Popular secretary awarded life membership at cricket club's 50th birthday celebrations.By Chalpat Sonti
There is little doubt what turned in to the highlight at Eastern Hill Cricket Club’s 50th birthday celebrations at Kings Park on Sunday.
It was the awarding of life membership to long-serving secretary and Seymour sporting legend, Ken Daniel.
He is more than just a secretary — a role he also fills with the Seymour District Cricket Association — but also the A-grade scorer and pitch curator.
The mild-mannered Daniel was overcome with emotion as he accepted the honour. Son Mark, an Eastern Hill under-16 premiership player from the early 1990s, made the trip up from Melbourne on the day.
Ken Daniel has had a long involvement with Seymour sport at many levels, and has other life memberships, but this honour meant a lot.
‘‘I’m very honoured to receive that award,’’ he said.
‘‘I’m not there for those things. I enjoy doing the wicket, and I do it all to help the club out. If they win a premiership, I’ll be on a high and that’s enough for me.’’
Among all the other festivities at the Eastern Hill Cricket Club's 50th birthday celebrations there was a game of Twenty20 cricket played, and here Graham Stokes shows his style at the batting crease.
Unknown to many, what brought out the emotion on Sunday was a reference in Rick Hager’s address to the gathering of a famous day in Eastern Hill history. It was the semi-final at Heathcote in which an inspired bowling spell from Stu Hanley brought victory on a wicket that changed markedly after the Hill had to bat on it on the first day.
‘‘That game I remember well as I had to miss it,’’ Daniel said.
‘‘It was the beginning of my wife (Lyn’s) illness and she had to go to hospital on the Friday. I was at home looking after her on the Saturday wondering how Eastern Hill was going and I had to wait until 6.30
Lyn Daniel, like her husband a life member of the SDCA, passed away later, and Ken Daniel said any award he got was also rightly hers.
‘‘Half this award belongs to her,’’ he said.
‘‘For her to let me do what I do .
Some of the crowd at the Eastern Hill Cricket Club 50th anniversary celebrations enjoying a game of Twenty20 cricket.
He first came to Eastern Hill after giving up umpiring in the 1990s. Daniel had earlier scored his son’s premiership victory.
‘‘I happened to see Ken Hall who wanted someone to roll the wicket. We had a four-day game between Vic Country and the city boys and I took a fortnight’s long service leave to work on the wicket.
‘‘Ken and I thought we had the wicket looking beautiful but (top cricket umpire) Darrell Holt told us after the first day to cut the grass off the wicket. Thirteen wickets fell.’’
But the love of the club had started. He scored the Hill’s (to date) last two A-grade premierships, which he rates a highlight, along with memories of the club from his umpiring days.
‘‘Those clashes especially between Eastern Hill and Royals, they were like test matches,’’ he said.
‘‘It was hard out there in the middle when you had Matt O’Sullivan, Rick Hager and Brett Barnes (Eastern Hill) up against Dick Martin, Russell Cole and Glen Cole (Royals).’’
Daniel’s life membership was the highlight of a big Sunday afternoon at Kings Park as Eastern Hill celebrated its birthday. Other sporting highlights included Darcy Waugh winning his fourth Bill Lubeck Gift, and what would it be without a game of cricket.
It goes without saying that Daniel scored the game, in which the young guns of Eastern Hill Blue batting first made 4-133 while the older Eastern Hill Gold side couldn’t quite get there scoring 6-125 in the Twenty20 clash.
However, the result was secondary as many fathers and sons enjoyed taking the field together.
The fireworks at the end of the night was also hugely popular.
Cheers - The Eastern Hill Cricket Club faithful at Kings Park for the 50th anniversary celebrations on Sunday.
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