THE new social and change rooms at the Dalyston Recreation Reserve were officially opened on Sunday afternoon.
Guests kept their ‘social distance’ from one another while sharing memories of times gone by while checking out TS Constructions’ build.
“You’ve all been invited for a reason,” said Dalyston Recreation Reserve president Kelvin Simpson.
“At some stage over the previous decades, you or your family have made a contribution to the growing and the upkeep of the reserve directly either through the reserve or the football netball club.”
Kelvin reflected and paid tribute to the various personnel who’ve come and gone over the years to help out at the reserve, with many showing loyalty for years, even decades.
Since 1961, he said, the recreation reserve has only had three secretaries and four presidents.
“Alan Carmichael was president for 34 years, Max [Williams] for 11, Nick Cordiano for seven, and now myself for six.”
The current secretary, Hans Kamphuis, has been in his position for 17 years.
Max Williams officially opened the rooms.
“All the stories always bring me back to something that sticks in my mind, and forever will, when you mention someone like Alan Carmichael.
“He was a cornerstone in anything around the place. I remember when I started playing in ’57, I think, and it was the next year or the one after and he called a meeting, all the young ones had to be there.
“The first thing, I can still see Alan sitting there, he took the pipe out of his mouth and sat it down on the papers.
“He said, ‘Gentlemen, football has gone mad. The books have just said it’s cost us 1000 pounds to run the football club for the past 12 months.
“Now, what $2000? How much gets spent on bandages and things nowadays… it’s incredible the change.
“It’s always been good to me. It gives me great pleasure, but I’m not really the one to be in this position, to declare the rooms open.”
The reserve saved up $125,000 for the upgrade, alongside $25,000 from the football netball club, $50,000 from the San Remo Community Bendigo Bank, and a $200,00 contribution from the Bass Coast Shire Council.
Dalyston Football and Netball Club president Andy Thomas, on behalf of the club, thanked the council for their contribution.
“Most of all, I’d like to thank them for their faith in the community of Dalyston and the support of kids and their families of not only our town, but the greater population of Bass Coast.
“We all know the figures regarding kids and exercise and playing sport.
“I’d like to thank the recreation reserve committee, led by Kelvin and Hans, for not just hours but years dedicated to improving the facilities here for the community. They should be proud of what they have achieved so far.
“Hopefully with the netball courts and change facilities that are proposed next year; the Dalyston community will be able to take enormous pride in not just the growth in our recreation reserve, but the growth of the town and the surrounding area.
“I’d also like to thank the Bendigo Bank for their commitment to not only this facility but to all the communities. They have been leaders in our society in the way they’ve supported all of us in our community endeavours which we are all truly thankful. Without their investment, projects like this would struggle to get off the ground. Good recreation facilities are an investment in the future.”
Mayor Cr Brett Tessari met reserve caretaker Graeme Pigdon and others when he was campaigning for council and they talked about changing the master plan to move the rooms to their current location, so he was overjoyed to see it all come to fruition.
“It’s just a picture to look out here in what is really testing times. It’s more important now that the Dalyston Football and Netball Club stays strong; you’re going to be needed in the community.
“We might not be playing football or netball right now, but I know when we get through this, you guys are going to be needed to help out the community moving forward.”
See next week’s paper for the full feature.
New era at Dalyston