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AL (LES) BLACKSHAW

 

Commonly referred to as ‘The Father of Cricket in the District’ AL (Les) Blackshaw lead the group that campaigned for the establishment of a District Club in the St George area. Having been heavily involved with the St George CA Les Blackshaw not only founded St George DCC but also toiled to establish the cricket wicket at the then Hurstville Park.

While on its own his administrative contribution is impressive ......

1911                      Founder and Player

1913-15                Secretary

1916-19                Ass Secretary

1930-46                President

1952-68                Patron

........it is the manner and context of his service that is outstanding. While building the wicket at Hurstville Park he was an Alderman on Council, in the Club’s first season the Mayor. He also contributed to the foundation of the Georges River Penshurst CA, the NSW Junior Cricket Union and was Foundation Secretary of the St George Umpires. These were just his cricket commitments. He was also a major contributor to local Arts, Church and community groups and a noted philanthropist. Possibly the best summary of Les Blackshaw is provided in the 1971-72 Annual Report

‘When inspiration and encouragement was needed he gave it, when work was needed he performed it and when example was needed he exemplified it, all with an abundance of the spirit of goodwill’.

 

 

F.M. CUSH OBE

 

Frank Cush will forever be remembered as providing accommodation for a young Don Bradman when he moved to Sydney in 1928, a residence that Bradman shared until his marriage some 5 years later. While hard to believe this significant piece of history is in fact only a very small part of Frank Cush’s contribution to St George, NSW and Australian cricket.

In the Club’s inaugural season in 1st grade 1921/22 he was elected Honorary Secretary a position he held until 1946 when he became Club President for the next 22 seasons. For all 45 of those years he was the Delegate to NSWCA (Executive Committee 1927 – 65) and on the Australian Cricket Board of Control from 1930 -1958, Treasurer 1935 -46 and 3 years as Chairman (1955 – 57). On retiring as our President he became Club Patron for 15 years, retiring at 90. For obvious reasons he was elected a Life Member of St George and NSWCA.

St George DCC has 6 members who have been recognised with Life Membership of the MCC (1962), Frank Cush is the only one of those not to have played for Australia. His administrative contribution was considered that significant. Outside of cricket he also served on the Board of St George Hospital from 1927 - 1964. An amazing career of generous service of which St George DCC was so fortunate to be a part.

 

E.W. (Ted) ADAMS CBE

 

While Captain of the Club’s initial 1st Grade team and indeed scoring its first century in that grade, it is for his astute administration that Ted Adams is most remembered. Outside of cricket he had a distinguished career, most notably as the Town Clerk of Sydney. In 1962 he was awarded a CBE by the Queen, recognising his outstanding contribution to Public Administration.

In 1921/22 he joined the Management Committee a role he held for 53 continuous seasons until 1974/75. In 1923 he was elected Treasurer of the Club, overseeing its finances for 28 years when due to pressure of work he stood down. For 15 of those years also representing as Delegate to the NSWCA, where he was elected a Vice President and awarded Life Membership. Recognised with Life Membership of the Club in 1946, in 1968 he returned to the Executive taking on the role of President for 4 seasons.

Ted Adams was renowned for his deep knowledge of constitutional and meeting procedure. His wise counsel proved invaluable to St George and NSWCA throughout an extraordinary period of service that saw St George move from a fledgling 1st grade team to the most successful Club in the competition.

 

GEORGE BARTER

 

The Barter family were for the first 60 years synonymous with St George DCC. As well as maintaining one of the District’s most successful businesses they were heavily involved in both the playing and administration of the Club. George’s father Charles and uncle Milton were both members of the inaugural 1st grade team with Milton elected a Life Member.

George was an outstanding wicketkeeper who spent the majority of career in 2nd grade behind the legendary Ernie Laidler. When his opportunity came late in his career he showed his class and was a member of the 1st premiership in the Club’s Golden Jubilee season of 1960/61. For the majority of his over 25 years on the Management Committee he was a player and from 1946 – 1961 the Honorary Secretary. He was the Club’s delegate to NSWCA from 1947 until his sudden death in 1966. As well as being awarded Life Membership of the Club the same honour was bestowed by NSWCA.

Perhaps the best summary of George Barter is taken from his peers ‘George was a man amongst men, a highly intellectual gentleman, supreme sportsman and a keen and ardent administrator to whom was given the gifts of leadership and comradeship.’

 

ERIC JOHNSON

 

When he died suddenly in the 1984 it was recorded in the Annual Report of that season that ‘Eric Johnson’s service and dedication was unsurpassed in the history of our Club’ an amazing (but justifiable) compliment when considered in the context of those who served before and with him on the Management Committee.

Eric joined the Club as a player in 3rd grade in 1936. As a wicketkeeper until his retirement in 1962, he had a successful career including games in 1st grade but is remembered more for his selfless devotion during his long term captaincy of 4th grade, mentoring young players as they commenced with the Club.

Eric became Assistant Secretary in 1951 before taking on the position of Honorary Secretary in 1961 having been awarded Life Membership in 1954. He was a Delegate to NSWCA for 20 years. Eric was known for his attention to detail. On his passing the Club appropriately dedicated the Hurstville Oval scoreboard in his honour, a fitting tribute to the years he gave to ensuring the hospitality and management of the ground were always first class.

 

T.K (KINGSLEY) OSBORNE

 

Kingsley commenced his playing career with the Club in the 1937/38 season. He showed talent as a batsman and occasional off spin bowler and after war service he returned to the Club where he scored over 4000 runs in first and second grades, captaining the latter for a number of seasons, setting high standards of sportsmanship.

In 1949 he joined the Management Committee a position he held for over 30 years. At the end of the 1956/1957 season he was appointed Club Treasurer a role he undertook with great diligence for the next 23 seasons. Additionally he also served as a provisional selector and on a number of sub committees. He was regarded as a shrewd administrator with the ability to secure the best results from often limited finances. Being known for his wise counsel his opinions were often sought and he was awarded Life Membership in 1970.

 

BRIAN BOOTH MBE

 

After arriving from Perthville, a little village outside of Bathurst, Brian Booth quickly established himself in the Club’s First Grade team. The elegant stroke player represented NSW in 93 matches and in 29 Tests for Australia he was captain on two occasions. With over 10,000 First Grade runs Brian was the backbone of the Club’s batting for over 20 years and highly respected by both teammates and opponents alike. This is clearly demonstrated by his awarding of Life Membership by the MCC.

Brian’s passion to serve the Club saw him join the Management Committee in 1955, a position he held until 1982, before taking on the role of Patron. Brian has now been involved with the administration of the Club for over 60 years. A teacher by profession Brian brought a calm caring persona to the Club and during his ten years as President (1972 – 82) he ensured the Club maintained the highest standards both on and off the field. During the 1990’s Brian took on a coaching role with the Club, mentoring young players and for a number of seasons coached the AW Green Shield. To this day Brian spends his Saturdays attending games and offering advice to grateful players.

 

WARREN SAUNDERS OAM

 

An extremely talented local junior Warren Saunders progressed through the AW Green Shield before moving quickly through the grades. A punishing opening batsman Warren established himself at the top of the order before being selected for NSW. Warren’s leadership skills saw him captain the State. His record as St George First Grade captain is unmatched with 5 premierships and numerous top 4 finishes.

Warren’s cricket prowess was matched off the field where he built a successful business. His talents were recognised by the Club with election to the Management Committee in 1955. This lead to his appointment to the NSW Cricket Association Executive (now CNSW) and ultimately to the Australian Cricket Board of Control (now Cricket Australia). In 1982 Warren took the reins as Club President, holding office for ten years. In that time the Club had considerable success on the field from First Grade to AW Green Shield. His business skills and contacts proved invaluable to the Club. On standing down Warren joined his good friend Brian Booth as Joint Patron ensuring the Club was overseen by two highly regarded statesmen. Warren is a regular at club matches building a strong rapport with current players.

 

JEFF MATCHETT

 

A local junior, Jeff commenced his career with the Club in the AW Green Shield team of 1966/67 and by the 1969/70 season had progressed to play a number of games in the Premiership winning 1st grade team. His playing career stretched for 25 seasons, including stints as captain, retiring as a member of the 4th grade Minor Premiers in 1990/91. His contribution best recorded in that team’s report – ‘Jeff’s involvement in the lower grades has been invaluable both on and off the field. He is a true ‘clubman’ in every essence and his presence on the field will be missed.’

Off the field Jeff was first elected to the Management Committee in 1977/78 taking on the position of Assistant Secretary, one that he held for three seasons. In 1980/81 he moved to oversee the Club’s finances taking over from Kingsley Osborne who had been in the role for 23 seasons. Jeff continued this pattern diligent service, retaining the position for 17 seasons until 1996/97. An accountant by profession Jeff was highly respected for his attention to detail, not only with the books but also in the manner he undertook his broader responsibilities to the Committee and the Club.

 

JON JOBSON

 

After joining St George from Taree in 1975 Jon Jobson quickly established himself as a First Grade player of enormous ability. In a career that saw him produce just on 6000 1st grade runs Jon was the cornerstone of the batting and Captain of a Premiership winning team. While his on field performances were impressive his off field contribution was phenomenal.

After terms as AW Green Shield coach, Club Coach and Committee member Jon became President in 1992 serving for 5 years before stepping down to take on the newly created role of CEO, a position he held for 17 seasons. In that time Jon worked to ensure the Club maintained the highest standards both on and off the field. In driving a strategic planning process and ensuring its implementation Jon ensured all aspects of the Club were operating efficiently. As a result, the Club enjoyed a period of playing success across all grades while increasing its community support through sponsorship and developing its media profile. His efforts saw the construction of the Booth Saunders Pavilion and the promotion of Hurstville Oval as a 2nd tier cricket venue consolidating a strong relationship with Cricket Australia, Cricket NSW and Hurstville City Council. Jon’s ability was also recognised by his fellow delegates to Cricket NSW when they appointed him as a Director.

 

MURRAY BENNETT

 

After an outstanding junior career Murray Bennett quickly found his way to First Grade where his prodigious talent soon led to higher honours. His efforts in First Class matches for NSW and Australia have him regarded as the best bowling all-rounder produced in the St George area.

From an early age Murray was involved with the Club’s administration as AW Green Shield coach and as a committee member. His reputation as an on-field leader (4 times SCA Captain of the Year) was quickly recognised off the field both by NSW – Vice President, State Selector 1990 -1997 and St George – President 1997 – 2007. During his time as President the Club thrived both off and on the field with a number of successful initiatives including a full time CEO, the State’s first T20 match and selection to host a number of international and interstate fixtures, complemented by 8 titles and numerous State representatives.

On completing his term as President Murray has retained his position on the Committee providing the leadership and stability needed to maintain success. His continued attendance at training and matches is appreciated by the coaching staff, captains and players.