1957

The 1957 season saw the Club move to the (then) huge Righetti Oval at Kooyong.

This was said to be a vast improvement on the Yarra Bend area, despite the showers being heated by a chip heater which had to be lit each time and which took forever to heat.

Righetti Oval had the added advantage that it was near to the Kooyong railway station in Glenferrie Road.

Ian Monro (another well known Trinity Grammar School teacher in whose honour the gates at Bulleen are named) took over as team manager. Laurie Chynoweth continued as coach; Peter Birrell was captain.

Whilst the Club was only to advance one rung on the ladder over the 1956 season finishing eighth and winning only 5 games, the Club generally was in a sound position.

Deserving of special mention for that season was the dedication of Ian Mason who travelled to and from Geelong each weekend to play with the team. Ian was at the 2010 reunion and has been a great supporter of the Club for over 50 years. He played 68 games between 1955-59. He has been described as a hard player, both on and off the ground – a description perhaps supported by Ian’s own account of his playing days:

“I may have been remiss or even forgetful, but I do not recall ever attending practice as such in the five [?] years I played with the Club. As you are aware, for most of the time, I was living and working out of Melbourne, and used to arrive at Spencer Street Station about 11.30am each Saturday, go straight to the Amateur Sports Club in McEwan House, have a steak and a couple of liqueurs, the latter purely for digestive purposes of course, and then make my way to Albert Park. Coach Laurie Chynoweth once tackled me for imbibing before a game; however, I managed to persuade him that I was not drinking before the impending match, but merely seven days after the previous one. ‘Sammy’ Dunn was one of our better players, and a great exponent of the place-kick: it was his preferred method of shooting for goal. He used it in his last game with the club in a losing semifinal – [1956?] – I suspect he may have been one of the last VAFA players to put the ball on the ground.

John “Tubby” Weatherson’s father was one of our keenest followers, and we didn’t have many: he watched every game we played in those early years. At Albert Park one day we were really short of numbers, so much so that the umpire would not let the match begin until we could come up with sixteen players on the field; we only had fourteen. John’s father and another supporter took to the field both wrapped up in scarves and gabardine overcoats. The umpire counted sixteen including the two ring-ins and bounced the ball; the game began, and Mr Weatherson Snr. and his companion left the arena. At the end of the match, the umpire notified us that he intended to report the Club to the Amateurs for having two players incorrectly dressed. I believe we were duly fined. 

On another occasion at Righetti Oval, Power House Gold could not field sixteen and forfeited the match. However, everyone wanted a game so two sides were picked with some Trinity men in Trinity jumpers making up the numbers for Power House. I had a visitor from New Zealand who had flown in for a wedding. This match was the first and only occasion he saw Australian Rules played; hence he was somewhat bemused by the sight of Trinity players tackling other Trinity players. At one point, when a Trinity player was having a set shot for goal, two Power House players uprooted the posts and held them about six feet apart to make scoring a goal more difficult. When the shot ‘missed’, they returned the posts to their former positions. My visitor returned to NZ the next day, convinced that Australian Rules was indeed a unique game. 

Derek and Thais Phillips were great supporters and their home in High Street, Kew, was a regular Saturday venue for post-match … I was going to say ‘celebrations’, but in those early years we did not often have much to celebrate, so perhaps ‘partying’ is more appropriate. The matches for the most part were eminently forgettable; the partying wasn’t. One of the undoubted stars of the ‘fifties, Lindsay Dowling, was the brother-in-law of Derek Phillips. When Camberwell Grammar Old Boys started a team in 1960, I went through the whole thing again, struggling to get a team on to the field, battling for the infrequent win, and, as with the early OTG teams, rejoicing, as Lord Byron put it in his poem ‘The Eve of Waterloo’ , in “the sounds of revelry by night”.”

Award winners 1957

Best and Fairest: Roger Petty
Runner-up: Vince Kwong
Most Effective: Bill Thomas
Best First Year Player: Lindsay Dowling
Most Improved: Laurie Ford
Best Clubman: Peter Birrell
Best Junior: J Ryder