also served as President of the Australia & New Zealand Greyhound Association [ANZGA] and reached an even higher pinnacle as the first Chairman of the Greyhound Racing Control Board, as he worked to establish a new industry.