The article below was penned by a life member of the club Glenn ‘Crasha’ Toner.
I was asked to write something about a friend of mine. Just to make it clear from the beginning, this is not an historical epilogue giving dates, times and figures. This is about how I came to meet him, learn from him and respect him like I know many people did throughout our circle. Club level or world title, it didn’t matter.
I joined the club in 90-91 as a young naive teenager with not much of an idea. Infatuated with moto and anything relating with for that matter. But incredibly for all my countless hours reading and riding moto, I didn’t even realise that growing up in the Cessnock area, I lived on the doorstep of dirt bike mecca. Then comes 1992, sure I started to know a few people in the club, but there was something stirring that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. A sense of urgent, positive momentum that I couldn’t help being drawn into. This “six day” and “John Hall” kept on being mentioned in just about every conversation I was overhearing. And I’d just keep nodding like I knew what the hell everybody was talking about. So I thought I’d better do some study to find out what it was….”shit, this event is coming here?” This event would be the biggest thing Cessnock had ever seen and when I found out one of my best mate was riding it, I was one of the first to put my hand up to be a part of it. The club teams were established, and it was decided that the amount of work it was going to take to make it successful campaign would need a group of dedicated volunteers, friends and family to have a meeting every Monday upstairs at the Cessnock fire station.
It was another opportunity to meet a lot of great like minded people. The meetings generally went without a hitch, but on occasion an argument would break out about laughable stuff really. I don’t think these people realised how much respect I had for them. One occasion, we had a number of questions that couldn’t be answered. Technical mostly, regarding regulations and the like. So this guy John Hall was going to turn up to answer them. Straight away, when people said his name or when he was mentioned, these people I held (hold) in such high regard, were humbled. When he came in to chair the meeting that particular night, a sense of calm filled the room. Here was John Hall, Six Day Director, the architect, the wealth of knowledge here to answer any question. That was my first experience with John, and straight away I felt I was out of my depth.
The event itself went off without a hitch, like most expected it would. And the team celebrated with a BBQ in the fire station yard. John took it on himself to thank me personally for my contribution as he probably did with everyone there. He didn’t say it like that; actually I can’t remember what the hell he said. I was probably just stammering like an idiot being in the presence of the bloke, he was an absolute Gentleman. Years had past, now I considered him a mate. Swapping race stories (his were always better than mine) and always there to offer a suggestion that was going to make your ride a little easier (anybody who had the elbow grab will know what I’m talking about), or helping build the riding careers of many. Regardless, he was one of us.
Everybody in our circle has a story regarding the man. I hope to all who had the privilege of meeting him this memory of mine stirs those you have yourselves about John. Entrepreneur, Event Director, TM Motorcycle Distributor, Rider and a Friend to All.
Special thanks must go to Andy Wigan and Transmoto Magazine for the attached link which shows the last interview that John made before he passed away.
John Hall Memorial
John Hall Challenge Dungog
Australian Dirt Bike Magazine Interview With Malcolm Hall