Bert Wight had a hot but short league career, playing just the first three games of 1902 for a return of two goals and two wins. He then went on to serve the nation as an engineer in peace and war.
Born at Eastwood on 31 December 1883, Bert was educated at Prince Alfred College. The Advertiser considered it too hot for football and misspelt his name 'White' when he made his debut against West Adelaide at Norwood Oval on 3 May 1902. Norwood overcame early resistance in winning 13.9 to 3.3, with Bert among the goalkickers.
He celebrated victory again the following week, but only by three points, as a fast-finishing but inaccurate North Adelaide kicked 5.13 to Norwood's 7.4 at Adelaide Oval.
Norwood Oval was dry and glossy when Norwood, the reigning premier, met its old nemesis South Adelaide on 24 May. Norwood took an early lead under a hot sun, but the heavier, more experienced Southerners ground out a 6.10 to 4.4 victory before a big crowd. That was Bert's swansong.
He married Jessie Angel of Norwood at the Unitarian Christian Church on 3 November 1909. The eldest of four sisters, she played lawn tennis for the Beaumaris club with Bert and several of her eight brothers.
Bert gained a Diploma in Applied Science in 1905 and, as a Fellow of the SA School of Mines, was appointed a lecturer at the Charters Towers School of Mines in 1912. In 1914 he qualified in absentia as a Bachelor of Engineering at the University of Adelaide.
He was a second lieutenant in the Field Company Engineers when he embarked in Melbourne on 21 November 1917 to serve with the 4th Division Artillery in World War I. He returned to Australia on 3 September 1919.
Employed by the Chief Engineer's Department, he gave evidence to the Australian Arbitration Commission in 1943 when the Association of Railway Professional Officers of Australia applied for payments in SA on the same marginal basis as for railways in NSW. As an inspecting engineer for the SA Railways, he was appointed in 1952 to make a detailed investigation of Tasmania's 3 ft 6 in rail gauge and report to the Tasmanian Government.
P Robins March 2018