Bevan protecting his turf
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.