Uncovering Swans history

Alex Ford

STRATFORD Football-Netball Club is continuing to rediscover parts of its proud history, as 19 names were added to its life members honour board last weekend.

Club historians Lindsay Schilg and Daryl Cooper have been poring through old records, Tagger magazines, and minute books for months.

The plan is to publish a book in time for the 150th anniversary of the club, which is in a few years’ time.

The club also honoured its past players and the 1998 reserves premiership team with a luncheon before its victory over rivals Boisdale-Briagolong.

Schilg said he was surprised to see so many names had been forgotten, but added it was good to see them recognised.

“We also found some old stuff about the recreation reserve committee of management – we found a minute book for them, and meetings are fairly infrequent – this one was from 1958 and had every meeting up to 1980, which included some really interesting information about the football club,” he explained.

“A player borrowed 6000 (pounds) back in 1957, and it’s recorded when it was borrowed and when it was paid back — that shows how things have evolved.”

There was also the club’s wartime history, and Schilg said it was fascinating to find out how Stratford had played its part.

“In World War 2, they were going to keep playing but the searchlight battalion set up camp in Stratford, the whole oval was covered in tents,” he said.

“The battalion did mock air raids, and conducted mock bombings over Stratford.

“One of our old contacts said she was 14 in WW2 and worked as a nurse when they did these air raids.”

The support from the community has been hugely helpful as well, with many people coming out of the woodwork with fascinating tales and photos of football heroes.

“I’ve spoken to a lot of older people, and I’ve been given the Tagger magazine, a lady gave me 10 years worth of those from the 1950s and 60s,” Schilg said.

“There was an article months back, and one of the ladies saw it, rang and left a message — we went to visit her and that’s where I got a lot of those stories.”

Club president Terry Condie added it was exciting to see everything coming together.

“It just gets lost over the years, all this information, so we’re trying our best to find it,” he said.

Anyone with photos, memorabilia, or good yarns are encouraged to email lindsayschilg@icloud.com