Glenorie Bakery proprietor Rob Pirina has called in one of the big guns to help lock in a Queensland opponent to take on his team in this year’s Pie of Origin charity challenge.
After being rejected by several Queensland bakeries, it was time to unleash his secret weapon in former Origin firebrand Mark Geyer, who became public enemy in Queensland in 1991 when he engaged in a volatile face-off with rugby league royalty – King Wally Lewis. Geyer was goaded by Lewis who was hoping to have the Blues enforcer sent off.
It was an incident that remains the most memorable in Origin history, between a man with god-like status whose illustrious career was coming to an end and a gifted young backrower with a short fuse.
Geyer, who uses his celebrity to raise funds for a host of different charities, said at the time that he “didn’t know whether to punch Lewis or get his autograph”.
Geyer’s involvement with this year’s Pie of Origin was brought about by his friendship with Dural First National agent Adrian Rovere, when they met for the first time at a charity event on board the Nepean Belle back in March of this year.
“It was the day I got shaved at Glenorie Bakery for the World’s Greatest Shave,” said Adrian, who had one forgettable season with the Dragons back in the 1980s.
“After getting shaved within an inch of my life by my daughter Courtney, I headed off to Penrith where MG was the star attraction for an event raising funds to support a local charity (Queen of Hearts Foundation) that assists victims of domestic violence in the Penrith region.”
“When we met there was an instant rapport. MG has been honoured for his amazing community and charity work. I’m not sure if its Sir MG or Lord MG but what I do know is that we need more selfless people like him,” said Adrian.
Adrian said as soon as Geyer heard that money raised from the Pie of Origin challenge was going to the Children’s Hospital at Westmead and the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in South Brisbane, he was only too happy to throw his considerable weight behind the event.
By the time this goes to print, it is more than likely that an opponent was found especially after Glenorie Bakery was in the process of sending off to all Queensland-based bakeries, the recipe for a special variety of pie created by their in-house team of butchers and pastry chefs.
“Apparently one of the secret ingredients is a healthy nutritious ‘cement-type’ substance which will hopefully, after they make it and eat it, see one of the Queensland bakeries harden up and take up the challenge,” Adrian said.
“To date all we are getting from the Queensland bakeries is a bunch of cream puffs. What we hope to do is unveil a bakery with the meatballs to take us on,” said Rob who revealed last year they raised $40,000 in total – $20,000 for each hospital.
“In the end, it’s not about who sells the most pies, it’s about raising money for sick kids and having some fun along the way.”
Rob said there will be a big State of Origin event at Glenorie Bakery just prior to Game One at which Mark Geyer will be the special guest. Plans are in place for it to be covered by Channel Seven.
Once the details are bedded down, they will be on various websites, all social media and the noticeboard at Glenorie Village Centre.