Remembering Fred Durham

1962 Australian Men's Lacrosse Team
1962 Australian Men's Lacrosse Team
Image © Doug Fox - LV Historian  
 
Fred Durham (left), Bob Russel (centre), Dr Graham Webb (right)
Fred Durham (left), Bob Russel (centre), Dr Graham Webb (right)  

Lacrosse Victoria is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Life Member, Mr Fred Durham.

Fred was awared Life Membership by the then Victorian Lacrosse Association (VLA) in 1992 for his life's work in developing the great game of Lacrosse.

Fred's begun his playing career at the Ivanhoe Boy's School, before moving to the Preston Lacrosse Club and then Collingwood prior to World War 2. To get an idea of what a game day was like for Fred, read the article published in the Lacrosse Player (1993) 'Dedication to the Game, by an Old Timer' written by Fred. 

After the war, Fred joined the Coburg Lacrosse Club, playing in the 1947/48 season, later Coaching and refereeing at the Club. Fred would later go on to referee at National Championship level. 

In 1962 Fred was the assistant Team Manager for the touring Australian Men's team, and in 1967 he was Team Manager for the 1967 touring Australian Men's team. Fred also held many positions within the VLA throughout the late 1960's and early 1970's being a member of the Match Committee, Tribunal and Scrutineer. He also held the position of Secretary of the Australian Lacrosse Referees Association (ALRA).

A very important legacy Fred Durham left Lacrosse Victoria was the Eltham Lacrosse Club of which he was a founding member along with Bob Russell (formely Malvern Lacrosse Club) and Dr Graham Webb (formely Melbourne High School Lacrosse) in 1964. He would hold the position of Secretary and Treasurer from 1964 - 1970 and Head Coach from 1964 - 1966.

As Ray Shannon recalls, 'Fred kept an exercise book with all the game details (similar to a scoresheet) and it was from these records and team scoresheets in subsequent years that I was able to put together the Club’s playing records that we currently use. Without Fred’s fastidious records I would have been lost.'

In 1973/74, Fred transferred to the fledging La Trobe University Lacrosse Club to help grow the game.

Later, throughout the 1980's Fred would assist Eltham in their Junior Schools Competition (developed by Ray Shannon) as coach of the Montmorency South Team. For me, Fred was my first Lacrosse Coach and had a significant influence on myself taking up the sport. Fred’s teacher training and his perfect gentlemanly ways, always calm and encouraging with the kids; in his neat cap and trusty clipboard he won over both parents and kids alike.

Lacrosse Victoria extends its deepest sympathies to Fred's wife Themala and his family.

May he rest well and peacefully. 

Funeral details;
Holy Trinity Church
Thursday 31 July
106 Church Rd (Cnr Doncaster Rd)
Doncaster.
Time 2pm

 

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