Years involved in industry: 70
- Life Membership Australian Studmasters Association
- Cranbourne GRC Committee Member 11 years (8 years President)
- Victoria’s leading studmaster 50 years
Born on June 22, 1914, Fred Booth, the son of a miner, was given his first greyhound when he was five years old. It was back in the coursing days when the miners and their greyhounds would board the train at Wonthaggi to race at Dalyston. He even had a couple of greyhounds while operating the Astor Cafe in Wonthaggi during the late 1940s and early 1950s.
Booth became a greyhound industry jack-of-all-trades, and a champion for the sport’s ‘battlers’. “He held a bookmaker’s licence for more than 50 years, that was his living,” said his son, Les of Cranbourne. “I was ‘on the bag’ and he would often tell me, ‘I’m keeping you in a job’. “But all he really wanted to do was help the greyhound man. He didn’t care what it cost him.”
A foundation committee member of Cranbourne Greyhound Racing Club, Booth spent many hours with stalwarts such as Jack Biddington, Rupert Lee and Colin McCaskill in successfully obtaining a racing licence for the club in the mid-1970s. He was a Cranbourne GRC committee member for 11 years, including eight years as President. “He would always say, ‘when I think I’ve got the club heading in the right direction, I’ll slip out the back door’. And that’s exactly what he did!” Les said.