Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Port Melbourne Town Hall for this most august occasion where we celebrating 140 great years of one of the great clubs of all, Port Melbourne Cricket Club.
My name is Ken Piesse and on behalf of president Nick and his committee, it’s an honour and a privilege to be your MC tonight. In another life I was the Guru, the Guru of Spin as the boys like to call me. All of us have nicknames: Arms, Stretch, Biff, Fab, Eggie, Ecka, Suds, Rig, Cocky, Davo, Teddy, Bunk, Luigi, Fireman, Cement Head, Martin the Brain, the Beaver licker… we were AND ARE a weird and wonderful lot.
Looking around the room it’s like old home week. So many great names and faces. Wheels our greatest living sportsman, a Brownlow Medallist and still a Port boy, is here…. There’s Bunker the work care king with the lovely Joanne. Like so many here, Bunker spent a mini lifetime at Port playing both footy and cricket.
He’d defected to Willi and Mal Allen said to him one day: ‘Bunk… Get Ferocious!’
‘What number is ee’
He and Jo jetted off to Greece for a couple of weeks one time and were back in Bay Street when they ran into Arms, who asked them about their holiday and had they seen all the local landmarks like the Acropolis.
‘Yer mate,’ said Bunk, ‘we went to all the nightclubs’.
For a blueblood Beaumaris Liberal, it’s quite ironic that I am your MC tonight here at the blue collar, grass roots Port Melbourne Town Hall. It took me a year to be accepted. I still get called a friggin poofta sportswriting prick, but at least Stretch says it was a smile now
Tonight is a celebration not only of our cricket club, but for the whole town. 140 not out is a great milestone and tonight we not only celebrate that achievement but make a particular fuss of Arms and Fab and the 1984-85 boys who began our halcyon years with the first of three flags in eight years. Only 5 played in all three and I’d like us please at the end to acknowledge the achievements, service and sheer skill of Phil, Graham, Robert Beviliqua, Shane ‘Nuffy’ Davidson and Robert ‘Bunker’ Tinsley.
More from the lads later.
Overall we’ve won 10 premierships in the first 140 years. We were Sandridge CC in the first 10 years and Port since 1884. We’ve produced three Test players, the two McLeod brothers who played against WG Grace and JJ ‘Jim’ Kelly one of the first great stumpers who played with Victor Trumper. In the 1960s we were coached by a Test player in Merv Harvey the eldest of the famous Harvey brothers.
Among the VIPs here tonight…. on behalf the committee , I’d like to make particular mention of the deputy mayor Bernadine Voss, where are you Bernadine. Welcome.
Also here is a table of our sponsors from Melbourne City Hyundai. The boys will guarantee the very best deal in town so do get a card from him tonight.
Tonight is all about fun and tall stories and mingling. We’re here until they throw us out after midnight. As you know the restrooms are
There will be a few speeches tonight and it would be remiss not to have this man up first, Port Melbourne’s most famous allround sportsman, born and bred just a few of his delightful stab passes away, Mr Peter ‘Wheels’ Bedford… (a q and a followed)
We briefly touched on the dual celebration component tonight and each of the legendary 1984-85 team present will be introduced after the mains by Phil .. but first as an entre, let’s hear from a man who presided over most of that premiership success in the 80s and early 90s, Mr Bob Allen (another q and a)
Ok time for some table chat and the mains… we do have a silent auction going.. so please do be generous as we try and cover our costs. It’s going to be a stellar night. Party on everyone
Time to honour the 1984-85 flag boys but just a story to start with.
We were playing at Williamstown a Saturday–Sunday game and this particular year I was presenting the cricket on World of Sport, and having recorded early, I was that keen to get away that I rushed out of Dorcas St still with my makeup on. Arriving at Willi, Stretch said to me: ‘I’m right … you are a bloody poofta …’
We got thru to the semi against Camberwell that year and another rookie Steve Dunn, one of our army boys took 4 wickets … and so did I – Stretch taking the last catch off me… he looked at me and said: ‘You’re still a bloody poofta sports writer, but I love you.’
All of us walked taller with Stretch in our corner. We played out at Mt Waverley one day. They were on top of the ladder. Phil had drummed into us all to be there ready to go an hour before the game. They were ready to go an hour and a half before the game and their coach Dave McClean who now coaches Frankston was tearing into them like a footy coach saying we were overrated show ponies and basically no good.
They were doing their hit ups as we jogged a slow first lap. Normally protocol demands that you run around, so as not to disrupt them… BUT having heard the hot gospelling inside, big Stretch said, ‘Let’s just run straight through the pricks’… and we did. Thanks to Arms we beat em by 100-plus runs. They went from first to fifth and weren’t heard of again.
This was the period of our golden run where we played almost 30 games from the premiership year of 84-85 without even one defeat. For me, being part of that era even for 4 years was as good as it gets.
Phil and Arms were the cornerstones of those champion teams. Phil’s rapport with everyone from the firsts down to the thirds was amazing. Our opening bat in the threes was a fella named ‘Denbeigh’ who was a single man with a passion for porno movies which were all the rage in the 70s and 80s. Maybe they’re still big now too, eh?
Denbeigh came up to Phil one night all worried, said he was getting married and he had to quickly dispose of his entire porno collection so his new missus wouldn’t find out about his nefarious past. Would Phil like some? Phil took 5 or 6 … they were all those old fashioned videos, stuck ‘em in a cupboard at home at Parkdale and forgot about them
One boozy night not that long ago the family were out the back telling stories. Apparently the 2 oldest boys Matt and Mooch had found the movies and played ‘em non stop…. It was the best sex education of all.