Calvary residents in the winners’ circle with Melbourne Cup visit

It’s the race that stops a nation, and the chance to see and hold the iconic Melbourne Cup likewise stopped residents of Calvary St Joseph’s in their tracks when it paid a visit this week.

“Not too many people can say they’ve held the Melbourne Cup,” said a delighted resident Anthea Fairley.

A once-a-year small-time punter like many Australians, Anthea always watches the race and goes in sweeps at the Newcastle home. Originally from country Victoria, she has a special fondness for ‘the People’s Cup’ and was thrilled to see it up close and touch it, and also to learn more about it from representatives of the Victoria Racing Club.

“I thought it was fantastic, it rekindled a lot of memories for a lot of people, and sparked deeper interest,” said Anthea.



The cup visit was organised through a local bowling club and its president, Bill Hopkins OAM. Now 86 but once a boy soprano, Bill has a long association with St Joseph’s and has fond memories of tagging along as a child with his father and parishioners, who helped to establish the initial home on the site, and singing to the residents and the nuns “with the angel hats”.

The iconic three-handled gold cup is on its 2023 tour and will visit more than 40 destinations around Australia and overseas in the lead up to the running of the 2023 Lexus Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday in November.

Since the tour’s inception in 2003, it has travelled more than 900,000 kilometres, visiting more than 590 destinations and engaged with tens of thousands of people – young and old.