GWAAC (Womens) 1929-1995

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The Formation of the Glenhuntly Women's Amateur Athletics Club (GWAAC).

1929 - 1930

 

Our club was one of the original six women’s clubs that was formed in 1929. It holds a prominent place in the sports development for women and many of its members, including competitors and administrators, have been significant in seeing it grow to what it is today. The men’s club was a strong supporter of this development from the very outset and two of its executive members, Bill Ryan and Bob Davis, assisted its formation and development.

 

 Athletics (foot-running or pedestrianism) was a feature of the earliest sports meetings in colonial Australia. Matches of ability attracted a lot of attention and large crowds; and impressive prize money. It was pre-dominantly male orientated.

 

In the late nineteenth century, a New South Welshman, Richard Coombes, led a group who sought to takeover the management of amateur athletics in  an effort to counteract the “moral endangering” influences of the professionals. Coombes became well known for his efforts in promoting the Olympic movement and establishing the Amateur Athetic Union of Australia.

 

Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the Modern Olympiad in 1896 made it quite clear that the Olympics must be reserved for men. This was typical of the men of the time who viewed women’s wishes to participate as inappropriate. Eventually, however, a decision to include athletic events for women in the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam led to interest in Australia. A lot of discussion was also taking place about instigating a British Empire Games and this was finally agreed to take place in Hamilton Canada. A part of discussion was whether events for women would be included.

 

The NSW athletic association included events for women in their championships from 1926 and the winner of the sprints for three years (Edith Robinson) was selected as Australia’s first and only female Olympic track athlete for the Amsterdam Olympics.

 

At this time, the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) was promoting physical culture for young women who were leaving school at fourteen years old and going to work in industry. The YWCA organised an inter-house business girls association. This body organised sports days to bring together business houses in friendly competiiton. Assistance in the conduct of these events was sought from the VAAA and the “The Herald” donated a grand challenge cup. These meetings drew large crowds  (2000 -3000 persons). Many of the girls associated with thes business houses later joined amateur athetic clubs as they formed.

 

In Victoria, womens competitions were determined by the men. The need to organise their own activities was evidenced by the fact that national representation, range and even conduct of events was determined by the whim of male officials.

 

In 1929, the Amateur Athletic Union of Australia decided to include three events for women in their Australian Championships in 1930. These were to be held in Melbourne.  

 

Mr William (Bill) Ryan, of the Glenhuntly Amateur Athletic Club (men’s club) felt that Victorian women should be represented. With the support of Mr Robert (Bob) Davis, and his brother Pat Ryan and the executive of his club, he submitted the idea to the Victorian Amateur Athletic Association where it was rejected. However, an alternative motion was favourably supported. This asked Mr Ryan to form a sub-committee of the VAAA to investigate establishing women’s clubs and a Victorian Women’s Association. This sub-comittee met with the Victorian Basketball Association, YWCA, Victorian Women’s Hockey association, and the Melbourne Inter-house Business Girls Association.  They recommended one event be held as a trial after which a general meeting was held to nominate a council to control the sport. This action was the first official attempt to establish women’s athletics in Victoria.

 

A request was made to the VAAA to include an event for women on one of the interclub programmes to assess how much interest women’s athletics would create. Invitations were issued to women’s sporting groups to enter a relay race during the men’s interclub programme in November 1929. Twenty-eight entries were received to run a team’s relay race with each competitor covering 75 yards with teams of four women. This race was held in conjunction with a men’s inter-club meeting on 2nd November 1929. at the Amateur Sports Ground. The race was coducted as a flag (Shuttle) relay with Inter-House being the winners.  

 

This indicated solid support for promoting women’s athletics and a wide range of women’s organisations attended meetings in November and December 1929 aimed at establishing a Victorian Women’s Amateur Athletic Association.

 

A great deal of interest was taken in the formation of clubs.

 

Initially six clubs were formed:

·       Moreland,

·       Williamstown,

·       Melbourne,

·       Footscray,

·       Coburg High School ex-students,

·       Glenhuntly.

 

The formation of the GWAAC was due to the foresight of senior men’s club officials in Mr W.Ryan (Bill), Mr R.L.Davis (Bob) and a group of pioneer women who were given the responsibility of establishing a club.

 

Mr Davis was to convene the first meeting of interested young women in the Glen Huntly area in this fledging sport for women. Mr Ryan was to  become involved in the development of the VWAAA and the AWAAA.

 

Bill Ryan and Bob Davis set about forming the Glenhuntly Women’s Amateur Athletic Club (GWAAC). They organised for handbills to be distributed in letter boxes calling a meeting of interested ladies to the Glenhuntly Public Hall on 6th November 1929.  Bob Davis persuaded a reluctant member of his tennis group to attend the meeting. She was Doris Smith, later to becomes Mrs Doris Davis, and a life time member of the GWAAC. Disappointingly, only two other young ladies attended this meeting. ( Dorothy Brown and Thelma Alpass ). Nevertheless, and not to be daunted, the club was formed.

 

The following evening, 7th November 1929, the inaugural meeting of the VWAAA took place with Doris Smith attending as the GWAAC representative. There were 12 clubs in attendance; 8 athletic clubs plus Inter-House Business Girls, Girls Basketball, Girls Cricket, and the Ladies Amateur Swimming League.

 

On the 17th November 1929 the GWAAC held its first General Meeting.

 

A sub-committee of the men’s club plus 20 girls attended. Training would take place on Mondays and Wednesdays at the Glenhuntly sports oval. It was agreed that the colours of the men’s club be adopted. A social committee was formed to raise funds and a dance was to be arranged.

The club adopted the constitution of the men’s club and made some changes to bring it into line with that for a women’s club.

 

On the 2nd December 1929 the following ladies were elected as office bearers.

            President:         Miss E Lander

            Hon Secretary  Miss P Currie

            Hon Treasurer  Miss E Clarke

            Asst Secretary  Miss R Marris

            Executive Committee:  Misses D Smith, T Alpass, and D Brown.

 

To affiliate with the VWAAA a club required at least 15 members. The club grew in its first year to a healthy 32 members, to be the second largest club.

 

In January 1930, a Victorian women’s team was selected to take part in the three events that had been placed on the men’s Australian Championship programme. Six girls were selected to contest two events 100 yards and High Jump. There were no 2’6” hurdles for training in Victoria so no girls were chosen. A total of 16 girls took part in these championships representing all states except Western Australia.

 

Beryl Hughes became the club’s first state representative when she was selected to represent Victoria in the 100 yard event at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Crowds at the titles were in excess of 25,000 per day. Beryl Hughes made the final of the 100 yards but was unplaced. The VAAA annual report for 1930 reported that the inclusion, for the first time, of events for women was a feature of the programme.

 

The VWAAA had difficulty in obtaining a suitable ground to conduct athletics. Finally, the first and only day of Inter Club day was held on the 12th April at the Williamstown Cricket Ground. The competition was held as a one day premiership. It was held in conjunction with events such as men’s bowling at a wicket, a tug of war, a councillor’s handicap, lacrosses pairs race and kicking the football. A crowd of 6000 spectators attended.

 

Only the winner of each heat of the 110 yards went to the final as it was felt that the girls would be over-taxed if they had to compete in semi finals and finals.  The hop step and jump was on the programme, the only time it was permitted in interclub for decades, and  one of our members Winnie George won the event with a leap of 9.34m. Francis Newson was   placed second in the 110yds, losing by one yard.

 

Both Winnie and Francis were very capable in other sports as well. Winnie was to represent the State in Cricket and eventually become a Australian Test cricketer in 1937, while Francis was to represent the State in Hockey.

 

During 1930, the GWAAC went about building up the club for the coming summer season 1930/31. During the 1930 winter the VWAAA made arrangements for  a combined walk with the Victorian Walkers Club at Albert Park and a combined pack run was held at Wattle Park with the VAAA. The GWAAC did not appear to be represented in these initiatives. They did however form a basketball team and training began in April. A joint social dance with the men’s club, followed by a picnic to Fern Tree Gully the next day, were forerunners to many joint social events to be conducted by the two clubs over the next few decades. These social functions were very well attended. The club also arranged gymnasium classes at the Glenhuntly Methodist Church Hall on Thursday evenings throughout winter.

                                                The first known photo of Club women in 1930, the year of formation.

 

 

The club sought the assistance from the men’s club with coaching and this was forthcoming when Orm Westcott, a top sprinter with the men’s clubduring the 1920s with the men’s club, was appointed as coach and Bob Davis was appointed as honarary advisor.

 

Bill Ryan was to take up a position on the VWAAA executive and was very active in the formingation and direction of that association. He acted as starter at interclub events.

 

The club was up and running.


The First Ten Years .    1930 -1940

 

Six clubs competed in the first interclub track season in 1930-31 with three rounds of competition taking place. The first round of competition was held on the Glenhuntly Cricket Ground while the other two rounds and semi finals were held at the Williamstown Cricket Ground.

 

The six clubs were:

·       Glenhuntly

Moreland

·       Melbourne (two teams).

Williamstown

·       Coburg High School ex-students

·       Footscray

 

There were  nine events contested:

 

·       75 yards

·       100 yards

·       220 yards

·       880 yards Walk

·       Broad Jump

·       High Jump

·       80m Hurdles

·       300 yards relay

·       400 yards relay

 

             

The strong Melbourne number 1 team defeated Glenhuntly in the first round; 62 - 20pts. Our winners on the day were young 15 year old Amy Bremer, in her first competition,  who won the 220 yds in 29.2sec, and Winnie George in the Broad Jump with a leap of  4.34m.

 

The club defeated Williamstown in the second round; 50-46. Glenhuntly athletes won all events other than the high jump and 300 yards relay.

 

In the third and final round for the season the club was narrowly defeated by the Eastern Suburbs club. Other club members who competed with success during the season were  Margaret Shaw, J. Piller, Edna Lander, and Pearl Currie.

 

The Association was unable to obtain a ground for the Grand Final and as Melbourne 1 and 2 teams were to contest it, the events were held on a number of week nights with Melbourne 1 the victors.

 

Starting was very rudimentary at this stage with no starting blocks; so holes were made in the ground to provide support. This must have been a nightmare for groundsmen and for starters in subsequent heats/finals.

 

 

The VWAAA’s first State Championships were held at The Royal Agriculture Showgrounds over two weekends in March 1931.

 

Winifred George became the club’s first Victorian Champion when she won the Broad Jump with a leap of 4.85m.

A youthful Amy Bremer was placed second, her first defeats for the season, in the 100yds and 220 yds title. Miss Grogan was  unplaced in the 80 meters hurdles and M  Shaw was unplaced in the 75 yards.

 

The club conducted their first Club Championships at the Caulfield Racecourse beginning on the 1st February 1931. Five events were conducted and these were to be contested one each on consecutive Monday and Wednesday evenings at 6.30pm.

 

Our first club champions were:

 

75 yards

Margaret Shaw

9.2s

100 yards

Amy Bremer

12.4s

220 yards

Amy Bremer

29.0s

High Jump

Winnie George

1.25m

Broad Jump

Winnie George

4.61m

 

 

 

 

In addition to these events club members took part in a number of carnivals to support the unemployment relief.

 

The young club drew its office bearers from within their ranks.

 

The President was Berta Bates, Secretary was Pearl Currie, while the Convenor of the Social Committee was Doris Smith (later Doris Davis) who was also the Assistant Secretary. Mr Bob Davis was the club adviser and Coach.

 

Prior to the commencement of the 1931/2 summer season a Consulting Sports Committee was formed to set some guidelines for women’s competitiion. The club was informed that every competitor must be examined by their doctor before competing in competition; and this was to apply to the Victorian Championships as well as to interclub.

 

In another directive from the VWAAA, members were not permitted to train with men. “It is considered undesirable members of mens and womens clubs should train together on the same grounds at the same times.” The club was forced to instruct members to train only on a certain portion of the racecourse, only on Mondays and Wednesdays, and club office bearers were expected to ensure rigid enforcement. In another decision, the VWAAA did not favour sending women to the coming Olympics and so no names were submitted. The Association did not favour women taking part in any competiton not under the control of women.

 

Inter club for season 1931/2 was held at the Royal Agriculture Showgrounds with two grades introduced. The club competed in A Grade and won two of the five rounds of competition during the season.

 

At the 1932 Victorian Championships  Winnie George retained her Broad Jump title with a magnificent leap of  5.08m. Unfortunately, she could not claim a record as the jump was wind assisted.  Amy Bremer was placed second in the 220yds in a thrilling contest and 4th in the 75 yards.

 

The VWAAA decided to enter a team in the national games being conducted by the VAAA at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and   Amy Bremer was selected in the 100 yards. In March of the same year Amy Bremer was selected for the team to compete in the Sydney Bridge Games to be held in Manly Sydney. She was one of four Victorian women selected and despite the terrible economic climate, the club donated a guinea ( $2.10) towards the trip. Quite a sum in those days.

 

At their third Annual General Meeting, the VWAAA in their wisdom decided that the Broad Jump may have jarring effects on women in their later life and the event was withdrawn from future programmes. Winnie George decided to turn her sporting interest to cricket and the club would be without her services for the season. Later Miss George would go on to represent Australia in Test Cricket and competed in the first women’s test in England in 1937..

 

The first Australian Track & Field Championships for the newly formed AWAAU were held in Victoria at the Amateur Sports Ground (Olympic Park) on 27th March 1933. These were to be Biennial championships. To enable the full programme of events to be held on the one date, heats for the 100 yds, 220 yds, and 90 yard Hurdles were held on the previous Thursday afternoon.

 

During the championships the first conference of inter-state delegates was held to discuss a range of issues relating to women in sport. Included in this discussion was the suitability of certain events for participation by women. The Victorian Association had placed a ban on any running events more than 220 yards as well as the Broad Jump. Other states planned to propose a 440 yards and 880 yards and Broad Jump. Also to be considered was representation in international competition such as the Olympics. It seems that some of the other states were at loggerheads with the Victorian stance.

 

The largest crowd ever to witness a women’s sports meeting turned out in ideal weather conditions at the 1933 championships. The outstanding performance of the championships was by the Victorian 440 yards relay team which broke the Victorian record and compared favourably with the world record.

 

The next and most popular victory was by Amy Bremer in the 220 yards. She won in a time of 26.1 sec but had set a record for the event in the heats on Thursday. She was the first club woman to set a record.

 

Winnie George was second in the Broad Jump with 4.93m which was a remarkable effort as she had previously retired from athletics to concentrate on her cricket. Straight after the event she was wisped away on a motor bike to play for Brighton in a cricket semi-final where she arrived to open the batting.      

                                                                Amy Bremer winning an interclub event over Gladys Taylor

Doris Smith acted as a steward during the championships and was social secretary of the VWAAA  responsible for arranging entertainment for the athletes. This was the first of many positions that Doris was to undertake in over 60 years involvement in athletics.

 

The 1933/34 season proved to be a very successful season for the club. It recorded 7 wins, 1 draw and 4 losses. Three coaches from the men’s club were appointed. Bob Davis was appointed coach and adviser.  Sam Hyams (sprints) assistant coach and Keith Mc Cluskey was appointed walking coach. A permanent track was still not available to women athletes and the club travelled to the Victory Athletic Track in Maryibrynong to compete. The ground was to serve two sports; athletics and dog racing. The club travelled to the ground in a picnic van, picking up girls in the city on the way. Great for team spirit.

 

In 1934/35, the VWAAA introduced a third grade (C grade) into the  competition; our club competing in B Grade  The club had its most successful year to-date.

 

The club had an excellent team of athletes comprising  Amy Bremer,   Pearl Currie,  Doris Smith,  Marjorie Campbell, J. Alexander, Gladys Taylor, Edna Griffin, Olga Pritchard and Mrs Kit Harney.       

Mrs Harney was over 40 years of age and must surely have been the oldest woman competing in the competition. She was the clubs first competing veteran athlete and competed in the sprints. The 880yd walkers were Mavis Dixon and Doris Smith. Mary O'Rourke competed in the javelin, discus and shot put while  Marjorie Campbell competed in the high jump. Conditions for competing at this track were difficult as the 220yds start was obscured from the finish and spectators had to wait until the runners rounded the bend before they could see who was in front.

 

By the last round of interclub the B Grade team was second and in the semi final defeated VRI (Victorian Railways Institute). The club faced the undefeated Collingwood club in the Grand Final and this was to finish  in sensational manner. Collingwood had gained an early lead but as a result of the relay we were level with just the 220 yard event to be run.

Glenhuntly was favoured as they had the state champion runner; Amy Bremer. However, a sensation occured when Amy broke twice and was disqualified. She was then followed in disqualification by Gladys Taylor, leaving Glenhuntly in  a hopeless position. As the spectators could not see the start they relied on the sound of the gun. On the fifth start the field were underway and it was a shock to the Glenhuntly support group that only one Glenhuntly runner came into view; the veteran Kit Hartney who ran a great race to place second. Collingwood were deserved premiers 42 - 37; after going through the season undefeated.

 

The club was runner-up in B Grade.

 

At the Victorian Championships in 1935,  Amy Bremer was again the clubs outstanding athlete winning the 75 yards, 100 yards and in  the 220 yds championship; setting a new Victorian and Australian record of 25 3/5secs. Amy was selected to defend her Australian 220yds title at the Championships held in Brisbane but was unsuccessful.

 

For the 1935-36 season the club was upgraded to A grade Interclub and gained the services of   Mollie Underwood, E Lee and E. Griffiths. Miss Bremer sought a clearance to the Malvern club but this was refused and supported by the permit committee. Mrs Kit Harney was elected to the Executive of the VWAAA. The club competed with enthusiasm but did not do as well as they had in the previous season.

 

As the Australian Championships were to be held before the State Titles selection trials were held at the Maryibrynong Victory Athletic Track.  Gladys Taylor, Amy Bremer, Mrs Kit Harney and Marjorie Campbell all competed in various trials and handicap events. Amy Bremer was to again earn selection for Victoria in the 100 and 220 yds.

 

At the Australian Championships, Amy Bremer was disqualified in the 100 yds championships when she broke twice. However she competed in the 220yds final and was placed third.

 

The Victorian Championships were held for the last time at Maryibrynong in February 1936.  Marjorie Campbell was placed 4th in the 90yds hurdles and Amy Bremer   successfully retained her 75 yds, 100yds, and 220yds titles, all of which were wind assisted and records were disallowed.

 

The Victorian Relay Championships were held at Oakleigh on eight hour day. The club was without the services of Amy Bremer who was ill.  The team was placed fourth. However, the winner of the race, Melbourne, was disqualified so the team of Marjorie Campbell, E Griffiths, Mollie Underwood and Gladys Taylor were placed third. The Melbourne team was disqualified for running out of their lanes but appealed as they claimed a parade of horses prior to competition had obliterated the markings. Their appeal was not upheld.

 

Club Champion for the season was Marjorie Campbell with 55 points, with Gladys Taylor 50 points and Mollie  Underwood 37 points.

 

At the end of the 1935-36 season the club fielded a baseball team in the Victorian Woman’s Baseball Associations competition. Athletes who gained praise were Nancy Clements, Ethal Parker and Mary O'Rourke, although the team failed to win a game during the season..

 

Mrs Flora Hyams, President of the GWAAC was elected President of the VWAAA and led the Association on a new venture.

 

During the 1936 -37 season, two major events that would improve conditions for women athletes occurred. A deputation met with the State Government to gain assistance in obtaining a ground at Albert Park but this was unsuccessful. Mr Bill Ryan, Miss Bradfield and Miss Phyllis Cantwell then met with the Melbourne City Parks and Garden s Committee. They were heard favourably and eventually the Council set aside an area of ground at Royal Park (Popular Rd) and erected a brick pavilion. This track was to be used as a headquarters for women’s athletics for the next  30 years; a dream had come true.

 

Glenhuntly Women also obtained a home when the Victorian Amateur Turf Club moved an an old jockeys change room to the Glenhuntly Reserve. The club was in a unique position as it now had its own club rooms. This was to remain the home for women athletes until the move to the present day Duncan McKinnon Park in 1976.

 

The club lost the services of Amy Bremer through illness(appendicitis) and she never competed again.  

 

Winnie George and  Nancy Clements were selected in the Australian Cricket Team to tour England during 1937.

 

After its previous year’s success as runner up in B Grade, club found itself competing in A Grade for the 1937/38 year. The club had a strong memebership of 19 competing athletes, VRI had the most with 24, but the loss of Amy Bremer would severely test our depth.

 

Four athletes stood out; Gladys Taylor, Mrs Kit Harney, E Lee, and Mollie Underwood. The latter was showing great promise as a versatile athlete and won the 880 yds walk handicap at Royal Park on the 26th February 1938.

 

However tragedy was to strike and Mollie  Underwood became ill in August that year and her sudden death saddened everybody. Mollie was the Assistant Secretary of the club at that time.

 

The Mollie Underwood Perpetual Memorial Shield was instigated and was contested annually until 1996. Gladys Taylor was the inaugural winner of this event in 1939.

 

The fourth biennial Australian Championships were held at Royal Park andd for the first time the club was not represented in the Victorian Team. No club member was placed in any finals of the Victorian Championships either. Social activities, Crazy Whist nights, Smoke nights. Housey-Housey (Bingo), continued to be a regular event between the GAAC and the GWAAC and a Christmas Dance was jointly held at the Caulfield Recreation Hall.

 

At the Annual General Meeting of the VWAAA in September 1938, Mr Bill Ryan, was awarded Life Membership; the only Male to be bestowed that honour.

 

The years,1938 to 1940, were difficult times for the club and Gladys Taylor who was secretary at that time recalls that club membership was small but the support of the club committee was strong and behind the athletes. In fact, the strength of the Committee probably saved the club from folding.

 

Mrs Flora Hyams was club president and her son Sam Hyams, a sprinter with GAAC, was club coach.

 

For the  1939-40 season the club was relegated to the B grade competition.

 

 

The War Years and Beyond .   1940 – 1949

 

 

 Membership of the Association was not large during this time as the war had started and this contributed to falling numbers. Working for the war effort and other concerns took the focus of women away from sports.

 

The 1940-41 season saw two changes to women’s competition in Victoria.

 

Firstly, starting blocks were introduced. These were large cumbersome wooden things. This innovation was to revolutionise starting and timing, and avoid the need to dig holes to gain a foothold at the start. It also protected tracks for unnecessary damage.

 

Secondly, a Junior competition for girls 16 years and under, was introduced into interclub and the first Victorian Junior Championships were held in 1941. The club did not field a Junior team in the initial interclub seasons but by 1944, as the growth in junior membership occured were able to put together a team.

 

The seniors continued to compete in the B Grade competion but we struggled with numbers, as did most clubs .

   

It was during 1940 that the club appointed its first Life Members with Mrs Pearl Duncan (nee Currie) and Mrs R. Davis (nee Smith) both being founding members  of the Club. These two ladies had done an enormous amount to ensure that the club was on a sound footing off the track. Pearl was our initial club secretary while Doris was assistant secretary, social convenor, and later President of both the club and the VWAAA.

 

Clubs were rostered to run a stall on interclub days with the proceeds going to the "Truck Appeal" as part of the war effort. The club was also rostered to provide afternoon tea, a regular event at interclub, and we also had equipment days. These rosters were the fore runner to club expectations to conduct interclub competitions.

 

In 1943 the club reached the semi - finals of the B Grade interclub competition; and just lost by three points. This was our best effort for a number of years. 

 

Again the club recruited well for the 1943-44 season. Strengthened by these recruits the club finished the season second in B Grade to Eastern Suburbs.  B Grade competitors were Ronnie White, Isabel Nancarrow, Lesley Nutting, and Betty Tomlinson.

 

The club finished fifth in the Junior Grade competition.

 

In the Grand Final the club met Eastern Suburbs and had a convincing win 33 - 21points. This was Glenhuntly’s first Premiership. B Grade.

 

At the Victorian Championships the young Nona Nutting finished second in the Junior 100yds, third in the Long Jump and won the Javelin with a throw of 19.72m; our first Victorian Junior Title Winner.

 

For the 1944-45 season, the senior team was again upgraded to A Grade but found that the competition was very strong. However the juniors did well to finish third. It was at the end of this season that grade records were introduced.

 

Following the end of World War 11, Mr.Royce Foley, of the men’s club, was appointed coach, continuing the precedent set since inception of the men’s club supplying a coach to the women’s club. Again the junior team finished third in the competition whilst the seniors struggled in A Grade. The Club travelled to Ararat and competed in competition conducted by the association.

 

Once again the club was to lose an athlete with a great future. The young Eileen Buckley who had won the 65 yds hurdles at the Victorian Championships was critically injured in an accident. All the strength and courage of this champion went into the greatest fight, that for her life. Eileen survived but never competed again. Roy had predicted her to be a future Australian Champion.

 

The Association membership began to grow and a C Grade was held for the first time since 1934-35. The club fielded a B Grade senior team and a  junior team.

 

Two recruits who were to have an impact were Betty Kennedy, a hurdler, and Gisela Schneider, a field games competitor. Grade records were instigated Nona Nutting was to be the first Glenhuntly athlete to hold a Grade Record; she set a Junior grade javelin record with a throw of  25.20m.

 

Gisela Schneider set a record in the Senior B grade shot put with a put of 9.22m. Both the senior B team and the junior team had very good seasons with the seniors finishing second on the ladder and the juniors on top. In the grand final the senior team defeated their old rivals, Eastern Suburbs, by four points to win their second B Grade premiership.

 

The Junior team had a great tussle, also with Eastern Suburbs, and at the end of the day the points were level. A relay was run to determine the result and Glenhuntly won their First Junior Premiership.

 

A great year for the club in winning a senior and junior premiership.

 

At the Victorian Championships Gisela Schneider won the Shot Put title with a put of 9.72m and was placed second in the Discus This was our first senior championship winner for the decade. 

 

The Nutting family were strongly represented in the club with Lesley the secretary, Mrs(Sylvia) a vice president, Rita was on the social committee and Nona on the club executive.

 

In the meantime Doris Davis was also representing her club . In 1945-46 she was elected to the Executive Committee of the Association and the following year was on the standards Committee that was to make recommendations to the AWAAU.

 

In 1947-48 Doris became Vice President of the Association.

 

The season saw a drop in club membership with Junior membership dropping to only one competitor; Margaret Brown. This was most disappointing after our previous year’s success. Two senior members Lesley Nutting and Joy Hutchinson decided to take up walking to stop walkovers and a champion was discovered. The Club coach Roy Foley asked Gus Theobald of the men’s club to coach Joy Hutchinson.

 

Unfortunately during the State titles Joy was disqualified. However she paid her own way to Sydney to compete in the Australian Championships and became the first Glenhuntly woman to win a walking title when she won the 880 yds Walk in a time of 3 min. 57 secs. 

 

1948-49 was an exciting year for the club. Doris Davis was elected president of the VWAAA, our second member to be so honoured, and May Duncan was Vice President.

 

Mr Roy Foley and Mr Bob Davis were Honorary Coach and Honorary Adviser respectively. Both men  were members of the GAAC men’s Club.  During this year the great dutch athlete Mrs Fanny Blankers-Koen visited Australia. With the assistance of Sir Frank Beaurpaire, the VWAAA hired the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Doris recalls that the risk was so high the association would have been ruined if it had rained. The press build up was tremendous. The field for the 80m hurdles race included our club’s  Betty Kennedy. Mrs Blankers-Koen was placed first and a dead heat was declared between Shirley Strickland and Wilma Collins, Betty Kennedy was placed fifth. The day was a great success with an official crowd of 23,000 people in attendance.

 

In a break from tradition, Mrs Lesley Foley (nee Nutting) was to be the club coach and was to be successful in her first season with a win in the Senior B Grade premiership.

 

This was best summed up in the 1949 annual report when it was reported that for the first time the club coach  appointed from within our own ranks. Much of the success in winning the B Grade pennant was due to the keenness, enthusiasm and hard work devoted to her duties by Mrs Lesley Foley.

 

New grade records were set when Nona Nutting recorded a throw of 28.90m in the B Grade javelin competition and Betty Kennedy won the B grade hurdles in a time of 13.1 sec.

 

The B grade relay team also set a record when the ran 440 yds in a record time of 53.4 sec. 

 

By 1949-50 the club had rebuilt its membership to 28 senior and 14 junior competitors. The Club fielded teams in Senior A, D and X grades and Junior F and G grades. Nona Nutting was appointed assistant coach.

 

The club competed well during the season with Senior D Grade competing in the semi finals and Junior F grade being defeated by VRI in the Semi- final.

 

During the season four grade records were set; Betty Cantlay Shot Put in the seniors and Dorothy Rose  Hurdles and Nola Lacey in the juniors.

 

A number of club handicaps were held during the season, including the Mollie Underwood Memorial won by Maureen Cummin.

 

Monthly dances were held with the GAAC (Men’s club) and the Caulfield Lacrosse Club and two barn dances were held in the GAAC club rooms. Fortnightly card parties and two beach picnics were held as well as a hike from Hurstbridge.

 

Mrs Flora Hyams, May Duncan and Alice Smith (mother of Doris) were awarded life membership for their sterling service to the club.

 

The decade finished with the club on the way up. It was in a strong position although still in B Grade.

 

During the 40’s, the club won THREE B Grade Premierships and one Junior premiership in  summer interclub.

 

There was no winter competition in cross country..

 

At the Australian Championships we had one title to Joy Hutchinson  in the 880 yards Walk.

 

In the Victorian Championships we had one title to Gisela Schneider in the Shot Put in 1947  9.73m and in the juniors to Eileen Buckley in the 65 yards hurdles and to Nona Nutting in the javelin with  29.09m a Victorian junior record.

 

 

 

 Towards the Olympics and Premierships 1950 - 1959

 

This decade was to prove to be a highly successful one for the club and one where we were to establish ourselves as one of the powerhouse clubs in the summer interclub competition. There was still no winter competition. Glenhuntly began to develop a very strong sprint team that soon created new records at club and state level in both seniors and juniors. A small number of athletes contested the 1950-51 season and they competed well. Betty Cantlay was rapidly improving and set  D grade records in the shot put and discus and later she set an A grade record with a shot put of 10.68m.

 

Senior D grade reached the finals but were defeated by VRI 37-24 and Junior F Grade lost their semi final by 1 point. Our A Grade team did not fair so well and were relegated to B Grade.

 

At the Victorian Championship Betty Cantlay gave another outstanding performance when she won the Shot Put title with a put of     11.13m. This was an Australian residential Record and a Victorian Record.

 

New Zealand athletes visited Melbourne and the club had three representatives in Betty Cantlay, Isabella Nancarrow, and Dorothy Rose compete against them.

 

The following season saw a drop in membership with just 11 senior competitors and 4 juniors. Nevertheless, the club fielded three teams; Senior B and D Grades and Junior F Grade. Senior B grade finished third during the season and D grade and F Grade finished 8th and 6th respectively.

 

The club again appointed a representative of the GAAC men’s clubto coach the girls. Mr Ray Baty was coach and Mr Bob Davis continued as honarary advisor. 

 

The VWAAA passed the responsibility of medical checkups to the clubs and the club decided to pay half the Doctors fee.

 

At the Victorian titles, Betty Cantlay retained her Shot Put title and  Dorothy Rose  won the 80 metres hurdles championship in a time of 12.4 sec.

 

At the Australian Championships held in Melbourne Betty Cantlay was placed second in the shot put with a put of 10.61m but  Dorothy Rose was not placed in the 80 metres hurdles.

 

Not long after these championships, the club was to mourn the loss of Betty Cantlay when she was critically injured when the bus she was travelling in was involved in a fatal collision with a train at  the Boronia Railway Crossing. Betty died shortly after the crash.

 

The Betty Cantlay Memorial Shield is named after this outstanding young athlete. At the time of her death, Betty held the Australian and Victorian record for the Shot Put. Betty was true example of the club’s principles and ideals. Her willingness to assist both on and off the field were an inspiration to her fellow members.

 

At this time the Eastern Suburbs club sought to move Mrs Doris Davis for life membership of the VWAAA. Unfortunately, as a member delegate had left the meeting a quorum was not available to vote on the matter and it lapsed. Amazingly this peculiar incident was not rectified until the confirmation of Mrs Davis’ life membership in 1979; 25 years later.

 

For the 1952-53 season the club recruited two young athletes; Wendy Hayes and Cynthia Williams and they were to make their presence felt in the next few years. The new club coach was Mr.Don Carr; again a men’s club member who had recently returned from England. Don had worked with Mr Franz Stampfl and was to bring new techniques to training; and a new method of relay baton changing.

 

The club started to set relay records with Junior F Grade twice breaking the Victorian Junior record for the 300 yd relay with a time of 35.3sec. The team was   Cynthia Williams, M.Bailey, B. Ryan, and Wendy Hayes.

 

The club won the Junior F Grade Premiership when they defeated Frankston. Junior H Grade gained valuable experience and Senior B Grade were defeated by VRI in the semi finals.

 

In the Victorian Championships the crack junior relay won the 4 x 75 yds relay in a time of 36.3sec. The team was  Wendy Hayes, Elizabeth Ryan, Margaret Bailey and Cynthia Williams.

 

Cynthia Williams was the outstanding athlete of the season winning the junior long jump with 4.82m and placing in the 75 yards and 100 yards.

 

The coach, Mr Don Carr introduced winter training in June 1953 and this was well attended. This year was the club’s silver jubilee.

 

The Club won the Junior E Grade premiership by defeating their old rival Eastern Suburbs. The Senior B grade team lost by 2 points in the grand final to Malvern.

 

Annette Allan set a Victorian Junior high jump record and B grade junior record when she leapt 1.47m and Wendy Hayes set a Victorian Junior 75 yards record when she ran 9.0 sec and over the 65 yds hurdles she set a new record of 9.1 sec. Wendy won both the 75 yds title and the 65 yds hurdles championship in the Junior events in this season. At the end of the season the club was awarded the Mabel Moad shield for the highest points gained in the junior competition.

 

The club had come a long way in its 25 years.

 

A recommendation from the Executive Committee to the Annual Meeting of the GWAAC was:- In appreciation of his 25 years of service to the club as co-founder, Honorary Coach and Honorary Adviser Mr R L (Bob) Davis be made a Life Member of the club.

 

An interesting sidelight to this season was that in the Victorian Country Womens Championships a Miss Margaret Huggins of Maffra finished second in the 100 yards title. Yes, this is our very own Margaret Dunbar.

 

For the 1954-55 season the club fielded four teams after membership increased to 50; 25 seniors and 25 juniors.. A new member of the club, a young mother in Mrs Nancy Boyle, was causing surprises and at the end of the season the club won the Senior D Grade premiership going through the season undefeated.  Junior H grade defeated Box Hill by 12 points. Our A Grade team was eliminated in the semi finals by Eastern Suburbs.

 

At the Victorian Championships Victorian records were set when the team of Mrs Nancy Boyle,  Wendy Lewin. Wendy Hayes and Cynthia.Williams won the 300 yds relay title in 33.6. This team also captured the 440 yds relay title.

 

In the individual events Wendy Hayes won the 100 yds championship and was placed in the 75 yds and 100 metres title.

 

A young middle distance runner  Brenda Jones was emerging and set a Victorian Residential record in the 880 yds of 2:19.4 sec when she was placed second to the Australian Champion Miss J Brown from South Australia. The Junior high jump title and the 65 yds title was taken by Annette Allen. She was also placed second in the senior high jump championship. 

 

The senior team compiled 25 points during the year and won the Phyllis Cantwell Shield for most points at the championships while the juniors were runners up for the Mabel Moad Shield..

 

The 1955/56 season saw the women once again move competition grounds; this time they competed on a small ground at Melbourne University. The club had a membership of 51; 27 juniors, 16 seniors and eight non competing members. Mrs Lesley Foley took over the presidency from a retiring Doris Davis who had led the club for the past eight years and Mrs May Duncan entered her 25th and final year as club treasurer. The club owed these two ladies an enormous amount of gratitude for their time and effort in ensuring the club remained on strong ground.

 

The season was to prove the most successful the club was ever to experience. The club entered four teams in the competition; and won four premierships.

 

Notably, this was led by our senior A Grade women who, for the first time in our history, they won the A Grade premiership; defeating VRI 33 points to 29. The other teams to win were:

Senior C  over Eastern Suburbs       36 - 25

    Junior E over Coburg                      30 - 13

Junior C over Mentone                    29 - 13

 

During the season six Victorian records were set by our athletes:

 

880yds     Brenda Jones            2.11.6 sec.

220yds    Nancy Boyle               24.6 sec

100yds    Nancy Boyle                10.8 sec

75 yds      Nancy Boyle                  8.4 sec

100m           Nancy Boyle                    11.7 sec

4 x 75yds relay                                    33.6sec

(Mrs Boyle,  Wendy Hayes, Wendy Lewin and Annette Allen)

 

A Grade records were set by Mrs Nancy Boyle 220 yards in 25.0 sec and Annette Allen in the high jump with 1.57m.

 

During the season Nancy Boyle, in her second year of competition, set a Victorian residential record in the 220 yards with the best time of 24.6 seconds.

 

Two junior athletes set Victorian and Australian records respectively.  They were Judith Lewis in the 100 yds 11.4 seconds and Wendy Hayes, who set an Australian record of 10.9 seconds over the same distance.  At the Victorian Championships Nancy Boyle turned in another amazing performance when she successfully took four titles; the 75 yards, 100 yards, the 100 metres and 220 yards.

 

Brenda Jones recorded an Australian and Victorian record when she won the Victorian 880 yards title in 2.11.6 seconds. The club's crack relay teams won both the senior and junior titles.  At the end of the season not only had the club won the four premierships that they were entered in but they retained the Phyllis Cantwell shield. The juniors won the Mabel Mode shield for the club with the most points during the championship with the total of 16 1/2 points.

 

Nancy Boyle was awarded the Sir Frank Beaurepaire trophy for the outstanding athlete of the season.

 

Wendy Hayes won the Lady Connelly trophy for the athlete with the highest aggregate without a title.

 

Wendy Hayes became the second club athlete to win an Australian title when she ran a classic race to defeat the great Western Australian champion Shirley Strickland and Marlene Matthews from New South Wales in 10.9 seconds.  At the end of the championships, Nancy Boyle, Wendy Hayes and Wendy Lewin were included in the squad to take part in the Australian Olympic trials. Only two Victorian women were selected in the Games team.

 

Once again the club was to lose a promising junior athlete when Leonie Price collapsed and died.    

 

The club completed what had been a quite amazing year.

 

1956/57 was what all at the club were waiting for. The Olympic Year in our own town. It was to prove to be another big year for the club.

 

During the winter of 1956 a Cross country competition was introduced and conducted in conjunction with several runs by the VAAA for the first time since 1932.  Championships were not held.

 

The club had another outstanding year on the track after a late start caused by the holding of the Olympic Games in November.

 

Senior A Grade convincingly won the premiership when they defeated Melbourne 41 - 19 while our other three teams  reached the semi-finals but suffered defeats. During the year many grade records were broken.  The A grade relay team set numerous records in both the 4x100 yards and the 4x75 yards. At the Victorian championships, Wendy Hayes, Nancy Boyle and Wendy Lewin made a clean sweep of the following events. 75 yards. 100 yards and 100 metres.  They filled all placings. 


 

Brenda Jones was an outstanding athlete and set an Australian and Victorian record of 2.15 seconds in the 880 yards and Annette Allan won the senior high jump with Carole Lang second.  At the end of the championships the club retained the Phyllis Cantwell Shield.  Wendy Lewin was awarded the Lady Connolly trophy for the highest aggregate without a title. These results were fantastic and the club was beginning to set itself as the yardstick for the competition.

 

But Nancy Boyle was not finished with the season.

 

Nancy Boyle was selected to compete in the Victorian team for the R H North trophy which was held in Sydney.  She competed in the 440 yards, a little contested event as it was not on the interclub programme, In what was a fantastic effort,

 

Nancy became the first Glenhuntly athlete to set a world record when she ran the 440 yards in 56.3 seconds.

 

The GWAAC took the initiative to move in the VWAA Council that an 880 yards event be proposed to be included in the Empire Games in Cardiff. No doubt this was in response to the outstanding performances of our own Brenda Jones, who was breaking records for this event.

 

In 1957 Cross country runs were again held in conjunction with VAAA.  Distances ranged from one to two miles and five races were held. A Melbourne to Chelsea road relay was held.  Brenda Jones recorded the fastest times over these events. 

 

The club again had four teams in the summer interclub competition and during the season they set seven grade records over various distances.  The highlight of the season however, was the club relay teams which were the best in Victoria. A crack Victorian team of Misses Wendy Lewin. A Fury, M Middlemiss and Wendy Hayes set a new Victorian record with a time of 32.6 seconds only to see a powerful Glenhuntly team of Nancy Boyle, Jenny Waller, Judy Lewis and Wendy Hayes break that record with a time of 32.3 seconds and win the Victorian title.  A the conclusion of the season, Glenhuntly again won the A Grade title when they defeated VRI 68 to 44. This was their third successive title. Junior E Grade defeated Box Hill 26 to 15.

 

Glenhuntly athletes won ten titles at the Victorian championships as well as several placings.  Wendy Hayes won the 75 yards and 80 metres hurdles titles.  Nancy Boyle won the 100 metres and the 22 yards titles.  Brenda Jones also won two titles when she won the 440 yards and 880 yards championships.  Annette Allan continued on a winning streak and won the high jump title.  Glenhuntly was place first and third in the 4 x 75 yds relay and first in the 4 x 100 yards relay and they always carried the green baton in these events. 

 

The young junior athlete, Maureen O'Dea won the 65 yards hurdle championship.  The club retained the Phyllis Cantwell shield and Wendy Hayes won the Sir Frank Beaurepaire trophy for the outstanding athlete of the season. 

 

Four club athletes competed at the Australian championships and Brenda Jones turned in an outstanding performance to win the 440 yards and 880 yards titles.  Wendy Hayes was placed third in the 100 yards and the 80 metres hurdles.  It was announced at the conclusion of the championships that Wendy Hayes had been selected to compete at the Empire Games in Cardiff, Wales, and was to be the first Glenhuntly athlete selected for international representation. 

 

At the 1958  EMPIRE GAMES  in the 80 metres hurdles Wendy Hayes finished fifth in the final in a time of 11.2 seconds; an outstanding performance by our first international representative. She also competed in the relay team that was placed second at the Games.  The team comprised   Betty Cuthbert, K Johnson, Wendy Hayes and Marlene Matthews.  Wendy received a silver medal.

 

Inter Club in the 1958/59 season saw the club enter five teams for the season ( 2 senior and 3 junior) and this was held on two grounds in Royal Park West.  Annette Allen set an A Grade record of 1.62m breaking a twenty two year record previously held by Doris Carter, the first Victorian to compete internationally; at the Berlin Olympic Games in 1936. 

 

The club won two premierships. Senior A, its fourth, and Junior E grade.  With positions in our teams keenly sought, the club instigated a system whereby a challenge may take place by an athlete not selected in a team on an evening suitable to both parties. A further challenge was not permitted for four weeks. At the Victorian titles Nancy Boyle again proved a formidable athlete when she captured the 100 yards, the 100 metres and the 220 yard championships.  Brenda Jones continued on her winning way, winning both the 440 yards and 880 yards titles.  In the field events Annette Allen retained her high jump title whilst Glenhuntly won both the senior relay events.  Dawn McMahon won the junior 75 yards and the 100 yards titles.  The club again won both the Phyllis Cantwell and the Mabel Mode shield.

 

Carole Lang tied for the Lady Connelly Trophy and Carol Nunn won the Mabel Robinson Trophy.

 

Brenda Jones continued to dominate the distance events and set an Australian/New South Wales record for the 880 yards in a winning time of 2.10.9 seconds and a Victorian record for the 1 mile in 5min 10.4sec.

 

The 1959 cross country saw  Brenda Jones have an outstanding season and she scored twenty four points. Margot Spain competed in the Junior section and was place second overall with a tally of twenty three points. There were eight events.

 

Interclub competition for the 1959/60 season was held on two grounds and during the year, Brenda Jones was elected captain,  and held her form and set an A grade record of 57.5 seconds for the 440 yards. This event had only recently been added to the interclub programme.

 

We lost the services of Wendy Hayes who transferred to the University club.  Lois Jackson transferred into the club. Lois was a field games exponent (Discus) and had represented Australia at the Melbourne Olympics.

 

The club met Eastern suburbs in the final of the Senior premiership and won for their fifth successive premiership; 58-47.

 

At the Victorian championships the VWAAA divided competition into three sections-senior, junior (16-18 years) and sub-junior (under 16 years).

 

The club relay teams won the 4x75 yards and 4x110 yards titles. Annette Allen was the most successful field athlete when she won the high jump and was placed in the Pentathlon.  Brenda Jones took the middle distance double in winning the 440 yards and the 880 yards titles.  Maureen O'Dea won the junior 80 metres hurdles and Joan Beckett won the sub-junior 65 yards hurdles title.

 

At the Australian Championships Brenda Jones was placed second in the 880 yards championships and 5th in the 440 yards, and at the conclusion of the meet it was announced that Brenda had been selected to represent Australia at the Rome Olympic Games. Needless to say the club was very proud. 

 

Brenda was the first, and only Victorian girl chosen, for Olympic selection and she was selected for the 880 metres run. She was the first Glenhuntly athlete to compete in and be placed in the Olympic Games. Brenda was placed second ( OLYMPIC SILVER MEDAL) in the 800 metres final with the Russian runner Ludmilla Shevtsova defeating Brenda by inches.

 

Brenda Jones

We leave the 1950’s after an incredible performance by the club. Much of what was achieved occured through strong club leadership from the committee down and by a significant effort from our club coach. Mr Don Carr. It is not coincidental that this great era of club performance occured during the time of his tenure. Don’s record speaks for itself.

 

 

            What was achieved in the 50s ?

 

A world record           Nancy Boyle

 

An Olympian            Brenda Jones      SILVER

 

Empire Games           Wendy Hayes     SILVER

 

Australian Records   Seven

 

Australian Titles       Three

 

Victorian Titles         Sixty ( 51 placings)

 

A Grade Premierships         Five in succession

 

Total Premierships               Nine, including junior.

 

 


 

The Growth of Cross Country .           1960 - 1969

 

 

The club fielded five teams in inter club competition and for the first time since 1952 - 53 we did not gain a premiership. Athletes to return outstanding performances during the season were Joan Beckett who ran 10.9 sec. which was an Australian Junior record.

 

Unfortunately, this record was disallowed as three watches did not record the time.

 

Other sub junior and Junior athletes to stand out were Carol Nunn Junior 75 yds champion, Joan Beckett Junior 80 metres hurdles and Rhonda Woods Sub Junior discus champion. The club also won the senior 4 x75 and 4 x 110 yds relay championship.

 

Brenda Jones was selected in the Victorian team for the first Australian Cross Country Championships in Brisbane in September 1960 but unfortunately had to withdraw due to a leg injury. The team had to pay their own expenses to Brisbane.

 

We entered the 1961/62 season with news that a Road Walking competition was to be introduced into the winter competition and Lynette Jenkins represented the club in this discipline

 

Cross Country events were continuing to be held and for the first time there would be a Victorian Cross Country Championships.

 

Brenda Jones and Margo Spain competed in these titles with Brenda winning in a time of 9 mins 28 sec and Margo being placed fifth.

 

Brenda became the first title holder for Cross Country in Victoria. Interestingly, an invitational 880 yards was held and was won by our Kathy Sams; a future champion. Brenda also competed at the second Australian titles, held in NSW, and was placed second over a distance of 1 1/2 miles.

 

Several metropolitan clubs adopted country clubs to assist them and to arrange return visits. Our club adopted the Warragul club in Gippsland and club coach Don Carr along with Brenda Jones, Carol Nunn and Dawn McMahon visited Warragul to assist with coaching.

 

Inter - club competition was to be held for the last time at Royal Park (Poplar Road) and this would be replaced by Royal Park West ground.

 

The VWAAA dropped semi finals and finals with premiers being decided on a points and percentage system.. This move was unpopular with many athletes and clubs. The club was placed 1st in Senior C grade and second in Senior A grade; our two junior teams finished seventh.

 

Brenda Jones set an Australian record for the mile when she ran a time of 5 min 04sec and a new Victorian 880 yards record with 2:10.8.

 

At the Victorian Championships Brenda Jones won both the 440 and 880 yds titles. Joan Beckett won the junior 80 metre hurdles and Rhonda Woods the sub junior discus. Elizabeth Webster was placed second in the long jump and pentathlon while Maureen O’Dea third in the 80m hurdles. A special 75 yards race was held for 12 year old girls and this was won by our Janet Woodward.

 

Brenda Jones competed in the Australian Championships for a second place in 880 yards and 4th in the 440 yards. Maureen O’Dea and Mrs Nancy Boyle also competed as individuals.

At the conclusion of thse championships  Brenda Jones was selected in the Perth Empire Games squad; one of six Victorians selected.

 

In what was to prove a forerunner to Junior Australian championships, a junior interstate match was held in Brisbane and Joan Beckett was selected and competed in the 80 metre hurdles, finishing fourth.

 

Raffles and street stalls were held to raise funds to assist our athletes with the costs to championships interstate. All athletes had to pay their own costs.

 

Brenda Jones felt the wrath of the VWAAA in January 1962 when she incurred a three month suspension for wearing her Olympic top at a special meeting. She was asked to wear her club uniform, which she did not have with her, or to wear the top inside out. She refused. Brenda left soon after on a tour of England.

 

In the winter of 1962 the Club was well represented at cross country events by Margo Spain and Kathleen Sams. At the Victorian titles Kathy who had been the most consistent runner during the season was placed first over the 1 1/2 mile championship. Margo Spain ran very well to finish third. Kathy went on to win the Australian 1 1/2 miles championship in 9.28.8 sec. In what appeared to be a selection bungle, Margo was not selected despite her second overall placings during the season. In a special one mile race held during these titles Margo was placed second.

 

Elizabeth Webster, Maureen O’Dea, Carol Nunn and Kathleen Sams were added to the Victorian Squad for the Empire Games trials.

 

Inter - club was held at Royal Park West (now a hockey ground). Its facilities were excellent for the athletes, pavillion and dressing rooms, but it only had seven lanes. The club entered five teams in the competition Senior A, C and E and Junior B and C.  Nine grade records were broken.  In the Seniors Daisy King (Long Jump), and in the juniors Sue Flett (75yds) Maree Dawson (Shot Put) M Hill (High Jump), J Harkness (75 yds and 100yds).  At the conclusion of the inter-club season the club won two Junior premierships. Junior B and C Grade.

 

Twenty two members travelled to Strathmerton and were billitted on farms. It was a highlight of the season.

 

The 1963-64 season started well for the club when Brenda Jones won the Australian Cross Country Championship in Brisbane. Brenda won the title in an excellent time of 8min 08.4 sec. Kathy Sams finished 9th. Brenda finished third in the Victorian titles and Kathy 5th.

 

The Club continued to be represented in the Road Walking competition by Lynette Jenkins and Marion Parkinson.

 

Five teams were entered in Inter Club competition and although the club didn't win a premiership, the standard of competition was high. The 100 yards was replaced by 100 metres in the interclub programme. Minor premierships for clubs not competing in the semi finals/finals were held with the club winning Senior E grade. At the Victorian championships Elizabeth Webster won the Pentathlon title with a points score of 3764 points and was second in the Long jump. Brenda Jones was third in the 880 yards. Two junior athletes were placed in their events Rhonda Woods discus, and Marie Dawson shot put, while Pam Scott was placed second in the sub junior long jump title. The Club won the open 4 x 75 yds relay title. The team was Carol Nunn, Daisy King, Elizabeth Webster, and Sue Flett.

 

The club held a club handicap day where 19 events were held on a hot day, in a picnic atmosphere, at the Caulfield racecourse.

The highlight of the season was again the trip to Strathmerton where 11 athletes attended and won the teams aggregate.

 

The club held numerous social functions but two stand out. In a joint venture between GAAC and GWAAC, a cabaret ball was held, and a picnic to Mornington, travelling by a hired picnic van, was held. Both were huge successes. Daisy King was the Social secretatary and did a great job.

 

A WEDDING.  Coach Don Carr and his pupil Brenda Jones were married in May 1964 and they moved to England where Don was posted with the Immigration Department.. Their contribution to the club had been outstanding.  Don had an outstanding record as club coach and Brenda had reached the pinnacle of sport when she represented her country with great success; the Silver medal at the Rome Olympics is testament to that.

 

1964-65  During the Cross Country season Margo Spain won the Harrison Jones Yacht Handicap that  was run over a distance of two miles. This handicap was instigated and presented by Harrison Jones, Brenda’s father, who presented the trophy to the VWAAA.

 

In a break from tradition a new coach was appointed from outside the ranks of the GAAC and the GWAAC. Mr Hugh Mason a former Decathlon Champion was appointed but resigned before the end of the season.

 

The Club entered 5 Senior teams and three junior teams in the new interclub season. The Club won the Senior H Grade premiership title in what was an unusual season.

 

The VWAAA changed the points scoring system and most inter club days were held in 1964 with the last day being held 5 weeks later. Interest in competition dropped. Since 1930, the scoring system had been based on club versus club. That is, in sprints three club representatives would race against three representatives of another club. This created a team spirit. For the 1964/65 season there were only going to be 6 clubs in each grade and there would be 3 sections in each grade. Points were scored each week and carried forward and the teams with most points at the end of the season were finalists.

 

Elizabeth Webster broke the B Grade long jump with a leap of 18'10" (m) and Karen Hawkins set a Junior H Grade record with a throw of 25.75m. Best on record grade performances were set by Annette Wood 150yds 18.3. Daisy King 220 yds 27.9, Discus Annette Wood  22.76m, Shot Put Jenny McLennon   9.23m, Raylene Parke High Jump 1.55m and 4 x 110 yds relay 53.3 sec. All these performances were recorded in Senior H Grade. Jenny McLennon set a best on record performance in the javelin with a throw of 25.82m. At the Victorian titles Elizabeth Webster won the senior long jump and pentathlon titles and the team of Daisy King, Jenny Mc Lennon, Elizabeth Webster, and Pam Scott won the 4 x 75yds relay. Junior athletes Marie Dawson and Marcia Mills won the junior shot and long jump titles respectively.

 

The club continued to be represented in cross country and road walking events and athletes  deeply felt the loss of the great Geelong athlete Joan Beretta who was drowned in a sculling accident on the Geelong River. Joan and Brenda Jones had many great runs in the Cross country and track seasons and Joan was always willing to help a young athlete.

 

At the 1st Victorian Road Walking Championships the club was well represented. Carol Bryce finished second but was disqualified, Marion Parkinson finished third with Lyn Jenkins fourth with Stephanie Redman fifth.

 

Inter club competition took the same format as the previous season. The club entered four senior teams and three junior teams,, but the season was a disappointing one.

 

Raylene Park set a new grade record in Senior G Grade with a jump of 1.57m and junior athletes Karen Hawkins and twins Elizabeth and Heather Murray set records in Junior A and G Grade.

 

At the Victorian Championships Daisy King set a 1 mile record of 5 mins 26.1 sec.  Brenda Jones had set an Australian record of 5 mins 4.0sec at Williamstown in 1958. There was no provision in the VWAAA constitution at that time for the time to be recognised as a Victorian record.

 

At the Annual General Meeting Brenda and Don Carr were appointed Life Members of the club for their outstanding service.

 

During the 1960s the club conducted its club handicaps on a Sunday with about 20 events all being held on the one day; an exhausting day given many were held on very hot days. The club continued to attend meetings at Strathmerton and Horsham.

 

In 1966 the Club appointed a member of the the men’s club Mr Keith Lyons as club coach.

 

The graded system of inter-club was dropped and club v club competition was reintroduced. Glenhuntly reached the semi finals of  Senior G and C grade. An unofficial Australian record was set by Rose Hart, Brenda Carr and Daisy King when they competed in a  3 x 880 yds relay. The record was not allowed because it was claimed that the meeting at Dolamore oval, Mentone, had insufficient registered officials.

 

Social activities were always well attended with a smorgasboard dinner attracting 100 guests.

 

Mrs Betty Tainton (nee Owens) was awarded Life Membership at the clubs Annual general Meeting.

 

In 1967 the Club was represented in cross country events by Margo Spain, Rose Hart and Margaret Maddick.

 

Due to the expansion of the VWAAA, the Club competed at the Sandringham Athletic Track for the interclub season. Apparently, many members were not happy with this decision to move from Royal Park, however members quickly settled into the change and appreciated the shorter distance to travel.

 

Four Senior teams and four junior teams competed. D Grade reached the finals but lost to Sandringham. At the Victorian Championships Brenda Carr (Jones) won the 1500 and 800 metres titles. Brenda went on to take the Australian 1500 metres title in a Australian and South Australian record of  4 mins. 33 sec.

 

The King family was well represented in the club by Mrs King, Daisy, and twins Jonnie and Vicki who often caused officials some confusion as the were so alike. The question was asked that if they ever swapped places in events only their mum could tell. Daisy King was selected to represent Victoria in the New Zealand challenge match where she finished fourth int he 880 yards.

 

Brenda Carr (Jones) had returned from England and pushed for the introduction of Road Relays to winter competition. As Cross country secretary Brenda introduced a 3 * 1500m road relay but the Glenhuntly senior team was scratched. A Junior team finished fourth (Margaret Maddick, and the King twins Joni and Vicki) A sub junior team covered a 3 * 880 yards and third place went to (Anne Sheelard, Sandra Jesson and Janet Reid).

 

Brenda Carr (Jones) won the  Victorian 3000 metres cross country championship in a time of 11 min 28 sec. Margaret Maddick finished third in the Junior 1500 meters title.

 

Brenda was appointed manageress of the Victorian Cross Country team and went on to win the open 3000 metres championship and in doing so won the Joan Beretta Memorial Shield.

 

The club field two senior teams and five junior teams At the end of the season they won Junior F Grade and went on to become inter-ground premiers when they defeated Bentleigh Mc Kinnon 63 -50.

 

The team of   Rosanne Gallichan, Patricia O'Dowd, Sandra Jesson and Susan Wilson set an  F Grade  record in the 4 x 100 metres relay when they ran 53.7 sec. During the season Brenda Carr (Jones) continued to show great consistency when she set a Victorian 1500 metres record in 4 mins 35.6 sec. At the Victorian titles Brenda won the 1500 metres title.

 

The 1969 cross country season was a successful one for the club with Brenda Carr (Jones) winning the 3000 metres title and the senior team of Brenda Carr, Daisy King and Margaret Maddick winning the 3 x 1500 metres Road Relay Championships; our first cross country team success.

 

Senior D Grade competed with success by winning the premiership at the Sandringham ground. Junior membership began to increase but the seniors struggled. Two grade records were set by juniors Evelyn Vanderaa in the B grade long jump with a leap of 17'9" and Sonia Vandera set a Junior D Grade hurdle record of 11.1 sec. At the Victorian titles Brenda Carr (Jones) won the 1500 metres event, and Sub Junior Maxine Trezise won the high jump title.

 

Carol Bryce   and Daisy Irwin (King) were appointed Life Members of the Club.

Towards our own Track     1970 – 1979

 

 

 The 1970 winter season saw Justine Wister win the Harrison Jones Trophy at the Cross Country events.

 

A new inter-club system was introduced with competitors being graded on ability. The best placing the Club could manage with this points scoring system was fifth in Junior D Grade. Points were scored on the International Amateur athletic Federation Scoring Table for track and field events and were allotted on ability. Maxine Trezise won the Junior High Jump at the Victorian Championships.


1971 saw another Ground Change. The VWAAA decide to move all clubs back to the beautiful Royal Park Ground which had warm up areas. These were used for competition. In competition, grades were dropped and athletes graded on their ability. Both sides of the sprint track were used for sprint events and discus, shot, long jump, and high jump were held outside the main athletic track. Grade records were dropped. At the Victorian Championship Maxine Trezise won the Sub Junior High Jump. Dot Neal was appointed a Life Member of the club.


The club competed in the three sections of cross country races in 1972. The VWAAA stayed with the principle of the grading system previously introduced but divided clubs into two sections, with Glenhuntly competing in section 2. The club finished 7th in their section. Maxine Trezise was in outstanding form. This junior athlete won the Senior High Jump Championships and was placed second in four other events. At the AGM Mrs Lyn Varley (nee Jenkins) was appointed a Life Member.

 

1973-74 Interclub was on the move again with competition being held at the all weather track at Aberfeldie. Transport in the form of a picnic van was provided by the Club. The Club finished 13th with a points total of 6095. At the Victorian Championships Maxine Trezise again showed a great deal of promise when she set a best on record in the Junior Pentathlon with a score of 3123 points. Maxine also won the Junior Long Jump and was placed in three other events. At the Australian Championships she gained two placings.

 

1974 was to be an interesting season with the Club competing in Cross country with (Sue Fraser being selected in the Victorian Team) and Road Relays, Road Walking and Netball with the team of Debbie Johnson, Elizabeth Dunbar, Tracey Osborne, Ann Sharp and Kathy Foley winning a netball premiership.

 

Mrs Elsie Scott represented the Club at the Glenhuntly Park Trust and Margaret Dunbar and Dot Neal served on the Duncan Mc Kinnon Ground Planning Committee. The Club competed at Aberfeldie with the format of Inter Club being the same as the previous year. Mr. Keith Lyons was Coach and Maxine Trezise was Club Captain. Mrs Lesley Foley was publicity officer and obtained excellent coverage for the Club.

 

At the end of the Victorian Championships the Club was awarded the Standard Newspaper Shield for overall placings in the Championships with three firsts, three seconds and seven thirds.

Maxine Trezise and Rosalie Mahoney were selected to compete at the Australian Championships. To cover the cost of the Picnic Van used to take athletes to Aberfeldie the Club had a very active social club which was jointly convened by Mrs Beryl King and Mrs Isabell Trezise.

 

The Cross Country season  in 1975 was a most successful one with the Club winning the Lillian Neville Trophy for the Cross Country Teams aggregate. The club had been strengthened by the return of Brenda Carr (Jones). Brenda was placed first at the Championships and Sue Fraser second. The Road Relay Championships were held at Essendon Airport and the team of Brenda Carr, Sue Fraser and Rosalie Mahoney won the 3 x 3000 metres title in 32mins 15sec. Brenda and Sue competed at the Australian Championships and finished sixth and fifth respectively. Both Club members were in the winning Road Relay team which won the championship in 30min 37sec.

 

The Club competed at the Aberfeldie ground in  Interclub and finished 16th out of 22 clubs.

 

Two club members Bronwen Bullivant and Dianne Huxley competed at the Victorian Championships with Dianne later competing at the Australian titles. In March 1976 the club received correspondence from Caulfield City Council granting co tenancy subject to a fee to the GWAAC at the Duncan Mc Kinnon Reserve  This letter was however followed by another  which  made it clear that women could only compete in competition at the ground if joint mens and women’s competition was held. As the VWAAA was still holding separate competition and the Club had to abide by their Constitution this offer couldn't be taken up and indeed sounded as though the Caulfield Council didn't really understand how the two Associations were operating at that time.

The official opening of Duncan McKinnon reserve took place on the  10th April 1976.

 

1976-77 During the Cross Country season the club was represented by Dianne Huxley, Rosalie Mahoney, and Chris Aarsman. This team combined to take third place in the Road Relay Championships, and Dianne was a member of the winning Victorian Road Relay team that won the Australian Championships. Once again the Club travelled to Aberfeldie to compete and finished 13th out of 22 clubs. The season was one that was not notable on the track, with Maxine Trezise being the only Club member to gain a placing at the Victorian titles.

 

A change in attitude in 1977 with some Cross country runs being held at the same venue as the members of the VAAA. At last inter club was held at Duncan Mc Kinnon and members of the VWAAA and the VAAA were able to compete at the same grounds. Three interclub grounds were used they were Duncan Mc Kinnon Reserve, Aberfeldie, and Doncaster with two days of interclub being held at Olympic Park on the 12th November and the 3rd of December The Club finished eighth out of thirteen clubs.

 

Mr Bill Ryan passed away in  December 1977. He was co-founder of the club and had made a remarkable contribution to women’s sport I had the opportunity to talk with Mr Ryan prior to his death and found that he had the most remarkable manner and memory of the early days of competition and the struggles involved in women’s sport. He was indeed a gentleman who had great vision and had put the case for joint competition in the early days, but this had been rejected by the men of the day,

 

At the Clubs AGM in 1978 Mrs Elsie Scott was made a Life Member of the Club.

 

Our first Master’s (Veteran) Champions were Mrs Lesley Foley who won the discus , shot and javelin, in her age group and Mrs Margaret Dunbar who won the 100 metres and 200 metres in her age group.

 

  The Club held its Fiftieth Annual General Meeting at the Duncan Mc Kinnon Reserve on the 20th April 1979.

 

The Club fielded  a well balanced team in the winter competition with the club finishing third in the senior points competition while the juniors were fourth. Once again the Inter club season saw competition based on the Pentathlon points system and at the end of the season the club finished in 9th place with a total of 7083 points.

 

The most outstanding club athlete in this season was Heather Jarvis who won the Sub Junior Pentathlon title. Meanwhile at the Veteran Championships Margaret Dunbar and Lesley Foley both won  seven events between them.

           

The World Veteran Championship were held at Hanover Germany in 1979 with Lesley Foley, and her sister Nona Tullett (nee Nutting) and Dot Goodwin (nee Rose) competing with success.

 

Margaret Dunbar was Cross Country Secretary. At the Australian Championships New member Lyn  Williams won the open 4000 metres title then joined her Victorian team mates to win the Road Relay Championships. Lyn also won the first Australian 10000 metres run in the time of 35.17.8 and was a member of the winning team in this event.

Ann Lord Ringwood leads Lynne Williams at Olympic Park.


 

After forty-seven years of relative stability for both the VWAAA and Glenhuntly Women’s Amateur Athletic Club, 1976 heralded an era of change.

 

There was great excitment when the club moved to a new club room and training facility  in a state of the art complex comprising a modern building and an all- weather track at the Duncan MacKinnon Park on the corner of North  and Murrumbeena Roads in  Murrumbeena.   This complex had been developed by the Caulfield City Council and was to be shared between GWAAC, Glenhuntly Amateur Athletic Club and Caulfield Little Athletics Centre.   It was opened with due pomp ceremony on April 10th, 1976.

 

However the excitment of this move was edged with a tinge of sadness when the club had to move from the old wooden building at Caulfield Racecourse, which the club had moved into in 1936.   In its previous life this shed had been a jockeys’ changing room.  GWAAC paid a token rent for this building  which served as a changing room, a meeting room and a place where we could display our trophies, pennants and photos,  and with it the Club was autonomous and for many it was a place of memories and happy experiences.

 

The Club was  lucky to have the services of Mr Keith Lyons as coach from 1966. He exhibited enthusiasm,provided encouragement and displayed infinite patience for many aspiring athletes.

 

GWAAC continued to field a Netball team in a local  winter competition during the seventies.  This was finally abandoned when it became too difficult to find team members who did not have other commitments.

 

Another significant change occurred when the 1977-78 season saw the introduction of combined Interclub.   There were three venues at which women’s clubs competed for the track and field season, one of which was the Glenhuntly venue, at Duncan MacKinnon Park.  GWAAC moved to that venue with fifteen other women’s clubs.  Not only were the club members able to train on this magnificent track but after spending years travelling  considerable distances to compete they we now able to do so at their own ground.

 

During the 1970’s GWAAC had strong Cross Country teams and in 1978  one of its members Dianne Chettle (Huxley) was appointed competing manager of the Australian Cross Country team which competed in New Zealand.

 

In 1979 both  GWAAC and the VWAAA celebrated their fiftieth anniversaries.  The club held a most successful Dinner Dance at which Sir Edgar Tanner, husband of its patroness and prominent member of the  Australian Olympic Federation, proposed the toast to the club.  GWAAC was delighted that among the special guests who were able to attend were Mrs Bill Ryan, the wife of the founder of the club, and Mr Bob (R L ) Davis, a co-founder and his wife, Mrs Doris Davis,  who was one of the original members of the club, both Mr and Mrs Davis were still active supporters. 

 Other features of the anniversary celebrations were a barbeque and an extensive club history produced by Dot Neal.  Many former members attended these social functions  and caught up with old friends and teammates some of whom they had not seen for many years.

 

Coinciding with the anniversary in 1979-80 was our highest club membership in our history.

 

At our Own Ground: Duncan MacKinnon Reserve 1980 - 1989


 

The Club began this decade in a strong position and with a growing membership; about 100 members    including over 50 juniors.  There were 37 new members who joined in 1980. Our strength was shown when we won the Venue Premiership narrowly from Dandenong and Frankston Clubs, a fine team effort. The coach Mr Keith Lyons identified the season as our best for over a decade. Apart from the Venue Premiership, members won four state titles and the juniors won the 4*100m Relay and 4*400m Relays.

 

Fun Runs had become popular with runners during the 1970s and our girls proved no exception, with many participating in runs such as The Big M, Exacto Team Trot, the Caulfield Fun Run, Super Run, Doxa Fun Run to name just a few. These benefited our winter season as well, with nine mebers forming our Cross Country teams. Lynne Williams was outstanding with a win in the Victorian 10000m Championship and third in the Australian title.  We also had a fine effort in the Cross Country Relays with a second placing.

 

The growth of the Masters (Veterans) movement during the 1970s also saw two of our members Margaret Dunbar and Lesley Foley travel to Christchurch NZ to compete in the World Masters Games.

 

In 1981, while still a junior, Michelle Baumgartner was selected in the Australian team to compete in the Pacific Conference Games in New Zealand.  She won a gold medal for the 400 metres, and was a member of the winning 4x400 m relay team.

 

On March 29th, 1982 after fifty-three years as separate entities, the VWAAA amalgamated with the VAAA to form the Victorian Athletic Association.  The name was later changed to its present title of Athletics Victoria. The administration of athletics was placed under a new board of five men and five women with supporting sub-committees. We also saw the era of Open Athletics begin where professional and amateur groups were permitted to race together.

 

The Club again did very well in the Venue Premiership; this time just going down to Sandringham.

 

In 1982 Debbie Flintoff joined GWAAC, after a number of years as an honorary member.   She won the Australian 400 m hurdles title in Australian record time, 56.43 secs, an Australian Record, and in the Commonwealth Games that year she won the 400m Hurdles and was in the silver medal relay team. Unfortunately, Michelle Baumgartner struggled with injury during the season. It was also terrific to see one of our regular officials Lorraine Morgan be selected to officiate in the Discus at the Brisbane Commonwealth Games.

 

Social activities were an important part of our club with fashion parades, Film Nights, and Bar BQs, and a Snowball drive all proving popular.

 

Cross Country teams were difficult to attract as many of the girls played winter netball, basketball, and hockey.

 

The Masters (Veterans) movement was gaining in strength and club members Margaret Dunbar, Lesley Foley, Daisy Irwin, Karen Wise and Shirley Kelly all competed with success in the Victorian and Australian Championships.

 

By 1984, membership had dropped to about 65 but we still managed to be runners up to the strong Sandringham team. The team had prepared well with a visit to Stawell to compete pre-season but injuries were our downfall at seasons end. It was also good that the number of girls who competed cross country this winter and we were able to field a couple of teams at some of the events. We had U16, U20, and Open teams on occasions. Our best result was by our U16 team of Ebony Gilbert, Emma Yeomans, Jenny Shepherdson and Kara Gilbert who finished fourth at the road relays and cross country relays.

 

In the 1984 Victorian Relay Championships Michelle Baumgartner, Debbie Flintoff, Nicki Webb, Chris Sharp and Di Groves won the 4x100m relay, the 4x200 m relay (in Victorian record time) and the 4x400 m relay.  The following year Debbie Flintoff, Nicki Webb, Chris Sharp, Lindley Longstaff and Jeannie Gray won the 4x100m relay (equalling the Victorian record), the 4x200m relay (in Victorian and Australian record time) and the 4x400 m relay.  They still hold the Victorian 4x200m relay record of 1.37.3 mins.

 

In 1984 Debbie Flintoff was selected to compete in the 400m hurdles at the Olympics Games in Los Angeles; making the final and finishing sixth. A great performance.

 

Our relay teams in 1985 had outstanding seasons with the team of Debbie Flintoff, Nicki Webb, Chris Sharp, Lindley Longstaff and Jeannie Gray eclipsing the opposition in 4 * 100m, 4 * 200m and 4*400m Relays all successful. They set an Australian and Victorian record in the 4 * 200m, while the 4 * 100m equalled the Victorian Record. Our U16 teams of  Emma Yeomans, Sue McIntosh, Kara Gilbert, Kim Fisher, Eleanor Gaymer, and Amanda Apple won silver in the 4 *300m and 4 *400m. Warren Fisher was Club Coach. 

 

Debbie Flintoff continued her run of successes with wins at the Australian and Victorian titles and broke Raelene Boyles Victorian 400m record as well as the Commonwealth 400m Hurdles record. Chris Sharp was another to win in Long Jump at the Victorian titles. It was very encouraging to see a large number of junior competitors contest the Victorian Championships, with Sue McIntosh successful in the 90m and 300m hurdles; breaking existing records.

 

Membership remained at mid 60s with just 13 new members in 1986. We again finished second at the venue finals and seventh at the inter-venue association final. Debbie Flintoff was selected for the Commonwealth Games where she won both the 400 metres and the 400 m Hurdles, in which she set a Commonwealth, Australian and Victorian record; 54.94 sec. and also won a bronze medal for the relay.  Prior to the Games she toured Europe, running in Oslo (beating World Record holder), and London. As a result of the Victorian Championships she won the Sir Frank Beaurepaire Trophy as the VAA number one athlete for the 1985-6 season.  She also won the Kitty McEwan Award from Vicsport, an  Advance Australia Award and was granted an Order of Australia Medal in the Australia Day Honours in 1987. A magnificent achievement. She received a Laurel Wreath number 1 for the 1986/87 season.Also in the limelight was club official Lorraine Morgan who was selected as Assistant Manager with the Australian Team  to the World Junior Games in Athens.

 

The Club won the Phyllis Cantwell Shield for the club which gained the most points in the 1986 Victorian Championships. We again had a large number of seniors and juniors in these championships and had success with our relay teams as well; four silver and two bronze medals. In addition to Debbie Flintoff and Chris Sharp breaking club records a number of juniors broke records; Kara  Gilbert 800m, Ebony Gilbert 1500m, and Lee Naylor 400m. Our winter cross country teams gained more depth this season with juniors competing and Margaret Dunbar acting as team manager and Lynne Williams achieving bronze medal placings in 6km and 8km.

 

During this period of time even the name of the club changed.  With compulsory club incorporation in 1986 the word amateur was dropped from the name as it had been from that of the VAA. This branding later became Athletics Victoria. Our Club became Glenhuntly Women’s Athletic Club.

 

The Club was extremely fortunate to have a hard core of working officials who ensured that it ran smoothly, and the needs of the club, its members, and our commitments to the Duncan Mackinnon Reserve, interclub, and the Association were always met. Margaret Dunbar was forefront in much of what went on at the Club, but we were also very well served by Eileen Watt, Pam Noden, Elsie Scott, Isabelle Tresize, and many others.

 

Junior numbers soared at the Club and the standard of performance grew as well, as evidenced by the 40 Club Records broken; predominantly by the junior athletes. Denise Passmore broke seven records (Shot, Javelin and Hammer), Ebony and Kara Gilbert also snared 7 records between them, and 14 year old set a Triple Jump record in all age groups including Open Age. Isabelle De Neefe, a former Olympian with her native country, set a club discus record. We again showed out in the State relay championships with six medals, including two Gold. Margaret Dunbar, Bernadette McGrath and Isabelle De Neeffe all gained Gold medals at the Victorian Veterans Championships. Peter McGrath and Fran MacNeil took on much of the administrative work of the Club and did a great job. Margaret also provided her expertise in the technical equipment area and ensured that all was ready for interclub each week.

 

The 1987 Cross Country saw a big increase in participation by our athletes with most rounds of competition seeing the Hunters represented in junior events. We even managed to field relay teams at Sandown and Westerfolds Park. In the summer interclub we were venue premiers. The Club continued to have many youngsters compete in Schools events and there were Club Records bettered in fourteen events. The relays again showed our strength with seven teams and GOLD in Open 4 * 100m (Chris Sharp, Debbie Flintoff-King, Lindley Longstaff, and Sue McIntosh).

 

The World Veteran Championships came to Melbourne  in November 1987 and we had a number of members participate. Former Club Champion Wendy Ey (Hayes) won Gold in 80m Hurdles and two bronze as well. Margaret Dunbar, Judy Griffin (nee Lewis), and Isabelle De Neefe  all competed. Bernadette McGrath, Lyn Scarff, both earning BRONZE in their age group events.

 

At the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Debbie Flintoff-King won GOLD 400 m Hurdles in an Olympic record time of 53.17 secs.

   

For the 1989-90 season Chris Sharp wore the registration number one as a result of winning three gold medals at the previous season’s championships; 100m,200m, and Long Jump. She also won the Sir Frank Beaurepaire Trophy for the most outstanding female athlete at the Victorian championships. Sonia Crabtree was awarded the Doris Davis Trophy for the under 20/under 18 athlete who earned the highest aggregate without winning a title and Glenhuntly again won the Phyllis Cantwell Shield for the highest aggregate points earned by a club in the open championships.

 

The end of the decade saw our outstanding athlete, Debbie Flintoff-King, contest the 1990 Commonwealth Games where she came second in the 400m Hurdles and again that year won the Kitty McEwan Award.

 

The athletes mentioned above are just a few of the many who have competed for the club in both Cross Country and Track and Field.  The girls have competed in all sections of the competition with vary degrees of success.  A number have won medals at Victorian and Australian Championships and several Club members have competed in the Veterans’ Victorian, Australian and World championships.  The Club is justifiably proud of all its past and present members and the contributions they have made to the club and to athletics in general.

What a great decade for our Club.

 

Towards Amalgamation with GAAC 1990 - 1995


 

With each season of the 1990s, the club won venue premierships during the Track and Field season. 1989-90 and 1990-91 the club won the B grade premiership, 1991-92 the Under 16 premiership and 1992-93, 1993-94, 1994-95 the Under 18 premiership. Although membership was low at 35 competing members, the club was well administered and supported by a dedicated band of officials; namely, Marie Alabaster, Wyn Donald, Marg Dunbar, Judy Griffin, Lorraine Morgan, Pam Noden, Isabelle Trezise, Eileen Watt, Bernadette McGrath, and Rona Ellerton.

 

1990 was a great year for Club Captain Chris Sharp when she won the Sir Frank Beaupaire Trophy (Most outstanding female athlete) as well as the Emily Crocket Award for the 100m champion. Sonia Crabtree took out the Doris Davis trophy for the Junior non-title aggreagate. Denise Passmore took out a number of Australian and Victorian titles in Hammer throw, Discus and Shot Put. Keith Lyons continued as coach. Debbie Flintoff-King was again successful internationally when took silver at the Commonwealth Games in Auckland.

 

The winter season saw the club contest all fixtures and with a few new juniors competing; Men’s Club members daughters in Louise and Joanne Cook and Deanne Hutton. Our team of Ebony Gilbert, Juanita Kidd and Kerry Milne did well at the Sandown Relays earning a bronze medal in U20. Juanita Kidd was runner up in the Athletics Victoria U20 champion award.

 

In the summer we finished runner up in B Grade at the Association Finals, after winning the Venue Premiership at Duncan Mackinnon Reserve. Denise Passmore travelled overseas with the Australian All Schools team to Belgium and was elected Team Captain by her team mates.. The Club was again well represented at the State Relay Championships with six teams; our best result being U18 4 * 800m with the team of Simone Braakhuis, Susannah Yalden, Caroline Grundy, and Andrea Braakhuis.

 

The State titles were again well patronised by members with Debbie Flintoff-King again winning the 400m Hurdles and Denise Passmore gaining  Gold in U20 and Open Hammer throw. Chris Sharp gained silver medals in Long jump and 200m. In veteran titles Margaret Dunbar, Julie Braakhuis, Lydia Widera won many medals; with Lydia Widera in 65+ age group breaking the World Record in Hammer Throw and Australian Record in Discus. Jan Davies 45+ broke the Australian Record in Hammer Throw.

 

In 1992 our U16 interclub team won the Venue Premiership and finished third in the Association Final.  The Open B team finished second at our venue and did not contest the Association Final. Some members were keen to gain top A Grade competition and competed on occasions by invitation, but it was the view of the Club that we should earn the right to compete in A Grade, and not become part of a combine team to compete.

 

Denise Passmore, Club Captain, continued to perform excellently throughout the season and she won won Victorian titles in Hammer, Shot and discus , setting new U20 and Open records as well as finishing with Silver in U20 Hammer and Shot and Bronze in Open Hammer. Our veteran athletes snared a lot of Gold at the Victorian veterans titles with Margaret Dunbar breaking the Victorian Record in Pentathlon, and Shot Put in 55+ age group. Lydia Widera won five Gold Medals at the Australian titles for 65+ in Shot Put, Hammer, Discus, Javelin and Long Jump.

 

The U18 team continued to win at our venue and we finished third in the Association Premiership behind Doncaster and Ringwood.

1994-1995 was to prove the final season the Club operated as the GWAC (women’s only) club. Many of the other women’s clubs had amalgamated with their male counterparts and we were one of the last to do so. Membership remained low but we were attracting junior athletes to competition but many did not have a long stay with the club. We again won the Venue Premiership.

 

Throughout its existence GWAC proved to be a club that was prepared to pioneer new events for women, just as  Brenda Jones-Carr had initiated the introduction of the women’s 800 yards prior to the Rome Olympics in 1980, club members have been some of the first competitors in the Hammer Throw, Pole Vault and Discus in Victoria and Australia.

 

Despite the various changes to the Club that have taken place, the Glenhuntly uniform, which has been worn so proudly by so many athletes, has never changed.  While the the style may vary depending on the preference of the athlete it still has a pale blue top with the distinctive navy boomerang across the chest and the bottom half is navy blue.

 

In 1995 both Eileen Watt, who had held a number of positions including Secretary and Selector, and Margaret Dunbar, who has been Cross Country Secretary and is Technical Portfolio Manager, were awarded Life Membership of the Association..  Each of these ladies had  spent many years working as officials.

 

GWAAC has always had volunteers who have been able to fill its quota of officials for both the track and field and cross country seasons.  These loyal people have given freely of their spare time to help out and ensure the smooth running of the competition.  One of these officials, who later became a member of the Athletics Victoria Board, Lorraine Morgan, was an official at the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane and has been the Assistant Manager and Manager of a number of Australian Junior Athletic teams that have travelled overseas. She is to be the Mayor of the Village at the 1994 Junior World Championships to be held in Sydney.

 

Once again there was a great deal of fundraising undertaken to enable the Committee of Management to build an extension on to the pavilion at Duncan Mackinnon Park and in 1993 new club rooms were opened.  This meant that once again there was somewhere that was exclusively ours and where GWAC could display its trophies and pennants.

 

From the inception of the Duncan Mackinnon Park Committee of Management GWAC had taken an integral part in the adminstration and management of the park.  Members had served in key roles on the Committee and as the first voluntary manager of the Canteen.  The bulk of the labour in the Canteen has been provided by the members, family and friends of GWAC .  This Canteen has been a prime source of revenue for the Committee of Management and has enabled it to make numerous improvements to the facility.

 

Unfortunately in 1994 the GWAC Committee reached the conclusion that the club room and the use of the training facility were a luxury that the club could no longer afford especially as many of its competitors trained elsewhere.  The annual rental   was costing approximately $50  per member for that year and was to rise annually, so with regret it was decided to relinquish its tenancy.  The GWAC Committee was grateful to GAC for providing members with associate memberships thus allowing its members to train at the track.

 

In 1994, after a great deal of thought the Committee of Glenhuntly Women’s Athletic Club decided to approach the Glenhuntly Athletic Club to discuss the possibility of the amalgamation of the two clubs.  The discussion proved to be positive and the annual meeting held on the 12th April, 1995 was the Sixty-fifth and last to be held by one of the foundation clubs of the VWAAA and by one of the two remaining exclusively female athletic clubs in Victoria.

 

 

 

 

 

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