By Neil Brown
A top junior sportsman, Ken Carr was raised in Essendon and educated in Canterbury. His sporting loves were cricket and football - including lacing up the boots as a player for Essendon thirds in the VFL - and later tennis.
Ken Carr with the late Bill Collins
Ken’s parents were greyhound racing enthusiasts and, in 1958, this led to his part-time employment with the then North Melbourne-based Melbourne Greyhound Racing Association (MGRA). He was a MGRA gate attendant at Olympic Park from 1962-66 and part-time office copy boy until appointed club grader in 1966. He was considered an icon in MGRA circles and was the club's Secretary-Manager from 1971-89 before his appointment as Greyhound Racing Control Board Chief Executive, a position he held until 1996.
Ken Carr with the late MGRA Chairman Harold Matthews
Carr was totally dedicated to the sport and its progress, and sustained a high level of administrative excellence.
Ken was famous for race razzmatazz and he lifting the profile of the Australian Cup - aligning it with the Moomba Festival. He also brought further glitz and glamour to Olympic Park with the regular appearances of models and high profile sporting identities.
To acknowledge ken’s gave distinguished service greyhound racing. Subsequently, in 2000, the Ken Carr Medal was struck in his honour. The Ken Carr Medal is considered the highest award for excellence within the Victorian greyhound racing industry. The award, for special or outstanding contribution to greyhound racing, requires the recipient to clearly demonstrate four key qualities: skill, integrity, empathy for others and leadership. "Ken would have been delighted that the industry would recognise him in SUCH A way.
GRV CEO John Stephens accepts on behalf of the Carr Family from MGRA Chairman Eddie Caruana
KEN knew how to win friends and influence people, including politicians, sponsors - and the media. His invitations to industry scribes for 'long luncheons' in Chinatown was an astute public relations ploy that was considered more media management than manipulation.
Ken Carr will always be remembered as one of the truly great greyhound racing administrators and a worthy inductee into the AGRA Hall of Fame.
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