Ash Wednesday Cricket Match

WOMAN: On the day
of the Ash Wednesday fires, we were burning in Aireys Inlet and we had many friends in Macedon
who were suffering, as well. And not long after that,
there was a wedding and my ex-husband Ray and I and a chap from Macedon
called Greg Kennedy, who’s here today also, just came up with the idea,
why don’t the two towns, the two experiences, get together and make something good
of a bad, bad day? I think there’s five of us here today
that played in the original game 30 years ago. But it’s a good fellowship,
nothing’s too serious now. Mainly about having a beer and a barbie,
and wine for the ladies – as cricket should be, probably. We’ve had some great games. So it was in the mountains one year
and then the seaside the next. I suppose the original players
are Hec and myself, and then the next generation,
and then the next gen. So there’s probably, over the 30 years,
three generations here today. We’re now priming a younger generation. We’re starting our under-11s and then next year we’ll do under-13s, so that we’ve got generations of kids
coming up to keep that tradition going. 30 overs each team bats for. And we’ll change over and then well… Macedon are batting now. After their innings, we’ll go in and bat
and hopefully we’ll get a nice win. MAN: I was fortunate enough
to play in the first game. Yeah, been fortunate to be at every game and probably played in a good
two-thirds, maybe more, I’ve played in. The original one,
that was a terrific crowd, yes. I suppose there would have been
about 5,000 or 6,000 people here. Yeah, well, it was down here. The ground’s certainly improved
since then. JAN: Not green and beautiful
like it is now. It was a lot more black surroundings. The first game was the game of hope,
I would say, because it had been 12 months on. We sat around the ground and we had a little sign that said
‘Aireys town won’t go down’ and ‘No worries, mate’,
and, oh, funny little Australian things, ’cause we are good people,
Australians, aren’t we? So, hope – the first game was hope. It was a very intense game
and it got down to the last over. Scottie Holmes, one of our players, made 111
and put us right into the game. First game down here,
the ground was packed and we had Bay 13 from Macedon
and a Bay 13 from Aireys Inlet and the old behind…
the shorts got dropped, and all sorts of revolting things. But it was a great atmosphere. And they’ve sort of run along
a little bit since then, but today was a bit of a high in emotion
at the end because of the closeness. (Crowd cheer, applaud) MAN: Good running! (Applause) JOHN: You know,
it’s the old adage in cricket, the game’s never over
until the last ball’s bowled. And it got down to that eventful last
over and we finished up a run ahead. So, in terms of a cricket match,
you know, if we had 40,000 here, they all would
have been on the edge of their seats. Back in Macedon, in 1983, I was principal
at Mount Macedon Primary School and that school got burnt down, and throughout
the next 18 months at that school, we spent all our time trying to
get their minds off, you know, living in a caravan,
living in burnt-out land. So, there were street parties and games
like this – it’s the same thing – it just gets their mind off it
and draws them all together. So it’s extremely important. Anything that can lift the spirit, whether it be a game of cricket
or something else, I think encourages people to get on
and build their lives again, yeah. HECTOR: That urn that we play for, that was dug up by a friend of mine
after the fires. The ashes of the fires at Macedon
and Aireys Inlet are mixed in the urn together. And, so I’m led to believe, when I cark
it, mine are going in there, as well. (Laughs)

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