Melbourne Australia

Club History – Part 1

The history of a sporting club can mean a number of things -the manner of its original formation and its progress over the years; a compilation of a list of its officers over the years; a compilation of a list of the successes achieved by teams representing the club and the exploits of individuals as representatives of the club in Victorian Lacrosse, in Interstate matches; as representatives of Australia in International matches; the winning of the best and fairest awards; the naming of particular individuals who have brought honour to the club as players, coaches or administrators over a long period. The list goes on.

During Frank Lansbury’s time as Honorary Secretary, the stage was reached on a number of occasions when players became blaze about winning premierships, and when the taking of photographs of teams was not accepted with any enthusiasm. This accounts for the very small proportion of the total premierships won by the club being represented by photographs. The photographs around the walls of the clubrooms are all that is available of the premiership teams.

Old Malvern Lacrosse Team PhotoMinute books have been kept on the club since its formation in 1903. They are now in the hands of the historian for the Victorian Lacrosse Association, Mr. Doug Fox. The years 1916 to 1930 were never passed on to Mr. Athol Evans (the Secretary of the time) in 1933 and their whereabouts have never been determined. During both World Wars lacrosse was limited and so the periods 1916 -1918 and 1939 -1945 would have little to record in regard to the competition played.

The early minute book discloses that a meeting of the Malvern Lacrosse Club was held in a room at the Malvern Town Hall on Wednesday, 15th February, 1904. It appears it was well attended by members and intending members; this statement tends to support the fact that the club played in 1903 and this was its first annual meeting. The chair was occupied by Mr. Ed. Edwards (whose son Les Edwards lived in Glen Waverley -at least in 1972 -and was interested in the activities of the club), and the object of the meeting was explained. The members present formed themselves into a committee to consider a code of rules drawn up by a select committee.

This code, with minor alterations, was accepted by the Committee of the time, and consequently became the rules of the club. These rules (See Appendix 1) remained unchanged until 1963 and governed the conduct of the club for approximately sixty years. The rules were again changed in 1986 when the club became incorporated to protect the committee members from litigation, should any arise, showing a sad state of affairs in the age in which we now live. At the first meeting Mr. Ed. Edwards was elected President, a number of gentlemen were elected as Patrons and Vice-Presidents and all other offices were filled.

The Honorary Secretary elected was Mr. J. W. Schafe, who is believed to have been one of the guiding forces behind the formation of the club. He came from the St. Kilda Lacrosse Club and was vitally interested in professional athletics; a number of the original members of the Malvern club were professional runners. Mr. Schafe continued his interest in the club during his lifetime and lived to the age of 82. Frank knew Mr. Schafe well and remembered listening with interest, on many occasions, to his stories of happenings in lacrosse and professional athletics . Apparently Mr. Schafe was regarded as somewhat of a “wild man” in his younger days. He attended the club functions and arranged the printing required by the club from time to time as he owned and operated a large printing firm, then located in Lonsdale Street, Melbourne.