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History

5. THE 1930's

news_photo

1954 Goodall Cup Series Poster

Mr Reg Jeffries replaced Mr Josephs as Secretary/Treasurer. Mr Jeffries was a founding member of the St George Ice Hockey Club with home he played for most of his hockey career.

Reg played for NSW and once during a stint in Melbourne, for Victoria. On a short stay in England, he played for the Hammersmith Ice Hockey Club, one of the top clubs in England.

Reg was a 'no holds bared' defenceman, bending the rules in regard to his hockey sticks. At this time, sticks were one piece and heavy, the blades being straight. Reg Jeffries gained a reputation by steaming the blade of his stick into a distinct bow shape. This practice was against the rules, yet he got away with it. The bowed blade helped in shooting from defence and was a forerunner of the present day hockey stick.

Reg carried on the trend of the successful players' dual involvement in Figure Skating. He was Secretary of the National Figure Skating Association (NSW section) and Treasurer of the National Ice Skating Council of Australia. Reg also found time to edit the Sydney Glaciarium Ice Skating Journal of Australian Skating.

Daily Pictorial 7th February 1930.

The NSW Ice Hockey Association, aided by the Victorian Ice Hockey Association is endeavouring to arrange a first tour of an Australian Ice Hockey Team to Great Britain later in the year. Both states are confident of raising funds for eleven players and a manager.

If the tour takes place, it will demonstrate that Australia is able to produce sportsmen in every sphere.

It could also serve to indicate the prospects of Australia as a future contender for Olympic Games honours. Matches would be played in London, Manchester and Glasgow. Possibly Switzerland, Germany and Belgium could be included.

The English Ice Hockey Association would assist with the tour to begin in December 1930 and conclude February 1931. Players would have to provide their fares to and from England. Other expenses would come from a percentage of the gate receipts.

Regrettably the tour did not eventuate as finances could not be assured. The fact also, that an Australian team were not thought to have the same drawing power of a Canadian team was a factor. Australia still not being considered as an Ice Skating nation fuelled the decision.

During the regular meeting of state delegates during the 1929 Interstate Cup Series in Melbourne, Reg Jeffries now Manage of the NSW State Team and state delegate, raised the question of forming a new National Body to control Ice Hockey and Speed Skating.

Agreement was reached and the Australian Ice Hockey and Speed Skating Council became the National Body in 1931.

As in 1923, the names of the original office bearers are not clear, though extracts from a 1932 programme yield some information.

The programme was the Souvenir Programme, Victoria vs New South Wales, August 1932. Melbourne Glaciarium. Interstate Carnival.

It was compiled by a Victorian player under the pseudonym of "Off the wall Johnny" N.B. In those years all interstate programmes carried the following:

"held under the auspices of the Australian Ice Hockey & Speed Skating Council"

Listed inside it was the following:
Chairman: Mr J Goodall, Secretary/Treasurer: Mr A De Long.

Both men were Victorians. It can then be implied that these men constituted the original office bearers of the new National Body.

Apart from outlining some early history of Australian Ice Hockey, the writer printed the following summation of Ice Hockey up to 1932, that should be of interest to players and officials of today.

From 1924 to 1932 ice hockey has not changed to any great degree, nor have rules been materially altered in that time. Looking back on 26 years of actual experience both as a player and spectator the writer can truly say that the game has improved out of sight. It is open, more scientific and very much less brutal. The playing material is far and away superior to the old type. The players as a whole but not individually are better and the umpires less bloodthirsty.

But two things are lacking which in the past made the game such as success. First and foremost the intense enthusiasm shown by every player for hockey as hockey and their equally earnest desire to become not only proficient as puck handlers, goal getters or defencemen, but to be able to think quickly which is required in every department of the game. Nor is play unselfish as in the past. I should advise those who play the game to remember this:

'That hockey is the fastest game played by man on his legs, but it is a hard master and it requires the use of his brains as well.'

"Twenty six years later there has been many changes to Rules attitudes, changes to gear, sticks etc. Possibly now is the time for someone capable of analysing the progress that ice hockey has made at this point of time and then offering suggestions for the future."

1932 NSW Team: M. Jackson (Captain), Les Berry, H. White (Goals), Tom Wells, K Raith, A 'Widdy' Johnson, G Macki, P Wendt (A young Canadian player in his first interstate series. He later became one of the greats). Ken Kennedy (Also his first interstate series).

1932 Victorian Team: E. Moloney (Captain), R Cullen, T Moore, C Kelly, H Gallaway, H Darke, G Moller, C Napthine, H Hoyne, M Elliott, C Butler.

Of the above named in both teams, E Moloney (Victoria) is the only player remaining from the early 1920's.

Sports Night Events

8.00pm

General Skating.

8.30pm

Ladies' 1/4 mile race.

8.35pm

Mens' 1/2 mile race Championship.
NSW Mens' Team: K Kennedy, G Mackie, A 'Widdy' Johnson
Victorian Team: E Kelly, R Cullen, H Calloway.

8.40pm

Mens' Hoop Race.

8.45pm

Ladies' Hoop Race.

8.50pm

Ladies' Teapot Race.

8.55pm

Waltz Enclosure.

9.00pm

General Skating.

9.30pm

Mens' 1/4 mile Championship.
NSW Competitors: K Kennedy, G Mackie, A 'Widdy' Johnson.
Victorian Competitors: E Kelly, R Cullen, H Calloway.

9.35pm

Cigarette Race.

9.40pm

Ladies' Musical Chairs.

9.45pm

Relay Interstate Teams Championships.
NSW Team: K Kennedy, G Mackie, A 'Widdy' Johnson, L Berry.
Victorian Team: E Kelly, R Cullen, T Calloway, L Barry.

9.50pm

Mens' Hurdle Race.

10.00pm

General Skating.

11.00pm

God Save The King.

For the first time the NSW team were put under pressure by the Victorians. The first and second matches were draws with NSW winning the final game 2 - 0.

1932 saw the introduction of the Tintex Cup, the first of players' ability awards in NSW Hockey. It was donated by Mr A.J. Wills for the player scoring the most points.

Many officials thought that a degree of selfishness was creeping into the game with players attempting to score difficult goals on their own rather than passing the puck to a team mate in a better position to score. Points would now be awarded to players who assisted in scoring goals. At the end of the season, the player with the most points from goals and assists was awarded the Tintex Cup.

1934 Goodall Cup, Melbourne

NSW Team: N McMillan (Goals), J Brown (Captain), Les Berry, P Jackson, P Wendt, A 'Widdy' Johnson, M Jackson, K Kennedy.

This was Ken Kennedy's last series before he left for England. Ken was born in a bootmakers' shop on Liverpool St. Sydney, where the 2GB Building now stands. The family business appropriately included all types of skating boots, skates and sporting gear. When relocated to Sussex St, the workshop was used for Association meetings.

Ken's hockey career began in 1928, when he was 14 years old, and joined the Eastern Suburbs Ice Hockey Club. Along with Jim Brown, Ken was also coached by the legendary Jim Kendall. He was selected to join the NSW Team in 1931, and in the same year he won the 1/4 and 1/2 mile Speed Skating Championships.

Ken left for England in 1934 and played for Warwickshire Ice Hockey Club and Worcester Ice Hockey Club, before finally joining the Birmingham Maple Leaves from 1935 - 37. Ken was he only non Canadian player in the team at that time.

Ken contested the British Speed Skating Championships in 1935/36, winning the 1/4 and one mile Championships.

Ken was nominated by the Australian Ice Hockey and Speed Skating Council to represent Australia at the 1936 Winter Olympics held at Garmisch, Paternkirchan, Germany.

N.B. Speed Skating overseas came under the jurisdiction of the Figure Skating bodies. Ken's nomination had to therefore be endorsed by the National Ice Skating (Figure Skating) Council of Australia.

He had no trouble getting this endorsement as Ken and his family were members of the Figure Skating body. In the Olympic Games he contested the 500 metres, 1500 metres and 5000 metres, finishing 8th in the 500 metres and 13th in the 1500 metres.

Ken had the distinction of being the first Australian to compete in the Winter Olympics. Ken remained in England, and in 1937 turned professional, appearing in ice shows until the outbreak of WWII. He served with the R.A.F. for the duration of the war.

Ken returned to Australia in 1947, and took over the family business, making Kennedy's Skate Shop the centre of ice skating goods in NSW.

Ken resumed his hockey and speed skating interests, and retired as a competitor in 1950, but continued to act as a selector and coach for the Glebe Ice Hockey Club and NSW. Ken was elected President of the NSW Association in 1950, and was awarded Life Membership in 1954.

In 1952, Ken was elected President of the Australian Ice Hockey Federation, which had replaced the Australian Ice Hockey & Speed Skating Council as the national body. He was made a Life Member of the Federation in 1964. Ken was also awarded the H.C. and S.M. Hudson 'Sportsman of the Year Trophy'. He was the first recipient of the award at the request of the donors. The trophy for the 'Most Valuable Player' award for the Jim Brown Interstate Series is named in Ken's honour.

The 'Most Valuable Player' award for the 1984 'Slap Shot' series was also name after Ken Kennedy. During Ken's term as president of the Australian Ice Hockey Federation, Australia embarked on a course of international involvement. In 1960, for the first time, Australia was accepted and sent a team to the 1960 Winter Olympic Games in Squaw Valley, U.S.A.

IN 1962, Australia competed for the first time in the World Championships in Colorado Springs, U.S.A.

In 1963 Australia played in Japan in Tokyo, for qualification to the 1964 Winter Olympics. Ken Kennedy's name is recorded as part of the History of British Ice Hockey.

Ken Kennedy passed away at the age of 77 in 1985. In 1986 he was inducted posthumously in to the Sports Hall of Fame.

Returning to the 1930's
These years were unquestionably excellent ones for Ice Hockey and Speed Skating. Matches were entertaining for the crowds which still numbered up to 2000 spectators. Public interest was helped by good press coverage.

A new club was allowed into the reserve grade competition, being the Sydney University Ice Hockey Club. It was a special concession as the Association would have preferred a new senior club. It was taken into consideration that this new club could develop into a senior one. The club was formed by members of the four senior clubs, who attended the University.

The club performed credibly, but with the shadows of the Second World War spreading, it disbanded in 1938.

Ice Hockey was expanding as such a rate that a third grade competition was introduced. The Association Secretary, Mr Ted McCabe, a noted player of Goodall Cup standard, presented the McCabe Trophy for this third grade of competition.

The 1930's provided some outstanding goalkeepers whose efforts and acrobatic skills and saves are usually overshadowed by field players. Freddy McCabe was a Western Suburbs goalkeeper, small in stature, though very active and fearless. It was reported in the press that his "stunning" goalkeeping in a match against Eastern Suburbs stopped the latter team from scoring.

Norm McMillan of Eastern Suburbs was a steady and technically sound goalkeeper. He had an outstanding recorded and was generally regarded as the better interstate goalie. Norm Cush replaced Jim Barnett as Glebe's Goalkeeper, when Jim retired. Cush didn't have the flamboyance of McCabe or McMillan, but was unusually tall for a goalkeeper, and was exceptionally adept at catching the puck. Understandably, Norm was also the wicket keeper for the District Cricket Club, and actually used wicket keepers leg pads and cricket gloves as a goalie.

Bill 'Scotty' Fraser replaced Bloomfield Sweden as Goalkeeper for St George. Bill, born in Scotland, came to Australia in his early teens. 'Scotty' was capable and solid goalkeeper, well coached to represent NSW after the retirement of McMillan and McCabe. Bill served on the Association and acted as Publicity Officer for many years.

1935 Annual General Meeting

The Association decided to make every effort to encourage the forming of Speed Skating Clubs and to hold regular competitions.

The move was in keeping with the interest generated by the success of Jim Brown and Ken Kennedy's deeds in Great Britain which had received good press coverage in the local papers.

1935 Interstate Team: N. Turner (Captain), P Wendt, B Moller, F Harvey, J Wiseman, A 'Widdy' Johnson, J Wridgeway, K Raith, F McCabe (Goals).

Norm Turner, Team Captain, was the last of the 1920's players. He also served for a time as Association Secretary.

Goodall Cup Results:
First Match: NSW 3 Victoria 1
Second Match: NSW 2 Victoria 2
Third Match: NSW 4 Victoria 2

Mr Dunbar Poole retired as President of the New South Wales Ice Hockey Association in 1934. His involvement in Ice Hockey, Speed Skating and Ice Skating since the opening of the Glaciarium in 1907, went beyond the bounds of his position as General Manager. He retired as General Manager of the Glaciarium in 1937. (see Page 7)

Mr Reg Jeffries also retired as Secretary/Treasurer of the Association to concentrate on business interests in Melbourne. He played for Victoria in the 1936 Interstate series. He later returned to Sydney and resumed playing hockey. When he retired as a player, he accepted the position of Patron of the Association.

Mr. Reg Leafe was appointed Manager of the Glaciarium and through relations between the rink management and the Association were cordial, the personal attitude had gone and a new era of negotiating began.

Office Bearers of the Association, 1936: President: Mr Waddle Hoban, Vice-President: Mr Norm Josephs, Secretary: Mr Ted McCabe.

Unusual Exhibition

Mr H. Steinshard from Sweden and a rink instructor gave an exhibition of skating on stilts which included jumping over chairs.

1938 An Exciting and Turbulent Year

A second interstate competition was introduced at the request of the Victorian and NSW Managements. Called the "F.C. Brown" series for which a Trophy called the "F.C. Brown Memorial Shield" was donated by Mr Jim Brown in memory of his father, who during his lifetime had given support not only to his sons, John and Jim but to Ice Hockey in General.

The Ice Palais Ice Skating Rink: This was an event that all skaters had been hoping and praying for, the opening of a second ice rink in Sydney.

Next Extract: 6. The Second Rink - The Ice Palais - Impacts and Outcomes.

Publish

Each month Ice Hockey New South Wales will submit an extract from "Ice Hockey: The NSW Ice Hockey, Association Inc. Australia - Facts and Events 1907-1999". The information was written by Syd Tange and contains stories about players, officials tournaments, the NSW Ice Hockey Association and Austrlian Ice Hockey Federation. Other people that contributed to the publication are:

Editor:Rob Scheer
Computer Formatting:Barry Robinson
First Pubilshed:1999
Photographs:Geoffrey Thorne, Sydney Tange, Don Rowston, Rob Dewhurst, Roy Philpot, Harry Cameron, Barry Robinson, Trish Brogan & Sean Thompson.

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