It is a typically Tasmanian coincidence that the mothers of George Bailey and Eddie Ockenden were in the same class at school.
This should come as little surprise in our lovable one-degree-of-separation state, but is particularly poignant at a time when both sons have become such accomplished and humble ambassadors for it.
Tasmania has produced other national captains – Ricky Ponting and Matthew Wells, for example, having taken the helm of the same national men’s cricket and hockey teams (with Tim Paine extending the cricket dynasty) – but Bailey and Ockenden have taken up the challenge of filling such sizeable shoes and trodden their own path.
It’s been a week when both again demonstrated their suitability for the national spotlight.
Bailey’s days of national leadership are probably over, but Australian cricket followers from much further north than his seaside retreat at Greens Beach have long been won over by his fun-loving, ever-smiling demeanour.
Seven years ago, the Tasmanian captain became just the second Australian to fill the same role for his country on debut. The other was Dave Gregory in the first ever Test match, so obviously somebody had to claim that distinction.
The former South Launceston batsman (that’s Bailey, not Gregory) captained Australia at Twenty20 and One-Day International world cups, while also leading Tasmania in all three formats and playing for numerous sides in the English county championship and Indian Premier League.
He resumed national leadership responsibilities last October when captaining the Australian Prime Minister’s XI against the touring South Africans in Canberra.
Such roles saw Bailey rub shoulders with royalty and politicians, although anybody who listened to his interview at Hadspen Cricket Club’s champions of sport luncheon in November was left in no doubt about the identity of his least favourite Australian Prime Minister.
On Saturday night, the Launceston-born 36-year-old father-of-two was back in our national capital doing what he does – offering up crowd catches as he helps guide the Hobart Hurricanes into the Big Bash League finals.
Unfortunately, one slog caused more damage than just six runs in the scoreboard as it cleaned up a young fan at Manuka Oval.
Only Bailey could subsequently conduct a post-match interview bemoaning the disappointing standard of crowd catches having already visited his unsuspecting target to present him with his batting gloves by way of an apology.
It is strangely apt that George Bailey also happens to be the character played by Jimmy Stewart in the 1946 film It’s a Wonderful Life who learns to appreciate everything life offers and was listed ninth on the American Film Institute's list of the 50 greatest screen heroes.
Ockenden has also risen to national leadership by demonstrating a desirable mix of talent and tact.
On Sunday, the Hobart-born 31-year-old father-of-one was invited to captain his country in his home town.
He did so with the sort of effortless aplomb as journalists who resort to using words like aplomb.
In addition to playing his customary role across the defence – having proved similarly reliable in midfield and attack earlier in his distinguished career – Ockenden fulfilled all the responsibilities befitting an Australian captain from the obligatory media interviews to posing for countless selfies with adoring young fans.
In earning his 341st international cap, Ockenden moved to outright second on the Kookaburras’ all-time appearance list and will almost certainly overtake five-time world player of the year Jamie Dwyer before what would be his fourth Olympic Games in 2020.
All of which is a ringing endorsement for the particular class of Fahan School in the early 1970s which, rather impressively, also happened to include the mothers of Olympic rower Tom Gibson and St Kilda great Nick Riewoldt.