Barkly Park sport­ing her­itage cel­e­brated

The Free Press (Corowa) - - CLASSIES (03) CLASSIES -

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.

Women’s bas­ket­ball/net­ball

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

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