One Hundred and Going Strong

Clive Huntsman of Doncaster (pictured) is twelve years away from celebrating his hundredth birthday but the lacrosse stick and ball that he is holding have probably already reached their century. Clive came across them when cleaning out the family home.

The stick belonged to his father, Walter Huntsman, who played for the Brighton Presbyterians Lacrosse Club before and during World War I.  Clive does not remember his father playing lacrosse and neither he nor his brothers ever played the game apart from some boyhood experimentation with the stick on the family tennis court in Caulfield in the 1930's. 

The stick, which has lived comfortably in a wardrobe for the past 80 years or so, is a Lally's Extra Special, fashioned in Cornwall, Canada by native Americans.  Its hickory timber frame and original animal hide and gut stringing are in first-class condition. 

Not surprisingly, the ball is a Dunlop product marked with "Lacrosse Association", a legacy no doubt to Richard Garland, the Canadian-born stalwart of lacrosse who established and was a Director of the Dunlop Rubber Company in Australia.   Garland was an active promoter of lacrosse and a generous donor of monies and trophies to assist the sport.

In the team photograph of the Brighton Presbyterians, thought to be circa 1914, Walter HuntsmanClive Huntsman is the middle row on the far right.  The names of other players are not known but the club founder and President, the Reverend James Sinclair of the Saint Cuthbert's Church in Brighton, is standing in the back row on the right.

The Brighton Presbyterians Club started in 1912 as a community activity for young men.  By 1914 it had three teams playing at the Brighton Grammar School in the Victorian Lacrosse Association competition with its senior team in the Junior "A" section.  Massive losses during World War I depleted the club and it was re-organized as the Brighton Lacrosse Club after 1917.

 Clive Huntsman has generously donated the lacrosse stick and ball for safe-keeping within the Australian lacrosse archives.  We thank him for this donation and for having the forethought to contact Lacrosse Victoria before perhaps committing the old stick to the rubbish tip.

 If anyone can throw further light on the Brighton Presbyterians Lacrosse Club and the people in the team photo, please contact Doug Fox, the Lacrosse Victoria Historian.

 

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