Neil Bertoli became a Manly Christian Brothers Life Member in 1992. He also served as President and Treasurer and coached many teams at Brothers.
He began playing rugby league at 14 at Christian Brothers School (team member was Arthur Fairall). This was the age you began playing rugby league. At 17, he was graded with Manly. Later, he played grade at Easts.
He studied accountancy and had his own practice in Manly. He was married to Jan and they moved to Hurstville for a number of years before returning to Manly and living in Narraweena. They have three boys (Darren, Grant and Adam), who had many parties – even if Jan and Neil were away.
He was a member of the School Cadets at Christian Brothers and became adjutant (a military staff officer who assists the commanding officer). He was a leader of men with a wonderful, cheerful disposition and gave his time to rugby league – Manly Juniour Rugby League, Manly Civic Club.
Neil coached many rugby league teams at St Paul’s. One particular half time address is fondly remembered by a player. Down 12:0 at half time against Beacon Hill, he walked into the change room and said, “Winners are grinners. Losers can look after themselves!” He then left. The team went on to win 14-12, and no one involved has forgotten.
He loved sport, especially rugby league, cricket and golf.
Above all he loved Jan. On their 40th wedding anniversary, he gave her 40 red roses. She asked him why 40. He replied, “one for this year and 39 for previous years”.
The last two years has been a tough time for Jan with Neil’s health deteriorating.
We give her all our love.
The Brothers Family.