Maccabi Victoria HAll of Fame Legends

Inaugural Maccabi Victoria Legends 2000

Basil Isaacs (1925 - 1998)

Basil Isaacs and Mr Ajax go together. 

For 16 years Basil was President of either Ajax or the Judean League and in 1959 was President of both. Basil’s whole life was devoted to Ajax and his hard work payed off as he saw 97 Alma Road built.  Basil did everything to have it built except lay the bricks. As a competitor, Basil represented Maccabi at Table Tennis, Squash, Tennis, Badminton, Swimming, Boxing, Cricket, Lawn Bowls and even played at Full Forward in Ajax’s First ever football side in 1957. Basil’s involvement in Carnivals spanned 16 years as both a competitor and Carnival Manager. 

Basil passed away in 1997 leaving behind an unforgettable legacy to Jewish Sport and a contribution that may never be matched.

SuZy Javor

What can you say about somebody who is Australia’s greatest Table Tennis player of all time, in the Sports Australia Hall of Fame, won 10 Australian Open Titles and won in excess of 200 Titles between 1952 and 1972. 

Suzy Javor’s induction into the Sports Australia Hall of Fame links her with names such as Sir Donald Bradman, Dawn Fraser, Herb Elliott and Rod Laver. 

Suzy competed at the 1961, 1965 and 1969 Maccabi Games winning the Singles, Doubles and teams event on each occasion.  Is Suzy the greatest?  I don’t think there’s too much doubt about that!!!

Kurt Defris AM (1910 - 1982) and Robby Foldvari  were elevated to Legend status on 16 August 2011.

Kurt Defris

Kurt Defris was born in Vienna and developed a fanatical interest in sport. He played first division soccer, and also became an accomplished table tennis player. In Vienna he met Steffi who became his wife. Kurt’s parents & sister moved to Australia, and in 1948 he followed with Steffi. In Melbourne, Kurt established the Hakoah Soccer Club and was its secretary for many decades. He also ran the Hakoah Table Tennis Club. He held senior positions in the Victorian Soccer Federation and became vice-president of the Victorian Table Tennis Association. In later years he became interested in, and president of the Victorian Ice Hockey Association. Appointed an official for the Olympic Games in Melbourne in 1956, Kurt helped organize the Olympic Football (soccer) competition. Kurt’s whole week was devoted to sport. Every night he would attend a committee meeting, watch a sporting event or one of his teams in training. By becoming a member of the Albert Park Trust, he was able to help several Jewish sporting clubs secure playing fields in Albert Park. His Order of Australia, awarded in 1979 was richly deserved for a man who devoted his life to Maccabi sport and the many organizations that could be of assistance to the wider Ajax / Maccabi movement.

The following sporting clubs choose to honour Kurt with annual trophies awarded in his name: Maccabi Hockey Club, Ice Hockey Victoria, Maccabi Ajax Cricket Club, Ajax Football Club, and Ajax Junior Football Club.
He was also awarded Life Membership with: Football Federation of Victoria, Ice Hockey Victoria, and Table Tennis Centre of Victoria

Robby Foldvari

As a young boy Robby Foldvari broke his collarbone and had to miss out on playing his beloved footy. During those long weeks at home he discovered billiards, first watching the professionals on Pot Black and then getting his hands on a cue. When he was 11, his father made him a small billiards table in the garage. Robby practised several hours a day, wearing a groove into the wooden cue with his fingers. His father customised their garage to make room for a full-size table. In 1982 Robby started winning major Victorian & Australian Billiards and Snooker Championships. He is one of only 6 people to have recorded breaks both of over 1000 in billiards and the maximum 147 in snooker.
Some highlights of Robby’s career:
State & National: Robby was a multiple winner of the Victorian and Australian Championships in both Billiards and Snooker.

International: World Professional Billiards Champion 1986, World Snooker Team Cup - Australian Captain 1996 and 2006, World Matchplay Billiards Champion 1997, World IBSF Billiards Champion 1998, World IBSF Snooker Masters, World IBSF Billiards (150 format), World Professional Billiards Finalist 1987 & 1991 (England & India), UK Professional Billiards Champion 1993 & 1994 (England), UK Professional Billiards Finalist 1987, Clacton Professional Snooker Champion 1991(England), Winner of 5 Snooker Pro/Ams in UK, Winner of 12 Billiard Pro/Ams Grand Prix in UK, USSR Open Snooker Champion 1990, Open Zeeland Snooker Champion (Holland), Radiant Grand Slam Billiards Champion (India), Singapore Official Coach - Snooker, 9ball & Billiards, China Official coach, WPBSA Official coach, Hungary Official coach, and Herald- Caltex Sportsman of the Year Runner Up to Pat Cash 1986.

Bernie Gold OAM, Henry Nissen OAM and Harry Procel OAM were elevated to Legend Status on 15 September 2016.

Bernie Gold OAM

In 1999 Bernie Gold was awarded the Order of Australia for services to the Jewish community and to sport through Maccabi Australia.   Bernie’s 55 years contribution involved 9 years with New South Wales Maccabi and the rest with Victoria and Australia Maccabi of which he is a Life Member of both.

Some of Bernie’s roles for the Victorian movement have included Executive and Council member for 15 years, and either Carnival Manager, Special Adviser or Sports Organiser at 5 Carnivals. 

Bernie has been an Australian or Individual delegate to Maccabi World Union for over 25 years.  In 2009 he was awarded the Maccabi World Union's highest honour, the ‘Yakir Maccabi Award" and in 2010 was inducted into the Maccabi NSW Hall of Fame becoming the first  person to be inducted into the HOF in two States.


Henry Nissen OAM

Henry’s boxing talent was uncovered during his school years at Brunswick Tech and led him to a successful twelve year career including four years as a professional boxer from 1970 to 1974. Australian Title 1970

Some of Henry’s amateur titles include the Victorian Flyweight champion in 1964, 1966, and 1967. In 1969, Henry represented Australia at the 8th Maccabiah games, winning gold in the bantamweight division. In the same year, he was also the Australian Silver medallist in the flyweight division during the Australian Championships, achievements which led to him winning the Magen David Adom award in 1969.

During Henry’s professional career, he held the Australian Flyweight title from 1970 to 1972 as well as the British Commonwealth title from 1971 and 1973.  In 1973, he became the number 3 contender for the World Flyweight Title and reached a ranking of 4th in the world.

Henry was inducted into the Victorian Boxing Hall of Fame in 1995, the Australian Boxing Hall of Fame in 2009. He was awarded an OAM in 2002 for his contribution to welfare and sport.  In 2003 Henry received the Paul Harriss Award – Rotary – Welfare and Sport Australia


Harry Procel OAM

Harry Procel received an OAM in 2013 for services to Jewish Sport.

He joined Maccabi in 1967 received Life Membership of the Athletics Club in 1986, Maccabi Victoria in 1992 and Maccabi Australia in 2010. Harry has represented Australia at 8 Maccabiah Games , 3 times as Head of Delegation. He was a Board Member of Maccabi Victoria for 18 years, Maccabi Australia for 22 years including 5 years as President and the Maccabi Victoria Sports Foundation for 12 years. He currently on the Maccabi Australia Board of Governors.

He represented Victoria at 15 Senior Carnivals and has been involved in 10 Junior Carnivals. Internationally he has been a member of the MWU Executive and International Maccabiah Executive from 1995 till today. In 2013 he became the youngest ever recipient of the Yakir Maccabi from MWU.

Currently he is the first Australian to become Chairman of the prestigious International Sports Committee.

Harry has competed for Maccabi Clubs in Athletics, Table Tennis and Golf. The highlight being a Bronze Medal in the Victorian Open Athletics Championships in 1976 in the 4 x 400 meter relay.


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