Celebrating 100 Years!

The Briars Centenary Dinner was held last Saturday night, 4th August, at Waterview in Bicentennial Park.

Sporting gear was swapped for more formal attire by the 600 odd guests. The evening was enhanced to have so many older and current playing members attend. We even had relatives of some of the original members present. The age of guests ranged from 18 to 100.

Guests were treated to a night of just the right mix of formalities and fun, befitting such an occasion. The hallowed Briars pulpit was initially manned by Briars good friend Gordon Bray AM, who kindly hosted the event as M. C.  in his usual professional manner, Gordon steered us seamlessly through the formal proceedings.

Chairman, Brett Howle reminded us of the achievements the Club has made over time and how it has developed into the major sporting club in our area. A letter sent by the Prime Minister, congratulating the Briars on our 100 years of contribution to amateur sport was read out by the Member for Reid, Craig Laundy.

Angelo Tsirekas, the Mayor of Canada Bay, remarked upon the partnership The Briars has with Council in delivering sporting opportunities to residents and others, and long may this continue. A highlight if the evening was the playing of three video snippets about The Briars history, commentaries and the future. This Anthony Deep production will soon be available on DVD in full, complete with additional footage and features. Look out for this on our website.

Our guest speaker for the night was Robert De Castella AO MBE. Deek was given a hero’s welcome as he was introduced. The video footage of his famous 1982 Brisbane Commonwealth games marathon victory stirred the admiration of the guests for this iconic Australian athlete. Deek recounted his time training as an athlete and he highlighted his fantastic work with indigenous athletes in the training of marathon running.

Author, Ronald Cardwell launched his book “Boys, Briars and a continuing Sporting Tradition”. Ronald gave us an insight into the book and it certainly is a must read. The book becomes the legacy of our centenary year that we can leave for Briars members of the future.

The last formality of the night was the recognition of Life Members, past and present. Those Life Members present, or a family representative of a past Life Member, were given a personally monogrammed Life Members cap and badge. The caps and badges for those families that couldn’t be at the function will be delivered to them in recognition of their loved one’s service to a grateful Briars Club.

Gordon Bray and Ronald Cardwell, deservedly, were awarded Honorary Club Memberships of Briars. By all accounts the event was a fitting way to mark such an important milestone in our history.

The trials and tribulations of organizing the event faded away as the success of the evening became obvious. Guests recounted past sporting glories, caught up with old team mates and generally enjoyed mixing with fellow Briars. It was impossible to catch up with everyone, however, many attempted to do so back at the club afterwards!

Briars achievements over the last 100 seasons, provides a wonderful foundation for the next 100 seasons and beyond. We look forward to our current and future generation of Briars building and enhancing the Briars continuing sporting tradition.

Briars Centenary….the tradition continues………

We will publish the photos taken at the Centenary Dinner when they become available, in the meantime enjoy the photos from the after party at Briars Sports Club.