Square celebrates golden milestone

Joel Peterson | Bendigo Weekly | 16-Feb-2018

Golden Square will celebrate its centenary this weekend. Photo: Andrew Perryman.

A CENTURY of golden years will be celebrated on Saturday as Golden Square Cricket Club marks its 100th year as it plays Bendigo at Wade Street.

In a season in which the club is experiencing strong on-field results, it is a massive year for the club off the hallowed Wade Street turf.

Club president Ian Kellett says there will be plenty of celebrations of a rich and varied history.

“Prior to the commencement of the match we will be getting Bill Redmond, our club’s oldest living captain (1955/56 season), to toss a 1918 penny for the coin toss with the day’s captains, kicking off our celebrations,” he said.

“Bill is 91 years old. He is an accomplished player in his own right, having played in premierships with Carlton Cricket Club and playing in our 1952/53 premiership.”

The showpiece event of the night is a formal dinner at the All Seasons, with past players and volunteers travelling from far and wide to attend.

“We will also be inducting members into our newly formed Hall of Fame. There will be eight initial members spread across the club’s various eras,” he said.

The club plans to launch a book celebrating its history before the start of next season.

Much like a batter who scratches their way at the start of an innings before getting going en route to a big ton, Golden Square came from rather humble beginnings.

The Bulldogs were originally known as Foggitt Jones, formed in 1918 after the First World War.

Foggitt Jones was a national abbatoir and small goods business, Bendigo providing the company with its only non-capital city operation.

Disappointed with the lack of cricket played in Bendigo during WWI, future BDCA president Michael O’Brien arranged for the employees of Foggitt Jones and the public service to play what was the first senior cricket match in Bendigo for a considerable time on Saturday, February 9, 1918 at Kennington Oval.  

Just two days later the BDCA was reformed and hastily arranged a program of one-day matches for the remainder of the 1917/18 season, starting on February 16. 

Foggitt Jones underwent a name change to South Bendigo in 1920, but not before a memorable piece of history in the 1919/20 season.

BDCA historians Darren Rodda and John Harris noted in their history of the association, released earlier this year, that season 1919/20 ended in confusion as to who had won the premiership.

Bendigo United held a one-game lead over Foggitt Jones heading into the last round but had its game abandoned due to bad weather.

Foggitt Jones’ last round game was against Quarry Hill, and on day one made 1/90 in response to Quarry Hill’s total of 90.

But Quarry Hill did not arrive for play on day two, leading to confusion as to whether the match would be called a draw and thus the overall season result.

It was later determined that Bendigo United were premiers, consigning Foggitt Jones to second in their final season before becoming South Bendigo.

Golden Square as it is known today was founded in 1932, coinciding with development of the Wade Street Recreation Reserve as a cricket ground.

There had been a Golden Square cricket club earlier established, in 1865, however it only competed in the first two years of BDCA First XI competition in 1895 and 1896 and a further two seconds of second grade in 1903/04 and 1904/05.

Golden Square will play Bendigo over the next two weekends in round 12 of the BDCA season.


Captcha Image