From Gin Gin to Raiders

A Club History

In 1973 Mr Viv Chase, a former Cities hockey player and his wife Von moved to Gin Gin to take over ownership of Gin Gin Four Square Store.  At that time Gin Gin had two High School boys’ teams coached by teacher Alan Brewer – Under 14 and Under 16 Boys, playing under the Cities banner in the Bundaberg Hockey Association fixtures.  On a request from the BHA Viv helped   organize the boys’ teams.

The following year, at a meeting held at the National Fitness Hall, Gin Gin on 10th February 1974, chaired by Mr Matt Tallon (President of Bundaberg Hockey Association), Viv’s inspiration of a Gin Gin Hockey Club became a reality and Gin Gin District Hockey Club was formed with Viv as President and Betty Manderson as Secretary.

It was decided at the meeting to nominate teams in nearly all divisions, which Matt strongly advised against, however all the people in attendance wanted to try out this new game, so Gin Gin nominated teams in Reserve Men and Women, Under 16, Under 14 and Under 12 Boys and Secondary and Primary Girls.  The first year the teams lost by big amounts.

At the AGM of the BHA Viv advised of the formation of the Gin Gin District Hockey Club in its own right and thanked the Cities Men and Rovers Women for their efforts in promoting and helping establish the sport in Gin Gin by playing demonstration games, at Viv’s request.  The BHA donated the sum of $50 to assist Gin Gin in establishing a training field at Gin Gin.

Gin Gin’s colours were green and white, with the males wearing an olive green T-shirt, white shorts and green and white socks. The females wore a green skirt and white top with the same green and white socks.  Cynthia Pershouse made the girls green skirts for the first four years.

Training was initially behind the Four Square Store (now IGA). Nets were built by some of the young players, lights came from Wallaville and cable was purchased enabling power to come out of the Four Square Store shed.  This was a friendly atmosphere where many friendships were forged.  Viv recalls that Glenn Powell worked every afternoon on his way home from work until the phone call would come through “Is Glenn there?” “No Mrs Powell he just left”.  This is an example of the effort and time put in by the young people. Some came when they had spare time, others made time to do their bit, but it sure made Viv proud to be a part of such a community.They had Movie Nights run by the National Fitness on top of the back room at the Four Square Store, on how to make fitness part of your life.   Sometimes they went into the back room and played pool on the full sized table.

Transport to the games was by kind gift of Mr Dick Bradley who gave the Club the use of his School Bus free of charge, with mainly Joe Pershouse as driver.  The BHA gave Gin Gin the middle of the day games for those who needed to use the bus and the Club thanks the BHA for this, however as the Association got bigger (Primary Girls  became Age Divisions and Secondary Girls became Under 16 and Under 14), the Club could not hold the Association to giving it this favour.  The bus began going earlier and returning later, so that all players were treated the same. These were days when all the Under 12’s played Under 14, and then the Under 14’s played Under 16, which gave more experience to the younger players and also had the younger players watching senior games.

Later, with the approval of Gin Gin State School, training moved to the back of the Primary School.  The Hockey Club put a lot of time into putting up light poles and lights so that the two fields could be used whenever needed.  Irrigation equipment was bought and Arden Pohlman built some sprays so that the two fields could be watered in two days and thus the Club had good fields to train on, with the water provided by the School to maintain the fields.In 1975 there were so many kids from the Gin Gin Club in the Under 16 Girls that two teams were entered, but this was not successful, however it forced the Clubs in Bundaberg to go to the Schools and give out hockey sticks in their effort to recruit more players.

At the 1977 BHA AGM, President Matt Tallon congratulated Gin Gin on fielding teams in all 12 divisions .  Gin Gin tasted it’s first premiership success in 1977 with the Under 10 Boys. On 30 November 1977 Viv Chase, Cliff Wieland and Artie Stevens Snr became Trustees of the Hockey Club and    purchased on its behalf, a block of land at the back of the Gin Gin Primary School at 41 Aplin Terrace, Gin Gin.  The land, described as Lot 11 RP159124, Parish of Gin Gin had an area of 3264m3 and an unimproved value of $400.  It was purchased from Jim Chippendale for $1,200.00.

The Hockey Club was very generously given the old Home Economics building at the Primary School by Education Queensland and moved the building on to its land to use as a Clubhouse, only having to pay removal and improvement costs.  In Viv’s words “the Clubhouse was one of our crowning glories, as it came from the Primary School up to a piece of land, where we then repaired the building, built urinals and toilets underneath.  These were interesting working bees with the expertise of Kev Rogers, mixed in with the enthusiasm of the rest of us, probably making Kev’s life unbearable and achieving a Clubhouse for storage of the hockey gear and toilets for training nights.  Some of the unskilled workers became Electricians and other tradesmen, so all the work was not wasted”.  There were far too many people who helped to be named and in case some were missed, Viv didn’t want to name any. There were numerous working bees and fundraisers organised to help pay costs, which were ongoing as the building was continually improved.

The Annual Dribble-A-Thon, introduced in 1977, was organised by the Hockey Club with the help of the Gin Gin Apex Club. It involved dribbling a hockey ball from the Post Office at Mt Perry to Gin Gin, approximately 60 kms. Funds were raised through generous sponsorship by businesses and the community of teams (four for men and six for women), as well as profits made from a    Carnival held at the Showgrounds at the conclusion of the event.  The real challenge was to keep control downhill as if not it would run away in to the cow paddocks. The inaugural winners were “Apex Chuckers”.

Hot chooks were the popular lunch for Sunday as the Club raffled 20 each Sunday, with stubbies, at the Gin Gin Hotel at its weekly raffles.  Tickets were much easier to sell once one person who won one opened it on the bar.  The aroma was to die for and then you did not have enough tickets.  The chooks were cooked by different families on the Sunday morning using trays made by Dave Humphreys as they would fit perfectly into the ovens. Later the chooks were cooked by Blue Gum Roadhouse (now Mobil Service Station) and then by the Hotel.

Other fundraisers included regular Discos held at the Gin Gin Hotel on Friday nights with Geoff Symonds usually as DJ, numerous Raffles, Cent Sales, Bingo Nights, Lamington Drives and Cabarets. Alan and Irene Smith built the Club’s first bingo machine out of a vacuum cleaner and Doug Thompson called bingo for the duration it lasted. Bingo was one of the Club’s biggest fundraisers earning many thousands of dollars over the years that it ran. Without all these fundraisers the Club could not have successfully  operated.

In 1978 due to many working bees and willing workers the Clubhouse was improved with painting and repairs. Care of the Clubhouse and grounds was very labour intensive and time consuming. Ian Murdoch who used to own the Picture Theatre donated many chairs and after repairs and cleaning they were used on carnival days as seats near the games. Mowing of the grounds around the Clubhouse was done by voluntary labour and machinery loaned by Cliff Wieland, Arden Pohlman and Dave Humphreys. The Cent Sale and Pig on the Spit were both financially     successful and Gin Gin had its first attempt at holding a Carnival, inviting Gladstone down to contest the QAL Cup.  Life Affiliation Members fees were $100 and Senior Men and Women’s Hockey fees were $32.  Junior fees were from $6 to $16 depending on age group.

In 1979 the Clubhouse roof was painted and toilet and shower amenities erected.  The Gin Gin Apex Club donated $500 and free labour to build the toilets under the Clubhouse. Club members worked hard and made 1500 bricks for the toilets. The Club held its Centenary Dribble-A-Thon with “Arrows Rams” the winners & entered a Centenary Queen (Helen Chase) and float in the Centenary Celebrations.  Gin Gin fielded two teams in Indoor Hockey. Fixtures played in Bundaberg during the outdoor off season. The Gin Gin “Giants” as they were known were in their inaugural year and at the start of the season were getting badly beaten mainly due to the speed of the game (it is much faster than outdoor hockey) and the experienced opposition. By the end of the season both the women’s and men’s teams recorded some good wins and draws.

In 1980 Gin Gin had 9 teams in the preliminary finals, 5 in the semi finals and 2 in the Grand Final, with the Under 10 Boys our only Premiers.  650 dozen lamingtons were made for the Lamington Drive and Gin Gin hosted the QAL Cup fielding 11 teams—6 men and 5 women. In 1981 our Club was the largest affiliated with Bundaberg Hockey with 14 teams.  Division 2 men were Runners-Up and it was the fist year for Under 8 competition.  Gin Gin regained the QAL Cup and a Cent Sale was held with proceeds to aid Clubhouse improvements. 1982 saw the Under 12 Boys as Premiers and Division 3 Women Premiers in 1983.  Lindsay Cooper was presented with Life Membership and Shane Beckey made State selection.

Fundraising continued in 1984 with Lamington Drives, Cent Sales, 200 Club Drawings and a Gangsters Cabaret. We won 3 Premierships in 1985—Under 15 Boys, Under 16 Girls and Division 2 Women. A Personality Cabaret was held with special celebrity guests appearing in “Wankety Wanks”. A 1000 Club was organised and Peter    Wieland and Jane Rogers won 1st prize ($1,000) and 2 smaller prizes ($50 & $20) all with the same number (9). The Under 16 Girls were Premiers in 1986 and Fiona Thompson won the prestigious “Jenny Hartley Memorial   Trophy”.  It was the 10th anniversary of Gin Gin and Gladstone competing for the QAL Cup, held at Gin Gin.       Gin Gin sent 1 Men’s and 1 Women’s team to Core Cup in Maryborough and the Club held a Madhatters Cabaret.

Wendy Roffey co-ordinated a Monster Cent Sale in 1987 and Rubba Band played for a 50/50 Licensed Dance at Bullyard.  Gin Gin won back the QAL Cup for the 3rd year running. In the 11 years contesting the Cup, Gladstone had won 6 times and Gin Gin 5.  Bradley Rogers and Wade Wimbus were State Schoolboy Reps and Bradley Rogers, Brendan Stevens and Peter Mc Lennan played in the Bundaberg Men’s team against New Zealand’s Touring Team, Bundaberg winning 4 Nil. Gin Gin men won the Runners-up position in the Losers Final at Core Cup in Maryborough.

In 1988 Gin Gin charged into history books when it’s Senior Men’s team joined 3 other minor grade teams to contest the Grand Final.  Gin Gin men had never made a Grand Final and the Club, in all 14 years of existence had never won a Senior title. Gin Gin ousted All Blacks from their Premiership hunt, another feather in their cap.  All Blacks and Cities had dominated Senior Men’s hockey finals for the previous 12 years and it took a courageous effort for Gin Gin to   dispose of All Blacks 3-2, with David Ostrofski’s deadlock breaking goal.  Unfortunately victory never came to the men who were defeated by Cities in the Grand Final, however we had success with the Division 3 Men who won their Premiership.  Lance Cislowski received Life Membership from the Club’s first Life Member, Viv Chase

The Club tasted more success in 1990 when the Under 13 Girls, Under 16 Girls and Division 2 Women all won their respective Premierships.  On 19th June 1991 Gin Gin District Hockey Club became Incorporated, at that time having 95 members.  The Club had 11 teams affiliated with the BHA and 30 players selected for representative duties. We contested 4 of 8 Grand Finals, winning 2—Under 14 Girls and Under 16 Boys.  The Club had been in existence for 17 years and had 6 Queensland Reps as well as numerous Bundaberg and Wide Bay Reps.

With the best interests of the Club in mind, in 1992, President Rodney Powell and his Executive put in tireless efforts to have a multi purpose astroturf surface put down for training at the Primary School to help further Gin Gin hockey.  To achieve this the land and Clubhouse were sold and combined with the Gin Gin Primary School P & C’s contribution, grants from the State Government were obtained and the surface was able to be installed in 1994 for an approximate cost of $100,000.  The Council contributed earthworks as an in-kind donation and Lance Cislowski and Peter Wieland voluntarily repositioned all the light poles around the new surface. The Club held Monster Cent Sales over the next few years, these being financially successful, providing much needed funds for the Club due to the generosity of many businesses, players and supporters.

In 1993 Gin Gin once again tasted success with 3 Premiership wins—Division 2 Women, Under 13 Boys and Under 16 Girls.  Thomas Marland was chosen to play in the Queensland Primary School team at Darwin. Life Membership was awarded to Bev Powell in 1994 and Vicki Shield in 1995.  In 1995 Division 1 Women were Premiers.

Gin Gin changed it’s name to Raiders Hockey Club Inc on 21st November 1996 to attract a wider range of players to join the Club.  Once again we won 3 Premierships—Division 1 Women, Division 2 Women and Under 13 Girls (Cities/Gin Gin). We had Reps in local Rep teams, Schoolgirls, the Queensland Country Team and the Australian All Stars Team.

In 1998 our Division 2 Women were Premiers for the 3rd successive season, the bulk of the team winning on Friday night and backing up on Saturday to take out the Division 1 Women’s final.  Rodney Powell was elected President of BHA and remained in office until 2008.  We won 3 more Premierships in 1999—Division 1 Women, Division 2 Women and Under 11 Girls and 2 in 2001—Division 2 Women and Under 14 Girls.  Rodney Powell, Nola Zahn and Artie  Stevens received Life Membership.

In 2002 the Club applied for a grant and erected a Shelter Shed next to the artificial surface at the Primary School in Gin Gin.  Over the next couple of years the Club enjoyed more premiership success and in 2004 Helen Dorron, Nola Zahn, Colby Zahn and Keith Dickinson all received awards for being State Players.  Trivia Nights, combined with a Mini Cent Sale became one of the Club’s major fundraisers, and along with the usual Sunday Pub Raffles are still held today.

Our Seniors dominated in 2006 winning 3 of the 4 Senior Premierships—Division 1 Women Minor Premiers and     Premiers, Division 2 Women Minor Premiers and Premiers and Division 2 Men Premiers.  Helen Dorron was awarded BHA’s Player of the Year and Margaret Dorron received a special presentation from the BHA in recognition of her 50 years of dedicated service to the sport in the city as a player, coach and administrator. The Club held it’s last Sunday raffles at the Gin Gin Hotel on 7th May 2006 and started raffles at the Highway Hotel the following week. This move was necessary due to failing numbers of patrons at the Gin Gin at the time, making the raffles not financially feasible.

Katie Steemson & Zoe Jones were Wide Bay Reps in 2007, Zoe earning honours into the Qld Primary School Girls Team. The Club won 2 more Premierships over the next 2 years and this year our J1 Girls were Minor Premiers and Premiers.

The Club has survived over the past 42 years due to the dedicated voluntary work of all position holders, players, coaches, managers, umpires, canteen and raffle workers, supporters and the generous support it has received from businesses and the local community. It has progressively adapted to changes in the hockey environment over the years with upgrades in equipment and playing surfaces. Fees have however also risen to accommodate these improvements. Because games are no longer all played on the one day, to maximize the use of the artificial surface, some feel the mateship and closeness of club members has diminished due to players playing on different days and time slots however comraderie is still very evident. The Club looks forward to more exciting times and challenges and continued growth whilst providing fun, fitness and community spirit to all its members.

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Address: PO BOX 79, Gin Gin Q 4671

Email: raidershockey@hotmail.com

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