Stargazer - in her own words

Like many, I was very sad to hear the news about Mary Tovey, aka Stargazer, one of the original - in more ways than one - members of this forum. 


Long time readers of Bomber Blitz may recall the series of interviews I started (but have not had the personal time to continue). These interviews have presumably been lost with the crash of the old BB.


So I thought I would share the Stargazer interview, and hope this brings back some memories for those that knew her, and provides some insights for those who are new here.


I must admit that reading this again, not only illustrated just what a wonderful person Mary was, but brought back great memories, and also a tear to the eye of your old and not usually sentimental correspondent.


Here is the interview (with some slight editing). I don't remember the exact year, but it was in the Interregnum.



Regular readers of the Forums get a sense of the community we have here, and will form some ideas about what their fellow members are like, but these interviews will get all that juicy info together into one package!


Each week we put the spotlight on a different BB member. Last week we had an interview with Matrixgeek that was so long, we nearly broke BomberBlitz. Matrix followed that up by now nominating the blowtorch be turned on one of the longest-serving BBers of all….


Stargazer, welcome to Blitzing the Blitzers!


Thank you Albert the honour is mine!


Let‘s start off a bit differently.  A lot of younger BBers wouldn‘t know that you are a bit of a media celebrity yourself, and no stranger to interviews. Bomber McVeigh managed to find this, which he sent when he saw you were up next (Thanks, B McV!): 




I assume you are referring to the time Chloe Saltau rang me (we both worked at the Age) to request an interview for an article she was writing. I remember a photographer arriving at my home and us wandering on to the property next door which had been in its heyday one of those gracious old homes(now it's an office) so we could use it as a backdrop. When the article was published, the photo was the size of a postage stamp, so we needn't have gone to all that trouble!


Aah, but the context is everything! OK, let‘s talk about your alias. Of course, many people here refer to you affectionately as “Starry”, but I don‘t think your official alias has been exactly the same since Day 1, … why did you choose it? You know, it took me some time to work that out. I thought you must have had some interest in astronomy!


I've always been Stargazer and added a 5 in honour of Sir James Hird, which I have now had removed. The "Starry" bit came from Donna who was the first to call me that. She was a regular poster who hailed from Bendigo and we met at the footy and became mates.

The name comes from being a movie buff, something I inherited from my mother. It was also chosen with the idea that it didn't give away my gender....which of course was dumb, as that didn't last long.


No, Donna gave the game away, but from time to time noobies do refer to you as “he”. I don‘t think there are too many here that were regulars on BB before I started, but you are definitely one. There has been some talk about how BB has changed especially over the last couple of years. What do you think of the forum these days?

The forum is light years away from what it was, so it's better in some areas and worse in others. We have more dills on here these days, but to balance that we also have a lot more posters than we did back then. I've seen this website grow and all in all I think Bomberblitz is in pretty good shape.


There is a wide range of avatars on BB. You have changed yours a few times over the years... No-one could disagree with your current choice: Simon the Likeable! What message about yourself are you sending to the world with your avatar?

Just my undying love for Simon Madden. I've had favourites from every decade that I've been following the Bombers, but no-one has meant as much to me as has Simon Madden. A great bloke, an Essendon man through and through, and arguably the best ruckman our club has produced. For several years after he retired, I was still missing him not being out there.

When Edelstein was busy trying to lure Madden to the Swans (after having successfully snared Merv Neagle) I was a nervous wreck waiting for the outcome. As Simon himself said at the time, "You can take the boy out of Essendon, but you can't take the Essendon out of the boy."

I had decided to give up football (I'm serious) if SM decided to take the bucks and head north. I could never barrack against Essendon, but I couldn't possibly cope with my fave in another teams colours, either.


Your byline is "Bomber Possum"…? Do you run around and make rude noises in the roof at Windy Hill, or…?

What can be more Australian than those pesky possums ? Dame Edna 's "Hello possums" was the catalyst (the gladioli is optional). And it's my way of greeting friends.


When Andy loosens the purse-strings and shouts drinks at this year‘s BB Christmas Party, what would be your "poison"?

Thanks to a rooted liver, alcohol is out for me. BUT - if Andy is paying, I think I'd order a Black Russian... :lol:


BBers live in many locations around the world, though most reside in Melbourne. Where do you hang your hat?

I'm a St Kilda possum, having lived in this area for most of my adult life. I just love the place.


One strange fact about yourself? (You don‘t need to limit yourself to one!)

Perce Bushby is my brother and Perce Bushby is a distant cousin...on my mothers side.


Tokyo Rose mentioned my father (by description, not name) during one of her broadcasts during WW11.


I worked in Iceland for 6 months in the 70's cutting fish in a fish factory. The money was excellent, and it allowed me to return to London and live for there another 12 months.


A group of us went skinny dipping in Brighton (Melb, not UK) one very hot evening some years back. My fella had a white Chrysler Valiant which we parked on the beach. After a swim I decided to return to the car for a towel - imagine my horror when unbeknownst to me, another White Valiant had parked in the same area...


I was working at the RMH (hospital) it was 6.00pm, the time when the emergency units changeover for the late shift.  We had a Code Blue (cardiac arrest) whereby you give out the ward and bed numbers over the loud speaker system. This was duly done but no-one called to say "We're on our way," and we didn't know which team had taken the call, to verify they had heard the page.

Unbeknown to me my pager button had not released itself, so when I said "Where in the expletive are they?" It was heard in every ward in the hospital, right bang in the middle of visiting hours, too.  :lol:


Probably the best way to get a response! Great insights there, Starry!

How do you spend your non-Essendon time ... occupation, other hobbies and interests?

I was made redundant in November and am now officially retired. My health has improved greatly and I LOVE not having to work any longer. I now have time to catch up with girlfriends to do lunch, shop, read, sleep, and am currently sorting through my hundreds of books deciding which ones I will sell to a second hand bookstore.

I also love the cricket, the world game where I have followed Chelsea since my time in 70's London, Melbourne Victory and Celtic.

I bought myself a new iMac computer at Christmas and its just great. So that's another obsession - Apple-Mac products. And I love reading - non fiction in particular. And enjoy a wide range of music - I have nearly 4,000 songs on the ipod.


Sounds an idyllic life – good for you! You will have to make some posts on the “PC or Mac” thread and annoy Lurch!

What topping would you be on the BomberBlitz Pizza®?

It must be a Marinara from Topolino's in Fitzroy Street St Kilda. And I always ask for ANCHOVES.


There‘s a lot of competition for the anchovies on the BB pizza! Let‘s talk about Bomberblitz…


Nominate favourite/Best thread? Best you started?

There have been hundreds over the years. Fogdog is always thought provoking, Captain Jack is the website‘s “Dad”, and should be given credit for his longevity on BB, and for his ability to keep up with all things Essendon, especially as he lives in Asia.

Mero's obsession with footy jumpers is a worry. A wool (sheep) fetish, maybe ?  :P

My favourite contribution (and of course there have been sooooo many!) to BB was the interview I did with Emma Quayle from the AGE.

Nice person, down to earth and a one eyed bomber. Does a great job covering the up and coming young players around the country, and recently she has written two of the best of the recent Essendon articles, namely Essendon's Succession Plan (The Age April 19th) and Perhaps the Bombers List is Not So Bad After all (which appeared in the Age April 12th).


The sacking of Sheedy certainly brought everyone running to their keyboards. What an incredible time THAT was. Apart from the nutters, there were some really great threads at that time - passionate, emotional, a lot of angst, and then the Save Essendon thing, which really saw many of us get down and dirty.


The time we started discussing some of the scandals of years gone by (blame Noonan for this!)  was hilarious, although we had to be a bit careful what was written. I remember Alan Noonan's "twinset and pearls" comment about two well known footballers of the 60's/70's who were pulled up for speeding...


Best LOL moment on BB you can remember


Can anyone remember the poofsticks ? I can't recall who actually started that one but it went on for weeks and was very, very funny. 


The “Poofsticks” was so well liked that someone made a Poofsticks II thread...

BB provides many opportunities to sound off. Any Pet Peeves you would like to get on the record here?

The poster who doesn't know the difference between a feminist and a lesbian should grow a brain (he knows who he is). Apparently being what the Americans call a small 'l' Liberal and believing that gays should not be belittled or persecuted makes me an ideal target.

The same goes for crude (not rude, there's a difference) remarks about women.

If women stop posting on here, it's because of the bullying, and unnecessary sexist remarks that get directed at them. 

I can remember the mirth of my brother (Perc Bushby) when he read where a poster on BB told me I should go and wash my dishes !  We live in enlightened times.  :rolleyes:


Back in the day, there WERE a lot more females posting here, and it does seem to be more testosterone-driven these days. Do you find it more difficult to keep going here?


I did for a while, but I'm over it. I'm here for the football, that's it really.


Catchphrases as posts - yay or nay?

My cat has mittens. Always gets me.


How many people are on your ignore list?


Er, 12 .... :(   Life is much more pleasant if I don't read their drivel. A few of those people don't post here any more so the more realistic number would be about eight.



Any suggestions as to how BB could be improved?


Perhaps moderators should er moderate!



OK, let‘s get onto what brings us all here: Essendon!


At last  :lol:


I reckon Essendon is well and truly in your genes. If not, when, where and how did you realise EFC is the way to go?

Dad and two of his older brothers were Essendon mad. Thank God.



Your first Essendon memory?

Sitting on a rug inside the old picket fence at Windy Hill playing with my toys whilst my brother and parents watched the footy. A little later, watching with fascination John Coleman sitting on his heels propped up against the goal post at the Showers end whilst the play was going on up the other (school) end.

Supporters changing ends at the end of each quarter so they could be at the same end where Coleman was playing.


One degree of separation from JC – fantastic! My Dad also used to say about the crowd changing ends each quarter. Its not something that would be possible these days, and it must have been an amazing thing to see back then. There has never been another phenomenon like Coleman, and I reckon there never will be again.


What about the best Bomber moment over the years you have been following Essendon?

There have been many, but nothing will take away the unbridled joy of winning the 1984 Grand Final. Coming from behind in the last quarter, against  the team who up till then had always been a smidgeon ahead of us - Hawthorn.

The coming of Sheedy in 1981 and us winning 15 games on the trot. We were always in the news, always being promoted, no longer spoken of with disdain, and all of a sudden the social club at Windy Hill was packed !

Thank God I was there to experience the 80's. Playing at Windy Hill, our supporters who turned out in their droves to barrack for the Don's, and the mental toughness, skill and domination of the Bombers was unreal. We walked tall. And proud. The atmostphere there was electric.


It WAS! It was just fantastic. Now, when the 1985 and 2000 teams play each other in Heaven, which side would you back in?


Definetely 1985. Salmon at ff, a choice of three top class chf's - Terry Daniher, Paul Van Der Haar, and Roger Merritt, Mark Harvey oozing class at half forward, Leon Baker (what a champion he was !) in the centre, Daisy Williams,

Alan Ezard and Tony Elshaug as rovers, two of the best minders in the business, Shane Heard and Nobby Clarke, and the great Simon Madden in the ruck interchanging with Merritt on rare occasions. Paul Weston at fb, Gary Foulds who could (and did) play anywhere.

And Bryan Wood and Glen Hawker on the wings. A wonderful team of dedicated and close knit players.

Hird and Bewick would have walked into the 1985 side, and Fletcher may have made the bench (or replaced Kevin Walsh at chb) but good and all as they were, I can't think of any others (Mercs maybe) who were better than those playing in their positions in 1985. 



Well said. Walshy was probably the only weak link in that side, so Fletch would be a definite inclusion.  Back in the real world, who is your favourite (not necessarily best) player – first: of all time?


Simon Madden (see above) Bill Hutchison, Hugh Mitchell,Alan Noonan and of course the great James Hird.


From today's list whose number would be on your duffle coat?


Sam Lonergan.


Sammy‘s building up a bit of a following!

Essendon was fortunate to have Kevin Sheedy coach us to four flags, as well as providing hundreds of great memories along the way. What's your favourite 'Sheeds' Moment'?

The way he persisted with injured players, to get them back into the side. Hird and Neil Daniher were classic examples. He gave Derek K his best years as a footballer and dropped him because he was out of form, then wore the consequences seemingly forever.

He put the passion back into Essendon, and he had some brilliant marketing ideas, one being to chase up supporters and get them to buy a season ticket. This idea netted Essendon hundred of thousands in revenue. And it was light years ahead of any other club at that time.

The Anzac Day match was a Sheedy idea, and so was the Dreamtime match between us and Richmond - another great money making block buster.


If you ever met Matthew Knights, what is one question you'd love to ask?

What is it you see in Ricky Dyson?


If you were "Vlad for a Day" what would you change about footy?

1. Get rid of Vlad. :lol:

2. Bring in Tasmania.

3. Bring back the rule where the flags must be waved before a kickout can occur.

4. Stop crucifying players who accidentally run into umpires. This is a result of speeding up the games so much that umpires don't have the TIME to back out of traffic.

5. Put any thought of a team in West Sydney on the back burner. Too expensive.


Finally, is there anything else you would like to get on the record here?


No - I think I've said enough, don't you ?  :P



No, I could carry on like this for hours! Thanks, Starry!


Thankyou Albert. :notworthy:

Thanks Albert. It was nice to read that again.

That was nice to read. Thanks :slight_smile:

Wonderful to read again. Starry has gone, but is not forgotten. Many thanks Albert, reposting this was a wonderful idea. 

Thanks for posting. Especially as I have been here only a few months.
Great read and sounds like Mary/Stargazer was a wonderful person/woman.



Made me teary