Club History

Samford Seniors History

Many thanks to Life Member, Steven Forsyth, for the many hours devoted to compiling a comprehensive history of the Samford Rangers Senior teams.  You can download it by clicking here.

Steven doesn't profess to knowing the entire history, especially when it comes to the Over 35's and the Women's teams.  So if you have any photos, statistics or stories that you think would help preserve our history then I am sure Steven would love to hear from you at srfmma@tpg.com.au.

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The Formative Years of the Samford Sporting Association

Our clubhouse and playing fields are located at Harold Brown Park. The following is a history of the foundation years of the Club as told by Pam Brown:

Harold Brown Park many years ago
Harold Brown Park many years ago (click to enlarge)

The land where the Samford Football Club has its playing fields was first selected in 1865 by Mortimer Dover Tait. It was described as Portion 19, County of Stanley, Parish of Samford. Portion 19 had an area of 32 acres 2 roods and ran from Samford Creek to Wights Mountain Road. It cost M.D.Tait 32 pounds 15 shillings (about $65.50). Tait had also selected the adjoining Portion 20 of 25 acres 2 roods.

These two portions changed ownership several times before the turn of the century in 1872 to William Frederick Wickham and John Clune, 1880 to Frederick James Hamilton, 1882 to Thomas Sully Pratten, 1893 to Thomas Gardner. In 1918 Thomas Gardner added Portions 21, 22 and 23 to the property, making a total of 132 acres. In 1940 the land was transferred to Gustav Whyte Gardiner, James Irwin Gardiner and Robert Gardiner. The following year, 1941, it was purchased by David George Brown.

David George Brown, his wife Phillis Irene Brown and 7 year old son Harold David Brown shifted from Wights Mountain to live on, and farm the property that they called "Gardiners", after the previous owners. They established a dairy farm and cultivated the flat where the Soccer fields and Pony Club grounds are. Horses were used to pull the plough, scarifiers, harrows etc. Crops were sown by hand. Vegetables for home use were also grown on the flat. A stand of cow cane was established on part of the flat.

About 1947 the Brown family purchased a property further along Wights Mountain Road (now called Westerngales). They dismantled the Gardiners house, which was situated on the hill above the Soccer and Pony Club flat, and used the timber to add to the house on the new property. They also shifted their dairy to the new property. From that time they used Gardiners as a dry paddock - cows not in milk were put there until they had calves and brought back to Westerngales to be milked. The Soccer field flat was part of the dry paddock.

In 1959, when David Brown started having health problems, he and his wife Phillis retired to Woody Point. They sold the farm to their son, Harold and his wife Pam. The Soccer grounds continued being used for grazing dry cattle. In 1966 Gardiners was subdivided into acreage blocks. On 28th September 1966 Lot 11, an area of 19 acres 1 rood was transferred (donated) to The Council of the Shire of the Pine Rivers. Harold and Pam Brown continued using this land until 1973.

In that year the Pine Rivers Shire Council decided that the newly founded Samford Sporting Association and the Golden Valley Pony Club should share the land.

The Conversation That Started The Club

After 1965, the number of children attending Samford School increased when the outer district small schools were closed and the pupils transferred to Samford School. The school now had enough pupils to play in team sports. By 1970 the girls were participating in interschool Netball fixtures and the boys in Australian Football League fixtures. By 1972 enrolment numbers had increased to 188. Samford children were enjoying the competition and the fun that team sports were giving them. They were keen to play more sport.

This is the Brown's story showing how they became involved with the formation of the Samford Sporting Association.

Our children developed a desire to play more sport. We, as parents encouraged this. Club Netball was well and truly established in Brisbane, with weekly fixtures being played at Downey Park. In 1966 our oldest daughter, Kay, signed on with the Aspley Club, which was the Club closest to Samford at that time. She trained at Aspley one afternoon a week and played at Downey Park on Saturdays.

At school the boys played Aussie Rules. However we did not know the game and it was only starting to get established in Brisbane. We decided that Soccer was the game we wanted our son, Glenn, to play. At that time Glenn did not know much about any of the football codes. We started searching for a Club for him to join. We found the closest one at Grovely, so Glenn joined the Budapest-Grovely Club. As time went on, other Samford boys joined the same Club and before long there were quite a lot of boys traveling to Grovely for training and playing.

Arial shot of Harold Brown Park
Harold Brown Park from helicopter in 1997
(Photo courtesy of David Bannerman, Samford Publications)

About the same time Flamingoes Netball Club started up at Grovely. Lisa, our second daughter joined it, and Kay transferred from the Aspley Club. In late 1960's Checkers Club replaced Flamingoes. Our youngest daughter, Jodie started playing in 1971. Other Samford girls also joined, so now we had Samford boys and girls all playing for Grovely teams.

This meant a lot of traveling from Samford to Grovely. At that time it was considered OK to jam as many kids into the car as could fit. Every week a couple of willing parents would pick up girls and boys from school and drive to Grovely, wait till training was over and then head for home, dropping kids off at their homes on the way.

One afternoon while Alan Schafer and Harold Brown were sitting on the bank of Kedron Brook at the Budapest-Grovely Soccer Grounds they discussed the idea of starting our own Sports Club at Samford. This was suggested to other parents whose kids were playing at Grovely. Discussions took place and interest in the idea grew.

The question was - "Were we willing to give it a go?"
The answer was - "Let's do it".
The result was - "Samford Sporting Association".

We decided to "give it a go" - but there were still questions to be answered.

Would There Be Enough Players To Field Teams?

As the word got around just about every kid in the district wanted to be part of it. But were their parents agreeable? Notes were sent home from school to find out. For this exercise we received much help from the school. Pam Brown was teaching there at that time. The Head Teacher allowed her to run off notes on the old Gestetner Copying Machine, and donated the paper. She was able to chase up the kids to make sure the notes got home to the parents, and also to collect the replies. The response was good enough for us to proceed with the project.

Where Could We Establish Home Grounds?

When Harold and Pam Brown subdivided their property in 1966, the Pine Rivers Shire Council resumed 19 acres 1 rood fronting Samford Creek and Richards Road. This area was to be set aside for future parkland. Nothing had been done with this land up to 1972. Brown's cows were still grazing on it. Pam Brown wrote a letter to the Pine Rivers Shire Council, notifying them that some interested parents wished to establish a Sports Club in Samford, and that we needed suitable ground for Soccer Fields and Netball Courts. We had looked at other land that was resumed by Council from other subdivisions that were occurring in the district at that time, but could find nothing suitable. We suggested to Council that the park area on Richards Road would be satisfactory and we were prepared to do the work required to transform it into playing grounds.

We did not know that the Golden Valley Pony Club was also looking for a permanent ground for their use. Brian Burke (our local councilor) informed us that the Council had received a request from the Pony Club for use of the same ground in the same week that we had applied. We met with Pony club members and, even though both groups needed more area, we decided that the area would be shared. The Pony Club used their ground mainly on Sundays and we would be using ours on Saturdays for fixtures and some afternoons after school for training. Our main concern was that if a ball were kicked through or over the fence it might spook the horses that the children were riding. The arrangement wasn't entirely satisfactory but it would suffice - so we proceeded to the next step.

How Do We Go About Affiliating With The Soccer And Netball Associations?

Committee members of the Grovely Clubs guided us with the administration requirements for running Soccer and Netball Clubs. Some parents attended meetings of the Associations - Soccer at Perry Park and Netball at Downey Park. We were confident that we could manage what was necessary.

We now felt we could round up enough players to form teams of mixed ages, and we had a cow paddock to play on, and plenty of keen parents to get things going.

It was now "full steam ahead"!

The Formation of the Club

The First General Meeting

We were ready to start. We met at the Samford School to decide on the formation of a Sports Club. This first meeting was not so much a formal meeting as a discussion of ideas. Many of the ideas were agreed upon and were adopted. Later on these were incorporated in a constitution. At the meeting a committee was elected. Here are some of the ideas agreed upon at that meeting.

The Name for the Club

The name "SAMFORD SPORTING ASSOCIATION" was agreed upon. The organisation was to provide for whatever sport was needed by residents of Samford. The foundation sports would be Netball and Soccer. To start with there would be only Junior teams.

The Name for the Teams

"Samford Rangers" was the title our teams would play under. No, we didn't consider ourselves to be bushrangers! The name actually came from the ranges that surrounded our valley. To get in or out of Samford you had to cross the Samford Range. The name "Samford Ranges" seemed to flow, so we added the "r" and called the teams the Samford Rangers. The players would be the "rangers" of Samford.

A club pennant showing the mountain ranges was painted by Lyn McDowall and it was proudly carried by the girls in the March Past at the beginning of each Netball season. It was displayed at the Soccer and Netball carnivals that we ran. Lyn and Campbell McDowall were great workers for the Club, with Lyn holding the position of Treasurer in the early days. Their sons, Malcolm and Robert played Soccer.

Badge

This came later. Members of the S.S.A. were given the opportunity to design a Club badge. The response was good and the winning entry was chosen by votes. It was the work of Kay Hodges. There was no prize. Kay and husband, Barry were great volunteer workers for the Club. Their three boys, Paul, Ross and Dru all played Soccer.

You might notice that the design chosen for the badge did not contain mountain ranges. I think by the time the design was voted on, we all thought we were more like bushrangers, and so Ned Kelly was more appropriate. The horseshoe outlining Ned was appropriate as many of our players were also members of the Pony Club. Metal badges were made and special ones, inscribed "foundation member", were presented to the foundation members of the club.

Colours and Uniforms

Blue and Black were our chosen "colours" and this combination was accepted by the Soccer and Netball Associations.

The Soccer boys wore black shorts and sky blue tee shirt with black collar and trimmed with black on the sleeves and V-neck. Their socks were blue with two black stripes round the top. The Club logo was screen-printed on the shirts.

1973 (click to enlarge)
1973 (click to enlarge)

At that time the uniform for all Netball players in Australia was a 3-pleat tunic over a short sleeve blouse. We decided on a sky blue tunic with a blue check blouse. The tunic had "Samford Rangers" embroidered on the yoke. The girls wore black socks and black sandshoes. The Netball Association was very strict about uniforms, even the socks worn by each player in the team had to be the same.

By 1977 the Netball uniforms had changed, much to the delight of the girls. (After all, the 3-pleat tunic was in fashion as a school uniform way back in the 1930's). They then wore the same tee shirts as the Soccer boys with a blue collar in place of the black. A black wrap around pleated skirt, with the Club logo on the front, replaced the 3-pleat tunic. Some photos show a variation in the shirt. A 1977 photo shows one team with a black diagonal band on the front of the shirt and a black collar.

Over the years the uniforms for both the Soccer players and the Netball players have changed. More practical fabrics and designs have been introduced.

Preparation of the Playing Fields

We had a paddock which we needed to turn into a sports field.

At that time, Richards Road was unofficially closed to through traffic. A wire fence across the road at the top of the hill kept the cows in and the cars out. There was no crossing over Samford Creek so cars could not get to the grounds from Camp Mountain Road either. Fences around the flat were non-existent so cows still grazed there. But, for many years, this had been a ploughed cultivation so the ground had many hips and hollows. There were no sheds or buildings. It was a bare paddock.

This had to be made into a sports field, where kids could run and play without fear of tripping over and hurting themselves. We would need toilets and somewhere to house equipment. We would also need a canteen.

The Soccer boys needed goal posts and nets and enough level ground to mark out at least one Soccer field. The Netballers needed goal posts and an area for training. Their fixtures were played at Downey Park, so their section was not needed on Saturdays, when the boys had home games. At that time the girls did not play Soccer.

The whole scene was pretty daunting but the parents were keen. We were confident that we could achieve our goal so the work began. With everyone throwing in to help, we soon had a sports ground that we considered good enough for our kids to play on, and we weren't offended when visiting teams called it a cow paddock. We had to admit that they were right. I must confess that on some occasions we had to take our shovels and clean up after the cows before we could start the day's fixtures.

The Grounds

Working bees were well attended. People came in their work clothes armed with shovels, rakes, picks, buckets, mowers etc. ready to work and get dirty. Parents and kids had emu parades, picking up sticks, stones and other foreign objects. Others worked on their own when they could spare the time, especially if the job they were doing was considered dangerous when people were around. Just as well there was no-one around when a tractor was tearing around the ground hour after hour at all times of the day and night, dragging a length of channel iron behind it to level out some of the ruts.

We erected a fence separating the S.S.A. grounds from the Pony Club grounds, and planted trees along it. We did not want to have a soccer ball landing among the ponies or a pony trotting amongst the players. The wire at the top of the hill was removed. Old fences were propped up to hopefully keep the cattle off the grounds, though sometimes it failed to do so.

I must mention the gum tree. One tall gum tree grew on the grounds. Harold Brown insisted that it not be cut down. When trying to work out the best way to mark out the soccer fields we dodged that tree, year after year. We were told in 2008 that it was no longer there. It finally had to go.

Playing Equipment

Time was getting close to the beginning of the Soccer and Netball seasons. The Netball goalposts with their home-made rings were set up where the netball courts were measured out. These fitted into a pipe in the ground, so that they were easily removed when the grounds were needed for Soccer. The Club produced many fine goal-shooters using these not-so-perfect rings for training.

The Soccer goal posts were also made by the parents. We acquired some cargo nets which were attached to the timber by nails. None of this was standard and drew many not-so-nice comments from visiting teams. However we were not fazed. We were proud of our efforts to get our club under way. Our main aim was to get the sports up and running. Getting the nets set up each time required a lot of effort. Usually a boy was hoisted up to hook the net on to the nails on the top rail. One day one of the boys slipped and was saved when his pants hooked on to a nail. He was hanging there but not hurt. Everyone saw the funny side of it, excepting the boy.

Buildings

Before we could start playing fixtures on the grounds, we had to have toilets. We also wanted to have a canteen, though we could always set up a tent for that. In 1973 households around Brisbane were being connected to sewerage, and residents were disposing of their outdoor lavatories (dunnies). We acquired four of these outhouses and some of the parents with trucks picked them up and brought them to the grounds.

Two were set up as toilets. That was easy - they still had the seats in them and one even had the sawdust box. All we had to provide were the tins, the contents of which had to be buried - another job for the willing.

1973 (click to enlarge)

The other two buildings became our canteen. This was an engineering feat, with no plan to follow. One wall was removed from each of the toilets. The two buildings were joined together, giving us one building with a door at the front and a door at the back. The back door remained, and became the entrance to the canteen. The front door was removed. The top half of the wall beside it was cut out and fitted into the bottom part of the gap left by the removal of the door. The door then became the counter. Work all that out, if you can - I said it was an engineering feat. There was hardly room to move inside our little canteen but it sufficed for the time being.

Besides getting dirty and tired on these workdays, we had lots of fun as well. There was always a fire going with the billy boiling for a cuppa, and sometimes a stew bubbling away to enjoy when we knocked off for the day.

At last we were ready for our first season of competition.

While searching through some of our old invoice books and diaries I found the following items charged to the S.S.A. from H.D. & P.R. Brown. The invoice was dated 1973.It read as follows:

Timber from Winn Bros. $48.72
Rope & nails for nets $5.76
First-aid gear $5.27
Pump $1.10
Stamp pad $2.00
Rope $3.00
Hire Hall $2.00
Duplicating paper $2.65
Paint $8.40
Paint & rope $16.90
Golden Circle $18.00
Badges (Netball) $11.50
Bag lime $1.50
Squeegee $0.99
Paint $16.95
Hinges $1.80
Padlocks $18.60
Dieselene $5.00
Total $170.14

It is obvious that these things were purchased for the preparation of the grounds and canteen. You can work out what most things were used for.

  • Timber, rope, nails - goal posts
  • Paint, hinges - canteen, toilets
  • Lime, dieselene - marking the fields
  • Badges (netball) - playing bibs
  • First-aid gear, stamp pad, pump, duplicating paper equipment
  • Hire hall - must have used Samford Farmers Hall for something
  • Golden Circle - drinks to sell
  • Padlocks - have no idea why we would have needed these
  • Squeegee - your guess is as good as mine.

Samford Rangers Teams at Last

The early records of the SSA have been lost or misplaced over the years, and I have not been able to find any notes in my diaries referring to the first two years, so I shall endeavour to remember a few things of interest. Maybe some other foundation members will fill in this gap in the story.

We were ready to commence the first season of the Samford Sporting Association's participation in Junior Soccer and Netball fixtures. We affiliated with Brisbane Junior Soccer Association and Queensland Netball Association.

A Club of Volunteers

We needed coaches and managers for the teams. Parents who claimed to know anything about the games volunteered (or were encouraged) to take on the job of coaching the teams, both Soccer and Netball. This found some parents brushing up on the rules of the games. Other parents volunteered to be team managers. The volunteer delegates who attended the BJSA and QNA meetings in Brisbane advised them on what was required for their jobs. There were other volunteers as well - people to man our little canteen, people to set up the field for Soccer home games, and set up the grounds for Soccer and Netball on training days.

Soccer

Our very first Sign On Day was held. There were lots of keen little and big kids getting excited about the prospect of playing in a team. There were also a few whose parents thought it a good idea for them to play but they weren't quite so keen. Ages ranged from 5 years to 14, with not enough of the same age to form teams of the same age. So the teams were made up of kids of varying ages. This was the case for a number of years. I think we fielded three teams the first year or maybe four.

Some teams consisted of boys of three different ages. Teams had to be registered according to the age of the oldest player. On one occasion we managed to have this rule dropped. A manager of one of the composite teams explained: "The team was made up of 11 to 13 year olds and we got permission to play them in the 12C competition. They did reasonably well due to the older boys. They won some and lost some but were all happy with the way things went."

I know there was a team that played on the smaller field. It was probably made up of kids in the 5,6 and 7 years age group, playing in the Under 7 or 8 competition. They had very little, if any, knowledge of the game. This did not worry them " they had their Soccer boots " that was the important thing - and they could run around and kick a ball. This was fun. To win or lose wasn't so important.

A former coach of the "baby" team explains his aim for the season: "At the beginning of the season the little fellows would come off the field and tell me, 'I did this or I did that'. By the end of the season if they came off and said, 'We did this or we did that', I felt that I had achieved what I set out to teach them - that each and every one of them is part of a team.

He recalled some instances: "The opposition is heading straight towards the goal, and you notice your goalie dis-entangling himself from the cargo net. He was just trying to see if it were possible to use it like a ladder to climb to the top."

"You are a bit alarmed to see one of your players sitting down in the middle of the field with a couple of other kids leaning over him. No need to fret, he isn't hurt, he is just trying to do up his shoe laces."

"At last the team has clicked onto what you have been trying to teach them. One of your little stars takes off with the ball and is heading straight for the goal, with the rest of the team following him. But, no, when he is just about there he turns around and heads straight back to the other end, still kicking the ball."

Over the next two years the club had attracted kids from outside the district and in 1975 we registered six teams. These were Under 7, U/8 U/9, U/11, U/12 and U/16. Our teams participated in pre-season social games with Grovely, Hamilton and The Gap Clubs.

In August that year the Engadine Soccer Club from NSW visited us and we arranged a Carnival in which they took part. Before they returned home, we took them sight-seeing around the district and to Perry Park.

Under 10 (1973 or 4)
Denis Collier (manager), Allan Schafer (coach)
Back:
Brett Lilwell, Ben Marshall, Paul Hodges, Garry Collier, Phil Ward, Terry Petch, Gary Jurgensen
Front: Marc Udina, John Hopper, David Cochrane, Garry Schafer, Raymond Edwards, Brett McHardy

 

In 1976 the older boys in the club played Colts division. It was after this that the club entered into Senior Soccer. Some of those who went on to play Senior division were those who played in our foundation year, 1973. Our club had attracted other players from the over the range and this gave us the numbers to register a senior team.

Senior Team (197?)
Back: John Carney, Dan Smareglia, Glenn Brown, Michael Smareglia, Graham Beehre, Darren Parsons, Garry Schafer
Front: Tom Arrowsmith, Tony Cooper, Graham Gillespie, Mick Benson, Livio Smareglia (manager)

Netball

I don't remember how many teams there were in the first year. As was the case with the Soccer teams some younger girls had to play in teams of a higher age group. Some of the older girls, especially those who had been playing in the Grovely Club, were able to help the coaches and young players.

I am pretty sure that our Club won the March Past in the first year. They felt they were pretty special in their crisp new uniforms, marching behind their new banner. I know the parents who were there to witness the event were feeling pretty proud. They knew the effort it had taken to get this far.

One of our ex-players recalls: " I remember how exciting it was to go to Downey Park - because we were country girls of course. I think we felt a bit special to play when there were lots of people and more than 2 courts. It was fun."

By 1975 the Club was attracting players from other areas and Samford Rangers had teams in most divisions of every age group at Downey Park. We were proud of the way the girls handled themselves. It wasn't long before we had teams playing in grand finals. Some of our players were chosen to represent Downey Park at carnivals.

We organised and successfully ran a Netball Carnival at our Samford grounds. Teams from many clubs attended. This was a huge effort and was a tremendous success due to the marvellous support of the parents of our club. Our teams also participated in carnivals at other clubs' home grounds.

As our numbers increased some of our girls went on to play in Cadets division and then in the Open Competition.

Under 8 (1973)
Val Taylor (manager)
Back:
Roxanne Filce, Cathy Hickey, Trudie Gillies, Janese Taylor, Donna England
Front: Jodie Brown, Glenys Taylor, Kim Smith

Baseball & Softball

In 1975 SSA supported two Summer sports - Baseball and Softball.

The baseball team consisted of our older soccer players. Craig Tomlinson took on the tough job of coaching the boys most of whom had never played the game before. Their games were played at Newmarket. I must admit they were not very successful in their efforts and did not continue in the competition for long. I think the comments (which were anything but encouraging) from the opposition and their supporters rattled them - they were not used to this and allowed themselves to be put off their game. (They were still country boys and the rude remarks offended them. One player even refused to shake hands with the opposition after the game.)

Baseball Team (1975)
Back: George Pszczonka, Frank Pszczonka, Steven Schafer, Ken McCullough, ?
Middle: Malcolm Boal, Michael Collier, Cameron Boal, Craig Tomlinson (coach)
Front: Glenn Brown

 

The SSA decided to support the sport of Softball. Teams consisted of young women of the district as well as young netball players and their mothers. Their games were held at Downey Park. They had moderate success and seemed to cope better than the baseballers with the sideline abuse. At least one of the younger players went on to become a top softball player.

Break-Ups & Fun Days

At the end of the soccer and netball season we always celebrated with a break up and trophy day. These were fun days, held at Brown Park. It was a great old-fashioned picnic day, which finished with the serious business of presenting trophies. It was the custom that every player receive a trophy.

In an entry in my 1976 diary I found an entry which reads: "17th October Trophy Day at Brown Park 1.00pm - nails, hammers, trophies, socks, pantyhose, sets of old clothes, ice". You can guess what these were for. Which mum is real handy with a hammer and nails? Which relay team has the fastest dressers and undressers and beats the others to the finish line? We had lots of fun games. Lollies would be tossed out which would result in a mad scramble to see who could get some. There were no rules and no prizes in the Tug-O-War.

There was usually a fun soccer match played when fathers v sons. One time the match was interrupted when an old lady, umbrella held high ran out on to the field and started attacking the umpire with her brolly. The game stopped. The goalie was dumbfounded. The spectators stood in silence. No one knew what was going on. Then all was revealed. I still don't know how this father managed to fool all of us.

The highlight one year (1980) was a Chariot Race. There was keen competition between some of the senior players and some of the fathers. There were five in a team, one to ride in the chariot and four to pull it along. The teams made their own chariots and dressed in appropriate attire (white sheets!). When the starter blew the whistle, the attire was discarded and the race was on. Believe me, it was fair dinkum. They did all this just to get a blue ribbon.

 

Upgrading the Field

We needed to bring the Soccer fields up to a better standard. Once again help was received from volunteers in the district - not only the parents of the players. Many people loaned equipment and often operated that equipment and paid for the expenses incurred.

The surface of the field had to be levelled in such a way that the rainwater would run to the side edges. After the levels were pegged-out a scraper was used to remove the grass and shift the soil to the required surface. The Pine Shire Council took part in this project. They supplied a truck and backhoe. Their part was to remove dirt from the face of the hill at the far end of the grounds, and transport it to the field. The dirt was spread on the levelled ground by a small bulldozer, belonging to John Cummins. Then came many hours of tractor work for Harold Brown. With a steel screed hooked to the back of the tractor the dirt was spread evenly over the field so that turf could be laid.

Next we had to turf the field. A working bee was arranged and parents and kids got to work. We were never short of helpers at working bees. The turf farmers supplied turf cutters and cut turf from the bottom flat at the far end of the field. Whoever owned a truck, trailer or ute brought it along to cart the turf to the field. All willing workers loaded the turf and then unloaded it and spread it on the ground. We were all rightly proud of the finished job. By the end of a long, long day there were many very tired and dirty people. But, as was the usual thing, we lit up a camp fire, boiled the billy and sat back to relax and enjoy a cup of billy tea while we admired a job well done.

The following is what Don Greenhalgh recalls about the turf-laying day. "I came home for a late lunch break on the day we laid the turf on the field that Harold Brown, Dennis Collier and others had leveled for the soccer field in Richards Road. I was nearly exhausted from the unaccustomed labour of firstly rolling turf after the professionals had cut it and then loading it onto the back of a truck.

"After a hearty lunch I thought I would have a quick lie down and a rest. This was a big mistake because after I had rested, I tried to get up. The muscles in the back of my legs objected to the thought of me going back for more work and cramped to the extent that I had to crawl to the door to help myself upright so I could make the legs work again.

"Returning to the task, I decided that as a bit of a rest for my back I would take over the job of loading the rolled turf - but some newcomers who had not had the benefit of a briefing by the experts had taken over the rolling and some of the rolls of turf were as big across as the end of forty four gallon drums. To lift these monsters was almost more than my delicate constitution could take but we soldiered on.

"It is still a matter of wonder that despite the best efforts of many willing hands we still had to space out the turf to allow the couch runners to help fill in the large gaps between. If you have laid turf in your yard, you know that a lot of turf does not go a long way and I can assure you that a soccer field and some netball courts are a stupendous task.

"During the first couple of seasons that the field was used, I am sure that some of our visitors thought that this was still a cow paddock but it was our own and has got better and better."

Once the turf was laid it had to be watered. Harold Brown attached planks to the front and back of his tractor and loaded his irrigation pipes on to them to transport them to the grounds. He had a "hairy-raising" experience going down the hill to the grounds. The weight of the pipes caused the back wheels of the tractor to leave the ground. This meant that there were no brakes or motor to control the descent. Harold then had a wild ride to the bottom of the hill. Somehow everything, including Harold reached the bottom of the hill in one piece in very quick time. The pipes were laid out from the creek to the field and the tractor provided the power to pump the water required to establish the newly-laid turf.

A reliable water supply was the next objective. At the time one of our members was working with a bore sinker. This was Geoff Ward. Geoff and his wife, Nancy were keen workers for the club. Their sons, Phil and Grant played soccer, and daughters, Allison and Natalie played netball. Geoff was responsible for sinking a bore which we hoped would supply enough water for our requirements. It was equipped with the necessary pump and pipes. However, it soon became evident that the bore was not going to supply the quantity of water needed.

Geoff Ward later recalled how a cover was made for the bore pump. "Harold (Brown) donated a 44 gallon diesel drum to be cut in halves for a pump cover. Harold handed his work-mate (me) the oxy to start cutting. Two minutes later there was a loud explosion. The evidence is on the pump today - an excellent domed top." Harold heard the explosion from where he was working and came running. When he arrived Geoff, with a startled look on his face, was straddling the drum, the two ends of which were two perfect domes. Both Geoff and Harold were shocked and alarmed when they realized what the outcome could have been.

This big project of upgrading the grounds was undertaken in February, March and April 1978. The following year some trees were planted along the fence line between the Pony Club and Soccer Club grounds.

Because the bore did not supply sufficient water for our requirements we decided to pump water from the creek. Again Geoff Ward took on a major role in this project. Geoff and Harold installed a submersible pump in the creek. Necessary pipes to get the water to the soccer grounds were trenched under the Pony Club grounds. This, together with the bore, provided enough water at the time.

Some of the costs of the "Water" projects were shown on an invoice dated 1981:

Stone from Pioneer Concrete $43.58
1 only 6 inch spear $75.00
Hire of trencher $100.00
East Coast Gravel $30.00
S.H.Scells $1125.75
Kettle Irrigation $879.20
Petsky $30.00

Up to the time the grounds were upgraded the grass was mostly kept under control by tractor and slasher. However once we had established the new turf the club paid for the upkeep of the grass. This job was taken on by the Brown family. The Jacobsen mower that was used on their turf farm was used on the fields. This type of mowing improves the condition of the grass and before too long we had a pretty good looking sports ground. This probably prompted the removal of the old wooden goalposts which were replaced by pipe ones in 1981. The cost of the pipe was $364 and other material $50. In 1979 a kickboard was constructed. It is interesting to note the cost of the material for the kickboard: 6 bars 3/8 O round for $12 and bolts from Samford Hardware for $2.55.

In a 1978 diary I found this entry which would have been preparation for the laying of turf:

22/2/78 Tractor work - Harold - 7.00am - 2.10pm
27/2/78 Tractor work - Glenn - 1/2 hour
28/2/78 Harold and Glenn - 6 hours
3/3/78 AJ (Glenn's mate at Gatton College, played soccer) - 2 hours, Glenn 4 hours, Harold - 4 hours
17/4/78 Glenn 1 - hours

In invoice books dated 1980, 1981 and 1982 I found entries showing the cost of mowing. The mowing was done in the off season and charged at $12 per hour.

1980 February, March and June 9 hours
1981 November, December - 3 1/2 hours
1982 January, February - 20 hours

Lighting the Field

In 1973 the players in the Soccer and Netball teams were all still school age, so training was able to be done in the daylight straight after school. At that time a lot of the parents were farmers or self employed in other jobs and were prepared to work around their jobs to take on coaching the teams. This often meant that milking the cows was done in the dark.

As the club grew in size it became impossible for the players and coaches to train before darkness, so we decided that lights were needed to allow them to train at night. In 1975 work began on installing lights at the field. Again this was a job undertaken by the willing parents.

To start with we needed poles - long ones. Such trees as those required were growing in Hickey's paddock at Bunya, and were offered to the Club by Kevin and Margaret, whose children played soccer and netball. The trees would have to be cut down and transported from Bunya to Richards Road. This was dangerous work, but as usual there were plenty of keen volunteers prepared to take it on. Harold Brown loaded his drott on to his truck and took it to the Bunya paddock. A willing band of workers were there to help with the job. These included Jim Packer, Allan Schafer, Geoff Ward and Denis Collier, who had brought his truck to take the logs back to Richards Road. The trees were chain-sawed down, dragged out to the truck and loaded on with the drott. They were then brought back through Samford, via Eatons Crossing, to the sports ground.

Next job was to dig the holes to stand the poles. Crowbars and post-hole shovels were produced and the holes dug. I guess you didn't have to volunteer for this job, and probably many an inquisitive bystander was handed a crowbar or shovel and found himself doing his bit. In May 1975 sheet metal for capping the poles and 10 bags of cement for concreting the poles in the ground were purchased for $23.

So now it was time to stand the poles. At that time some Scout leaders were looking for a job where they could practice some skills they were learning about. Standing the poles was just such a task, and they took on the job. First the poles had to be trimmed using an adze, not an easy thing to do, and unfortunately one man cut his shin badly when the adze slipped. They then used ropes and pulleys to get the poles into the holes and pull them upright. The job was successful, but I know there were some of the locals who were chomping at the bit to start up the drott and have the job finished in a fraction of the time.

Now came the electrical part of wiring and attaching the lights. Barry Hodges obtained the wire, transformer cases and lights and Ray Maher, the local electrician did the connecting. An invoice dated 30th September 1975 shows the cost of trenching, laying and joining of conduit and cable, supplying 4 waterproof transformer cases cost $228. The Maher family, Ray and Noeleen and three daughters, Jacqui, Louise and Rhonda were keen supporters of the club. Noeleen took on a leading role in the organizing and running of the Netball Club.

Next came the job of attaching the lights at the top of the poles. Barry Hodges was the volunteer for this part. A mistake had been made when the pegs for climbing the poles were put in. They were placed six feet apart on one side of the pole, but the intermittent ones on the other side were not put in at all, so it was impossible to climb to the top. This meant a ladder had to be used to reach the top .The long ladder was not long enough. Brown's truck was backed in and the ladder placed in the back to gain the extra height. Harold stood guard at the bottom of the ladder and Barry climbed to the top. At the top he encountered a slight distraction. Ants had decided to take up residence there and Barry had the problem of disposing of them as they climbed his legs and attacked him. The lights were at last installed.

In June 1976, thirteen months after the project started we celebrated with "Lights On at SSA".

A New Clubhouse

By 1975, we were convinced that soccer and netball had a future in Samford. Membership numbers had increased. More players meant more teams. More parents meant more helpers. It was time to upgrade our facilities. We had outgrown our little canteen.

We needed to provide dressing rooms for the players, flush toilets, a canteen to prepare and sell food, and an area where we could have meetings and hold functions. There was no way we could afford to employ professional builders to build a clubhouse, so once again it became a project of doing as much as we could ourselves.

Two committees were formed by the end of the playing season of 1975.  The Building Committee would decide what shape and form the building would take. The Building Fund Committee had the job of raising the money needed to pay for the materials needed to build the clubhouse. Once a decision was made on the design of the clubhouse Brian Hunter drew up the plans and they were presented to the Pine Shire Council. Brian and Lynelle Hunter and their children, Kim, Glenn and Geoffrey were great workers for the SSA. Once the plan received the stamp of approval from the Pine Shire Council volunteers were called on to put the plans into reality.

And so the project got under way. Poles, bigger and longer than those used for the lights were needed. Once again the Hickeys offered more trees from their Bunya property, and once again the men who had helped with cutting and transporting the logs for the light poles turned up to get these. Cutting down the trees caused no major problems. Dragging them out to the truck was precarious, with the drott slipping on rocks and trying to manoeuvre around trees. The drott was used to load the logs onto the truck. The first effort saw the truck standing on its tail with the front wheels spinning in the air. Jim Packer had a very close escape from being crushed during this very dangerous work.

Kevin Hickey recalled, “The logs that form the framework of the building came from my back paddock, and I remember Harold Brown relating how they were loading the logs with his drott. There was a slight mix-up and one Jim Packer looked like going to Heaven, but evidently they didn’t have a set of wings ready and the good Lord allowed Jim to remain. Harold saw it all and at times must surely have thought, “Why the hell did we start all this?’

The first building required 10 poles, 5 along the back and 5 along the front. The length of the logs meant that there was a huge overhang on Dennis Collier’s truck. Allan Schafer declared that carting the logs was “bloody dangerous” and, to warn any motorists they might meet on the way back to Richards Road, he drove his vehicle in front of the loaded truck on each of its trips. Their trip would take them from Bunya, across Eatons Crossing, up Eatons Hill, through Samford to Richards Road.

Geoff Ward described the carting of the poles. “Has anyone ever seen a small truck going up Eatons Hill with the front wheels off the ground, with Harold (Brown) supervising while sitting on the end of the logs to keep the front down? This was the beginning of the Club House. (No doubt Geoff was also sitting on the logs, and maybe other reckless fellas – there were no Health and Safety inspectors at that time.) Once the poles arrived at the grounds, chainsaws were used to square off the ends that would form the top point of the roof. Steel plates were fixed to the front ones so that the squared end of the back poles would fit in and long bolts would hold them together.

Denis Collier was a builder by trade and he became the Foreman taking on the task of putting the plans into reality with the help of a novice crew of volunteers.  Denis and his wife Joy were tireless workers for the Club. Their children, Garry, Leta, Stephen and Matthew played Netball and Soccer. The concrete slab was poured first. Then came the job of raising the poles. The end pairs were put up first. The back pole was fixed in the ground and propped in its leaning position. The front one was fixed into position by bolting it to the post that had been dug into the ground. This was done with the rubber-tyred Fiat tractor, which had a bucket loader on the front. Once the two poles were in place they had to be bolted together where they met at the top. Dennis stood in the bucket and Harold raised it so that Dennis could bolt the two poles together at the top point of the roof. A chalk line was then stretched between the two to position the other three pairs of poles, and they were stood in the same way. Once this precarious piece of construction was completed, it was all hands on deck to get the building finished.

Everybody was invited to take part. If you weren’t a tradesman you were a labourer. The roofing went on, bricks were laid, septic systems were installed, walls, doors and windows were added, tables and seats were built in, electricity was connected, painting was done, and a coldroom and Bar were finished about an hour before the Grand Opening.

Kevin Hickey recalled doing the finishing touches to the interior of the building. “I can well remember pop riveting the metal walls of the cold room about 1½ hours before the official opening. Harold handed me the pop riveter and said, “Go to it Hick”. This was the first time I had ever laid eyes on one.” With a very short briefing on how to work the tool, Kevin had the job finished in time.

The clubhouse had been started and finished in the off season between September 1977 and April 1978. Credit must go to all those people who stepped up to offer their time and effort, and to those who donated materials to use in the construction. It would be appropriate to have their names included in this story.  However I cannot attempt to do this. Some were members and some were not, but the majority were locals.

On 28th April 1978 the Clubhouse was opened by holding a cabaret.

Don Greenhalgh had this to say about his reaction to the finished job. “I am not too proud to admit that I was not unhappy that I was away on holidays when the clubhouse was constructed out of those huge tree trunks. Nothing was impossible when Harold and his friends put their minds to a task. When I came back and was drafted to help with the fitting out by creating some walls and tables and stools built into the concrete floor I found it hard to believe that this was locally built and not a Thiess Bros. job. It is going to take some bettering when the move to the new grounds is undertaken.”

Security doors and bars were later added. A burglar alarm was installed. This was probably prompted by the night of our first Disco, when outsiders from over the range turned up to cause a stir amongst our young locals. Kev Hickey explained, “After a very eventful night with a bunch of hoons, we avoided what looked like developing to a punch-up. Harold and I spent the next few hours drinking coffee at ‘Westerngales’, and checking the clubhouse every half hour in case they returned.”

Jan McLaren recalled the first time the alarm was activated. Jan was secretary of the SSA at that time. “I can remember the time the new alarm was installed at the Soccer Club. Word had not got around that it was working and I, as usual, unlocked the door of the club for training. A piercing, shrieking noise wailed out over the valley with everyone running around covering their ears. I stood frozen in shock at the door with my key poised in my hand. A few minutes later, Harold Brown and Joe Udina arrived in a cloud of dust, jubilant that they had caught their first burglar. Covering my embarrassment, Harold said, ‘It was a good dry run. Now we know the blasted thing works’.”

Some of our junior players were keen to progress into senior division. Others from over the range decided to join our club and with new players who had moved into the Samford district, we were able to register a team. This meant we had to provide change rooms for the players and a room for the official referee.  An extension was added to the original building. It was completed in 1981.

One of our young players, Michael Collier completed the Referee Course and became the first official referee for the Club. Even though Michael’s family lived at Ashgrove and not in Samford, they contributed generously to the SSA, with donations of materials for the building of the clubhouse and help in the construction of it.

Fund Raising and Functions

Over the first ten years we were involved in lots of fund raising. This was necessary to get the club going and to keep the players’ fees very low.

Frequent small fund raisers such as pie drives, lamington drives, raffles and even a Tupperware party were held. These did not require much organizing but were sure to give a profit, and sometimes a lot of fun. Margaret Liessi clearly remembers one lamington drive. It was in the early 1980’s. “The club was going through a difficult time financially and so there was a call for ideas to raise some money. The particular meeting was sceptical as lamington drives were popular with schools at that time. Jan McLaren and myself offered to run the drive and were amazed at the support we mustered. The club house was set up with tables, wire racks, large buckets of icing and trays of coconut. We had about 40 ladies over the two days who dipped and rolled enough lamingtons to make a $600.00 profit. The second day coincided with a training night and the Dads were full of the usual comments about Mum’s kitchen coming to the club. The recipients of the smart comments got even by handing out sweeping jobs, washing up tasks and general cleaning up duties. Needless to say those making the smart comments dwindled in numbers. The event polarized our spirit. The profit was used for a specific need for the club – though my recollection fails me as to what that was.”

Before we had the clubhouse we hired other venues for some of our functions. At one time the softball section of the SSA used the Country Club at Highvale for a function. We held dances in the Samford Farmers’ Hall. Some members provided their homes and meals for a progressive dinner, which proved very popular. One year we ran the ‘dagwood dog’ stall at the Samford Show. At that time the Show was held in Davison’s paddock, across the creek from the sports ground. Adventureland at Highvale was another place we used for a function. I think it was a licensed Dinner. I can remember the older netball players waiting on the tables. Some people ended up in the pool.

Once the clubhouse was built, we were able to hold events there. A lot of these were family friendly to provide entertainment for our young players. Discos were popular, with parents providing supervision in case of unwelcome intruders. I have already told you about the time some visitors were making nuisances of themselves and Kev Hickey and Harold Brown told them to leave, then spent the rest of the night checking the place in case they returned.

One year we had a concert with each team, netball and soccer, providing an item. This was very successful and the players, coaches and managers excelled themselves. Joy and Denis Collier remember the night – “One night in particular we had a concert and each team had to put on a special act to perform for the parents and friends. We were quite surprised at the talent the kids had. We realized that the kids had a great friendship which helped them to become part of a team.”

One of our soccer players, Malcolm Boal produced his version of the “Rocky Horror Picture Show”. He took on the leading role with other soccer and netball players acting the other parts. The result was outstanding. It brought the house down. Malcolm might have been just ‘one of the boys’ on the soccer field, but he showed us he was ‘one of a kind’ as a stand-out entertainer.

Some of our clubhouse functions included sit down meals. For many of these, members provided the food. They cooked the various dishes at home and brought them along hot, and somehow managed to serve them still hot. Trent Horton, with his band often provided the music.

I can remember one time we decided to have a ‘pig on the spit’ night. We hired mobile caterers who brought the hot food in already cooked and served it from the trailer. For some reason or other most of Samford decided to support the function. The clubhouse was full of people and there were just as many standing outside. We (the ladies) left the men to deal with the outside bedlam while we hid in the kitchen washing and rewashing dishes. The food eventually ran out. I don’t know how many people did not get a meal. I know none of the workers got one.

Another event a lot of people remember was the ‘Rat Race’. Besides having rats racing each other around the clubhouse, there was a bit of gambling going on in the back room. This was organised and run by the senior soccer team. Pat Smareglia recalls the night and the time leading up to it. “The first thing to come to mind were those bloody mice. My darling husband, Livio bought them from a pet shop. He brought them home, put them in a big drum in our laundry with a hessian bag on top. The next day I was having a coffee in my kitchen with a friend. Lo and behold, all the mice were running around my kitchen. Bear in mind I was from the city, all this was new to me.’ “Oh shit”, my friend screamed. What happened next I really don’t remember. The mice had climbed up a thread of the hessian bag to get out of the drum. The Rat Race turned out to be a terrific fun night. My husband and I did the gambling, “Unders and Overs” in the back room. A real bookmaker took the bets. We auctioned off those rotten mice. Then everybody placed their bets. My mouse Mickey ran up to the finish and then ran backwards. God, I was mad. I think Neil Griffiths made the track. Neil was a player in the senior team. His wife, Maria was secretary of the SSA for a few years.

Probably the most memorable function we ever held was the ‘Raft Race’. This was held on Brown’s dam at Westerngales. It was great. Teams arrived with the rafts they had made out of anything they could find. Competition was keen. Joe Udina donned his diving outfit and took up his position in the middle of the dam. He was there in case someone got into difficulties. Later he said the water was so murky he had trouble seeing the rafts. Thank goodness no one needed help. The Udinas recall “On the day of the raft race Joe donned his wet suit and took on the role of a shark, creating a bit of havoc and hilarity.”

Pat Smareglia confirms that Joe really did his job well, “I will never forget “The Raft Race” on Pam and Harold Brown’s dam. Oh, dear God, I was so scared. Jerry Nahuysen made our raft. Ann, Jerry’s wife was scared of nothing. We paddled and paddled, intent on winning. I thought – there could have been anything in that dam, eels, crayfish, water dragons. Oh hell I was scared. Then it happened. Out of the blue a lunatic Joe Udina came out of the water with some sort of mask on. I peed my pants in terror.”

I can’t remember who won the races. There was certainly a lot of rivalry between the crews. Some crews resorted to dirty tactics, like ramming into the others or trying to sink or tip them over. One crew floundered when the pole they had to manouvre their raft along was not long enough to reach the bottom of the dam.

On the bank of the dam we had other novelty competitions going on. A tall pole with a $50 note tied to the top was stood up, and a liberal application of grease applied to the bottom. The idea was to climb the greasy pole and retrieve the money. Finally the prize was won and shared by a group of men who formed a pyramid around the pole and hoisted others on to their shoulders till they reached the top. We learnt later on that one father who was on the bottom of the pyramid injured his shoulder and was laid up for weeks. He did not claim on the insurance cover that we had, because he said it was his own fault and couldn't blame anyone else.

Another pole was set up horizontally on two forked posts for the 'pillow fight' where two contestants tried to knock each other off the pole with a pillow. Then there was the greasy pig race and rooster race. There were foot races around the dam. The girls' race was won by Christine Needham, one of our young netball players. I don't recall who the other winners were.

As you can imagine over the years that the SSA was getting established we worked hard to raise money. We avoided requesting the business community for donations, as they were often called on to support the school and other charities. It was our belief that if we (the members) wished to provide sporting facilities for our kids, then it was up to us to do the hard yards ourselves. We had fantastic workers in the club as well as people capable of organizing the events.

The End of Our Story

This project started in 2008 when some of the foundation and early members of the SSA gathered at the soccer grounds at Harold Brown Park. The then president of the Soccer Club, Graham Lee suggested that we should put together a record of how the club began. Those present agreed that it would be a pity if the History of the SSA was not recorded.

With the minutes of the meetings of those formative years nowhere to be found, some other research needed to be undertaken. After digging out some of our old business invoice and receipt books of the 1970s and 80s we found a few dates and costs that were of interest.

Old diaries did not help much. The only things we learnt from them were: 1975 - Building Committee Meeting, Building Fund Meeting; 1976 – Measure at Soccer Grounds; 1978 – Working Bee at Soccer Grounds, Lay bricks; 1979 - 6 bars 3/8 round for Sports Club.

It was obvious that the story had to come from people’s memories. With that in mind a lot of the foundation and early members and players were contacted and asked to record some of the things they could remember. The responses received have been added to this story. I should urge other members to add some of the things they can remember, and to send along copies of photos.

Wherever the word “we” has been used in the story, it refers to all those people who were members of the SSA over the period covered in the story. We were an ambitious lot. We weren’t afraid of tackling outlandish tasks. We had a lot of fun.

Thank you for the opportunity to record the history of the foundation years of the Samford Sporting Association. We have enjoyed re-living some of those times, and catching up with some of the early members. Never did we imagine back in 1973 that the SSA would grow to what it is today. We do feel a little bit proud to think that we were part of the team that started it all. It was all worthwhile.

Congratulations to those people who have carried on where we left off, and have continued to develop both the Netball and Soccer (Football) Clubs in Samford. With the Netball Club already relocated to its own home ground, and the Football Club soon to do the same, the SSA has certainly come a long way since the days of the “cow paddock”.

Yours Sincerely,

Pam & Harold Brown

Other Members’ Stories

The following contributions have come from other foundation and early SSA members. Parts of some of these stories have been included in the History. The first three were written in the 1980s. The rest have been in response to the request to write down a memory.

Hickey Family

When a Club is established the people responsible usually face a mammoth task in their efforts to provide facilities. The more visionary of these people are not content with half measures and most certainly Harold belonged in this category. Having been associated with Harold in the construction of the Club House, a few instances come to mind. The logs that form the framework of the building came from my back paddock and I remember Harold relating how they were loading the logs with his drott. There was a slight mix-up and one Jim Packer looked like going to heaven but evidently they didn’t have a set of wings ready and the good Lord allowed him to remain. Harold saw it all and at times must surely have thought, “Why the Hell did we start all this?” I can well remember pop riveting the metal walls of the cold room about 1½ hours before the official opening. When Harold handed me the pop riveter and said, “Go to it Hick”, it was the first time I had ever laid eyes on one!

The night of our first Disco I remember well. After a very eventful night with a bunch of hoons we avoided what looked to be a punch-up. Harold and I spent the next few hours drinking coffee at Westerngales and checking the club house every half hour in case they returned.

Kevin & Margaret Hickey

McLaren Family

This memory came from Jan McLaren, who was secretary of the SSA.

I can remember the time the new alarm was installed in the Soccer Club. Word had not got round that it was working and I, as usual, unlocked the door of the club for training. A piercing, shrieking noise wailed out over the Valley with everyone running around covering their ears. I stood frozen in shock at the door with my key poised in my hand. A few minutes later Harold and Joe Udina arrived in a cloud of dust jubilant that they had caught their first burglar. Covering my embarrassment Harold said, “It was a good dry run and now we know the blasted thing works.”

Jan McLaren

Ward Family

Geoff Ward was another worker in the first few years of the SSA. He wrote.

Has anybody ever seen a small truck going up Eatons Hill with the front wheels off the ground with Harold supervising and sitting on the end of the logs to keep the front down? This was the beginning of the Club House.

Samford Soccer Club needed a cover for the bore pump. Harold donated a 44 gallon drum to be cut in halves for a cover. Harold handed his work mate (me) the oxy to start cutting. Two minutes later we both were amazed when the drum explode. The evidence is on the pump today – an excellent domed top.

Geoff & Nancy Ward.

Dennis Collier Family

Our first memories of starting the Samford Club were when Harold Brown and Allan Schafer thought it would be a better idea to have a home based soccer club rather than traipse the kids to Mitchelton every week.

Our next memory was a working bee, which consisted of all parents of children interested in joining up.

We needed a logo and colour for the tee shirts. We also needed a canteen for refreshments. Within no time we had one of the members (maybe Lyn McDowall, not sure) come up with Ned Kelly for our emblem logo and Kay Hodges we think did the sketch for us. The silk screen was then made up and all the shirts were stamped. The parents decided the teams would have blue tee shirts with a black trim around the neck and black shorts with black and blue socks to match. They then went out and bought their soccer boots. The boots were the finishing touch to very serious soccer.

We can still see the happiness on the kids faces as they ran around what was then an empty cow paddock which was once a part of Harold and Pam’s dairy farm.

We now realised it was time to think about a small canteen to hold refreshments.

Someone was kind enough to donate two toilet blocks which had to be joined together and painted blue. I can remember the ladies with their paint brushes giggling and discussing we were so lucky to have a canteen. Harold and Pam brought a lot of laughter to the Samford Valley – they were always in the centre of what needed to be done.

We then had a working bee again to lay turf to form the field.

Harold and Pam had many functions and raffles to raise money for the future club house.

With the Samford spirit all the members pulled together to start building the bigger canteen and function room. John Cummins drew the plan and Kev Hickey donated logs, Joe Udina laid besser blocks and everyone else contributed where they could.

When the building was completed it was a wonderful place for the soccer kids to get together for a hot dog or a drink after the games. We were able to have lots of meetings and functions there.

One night in particular we had a concert and each team had to put on a special act to perform for the parents and friends. We were quite surprised at the talent the kids had. We realised that the kids had a great friendship that helped them to become part of a team.

At the meetings we had we knew there would have to be more ways of raising money to keep the club going.

Dennis & Joy Collier.

Greenhalgh Family

I came home for a late lunch break on the day we laid the turf on the field that Harold Brown, Dennis Collier and others had leveled for the soccer field in Richards Road. I was nearly exhausted from the unaccustomed labour of firstly rolling turf after the professionals had cut it and then loading it onto the back of a truck.

After a hearty lunch I thought I would have a quick lie down and a rest. This was a big mistake because after I had rested, I tried to get up. The muscles in the back of my legs objected to the thought of me going back for more work and cramped to the extent that I had to crawl to the door to help myself upright so I could make the legs work again.

Returning to the task, I decided that as a bit of a rest for my back I would take over the job of loading the rolled turf – but some newcomers who had not had the benefit of a briefing by the experts had taken over the rolling and some of the rolls of turf were as big across as the end of forty four gallon drums. To lift these monsters was almost more than my delicate constitution could take but we soldiered on.

It is still a matter of wonder that despite the best efforts of many willing hands we still had to space out the turf to allow the couch runners to help fill in the large gaps between. If you have laid turf in your yard, you know that a lot of turf does not go a long way and I can assure you that a soccer field and some netball courts are a stupendous task.

During the first couple of seasons that the field was used, I am sure that some of our visitors thought that this was still a cow paddock but it was our own and has got better and better.

I am not too proud to admit that I was not unhappy that I was away on holidays when the clubhouse was constructed out of those huge tree trunks. Nothing was impossible when Harold and his friends put their minds to a task.

When I came back and was drafted to help with the fitting out by creating some walls and tables and stools built into the concrete floor I found it hard to believe that this was locally built and not a Thiess Bros. job. It is going to take some bettering when the move to the new grounds is undertaken

Probably against my better judgment, I was asked to manage a team in the early days of the club. I had played for the Enoggera Scouts so that qualified me as a Manager and Coach

Because we did not have full teams we made up a composite team of 11 to 13 year olds and got them a run in the under 12 C competition. They did reasonably well due to the older boys in the team. We won some and we lost some but we were all happy with the way things went.

Next season the older and better players went to their correct division and we were left with the younger boys. However, the ruling body of Football would hear nothing of this and lifted the lads into the 12b competition. I protested but to no avail. So we went into the year up a grade and without our better players. We did well to hold some of the better teams to single figures. Strangely enough, on both occasions we played the second top team we drew with them.

Don & Daph Greenhalgh

Henders Family

“My thoughts about Samford Sporting Association”

I don’t think I was of much help at all in the seventies, as I was busy raising seven children under twelve at that time. Our oldest son, Barry was one of the original players of the club playing as goal keeper for Samford Rangers.

Occasionally I washed the blue and black jerseys when it was my turn. Barry and Glenn (Brown) used to play AFL before (at school) and were best mates. Then Harold and Pam Brown were responsible for starting the Samford Sporting Association on land that they previously owned. They were so dedicated and hard working they deserve a medal.

Our other son Malcolm later joined the club and really enjoyed his soccer. Some of the boys he played with were Anthony Liessi, David Walduck, Cameron Clark. Malcolm later went on to play for North Brisbane and had a trip to Maryborough to play in the “Harry Limming Cup” - I think it was called. He could have gone further but High School was looming and at 13 years he would have had to leave all his club mates and also the travel involved would have been a bit much for us.

I always look beyond the champions of Sport to the parents who get them to their chosen sports each week or daily.

Hazel & Al Henders.

Liessi Family

Re: A Lamington Drive. I recall this was in the early 1980’s. The club was going through a difficult time financially and so there was a call for ideas to raise some money. The particular meeting was sceptical as lamington drives were popular with schools at that time.

Jan McLaren and myself offered to run the drive and were amazed at the support we mustered. The clubhouse was set up with tables, wire racks, large buckets of icing and trays of coconut. We had about 40 ladies over the two days who dipped and rolled enough lamingtons to make $600.00 profit.

The second day coincided with a training night and the Dads were full of the usual comments about Mum’s kitchen coming to the club. The recipients of the smart comments started allotting sweeping jobs, washing up tasks and general clean up duties to these dads. Needless to say they dwindled in numbers. The event polarised our spirit. The profit was used for a specific need for the club – though my memory fails me as to what that was.

My son Tony remembers the original canteen when he joined in 1977. No doubt there are photos of this. He also remembers the besser block kicking wall used for practice. He says that Pat Smareglia hung balloons filled with a little surprise from the top of the wall as an incentive to kick hard and high during a practice. The aim was to burst the balloon and secure a treat.

Margaret & Bruno Liessi

Cummins Family

My prevailing memory of Netball is training in the dark in the freezing, freezing cold of the “soccer grounds or club” as they were always referred to (they were never the ‘netball grounds”!). I remember crunchy grass and frosty breath and dark because the netball court was a long way away from the lights.

I also remember how exciting it was to go to Downey Park – because we were country girls of course. I think we felt a bit special to play when there were lots of people and more than 2 courts. It was fun.

I remember that oranges never tasted so good as during quarter breaks of a netball game.

Jodie Brown coached us a lot but I don’t know in which age group.

Lois Smith (nee Cummins)

Needham Family

We can only recall the same as most of the other families, the Great Raft Race, where Christine won the girl’s cup for running around the dam. Michael and Cameron and Jason McLean and a couple of others had a chariot in the Chariot Race.

I remember using a sheet for a toga for Michael. Allison Clarke and Hilary Hartley were telling me a great story some years ago about the red back spider in the old outside toilet. We all did canteen duties and Ron drove a car load of players all over Brisbane. Actually we bought a second car to make it easier to get Michael to his soccer and Christine to netball at Downey Park.

The first recollection which came to my mind was the first year Michael played soccer, it was the second year of the club and Harold took all these little boys (7 years and under) down to the Redland Bay area for a carnival one Sunday. It was the most miserable day and Harold was like a Mother Duck shepherding all these little cold, wet little fellows with towels draped around their shoulders. The boys loved it!!

Ron & Pat Needham

Pat Smareglia

Some of the most marvellous times of my life were at the Samford Soccer Club.

I will never ever forget “The Raft Race” on Pam and Harold Brown’s huge dam. Oh, dear God, I was so scared. Jerry Nahuysen made our raft. Ann, Jerry’s wife was scared of nothing.We paddled and paddled,  intent on winning. I thought – “there could have been anything in that dam – eels, crayfish,  water dragons. Oh hell, I was scared.”Then it happened. “Out of the blue, a lunatic Joe Udina came out of the water with some sort of mask on. I peed my pants in terror.”

Another unforgettable event was “The Rat Race”. The first thing to come to mind were those bloody mice. My darling husband, Livio bought them from a pet shop. He brought them home – put them in a big drum in our laundry, with a hessian bag on top. The next day I was having a coffee in my kitchen with a friend. Lo and behold, all the mice were running around my kitchen!  Bear in mind I was from the city, all this was new to me. “Oh shit” my friend screamed. What happened next I really don’t remember. The mice had climbed up a thread of the hessian bag to get out of the drum. It turned out to be a terrific fun night.

My husband and I did the gambling, “Unders and Overs” in the back room. A real bookmaker took the bets. We auctioned off the mice and then everybody placed their bets. My mouse “Mickey” ran up to the finish and then ran backwards. God, I was mad. I think Neil Griffiths made the track.

Pat & Livio Smareglia

Udina Family

We joined the Samford Rangers in its inaugural year – 1973. Joe was involved in helping prepare the grounds – laying the turf etc. We were so proud of our grounds only to have our pride dashed by visiting teams referring to it as the “cow paddock”!!

Our memories of our time with the club are of the fun times, hard work and the friendship. Simple events like soccer and netball carnivals were very enjoyable.

Our fund raising events included raft races on Brown’s dam, chariot races and later on when we had a club house there were discos, movie nights and dinner dances. On the day of the raft race Joe donned his wet suit and took on the role of a shark, creating a bit of havoc and hilarity. Fun times were the order of the day in the Club.

As there were only 100 children attending Samford School in 1973 there was a real family atmosphere in the area. We newcomers were embraced into the community by the families who had been in Samford for generations. The soccer club gave the community the chance to get to know each other in a friendly place. Because it was a small club all the children in the area got a chance to be in a team.

As a family we were all involved in the club in one way or another – soccer for 2 years, netball for 9 years and as president and secretary for 3 years. Joe was involved in the building of the clubhouse as were so many of the men in the district. If you had a trade you were a valued contributor.

As the saying goes – “from little things big things grow” - from its humble beginnings this Club stands alongside the other long established clubs of the area. There is just a little pride in having been involved in a small way.

Joe, Joy, Marc, Susy, Sandra Udina

Vale Harold Brown

Thank-you from the Brown Family

The family and I wish to extend our thanks to those members of the Samford Sporting Association who attended Harold's funeral. Also accept our thanks for the beautiful flowers and the Soccer jersey we received. These were immensely appreciated.

Harold was always proud of the fact that he played a part in establishing football in Samford. He never visualised that the club would grow to what it is today. Sadly he didn't live to see games being played on the new grounds.

Thanks,
Pam Brown

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