History

This resume of the life of the Club is the work of a number of Club members. Articles have been gratefully received from Jack Reid, Rad Grace, Bas Thomson, Jack Tutton and others. It is hoped that its readers will find it both entertaining and informative. I will be interested to hear from any reader who disputes any of the claims made so that corrections can be included when the story of the Club’s second fifty years is related to our sons and grandsons.

Hugh McKechnie Editor.

FORWARD

Prior to the formation of the Old Boys clubs it was traditional for Melburnians to run with St Stephens, Scotch with Hawthorn Harriers and ourselves with Carlton Harriers.

Many old boys won honours as members of the Coburg Harriers back in the early 1920s, such names come to mind as Joe Meese, Bob Hardiman, Harry Neate, Jack Cussen, Jamie San Miguel and Vincent Rorke and the McClelland brothers Tom and Josh.

Then on Tuesday 13th day of March, 1930 the OXAC was formed and we now celebrate the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Club.

In the formation year, the Club organized the first of the Challenge Sports against the College, Carlton Harriers and St Josephs Harriers and entered a team in the State Five Mile Cross Country Championship run from Dowling Forest Race Course, Ballarat.

Of course no club can successfully operate without the loyalty and work of its officials and members and in this field we have been singularly blessed.

If one attempted to list the names of those who built the Club and strengthened its foundations over the past half century (many of them now dead) we would have a major task but these men, still with us must be mentioned. They are Jack Tutton, Bas Thomson and Ken McPhail.

It would be impossible also to list the names of the athletes and their achievements, but forgive me if I name Bill Armstrong who carried on from Inter-Club to the ranks of the Veterans and is still the world record holder in his age group for the 220 yards and triple jump, something I think which is not generally known. 2

The Club I think can justly claim that it has lived up to its objectives. It has maintained a close relationship with the College, and coaching by its members has improved the performance of Xavier’s athletic teams. Our links with our associated Old Boys’ clubs are strong and we hope they will never weaken.

We can say that we have played our part in upholding the traditions and ideals of amateur athletics.

John Cooke

PREFACE

Fifty years of activity is a notable achievement for a social organisation and it proclaims that the purpose and objects of the organisation reaching this milestone have proved to be successful. Undoubtedly the ingredient of enthusiasm to maintain the founders’ plans must be vital so that the project does not fall by the wayside.

The Old Xaverians Amateur Athletic Club is about to reach this milestone and the desire to record the activity of the years is understandable. The years have brought great and minor successes and the future will bring no resting on laurels.

This little history of a minor sector of our social structure has been written by its members, past and present. They are amateurs in history writing as they have been in athletics. I hope their efforts are just as highly successful. What has been written has been done with due responsibility to provide an incentive for the future. Standards in all things such as athletic performance are there to receive improvement.

This history is written to record the past, to set a standard, and to thank our founders for their foresight.

Radcliffe Grace