Life Membership is Treasured
(Listed in order of Election)
* Indicates deceased
Life membership of any organisation is treasured by those who achieve it.
It is the reward for years of untiring service in varied avenues.
The initial 12 life memberships granted were:
Nelson Waller: Born at Maitland, he had a long association with various sports but became best known for his involvement with the NDCA through the Hamilton club.
He was the NDCA’s first life member, elected in 1950 after his retirement as treasurer. Later he returned as a vice-president.
Mr Waller was a long-term president of the Hamilton club, serving through the years of World War II and later in the golden era of Hamilton’s success.
H. R. (“Ranji”) Morris: Elected in 1951, he had been a staunch worker for the NDCA for more than 20 years. He became the first secretary of the junior committee that ran the club section of the association’s activities as a separate entity from the late 1920’s.
He served as secretary of the senior body from 1935 to 1940 and remained a vice-president until 1950. For a number of years he was senior vice-president and chairman of committees.
Allan Dodds: The NDCA’s longest-serving secretary for an unbroken period, Mr Dodds was elected in 1941 and retired after the 1953-54 season. He was awarded life membership in 1955 after being associated with cricket in Newcastle for more than 30 years.
Before coming to Newcastle he had been an original member of the Robins club in Maitland and had served as registrar of the Hunter River District Association. He joined Stockton club in 1922 and helped in the formation of the Lynn Oval Board. In 1927 he transferred to Lambton-New Lambton and became club secretary the following year. He had a principal role in forming the New Lambton Oval Board and during World War II was closely involved in the establishment of the Newcastle Cricket Council.
C. E. (“Spider”) Clarke: Although born in Sydney, Mr Clarke gave a lifetime to the betterment of sport in Newcastle. As a mark of his dedication he received NDCA life membership in 1969.
Brought up in Newcastle, he worked in Queensland for a time before returning to his favourite haunts. He had first become associated with Merewether club in 1916 and he went on to pay a major part as an administrator and supporter. A capable and honest worker, he held many positions, often in multiple capacities.
Mr Clare held the unique honour of also being a life member of Newcastle Rugby Union. He was a founder of the Merewether- Carlton club and was its secretary for almost 20 years.
Gordon Fraser: A well know figure in many walks of life, Mr Fraser received his NDCA life membership in 1975. He complemented a long playing career by serving as a Belmont delegate and then as a vice-president of the NDCA for 13 years.
He played much of his early cricket with Waratah-Mayfield club, where the Fraser name was a byword. Later he represented Belmont until well past his 50 th year.
Mr Fraser had widespread church and charity interests and later became president of Newcastle District Bowling Association for a number of years.
Clarrie Harvey: Also elected a life member in 1975, MR Harvey had served as an NDCA vice-president from 1955 to 1969. Previously he had been president of the Waratah-Mayfield club for a number of years.
During much of his NDCA service he acted as chairman of committees, working in close association with long-serving president Bob Wilson.
Mr Harvey played with the Wentworth club in the NDCA’s A grade club section during the 1930’s and represented that club on the junior body’s executive committee.
Jim O’Hearn: More than half a century of work for the game earned Mr O’Hearn his NDCA life membership in 1978.
Originally from Maitland, he played first grade in the Hunter River Association from 1923 to 1932 and as a fast bowler was a regular member of Hunter Valley teams. He was secretary of the Hunter River Association from 1928 to 1930.
Mr O’Hearn moved to Newcastle in 1932 and directed his energies to administration. He became secretary of Lambton-New Lambton club in 1954, serving in that position for nine years before becoming president for six.
He became a vice-president of the NDCA in 1964 and held that post until 1977, also acting as the association’s proxy delegate to the NSWCA.
Merv Baker: A 40-year involvement in the game culminated in Mr Baker’s election as a life member in 1981.
Merewether was his original club. He played there for 10 years and reached first-grade status at 17. In 1941 he had the distinction of scoring a century and taking a hat trick in the one afternoon against Stockton. Later he served Wallsend as a player for 14 years, captaining the first-grade team in 1958-59.
He became the NDCA’s assistant secretary in 1959, held that position for three years and then was elected secretary. After 10 successive years in the postion he stood down and held a vice-president’s berth for two years before returning for another five years as secretary and one more as vice-president. His overall 15 years’ service as secretary is an association record.
Mr Baker was a district selector for 17 successive years, Newcastle delegate to the NSWCA for 10 and was the first country-based official elected to the NSWCA country committee.
Ken Clifford: Years of ongoing service to cricket in a variety of ways were recognised when Mr Clifford was granted life membership in 1984.
After playing with Waratah-Mayfield, University and Merewether clubs he took up administrative duties and was registrar-statistician for over 20 years.
Mr Clifford has been a district selector since 1980 and in more recent years has served on the panel choosing NSW teams for the Australian country championships. He has had much to do also with the development of junior and school cricket.
Tom Locker: Player, umpire and administrator… these are the roles that have kept Mr Locker active in cricket for more than 50 years.
His long service to the NDCA was recognised with life membership in 1984.
Mr Locker became president in March, 1968, on the death of Bob Wilson, and retained the position without challenge for many years after. Previously he had been a vice-president from 1961.
After playing in his youth in the Dudley area, Mr Locker took on umpiring, firstly in City and Suburban cricket before moving to the NDCA after World War II. He officiated in several matches involving touring teams in Newcastle.
Bill Peady: An energetic enthusiast for cricket and all its tasks, Mr Peady also received his NDCA life membership in 1984.
It followed 15 years’ service to the association, 11 as treasurer and four as vice-president. But in that time he performed many services beyond the call of duty.
His playing career extended over more than 30 years, largely in City and Suburban ranks with Mayfield Methodists, St Peters, Excelsior and Mayfield Colts. But he also played with Waratah-Mayfield in District competition for a few years. During his involvement with Waratah he captained the third-grade team, sometimes in matches against another NDCA life member Gordon Fraser’s Belmont side.
Warren Tennant: The NDCA’s longest-serving vice-president in 1964, he has filled the role in all but one season in the meantime. He has remained the association’s deputy chairman for a parallel period to Mr Locker’s service as president.
Mr Tennant had a long playing career, almost entirely with the Merewether club, of which he was also president. He was a solid opening batsman who played in the Merewether team that won the first-grade premiership and final in 1946-47 and was a regular in the top side for several years. Later he gave long service as second grade captain and was 50 when he retired in 1976.