Power to the People- Julie Tuivuna

Next up on Power to the People is a little bit left of centre, but one that I have wanted to do for years, my mother, Julie. I always knew that she had Port Adelaide in her blood growing up and this felt like the perfect time to pick her brain. Just talking about the old days around Alberton brought back so many memories for her which she thought were long forgotten.

While currently residing in Queensland, she grew up in Exeter near Semaphore. She was brought into the Port Adelaide bubble by one of her best friends, Monica.

“Monica and her mum were Port mad, they invited me to go to a match with them one day and I was hooked, that was when I was about 13 years old,” Julie said.

“We used to go watch the boys train on Tuesday and Thursday nights at Alberton as well as going to every match. Even the preseason ones as well. We always sat near the cheer squad and one day we were asked if we wanted to join, we loved every minute!

“Travelling in Port " gangs" to the matches, carrying the big floggers (huge black or white crepe paper streamers all glued together) so you could lift it up and down when a goal was scored. Sometimes we made them so big it was hard to lift. I loved my duffel coat which had my favourite players on it - Cahill which stood for John and his brother Darrell, Brucey Light, and Russell Ebert just to name a few,” she said.

Like many Port Adelaide fans at that stage, Julie gravitated to two players in particular. Magpie legends Brian Cunningham and John Cahill were at the top of her list with Cahill in particular having a positive impact, giving her the start in the workforce at a young age.

“My favourite Port player was Brian Cunningham who wore number 8. Which I wore on the back of my duffel coat. Brian could kick a goal from anywhere and any angle he was amazing, over his head too, he was just sensational. His uncle used to be our milkman, so we'd get all the gossip from him too. When it comes to John Cahill, it was he who gave me my first job car detailing at his business, John Cahill Toyota. The pay in those days was one dollar an hour if you can believe it!”

Like every supporter, Julie has many great memories of the Port Adelaide football club. However for her, one stands above all else. The man that is regarded by many AS Port Adelaide and although it is her favourite memory, it was one that tugged at the heartstrings for many of the Magpie faithful as well.

“My best memory was John Cahill’s last match back in 1973. When the final siren blew the boys hoisted him up high on their shoulders and the crowd went wild even though tears were flowing for everyone associated with the club. I will always remember him as gentleman Jack. He is now in the SA Hall of fame for all his incredible achievements as a player, captain, and coach. He took Port Adelaide to 11 grand finals and in nearly all of them I lost my voice from screaming so much!. He is head and shoulders above for me, what a person, player and coach he was,” Julie said.

It is clear talking to my mother that after all these years, Port Adelaide still holds a special place in her heart, despite living so far away. One thing is for certain, that despite the distance, Port Adelaide and Alberton will always be the place where she truly belongs.

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