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MCC 175th Anniversary Gala - November 15, 2013

Did You Know

As we countdown 175 days until the MCC's 175th birthday on November 15, we'll be posting a daily club/membership fact - from the quirky to the significant!

We hope you enjoy!

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1. The area currently known as the Long Room was once known as the “Members’ Lounge”. The area was renamed the “Long Room” in 1958.

2. Honorary Life membership recognises outstanding service to the club. Including visiting royalty, only 82 MCC members have been honoured. Only six of those are alive today. View a list of Life members

3. Along with cricket, today's MCC is an umbrella organisation for hundreds of participants in community sport through 12 other sports: Baseball, bowls, croquet, football, golf, hockey, lacrosse, real tennis, target shooting, squash, tennis and netball. Find out more about them here

4. The longest-running annual club function is the XXIX Club Annual Dinner, held each year since the group's inception in 1956 and featuring a who's who of cricket. Find out more about the MCC XXIX Club

5. MCC player Hugh Trumble is the only bowler to take two hat-tricks in Ashes Tests. Members not keen on cricket may still recognise his name - the Hugh Trumble Cafe has been a popular haunt for many in the Members Reserve since it opened in 2005.

6. Australian public interest in baseball started in 1885 with the arrival of the US man-of-war Enterprise. The officers of this vessel challenged the MCC to a series of games, which were the first ever played on the MCG. The 18 officers all became honorary MCC members.

7. Females were admitted to the Members Pavilion for the first time on July 2, 1983 and able to become MCC members from April 1, 1984. In 2009, the club held a function to mark the 25-year membership milestone of that first group of elected female members.

8. In 1879, MCC laid asphalt tennis courts at the MCG, the first club courts in Victoria. MCC was principal organiser of tennis in the colony and staged the first Australasian Championships (now the Australian Open) at the Albert Ground in 1905.

9. In 2001, this statue was installed near the Members Reserve entrance to the MCG to commemorate a football match played in Yarra Park in 1858 by Melbourne Grammar and Scotch College, Australia’s oldest continuing football rivalry.

10. A memorial service was held at the ground on February 1, 1936 following the death of King George V, an Honorary MCC member since 1881. A week later, 3900 members of the armed services honoured the King in a “dignified but colourful” parade on the ground.

11. The earliest known pedestrian (running) race on the present MCG site was conducted between MCC member H. Ryder and Mr. Were. It was a steeplechase and included a water jump.

12. In 1841, Frederick Powlett was elected MCC president – the first office bearer of the club.

13. The MCC has an agreement with the AFL that guarantees the AFL Grand Final at the MCG until at least 2037.

14. Sir Donald Bradman once applied, and was unsuccessful, for the role of MCC secretary (now CEO). Vern Ransford was the successful applicant.

15. The longest-serving president in MCC history is Sir Leo Cussen, who presided for 26 years (1907-1933).

16. In 1876, the “best skittles facility in the colonies” was constructed under the new reversible grandstand.

17. The record crowd for a VFL/AFL home and away match is 99,256 at the MCG in 1958 (Melbourne v Collingwood)

18. Three of the 26 MCC presidents - William McClelland, Albert Chadwick and Donald Cordner - have played VFL/AFL football.

19. More than 35,000 people attended MCG Open Week from September 28 to October 4, 2003 - a chance to farewell the Members Pavilion and Australian Gallery of Sport and Olympic Museum before demolition later that month.

20. When Victorian Premier and MCG trustee John Cain switched on the newly installed arena lighting on December 3, 1984 cricket was played under lights at the MCG for the first time. Members of the MCC First XI provided the entertainment.

21. In 1956, the MCG was the main arena for the Olympic Games. MCC members voted away their privileges for the duration of the Games in exchange for advance access to ticket sales.

22. The MCC has produced 41 Australian Test cricketers, more than any other Victorian club.

23. On March 8, 1879 the Melbourne Cricket Club held a farewell dinner for Lord Harris and the English Gentlemen Cricketers at the Victoria Club. The MCC has retained a copy of the original menu.

24. A first-class cricket match between D.G. Bradman’s XI and K.E. Rigg’s XI was held to commemorate the centenary of the MCC in 1938. Referred to in the press as “Australia v The Rest”, the match ran from December 9 to 13 and was a draw.

25. There have been 18 grandstands erected at the MCG since the first Members Pavilion of 1854.

26. At its meeting on July 3 the Committee proposes to elect to Full membership existing Restricted members nominated on the waiting list from July 1, 1989 to December 31, 1989 inclusive. Waiting list candidates nominated from November 1, 1995 to March 31, 1996 inclusive will be offered Restricted or Restricted Junior membership.

27. In 1968, the Western (Ponsford) Stand was completed, including two squash courts. The MCC Squash Section was formed.

28. In 1900, the first lawn bowls Championship of Australia was staged at the MCG in November.

29. Of the 26 MCC presidents, only two (Hans Ebeling and Paul Sheahan) played Test cricket for Australia.

30. The Australian Gallery of Sport was opened on November 22, 1986 - the 30th anniversary of the Opening Ceremony of the XVI Olympic Games.

31. Since Ben Wardill became the club's second paid secretary in 1879, only six people have held the role in 134 years: Ben Wardill (1879-1911), Hugh Trumble (1911-1938), Vern Ransford (1939-1957), Ian Johnson (1957-1983), Dr John Lill (1983-2000) and Stephen Gough (2000 to now).

32. The MCC's heritage collection was founded on September 6, 1873 with donation to the MCC Library of 10 years of “The Australasian”.

33. Bill Ponsford worked for the MCC as office manager for 37 years - he joined on April Fool's Day, 1932 and retired on Friday June 13, 1969. Two rather strange days for a superstitious sportsman.

34. The Melbourne Cricket Club has strong ties with a number of other clubs and organizations within Australian and abroad. For example,  MCC Members can enjoy the benefits of the club's reciprocal arrangement with both the Victoria Racing Club and Etihad Stadium, as well as Marylebone Cricket Club (Lord's)and the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club.

35. The first Mitsubishi Diamond Vision electronic scoreboard was unveiled in 1982. The 1907 scoreboard was relocated to Manuka Oval, Canberra.

36. On April 1, 2009 the Melbourne Football Club once again became a Sporting Section of the MCC, after almost 30 years apart.

37. The MCG is declared smoke-free venue for the 1999 football season.

38. On February 17, 2006 the completion of the $434 million MCG northern stand redevelopment project was commemorated with the unveiling of a set of plaques by Governor John Landy and Premier Steve Bracks.

39. The MCC had three playing fields before it moved to Yarra Park: Open land near the corner of William and La Trobe Streets, adjacent to Batman's Hill near where Southern Cross Station is now and a site on the south side of the Yarra River, opposite King St.

40. The MCG was granted Australia's highest heritage honour - inclusion on the National Heritage List - in 2005 in recognition of its outstanding significance to the nation.

41. In 1982, a new wicket area was laid with a grid of electric cables below, the first Test pitches to boast an underground heating system to stimulate grass growth.

42. The Long Room displays a collection of cricket bats from cricketers and matches relating to the MCG and other grounds, some dating back 130 years.

43. The oldest book in the MCC Library collection is “A Dictionarie of the French and English Tongues”. It was published in 1611 and authored by Randle Cotgrave. The dictionary contains the earliest known printed reference to cricket.

44. The MCG’s longest-serving grandstand, the 1928 Members Pavilion, was demolished in January 2004.

45. The 2012/13 cricket season marked the first time in the MCC’s 175-year history that it has fielded women's cricket teams, with two MCC teams competing in the Victorian Women's Cricket Association elite competition for the first time.

46. The MCC provides a reserved seating area and the John Landy Room, both on Level 2, for the exclusive use of MCC members of 50 or more years standing. The number of 50-year members now totals 2700.

47. Thousands of people viewed the famous Ashes Urn in our MCC Museum in January 2007 as part of a rare trip to Australia for the Marylebone Cricket Club Travelex Ashes Exhibition.

48. A two-table billiard salon was opened on the first floor of the Second Pavilion in 1881.

49. In 1980, the MCC committee conceived the idea of establishing a publicly owned sports museum at the MCG.

50. The term ‘Melbourne Cricket Ground’ was first used in 1846.

51. An Aboriginal team under Tom Wills played against an MCC team on the MCG before 11,000 spectators on December 26-27, 1866.

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52. In 1846, the MCC moved to a site on the south bank of the Yarra, between the river and present-day South Melbourne (from Walker Street east across Queensbridge Street). To enable occupation of this land, MCC forms as a 12 month per year permanent club. (Previously had suspended operations over the winter months.)

53. The first rules of the Melbourne Cricket Club were published in 1846 (first rules of “new” re-structured club).

54. In 1851, the MCC played the first inter-colonial match under the name ‘Port Phillip’ against Van Diemen's Land in February at Launceston. This was the first ‘first-class’ cricket match in Australia.

55. On March 29-30, 1852 the first inter-colonial cricket match ever played in Victoria, between Port Phillip and Van Diemen's Land, was sponsored by the MCC at the South Melbourne site.

56. On September 23, 1853 permissive occupancy of the present site of the MCG in the ‘Police Paddock’ was granted to the Melbourne Cricket Club by Lt-Governor CJ La Trobe.

57. The first cricket match on the current MCG was played between the members on September 30, 1854.

58. Then MCC secretary Thomas W Wills wrote a letter to “Bell's Life in Victoria” on July 10, 1858 arguing the need for a game to keep cricketers fit during winter. Seen as the inspiration for the development of Australian Football.

59. In 1859, MCC members WJ Hammersley, JB Thompson and TH Smith, along with a former MCC Secretary TW Wills, draw up the inaugural rules of the Melbourne Football Club. The first game was played under these rules on the Melbourne Football ground in the parkland adjoining the northern side of the MCG.

60. In 1865 the MCC established a bowling green at the ground “for the recreation of its members”. However, it wasn’t until 1894 when the MCC took over the Richmond Bowling Club (est. 1868) that the Bowls Section was formed.

61. In 1876 the MCC built the ‘reversible’ stand at the northern end of the ground – the first major stand, a grandstand for the public.

62. In 1841, the MCC published the Laws of Cricket (first publication).

63. Commencing on March 15, 1877 the first ‘Test’ match between Australia and England was played at the MCG (The term ‘Test’ did not become common until 1894.)

64. In 1878, Curtis Reid, the first paid MCC Secretary, was appointed.

65. In 1884 the reversible stand was burnt to the ground, and replaced by a stand known as The Grandstand. It survived until demolished for the construction of the Northern/Olympic Stand in 1954.

66. In 1888, the MCC Baseball Section was formed.

67. In 1890, the MCC assumed control over the Melbourne Football Club. The number of MCC Full members was 2000.

68. In 1896, the MCC Lacrosse Section was formed.

69. In 1900 the MCC Rifle Club was formed.

70. In 1900, the Championship of Australia Bowls Tournament was inaugurated by MCC.

71. In 1917, the MCC Patriotic Carnival was held over a period of 11 days, including the sale of “The Blackham Ball”, the ball souvenired by Australian wicket keeper JM Blackham at the end of the famous Ashes Test match at the Kennington Oval in 1882.

72. In 1928, MCC President Sir Leo Cussen laid the foundation stone of the new Members' Pavilion (the Third Pavilion stood until 2003).

73. The Third Test from January 1st-7th 1937 draws a world record aggregate crowd of 350,534.

74. In 1957, the MCC offices were moved from Collins Street to Jolimont Terrace.

75. In 1961, the MCC Hockey Section was formed.

76. In 1973, the MCC Administrative offices move to MCG.

77. In 1977, the MCC staged the Centenary Test match, celebrating 100 years since Australia first played England in 1877.

78. In 1848, the MCC was granted permission by C J La Trobe, Superintendent of the Port Phillip District of NSW, to fence the club’s reserve. This became the first Melbourne Cricket Ground.

79. In 1988, the MCC celebrated its 150th anniversary with a dinner staged on the MCG and an open house over the anniversary weekend.

80. The MCG was granted Australia's highest heritage honour - inclusion on the National Heritage List - in 2005 in recognition of its outstanding significance to the nation.

81. On February 25, 1928 MCC president Sir Leo Cussen laid the foundation stone for the third Members Pavilion. The Pavilion was opened for the Victoria v England match in November that year and stood for 75 years before being demolished as part of the northern stand redevelopment in early-2004.

82. Jane Nathan joined the MCC Committee in July 2004 (completing her tenure in June this year), the first female committee member. In 2009 she was joined by Karen Wood, who still serves on the committee today.

83. Some big names in Australian sport, including Catherine Freeman and Betty Cuthbert, were on hand when the National Sports Museum was officially opened at the MCG on March 12, 2008.

84. In Round 22, 1999 the MCG night game between Richmond and Carlton on August 27 was eventful. The scoreboard at the city end caught fire and the match was delayed by 25 minutes.

85. The tenth and final statue in the Tattersall’s Parade of the Champions project – champion Australian fast bowler Dennis Lillee – was unveiled on December 22, 2006 outside Gate 1 at the MCG.

86. During the afternoon of the final day’s play of the 1977 Centenary Test at the MCG, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II visited the Long Room where she invested Sir Robert Menzies with his Knighthood of the Order of Australia.

87. The MCC has a proud history in Victorian cricket, having won a record 20 First XI premierships in Cricket Victoria's District/Premier Cricket competition.

88. During December 1888 and January 1889 the MCG hosted baseball matches as part of A.G. Spalding’s 1988/89 world tour by the Chicago White Stockings (later Sox) and an “All-America” team of Major League Baseball players.

89. In 1908, the Warehousemen’s Cricket Ground was renamed the Albert Ground. The MCC, with Lawn Tennis Association of Victoria, financed construction of a new pavilion. In November that year, the LTAV hosted the Davis Cup challenge round on its courts north of the cricket ground. Australasia defeated the United States 3-2.

90. Before the start of the 1992 World Cup cricket final on March 25, MCC president Dr Donald Cordner officially opened the Great Southern Stand. Pakistan defeated England before a world one-day international record crowd of 87,182.

91. In 1905, the first Australasian singles tennis championship was conducted at the Warehousemen’s Cricket Ground (now Albert Ground) under the auspices of the MCC. This photo is of Rodney Heath, the MCC member who won the singles title.

92. On February 24, 1917 in Yarra Park at the back of the Grandstand, the Minister for Defence Senator Pearce unveiled a temporary memorial to the soldiers who had fallen in the Great War.

93. In August last year, MCC partnered with Kew Heights Sports Club to upgrade existing lawn bowls, tennis and clubhouse facilities at 397 Barkers Road, Kew.

94. The MCG tapestry, seven metres wide and two metres high, was unveiled on September 23, 2003 as the Melbourne Cricket Club’s contribution to the ground's 150th birthday. The tapestry was unveiled by Premier Steve Bracks and Governor John Landy - it now resides between the Long Room and Members Dining Room for all to see.

95. On April 11, 1990 representatives of the MCC, MCG Trust, AFL and the Government of Victoria signed an agreement to finance the building of the Great Southern Stand. Part of the agreement (revised in 2005) stipulated that a minimum of 45 AFL matches, including the grand final, preliminary final and at least two other finals, must be played at the MCG annually for 40 years from 1992. A portion of the seating in the proposed stand was allocated to AFL members.

96. The Northern (later Olympic) Stand at the MCG was completed in 1956. To help finance the new stand, MCC membership was increased to 9800 - still a long way short of today's total of more than 102,000!

97. The club has long supported developing cricket in other countries, particularly in the East Asia-Pacific region. This week, an MCC squad is in Fiji to play a series of games and conduct coaching sessions with Fiji's most talented juniors.

98. The first newsletter for MCC members was published in June 1957. Now called "MCC News", the magazine continues to be produced thrice yearly for members.

99. One of the key benefits of MCC Full membership is access to the Members Reserve at the AFL Grand Final. Around 55 per cent of the Reserve is pre-balloted as reserved seats (notification re this year's outcome to come this week). The remaining seating and standing room is available on the day when Gate 2 opens - and many members queue well before that for the privilege.

100. The Members Pavilion was opened to female guests on match days from July 2, 1983. Mrs Elizabeth Hayes was the first lady to enter the Long Room under this system. As of today, there are more than 22,000 female members of the club - and in 2012 the MCC was represented in a women's cricket competition for the first time.

101. The club has a proud history of sporting excellence achieved by its members, including Olympians, Test cricketers, VFL/AFL footballers and many other sports. On Sunday, another member - rower Kim Crow - created history by becoming the first Australian woman to win the single sculls world championship in South Korea.

102. In 1881, this foundation stone for a new Members Pavilion was laid by TRH Princes Albert Victor and George of Wales on July 4. It is now located in the Long Room.

103. The MCC currently has 101,974 members (61,138 Full and 40,836 Restricted) - making us one of the largest sporting clubs in Australia.

104. The most popular AFL team among MCC members is still Melbourne - more than 20,000 members (or 20 per cent) are Dees supporters. Next on the list is Essendon and Collingwood.

105. In the spring of 1992 the arena was completely reconstructed with a sand-based profile, giving the ground remarkable drainage characteristics and superior load-bearing ability.

106. The record  attendance at a VFL/AFL Elimination Final is 90,370 at the Carlton v Essendon match at the MCG in 2011.

107. The 100-millionth patron to attend a VFL/AFL match at the MCG since 1897 attends the Richmond v Hawthorn game on Saturday May 26, 2012.

108. On December 6, 1996 the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame was officially launched by Prime Minister John Howard at the Australian Gallery of Sport.

109. From April 3, 1942 to October 29, 1945 the MCG was requisitioned by the Commonwealth for quartering service personnel, including the 11th Replacement Control Depot of the United States Army Air Forces, to whom the ground was known as Camp Murphy (April 3, 1942 to late-1942), the RAAF’s No.1 School of Technical Training (December 3, 1942 to January 5, 1943), the First Regiment of the First Division of the United States Marine Corps (January 6, 1943-October 1943) and the Royal Australian Air Force’s November 3, 1943 to October 29, 1945).

110. An MCC member since 1939, Keith Dunstan left his indelible stamp on the history of Melbourne when he wrote The Paddock That Grew in 1962 and, through subsequent revisions and countless MCG-related articles, was a firm friend of the club and its ground for more than 70 years.

111. Ironically it is not a sporting event which holds the attendance record at the MCG. This honour belongs to American evangelist Billy Graham, who in 1959 attracted an estimated crowd of more than 130,000 (some estimates go as high as 143,750), many of whom had spilled onto the arena.

112. On December 10, 1917 a record crowd estimated at 75,000 attended a pro-conscription meeting at the MCG, at which the main speaker was Australian Prime Minister Billy Hughes.

113. On March 3, 1967 the foundation stone for the new Western Stand (later named Ponsford Stand) was laid by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.

114. The record crowd for a sporting event at the MCG is 121,696 at the 1970 VFL Grand Final between Carlton and Collingwood.

115. On March 4 in 1954, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh visited the MCG for the Education Department's Children's Display. The crowd of 92,438 was, at this time, the second-highest ever for an MCG event.

116. Night football was first played on the MCG under electric light on August 5, 1879 when Collingwood Rifles played East Melbourne Artillery. Melbourne played Carlton under lights the following week.

117. Essendon Football Club great John Coleman yesterday became the third athlete - after Shane Warne and Norm Smith - to have a statue in his honour as part of the Australia Post Avenue of Legends series in Yarra Park.

118. Co-founder and former MCC president, Frederick Powlett, was seen as “the real originator” of the Melbourne Cricket Club. Powlett had a keen love for horse-riding and hunting and, in his day, he was viewed as by far the best cricketer in the colony.

119. In 2003, statues of Australia’s greatest ever cricketer, Sir Donald Bradman (May 14), Australia’s golden girl, Betty Cuthbert (August 8), and Melbourne legend Ron Barassi (September 22) were the first three of 10 to be unveiled as part of the Tattersall's Parade of the Champions project.

120. The MCC Cricket Museum was opened in 1969.

121. The MCG celebrated its 150th birthday on September 23, 2003 with a black-tie dinner in the MCC Long Room attended by a who’s who of Australian sport.

122. On September 28, 2006 the Melbourne Cricket Club Library was officially reopened in the new MCC Pavilion having had a presence in each of the club’s four pavilions.

123. The XXIX Club was formed in 1956 by a group of MCC senior players of the day. The concept was so successful that it is now celebrating its 56th year and the club is still flourishing with a membership in excess of 300, a fixture list of 15-20 games each year, and every two years or so an overseas tour.

124. State legislation was passed transferring Yarra Park management to the MCG Trust/MCC from March 15, 2010. Yarra Park was listed on the Victoria Heritage Register in April.

125. Percy Beames played 213 VFL games for Melbourne, captained the club, played in three premiership teams and was named in the MFC team of the century. He also played 205 cricket matches for MCC and Victoria, averaging 51 with the bat in 18 first-class matches, and for almost 30 years was The Age's chief football and cricket writer.

126. The Frank Grey Smith Bar, on Level 3 of the Members Reserve, is named after a very prominent figure in the club's history. Grey Smith, MCC president from 1886 to 1900, restored Melbourne Football Club to financial viability and was instrumental in leading the MCC's presence in a number of sports besides cricket and football, including cycling and tennis. In 1906, the Grey Smith Stand was erected at the MCG and was demolished in 1966 to make way for the construction of the Ponsford Stand.

127. Yesterday's AFL Grand Final crowd of 100,007 was the third-highest in the past 25 years.

128. In the 1880s and 1890s the MCG hosted cycling's Austral Wheel Race.

129. The first football match (12-a-side) to be played on an MCG was held on November 16, 1850 as part of the “Separation Sports and Games” carnival.

130. In February 2011, netball became the most recent sport to be added to the list of activities in which MCC members can represent the club.

131. The XVIII Commonwealth Games were held from March 15-26, 2006 in Melbourne. The MCG was the main stadium for the Games and held the Opening Ceremony, 10 track and field sessions and the Closing Ceremony.

132. The first ever Test match involving Boxing Day took place in 1950. Prior to that, Boxing Day at the MCG had been the domain of Sheffield Shield cricket.

133. There are two broad categories of MCC membership - Full and Restricted.  Restricted membership was introduced in 1959 and, as you know, does not carry automatic eligibility to enter the Members Reserve for the AFL Grand Final. In most other respects, however, they are "full" members of the club.

134. The MCC introduced photo ID membership cards in 2004.  Here's a sample of some of the cards that were made obsolete at that time.

135. The MCG will house the largest vision boards at an Australian sports stadium when two new, state-of-the-art screens are installed before this year's Boxing Day Test.

136. The Certificate of Merit recognises MCC members who rendered outstanding service to the club but who may not, for whatever reason, be considered for Honorary Life Membership or the Hans Ebeling Award. Just six people have been awarded a Certificate of Merit.

137. Previously known as Kew Heights Sports Club, the MCC-Kew Sports Club on Barkers Rd re-opens this week after a six-month, multimillion dollar refurbishment funded by MCC. The new facility features modern sporting and social facilities, including three bowling greens, six en-tout-cas tennis courts and a two-storey, fully-licensed clubhouse.

138. Radio broadcast rights for cricket have been in the news recently.  In 1929, radio station 3LO (now ABC 774 Melbourne) paid the MCC a fee of £200 for a 12-month agreement to broadcast cricket and football at the MCG.

139. The Boxing Day Breakfast has been an annual staple on the MCC function calendar since 1999.

140. The MCC Young Members Club is a special interest group that caters for the interests of MCC members aged between 18 and 40. This dynamic young group enjoys many social functions throughout the year - cocktail parties, trivia nights, lawn bowls events and the popular ANZAC Eve Ball.

141. Melbourne staged its first marathon in 1978. It began in Frankston and ended at Melbourne Town Hall. Since 2007, and including today, the marathon events have finished on the MCG turf.

142. One of the lesser-known privileges of being a MCC member is the opportunity to avail yourself and guests of the MCG dining facilities on non-event days.  An excellent a la carte lunch is served in the Committee Room on Level 2 of the Members Reserve, adjacent to the Long Room.

143. The Australian Football Hall of Fame in the National Sports Museum was opened on August 5, 2008.

144. Time to introduce one of the five men who helped form the Melbourne Cricket Club in 1838...Robert Russell was born in London and was 28 when he arrived in Port Phillip in 1836. He was a surveyor, architect and artist who also raced a horse at Melbourne’s first meeting. 

145. Shortly before he became one of founding members of the Melbourne Cricket Club, co-founder Alfred Mundy overlanded stock from Port Phillip to Adelaide. He unsuccessfully tried to establish the Melbourne and Port Phillip Bank, and then worked for the Melbourne Insurance Company. Eventually he moved to Adelaide where he became Colonial Secretary.

146. The Club XI cricket competition originated in the early 1900s when there was an excess of MCC players available to play in the VCA competition teams. To provide all players with a game of cricket, the MCC organised an internal competition and formed several teams.The competition now has 14 teams from 11 clubs.

147. MCC Lacrosse Section was founded in 1896, winning its first Victorian Lacrosse Association premiership in 1920 and another in 1927. Many decades passed before the MCC’s senior team won its next flag in 2005. MCC fields senior and junior teams in men's and women's competition. The teams train and play at Albert Cricket Ground.

148. The MCC Library's flagship publication, The Yorker, is compiled by volunteers and staff who research and write on sport. In 2013, The Yorker won its third consecutive Communication Award from the International Sports Heritage Association.

149. One of the features of MCC membership is the ability to attend a wide variety of club functions. In 2013, more than 70 events will be held for a variety of member groups.

150. With impeccable timing, the "Champions: Thoroughbred Racing Gallery" opened in the National Sports Museum on September 30, 2010 on the eve of the Spring Racing Carnival and the celebrations surrounding the 150th Melbourne Cup.

151. In 2004, statues of Australia’s finest all-rounder Keith Miller (February 16), former Essendon champion Dick Reynolds (June 20) and dual 1956 Olympics gold medallist Shirley Strickland (November 22) were unveiled as part of the Tattersall's Parade of the Champions project.

152. During the First World War, countless MCC members served their country, some never to return. As a result, the club had a membership shortage and members were allowed to bring in new friends. This ended with the conclusion of the war and has not happened since.

153. Perpetuating the memory of one of the MCC's greatest contributors as player and administrator, the Hans Ebeling Award was introduced in 1981 to honour those who have given outstanding service to our Sporting Sections.

154. To celebrate the MCC's 150th birthday in 1988, artist Robert Ingpen was commissioned to create these magnificent bronze doors. Originally located outside Gate 2, they now reside between the Long Room and Members Dining Room, opposite the MCG Tapestry.

155. In 1865 the MCC established a bowling green at the MCG “for the recreation of its members”. However, it wasn’t until 1894 when we took over Richmond Bowling Club that the MCC Bowls Section was formed.

156. The first cricket match at the current MCG was played between two teams of MCC members on September 30, 1854.

157. The MCG will host five matches during ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, including a quarter final and the final.

158. In 1856, a challenge was issued by the MCC to play a cricket match against an Australian colony. New South Wales accepted, and the first inter-colonial match to be played on the current MCG was held on March 26-27. For the record, the visiting side won by three wickets...

159. In 1886, MCC organised the Australian cricket team to tour England. Captained by Harry Scott, the team wore MCC's red, white and blue.

160. MCC Committee minutes from February 11, 1864 state that "It was resolved that the uniform of the club shall be a white flannel shirt and trousers; and a ribbon of the club colours - red, white and blue - to be worn on the hat or cap."

161. Founded on November 15 in 1838, Melbourne Cricket Club is Australia's oldest sporting club.

162. In 1878/79, to attract events to the MCG, the MCC financed the tour of Lord Harris' English cricket team. It was the first of many tours organised by the MCC over the next 20 years.

163. Sir Bernard Callinan joined the MCC committee in 1966 and served as president from 1980 to 1985. He fought to retain the VFL grand final at the MCG and defended stoutly the rights of members to retain occupancy of the Reserve, when both of these issues were very publicly debated.

164. In 2010, Melbourne Cup-winning horses Might and Power (1997) and Subzero (1992) joined Northerly and Better Loosen Up for a frolic out on the MCG to launch the 150th running of the Melbourne Cup.

165. President of the Melbourne Cricket Club for 14 years from 1965, Sir Albert Chadwick served on the MCC Committee from 1941 until his retirement in 1979. He was named on the interchange bench in Melbourne’s Team of the Century and inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame in 1996.

166. On October 24, 2003 the Minister for Sport and Recreation and the Commonwealth Games, Justin Madden, opened a time capsule that had been secreted behind the MCC Pavilion's foundation stone, laid in 1928 by club president Sir Leo Cussen. A letter inside explained that the foundation stone had been moved for renovation work in 1983. The copper capsule was inspected and found to be leaking. Alas, moisture had ruined much of the material and it was resealed in a new capsule with an explanatory letter plus some contemporary items and placed behind the foundation stone.

167. For 90 years, from 1901 to 1991, MCC members were issued with a newl medallion each year, which was required to be displayed before entering the Members Reserve. After that time, a perpetual medallion was struck, and members now use photo ID membership cards to enter the Reserve.  

168. The logistics, planning and attention to detail that goes into catering for AFL Grand Final
Day at the MCG is staggering. The 2000-strong EPICURE team manages more than 350 outlets. This includes MCC Members Reserve facilities, corporate suites, restaurants, cafés, dining rooms, function rooms, marquees and all of the bars and food outlets in the "More Choices" range.

169. Plenty of great cricketers have represented the MCC over 175 years. The current First XI record holders are: Steven McCooke (most games - 314), Warren Ayres (most runs - 11,154), Robert Templeton (most dismissals - 663) and Jack "Dasher" Daniel (most wickets - 485).

170. The Melbourne Cricket Club’s new museum – a magnificent, world-class facility that showcases the rich history of the club and the ground it manages – was officially opened by MCC president David Jones on November 15, 2006.

171. The clock that was originally installed in the MCC's first Pavilion in 1863 is the only item from the structure of that Pavilion that has remained in the club's possession.  It has been restored to working order and now towers over the Percy Beames Bar to retain the heritage links between the MCC's past, present and future.

172. Aside from two funding grants in the past decade, the cost of redeveloping all grandstands in the MCG's history has been predominantly funded by the MCC and its members, without taxpayer assistance.

173. A wonderful batsman in 29 Tests for Australia (1924-34), Bill Ponsford also worked at the MCG during a 37-year career with the MCC. He played 56 First XI matches for MCC and was also one of Australia’s top baseballers. The western end of the MCG’s new grandstand is named the Ponsford Stand and, of course, this great statue sits outside Gate 1 at the 'G.

174. The club has been served by some excellent people over the years, none more so than legendary curator Bill “Grassy” Watt, who died in September aged 95. Watt spent 42 years tending the green swards of both the SCG and the MCG. His crowning glory was the pitch he prepared at the MCG for the Centenary Test in 1977, a match that went the distance amid some of the most dramatic moments and heroic performances ever seen at the MCG.

175. On November 15, 1838 a meeting between Frederick Powlett, Robert Russell, George Smyth and brothers Alfred and Charles Mundy resolved to form a cricket club. It would be known as the Melbourne Cricket Club. On the same day, each of the five men paid an agreed subscription of one guinea, which funded the purchase of the club's first set of equipment - two bats, balls and a set of stumps. This marked the beginning of organised cricket in the Port Phillip District.

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