The roots of the current Aberfeldie Sports Club date back to 1944 when members of the local community established what was then known as the Aberfeldie Community Centre. Within this group was formed the Aberfeldie Men’s Club from which became Aberfeldie Football and Cricket Club. From this arose the Aberfeldie Sports Club which was incorporated in 1974. The original vision of those involved was the establishment of a community organisation that sponsored a range of educational, sporting, social and cultural events. Sports supported within the ACC were football, cricket, tennis, lawn bowls, gymnastics, swimming and basketball. Amongst the social and cultural events supported were picnics and a yearly carnival. The ACC also published with the support of the Men’s Club, a monthly journal of activities occurring within the ACC.
Images of some of the articles from the journal of November 1951 are attached below
- ACC Journal Cover Nov 1951
- ACC Journal Nov 1951
- ACC Journal – Bob Coulson
- ACC Journal – Cricket 1951/52
Whilst the original vision of the founders has not entirely come to pass, the Sports Club continues to prosper with both senior and junior football sections and senior and junior cricket sections. The Sports Club has recently forged a formal link with the adjacent Clifton Park Bowls Club. The intent is that both Clubs will work together for the mutual benefit of both sets of members. The Club over recent years has placed a strong emphasis on being a family oriented club. This has significantly contributed to the substantial growth in its junior sections. There has been considerable effort placed into upgrading facilities for members both on and off the field. In the club’s first few years games were played at an oval behind what now houses the Boundy’s IGA Supermarket and Our Lady of Nativity School in Fawkner Street. Additional games were also played at Aberfeldie Park next to the Maribyrnong River on The Boulevard. In 1950, when the Clifton Park oval was excavated with volunteers from the Aberfeldie Men’s Club, the Club’s change-rooms were packing cases! Seven long months of negotiations resulted in Clifton Park being officially opened on May 19, 1951. Since then they have progressed from an army camp hut to the Aberfeldie Primary School classroom to the present clubrooms that were erected in 1982.
In 1998 the rooms were extended with an expansion in floor space of 40% to cater for the growth in members and size of functions. As with most projects at the Club this was achieved via the large voluntary efforts of members. During the 2001/02 summer period the antiquated canteen/kitchen was totally upgraded to restaurant standard. This now enables the Club to not only comply with food handling standards but also more importantly provide a higher standard of meals and fast food on match days. During the 2002/03 summer period the ground floodlighting was upgraded to competition standard. Whilst the Club is not yet permitted to use the lights for competition matches, it has nonetheless improved the standard and safety of training during the winter months. During the 2003 winter period, the existing cricket nets on the far side of the oval were demolished and a completely new and expanded (from 2 bays to 3) facility was established adjacent to the Clubrooms. In early 2003 the Club’s toilet facilities and shower blocks were completely remodelled. In conjunction with this, the hot water service was replaced with a state of the art system. In addition a coaches box was erected on the roof of the Clubrooms and a fixed line communications system installed. Also in 2003 a new cool room was installed increasing the Club’s ability to cater for larger functions.
During the 2003/04 summer period, the ground surface of Clifton Park was completely reconstructed using a sand base and a new and improved irrigation system installed. In early 2007 the cricket section of the club benefited from extended run-ups to the cricket nets; the whole area west from the home change-rooms to the coaches box on the edge of the oval having been fully concreted thanks to a generous sponsor. This area will also serve as a warm-up area for all participating teams, and as an improved standing surface for football spectators on match days.
Saving the Past
Over the last few years the Sports Club Committee has sought to retrieve and rescue its rich history. Many photos and assorted memorabilia have been provided (either donated or loaned) by past and present members to the Club so that it can be displayed for the benefit of all. Should you have any photos or ACC journals, the Committee would like to arrange facsimiles of these records for the Club’s posterity. Obviously should you wish to donate the originals to the Club we will ensure that they are properly preserved and displayed. Unfortunately as time passes this history is lost to future generations particularly member’s memories of events and characters. The history at the beginning of this article is very limited. The Sports Club committee is committed to expanding it. If you have any recollections, stories (true of course), information on past officials and members, key events in the Club’s history we would love to receive it and update our history.
If you would like to contribute to the Club’s history, please send us an email with your recollections / information / or questions. Any written information will be incorporated into this web page.
Thank you. Committee of Aberfeldie Sports Club.
View a scholarly essay on the early years and formation of Aberfeldie Sports Club by historian and author Stephen Alomes of Deakin University.