Be­van pro­tect­ing his turf

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Western Opinion -

The fourth pro­file in our monthly Faces of Ned­lands se­ries by City of Ned­lands com­mu­ni­ca­tions of­fi­cer Michelle New­ton is a man ded­i­cated to making a dif­fer­ence – on and off the hockey field. FOR­MER bar­ris­ter and City of Ned­lands coun­cil­lor Be­van Lawrence may have de­voted his work­ing life to law, but hockey has al­ways been his great­est love.

Mr Lawrence played hockey at a State level in his youth, and was awarded the Old Aquini­ans Hockey Club fairest and best in 1971.

Since he be­gan coach­ing his son’s ju­nior team Crick­eters Hockey Club in 1985, the Ned­lands res­i­dent has been in­stru­men­tal in es­tab­lish­ing hockey teams in lo­cal pri­mary and high schools.

Frus­trated that some ju­niors could not progress in such large clubs, Mr Lawrence founded the River­side Li­ons ju­nior team.

To­gether with Sub­ur­ban Li­ons Hockey Club pres­i­dent Garry Fitz­patrick, he es­tab­lished 16 boys and 15 girls teams that play at Melvista Oval, Highview Park and Lem­nos Turf in Shenton Park.

The Li­ons are now the sec­ond-big­gest ju­nior club in WA.

While hockey is his pas­sion, Mr Lawrence said it was the sense of com­mu­nity from be­ing in­volved in sport that truly in­spired him.

“Once you get to know your com­mu­nity, it’s a very nice thing,” he said. “You feel like you be­long. It feels like home.”

City of Ned­lands com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment man­ager Mar­ion Granich said Mr Lawrence was a won­der­ful man who con­tin­ued to push the bound­aries on lo­cal sport­ing fa­cil­i­ties.

“Few peo­ple have done more for the sport of hockey in the City of Ned­lands than Be­van,” Ms Granich said.

Mr Lawrence was elected to Ned­lands Coun­cil in 1999 af­ter cam­paign­ing to have the City cut the grass shorter on hock­ey­play­ing ovals.

As luck would have it, the City be­gan cut­ting the grass shorter just af­ter he sub­mit­ted his nom­i­na­tion, but un­der the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Act he could not with­draw his nom­i­na­tion.

Mr Lawrence loves the care­fully tended lawn on his own ten­nis court and still lob­bies Coun­cil to im­prove hockey turfs.

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