The Road Ahead : February March 2009
features Serious snapper STORY BARRY GREEN PHOTO JIM McEWAN I f it were not for a horse losing its footing, Queensland motor sport buffs might not have so many evocative images on which to refl ect. Up until then, Brier Thomas was happy with his lot, working as a jackaroo on the sprawling Isis Downs station in central Queensland. “When my horse slipped and fell, it landed on my left leg,” he said. “That made (stock work) hard, so I had to give it away.” Luckily, when Mr Thomas cast off the reins he picked up a camera, and what started out as a hobby developed into a labour of love lasting some 50 years. While his day job was working in the photographic trade, he spent his weekends recording the action at the now defunct Lowood and Strathpine race circuits. The halcyon days of the Tasman Cup series at Lakeside and Surfers Paradise raceways in the 1960s followed. “For me, that was a great time,” he said. “We had the world’s best drivers like Jim Clark and John Surtees coming out here. As well as being such professional drivers, they were really delightful people.” Then came the legendary Norm Beechey and Ian Geoghegan, Peter Brock and Dick Johnson eras, which Mr Thomas also captured on his trusty Nikon F. Interestingly, the majority of his action photos were shot single frame and not using a motor drive. Now retired in the Grange, Brisbane, this long-time RACQ member can look back proudly on his lifetime’s work, which has been serialised on DVD.
December January 2009
April May 2009