Westonian’s Coterie Group

 The Formation and History of The Westonian’s

The Westonian’s were established in 1971. In 1996, Jack Smith wrote the History of The Westonian’s and this is reproduced from his work.

The history account is a tribute to all past and present committee and members with the hope that the tradition and objectives of the club will continue to be an integral part of football at West Adelaide.

Dr. John Rogers who was the Club’s Doctor and Committee man agreed to form the Westonians. The first meeting took place at Dr. Roger’s home at West Beach and this meeting was the formation of The Westonians. Dr. Rogers was elected President and a Constitution was drawn up with the approval of the West Adelaide Football Club Committee.

The objectives of the Westonian’s are:

  • To provide Club fundraising.
  • To provide friendship among Club members.
  • To provide business ties with members.

To provide facilities for –

a) Halftime and after match drinks and nibbles.
b) Entertaining visiting clubs.
c) Match day – entrance tickets, car park and reserved grand stand seating.
d) Providing a platform for players to meet members to foster strong associations and fellowships.

The first meetings were held at the Lockleys Hotel and the Agenda for the meetings included a report on the Football Club followed by a discussion with coaches and players. Approximately 30 invited members attended the first meeting.

On match days The Westonians had the use of the area of the Footballers Club – known as Billiard and Games Room now occupied by the General Office. Cooling of drinks was with ice boxes.

The supply of refreshments was prepared by Norm and Greg Hay with the help of wives Val Hay, Maureen Smith and Annette Reynolds.

Norm Hay was instrumental in gaining the services of Frank Davis was the first barman a position he and his sons held for 22 years.

In 1976 the Management of the Club moved their office from under the Grandstand to the Billiard room and The Westonians were moved to an area under the Grandstand at the southern end. The area was not sufficient to cater for the increase of members and The Westonians did not have the full support of the Football and Footballer’s Club committees. The Westonian committee wanted representation on the Football Club and Footballer’s Club committees to have the interest of The Westonians protected. Norm Hay was elected to the Footballer’s Club and Jack Smith to the Football Club. The Westonians commenced the sponsorship of players and the players and partners were guests at Westonian functions.

Fundraising was in full swing. The first West Mission Dinner was organised at the Colonial Restaurant. Wine and Cheese Auctions and social days on the tennis court at Fred Vella’s home. Match day raffles were very successful.

W.D. & H.O. WILLS was a major sponsor. A cricket bat with the autographs of the Australian Cricketers was auctioned.

Committees over the years have kept up the West Mission dinner- formats have changed over the years.

At a meeting of The Westonian committee in 1977, the President, Jack Smith, made a proposal to the members of the committee who were present at the meeting that The Westonians purchase their own Club rooms. Costs were obtained and to make up the difference in cost for the purchase of the transportable building, some Westonian members paid the next year’s subscriptions in advance.

Jack was on the Management committee of the Football Club, and he put the proposal to the committee and it was accepted – without cost to the Football club. Thus The Westonians Lounge was formed.

Thanks must go again to Norm and Greg Hay for all their work.

Fund raising was very successful and this was the time that the raffle “25- 1 “was commenced.

The Westonian’s was the praise and envy of all the League clubs that visited Richmond.

League players and partners and umpires were welcome to The Westonian Lounge. The Football Club requested that The Westonians entertain the Mayor of West Torrens and his guests. It is a pleasure to note that The Westonians were one of the first Clubs to invite Umpires.

The year of 1980 saw the appointment of a member of the Westonian’s to the Federal Government. The Westonian’s honoured Nick Bolkus and made a presentation to him.

Norm Hay commenced the collection of old Medallions. A showcase was donated and fixed to the northern wall of the Footballers Club. (Now in the Westonian’s Rooms).

Norm was granted Life membership, and was also a Foundation member

In the years of 1977-1981, the foundation was laid for The Westonians to be recognised as the Mayor Vice President’s Club of S.A.N.F.L. and this has been carried on by on-going committees.

The year 1981 was the building of additions to the Footballers Club. Tenders were called for and J.T. & M.P. Smith Pty Ltd (Jack Smith} was the successful tenderer. During construction it was proposed that a two story addition be added to the plans. It was suggested that this be The Westonian’s Lounge and the Westonian’s would pay for these extensions to the Club rooms at an approximate cost of $60,000.

It was agreed and with considerable fundraising, payments were made to the Football Club as donations. Hire of The Westonians Lounge would be credited to The Westonian’s account. Furnishings to The Westonian Lounge were made by donations from Westonian members. Sale of the transportable building to be credited to The Westonians.

In 1984 allocated car parking in Kingston Avenue was made available to The Westonians – after some thirteen years. West Mission Dinner was held for the first time in the Claret & Stout Room.

At the AGM of 1985 Mr Reg Henderson was awarded life membership. Reg was a foundation member.

The Westonian’s gave support to country Clubs in our zone both senior and junior and our own junior teams. In 1990 The Westonians commenced a presentation to U/17 and U/19’s. The presentation took place in The Westonian Lounge after home matches, with the players and coaches in attendance.

With the formation of the Gold Pass Club, members were welcomed to the Westonian Lounge after home matches.

Additional fund raising was commenced in the form of a suitcase raffle.

Major alterations were made to the Footballer’s Club premises in 1994 and The Westonians renovated The Westonian Lounge. Members should acknowledge the work of their committee and support all sponsors.

In 1995 a perpetual trophy was awarded to a footballer in memory of past President, Keith Reynolds to the best player who came up through our junior ranks to play league football. The trophy is now on display in The Westonian Lounge.

It is unfortunate that the names of all the formation members are not known.

The Westonians have continued to improve the Westonian Room with a major upgrade, including replacing the air-conditioning and heating, lighting, ceiling replacement and complete repaint.

In 2011 the Board of the club ratified the Westonians as an approved subcommittee of the club under the WAFC by laws. The bylaws are outlined on this website

In 2015, our first premiership year in 32 years, the WAFC re named the medal for the Best and Fairest Medal to the Neil Kerley Medal, the leading goal kicker to the Roger Luders Goal Kicker Award and the Best team man to the Grantley Fielke Award. The Westonian’s proudly sponsored all three awards.

The Westonian’s continue to be the best coterie group with in the SANFL and a list of achievements is outlined below;

Major building extension to the WAFC. The Westonians funded and built the upstairs building which included the Westonians room, toilets, store room, and committee room (now History Group). The extension was funded from the sale of the old transportable hut that served as the Westonians Room and was built by Jack Smiths building company for no profit.

Hall of Fame researched, and built in hallway of club in conjunction with John Pirakis. This included wood work and glass and certificates for Hall of fame members, 200 game players, Magarey Medal Winners, Premiership photographs and other memorabilia.

 

Sponsor annually;

  • The Keith Reynolds Memorial Trophy for best first year player coming through WAFC zone
  • Weekly provide best player awards made to the Under 18 and 16 ($50, $30, $20 -U16 $40, $30 & $20)
  • Present plaque and etched wine glasses for milestone games, (100,150 & 200 games).
  • Neil Kerley Medal, for the League Best and Fairest player,
  • The Roger Luders league leading goal kicker award
  • The Grantley Fielke award for the league best team man
  • Guernsey name sponsor on rear of under 18 and under 16 (2016/2017)

Other projects;

  • Upgraded Westonians room which included new ceiling, bar canopy, new lights, re paint entire room and new Westonians Honour Roll (20K)
  • Funding to replace old score board with Electronic Score Board over 2 years $20,000.00 each year
  • Donated money to the mound bar project upgrade including cement floor polish, painting and building decking area.
  • Reverse cycle air-conditioning for the players change room, meeting room and Property room under the grand stand. (10k)
  • Completely refurbished the male and female toilets adjacent to the Sturt Pea Room at a cost of about $30,000
  • Funded the replacement of the carpet in the Ball room. (Now Billiards)
  • Funded the establishment of a data base for the Past Players
  • Several thousand dollars for new computer equipment to analyse match day games and edit highlights for players and coaches.
  • Upgraded two banks of down lights above the betting area in the bar of the club.
  • Recovered bar stools in main bar of WAFC
  • Installed heavy duty plugs in the Westonians Room to ensure power for catering purpose.
  • Purchase new gym equipment each year Gym.
  • Sponsored the under 18 Honour Board in gymnasium
  • Donated $1000.00 to the dancing troupe over numerous years
  • $2000 donated to the “Grand Stand Fire Appeal” re-build
  • Installed the trophy cabinet on the car park entrance to the club
  • $1000.00 donation to assist establishment of History Group in WAFC
  • Donation to the WAFC Past players and Officials Dinner. (annually)
  • Sponsored half the cost of the hot meat rolls for the players after each home game, with MGM Catering.
  • Sponsor a Bus for the Under 18 trip to the Riverland to play a combined Riverland team each year.
  • 2015 assisted 40 senior players in purchasing warm weather jackets which was embroided with the Westonians Logo on it to acknowledge the donation.
  • Presented James Ezard with Magarey Medal framed jumper on his retirement.
  • 2016 Funded the replacement of all lights in WAFC bar and administration area with power saving/ increased lux lights (6k)
  • Funded coach to ground communication system, used by male and female footballers
  • Funded GPS systems for football program 8k and 2 k towards preseason training apparel.

Written by Graeme Barton

Westonian President

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