J. & H.E. Jones Park is named after brothers Jack Jones and Harry (Henry Ernest) Jones, who donated their land to the Cairns District Junior Rugby League (CDJRL) in 1966 for the benefit of the youth in Cairns.
The Jones family owned 63 acres of land, two thirds of which was sold with the rest being donated to the CDJRL. The land donated to the CDJRL included 22.2 acres, which was made up of two blocks, 13.8 acres being where Jones Park sits today. The remaining 8.4 acres, on the opposite side of Mann Street was sold by the CDJRL.
For 50 odd years though, Jones Park used to be a farm in which the Jones family ran a slaughter yard, piggery and butchery for the hotel trade. This was supplemented by beef, poultry and milk delivered by the dairy. The farm was purchased by Jack and Harry’s father, George Levi Jones sometime between 1902 and 1911. Jack and Harry would run the farm for another thirteen years after George passed away in 1927.
Both Jack and Harry moved to the Atherton Tablelands to continue dairy farming. In 1948 Harry and his wife Doris went to Peeramori, then Butchers Creek and eventually Evelyn Central. Jack and his wife Agnes went to Malanda in 1950. Both brothers returned to Cairns on their retirement. Jack passed away in 1982, with Harry passing in 1989. Agnes and Doris passed away in 1990 and 1991 respectively.
JOHN WILLIAM (JACK) SEARY
John William (Jack) Seary was born in Malanda on the 21st of June, 1919. He was a giant of Rugby League in North Queensland and had a major influence on the game at both junior and senior level.
For his devoted service to the game as a Player of Distinction, Coach, Selector and Administrator he was awarded the following life memberships:
Queensland Rugby League
North Queensland Rugby League
North Queensland Junior Rugby League
Cairns and District Rugby League
Cairns and District Junior Rugby League
Southern Suburbs Junior Rugby League
Cairns and District Referees Association
Jack held senior positions in the Shipping Industry and served two three year terms on the Cairns City Council. He was an Alderman on the Council as an independent from 1967-1970 and a member of the Civic team from 1985-1988 when he was the Council’s representative on the Cairns Port Authority and Cairns Fire Brigade.
As a player Jack first played Rugby League at Malanda Primary School and was introduced to Cairns Rugby League as a boarder at St Augustine’s College in 1933-1934. He spent three years with Eacham Rugby League playing for Peeramon, Yungaburra and CYMS based in Mareeba and played his first senior game at the age of 16 before moving to Cairns for the 1938 season.
He was selected to play for Cairns, North Queensland and Queensland Country in 1939-1940. He played during his war service for St George in Sydney, Wests in Brisbane and also participated in Rugby Union in Brisbane and AFL when stationed at Bairnsdale and Sale in Victoria.