Les Harmer won the Northern Argus gold medal for best player in the Stanley Football Association in 1923 – the year his team, North Clare, appeared to be coasting to the premiership before Watervale came with a rush to snatch victory by two points.
Les spent the next three seasons at Norwood, where he kicked 18 goals in 22 reserves games but in his one league appearance, on a half-forward flank in 1925, again experienced the disappointment of a two-point defeat. Norwood was sitting in top spot and on its way to its 17th premiership when it unexpectedly lost to Sturt before a crowd of 11,000 on a wet July Saturday at Unley Oval. Sturt was mostly in control in a game of poor standard until the cracking last quarter. Norwood took the lead, lost it and was pressing hard when the bell sounded with Sturt just ahead, 5.14 to 6.6.
After Norwood, Les went back to Clare. In 1940 he was farewelled by the Clare Lawn Tennis Club, where he was captain and a prominent foundation member, and joined most of the extended family in Adelaide.
Born in Clare on 16 November 1902 to George Harmer and his wife Mary, née Hosking, Les had three brothers and three sisters. Les was a mechanic but the family business was butchery. Harmer’s Meat Store was founded in the early days of Clare. George Harmer, who took over at the death of his father, Robert, in 1896, served as Clare’s mayor. He sold the business in 1936 and left for Mildura, where he took a controlling interest in the 10 butcher shops of Crozier’s Ltd.
George retired to Adelaide to be near his children, Ross, Robert, Les, John, Jean (Mrs Dean Simpson), Phillis (Mrs Reg Ninnes) and Mary. Les died on 13 July 1976.
P Robins, G Adams, D Cox March 2021