GAAC (Mens) 1921-1995

To be completed soon. Go here for the current Club History report

Formation of the Club 13th September 1921

Originally named Glenhuntly Harriers - 1921

 

The club can trace its beginnings to a group of local footballers, the Glenhuntly Imperials Under 21 team, whose captain was the Victorian Javelin Champion in 1920. Alf Hunt was an all round athlete originally competing with the Melbourne Harriers club who finished runners-up to Carlton Harriers in the 1920-21 track and field competition.

 

Alf encouraged his team mates to come along to a meeting at Pages Cafe in Glenhuntly Road Glenhuntly on the evening of Tuesday 13th September 1921.    The idea was to form an athletic club to keep themselves fit during the summer months and Alf invited the captain of the Melbourne Harriers Club, Les Mudge, to attend and act as chairman of the meeting.

 

The Caulfield News reported that the meeting was attended by a good muster of keen and enthusiastic juniors.  

 

Alf Hunt moved the motion that the club be formed and be called the Glenhuntly Harriers. Club colours were discussed and the chairman suggested a Cambridge Blue Singlet with a purple (‘dark blue’) boomerang and white knickers. These were later amended to dark blue knickers with light blue facings.  The motto “Ever Foremost” was adopted (ironically, this motto is identical to that of the professional athletics Stawell Athletic Club, who have organised the Stawell Gift since 1866.)

 

A further meeting was scheduled for Monday 26th September to plan for the coming track season.

 

The club set up its training base in Koornang Park Carnegie, where we shared the football club’s pavilion and ground for training.

 

Alf was also a member of the YMCA and decided to compete with them during the coming summer. He visited Sydney where he won the 120 yard hurdles and cricket ball throwing competition at the Australasian YMCA sports.

Elections were held which saw Hugh Cannon elected as the first club president, along with Alex Grieve as acting secretary, Alf Hunt as treasurer, and Stan Burton appointed the club captain. A number of vice presidents were appointed: J W Page, George Storey, S B Hayhow, T Morton, Otto Ehms, Dr Armstrong, W E Painter, E Shaw, A W Finlayson, W Davies along with local Councillors J T Packer and H Lord.

 

The club decided to enter the interclub competition which commenced in October, just four weeks after the club’s formation. Twenty-three teams entered from 15 clubs with 10 teams forming A Grade and 13 teams being allocated to B Grade. Most of the A Grade clubs had a second team which competed in the B Grade competition.

 

A Grade consisted of Uni Blacks, Uni Blues, Coburg, Moreland, Carlton, SSH, Malvern, East Melbourne, Essendon and Melbourne.

 

B Grade was contested by SSH, Carlton, Melbourne, North Richmond Mutuals, Coburg, Footscray, East Melbourne, Moreland, YMCA, Malvern, Essendon, North Melbourne and Glenhuntly. As there were 13 teams, there would be a bye each round.  

 

Interclub competition was in its very early existence, having only been implemented by the VAAA prior to the first World War in 1913. Athletic competitions had been suspended for the duration of the war and did not resume until 1919. The Carlton Harriers Club were defending their interclub title, having defeated Melbourne Harriers for the 1921 premiership. Alf Hunt was a member of the losing Melbourne team.

 

The club had 12 competing members and we were scheduled to meet the YMCA club in our first encounter. There were only 5 events (100 yards, 1 Mile, 120 yard Hurdles, 1 mile walk, and a Medley(220 yards *2, 440 yards, and 880 yards) mile relay) contested in the interclub challenge, although a number of open and handicap events were also held during the afternoon’s programme. These included Javelin, discus, 880 yards etc. Ironically, Alf Hunt competed in the first event against us, the 120 yard hurdles, having transferred to YMCA, and he won the event. So our club founder and treasurer competed against us in our first official VAAA competition.

Our first competition was held on heavy tracks which were under water in many parts and heavy showers added to the discomfort of the afternoon.

 

Our team of inexperienced and raw junior athletes were comprehensively defeated but the Caulfield News reported that the new club, for a band of juniors, put up a very creditable contest in making their debut in the VAAA arena.


 

Our first treasurer’s book: Note 6/- membership fee equals 60 cents.

 

“Glen” was reported to have a very promising young sprinter in Morgan Field who was only beaten by a foot (30cm). Our only win for the day was in the medley relay race. Other competitors included Alex Grieve (hurdles), Jack Merrifield (walk), and George Fulton (Distance).     

 

Our first season saw our group of youngsters win just two of the eight rounds; finishing 7th and failing to reach the finals. We managed to defeat the Moreland club and SSH but lost the other six contests. Our club’s first individual event winner was Morgan Field who breasted the tape in the 100 yards against SSH in round 3. Other club members to win an event during the season were George Fulton in the Mile run, Jack and Ern Merrifield in the Mile Walk, and Alex Grieve in the 120 yard Hurdles.

 

The Victorian State Championships were held during December at the Amateur Sports Grounds but there is no mention of any Glenhuntly competitors taking part.

    

To finish the summer season the club held its first annual championships at Caulfield Racecourse in early 1922. The all round trophy was won by Alex Grieve (25 pts), from Morgan Field (21pts), and George Fulton (19pts).

 

A Silver Cup was  awarded to Alex Grieve and Gold medals presented to Morgan Field and George Fulton.  These were presented at a formal presentation night, a Euchre (card) and dance night, with advertisements in the local press inviting interested young ladies to attend.


Members were entertained by Hallam’s Dance-O-Mania Jazz Orchestra and an abundant supper was provided by the ladies committee. The streamer waltz was announced as a pleasing spectacle.  This evening was held in St Anthony’s Hall in Grange Road Glenhuntly and was attended by the Mayor and Mayoress of Caulfield.

 

The results of the club’s First Annual championships (1922) were:

100 yards          Morgan Field  11.0          Alex Grieve          George Fulton

220 yards          Morgan Field  25.0          Alex Grieve          George Fulton

440 yards          Morgan Field  55.0          George Fulton       Alex Grieve

880 yards         George Fulton 2:15.0        Stuart Oatley        Morgan Field

1 Mile              George Fulton 5:04.0        C Thomas             Stuart Oatley

1 Mile Walk     Jack Merrifield 8:04.0      Ern Merrifield      C  Thomas

120yd Hurdles Alex Grieve                      George Fulton      Morgan Field

High Jump       Alan Wallace 5’2”            Alex Grieve

Javelin             Alex Grieve   103’0”        R   Wilson            Jack Merrifield

Long Jump      Alex Grieve 17’1”            Alan Wallace        George Fulton

 

 
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