Richmond Club upholding the lighter side of Anzac Day tradition

(Written by Krystyna Pollard of the Hawkesbury Gazette)

It's the lighter side of what is a traditionally solemn day on the national calendar: the great Aussie game of two-up on Anzac Day.

Richmond Club employee Josh McCall has conducted two-up at the club for the past eight years, and this year he will be joined by colleague Nic Wilson (five years) and volunteer Paul Grech, the relative newcomer of just three years' experience.

Anzac Day tradition: Josh McCall, Nic Wilson and Paul Grech prepare for the two-up at Richmond Club. Picture: Geoff Jones.
Anzac Day tradition: Josh McCall, Nic Wilson and Paul Grech prepare for the two-up at Richmond Club. Picture: Geoff Jones.


"It's a great day, we do some fundraising for Legacy House at the same time," Josh said while gluing carpet squares to the floor to form the two-up ring inside the marquee on the club's bowling green. "It's a great tradition."

It's not just the actual game of two-up that the three conduct on the day, describing their job as "crowd control and making sure everyone has a good time", with as much banter as would be expected with a great Aussie event.

"There's a lot of banter. The only reason we're here is banter," Josh laughed.

"Generally it gets a little bit mouthy when some guys are trying to put on some bigger bets amongst each other. 

"Normally at that time there's been a couple of drinks and the footy's about to start, so the Roosters and the St George Dragons come out and there is a lot of peacocking going on."

The rules of two-up, as explained by the local experts, are pretty simple.

"We play with three coins, which always means there's a result," Josh said. "The person that is throwing the coins up in the middle there - the spinner - they've got to throw three heads in a row to get their money back.

"It's got to go above the shoulder. From there someone has got to cover the centre bet, and that bet multiplies each time, so your $10 becomes $20 becomes $40 becomes $80, so it's eight to one if you go all the way and throw three heads in the middle.

"Everyone else on the outside is doing little side bets amongst themselves to see what's happening there and have their own bet on whether it's going to be heads or tails.

"Generally there's been more tail here than Hugh Hefner's mansion."

Nic said while things traditionally started off slowly, the day gradually became a lot of fun.

"It starts out fairly tame and then as the drinks flow and everyone gets a little bit more relaxed it gets really fun," Nic said.


Paul Grech outside Richmond Club. Picture: Geoff Jones.
Paul Grech outside Richmond Club. Picture: Geoff Jones.


And the two-up tradition isn't one just for the blokes, with last year's event seeing many ladies getting into the ring.

"We had a lot of girls participate last year, which was fantastic," Paul said. "A lot of competition between the girls against the guys and so forth.

"There was a lot of girls flashing the cash last year, I'm sure they'll be out in force again this year."

And even when the crowd in the marquee swells to around 300 people, the three have never seen any bad behaviour.

"We've never had any trouble, we've always had a really good crowd. Everyone really gets into the atmosphere and tradition of two-up," Paul said.

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