History, culture and cricket at Edenhope
The west Wimmera community will gather at Edenhope this weekend to celebrate a profound sporting fingerprint the region has left on Australia’s cultural history and identity.
The two-day Edenhope Home of the First Eleven event will acknowledge the 150th anniversary of the formation of an Australian Aboriginal team, the first cricket group to represent Australia in England.
The event will also be a celebration and reunion for people and players involved in a 1988 120th re-enactment tour.
Event spokeswoman Helen Mulraney-roll said an Aboriginal Cricket Team committee had planned weekend activities around the teams of 1868 and 1988.
“We’ve planned a huge celebration – a cricket party, reunion and back-to – on the shores of Lake Wallace at Edenhope,” she said.
“We’re extending an invitation to everyone and all cricket teams past and present.
“The foreshore will be buzzing with excitement during the Easter weekend.
“Coaching for children and cricket matches have been organised on the original site where the 1868 team practised.”
The event will start with an opening and Welcome to Country at Lake Wallace on Saturday and include everything from backwards foot races, of which some members of the 1868 team were renowned, and a reunion and even a re-enactment match of 1988 Aboriginal and Kowree XI teams that played at Edenhope and Harrow.
Saturday activities will also include a dedication to the 1988 team at Edenhope College, screenings of Mark Manion’s 1988 film ‘Dreaming of Lords’ and performances by Regional Aboriginal Dance Group. There will also be free public entertainment at Henley Park. On Sunday there will be a dedication at Lake Bringalbert and the launch of a book ‘Bringalbert, Bat and Ball’ as well as organised cricket tours of Bringalbert, Apsley, Dergholm and Harrow. There will be a memorial match and junior coaching, another opportunity for people to see Dreaming of Lords and a family day and barbecue at Henley Park.
Ms Mulraney-roll, an Edenhope resident and descendant of Thomas Hamilton, said Hamilton had taught Aborigines to play cricket at Bringalbert Station in 1864.
“The original team was noticed by William Hayman and they practised on the foreshore of Lake Wallace before sailing on the ship Parramatta to tour England,” she said.
“We all want to learn more of this significant moment in Australia’s cricketing history.”
The 1896 touring team included players Harry Jellico, Bringalbert; Peter; Edenhope; Johnny Mullagah, captain, Pine Hill; Jimmy Tarpot, Newlands, Billy Officer and Johnny Cuzens, Fullham; Bullocky, New Harper; Sugar and Sundown, Miga Lake; Neddy, Redcap, Mosquito, King Cole, Harry Rose, Twopenny and Dick-adick, Lawloit.
A reunion for players involved in the re-enactment games and tour is attracting considerable interest.
“I have been able to locate all but two of the 1988 Aboriginal players including families of two deceased members. They are all excited to be at least remembered for such an occasion and are coming to Edenhope from all over Australia,” Ms Mulraney-roll said.
People seeking more information about the weekend can call Edenhope Aboriginal Cricket Team committee on 0427 515 140 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.