Diane Spark has claims to be Australian cricket’s First Lady of scoring.
She has been full-time scorer for the French Island first XI for 54 uninterrupted summers.
Her father, Robert ‘Bob’ Thompson, was the patriarch of one of Victoria’s great bush cricketing families. At one stage six Thompson brothers and their sons made up 10 of the island’s family team. And the 11th was a relation.
Bob had been invited to Prahran in the Big Smoke but couldn’t afford the time away from his family’s farm so stayed home. His love of cricket has flowed through the generations and despite the island’s population of just 110 full-timers, the club’s only XI has never once had to forfeit.
An ‘overseas’ fixture on Westernport Bay is always a highlight for Mornington Peninsula cricketers as the French Island spread is the most celebrated in all of Australasian club cricket. From the delicious Windsor-style sandwiches to scones, jam and cream plus the jelly slices (which are truly out-of-this-world), the ladies of the kitchen have been delighting hoardes of country cricketers for decades.
And in case of a late finish, the local ferryman will always wait for the cricketers.
‘It’s tradition,’ says Diane.