Malvern Harriers Athletic Club’s 125th Anniversary
The Malvern Harriers Athletic Club was established in 1892 after several members of the Malvern Gymnastic and Athletics Club enjoyed a run together after gym practice and is one of Australia’s oldest athletic clubs. This initial run soon evolved into organised cross country and hares & hound events throughout the local area. In 1994 Malvern Harriers amalgamated with the Malvern Glen Iris Women’s Athletic Club, which had formed in the 1920s.
To celebrate this milestone, Malvern is hosting a 125 year Retrospective Exhibition showcasing photos, news articles, trophies, uniform and other memorabilia from 1892 – 2017. Please join them in this celebration at the exhibition launch 2pm 26 August at the Stonnington City Centre History Building (1257 High Street, Malvern). Additional exhibition openings: 12:00 – 4:00pm Sunday 27 August, 11:00am – 4:00pm Saturday 2 September and 11:00am – 4:00pm Sunday 3 September.
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Eddie Moore joined the club in 1921 and dominated the Victorian championships from 1925 – 1930. He was one of Malvern’s longest standing presidents (1952 – 1963) and held official posts with the VAAA (Victorian Amateur Athletic Association) for nearly 50 years. The highlight of his administrative career was his appointment as chief arena marshal for the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games. AV’s 16km CC event is named in his honour and is the longest standing foot race in Australia.
Dick Crossley, known as ‘Mr Consistent’, joined Malvern in 1926 and dominated middle and cross country events across a career spanning over 30 years. Dick won selection in every Victorian cross country team from 1929 to 1953. Crossley finished in the first ten every year in the Victorian 5-mile cross country championship, winning the title three times and the open scratch race four times during the 1939-1945 years. He represented Australia in the marathon in the 1938 Empire Games in Sydney.
From 1947 – 1951 Gordon Stanley, as the club’s first specialist marathoner, won an Australian championship, three Victorian championships, a Victorian Marathon Club championship, a NSW championship and Olympic trial. His fastest marathon was 2:35:1, a new Australian record, set in the 1948 Victorian championship. Stanley also performed well over the 15 miles from 1943 – 1951, winning three Victorian titles, the fastest in 1:21:43 in 1951.
Joining Malvern in 1949, Len McRae quickly made his mark on middle distance track running. In the space of four years he recorded many outstanding 880yard performances, setting an Australian record of 1min 52.1 sec in 1954 and beating John Landy. McRae pays tribute to the inspiration Landy gave him. “His great achievements came about through intense training – he showed us all what could be done by perserverance.”
Malvern Harriers women had a breakthrough period winning the AV Women’s Division 1 (now Premier Division) Winter Championship in 2003 and 2004. Five women contributed to the 2003 premiership, including the late Jane Wilson, Tracey Austin, Marienne Hibbert, Michelle Jelleff and Kate Seibold. The momentum built across this decade as Malvern won a range of races and premierships across the junior and age group categories.
So make sure you get down to the exhibition launch 2pm 26 August at the Stonnington City Centre History Building (1257 High Street, Malvern). Additional exhibition openings: 12:00 – 4:00pm Sunday 27 August, 11:00am – 4:00pm Saturday 2 September and 11:00am – 4:00pm Sunday 3 September.