Former Broken Hill football players, officials and supporters made up a crowd of 140 at the inaugural Broken Hill Football Reunion in Adelaide.
The Jetty Bar Glenelg played host to the Broken Hill Football Reunion in Adelaide on Sunday October 17, the first of what will be an annual event.
Committee Chairman Mark Corey said the idea was inspired by North and South’s previous annual reunions in Adelaide.
“This year we decided to expand it, have it on the Sunday afternoon at Glenelg because most of the ex-Broken Hillites live west of the city, so we thought that would be more convenient, have it on a Sunday, out of footy season when the weather is a bit nicer,” he said.
“It used to be just Peter Baldwin and myself who’d run the North one, and then we decided to approach Lynchy (John Lynch) and the other lads from the other clubs and basically we’ve just formed a committee and left it up to each bloke to contact their old teammates and that’s how it sort of started.
“We ended up with about 50-something Northies there, 30-odd Southies, 28 Centrals and 23 Westies, something along those lines.”
The committee approached ex-Broken Hillites who own businesses in Adelaide for donations in order to hold a raffle, but with many good items donated they also opted to hold an auction.
“We got a four-hour drinks package and a two-course luncheon package with the Jetty Bar for $75 so we charged everyone $85 and let them know that $10 of what they paid for the day goes towards Broken Hill footy, and you get the chance of winning something in the raffle,” Corey said.
“One thing that we did that was the big fundraiser was the plaques on the picket fence at the Jube,’ he said. “We told everyone they’re worth $130 and auctioned four off. The Central one went for $300, the North one for $275, the South one for $250 and the West one for $200, so we raised a good amount of money there.
“In addition, $10 from each of the 140 tickets sold went towards Broken Hill Football, “We ended up raising, when you add the $1,400 from the 140 that came and then we raised another $3,100 in the auction so we’re going to be able to give Hoffy (Andrew Schmidt, AFL BH Chairman) $4,500.”
Corey said the committee wanted to give back to the sporting organisation that gave so much to them.
“We’ll leave it up to them,” he said.
“We just said put it towards junior footy or even give each of the four clubs $1,125, it’s up to the league and what they want to do with it.
“Most of the blokes at the reunion played footy or supported the clubs and we got a fair bit out of Broken Hill footy so thought why not put something back.”
There were many highlights of the day, but the best moment according to Corey was when 12 McLeod’s pasties, courtesy of Schinella’s, went for $220 in the auction equating to over $18 each.
“Former local and ex-Central lad, Glenn Miller was the lucky bidder,” he said.
Another highlight was an interview with former West player and Chairman of the Broken Hill Football League, Alan Pollard ‘Curly’.
“He’s 90 years of age, you kind of had to keep him in tow because he’s got a million stories,” Corey said.
One story which saw the crowd enthralled, was when he met the man that inspired the song Up There Cazaly, Roy Cazaly, a star footballer of the 1920s.
“Well Curly, when he was 15 was living in Tasmania… he was playing footy there and this bloke came over to him and his mate at Newtown Oval and watched them having a kick, gave them a bit of advice on how to hold the ball etc,” said Corey.
“They had to get off the oval because this guy was the coach of Newtown and the grounds keeper came up to them after and said ‘You lads know who that was?’ and they said ‘No’ and he said ‘That was Roy Cazaly’ and they said ‘Who’s he?’”
‘Curly’ was also part of two significant games in local history, he shared the stories of when he played in the first ever football game played in Broken Hill on grass at the Alma Oval, in Round 1 in 1949.
“The first grass Grand Final played at the Jube was not until 1954, so they played for five years the Grand Final on dirt at the Jube and they could have played it on beautiful grass out the Alma. So Curly also played in that ’54 Grand Final, West won that one and they also won the ’49 Grand Final… So he played in both,” said Corey.
MC, John Lynch was joined behind the microphone by other guest speakers in Rob Chapman (Former Chairman of the Adelaide Crows), Wayne Walker (Former Central and North player and coach), Visko Sulicich (Former Central player and coach) and Andrew Schapel (Former South BH and West Adelaide player).
Corey said they’re going to make it a yearly event.
“We’ll stay at the Jetty bar next year and it’ll be first in best dressed. It’s the first one as a genuine Broken Hill Reunion and it is going to be an annual event.
“Everyone had a great time catching up, there was a lot of guys very inebriated by the end of the day, of all ages.”