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Flying the flag for YCW premiers


Sixty years has passed since the Henley Beach YCW football team defeated arch rival Brooklyn Park by 15 points to win the Young Christian Workers (YCW) grand final in 1962.

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It was a wet and very windy day and the team survived the last quarter when kicking against the wind.

When several of the players decided to try and trace grand final team members to organise a luncheon it was like conducting a missing person’s bureau.

Most players had moved away from the area but the Henley Catholic parish bulletin helped trace four members.

Gradually one by one players were located.

At the luncheon were Denis Bayne, John Bowler, Dominic Canatta, Doug Cox, Gerry Dee, Peter Nygaard, Peter Smith, Frank Donaghey, Eddie Monck, Bob Rabbitt, Kess Oudshoorn and Rudi Meddens.

One of the organisers, Gerry Dee, said sadly there were several players who “have gone to heaven”.

“We remembered and reflected on the ability of these old mates during our luncheon,” said Gerry.

“On a lighter side, after 60 years we resembled Dad’s Army; however we had a great time remembering the good old days and talked about the present.”

The former teammates viewed old photos and memorabilia including a 1962 match report of the grand final from The Southern Cross.

Gerry said the YCW was a great organisation for young Catholics in the 1960s.

“Besides the football league there were regular meetings, netball for the girls and many Sunday night dances in parish halls,” he recalled.

“It is a pity there isn’t a similar organisation today. ”

“There were neither mobile phones nor social media those days. How did we survive?”


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