Flag omen for Pigeons

A GROUP of diehard Yarrawonga supporters could hold the key to a Pigeons’ victory in the Ovens and Murray football grand final.

In 1989, footy tragic Doc Keenan, 73, and his late wife, Dawn, made a Yarrawonga flag to wave from the Shire Hall in the grand final lead-up.

That year the Pigeons went on to claim their first premiership in three decades.

In 2006 the blue and white flag again rippled in the wind as Yarrawonga crushed Myrtleford to break a 17-year premiership drought.

Coincidentally the flag has been missing — hidden away in a dusty corner of the Shire Hall’s clock tower — in the lead-up to the past three grand final losses.

Today, Mr Keenan will help unveil the old flag and a new banner with The Material Girls shop owner Joy Jeffery.

“The old flag got pretty tattered and dusty, I thought it was about time to make a new one,” he said.

But while the old flag will fly from a purpose-built flag pole in front of the Shire Hall, the new banner won’t.

“We were going to fly it ... but the council said we weren’t allowed to because it was bigger than the Australian flag,” Mr Keenan said.

“So I said ‘no worries, we’ll get a bigger Australian flag’.”

Unfortunately for Mr Keenan that idea didn’t fly with council either.

Despite being just two-weeks young, the new banner has its fair share of history behind it.

It was sewn by Mrs Jeffery and Mr Keenan’s mother Jean — days after celebrating her 100th birthday on Saturday.

Mr Keenan, who is related to former Yarrawonga ruckman Sam Keenan, admitted it could be a while before the old flag was lowered should the Pigeons topple Albury on Sunday.

“We’ll probably keep it up for a fortnight at least,” he said.

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