Barkly Park sporting heritage celebrated
Three Rutherglen sporting greats will unveil cricket, footy and women’s basketball/netball storyboards at Barkly Park on Sunday, January 27.
The unveiling is part of the refurbishment of the Barkly Park clubrooms in Rutherglen.
The management committee commissioned the preparation of three storyboards to present the history of the three major sports played at Barky Park.
The heritage committee consisting of Rob Porter, David Anderson and Dave Edwards set about collecting material in 2014.
Over the past few years many people have shared their stories, photos and memorabilia to enable the three storyboards to be completed.
The heritage committee is especially grateful to Judy Harrison and the Rutherglen Museum that keeps the Henry Taft Border Mail scrapbooks, local sports historian Graeme Hiskins, Wangaratta Library and its Wangaratta Chronicle collection and the Corowa Library with its collection of the Corowa Free Press.
Financial support to produce the final boards has been provided by Rutherglen Football and Netball Club, Rutherglen United Cricket Club, the Past Players Association and a Shire of Indigo Community grant. The professional work was provided by Renee Paola Graphics and Sign Effects Wangaratta.
With the support of all these members of the Rutherglen community it is now possible for many people to share in the rich sporting history of Barkly Park.
All past players and supporters are most welcome to attend the function where the new storyboards will be unveiled.
It is hoped that those who contributed stories or photos will be able to attend and celebrate the contribution of Barkly Park and its associated clubs to sport in the local area.
Light refreshments will be provided after the unveiling and the cricket club is planning a BBQ for those who wish to stay and reminisce.
The opening coincides with the 20-year reunion celebrations of the 1998/99 B Grade premiership team.
Long time women’s basketball and netball champion Gwen Spencer, Ovens and Murray legend Bill Gayfer and cricket star Reg Edwards will be assisted by junior members when revealing the storyboards.
Onlookers will gain a valuable insight into the complete history of women’s basketball and its origins from way back in 1891, learning of the progress of several Rutherglen teams and results. The history dates back to when just Corowa, Rutherglen and Yarrawonga elementary schools competed in no more than four matches, the war had an impact on the sport, the transition from women’s basketball to netball and today’s Tallangatta and District Netball League.
Bill Gayfer will be unveiling the footy storyboards, again taking the audience way back to 1892 – who will see some of the first ever Rutherglen footy teams who were involved in the then Ovens and Murray Association. Some of the leagues the then-Redlegs were involved in were the Catholic Young Men’s Society, Murray Valley Patriotic League, Chiltern District Football League, Coreen League (as the Roos), Ovens and King, Ovens and Murray Football League and Tallangatta and District League. Rutherglen has been playing as the Cats since 1979.
Decade by decade, the local cricket side evolved into the Rutherglen Cricket Club and, more recently, the Rutherglen United Cricket Club. The Rutherglen District Cricket Association was formed in 1905 after a meeting between several clubs. The following is a snippet from the intriguing storyboard by Rutherglen: Wine Centre of North East Victoria, B Lloyd and J Kennedy: “In the raw days of the colony, social cricket matches were played rather than competitive ones. Farmers played the miners, butchers the bakers and the (clean-shaven) played the bearded. Aboriginal people of the district put up the ‘Lake Moodemere Team’.”
There will be many photos from cricket’s long history at Barkly Park