By TERRY WILSON
GREYHOUND racing in Queensland has lost one of its real characters following the death of Lance Waldon.
Waldon passed away last month at the age of 82 after a battle with liver and oesophagus cancer.
Always a dedicated greyhound trainer, who friends say really looked after his dogs, Waldon was nevertheless a battler in the sport, although he took some wonderful stories to the grave.
For instance, Waldon was one of 17 siblings spread across two marriages. His mother died when he was only three, then his father remarried and had 10 more children.
Another tale is that of Waldon as a featherweight amateur boxer. He won a number of titles when based in his home town of Dalby, where he was born in 1937.
But the biggest story of them all revolved around his job as a miner.
Somehow Waldon survived three mine disasters, the most major one being at Box Flat, near Ipswich, when 17 workers died in 1972.
His daughter Heather said Lance was one of several workers who attempted to enter the mine after a cave-in. They were in or near the shaft when an explosion ripped through the operation and Lance was blown out of the immediate area of the mine entry.
Fortunately he survived.
“To this day Dad thought they were still alive,” said Heather.
“He had a lot of scarring on and in his chest and he eventually developed liver and oesophagus cancer.”
Waldon recovered and continued to train dogs and loved nothing more than to go to his favourite track, Ipswich, which he continued to do until May 22 this year.
That’s when he was in a car accident and eventually had his licence taken away. That was to be the end of his training career.
“Without a driver’s licence he had to give up the dogs,” said Heather.
“He had a few winners over the 43 years he trained dogs. He was a battler but still had some winners.”
Close friends Ray and Darleen Green recalled the early days when Lance and Ray were both involved in the amateur boxing scene.
“Ray said Lance had the biggest muscles he had ever seen in a boxer, but they were in different weight divisions, thank goodness,” said Raeleen.
“Lance was known as ‘Waldo’ or ‘Punchy’ but he was always a gentleman and loved a bet. And he just loved Scratch-its.
“We miss him terribly.”
Lance is survived by daughter Heather, son Michael and two granddaughters.