MFC/MCC Game Day functions
The club once again hosted four MCC/MFC game day functions during the 2010 AFL season to provide additional benefits to members who joined the Melbourne Football Club as well.
The functions provide an opportunity to enjoy a sit-down meal in the surrounds of the Jim Stynes Room accompanied by an MC and entertainment.
Despite the Demons Round 1 loss to the Hawks, the remaining three match day functions proved to be a wonderful success with more than 100 members and guests in attendance at each match, and on two occasions a full house.
The first sell out function was hosted on the evening of the Breast Cancer Network Association’s (BCNA) highly successful ‘Field of Women’ evening when the Demons took on the Bulldogs. Our members were fortunate to hear from breast cancer survivor and BCNA spokeswoman, Raelene Boyle as well as AFL Commissioner Linda Dessau.
No doubt the return of the 2000 Grand Final team, headed by former captain David Neitz for the Melbourne v Essendon match was a highlight for those in attendance on the day. It provided former Melbourne players a wonderful opportunity to catch up with old teammates, as well as offering our members a great chance to mingle with the boys.
The final match day function held at the Melbourne v Richmond clash on August 8 was a fantastic match for our members to see out a successful year for the Demons.
Members were fortunate to hear from former Melbourne great Robbie Flower and Barry Bourke who were also joined by a host of former Demon players from the 70s. Stephen Phillips once again hosted each of the four match day functions with great poise, polish and humour.
We are all looking forward to an exciting 2011 season as the young Demon hopefuls build on their 2010 successes.
Young Members' Anzac Ball
Friday April 23, 2010
The third Young Members' Anzac Ball was held in the magnificent Members Dining Room. The glamorous event was hosted by the club for young members aged 18-40 years. The event was quick to book out with more than 400 members and guests attending.
Entering along the red carpet to the historic Long Room, members and guests enjoyed pre-dinner drinks and canapés, before moving to the Members Dining Room.
Hosted by MCC club manager Mark Anderson, the crowd was addressed by Peter Smith OAM, Appeals Director, Victorian RSL, who gave a thought provoking speech on the sacrifices made by our diggers. When the room fell silent for a minute's reflection, the enormity of the occasion was recognised.
Once the formalities were over the dance floor filled and members and guests danced the night away.
Be sure to mark you diaries for 2011!
To view and purchase photos taken on night, click here.
Footy Season Launch Luncheon
Wednesday March 24, 2010
Gary Ablett’s Gold Coast offer, Barry Hall, Brendan Fevola and the nine-point super goal dominated discussion as a panel of experts dissected the big issues in the game at today’s MCG Footy Season Launch Luncheon in the Members Dining Room.
The gathering of MCC members and guests heard from recently retired Tiger star Matthew Richardson, who reminisced about his distinguished career with MC Tim Lane, before joining Brownlow medallist Gerard Healy and legendary player and coach Leigh Matthews in an entertaining chat on the eve of the season opener between Richmond and Carlton tomorrow night.
Members' Golf Day
Tuesday February 23, 2010
Picture perfect conditions greeted 180 MCC golfers at the Members’ Golf Day at the prestigious Kingston Heath Golf Club on Tuesday February 23.
Congratulations to Chris Farrell who took home the President’s Cup with 39 Stableford points on a count back from Libby Day who won the women’s event.
The President’s Cup is one two members’ golf days held each year. While the President’s Cup is competed for at the Kingston Heath Golf Club each year, the Plate event has been rotated through several of Melbourne’s famous sand belt courses since its inception in 2004.
Winners - Elizabeth Day, Roderick Sitlington, Susan Baker and Susan Beaurepaire (138 points)
Runner up - Mark Anderson, Michael Sholly, Clive Driscoll and John Anderson (135 points)
Seventh hole - Men's: Darren Milo
- Ladies: Sue Baker
Eighteenth hole - Men's: Damian Ramondetta
- Ladies: Christine Dobson
NEAREST THE PIN
Fifth hole: Barry Christian
Tenth hole: Robert Flower
Fifteenth hole: Christine Dobson
Men’s Division 1 (Handicap 0-10)
David Mallet 37 (4)
Ian Denny 34 (4) on countback
Peter Holt 34 (6)
Men’s Division 2 (11-20)
Mark Blashki 37 (11)
John Hamilton 36 (19) on countback
John Robertson 36 (16)
Men’s Division 3 (21-27)
Aaron Whyte 36 (21)
Daniel Carmody 34 (22)
Timothy Stewart 34 (22) on countback
Elizabeth Day 39 (3)
Christine Dobson 37 (16)
Sue Baker 36 (12)
Women in Cricket Test Breakfast
Sunday December 27, 2010
Angela Pippos hosted the third Women in Cricket Test Breakfast on Day 2 of the Boxing Day Test amongst 260 members and guests.
This year’s guest speaker, Geoff Lawson, spoke of his amazing experiences as coach of the Pakistan cricket team and the nation’s passion for the sport and its stars. Members and guests also heard from Callum Ferguson and Vic Spirit team member Sarah Elliott throughout the morning.
As formalities drew to a close, Angela Pippos was interrupted by former Australian cricketer Simon O’Donnell, who entered the rear of the Members Dining Room carrying a surprise birthday cake in celebration of her birthday.
Boxing Day Breakfast
Saturday December 26, 2010
The 2009 Boxing Day breakfast was once again a sold out success with just under 500 members and guests arriving at the ground by 7.00am for a morning of entertainment.
Hosted by Darren Berry, members and guests heard from former Pakistan great Waqar Younis who told guests about the enormous impact the IPL has had on cricket around the world and the incredible profile cricketers have in Pakistan and India. He was joined by recently retired Australian cricketer Brad Hodge who received a warm round of applause from members as he spoke honestly and passionately of his decision to step down from his contract with Cricket Australia.
New 50-Year Members' Luncheon
Thursday December 3, 2009
The club held a lunch in the Members Dining Room on Thursday December 3 to welcome the latest intake of 50-Year members.
More than 330 new 50-Year members attended the function, from an eligible 494 who were invited, all of whom were elected to MCC membership in 1959.
Sixteen members travelled from interstate to attend the event, while Geoff Swann came all the way from Tucson, Arizona!
Among this year's intake of new 50-Year members is five-time Melbourne Football Club premiership player Laurie Mithen, pictured here with MCC president David Meiklejohn.
There are now more than 2500 MCC members who have reached the 50-year milestone.
Members' Golf Day
Monday November 30, 2009
In blustery conditions at the famous Royal Melbourne Golf Club, Mark Reynolds with 40 stableford points off a handicap of 15 took out the MCC President’s Plate at the Members' Golf Day.
The President’s Plate is one two members’ golf days held each year. While the President’s Cup is competed for at the Kingston Heath Golf Club each year, the Plate event has been rotated through several of Melbourne’s famous sand belt courses since its inception in 2004.
The best performed female in the field was Susan Beaurepaire who had 32 points off a 12 handicap.
Winner - Mark Anderson, John Anderson, David Broad and Dean Jones (128 points)
Runner up - Gerard Ward, William Cooper, Anthony Ward and Mark Stapleton (124 points)
Men’s Division 1 (Handicap 0-10)
Matthew Sproule 37 (10)
Alister Etheridge 35 (7)
Richard Scott 34 (10)
Men’s Division 2 (11-20)
Benjamin Thiedeman 36 (11)
Bill Pattison 35 (18)
Ross Troon 35 (14)
Men’s Division 3 (21-27)
Peter Wilson 38 (22)
Aaron White 37 (22)
Peter Kemp 34 (23)
Sue Beaurepaire 32 (12)
Christine Dobson 31 (18)
Jan Lovett 31 (25)
Annual 50 Year Member Luncheons
Thursday November 26 and Friday November 27, 2009
On Thursday November 26 and Friday November 27 two luncheons were held in the Members Dining Room for 50-year members of the club.
Due to the continuing increase in the number of 50-year members, the club again held two separate luncheons.
Of the 2000 50-year members invited, over 500 attended including the clubs longest serving members, Rev Paul Ryan OAM (pictured far right in photo).
Annual Sporting Sections Dinner
Tuesday November 17
Members of the clubs 11 Sporting Sections attended the 30th Annual Sporting Sections Dinner held in the Members Dining Room on November 17. Reports from all sections were read out including a number of highlights from many sections throughout their respective seasons.
A highlight of the evening was Robert Rouch, President of the Bowls Section being awarded the Hans Ebeling Award for ‘Outstanding Service to Sporting Sections’.
Robert becomes the 26th winner of the Hans Ebeling Award since its inception in 1981 to perpetuate the memory of one of the MCC's greatest contributors as both player and administrator, Hans Ebeling.
Brownlow Dinner 2009
Monday September 21, 2009
More than 450 members and guests attended the fourth Brownlow Dinner hosted by the hilarious Coodabeen Champions.
The night was filled with live crosses to the telecast of the Brownlow Medal count while “The Coodabeens” unique brand of humour and some Greg Champion songs keep members and guests entertained while the vote count unfolded.
In true Brownlow dinner style, "Gary Ablett" was awared the "Brownlow medal" to a thunderous round of applause.
MCC/MFC Members' Game Day Luncheon
Sunday August 30, 2009
More than 200 members and guests attended the final MFC/MCC Members' Luncheon in the Jim Stynes Room on August 30, including two of Melbourne's great players from the 1980s and 1990s.
Prior to the match, master of ceremonies Stephen Phillips introduced and interviewed Rodney Grinter and Sean Wight and Cameron Bruce called in for a chat to discuss the team’s preparation for the game.
Although going down to the Saints by 47 points, the Demons showed true team spirit and created a memorable farewell match for Russell Robertson, Matthew Whelan and Paul Wheatley.
Hadlee off long run at Bradman Luncheon
Thursday August 27, 2009
More than 450 MCC members and guests have celebrated the birthday of Australia’s greatest cricketer, Sir Donald Bradman, at The Bradman Luncheon in the Members Dining Room.
On the ninth occasion the club has honoured Bradman in this fashion since his passing in 2001, former New Zealand all-rounder Sir Richard Hadlee was a wonderful guest speaker. The event featured musicians, performers and cricketers, all chosen to reflect the taste and style of The Don during his lifetime, as well as a cameo from five-time British Open champion, Peter Thomson, who had recently celebrated his 80th birthday and spoke of his interactions with Bradman.
As is customary at the Bradman Luncheon, a string of extremely talented musicians – including Sally Cooper (violinist) and Alan Kogosowski (piano) – also delivered powerful performances that enthralled the audience.
In a humorous display, Hadlee delivered the keynote address, touching on his experiences in Australia, personal encounters with Bradman (including the sharing of written correspondence between the pair) as well as his fears for the future of Test cricket.
"Players are judged by their peers on what they do in Test cricket," he said. "T20 is moving too fast. There was a World Cup in England this year, now there's another one next year in the West Indies. To me, World Cups are something you build up to, to make them very, very special. Authorities need to take control."
Hadlee told of another letter he had been sent by a man who once had ambitions to play for New Zealand, but was now 63 and found it difficult to get to the cricket because "they prefer to keep me in on weekends". The man, it transpired, had three years to serve for aggravated burglary. "If it helps," he wrote, "the house I burgled was owned by an Australian."
Concluded Hadlee: "I sent him two signed shirts, saying: `Well done'."
Earlier, author Paul Daley told of "bush Bradmans" as part of his research into a new book on century makers. One, Ross "Nobby" Clark, from the Mornington Peninsula, recently made his first century, in his 33rd season and 411th game. He is 60 years old.
Of the 264 centuries made for Rupanyup, in the Wimmera, 212 have been made by just two families, the Morgans and the Ballantynes. Eliciting the most gasps, though, was the story of Les Wheeler, of Korumburra and surrounds, who contracted polio at 20, but - wearing a caliper from ankle to hip and batting with a runner – afterwards made 15 centuries, all of them opening the batting.
Along with Hadlee, a number of former Test cricketers were also in attendance, including Cricket Victoria chief executive Tony Dodemaide, Paul Sheahan, Colin Guest, Lindsay Kline, Betty Wilson, Jeff Moss, Ian Meckiff, Ian Redpath, Keith Stackpole and Colin McDonald.
MCC/MFC Members' Game Day Luncheon
Saturday July 4, 2009
More than 140 members and guests attended the MFC/MCC Members' Luncheon in the Jim Stynes Room on July 4, including some of Melbourne's great players from the 1970’s.
Prior to the match, master of ceremonies Stephen Phillips introduced and interviewed Paul Callery and Gary Hardeman and Lynden Dunn called in for a chat to discuss the team’s preparation for the game.
Melbourne acting president Don McLardy also popped in, on a day when the Demons showed true team spirit and got up to beat the Eagles in a fast paced, exciting match.
Young Members' Anzac Eve Ball
Friday April 24, 2009
The second Young Members Anzac Eve Ball was held in the magnificent Members Dining Room. The glamorous event was hosted by the club for young members aged 18-40 years. The event was quick to book out and was a highlight on Melbourne’s social calendar with more than 400 members and guests attending.
Members and guests entered along the red carpet to the magnificent Long Room where pre-dinner drinks and canapés were enjoyed, before moving to the Members Dining Room.
Hosted by MCC club manager Mark Anderson, the crowd was addressed by Mike Annett CSC, CEO of the Victorian RSL, who gave a thought provoking speech on the sacrifices made be our diggers. When the room fell silent for a minute's reflection the enormity of the occasion was recognised.
Once the formalities were over the dance floor took centre stage for the remainder of the evening.
Be sure to mark you diaries for 2010!
MCC/MFC Members' Game Day Luncheon
Sunday April 19, 2009
More than 120 members and guests attended the MFC/MCC Members' Luncheon in the Jim Stynes Room on April 19, including seven members of Melbourne's 1959 premiership team.
Prior to the match, master of ceremonies Stephen Phillips introduced all the premiership players and interviewed John Lord and John Beckwith. Russell Robertson called in for a chat, fresh from his comeback match with the Casey Scorpions.
Melbourne president Jim Stynes also popped in, on a day when the Demons opened their accunt for the season with an eight-point win over Richmond.
Pictured standing here are John Lord, Ian Thorogood, Dick Fenton-Smith and captain John Beckwith. Sitting are Alan Rowarth, Jim Stynes and Geoff Tunbridge.
2009 Footy Launch Luncheon
Wednesday March 25, 2009
As the 2009 AFL season prepared to get underway, more than 360 MCC members and guests welcomed back footy at the MCG Footy Season Launch Luncheon in the Members Dining Room on Wednesday March 25.
This year’s luncheon was hosted by Channel 10 football broadcaster Tim Lane, who kicked off proceedings by quizzing Carlton vice-captain and midfield star Nick Stevens about his injury that would keep him out of the following night’s much-anticipated season opener against the Tigers.
Of course, it was the Richmond-Carlton opening night that was the talk of the town. Would Richmond live up to the hype? Could Ben Cousins’ body withstand the rigours of AFL footy? Is Carlton the real deal? Sadly for Tigers supporters, the answers became clear before the night was out.
To discuss these issues and more at the luncheon was a panel of big names: recently retired Hawthorn star Shane Crawford, former Melbourne captain Garry Lyon and the current Melbourne coach, Dean Bailey.
Crawford in particular provided a fascinating insight into his former team’s infamous “rolling zone”, while Bailey gave the pro-Melbourne crowd an outline of his plan and some of the Demon youngsters to keep an eye on.
The function was enjoyed by all and we look forward to the 2010 luncheon.
Members Golf Day - Kingston Heath Golf Club
Tuesday February 24, 2009
Following the recent hot weather, it was a fine day that greeted MCC golfers at Kingston Heath on Tuesday February 24.
The day drew a field of 160 members and it was hats off to Paul D’Amico, who took out the President’s Cup with 41 Stableford points to win the overall competition.
This was the 15th MCC Members' Golf Day held at Kingston Heath Golf Club and the course was in pristine condition with numerous fast greens proving to be challenging for many.
Category Winner Runner Up
MCC PRESIDENT’S CUP
(Best Stableford score) Paul D’Amico (41 pts)
MEN’S STABLEFORD DIVISION 1 (0-10) Trevor McDonald (38) Brian White (37)
MEN’S STABLEFORD DIVISION 2 (11-20) Peter Fenton (40) Michael Edgar (39)
MEN’S STABLEFORD DIVISION 3 (21-27) Dan Carmody (37) John Macnish (34)
WOMEN'S STABLEFORD INDIVIDUAL Heather Penman (35) Janette Chrimes (33)
TEAM AGGREGATE Paul D’Amico (127) Andrew Mirams (125)
Robin Pratt Michael Westmore
Simon McCleery David Wilson
John De Kever
LONGEST DRIVE WINNERS Gary Stone Dean Jones, Janette Chrimes and Jan Lupson
NEAREST THE PIN WINNERS Dan Carmody, Rob Peake and Trevor McDonald
AUSTRALIA DAY LUNCHEON
Monday January 26, 2009
A great Australian, Sir Arvi Parbo, addressed members and guests at the 2009 Australia Day luncheon in the Members Dining Room on Monday January 26.
The Parbo journey is a great migrant success story. Along with a 43-year career at Western Mining Corporation, Sir Arvi also was chairman of Alcoa and BHP and held directorships at a number of blue-chip companies.
Drawing on his experiences in the business world and as an immigrant in the 1960s, Sir Arvi explored Australia as a nation today and where its future lies.
"We must not think of the situation at any particular time as "normal", in the sense that this is how it should or will remain," Sir Arvi said. "It won’t. The greatest certainty about the world is that it will keep changing. Nothing can stop this. There will be periods of progress and times when setbacks occur, as we are experiencing at present. The trend, however, is clearly upwards."
Read a full transcript of Sir Arvi Parbo's Australia Day Luncheon speech.
LONG ROOM LUNCH WITH JIM STYNES
Tuesday September 9, 2008
More than 180 MCC members and guests enjoyed an intimate lunch with Melbourne Football Club chairman and Brownlow medallist Jim Stynes OAM on Tuesday September 9 in the Long Room.
Following on from similarly successful lunches involving John Buchanan and Kevin Sheedy, guests heard from MFC football operations manager and former Demon player Chris Connolly, who introduced Stynes with a range of witty tales about the Irishmen’s early days in Australia and his passion for the red and blue.
Ireland’s most famous sporting export, the 1991 Brownlow Medallist won Melbourne’s best and fairest four times as a mobile ruckmen. During his 264-game career, he played a record 244 consecutive AFL games between 1987 and 1998.
In his new role as chairman, ‘Jimmy’ has vowed to turn around the club's fortunes. As guests enjoyed Epicure’s culinary delights in the club’s famous inner sanctum, Stynes outlined his fascinating career, including coming to grips with a foreign game in a foreign country, his first visit to the MCG, that infamous 15-metre penalty in the 1987 preliminary final, winning the Brownlow, his work with Reach Foundation and his plans for reinventing the Demons.
THE BRADMAN LUNCHEON: A CENTENARY CELEBRATION
Wednesday August 27, 2008
Click here to log in and view a video of Adam Gilchrist’s complete address, now available exclusively to MCC members.
More than 400 MCC members and guests have marked the centenary of the birth of Australia’s greatest cricketer, Sir Donald Bradman, at The Bradman Luncheon – A Centenary Celebration in the Members Dining Room.
Jointly hosted by the MCC and Cricket Victoria, the event featured numerous musicians, performers and cricketers, all chosen to reflect the taste and style of The Don during his lifetime.
In an entertaining and polished display, recently retired cricket great Adam Gilchrist delivered the keynote address, touching on the achievements of Bradman as well as the future of the game and world cricket’s ability to manage progression.
Another cricket immortal, 1948 ‘Invincibles’ member Arthur Morris, recounted tales of playing with The Don in the only way he knows how – with humour and humility.
Earlier, a string of extremely talented musicians – including Rebecca Chambers (piano), Sally Cooper (violinist) and Alan Kogosowski (piano) – delivered powerful performances that enthralled the audience.
Sir Donald’s granddaughter, Greta Bradman, sang a touching rendition of Amazing Grace, accompanied by Kogosowski on piano. Greta then took questions from master of ceremonies Tony Charlton (who has presided eloquently over each of the eight Bradman Luncheons) and talked fondly about ‘grandad’. The day was capped off by a spectacular act from world-renowned performers Soul Mystique.
Gilchrist, who played his final MCG international match in February this year, said he was humbled to be asked to address such a momentous event.
“It’s a huge thrill and an honour for myself and my family members to be asked to be a part of such a special occasion, said Gilchrist. “To be here at the MCG, which still gives me a nice little chill down the spine and a flutter of the heart, makes it even more special.
I look out there now and although it has changed so much, it still remains the same – the heartbeat and the focus of the cricket world. They really do acknowledge the MCG the world over as one of the really great stadiums that cricket is lucky to have.”
Gilchrist admitted to a strong affiliation with the cricketers of the Bradman era, recalling the honour of receiving his baggy green cap on Test debut from another ‘Invincible’ Bill Brown in 1999. He also touched on the fate of world cricket, as it fights within itself to establish where Twenty20 cricket should sit in the landscape.
Along with Gilchrist and Morris, a number of former Test cricketers were also in attendance, including Cricket Victoria chief executive Tony Dodemaide, Paul Sheahan, Colin Guest, Lindsay Kline, Adam Dale, Jeff Moss, Ian Meckiff, Allan Connolly, Keith Stackpole and Colin McDonald.
OLYMPIC GAMES LUNCHEON
Tuesday July 8, 2008
What better way to celebrate the imminent arrival of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games than with a luncheon exactly one month out from the Opening Ceremony.
The MCC and Melbourne Press Club were thrilled to host the Olympic Games Luncheon in the Members Dining Room on Tuesday 8 July, with 170 members and guests treated to a panel discussion between Olympic gold medalists Russell Mark, Mike McKay and Claire Mitchell-Taverner. These successful and proud Olympians gave great insight to the rest of us mere mortals, of the rare chance to attend an Olympic event, winning gold and the aftermath that follows.
Talented ABC broadcaster, Gerard Whateley hosted the event, doing a brilliant job of setting the scene for the audience and raising questions to the panel who gave honest opinions about their personal experiences and representing their country. Russell, Mike and Claire also fielded questions from the floor that included subjects such as the pollution issues plaguing Beijing and its effect on competitors, whether Australian athletes who compete in the first three days of competition should be allowed to march in the Opening Ceremony and on a quirkier note, whether Blues fan Russell Mark, would choose a 2008 Carlton Premiership over gold!
Guests were also shown a snapshot of memorable moments from previous Olympic Games which I’m sure gave everyone lumps in their throat as they relived famous feats and marvelous achievements, posing the question…what inspiring stories of sporting triumph or tales of tragedy will emerge from Beijing?
LUNCH WITH A LEGEND – KEVIN SHEEDY
Tuesday July 1, 2008
The club was delighted to host ‘Lunch with a Legend – Kevin Sheedy’ in the prestigious surrounds of the Long Room on Tuesday July 1. With nearly 180 members and guests in attendance, the function was a sell out as Sheedy continues to attract interest from football enthusiasts, not just Essendon supporters.
Essendon board member and MCG architect Daryl Jackson introduced Sheedy in brilliant fashion, speaking passionately of the working relationship and subsequent friendship the two of them have developed over many decades. Jackson’s respect and admiration for Sheedy was evident.
Immediately upon reaching the lectern, Sheedy’s presence commanded full attention and the entire room fell silent. The silence did not break throughout his entire address, other than those times when he had the crowd in fits of laughter, taking them on a roller coaster of stories and theories.
Yes, the Martians were discussed, as too his involvement in the development of indigenous players to our great game. But perhaps the most stirring aspect of his address was his message to all in attendance that some decisions made in your life by others can in fact have a profound impact on your own destiny.
His zest for life and passion for our national sport has not dwindled since his departure from Essendon. In fact, it may have stepped up a notch! Either way, our members and guests were treated to a fascinating address by a brilliant mind.
YOUNG MEMBERS ANZAC EVE BALL
Thursday April 24, 2008
The inaugural Young Members Anzac Eve Ball was held in the magnificent Members Dining Room on Thursday April 24, 2008. This was the first time the club had hosted a ball for our young members and it proved to be a great success with nearly 500 members and guests in attendance.
Hosted by MCC committeeman Will Fowles, the crowd was addressed by RSL appeals director Peter Smith OAM who gave a stirring address highlighting the incredible sacrifices Australian soldiers have made in the past, paying special tribute to the 90th anniversary of Australia's victory at Villers-Bretonneux.
Former Collingwood captain and coach Tony Shaw also spoke of the significance of Anzac Day and his special involvement in the traditional Anzac Day match between Essendon and Collingwood, speaking of how powerful the day is for the players and coaches of both clubs.
Once the formalities were over, the dance floor was the place to be. A great night was had by all and no doubt the function will be quickly put into the 2009 calendar!
MCG FOOTY SEASON LAUNCH LUNCHEON
Wednesday March 19, 2008
The MCG Footy Season Launch Luncheon was held in the Members Dining Room on Wednesday March 19, on the eve of the first match of the 2008 AFL season.
We’re always aiming high when organising functions and events under the Melbourne Cricket Club banner and by any measure a string of top-notch luncheons and dinners over the 2007/08 summer would have left members and guests well pleased with their special day at the MCG.
With nearly 350 members and guests in attendance, this year’s luncheon was hosted by ABC commentator and TV personality, Gerard Whateley. Whateley conducted an interview with Melbourne FC general manager of football operations Chris Connolly and welcomed the newly appointed chief executive, Paul McNamee.
The high-class footy panel consisted of recently retired greats Nathan Buckley and Luke Darcy as well as former Richmond and Collingwood full forward and Channel 9 personality Brian Taylor. It took plenty of work by Whateley to contain the enthusiasm of the panelists, in particular Taylor who had just finished enthralling the crowd with a story of his former glory when the dining room lost all AV power!
Whateley, as a true professional, continued in difficult circumstances to host the panel segment, interviewing the panelist on the upcoming season and in particular their Round 1 tips. The crowd, despite the audio difficulties, was very patient and listened intently to Whateley and the panelists as they attempted to project their voices across the dining room.
A trifecta of 50-year members’ luncheons was well-attended and those new to the senior group were particularly complimentary about their function in the Members Dining Room.
With fifty-year membership now nudging 2000, there were two earlier luncheons for members and their guests on November 26-27. The annual events attracted nearly 500 fifty-year members across the two days; Former Geelong footballer Barry Stoneham entertained the first luncheon while prominent cricket author and journalist Gideon Haigh completed the first of two journeys to the microphone within a fortnight in his usual eloquent fashion.
More than 350 members enjoyed the club’s fourteenth annual black-tie dinner compered by master MC Tony Charlton on December 7 (see below for full report).
While guest speaker Rod Marsh pondered several of the weighty issues confronting administrators worldwide (see page 15), proposer of the toast to cricket, Gideon Haigh, reminded everybody of the threats to the game at the grass roots level.
He told an amusing tale that illustrated how tough it has become to maintain turf-wicket competitions when councils are more interested in cutting costs than cutting the grass.
Perhaps the answer is to take up golf, as did the 130-plus members who played in the MCC Golf Day at Huntingdale on December 5. The course was in great shape and young Alexander Gough, son of Stephen, was in great form, taking out the President’s Plate with 41 Stableford points. Jan Lovett topped the ladies’ board with 36 points.
The MCC Volunteers’ Luncheon is always a sell-out affair and if recruitment plans come to fruition the club might have to hold two functions in future to cater for the crowd.
In thanking the volunteers for their contribution, museums general manager Gerry Kerlin reported that 80 new MCG guides had been recruited in 2007 and another 100 or so were required to reach the 350-plus pool needed to service visitors when the new National Sports Museum was fully operational in 2008.
About 250 members and their family and friends decided to leave the cares of the kitchen to Epicure and soak up the magic of the MCG on Christmas Day on the eve of the Boxing Day Test.
The Members Dining Room looked a picture. Santa spoilt the kids and a most relaxing day was had by all.
A month or so later, the legendary Ron Barassi was guest speaker at the club’s Australia Day luncheon; an impressive event organised by our volunteers and held on January 28 this year because The Police concert occupied the 26th.
Ron spoke passionately about a variety of topics, including his Kokoda Trail expedition in 2006 and his plans for a journey through Mongolia later this year.
Marsh eyes future at Members' Dinner
Members were given a sneak peek into the future of cricket through the eyes of former Australian wicketkeeper Rod Marsh during keynote address to the MCC Members’ Dinner on December 7, 2007.
In a wide ranging and thought-provoking address at the annual black-tie function in the Members Dining Room, the 96-Test veteran and current director of the ICC Global Cricket Academy spoke passionately about the future direction of the game.
Marsh lamented slow over rates, predicted that Test cricket will continue to flourish in Australia and England but with doubts over the remaining countries. He suggested a 10-overs-per-side Australia-wide club competition for a million-dollar bounty and tagged China as the next frontier in world cricket.
In an entertaining and at times self-deprecating prelude to Marsh’s address, prominent cricket author and journalist Gideon Haigh provided insight into how Australian cricket has got to where it is, based on his observations and research for his recent book about the history of the Australian Cricket Board (now Cricket Australia).
“I have often thought we give ourselves over-much credit in this country for our cricket,” said Haigh. “We enjoy huge natural advantages in wealth, in weather, political stability, institutional strength and cultural pre-disposition.”
But it was Marsh’s futuristic look at the game, and his prediction that China will be a force in 30 years, that prompted most discussion among the 350-plus members.
“The only other country I could see perhaps coming into Test cricket is China,” he said. “They have got more than a billion people. I'm assuming they've got a lot of money and some tall and skilful blokes. I reckon they'll be the country to challenge India.”
On the subject of over rates, Marsh claimed the current rate in Test cricket made him angrier than anything else “except for missing a short putt”.
“How can they not bowl 90 six-ball overs in six hours?” Marsh pondered. “It is a disgrace and if you don't bowl 90 overs in six hours…suspend the captain immediately. Don't even give him a chance.”
Marsh follows a long list of distinguished cricketers to have headlined the Members’ Dinner, among them Sir Richard Hadlee, Lord Cowdrey, Kim Hughes, Wes Hall, Jeremy Coney, Mike Brearley, Sunil Gavaskar, Ian Healy and last year’s guest speaker, Graham Gooch. Prominent cricket journalists Tony Cozier and Mike Coward have also graced the podium.