First was at the Balmain Tigers Leagues Club Midweek Sports Plus Trivia (how’s that for a mouthful) when one of the few “plus” questions that we actually had a chance of answering correctly was “what was Kerry Packer’s full name?” None of us could remember. As a low-ranking but nonethless loyal Packer cohort I was ashamed that I couldn’t summons the information on demand. Kate thought his middle name was something old fashioned like Clarence Percival but we couldn’t recall in time, and of course the answer was Kerry Francis Bullemore Packer.
But more importantly, tonight we cooked the Kerry Packer Turkey, the last remaining item from the famous Kerry Packer Christmas Hamper, given to all employees of the companies he controlled – PBL, ACP, and, I presume, his gaming businesses as well.
It was weird to think that we were cooking the turkey that Kerry gave us when he was alive, now that he’s dead. Who would have thought it would be a turkey that would span two eras in Australian life. When it came out of the oven, it was succulent and juicy, and well flavoured thanks to the Kerry Packer Cranberry Stuffing that also came in the hamper. But I like to think that KP was looking down from the sky and keeping one eye on our turkey while he kept his other eye on his poker hand.
Kerry may never have let his goose be cooked in business, but he let every one of his employees cook a goose for Christmas dinner. And, as I understand it, Kerry paid for the hampers personally because the PBL board dropped support for the annual hamper giving. There’s an extraordinary man. Thanks, Kerry.