It has been 78 years and $1 million in the making. And Saturday will see no fewer than 18 games played at The Foreshore as Neddies hosts our friends from Kalamunda to commemorate one of the biggest days in the club’s history – the official opening of our new club house. With perfect weather conditions forecast, there will be 14 hours of non-stop action starting with the first of the juniors matches at 8am right through to 10pm when the DJ is due to play his last song. The opening of the new club house comes 78 years after Neddies was founded in 1934 and more than 60 years since Neddies first made its home on The Foreshore in 1951, in what was then little more than a public toilet and a cramped changing room. The facilities to be unveiled tomorrow include improved changing rooms for players, dedicated changing facilities for referees (which should bring down the penalty count), improved kitchen facilities and, at last, quality rest room facilities for the ladies. The opening of the new club house is also an opportune time to reflect on the winning culture which has been created at Neddies across the decades. Unbelievably, since moving to The Foreshore in 1951, Neddies has picked up no fewer than 73 Premiership flags across the senior and colts grades, including 15 1st grade flags. Add to that 20 Club Championship titles and 5 Champion Club awards and you can see why Neddies is regarded as one of the most successful sporting institutions in Australia. All from that little building on The Foreshore. Of course, work on the redevelopment of the club house only started after last season’s grand finals (in which all five Neddies senior teams were represented) in September. To have finished the redevelopment in just eight months is a massive effort from the many club members, players and supporters who volunteered their time, money and services to make it happen. In particular, a huge thanks should go to the building committee team of Garry Ash, Chris Lowson, Steve and Terry Bradbury and Johnny Walker. Their efforts have been legendary. While the club has cost the club about $700,000, the true cost of the new facility – taking into account the labour and materials which have been donated or provided at a discount – is estimated to be well in excess of $1 million. This would not have been possible without the significant contributions made by BGC, WesTrac, the City of Nedlands and the WA Department of Sport and Recreation. While the rugby starts from 8am, the formalities start after the 2nd Grade game at 3.15pm when Neddies president Hans Sauer welcomes the many dignitaries in attendance. Hans will start his speech with a minute’s silence for our former team mate Mike “Dents” Denton, who tragically passed away last year but whose memory will always live on at The Foreshore. The Premier Grade match between Neddies and Kalamunda, which is the first home game of the season, will kick off at 3.45pm. There will be speeches and meals for players after the Premier Grade game, with a DJ playing until 10pm. Damo has already been warned he is not allowed to do the dead fly, while Hulkster has been inconsolable all week since the DJ refused his request to play some Val Doonican and Nana Mouskouri songs.
May17May 17, 2012