Act 1 – 1901 Prelude


Bendigo in 1901

Before we leap into football, I want to look at Bendigo in 1901. This will provide an orientation, and a more vivid picture of the events that unfold.

In January 1901, Australia became a Nation, Queen Victoria died and in September U.S. President William McKinley was assassinated while attending the Worlds Fair in Buffalo, New York (Theodore Roosevelt took over the presidency). During the year the Boer war continued in South Africa, with Australia supplying many troops. During 1901 Emily Hobhouse’s shocking reports appeared in newspapers, reporting on the conditions of Boer women and children in British concentration camps. Harry 'Breaker' Morant would be executed in early 1902 for atrocities carried out during the war.

Recruiting Poster - Boer War - SLV Collection
Recruiting Poster - Boer War - SLV Collection


In Australia, the new parliament, sitting in the Exhibition Building in Melbourne, were progressive in some areas, for example giving women the vote, but in contrast they also passed the 'Immigration Restriction Act 1901' as an attempt to ban non white immigration to Australia.

The cycling craze that had swept Victoria for the last few years was also ending, as was an extended drought that we know as the 'Federation Drought'.

In 1901 there were around 1.2 million people in Victoria. Ballarat was Victoria’s second biggest town with 49,414 people in the 1901 census, followed by Bendigo (including Eaglehawk) with 42,701 and Geelong’s 25,017. Eaglehawk’s population was around 8367 (about 20% of Bendigo’s total).

A gold rush in Western Australia during the 1890’s saw significant numbers of people move between Victoria and the Western Australian gold mining towns.

In 2018 there were 6.3 million people in Victoria, with Bendigo being Victoria's third biggest city. In 2016 Bendigo had a population of 92,379, and Eaglehawk 5,692 (about 6% of Bendigo’s total).

Eaglehawk population over time - Source: [https://www.victorianplaces.com.au]
Eaglehawk population over time - Source: [https://www.victorianplaces.com.au]


Melbourne was still recovering from an early 1890's depression that had seen bank closures and strikes by maritime workers, shearers and miners. The depression had less effect in gold-fuelled Bendigo.

Victorian Year Book 1902 P280 Gold Raised In Australian States 1851-1902
Victorian Year Book 1902 P280 Gold Raised In Australian States 1851-1902


Unknown to Bendigo, this was to be the final decade of the mining boom. The mines that did exist were stretching the boundaries. According to the Victorian Year Book 1902, there were eight mine shafts at Bendigo over 3,000 feet in depth, namely:

Mine Depth
the Lazarus New Chum 3,777 feet
the Victoria Quartz 3,750 feet
the New Chum Railway 3,408 feet
Lansells 180 3,354 feet
the Shenandoah 3,226 feet
the New Chum and Victoria 3,200 feet
New Chum Consolidated 3,099 feet
the Eureka Extended 3,060 feet


In November 1901 the Bendigo Independent identified the Victoria Quartz mine at 3,750 feet as the deepest gold mine in the world. Today technology allows much deeper mines. Currently, the Mponeng Gold Mine in South Africa is the deepest mine in the world at over 4 km (13,123 feet) in depth.

The poppet heads, batteries and slag heaps were still a major feature of the local landscape during the 1900's.

South New Moon Mine Eaglehawk c1907 SLV
South New Moon Mine Eaglehawk c1907 SLV


The Sydney Mail And New South Wales Advertiser 1 Jan 1901 P15 Devonshire Line Of Reef Bendigo
The Sydney Mail And New South Wales Advertiser 1 Jan 1901 P15 Devonshire Line Of Reef Bendigo


The Sydney Mail And New South Wales Advertiser 1 Jan 1901 P15 New Moon Mine
The Sydney Mail And New South Wales Advertiser 1 Jan 1901 P15 New Moon Mine


The Sydney Mail And New South Wales Advertiser 1 Jan 1901 P16 New Chum
The Sydney Mail And New South Wales Advertiser 1 Jan 1901 P16 New Chum


Long Gully Bendigo c1905 Museum Victoria MM 4277
Long Gully Bendigo c1905 Museum Victoria MM 4277


Apart from mining, the City of Bendigo were developing a range of landmark buildings, many designed by William Vahland.

The 1880’s saw the
  • Alexandra Fountain, Charing Cross 1881
  • Bendigo Town Hall 1878-86
  • Bendigo Post Office, designed by Public Works architect George W Watson 1883 - 1887
  • School of Mines 1863-1890
  • Bendigo Art Gallery restyled from the 1867 Bendigo Volunteer Rifles' Orderly Room, 1890

The 1890’s
  • Bendigo Law Courts, designed by architect George W. Watson 1890 to 1896
  • The Shamrock Hotel (on Pall Mall, opposite the present-day information centre and old law courts) 1897
  • the Conservatory in Rosiland Park opened 1897

Shamrock Hotel 1906 - Postcard Collection SLV
Shamrock Hotel 1906 - Postcard Collection SLV

The Conservatory in Rosiland Park - Postcard Collection SLV
The Conservatory in Rosiland Park - Postcard Collection SLV


In the 1890’s Henry Leggo, a young Cornish Merchant, had bought out the interests of another trader and began building a grocery empire. Leggo's are today famous for their pasta sauce. Three Leggo's played for Eaglehawk in 1882, including Henry's brother Charles who was club secretary.

In 1900 another merchant, Sidney Myer, opened his first store in Bendigo, the first store in a future empire. By 1908 he closed his store and moved to Melbourne.

In 1901 the telephone was connected between Melbourne and Bendigo

Post office (now the information centre)  Vahland  buildings town hall spire in the distance, Shamrock hotel, Alexandra Fountain, site of the modern Myer store on the right. - 12 Picturesque Views Of Bendigo Albert Bush Stores - SLV Collection
Post office (now the information centre) Vahland buildings town hall spire in the distance, Shamrock hotel, Alexandra Fountain, site of the modern Myer store on the right. - 12 Picturesque Views Of Bendigo Albert Bush Stores - SLV Collection


In terms of Football, Bendigo and Sandhurst were foundation clubs of the Bendigo Football Association, that began in 1881, and Eaglehawk joined soon after. The early years still have contradictory information. It appears that Eaglehawk were a junior team in 1882. 1

Bendigo Results
Bendigo Results


Bendigonian 2 Oct 1900 P8 - Bendigo FC
Bendigonian 2 Oct 1900 P8 - Bendigo FC


South Bendigo, formed in 1893, played many games at the Back Creek Reserve (Now the Harry Trott Oval) and made a strong entry, winning premierships in 1899 and 1900.

Back Creek Reserve (Now the Harry Trott Oval)
Back Creek Reserve (Now the Harry Trott Oval)


South Bendigo 1900 - Highs And Lows Of 100 Years
South Bendigo 1900 - Highs And Lows Of 100 Years


Bendigonian 18 Sep 1900 P6 - South Bendigo
Bendigonian 18 Sep 1900 P6 - South Bendigo


Sniders & Abrahams Shields - Eaglehawk - Otway Jack (thecollectingbug)
Sniders & Abrahams Shields - Eaglehawk - Otway Jack (thecollectingbug)
Sniders & Abrahams Shields - South Bendigo - Otway Jack (thecollectingbug)
Sniders & Abrahams Shields - South Bendigo - Otway Jack (thecollectingbug)


1901

By 1901, after 20 years of competition, the Association was unstable. There were two strong teams, Eaglehawk and South Bendigo, and two weak teams, Bendigo and Sandhurst.

The difference between the top two and other teams had widened during the previous few years. North Bendigo had bowed out in 1897, and Bendigo were unable to field a team for the final matches of the 1898 season. Sandhurst also struggled, with their 1897 annual meeting postponed due to a lack of attendance.

In October 1900, the Bendigo Association discussed only inviting one of the weaker teams into the 1901 season, but this motion was not carried.2

Bendigo Football Map - By MRiley
Bendigo Football Map - By MRiley


The 1901 season kicked off on May 15 with two matches - Eaglehawk 10.10 (70) defeated South Bendigo 2.6 (18) at Canterbury Park, a new grandstand at Canterbury Park had opened in October 1900 and this round saw its first use for football; in the other game, Bendigo 4.6 (30) defeated Sandhurst 1.0 (6) at the Upper Reserve in front of its completed new grandstand, not yet open to the public.

Grandstand Canterbury Park - 19-Jan-2019 MRiley
Grandstand Canterbury Park - 19-Jan-2019 MRiley


A Souvenir Of Bendigo And District Containing 25 Beautiful Photographic Views Robert Jolly SLV New Grand Stand
A Souvenir Of Bendigo And District Containing 25 Beautiful Photographic Views Robert Jolly SLV New Grand Stand


On a side note, other grandstands from the era still stand at Maryborough (1895), Central Park Stawell (1898), Ballarat City Oval (1898), Ballarat Eastern Oval (1904, Brunswick Street Oval Fitzroy (1905). Bendigo residents would have been well aware of structures in rival cities, and this may have spurred efforts to improve the Upper Reserve.

The Bendigo Independent report on that first Bendigo/Sandhurst game commented that:

"An amalgamation of the two teams might result in one good one fit to do battle with South Bendigo and Eaglehawk".

A special meeting of the Association was called at Hogan’s Courthouse Hotel (Corner of Pall Mall and Munday Street – In 2019 known as the Star Bar). This was, at that time, the regular meeting place for Association meetings.

With 10 delegates present, including D.McKay In the chair and Henry Warren secretary, they passed the usual permits and arranged fixtures, and then something happened. The Bendigo Independent noted that a special committee "into the suggestion that the club lowest on the list at the end of the seconds round drop out of the association" was formed, but the Advertiser noted that no such decision was agreed upon.3

I expected to find outrage and angry letters to the editor, especially from supporters of Bendigo and Sandhurst, but there was apparently an acceptance of the situation. Now, Bendigo’s win over the Cardinals a few days before was hugely important. Sandhurst needed to win!

In the week following the special committee meeting, the results were predictable. Eaglehawk defeated Sandhurst and South Bendigo defeated the Bendigo team.

Then an upset happened. The third round was split to allow an indigenous team from Cummeragunja (near Echuca) to play exhibition games against the leading clubs. On Saturday Eaglehawk defeated the visitors and then on the following Wednesday, South Bendigo 2.5 (17) defeated the visitors 2.4 (16) in a close game. This close game was the opener for the day and at its conclusion, Eaglehawk and Bendigo came out onto the Upper reserve to start the main event.

The main event was a low scoring affair, Bendigo 1.7 (13) defeated Eaglehawk 1.4 (10). Roberts, Garvin, Hesse and 'Delhi' Neilson starred for Bendigo, Neilson (the champion Cornish wrestler), was the player of the day.4

Bendigo Independant 30 May 1901 p5 Cummerajunga
Bendigo Independant 30 May 1901 p5 Cummerajunga

Bendigo Independant 30 May 1901 p5 Eaglehawk Team
Bendigo Independant 30 May 1901 p5 Eaglehawk Team


In the match on the following Saturday, South Bendigo 5.17 (47) defeated Sandhurst 2.9 (21) sealing Sandhurst’s fate. After the first Round Eaglehawk, South Bendigo and Bendigo had two wins each. Sandhurst had none.

The Courthouse hotel held another important meeting, this time a meeting of the Sandhurst club to consider if the club should disband.5 With Mr T. Hogan in the chair and 'a fair attendance of members', it was resolved to stand down for the remainder of the season (on the condition that the Association met the clubs debts). It was done, the association paid the debts and Sandhurst dissolved for the season.6

For many football followers, the demise of Sandhurst was not regretted, as it had hopefully created a more competitive field, by strengthening the Bendigo club.

Over the next few weeks Sandhurst’s best players found places in other teams. Ernie Muller went to South Bendigo, Frank Muller, W. Heine, P. Pinkus and A. Jenkins all moved to the Bendigo club.

It would be nearly 18 years before Sandhurst would again feature in the Bendigo League

In June, the new Grandstand was officially opened at the upper Reserve with a sixpence entry fee. The players were not yet allowed to use the change rooms, forcing them to leave the ground at half time. This would be resolved in 1902.

In July, club banquets were held for players returning from the Boer war. The banquet at Bendigo was for Arthur 'Rusty' Pattinson, H. Scott and William Herschell; South Bendigo cheered C.F. Neal. There are probably a number of other players who served.

Bendigonian 23 Jul 1901 p8 - A Pattinson
Bendigonian 23 Jul 1901 p8 - A Pattinson


Also in July, a combined Bendigo Association team defeated a strong defeated North Melbourne team 7.7 (49) to 3.3 (21) at the Upper Reserve.

The Bendigo premiership soon came to decision time. On Wednesday August 14th, South Bendigo and Eaglehawk were equal with six wins, Bendigo followed on three, and there were three games left in the season. First, there would be the big Eaglehawk/South Bendigo clash, probably to decide the season, and then each of the top teams played against Bendigo.

There was a big crowd.

|With the opening of the Eaglehawk town hall and the most important football game of the season, Bendigo city assumed a quite deserted appearance" - the Bendigo Independent.


Canterbury Park was buzzing. The great Ivo Crapp was brought in to umpire the game. The ground was hard, dry and dangerous. Eaglehawk led a rough game from the start. Eaglehawk 4.8 (30) defeated South 0.6 (6). 'Docker' Hall, H. Hall, Moran and Vallance played best for the winners. This was the crucial game for the season.

Punch 2 Jul 1903 P11 Ivo Crapp
Punch 2 Jul 1903 P11 Ivo Crapp


The new electric trams could take supporters right up to the new town hall and it was only a short walk to the right through Canterbury park to the ground. - Main Street, Eaglehawk 1908 S:V Collection
The new electric trams could take supporters right up to the new town hall and it was only a short walk to the right through Canterbury park to the ground. - Main Street, Eaglehawk 1908 S:V Collection


Eaglehawk - Jan 2019 - MRiley
Eaglehawk - Jan 2019 - MRiley


In the first of the final two games, South Bendigo were unable to beat Bendigo, making Eaglehawk 1901 premiers. Eaglehawk then lost to Bendigo in a dead rubber to end the season.

In 1901 there were 18 games in the season, 10 were played at the Upper Reserve and 8 at Eaglehawk.

Bendigonian 20 Aug 1901 p9 - South Bendigo
Bendigonian 20 Aug 1901 p9 - South Bendigo


Bendigonian 20 Aug 1901 Eaglehawk
Bendigonian 20 Aug 1901 Eaglehawk



Act 2 – Fractures 1902-1904


1902


My Dear Maude, —
So the football season began on Wednesday week. Strange what a number of girls take a greater interest in that game than in cricket. The game on Wednesday seemed very exciting, and we who were passing up View street heard plenty of noise and outcry. I suppose you will be going regularly this year, and will know all the ins and outs of the game. For my part, I am perfectly ignorant and quite indifferent. – Ladies’ column – Bendigo Independent 17-May-1902 p6


In 1902, Henry Warren, the ex-president of the Association, moved to Western Australia, but before he left, he purchased the View Point Hotel. From 1902, the ‘View Point’ became the Associations' new meeting place.

The View Point Hotel
The View Point Hotel


The Association decided to require each club to make a five pound deposit at the start of the season to be forfeited if teams did not fulfil all their engagements (this was instituted due to the Sandhurst drop-out the previous season and would cause great argument in the year to come). Affiliation with the Victorian Football League was rejected as that limited the options for central umpires.7

Eaglehawk picked up George McWilliam who became a local chemist and fireman. McWilliam, a future Fitzroy player, would play many years for the club. Other new players included Harry Barrass and John Watson, both of whom would be regulars at the club for most of the decade to come. South Bendigo gained Joe Canavan (who would become Bendigo Independent’s player of 1902) , ‘Joe’ Pearce a future Melbourne F.C. champion and ‘Jumbo’ McDonald, a small rover.

Bendigo picked up the Smith brothers from South Melbourne, including Arthur Smith who had been a VFL player, but overall their list was full of juniors, at least six from Long Gully and four from Park View.

A spectator this season might have been Harry Trott, the ex-Australian Cricket captain who had been transferred to Bendigo by the post office, as he had recently been in Kew Asylum and was recovering from mental illness. Still keen to play, he turned out for the Post Office Team and represented Bendigo against the Australian Team.8

The Bendigo senior Association played on the Wednesday half day holiday. Games started late, and during this era it was not uncommon for teams to start a few players short with the others arriving when they could. This, again, had to do with mining. Junior football was often on the Saturday.

There is no doubt but that the late hour of starting has something to do with the financial aspect of matches, but unfortunately it would be hard to make a change, considering the number of miners who take part. - Bendigo Independent 30-Apr-1902 p3


The Bendigo Association played representative games against the Castlemaine Association and against Melbourne Football Club. The Melbourne team 8.16 (64) featured Frank Langley, Jack Gardiner, Dan Moriarty and Arthur Sowden, while the Bendigo Association 4.5 (29) quartet of Moran and James Watson (Eaglehawk), Frank Mueller (Bendigo) and George Ogilvie (South Bendigo) were the best players.9

Bendigonian 19 Aug 1902 p7 Melbourne F.C.
Bendigonian 19 Aug 1902 p7 Melbourne F.C.


1902 was not a good year for the Bendigo club. Sadly in June, miner Frank Carlton, an ex-Bendigo player, threw himself down a 1,700 foot mine shaft in a sad suicide.10 On the field, Bendigo did not win a game all season, and none of those losses were close.

Date Team G P T Team G P T Venue
Wed 14 May South Bendigo 9 4 58 Bendigo 3 5 23 Upper Reserve
Wed 21 May Eaglehawk 5 12 42 Bendigo 2 10 22 Canterbury Park
Wed 11 Jun South Bendigo 4 11 35 Bendigo 2 6 18 Upper Reserve
Wed 18 Jun Eaglehawk 6 6 42 Bendigo 2 5 18 Upper Reserve
Wed 2-Jul South Bendigo 7 10 53 Bendigo 1 2 8 Upper Reserve
Wed 9-Jul Eaglehawk 11 13 79 Bendigo 4 4 28 Canterbury Park
Wed 23-Jul South Bendigo 6 5 41 Bendigo 2 10 22 Upper Reserve
Wed 30-Jul Eaglehawk 3 6 24 Bendigo 1 4 10 Upper Reserve
Wed 13-Aug South Bendigo 6 9 45 Bendigo 0 11 11 Upper Reserve
Wed 20-Aug Eaglehawk 5 12 42 Bendigo 4 2 26 Canterbury Park
Sat 00-Jan-00 62 88 461 21 59 186


Bendigo's failure again led to a tight two way fight between South Bendigo and Eaglehawk.

The season built to the last games of the season.

As with the season before, it was the third last game of the season that would be crucial. South Bendigo v Eaglehawk at Canterbury Park. Eaglehawk was up, 8 wins to 7, and only this and the final two games to go. The final two games were South Bendigo v Bendigo and Eaglehawk v Bendigo, both expected to be easy wins, so if Eaglehawk won against South Bendigo, they would most likely again win the premiership and make it two in a row.

Around 3,000 people were at the ground on August 27th. Considering the town population of around 8,000 at the time, it must have been a huge event. Women had streamers in their hair. The weather was fine and the wind was light.

The teams lined up

Eaglehawk
BackHarry BarrassGeorge CairnsGreen
HBackAnth HallW.'Docker' HallGeorge Hall
CH. 'Dip' HallFred GeakeMatthews
HFwdBobby MoranMcDonaldGeorge McWilliam
FwdV. VallanceOatsTurnbull
RuckTrewarthaJames WatsonJoe Watson


South Bendigo
BackMickellsGallagherAndrew
HBackJoe PearceGeorge OgilvieNorris
CCarterBuckleyCullen
HFwdEdwardsRobert DaykinThomas
FwdHardyWrightEnnor
RuckJoe? Johnson'Jumbo' McDonaldJoe Canavan


At quarter time South 1.2 (8) led Eaglehawk 0.2 (2). At half time the game had been fast, South 2.6 (18) to Eaglehawk 1.2 (8). By three quarter time South 2.10 (22) led Eaglehawk 1.4 (10). Eaglehawk attacked through the last quarter but the South backs were solid. Finally the ball came forward for South, and a pack went up for a mark, the ball was missed and Wright secured it and put in the deciding goal. At the end South 3.12 (30) defeated the home team 1.5 (11). Eaglehawk had hit the post three times, South once.11

After the final two games, the season ended with a tie with both South and Eaglehawk on nine games apiece. The Association would meet to decide on the venue for the playoff game. Both venues had new grandstands, both teams wanted a home advantage.

At the View Point Hotel, a special meeting on Wednesday evening, the 10th of September, was held to decide the venue. Eaglehawk had voted the night before not to play unless there was a random draw for the venue.

Mr. Neil Walker (Eaglehawk), president, Eldon Kirkwood (Eaglehawk), C. Salter and D. O'Halloran (Bendigo), R. Herron, C. Neal and J. Casley (South Bendigo) attended. The South Bendigo delegates unsurprisingly proposed that the game be played on the Upper Reserve. The Eaglehawk delegates pushed for a random draw to determine the location. The Bendigo club delegates were split, with Salter voting with the Eaglehawk delegates and O’Halloran with South Bendigo. O’Halloran’s vote was enough, the venue would be the Upper Reserve.

With the vote, the meeting broke down. Mr Salter left remarking that "I am sorry that the Association is not fair minded enough to give Eaglehawk a fair show." After a further discussion, the Eaglehawk delegates walked out of the meeting.12

The Bendigo delegate O’Halloran strongly favoured South.

The following Monday night (15th September), with Eaglehawk refusing to play under the current arrangement, the association met again for their ordinary meeting, and on the motion of South Bendigo’s C.Salter awarded the premiership to South Bendigo (with the Eaglehawk delegates voting against the motion). O’Halloran, the angry Bendigo Delegate, now proposed that Eaglehawk had not fulfilled their obligations and that their deposit of five pounds for the assurance that it would fulfil all engagements be forfeited. This motion was also passed.- 13 14

On 17 September, the South Bendigo Football Club Meeting proposed a playoff game at a neutral venue (but not offering to play for the premiership….which they had already accepted) 15

The Bendigo club was furious with O’Halloran and commended the actions of Mr Salter. It was now that the allegations of bribery were raised by O’Halloran to explain his actions. O’Halloran believed that Eaglehawk had offered his club a bribe of ten pounds for their vote and he was outraged. The reality, it appears, was that he misunderstood a joke made by one of his own club members, as a means of getting the club out of debt. But now it was too late. 16Club Captain Frank Muller resigned over the action (and joined South Bendigo in 1903).17
That was it, the premiership was over.

While the playoff turbulence went on, the season was completed with games against two VFA teams on the 13th of September. South Bendigo 7.11 (53) defeated Richmond 6.2 (38). Richmond were VFA premiers that year. Two years later Richmond would boycott the VFA Grand final due to a dispute over the umpire. Eaglehawk 14.8 (96) on the same day defeated Port Melbourne 2.6 (18).

The Leading goalkickers for the season at South Bendigo were H. Wright 20, R. Daykin 8, J. Canavan 5. At Eaglehawk they were F. Geake 18, W. Oats 9 and G. Hall 8.

Bendigo Independant 2 Oct 1902 p4 South Bendigo
Bendigo Independant 2 Oct 1902 p4 South Bendigo

Bendigonian 28 Sep 1902 p7 Eaglehawk
Bendigonian 28 Sep 1902 p7 Eaglehawk

Bendigo Independant 2 Oct 1902 P4 Buckley South Bendigo
Bendigo Independant 2 Oct 1902 P4 Buckley South Bendigo

Bendigo Independant 14 Aug 1902 P4 Eaglehawk V South Bendigo
Bendigo Independant 14 Aug 1902 P4 Eaglehawk V South Bendigo



1903

In November 1902 the Bendigo Jockey club got into the new grandstand game and opened their new grandstand at the racecourse. In other news, just after Christmas 1902, the Bendigo creek flooded High street.18

Bendigo Independant 4 Dec 1902 p4 Bendigo Races
Bendigo Independant 4 Dec 1902 p4 Bendigo Races


Later in 1903 the Queen Victoria statue was unveiled. The statue is still a prominent landmark. In photos from the time, you can still see the Hustler’s Reef mine in the background.

Queen Victoria statue - 12 Picturesque Views Of Bendigo Albert Bush Stores - SLV Collection
Queen Victoria statue - 12 Picturesque Views Of Bendigo Albert Bush Stores - SLV Collection

12 Picturesque Views Of Bendigo Albert Bush Stores - SLV Collection
12 Picturesque Views Of Bendigo Albert Bush Stores - SLV Collection


The Annual Meeting of the South Bendigo club at the View Point Hotel celebrated their victory in 1902 but took a hard line regarding the 1903 season. The chairman asked for the feeling of the club. The club secretary J. Crasley suggested that “in the event of the borough club not paying the £5, a competition be formed in Bendigo among the Senior and Junior Clubs.”19

For context, five pounds could have purchased new football jumpers for the entire team as well as a couple of new footballs.

The same night in the Eaglehawk mechanics institute, the Eaglehawk club met. After a debate over forming a separate Eaglehawk association was discussed, the club voted in favour of joining the Bendigo Association. 20

At the Football Association meeting the following night, Mr Brunnen, a South Bendigo Delegate, raised the issue of the £5, but his motion that this money be forfeited was lost, with the chairman, Mr Kerr, from the Bendigo club, being the deciding vote.21

Just before the season commenced (at the May 1 Meeting), West Bendigo applied to join the association but this was not dealt with as “it was received too late.”22 With only three teams in the competition, and one team having a bye each week, it is surprising that this offer was not given more weight.

In June, 'Pivot' of the Bendigo Independent proposed a restructure of Bendigo football, merging each senior team with a junior team and have one association to run all football in Bendigo. He called this ‘Divisional Football’.23 It was clear that clubs and observers were looking for change in the current status quo.

New players for the season included Charlie Clymo at Eaglehawk, Frank Muller (ex Sandhurst and Bendigo) at South Bendigo and Barclay ‘Tich’ Bailes, a future Fitzroy and Brighton champion at Bendigo.

Bendigo were more competitive than the previous season. They had a victory against South Bendigo and three close games against Eaglehawk losing once by one point and twice by four points.

The key game of the season was on the 12th of August at Canterbury Park. Leading into the game Eaglehawk led the competition with 7 wins, South Bendigo had 4 and Bendigo 1. South needed to win all its remaining games to have a chance at the premiership.

The day before this key game, an interesting snippet appeared in the local papers. At a match at Inglewood, (45 km north West of Bendigo), J. Gallagher (a South Bendigo Footballer) umpired a Loddon Vale Football Association match between Inglewood and Bridgewater on the Bridgewater ground. Inglewood won the match and Gallagher’s umpiring was praised. This was reported in the Bendigo Advertiser24 and Bendigo Independant25, both on Tue 11-Aug-1903.

Bendigonian 20 Aug 1901 p9 - J.Gallagher South Bendigo
Bendigonian 20 Aug 1901 p9 - J.Gallagher South Bendigo


If Gallagher now played for South Bendigo, it would be a clear breach of the Associations rules regarding paid umpires playing in the competition.

And yes, South Bendigo included J.Gallagher, and easily defeated Eaglehawk in the next game. There were grumblings about the fairness of umpire Devine, but South’s win kept the season alive. 26 Eaglehawk quickly protested the inclusion of Gallagher. 27

The season continued while the protest waited for the next Association meeting.

In the next game,South Bendigo easily defeated Bendigo and in a rough game, umpired by Crapp, and then in a close game, Eaglehawk, kicking with the wind in the final quarter scored 1 goal 3 to nothing for the quarter, to win by a point, Geake goaling midway through the quarter.'Tich' Bailes for Bendigo and Fred Jinks of Eaglehawk mentioned in match reports. (This was a crucial win for Eaglehawk meaning they now only had to win one of their final two games to win the premiership.)

The next Monday (31-Aug 1903), the Association upheld Eaglehawks protest, reversing the earlier games result and putting Eaglehawk two games clear.28

The final three games saw two wins to South Bendigo and one to Eaglehawk. Eaglehawk were premiers.

The last event of the season was a charity match organised Mr Alfred Bailes MLA. The League Grand finalists Fitzroy and Collingwood (VFL Premiers) played a rematch at the Upper Reserve. 4000-5000 spectators turned up. Both teams were missing premiership players. Fitzroy had eleven of their Grand Final Team. Young 'Tich' Bailes filled a gap in the Fitzroy team, Tich would eventually play 79 League games for Fitzroy from 1905-1909.

At the completion of the season, the Association met on the issue of Gallagher’s payment.

If I understand things correctly, J. Gallagher appeared to have been offered a match fee at the time, but had not taken money as that would have been against the rules, however, as a witness at the hearing, Gallagher admitted that "he said (to the Inglewood club secretary) he would accept the money as a present at the end of the season. However, no payment has so far been offered to him." 29

After an angry meeting, South’s protest was rejected. Allegations of match fixing and payments swirled. The meeting ended with a failed motion to fine South Bendigo for playing Gallagher. For two seasons in a row, the season had ended on a sour and bitter note.

Bendigo Independant 9 Jun 1903 P4 South Bendigo v Eaglehawk
Bendigo Independant 9 Jun 1903 P4 South Bendigo v Eaglehawk

Bendigo Independany 10 Sep 1903 P4 Eaglehawk Team
Bendigo Independany 10 Sep 1903 P4 Eaglehawk Team


1912 1913 Eaglehawk FC Wills Club Colours and Flags - Sportmem
1912 1913 Eaglehawk FC Wills Club Colours and Flags - Sportmem
1912 1913 South Bendigo FC Wills Club Colours and Flags - Sportmem
1912 1913 South Bendigo FC Wills Club Colours and Flags - Sportmem



1904

1904 in Australia saw the first Labor party in the world to win power under Prime Minister Chris Watson, and also saw the death of Alfred Felton, not a well known man at the time, but with no descendants. Felton gave a substantial donation to the National Gallery of Victoria, the ‘Felton Bequest’. This request is still the greatest donation the gallery has ever received and has been used to purchase many of the masterpieces in the NGV collection.

In America, news was leaking out that the Wright brothers had built a real flying machine that flew for 59 seconds.30 Oddly this news was hardly reported as the stories that someone could fly were not yet fully believed.

In Europe a new organisation, FIFA was established to organise Association football.

In Bendigo, a 'Bendigo 18' played the a cricket match against the visiting MCC in a drawn two day game starting on Boxing Day 1903. Tom Hayward scored a century for the MCC and was supported by such players as Plum Warner and Wilfred Rhodes. Eaglehawk footballers Fred Jinks and Harry 'Dip' Hall played for Bendigo.

In football, the Eaglehawk club had had enough. There were sentiments that Eaglehawk had faced unfair treatment by the BDFA and by barrackers when playing at the Upper Reserve.31

The club met with local junior clubs with the intention of setting up a local senior competition. There was also hope that they would negatively affect interest in the Bendigo Association which might lead to the disbandment of the BDFA.32 Strong sentiments indeed!

The 1903 teams in the Eaglehawk junior Association were Young Colonials, Snobs Hill, Slip Ups and Eaglehawk East. A reformed Jobs Gully team was also approached. In the end the Eaglehawk football Association was formed by Snobs Hill, Jobs Gully and the Eaglehawk team.

Players would have to play for the district that they resided in, a model that had been adopted in Sydney.
"The boundaries were fixed as follows- Job’s Gully, to be bounded on the South Eaglehawk creek and west by Mt Korong Road to end of borough boundary. Snob’s Hill, all west of Korong Road from Catherine mine to end of borough boundary, Eaglehawk the remainder of the borough."33


(The Catherine mine was located to just to the north of the railway station.)

Plan showing the anticlinal axial lines at surface of a portion of the Bendigo gold field - 8 mile block by E.J. Dunn ; additions and extensions by H.S. Whitelaw - Geological Survey of Victoria 1910 – SLV
Plan showing the anticlinal axial lines at surface of a portion of the Bendigo gold field - 8 mile block by E.J. Dunn ; additions and extensions by H.S. Whitelaw - Geological Survey of Victoria 1910 – SLV


I have added blue lines as an overlay to an old map of Eaglehawk from the State Library collection. "Plan showing the anticlinal axial lines at surface of a portion of the Bendigo gold field". These lines are ‘very’ approximate.

Eaglehawk did not approach teams in close proximity such as Long Gully to join the competition, this may have strengthened the competition.

Job's Gully Street Sign
Job's Gully Street Sign


Unfortunately for the Eaglehawk plans of disruption, the leading team in the local competition, the 1903 premiers, Young Colonials had aspirations of joining the Bendigo Association and did so under the club name of 'California Gully'. This greatly lessened the impact of Eaglehawk leaving the Bendigo competition.

Yet more bad news when the Miners Association also set up a football competition in 1904. Teams were the
• New Moon
• South New Moon
• Great Northern
• Carlisle and Unity
• Hustlers
• United Foundry

Many Eaglehawk players competed for their workplaces and the competition was strong. The Miners played on Saturdays, and did not directly compete with the new Eaglehawk competition, but did so for general interest and relevance. The Bendigo Independent noted that the Aug 15th game New Moon v Carlisle saw the biggest crowd at Eaglehawk that season. 34

Carlisle, starring Joe Canavan, defeated New Moon, starring Fred Jinks, to win the Miners premiership, with the crowd, according to the Bendigo Independent "reminiscent of last season and previous years, when people would yell themselves hoarse over South Bendigo and Eaglehawk."35

Eaglehawk Competition

The Eaglehawk season was closely contested with many good games, but it ended in farce. A recurring issue throughout the season was also getting players on the field. Game reports often mention games starting with teams short of players. On June 15 Eaglehawk started with 12 on the field, on 29th June Eaglehawk again started with around 10-12 players, on 31 August Snobs Hill were 4 players short until half time, and on September 15th Snobs Hill and Eaglehawk both started the game half a dozen players short.

On the eve of the last game of the regular season, Eaglehawk and Snobs Hill were even with 6 wins, Jobs Gully with five wins. Snobs Hill had led most of the season but recently had taken issue with the umpiring of Trewartha and refused to play while Trewartha umpired.

Snobs Hill forfeited the game and again forfeited their semi final match. Job's Gully who had trailed all season faced Eaglehawk in the other Semi final. It was no contest, Jobs 4.8 (32) defeated Eaglehawk 0.3 (3). So in a twist, Job's Gully after trailing nearly all season, were declared premiers.

Bendigo Competition

The Bendigo teams also discussed a district model, but did not adopt it.36

Three junior teams joined the remaining two Bendigo clubs, adding a much-needed fresh set of players and officials to the competition.

West Bendigo, who had applied in 1903, joined the competition, so did Young Colonials, who were forced to change their name to California Gully (Blue and White), and finally Golden Square Imperials (Blue and Yellow) gave the competition five teams.

Another change was that for the first time, the Bendigo Association would play a finals series to determine the premiership. At the 21-April meeting it was decided that "The Association should manage the gates in the final premiership round." This decision would be tested at the end of the 1905 season.37

North Bendigo was added as a standard venue. The home team could nominate either North Bendigo or the Upper Reserve for their game.

Finally, games were also to be played on both Wednesday and Saturday. In the past season Junior teams often played on the Saturday and Association played on the Wednesday. Some junior clubs would have difficulty fielding players on the Wednesday. (Saturday football was not popular with the crowds or the senior teams, and it was abandoned at the end of the season. )

South Bendigo lost R. Daykin to California Gully and their reliable back, Gallagher to Golden Square. They gained Claude Clough (StKilda), Joe Canavan rejoined the club, and most of the previous seasons players returned.

Bendigo lost Tich Bailes, but picked up Ennor a reliable South Bendigo player. Their player 'Nugget' Heath would be adjudged player of the year by the Bendigo Independent.

California Gully received cameos from Eaglehawk players, Jinks and 'Dip' Hall appearing for the team. Gully made the final, but this was South Bendigo's season, they were undefeated (12 Wins and one draw). Bendigo played bravely, but Golden Square and West Bendigo were outclassed. As with the Eaglehawk League many teams started their games a couple of players short, Bendigo started their Semi Final a couple of players short.

Apart from Nugget Heath, the Bendigo Independent identified a number of players who had done well through the season.38

SouthMcDonald. O'Connell, Andrew, F. and E. Mueller, Cook, Ogilvie, Spencer, Canavan, Rogers, and Mills
BendigoAllen, Ennor, Heath, Nayler, Neilson, Newsome, Seckold, Jenkins, Richards, Dolheguy
California GullyGray Roberts, George, Bruhn, Dunstan, Noy. Forbes, Morton, Tomby, and Nixon
West BendigoCommons, Thomas, Pattinson, Buchanan, Smith, Scott, Wright, Jones (2), Hodge
Golden SquareNorris, Eadie Bros., Charlton, Edwards, Daykin, Fowler, Holman, and Browell


"Claude Clough, 19 years of age, sustained a painful accident at the Clarence mine on Saturday morning, when two fingers of his right hand were amputated by a sharp piece of falling quartz. His injuries were subsequently attended to at the Bendigo Hospital. Clough, who is a member of the South Bendigo Football Club, hails from the metropolis, and has during the past six months been undergoing a course of practical tuition in mining, so as to qualify for a certificated position." – Bendigo Adviser 30-May-1904 p6


Eaglehawk played Bendigo in a Charity match for Mr J Tyack on the Upper Reserve on 27th August. Eaglehawk 3.9 (27) def Bendigo 2.4 (16) but the teams were not representative.39

A combined Eaglehawk Association team took on Footscray on the 10th of September at Canterbury Park. Eaglehawk 6.11 (47) defeated Footscray 7.3 (45) Jinks and Trewartha scoring two goals each for the home side. Jinks so impressed Footscray the 23 year old was rushed into the Footscray team to play North Melbourne in their VFA finals match against North Melbourne the following week. He would later win three premierships at Carlton and another at North Melbourne.40

South Bendigo travelled to St Kilda and on the 24th of August StKilda 13.14 (92) defeated South Bendigo 12.2 (74) in a well contested game.41

Punch 1 Sep 1904 P11 South Bendigo
Punch 1 Sep 1904 P11 South Bendigo


St Kilda then travelled to Bendigo and on the same day the Eaglehawk team defeated Footscray, St Kilda 6.10 (46) again defeated South Bendigo 4.11 (35). St Kilda were two points down at three quarter time.42

On the 6th of October South Bendigo took on the Eaglehawk Association in a match to benefit the Eaglehawk Hospital Sunday Committee. But poor weather meant that only 200-300 people turned up to what should have been a big game. Umpire Crapp came up from Melbourne, indicating that the game would be taken seriously. Snobs Hill had refused to play their game the week before so the Eaglehawk team may have been distracted internally, but Eaglehawk Association 7.5 (47) defeated South Bendigo 3.5 (23) though strong wind and lack of key players made a comparison of the true strength of the teams impossible. 43

Eaglehawk Association
BackMcWilliamWatsonG. Hall
HBackHoweTurnerLawrence
CFilbinTrewarthaBryant
HFwdH.M. HallOatsDavis
FwdLeedHinesMunday
RuckWilkinsonMcDonaldRogers

Jinks, A.Hall and Vallance were missing from Eaglehawk

South Bendigo
BackO’ConnellSpencerRogers
HBackKeatingDaykinCook
CDavisMcDonaldCommons
HFwdBoydCanavanNeilson
FwdThorpeAndrewFowler
RuckScottPlumbeBryant

Ogilvie brothers, Mueller brothers , Mills, Johnson and Wright were missing from South


Act 3 – It’s my money 1905-1906

1905

In November 1904 Brigadier-General Gordon officially unveiled Bendigo’s 'Soldiers memorial' to those who had fought in the Boer war (which had ended in 1902). Around 15,000 Australian Soldiers served in the war. The memorial sits in Pall Mall, in what is now Sydney Myer Place beside the old post office. I wonder if any of the footballers who had served in the war attended the opening?

Soldiers memorial - SLV Collection
Soldiers memorial - SLV Collection


St Aidens Orphanage operated by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd Order opened in July 1905, it operated as an orphanage and women's refuge between 1905 and 1981. Recently it has been converted into a housing development.
Bendigonian 25 Jun 1905 p9 St. Aidens Orphanage
Bendigonian 25 Jun 1905 p9 St. Aidens Orphanage


At Easter 1905 the Annual Easter parade celebrated Bendigo's Jubilee year.
 Easter parade - SLV Collection
Easter parade - SLV Collection


In February 1906 the Bondi life saving club was set up, the first in Australia.

In world news, Japan and Russia continued to fight a war over port access in China. Japan shocked the world by their military abilities considering that little more than 50 years previously Japan had been closed off to the world. The war continued throughout 1905. At the great naval Battle of Tsushima in late May, the Japanese fleet destroyed the Russian navy (Russia lost 21 ships sunk (including 8 battleships) and 8 captured. The Japanese lost three small torpedo boars). News of the war filled the Bendigo papers throughout the year.

Battle Of Tsushima Japanese Lithograph
Battle Of Tsushima Japanese Lithograph


In early 1905 Eaglehawk decided to rejoin the Bendigo Association and Golden Square Imperials, due to the loss of a large number of players, decided to leave. 44

‘Follower’ writing in the Bendigo Advertiser, looked forward to the new season.

"In bringing out a couple of new senior teams the split in the Association also did a great amount of good, as the three teams previously had almost reached a state of stagnation….Now that Eaglehawk district will be represented by two teams and Bendigo by three, the proportion of good players should be about equalised, and some great battles are looked forward to." 45


South gained Daykin back from Golden Square. California Gully gained "Neilson, Allen, Newsome, Hunt, Russell and S.Jenkins of Bendigo, who mostly reside nearer to the Gully"46

Eaglehawk again had a strong team with McWilliam, G.Hall, 'Dip' Hall, A.Hall, Jinks, Vallance and many others returning to the club.

Bendigo suffered many early defections of players and it was the death knell for the club. Though the club played of for the 1905 and 1906 seasons, it was no longer competitive. The reason for the defections was not adequetely explained. ‘Pivot’ in the Bendigo Independent noted the ongoing tension in his June 10 game report.47

Bendigo again lost all 12 games they played for the season, kicking a total of 8 goals for the entire season, and conceding 144. their best effort was holding Eaglehawk to 4.6 (30), but this is deceiving, as most of Eaglehawk's players were away at a wedding, and Eaglehawk commenced the game with only 12 men on the field.

Date Team G P T Team G P T Venue
Wed 03-May-05 West Bendigo 4 12 36 Bendigo 2 12 24 Upper Reserve
Wed 17-May-05 California Gully 10 8 68 Bendigo 0 5 5 Upper Reserve
Wed 24-May-05 Eaglehawk 17 15 117 Bendigo 0 1 1 Canterbury Park
Wed 31-May-05 South Bendigo 11 16 82 Bendigo 2 3 15 Upper Reserve
Wed 07-Jun-05 West Bendigo 13 15 93 Bendigo 0 2 2 Canterbury Park
Wed 28-Jun-05 California Gully 11 11 77 Bendigo 0 2 2 North Bendigo
Wed 05-Jul-05 Eaglehawk 4 6 30 Bendigo 1 4 10 Upper Reserve
Wed 12-Jul-05 South Bendigo 13 15 93 Bendigo 1 4 10 Canterbury Park
Wed 19-Jul-05 West Bendigo 7 5 47 Bendigo 0 6 6 Canterbury Park
Wed 02-Aug-05 California Gully 12 15 87 Bendigo 1 2 8 Upper Reserve
Wed 09-Aug-05 Eaglehawk 19 21 135 Bendigo 1 3 9 Canterbury Park
Wed 16-Aug-05 South Bendigo 23 15 153 Bendigo 0 1 1 Upper Reserve
Sat 00-Jan-00 144 154 1018 8 45 93


West Bendigo won four games for the season, three against Bendigo and one, a four point upset against Eaglehawk, holding the lead at each of the breaks, Umpire Norden was given credit for umpiring "a difficult game with great credit. From start to finish the play was as willing as it was fast."48

This effectively left three teams to fight for the premiership and the three teams were close all season. At the end of the season South Bendigo and Eaglehawk had nine wins, And California Gully had eight,

There were great games throughout the season. One of the biggest was on August 2nd where 4,000 spectators saw Eaglehawk 7.12 (54) defeat South Bendigo 5.4 (34) at Canterbury Park. Considering a local population of under 9,000, nearly the whole town was there! The local hotels including the Court-house (nearest too the ground) and the Exchange (usual site of Eaglehawk club meetings) would have done a good trade. (Note that I do not have an address for the Exchange Hotel)

At the Masonic Hall 'Pops', the "Who is it?" query was answered last night, Mr. J. Canavan, the South Bendigo footballer, picked out his photo from the number screened, and was awarded the £1 promised by the management to the one who identified his own picture. These 'Pops' have been, and are being, much appreciated by many Bendigonians 'Bendigo Independent 19-Jul-1905 p2


On Wed 21 June 1905 the Bendigo Association took on a combined League team and in front of 3,000 spectators and again showed the strength of local football.

Bendigo Association4.19.310.411.8 (74)
Melbourne (League)2.25.37.78.9 (57)


Goals
Bendigo Assoc: Gray 3, Pattinson 2 Neilson 2, Daykin 2, Roberts, Jinks
League: Baker 4, Young, Comrie, Smith, Madden

Bendigo Association
BackAndrew
West Bendigo
Spencer
South Bendigo
Scott
West Bendigo
HBackSmith
West Bendigo
Allen
California Gully
Chester
Bendigo
CH.’Dip’ Hall
Eaglehawk
George McWilliam
Eaglehawk
Bryant
Bendigo
HFwdJoe Canavan
South Bendigo
Daykin
South Bendigo
Roberts
California Gully
FwdTed Mills (c)
South Bendigo
Arthur ‘Rusty’ Pattinson
West Bendigo
Gray
California Gully
RuckFred Jinks
Eaglehawk
Delhi Neilson
California Gully
G. Hall
Eaglehawk


Melbourne (League)
BackHarry Laxton
Essendon
Alf Sharp
Carlton
Billy Payne
Carlton
HBackJack Wright
Geelong
Joe Hogan (V.C.)
St.Kilda
Jimmy O’Brien
Essendon
CJim or Billy Stewart
St.Kilda
Bill Sewart
Essendon (Ex Castlemaine)
Arthur Sowden
Melbourne
HFwdBill or Jim Cowell
St.Kilda
Mick Madden
Essendon
Vin Coutie
Melbourne
FwdPaddy Mills
Melbourne
Jack Julian
St.Kilda
Jim Smith
St. Kilda
RuckHenry Young (c)
Geelong
(George Moodie))
Melbourne
Charlie Baker
St. Kilda

No Fitzroy, Collingwood or South Melbourne players

But as usual there was a disputed result that soured relations inside the fractured Association. This time, on July 19th at North Bendigo, this time, between Eaglehawk and California Gully

"For a time the Hawks simply outmanoeuvred their opponents, and it appeared as if the game was theirs. Jinks and M'Williams. with Geo. Hall and Wilkinson, put in dashing play for their side, but the Gully boys valiantly repelled the attacks. Noy, ever a reliable man, and Neilson and Allen, wore indefatigable, and the Gully towards the close of the term rushed matters.

Then came the exciting moment. The ball had hovered around the 'Hawks' goal for a few moments, and when the final bell rang the leather was seized by Allen. He was allowed to have his kick, and a goal was scored. The ground was instantly swarmed by supporters of both teams, who each challenged the claims of the other side to a win. Prior to Allan's kick the scores were :—Eaglehawk, 4 goals 5 behinds (29 points); California Gully, 3 goals 8 behinds (26 points). the borough team thus being three points in the ascendancy. If on the other hand, the goal kicked by Allan was allowed. it gives the Gully team a lead of three points.

An excited crowd of some hundreds surrounded the club house after the game, clamoring for the official scores, but Crapp, after hearing the statements of the time keepers (Messrs. M'Eldrew and Forbes) decided to refer the matter to the Association for its determination. The 'Hawks' supporters claim that Allan marked the ball after the bell had runs and consequently, the goal could not be counted.” Bendigo Advertiser 20-Jul-1905 p8


The Association awarded the game to Eaglehawk. California Gully appealed to the VFL, who on 18th of August ruled that the win should be credited back to California Gully. The VFL’s decision came at a bad time for the Bendigo Association, as the first part of the season was over, and the following Wednesday (only days away) Eaglehawk and South Bendigo were playing an extra game, as they were both equal on points, to determine the minor premiership. The VFL’s decision meant that this should instead be a playoff by South Bendigo and California Gully. 49

At the special meeting on August 22, it was clear the Association was going to ignore the League’s ruling. The August 23 Bendigo Advertiser carried a letter from 'Fair Play' from California Gully pre-empting the decision of the meeting that "It seems to me as if it is a certainty which way the special meeting is going to decide, and I say ‘shame’ to the association." A column away, the paper noted that Mr Walker of Eaglehawk moved that the disputed match be awarded to his club, and this was seconded by Mr Anderson of the Bendigo club. The motion was carried. California Gully were furious.50

On August 23rd, South Bendigo won the playoff game against Eaglehawk at the neutral North Bendigo oval to become minor premiers.

Regardless of California Gully's fuming, for the second time the Association would start a finals campaign.

Rather than vote on the finals venues, which caused the 1902 dispute, this time the venues were drawn out of a hat, and both times Canturbury Park was selected as the venue. The first semi final on August 30th was South Bendigo v Eaglehawk at Canterbury Park, with the winner to play off against California Gully. If South Bendigo lost, they had a right of challenge.

In the semi final, Eaglehawk 7.8 (5) defeated South Bendigo 2.8 (20), Eaglehawk led all day.

In the final on September 6th, California Gully easily won, they were 4.2 to nil at quarter time and the game eventually ended Gully 7.6 (48) to Eaglehawk 4.7 (31). There would now be a playoff between California Gully against South Bendigo for the premiership.

'Pivot' in the Bendigo Independent was scathing of delegates betting on the semi final. After admonishing an un-named delegate, there was a broader swipe at the association,..... the following weeks would bear out this truth.

"Much could be said and written about the association's want of administering capacity. One who has attended their meetings cannot but help feeling surprised at the obvious want of intelligence 0n the part of a number of the representatives. Rules are misinterpreted, misunderstood, and unknown, and more often than not signs arc apparent that arrangements regarding voting are entered into before the delegates enter the room. While exclamations of 'In justice to — ' 'We are in honor bound — ' are frequent, the under lying feature of club first, self second, and justice and honor last, is conspicuous in the voting …. There is much need for a change in the personnel of the association, and a remodelling of its constitution. " - Bendigo Independent 2-Sep-1905 p6


Bendigo Independant 11 Sep 1905 p1
Bendigo Independant 11 Sep 1905 p1


At the Association meeting on Monday 11th September on the eve of the final game, South Bendigo and California Gully proposed that the gate for the final should be split between themselves rather than split between all clubs in the Association as it was a 'Challenge Match' and therefore technically not a final, so the usual rules for splitting finals receipts would not apply.

The other cash strapped clubs were furious. The fight over the premiership match gate would split the Association into two separate competitions in 1906.

It is unclear why South Bendigo and California Gully took this action, but South in recent years played hardball, and Gully were still upset over the political pro Eaglehawk vote few weeks before. Both teams must have known that such a decision would be highly disruptive to building up the associations weaker clubs.

The Association President was Robert 'Bob' Nicolai of California Gully, a well known architect and hotel owner. A future Licensee of the View Point Hotel. Henry ‘Harry’ Warren, proprietor of the View Point Hotel was a Bendigo delegate.

The Bendigo Independent reported the meeting:

The debate had got very warm, when Mr. Bisset, one of West Bendigo' delegates, accused the secretary (Mr. H. Warren) of tapping the president’s knee inferring that he was endeavoring to influence the president by so doing.
The president (Mr. R. Nicolai) warmly resented the imputation. He assured the members that no one had touched him. He asked for the withdrawal of the words.
Mr. Bisset : Occular demonstration is sufficient. I will not withdraw the words.
The president: I insist on a withdrawal.
Mr. Bisset: You won't get it.
The president (warmly) : You are not fit to sit in a room with gentlemen who tell the truth. It's a lie. I do not like such a dirty insinuation, but it only comes from a foul mind,
(Uproar.)
Mr. Bisset (Semi-apologetically) I did not say that anyone touched your knee. If the cap fits, you can wear it.
The president: Gentlemen, he accused Mr. Warren of tapping my knee— did he not?
A delegate: That's what we understood him to say.
The president : I again ask for a withdrawal.
As Mr. Bisset would not comply, the president closed the minute book, saying he would not allow business to proceed until an ample apology had been made.


After not getting an apology the president ruled that the receipts of the match be split between his club and south Bendigo and then left the room. The other delegates began to elect Mr Salter (from the Bendigo club) to the Chair, Mr Murphy of South Bendigo disrupted the proceedings and before a vote could be taken, Mr Nicolai returned to the room, and realising that no vote had been taken to replace him, quickly ruled the meeting closed. With no official decision made, the delegates descended into accusations.51

Bendigo, West Bendigo and Eaglehawk delegates met the following night, and wrote to the Bendigo Council to instruct them that the gate money be handed over the Association. A letter was also sent to the other clubs protesting the action and to hold the money from the game until a court could decide the issue.

At the start of the season, the Association had sought permission to use the Upper Reserve, but they had not booked the extra week for the Challenge final, and their reservation had finished the week before. There probably had not been much thought about who’s name was on the recently added extra week, but now it made a difference, as unfortunately the Council said that the ground had been engaged by the South Bendigo Secretary (Michael Barnett) for his club and not for the Association, and therefore, they had little control.

In the day of the final, the gates were manned by men appointed by the two competing clubs.52

In the presence of a large crowd, football was eventually played. South led by a point at half time, and rain made the ground a quagmire. A close game in the second half gave South the Premiership 3.9 (27) to Gully 2.5 (17). The gate was huge.

The clubs could not find a resolution for their dispute, and the coming months were full of angry meetings. The three clubs (Eaglehawk, West Bendigo and Bendigo) passed the dispute to the VFL, who had by then packed up for the season. But the VFL did meet. and decided against South Bendigo and California Gully, banning them and their players from interacting with VFL controlled organisations. But that was nowhere near the end of it.

On Thursday night 21st December the Bendigo Independent reported on the latest Bendigo Association meeting. Their report appears in full below

The business of the Senior Football Association is still being conducted, like, that of a high court of law or of a children's nursery.

Recently Mr A Bisset (West Bendigo) was appointed acting president over the head of Mr Nicolai (California Gully), who, it is contended by the rival faction, has no right to the office on account of the California Gully Club of which he is an officer, being disqualified.

There are two disagreeing parties, the South Bendigo and California Gully club delegates on the one hand, and Bendigo, West Bendigo and Eaglehawk representatives on the other.

When the delegates entered the room last night to deal with a motion it was noticed that Mr. Nicolai sat at the head of the table, with Mr. Bisset. There was a full attendance of delegates. Mr. Nicolai, pursuant to what he considered his right, had started to read the notice convening the meeting, when. Mr Bisset stood up and read a similar notification.

One might have thought that Mr. Wilks and Mr. Page were both trying to address the "House" together. There was a noise. Mr. Salter contended that Mr. Nicolai had no right to speak, and he was supported in his view by the Bendigo-West, Bendigo-Eaglehawk party. Before Mr. Nicolai had finished reading the notice Mr. Bisset threw the wrapped up minute book, documents, etc., of the association. across the room and they were picked up arid sat upon by Mr. Steward (Eaglehawk), the idea being to keep them out of the reach of Mr. Nicolai. Reiterated appeals to Mr. Steward to hand them back met with no response, and Mr. Nicolai then warned the opposing party of what he said were the serious consequences of the stand they were taking.

The babel of voices grew in power and volume until not a word was distinguishable. Arguments were general, and personalities were becoming hot when Mr. Salter moved his motion, the effect of which is to alter the time of the annual meeting from the second week in April till the first in January. The "acting president" put the motion, which, of course, was carried, owing to no notice being taken of the protestations of the "disqualified" delegates.

Further wrangling ensued during a subsequent motion moved by Mr. Salter to the effect that the bank be notified of the disqualification of Mr. Nicolai (who is also treasurer). Mr. Nicolai strongly resented this step. But the motion was amended, "That the secretary and the treasurer sign no more cheques till next meeting." Mr. Nicolai again protested, cross-firing by the other delegates being maintained meanwhile. This phase of the matter was got over by an agreement being arrived at by the three clubs to "safeguard" the books.

Mr. Murphy (South Bendigo) rose to explain that the league had decided not to enforce any disqualification until the views of the clubs concerned have been heard, but he was jeered at and no notice taken of him. He then endeavored to press an appeal to the "acting" president against the disqualification of Mr. M. Barnett, South Bendigo's secretary, but he again failed. Delegates then went into recces — some of them to continue their arguments informally before separating. – ‘The Football Squabble’ - The Bendigo Independent 22-Dec-1905 p1


Bendigonian 31 Oct 1905 p9 South Bendigo
Bendigonian 31 Oct 1905 p9 South Bendigo

Bendigonian 5 Sep 1905 West Bendigo
Bendigonian 5 Sep 1905 West Bendigo



1906


In February 1906 Michael Barnett Secretary South Bendigo died aged about 68. Born in Prussia, a speculator and pawnbroker. He was also president of the Jewish Philanthropic Society. A sad loss for the South Bendigo club at a time of turmoil.

In March, George Lansell, the ' Quartz-King', one of the biggest names in Bendigo, died. His New Chum and 180 mines were both some of Bendigo’s deepest. His estate, the pretty Fortuna Villa, is today a private residence, but also a wedding and function venue. A statue of George Lansell was erected in Pall Mall in 1908 and is located near the old post office.

Fortuna Bendigo
Fortuna Bendigo


“he was director of thirty-eight mines and had some link with almost every mine in Bendigo….l. At his death on 18 March 1906 Lansell was mentioned in all the churches and flags were flown at half-mast.” – http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/lansell-george-3992" rel="external nofollow">The Australian Dictionary of Biography


In June 1906 the Golden Jubilee statue, commemorating 50 years since the discovery of gold in the area was unvailed in Pall Mall. It was Bendigo's era of statues!

Golden Jubilee statue
Golden Jubilee statue


In world news, on 18-April-1906 a 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit the American city of San Francisco destroying 80% of the city.

Despite to condemnation from the other clubs and the ruling by the VFL, South Bendigo and California Gully did not back down, and flush with funds, proceeded to set up their own competition for the 1906 season. They invited junior clubs like Quarry Hill and Albian Imperials, to join but the Juniors refused.53

Mr Alf Eva (from the Great Northern Mining company) convened a meeting on 22 Feb 1906 at the recently built Long Gully Fire station (15 Haggar Street, Eaglehawk ) for the purposes of joining the new unregistered Association. There was an attendance of about 36 including Mr J.Tresize and Mr Jason. And Mr W.Bidwell (Secretary of the Mechanics Institute) was elected Secretary pro terma. This new club was to be named the “Long Gully Imperials”.54

A number of quality players moved to the club including many players from South Bendigo. Many of these players appeared to have played with the Carlisle and Unity club in the Miners Association the previous year. I have listed the new players from the 5-May -1906 issue of the Bendigo Independent and put a (Yes) beside those whose surname appear in the Carlisle and Unity Grand Final Team for 1905.55

Players moving to the new club included
  • Joe Canavan (South Bendigo) – (Yes)
  • Jack Johnson (South Bendigo) – (Yes)
  • George Ogilvie (South Bendigo) – (Yes)
  • H.Ogilvie (South Bendigo) – (Yes)
  • Russell (South Bendigo) – (Yes)
  • Spencer (South Bendigo)
  • T.Allen (California Gully)
  • Syd Jenkins (California Gully)
  • Harry Newsome (California Gully)
  • ‘Jonah’ Jones (West Bendigo) – (Yes)
  • Secold– (Carlisle and Unity ) (Yes)
  • T.Mercer (United Alberts)

Eaglehawk, West Bendigo and Bendigo also attempted to bring in new clubs and it appeared that Albian Imperials (1905 Junior Premiers) would join as a fourth team.56, but this did not eventuate. Maybe one sticking point was that the old Association was clear that any new club would have to pay the full entry fee.57

It might have been better to offer an inducement and divide their own internal resources better for a long siege, but they did not and instead the two banished clubs were able to bring in a third club and present a competitive competition in 1906, while the old competition floundered.

The other issue at immediate issue was who would have access to the Upper Reserve, unfortunately for the old Association, the new Association got in first, Cr. Wilkie was one of the California Gully club delegates and therefore favoured the new Association, the Parks committee of the Council refused to budge.58

Another Councillor James H. Curnow, the ex mayor who would be elected to represent Long Gully in August 1906, was also president of the new Association.

So the old Association, without access to two main Bendigo grounds and was forced to base its competition in Eaglehawk. The teams were also lopsided, Eaglehawk vying for strongest in the district, and two poor performing teams. This would make for a boring one-sided competition that neither the spectators or the players were interested in. This made it difficult to raise revenue. The old Association was well aware of this issue.59

By May 1906 a new attempt to arbitrate the factions was initiated when the old Association approached the Mayor and asked him to act as arbiter. 'Pivot' in the Bendigo Independent laid out the situation:

"The position of the old association is not so promising. That fact cannot be denied. As one of the delegates wisely remarked at the meeting on Saturday: "We are handicapped in almost every possible way. We have not a central ground to play on, our district to draw from is comparatively small, and other influences are being brought to bear which must tell against us. Angered feelings must give way to our sporting instincts. Let us take the best possible terms we can." The remarks were warmly applauded.
--
Looking at the matter in its broadest aspect, it is simply this — the new association, by reason of the evenness of the contesting clubs and the fact that the most central ground has been procured, will attain success over the old body, who have to be content with an outside ground and three unevenly matched teams. The logical conclusion to be drawn is that the older association will cease to exist- if things go on as they are"60


Through April and May, the papers filled with angry letters to the editor favoring either side of the dispute. There were two sticking points, firstly the disputed gate, and secondly the disqualification by the VFL. The new Association argued that the disqualification must be lifted before negotiations could start, in reality, they were asking the old Association to give up their only bargaining chip before bargaining commenced.

In early June suddenly it seemed like the dispute was over. Meeting at the View Point hotel, delegates from the associations came together to decide who was to arbitrate, but instead, made a kind of peace. California Gully and South Bendigo would each donate ten pounds to a fund for disabled footballers, and the disqualification was removed. In it's final paragraph on the meeting the Bendigo Independent was optimistic:

"A conversational discussion ensued, and from it, it was evident that no bar would be placed in the way of a complete and satisfactory settlement. When the disqualification becomes a thing of the past, a meeting will be held, and the necessary arrangements fixed up to allow of the future working as one body. It is recognised that a give and take attitude will have to be adopted, but it is confidently anticipated that the whole trouble will shortly be cleared." – Bendigo Independent 9-Jun-1906 p861


Ten days later the old association met, and removed the disqualification. They also appointed delegates to meet with the South Bendigo and California Gully (but not Long Gully) to “arrange fixtures for the season and transacting any other business.”62

During this year the new Association had made attempts at reconciliation, excluding sharing the gate and also without including the poorly performing Bendigo club, while the old Association wanted the money and believed that Long Gully had not be properly created as a senior club. (In both cases a 3-2 voting bloc would then exist in any re-formed Association).

At the July 3 meeting of the old Association, news finally arrived that the VFL had officially lifted the disqualification. The old Association also passed comment on the new Associations efforts

Mr. Boydell referred to the apathy of the new association to meet the old association in conference to arrange for an amalgamation, and said the former had acted in an unsportsmanlike manner. All attempts to call the conference together had been fruitless, and it appeared that the new association, knowing that it had the full right to the Upper Reserve, cared but little as to whether the conference was ever hold. Mr. Steward proposed that another attempt be made to call a conference with the new association on next Wednesday night. 63

Surprisingly Mr. Boydell’s ‘Unsportsmanlike’ comment was taken poorly by the new association.

It was now July and the new Association only had three weeks left in their regular season before they moved onto their finals, their competition was popular, and they were no longer disqualified. At this point they were not prepared to seriously talk about the current season.

The West Bendigo delegate Mr Boldt brought up the issue of the interchange of players, arguing that his club was loosing players to ‘inducements’. He also stated that "If the premierships go on as at present West Bendigo might suffer irreparable loss."64

This does not appear to have had an affect on the other delegates as they switched to a debate over amalgamation. Mr Curnow, president of the new Association did not favour any amalgamation in the current season, nor did Mr Jewel a Long Gully delegate.

Mr Barnett: If the amalgamation took place, how many competition teams would there be?
Mr Boydell: Well, six; your association has three, and we have three.
Mr Barnett: What about grounds?
Mr Curnow: Matches could be played at Bendigo, Eaglehawk and California Gully.
Mr Nicholai: We could not complete a round this season on that scale.
Mr Barnett: I think six teams are too many. Couldn’t Eaglehawk, Bendigo and West Bendigo amalgamate, and call its team the Bendigo District Association.
Mr Steward: No thanks
Mr Langdon: We only have two more matches to play each. That is only four Wednesdays. Don’t you think that the two Associations could finish their minor premiership matches and then play a major premiership match together?
Mr Steward: I think that can be better thrashed out at the conference between the two associations. I would not like to commit myself
65


But nothing could be worked out and feeling poorly treated, the old Association resolved to continue it's season and to fight on.66

On field Long Gully won the minor premiership over South Bendigo, with California Gully struggling. On 5 August, Long Gully won the playoff game for the premiership 3.3 (21) to South Bendigo 2.8 (20) and they would have had a right of Challenge if they had lost.

On Wed 29 Aug 1906 at the Upper Reserve, the new Association played a match against the VFA defeating a strong team by two points.

TeamQ1Q2Q3Final
BDFA 1.0 1.4 3.9 3.12
VFA 1.4 2.4 2.8 3.10


BDFA
BackC. Norris
California Gully
Spencer
Long Gully
Mickells
HBackJack McCarthy
Eaglehawk?
Paddy Mills
South Bendigo
George Noy
California Gully
CFred Ennor
Long Gully
T.Allen
‘Lol’ Cook
South Bendigo
HFwdHarry ‘Henna’ Wright
South Bendigo
Roberts
(Probably ‘Corbert’ Roberts
California Gully
Daykin
Fwd‘Ted’ Mills (capt)
South Bendigo
Fred ‘Twit’ Forbes
California Gully
Jenkins
RuckBurns
Leo Seward
Eaglehawk?
Joe Canavan
Long Gully

(Noy took Jinks place)
VFA
BackVic Belcher
Brunswick
William 'Ching' Harris
Footscray
W. ‘Bill’ Lanfranchie
Richmond
HBackBarney Lazarus
Prahran
Bert Huesker
Port Melbourne
W Graham
Willimstown
CHerbert 'Bucky' Hill
Richmond
Henry Chase (capt)
Brunswick
W. 'Billy' Orr
Essendon A
HFwdBob Jacobsen
Footscray
Jack Dowding
Prahran
Linehan
North Melbourne
FwdCharles Haigbloom
Prahran
W. Jones
Williamstown
J. Thorpe
North Melbourne
RuckArt Gregory
West Melbourne
Bill Petitt
Port Melbourne
'Bert' Armstrong
West Melbourne


In the old Association the games kept going, but there was little interest In the competition. On 13 June, Eaglehawk started the game against West Bendigo with eight players on the field, old players such as James Steward, 'Spanker' Rule, Arthur Potter and Jimmie King, not regulars for many years, made up the numbers. At their next match on 27 Jun, Eaglehawk started their game against Bendigo with 11 men and still defeated Bendigo. Bendigo draw their last fixture for the season, mainly due to an influx of players from the new association whose competition was already completed. The season finished on 26 September when Eaglehawk 6.10 (46) easily accounted for West Bendigo 4.6 (30).

On 15 September a VFL team finally appeared in support of the Old Association, but with 15.11 (101) to Bendigo’s 2.4 (16) it was an uninteresting spectacle.

Eaglehawk and Long Gully played off against each other in a charity match on 19 September at Canterbury Park. Long Gully playing on an unfamiliar ground, and a month after their own season had finished were at a disadvantage and Eaglehawk 6.4 (40) overcame the visitors 4.11 (35) providing a moral victory for the club.

One of the most illuminating comments on the 1906 season was by 'Pivot' in his introduction to the 1907 season, noting that "Everyone who loves football felt the loss of Englehawk in the principal Senior Competition last year. Personally, I think a premiership is robbed of much of its interest without the skilled players from the borough."67

The season again ended in bitterness.

Football Colors - As Brewery Advertisements
In submitting a resolution at the meeting of the Total Abstinence Society last evening, ... Mr W.J. Campbell said there were many evidences around them of the neccesity for increased energy on the part of the committee. A few days ago he said that he saw a football player or "barracker" (he did not know which) wearing in tho band of his hat what looked like a paper helmet. A few days later he saw one of the paper helmets and found that it was a representation of two ale bottles surmounted with the name of one of the Bendigo brewereries, and with the initial letters of the football club printed across it. It needed no more to show how I the liquor trade was using every means in their power to gain the influence of the young men. - Bendigo Independent 22-Jun-1907


1909 Cohn's Beer 'Bendigo District Colours Long Gully
1909 Cohn's Beer 'Bendigo District Colours Long Gully
1909 Cohn's Beer 'Bendigo District Colours South Bendigo
1909 Cohn's Beer 'Bendigo District Colours South Bendigo


1909 Cohn's Beer 'Bendigo District Colours Dingee
1909 Cohn's Beer 'Bendigo District Colours Dingee
1909 Cohn's Beer 'Bendigo District Colours Epsom United
1909 Cohn's Beer 'Bendigo District Colours Epsom United
1909 Cohn's Beer 'Bendigo District Colours Kamarooka
1909 Cohn's Beer 'Bendigo District Colours Kamarooka
1909 Cohn's Beer 'Bendigo District Colours Raywood
1909 Cohn's Beer 'Bendigo District Colours Raywood
1909 Cohn's Beer 'Bendigo District Colours Sebastion Antiques Reporter
1909 Cohn's Beer 'Bendigo District Colours Sebastion Antiques Reporter




Act 4 – Aftermath

After the 1905-1906 dispute, the two football Associations amalgamated in 1907, but the power was effectively held by the clubs in the BNDFA. The poorly performing Bendigo club was not invited to join the 1907 competition, leaving the rebel clubs with the deciding vote. The Association would now meet at the Rifle Brigade Hotel, at the top of the hill, just opposite the Upper Reserve (named the Queen Elizabeth Oval, since April 1954 when visited by the Queen).

Bendigo. Rifle Brigade Hotel. 137 View St. By JT Collins 1974 SLV Public Domain
Bendigo. Rifle Brigade Hotel. 137 View St. By JT Collins 1974 SLV Public Domain


The Bendigo Association Affiliated with the VFL in April 1907.

The colors of the different clubs were registered, the only alteration being that of Long Gully, which changes from red, white and blue to cardinal and navy blue. - Bendigo Independent 13-Apr-1907 p5


1908 Club Flags Vic Country California Gully Otway Jack (thecollectingbug)
1908 Club Flags Vic Country California Gully Otway Jack (thecollectingbug)
1908 Club Flags Vic Country Eaglehawk Otway Jack (thecollectingbug)
1908 Club Flags Vic Country Eaglehawk Otway Jack (thecollectingbug)
1908 Club Flags Vic Country Long Gully Otway Jack (thecollectingbug)
1908 Club Flags Vic Country Long Gully Otway Jack (thecollectingbug)
1908 Club Flags Vic Country South Bendigo Otway Jack (thecollectingbug)
1908 Club Flags Vic Country South Bendigo Otway Jack (thecollectingbug)


West Bendigo started the season with four resounding losses, the last one was West Bendigo 1.1 (7) to Eaglehawk 15.27 (117) . When California Gully came out onto the field on the fifth of June, West Bendigo were not there. The club withdrew from the Association and returned to junior ranks.

Eaglehawk dominated the competition early in the season and were minor Premiers, but there appears to have been internal issues at the end of the season. Only 15 players started for Eaglehawk in their Semi Final match, against South Bendigo and they still only had 17 at players at the end of the game. The score line of Eaglehawk 2.2 (14) to South Bendigo 6.14 (50).

Long Gully took out a close Final against South Bendigo in front of 7000-8000 spectators.

Eaglehawk again collapsed in the Challenge final, scoring 1.7 (13) to Long Gully’s 3.3 (21). This was to be Long Gully’s only Bendigo Association premiership.

Should Long Gully's other win in 1906 be counted and a Bendigo League premiership?....I think the closest example is World Series Cricket where the best players formed their own association, but these records are not part of the official record....

Bendigonian 22 Oct 1907 p9 - Long Gully Imperial
Bendigonian 22 Oct 1907 p9 - Long Gully Imperial


Bendigonian 22 Oct 1907 P9 South Bendigo
Bendigonian 22 Oct 1907 P9 South Bendigo


Eaglehawk would win in 1908 but South Bendigo would then win five of the next six premierships before the start of the First World War.

California Gully last played in 1911 and Long Gully in 1913. A Bendigo City club played from 1912-1915 but it did not continue after the war, when a revived Sandhurst club rejoined the competition.

The first regional club, Rochester, joined the competition in the 1915 season, but that was closed down by the war.

Conclusions

I started researching this article, as in my earlier article on George Ogilvie, I could not clearly understand what had happened at Bendigo in 1906. Now I feel that I have made a start on that goal.

There is also much to reflect on, especially the dangers of only a few teams in a competition.

I hope you find this article as interesting to read as I did to research it, and good luck both to South Bendigo and Eaglehawk in the years ahead. It is amazing to think that the events here are happened nearly 120 years ago.

Bendigo Results 1901-1915
Bendigo Results 1901-1915


END


Match Details 1901 - 1907


For anyone interested in a list of all games in each season, please use the following links:




Personalities


South Bendigo


L Cook Soutrh Bendigo
L Cook Soutrh Bendigo
L.E. ‘Loll’ Cook d1933, was South Bendigo wing man between 1893 and 1913 and often captained the team. In 1908 voted most popular player in the district. He captained the Bendigo Association team against the League in 1911. His brother A.E ‘Ernie’ Cook also played for South Bendigo, and was later was later president of Bendigo City club, and the Bendigo Association. Ernie was MLA for Bendigo in the 1920s.
J.Canavan South Bendigo
J.Canavan South Bendigo
Joe ‘Bulla’ Canavan, b1880 A rover, he played 8 games with South Melbourne F.C. in 1903 and 9 games with Melbourne F.C. in 1907. He came to South Bendigo from Golden Square (a junior team) in May 1902, he returned again in 1904-05. He was Bendigo Independent’s player of the season for 1902. In 1906 with Jumbo McDonald and George Ogilve moved to the newly formed Long Gully. Canavan captained L:ong Gully in 1908 and was acting as un umpire in 1909 and appears to have played his final season in 1910. In 1905 Canavan saved an old engine driver, Sam White who had slipped and got caught in the freezing muddy slush around a local mine. Joe, on his way to work at the Carlisle mine, threw a piece on tin onto the slush and pulled Sam to Safety. Others had heard the old man’s cries for help but had not helped as they would have been late for work.68
S O'Connell South Bendigo
S O'Connell South Bendigo
Stan O’Connell. South Bendigo c1904-09. Captain 1907-08. His brother Bert also played for South Bendigo. Played for Richmond in 1908.
South Bendigo George Ogilvie
South Bendigo George Ogilvie
George Ogilvie, father of George Ogilvie was a South Bendigo regular since 1895. He later played for Footscray and Yarraville. His story is told in Two George Ogilvie's - 40 years of Football on this website.
J Johnson South Bendigo
J Johnson South Bendigo
I am confused over Jack Johnson. There must be more than one, as the timelines do not fit. A Jack Johnson (b 11 December 1887) from Long Gully played his first game for Melbourne on 11-May-1907. Johnson played two seasons for Melbourne and then played for North Melbourne from 1909 to 1919. Jack Johnson had a permit from South Bendigo to Long Gully 1906 and in fact was one of Long Gully’s star recruits, coming into the newly formed team as vice captain.
The J.Johnson from South Bendigo had been playing since at least 1901 and was married in 1902. “The marriage of Mr. J. Johnson, the well-known footballer, to Miss Mollie Sinclair will take place at All Saints' pro-Cathedral this afternoon Bendigo Independent 17-Dec-1902 “, But this would mean that Johnson was married at age 14! More research is required,
Bendigonian 22 Oct 1907 P9 South Bendigo A.Pattinson
Bendigonian 22 Oct 1907 P9 South Bendigo A.Pattinson
Arthur T. ‘Rusty’ Pattinson played with South Bendigo 1903,1907-1910. He was vice captain in 1903. He played for West Bendigo in 1904-05. He played for StKilda in 1909 and Footscray in 1910. He played for Rochester 1914 and served as a trooper in the Boer War and as a Warrant Officer in WW1.

At last the Southern skipper realised the fact that Williams doing all the mischief by his high marking and "Rusty" Pattinson was sent down to cheek that brilliant player. “You re not going to hurt me," said “Bruiser”, smilingly, as he saw Souths racehorse bearing down upon him. "Oh, no”, came the answer, "I'm just going to stop you; I won't hurt you if I can help it.” As a matter of fact, Pattinson did stop Williams, for his leaps into the air, which invariably saw him tumbling over players on to the ground, brought about the desired effect, and Williams brilliant marking achievements were somewhat crudely brought to a sudden termination. - Bendigo Advertiser 4-Jun-1908 p3
Another Pattinson, possibly a brother. Fred Pattinson played for South Bendigo 1902, Bendigo in 1903, West Bendigo in 1904 and South Bendigo in 1909. The Bendigo Independent notes that Captain A and Fireman F. Pattinson moved from the Bendigo Fire Brigade to the Echuca Brigade in November 1910, I assume that this is Arthur and Fred.
Bendigonian 20 Aug 1901 P9 South Bendigo E.Muller
Bendigonian 20 Aug 1901 P9 South Bendigo E.Muller
Frank C Muller, father of Melbourne Team of the century player Jack Muller, was a star player from 1897 with the Sandhurst Cardinals, along with his elder brother Ernest. Frank captained Sandhurst in 1901 in the year the club folded. Frank moved immediately to Bendigo and was Bendigo captain in 1902. Ernie moved to South Bendigo in 1902, Frank joined him in 1903 and retired around 1905. As a young lawyer, he moved to Echuca. Frank was also a noted tenor and a harrier who is said to have won the Echuca gift. He was president of the Echuca football club.
Joe Pearce (1912)
Joe Pearce (1912)
Arthur ‘Joe’ Pearce was the son of the head of Bendigo Grammar school. He played 153 games for Melbourne F.C. from 1904 to 1913. He died at Gallipoli 1915 on the day of the first landings. He joined South Bendigo from Park view 10-Jun-1902. Playing for South in 1902-1904 and then for many years in Ballarat.
Bendigonian 22 Oct 1907 P9 South Bendigo E.Mills
Bendigonian 22 Oct 1907 P9 South Bendigo E.Mills
Edward ‘Ted’ Mills was for many years captain and/or coach of South Bendigo. In the ‘Bloods’ - Highs and Lows of 100 years. Mills is listed as coach in 1899, 1901-02, 1904-1905 and 1909. He received a 15 year service trophy in 1909. He was an accountant. At age 40, Ted joined the 38th Battalion and reached France in November 1916. In January 1917 he was hit by a shell and had to have his arm amputated, ending his military career. At the time of his enlistment he was manager of Webster Brothers Cycle and Motor Works in Bendigo. His brother Paddy Mills also played for South Bendigo (1906-1910). Paddy played 83 games for Melbourne 1903–09 and then followed that with another 20 for Carlton.
Bendigonian 22 Oct 1907 P9 Long Gully Imperial R.Daykin
Bendigonian 22 Oct 1907 P9 Long Gully Imperial R.Daykin
Robert ‘Mottle’ Daykin (1881-1925) – South Melbourne 1904. South Bendigo c1897-1906 and 1912-1913. Long Gully 1907-1909, went to Broken Hill 1911. His three brothers also played League football. Richard Francis Daykin (1887-1943) – Collingwood 1908-1910. Bert ‘Red’ Daykin (1888-1955) – Essendon 1908-1910 and Mines Rovers c1911-1913. Percy Ernest Harold ‘Dub’ Daykin (1890-1965) – Carlton 1914-1921
Fred ‘Twit’ Forbes played for California Gully from 1905 and was captain in 1907-08. (Married June 1907). Forbes played for Fitzroy in 1908. He was controversially not granted a permit to play with South Bendigo in 1909. He finally moved to South from 1911-1915. He captained South to the Premiership in 1912. Captained a combined Bendigo team against the League in 1912. He played for Eaglehawk in 1918.He ran a Hairdresser/Tobacconist in Mitchell Street. Later a quality Billiards player. Fred’s brother Albert also played for South Bendigo,
Henry ‘Henna’ Wright came to South Bendigo in 1902. A strong forward, He was leading goal kicker for the Association in 1902, He nearly went to St Kilda in 1907, and did play for Melbourne F.C. in 1908-1909. He was the Bendigo Independent ‘best all-Round player’ in the Bendigo Association in 1908. He was still playing for South Bendigo in 1913.
Little ’Jumbo’ McDonald was a rover who played for South Bendigo starting around 1902-03, For West Bendigo in 1905, later California Gully and Long Gully. Dan Minogue (AFL Hall of Fame and another Bendigo player), credited Jumbo with teaching him the flick pass with a rag ball during ‘Crib time’ while 2,000 feet below in a Bendigo mine.69



Eaglehawk


Eaglehawk Fred Jinks
Eaglehawk Fred Jinks
Fred Jinks (1880-1940) played for Carlton from 1906-09 and later joined North Melbourne where he was a member of the 1910 premiership team and Captain in 1912. The blueseum website has a good article on Fred, http://www.blueseum.org/Fred+Jinks. He deserves more interest.
George McWilliams - SLV Collection
George McWilliams - SLV Collection
George McWilliam b1878 was an experienced player before arriving at Eaglehawk to run his chemist. He was educated at Geelong College and had played for Williamstown in the VFA c1897-1901. He became Eaglehawk captain 1905. He played for Fitzroy between 1907 and 1909. He also served in Egypt in WW1. He played for Eaglehawk from 1902-1914. He played for both Eaglehawk and for California Gully in 1904 when the Association was split. He was also a volunteer fireman. A number of photos of George and his family are available through the State Library of Victoria.
Bendigonian 20 Aug 1901 Eaglehawk G Cairns
Bendigonian 20 Aug 1901 Eaglehawk G Cairns
George Cairns born c1855, died in October 1917 died soon after his own eldest son, who died in a military hospital after being wounded at Gallipoli. He played for Eaglehawk for around 1891 to 1902 (abt age 47). Newspaper in 1902 reported that he had been playing for 25 years. He was captain for at least one of Eaglehawk’s five-in-a-row premierships. He captained again in 1901. He played for Jobs Gully in 1904 and coached West Bendigo in 1905. He later continued to play Jnr Football. Looking further into his background, in the late 1890’s there appears to have been two George Cairns playing football. One in Ballarat, and the other In St.Kilda, Essendon and Mooroopna in 1890. It is difficult to identify which George moved to Eaglehawk.
Leader 30 May 1908 P27 StKilda Team - C.Clymo
Leader 30 May 1908 P27 StKilda Team - C.Clymo
Charlie Clymo b1884 was a fireman who worked in Eaglehawk. He came to Eaglehawk from Eaglehawk East in May 1903. In June 1903 the Bendigo Independent noted that there is no doubt he will become a champion (13-Jun-1903). He played for Eaglehawk from 1903-1909. He played for St Kilda 1907-09, playing Wednesday in Eaglehawk and Saturday in Melbourne. He was captain of the Ballarat Fire Brigade from 1910-49. While in Ballarat he played for Golden Point and captained premiership sides in 1910,1914 and 1919. He coached and umpired in the 1920s and in 1931 coached Geelong to a VFL premiership.
Bendigonian 20 Aug 1901 Eaglehawk Geake
Bendigonian 20 Aug 1901 Eaglehawk Geake
Frederick Geake – Leading goalkicker for club with 27 in 1900 and again with 14 goal in 1901. Job’s Gully in 1904, (Sometimes captain). Umpiring 1905-c1908. Cricketer. Mine Manager at the Virginia Mine 1912.
Bendigonian 20 Aug 1901 Eaglehawk R.Moran
Bendigonian 20 Aug 1901 Eaglehawk R.Moran
Robert ‘Bobby’ Moran, was an Eaglehawk player until May 1903 when he moved to Boulder WA where he played for Boulder City but was seriously injured in a mining accident in 1905 he fell 400 feet in a runaway cage. He was a rover and won the clubs best all round player award for the 1900 season. He returned to play for South Bendigo from 1906 to around 1909.

“Yesterday morning a painful accident happened to E. Moran, who is well-known locally in football circles. He was assisting to move a boring machine in the Macduff mine when he slipped, and in putting out his right hand to protect himself he struck a piece of sharp quartz, and inflicted a wound about three quarters of an inch in depth on the inside of the right wrist. His injury was attended to by Dr. Wells, who found it necessary to insert four stitches. It is expected that a month will elapse before Moran will be able to play football again.” 70
"Bobby"' Moran was very conspicuous in the red and whiles with his little slate colored cap. He was handled pretty roughly at times, but never missed an opportunity of getting in some telling play. Moran can still hold his own with. The youngsters, and will be quite good enough for South for many a long- day.71
Bendigonian 20 Aug 1901 Eaglehawk John Watson
Bendigonian 20 Aug 1901 Eaglehawk John Watson
‘King John’ Watson. Eaglehawk 1901-1909. A fiery miner (not to be confused with James Watson a centreman at the same club). In 1901 he was fined for on-field bad language. In 1902 he was charged with striking Anderson, a Bendigo player. He was also reported for striking E.Muller of South Bendigo and in July 1902 Watson did not attended the Association meeting and was ordered to stand down for the rest of the season. In 1905 he was in court for assaulting a wood contractor named James Bobmardieri while working at the Catherine mine. In this case he knocked Bobmardieri down, then waited for two ladies to pass, then knocked him down again. In 1906 he was shift boss in the New Argus mine. In 1907 he and Paul Bauers (South Bendigo) were in court for on field fighting. A few months later he was again in court for assault, this time Thomas Thorn, an ex-gold buyer. In September 1909 he was reported for ‘unduly rough play’ , Umpire Gibson wrote in his report that ‘he had cause to caution him many times for hitting at players’. He was disqualified for the remainder of the season. He possibly played with California Gully in 1912.
Harry ‘Barry’ Barrass recruited from Young Colonials, played for Eaglehawk from 1902 to 1912, when he left the district. He usually played as a backman. In August 1907 he and George Ogilvie were disqualified for the remained of the season after an on-field altercation probably started by Barrass’s elbow. He won Eaglehawk’s medal for most unselfish player in 1911. He was a fireman and ran a fruit and confectionary business with his brother. In 1922 he was a delegate from the Rochester club in their attempt to join the Bendigo League. He was later Rochester Football club president.
V. Vallance . Job’s Gully in 1904, (Sometimes captain).
Three brothers, Frederick James Trewartha 1881-1938. wing. With Snobs Hill in 1904 and Eaglehawk at least 1905-06. Albert Ernest 1879 - 1920 Trewartha from umpire to Eaglehawk 14-May-1901 ruck. Umpire again in 1904. He was later president of the Bendigo Miners Association. Thomas Trewartha 1883-1917, was seriously injured in a mining accident


Players named Hall

I count about six different players with the surname of Hall playing for Eaglehawk during this period.

Bendigonian 20 Aug 1901 Eaglehawk H.Hall
Bendigonian 20 Aug 1901 Eaglehawk H.Hall
Bendigonian 20 Aug 1901 Eaglehawk W.Hall
Bendigonian 20 Aug 1901 Eaglehawk W.Hall
Eaglehawk George Hall
Eaglehawk George Hall
Eaglehawk Harry Dip Or Horrace Hall
Eaglehawk Harry Dip Or Horrace Hall

One set of brothers included Harry ‘Dip’ Hall was a cricketer and umpire. He played for Eaglehawk from c1902-1909. He also umpired from 1910 – 1916. He played two games for St Kilda in 1908. His brothers George ‘Jordan’ Hall 1902-1908 and Horace Hall c1903-1909. (A Fireman) also played with the club. A fourth brother William ‘Docker’ Hall also played until around 1902. The brothers are named in their father’s obituary.72. The photo for George Hall does not match the football card?

Bendigonian 20 Aug 1901 Eaglehawk A.Hall
Bendigonian 20 Aug 1901 Eaglehawk A.Hall
Eaglehawk Team Of The Century Anth Hall
Eaglehawk Team Of The Century Anth Hall
Eaglehawk Team Of The Century Ivo Hall
Eaglehawk Team Of The Century Ivo Hall

Another set of Hall brothers73 played with Eaglehawk during the same period, Anthony ‘Ant.’ Hall played for Eaglehawk from 1904- 1909 . Captain 1908-1909. He was sensationally, arrested in 1909, while captain for “having inflicted grievous bodily harm” while playing against Robert Pierce of South Bendigo. The case was dismissed, but he does not appear to have played again. Ivo. Hall, an Eaglehawk forward 1909-1910 went to WA. A permit to Mine’s Rovers in 1911).



Bendigo


1907 Sniders N Abrahams C Fitzroy B Bailes Otway Jack (thecollectingbug)
1907 Sniders N Abrahams C Fitzroy B Bailes Otway Jack (thecollectingbug)
Barclay ‘Tich’ Bailes b1883 received a permit from the Primrose club in Melbourne to Bendigo 1-May-1903. At the time his father represented the electorate of Sandhurst in the Victorian Assembly. Bailes moved to Perth for the 1904 season. Bailes played 79 games for Fitzroy between 1905 and 1909. He also played around 98 games for Brighton between 1909 and 1915. His brother represented Collingwood and Brighton.
Henry 'Delhi' Neilson was a miner and a champion Cornish-style wrestler. He lost a famous bout to Russian World Champion George Hackenschmidt in Melbourne in 1905. Neilson, a forward, played with Bendigo in 1902-1904, and was captain of Bendigo in 1903. He moved to California Gully in 1905 and was Gully captain in 1906. Neilson appears to have played for Eaglehawk in 1907-1911 and was Eaglehawk captain in 1910
Albert 'Nugget' Heath. Exploded onto the football field in 1904 and was Bendigo Independent’s player of the season. Heath played for Bendigo who were bottom of the ladder that year. He died Dec-1906. of 'Miners Disease' age 24 after a 12 month illness. Heath played for Bendigo, West Bendigo and Hustlers in the Miners Association.
F. Ennor (Possibly Frederick Charles c1880-1921). South Bendigo 1902-1903, Bendigo 1904, West Bendigo 1905-1906, Long Gully 1907-1911, California Gully 1913. Disqualified for the remainder of the season twice; in 1905 and 1911. Ennor was one of six Long Gully players facing the tribunal in the 1911 case and received the longest sentence.

Against F, Ennor was the dual charge of rough play and using filthy and obscene language.
Elder said that, he cautioned Ennor for "legging" until he was tired. He took his number, but forgot it and when Ennor offended again he found that his number was not on his guernsey. He then asked for his name, and Ennor said. "Go to _.” had to get his name from the captain. Ennor continued "legging," although told to stop.” 74
Ennor was Involved in a mining accident at the Carlisle mine at 3420 feet down when explosives prematurely exploded virtually blinding Peter Moyle a few feet away. 75
Charles 'Bert' Watson Melbourne FC 1897. Football with the Bendigo Club (Permit for CM Watson)76 Involved in Bendigo athletics.77



Other


Looking at 1906 there are more VFL players who have a Bendigo connection. It appears the list on this page could easily be extended:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Parkinson (South Bendigo)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archie_McNeel (South Bendigo)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leo_Seward (Eaglehawk)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_McCarthy_(Australian_footballer) (Eaglehawk)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Clements (West Bendigo)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Hunt (Long Gully)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Johnston (from South Bendigo at Melbourne 1907)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Homan (Possibly Holman from Melbourne http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226936426)


END


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