The Briars Sporting Club History
In 1951 Bob Clark retired as Honorary Secretary. Bob, a founding member of the club and without any doubt, has been the club’s backbone. Bob was Honorary Secretary for well over twenty years. Not only was he the driving force behind the continuance of the Briars, but also he helped many hundreds of sportsmen in his work for Rugby and Cricket generally. In 1953 he was bestowed the Club’s highest honour, that of Life Membership. Bob is currently the Club’s Patron.
“Half Time”, which was begun in 1949/50 had a “chequered career” in the 50’s. It was a subscription circular, which was aimed at informing the members about the “doings in the Club.” Its main problem was not one of circulation, but rather those associated with publication. It was unfortunate that the paper had a quite a succession of editors, due to various reasons. It had a problem of obtaining a steady supply of journalists throughout the 1950’s.
With the formation of a company, the Club’s administration had now taken on a different form. A Board of Directors was formed. Their duties were to look after the Club’s financial assets and make policy decisions. On the other hand, the Management Committee replaced the general Committee and was concerned with the day to day running of the Club. The Sub-committee structure remained unchanged. This administrative set-up still remains today.
A special sub-committee was established in 1954 to research into “the quality and sufficiency of the entertainment and amenities” available to the members. After it report the executive decided that major renovations should be undertaken to the building. Concurrently the Club should make an application for a Club Liquor Licence. In September 1955, a provisional License was granted and in November 1956, a Liquor Licence was approved. The total cost of these two items was approximately 6,000 pounds ($12,000). To meet this cost a debenture issue to members yielded 3,850 Pounds ($7,700). The balance was obtained through a bank overdraft.
Golf, billiards and table tennis remained popular. Two teams again entered in the N.S.W. Table Tennis Association Competition.
In 1958, Hockey introduced the shield named after Mr. A. J. Robison. It was awarded to the Hockey player who made the greatest contribution to his sport and to his Club.
Two great losses occurred in this period. In 1954, the Club’s Patron, and one of the three gentlemen who guided the Club through it early years the Hon. H. W. Whiddon, died.
In 1957, the Club’s first President, Mr John Stone died.
Mr. E. J. Siddeley was appointed Club Patron in 1957.
In 1950, an era came to an end when the Library closed until a new Librarian was found. This facility, which proved such an important and popular amenity during the previous thirty years, has remained closed ever since.
Membership of the Club continued to expand in this period. In 1950/51 the membership stood at 252 and by 1959/60 had reached 334.
Our sporting prowess was enhanced admirably in the 1950’s. Perhaps hockey as the newest sport deserves special mention. Between 1950 and 1960, the Briars A Grade Hockey side won nine premierships. That is one every year except for 1956 – a remarkable performance.
Cricket also proved to be very consistent, with eight Premierships in the 1050’s. The A and B Shire Premierships were both won in 1952/53 and 1955/56. Another great sporting triumph was achieved in 1956 when the Briars won the R. B. Clark Cup. This trophy was donated by the Briars Club to recognise the services of that person to cricket. The trophy is awarded to the Club Champions in Municipal and Shires Cricket.
Rugby only won one Premiership in the 1950’s. The first fifteen won the Kentwell Cup in 1952. However, the club Championship was won for three consecutive seasons – 1951/52/53. This meant that the Briars had won the Club Championship for six seasons in a row between 1948 and 1953.
In the 1956/57 Annual Report, the addition of a new minor sport was mentioned – Squash. In the remaining years of the fifes this sport enjoyed increasing popularity. Teams were entered in the competitions run by the Squash Association of N.S.W