Jeffrey Dynevor at Cherbourg c1990
Jeffery Dynevor was born in far western Queensland. His father worked on cattle stations before the family was forcibly removed to Cherbourg Aboriginal Settlement. In the 1950s under the strict regime of settlement life he takes up boxing. Jeffrey Dynevor wins the Australian Amateur Boxing Union Flyweight title in 1957, retaining it in 1958.
Injury prevents him from competing in the 1958 British Empire Games. He retains the title in 1959 and again in 1961 despite a workplace accident. He is working at the joinery making window frames when he almost severs the top of his index finger of his left hand. But rather than waste time with an operation Jeffrey Dynevor took matters into his own hands. “So, I just picked up the scissors and cut it off there. I just put it right down like that.”
In December 1962, Jeffrey Dynevor, along with Adrian Blair and Eddie Barney, all from Cherbourg, competes in the British Empire (now Commonwealth) Games. He wins the gold medal in the bantamweight division. He makes Australian sporting history becoming the first Aboriginal person to win a Commonwealth Games Gold Medal.
“I was there, in Perth, with him, when he won the gold medal and, oh, my heart went bang.” — Eddie Barney
“Everyone was down at the old community hall, at the picture show, and they stopped the pictures and announced he had won his gold medal. So, of course, you can imagine the excitement, the clapping, and the whistling, and all that took place.” — Lesley Williams, former Cherbourg resident, recalls when the community first got the news of the gold medal victory.
“Jeffrey Dynevor used his head. He was a brainy fighter. He boxed and he was fast. And could he hit. He had a terrific left rip … Well, he was just a quiet, unassuming lad. He hardly said boo. And that’s the thing about him: he was a champion out of the ring, and that’s more important than being a champion in the ring.” — Arthur ‘Bullet’ Bradley, former Australian lightweight boxing champion and sparring partner.
In 2006, Jeffrey ‘Mitta’ Dynevor takes part in the Queen’s Baton Relay for the Commonwealth Games held in Melbourne.