Hockey club prepares to celebrate its centenary in style
In its 100th year, the club is largest it has ever been
THE world was still recovering from the Great War, Billy Hughes was coming to the end of his time as Prime Minister, and the population of Melbourne was less than a million people when the Brunswick Hockey Club was formed in 1923.
Now the search is on for old photos, documents and stories for a history to be published later this year to celebrate the club’s centenary.
Officially formed in 1923, Brunswick is one of only two Victorian hockey clubs which continue to exist under their own name since that time.
Club historian Noel Turner says the only other club still playing under its original name from 100 years ago is Melbourne University.
“Brunswick’s centenary reflects the unwavering dedication, commitment and loyalty of its members through often challenging times,” he says.
The club originally played in Parkville outside the zoo then moved to Brunswick at Holbrook Reserve, followed by Wylie Park and is now based on the grounds of Brunswick Secondary College. Coincidentally, the club was formed by the Brunswick Technical School Old Boys Club in 1923 (Brunswick Secondary is on the same site as the old Tech). Two of the club’s founders were Wally McMillan and Val Hutchison.
Get more stories like this delivered to your inbox
The Brunswick Women’s Hockey Club (BWHC) was a separate club and affiliated with the Victorian Ladies Hockey Association (VLHA) from 1913 and continued to play until 1937 before disbanding. Women’s hockey became part of the BHC in 1977 and has continued to be a big part of the club ever since.
For the 2023 centenary, the club is resurrecting the ‘BHC’ crest, which was the first logo to be used on playing shirts from as early as 1929, before it was eventually replaced by an image of a mudlark magpie. In addition, the club has adopted a 100 Year Centenary logo which features a silhouette image of club legend Peter ‘Sludge’ Liversidge based on a 1972 photograph of him in his Victorian senior’s uniform.
A 160 page, full colour BHC history book will be released in May as part of the club’s centenary celebrations. It will capture and provide an historical record of the club’s major achievements and milestones over its 100-year history set out in a decade by decade structure.
Turner says the emphasis throughout is to provide a fact-based account of the ‘Wick’s most significant on and off-field achievements.
“We are still looking for any old photos, documents or stories from past players, particularly those connected through families to the first half century (1920–70),” he says. “Some great old photos and information have already been passed on to the club over the years.”
It is estimated that 3000 members have been associated with the BHC over the century and most were born and bred in Brunswick.
Currently with 500 members, the club is the largest it has been in those 100 years.
A Gala Centenary Dinner is planned for July 22 at Moonee Valley Racecourse.
If you have any old photographs or can contribute to the club history, Noel Turner can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.