Canberra Region Rugby League Chairman, Noel Bissett has announced that he will retire from the role at the conclusion of the 2018 Annual General Meeting this December.
Having served on the CRRL committee for 21 years and being Chairman for 12 of them, Bissett said he believed it was the right time to retire.
“I consider it a privilege to have served during these years,” Bissett said. “Rugby League people are good people and I have made many friends which I treasure very much.
“I want to thank the Canberra Raiders, John McIntyre, Simon Hawkins and Don Furner for their confidence in appointing me as Chairman, I consider it an honour.”
Bissett’s retirement ends his 52 years of direct involvement with rugby league within the Canberra region.
Canberra Raiders CEO Don Furner said Bisset, a Raiders life member, had made a wonderful contribution to the game over many years and would be sorely missed by the rugby league community.
“Noel is a legend of the game in this region and has been one of the most passionate and wonderful contributor to the game we’ve seen in Canberra,” Furner said. “His achievements as a referee and then administrator will never be forgotten and we wish him nothing but the best for the future.”
CRRL General Manager Mark Vergano echoed Furner.
“Noel has been an outstanding servant of our game over the years,” Vergano said. “It’s been an absolute pleasure to work alongside him these last three years and I wish him all the best for the future.”
After playing in the lower grades in the early 1960’s for the North Sydney Bears, Bissett moved to Canberra in 1965 as part of a transfer from the NSW Fire Brigade to the Canberra Fire Brigade.
In 1966, he played for East Canberra before beginning a distinguished career as a referee.
Bissett refereed 275 Country Rugby League matches, including 11 Grand Finals and was graded into the Winfield Cup, becoming the first Canberra referee to control First Grade in Sydney.
During his time as a referee, Bissett refereed touring international sides and was the video referee for the 1997 tri-series between New Zealand, NSW and Queensland and one of the 1999 State of Origin matches at Lang Park.
Bissett was heavily involved with Canberra referees, serving as the Director of Referees between 1999-2008 as well as serving as the inaugural president of the Canberra/Monaro Men of the League between 2008-2018.
Due to his contribution to Rugby League within the Canberra region, Bissett is only one of nine Canberra District Rugby League Life Members.
Bissett is also a life member of Group 8 Country Rugby League, Canberra & District Rugby League Referees Association, NSW Rugby League Referees Association and the Australian Rugby League Referees Association.
As well as this, Bissett was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 2013 for his service to sport and rugby league, an Australian Fire Service Medal in 1996 and the NSWRL Dennis Braybrook Memorial Award for Service to Rugby League.
Canberra District Rugby League will appoint a new Chairman in the upcoming months who will assume the role at the conclusion of this year’s Annual General Meeting.