Full name Eric William Burke
Born October 27, 1905, Goondiwindi, Queensland
Died December 30, 1999, Sandgate, Queensland (aged 94 years 64 days)
Major teams Queensland
Up the time of his death on 30th December 1999, Eric William BURKE was the oldest living former Queensland first class umpire. He was born at Goondiwindi on 27th October 1905 and had therefore reached the age of 94 years 64 days.
His first class umpiring debut had been in the season of 1945-46 when he officiated in the game played between Queensland and the Australian Services XI. In 1947-48 he was invited to Warwick to stand in the non first class match between Queensland Country and the touring Indians. His debut in Sheffield Shield cricket came in the following season when he received two appointments, Queensland's home matches against South Australia and Victoria. He made one further appearance in first class cricket when he stood in the match against Victoria played at Brisbane in the 1950-51 season. In that season he also stood in the first Sydney Gregory Cup match to be played between the Colts teams of Queensland and New South Wales.
In his early years in Goondiwindi he had played cricket, rugby and rugby league and always took a keen interest in other sporting activities. He ended his umpiring days in Brisbane around 1960 and then he and his wife took up playing lawn bowls. But cricket was always his first sporting love.
Eric was educated at the Goondiwindi State School to scholarship. From there he took a position in the post office, delivering telegrams in town and to some of the nearer rural districts. He eventually made his way to Brisbane and in time became a union organiser for the Post and Telegraph Union, remaining with the union until his retirement from the work force.
In his later years he and his wife, who had pre deceased him, lived at the Freemasons Home at Sandgate, and it was in the nursing home section of the Home that his death occurred. (Warwick Torrens, 10th April 2000)