All images supplied by Vicki Walsh.
THE PAST eight decades (and as many League Premierships) of the Carlton Football Club’s illustrious 156-year history were on show at Kew Golf Club yesterday (Sunday), for what was the much-anticipated annual Life Members Luncheon.
In the lead-up to Thursday night’s season opener with Richmond at the MCG, Carlton presidents past and present, together with Premiership coaches, captains and players, joined former committeemen, staff members and their wives and partners at a function which was cancelled 12 months ago due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
Amongst the Blues’ luminaries at Kew was Premiership coaches David Parkin and John Nicholls, together with Nicholls’ fellow Premiership captains Mike Fitzpatrick and Stephen Kernahan; four-time Premiership players Wayne Johnston, Peter Jones and David McKay; three-time Premiership players Jim Buckley, Neil Chandler, Adrian Gallagher, David Glascott, Mark Maclure, Alex Marcou, Peter McConville and Ken Sheldon; and dual Premiership players John Goold, Robbert Klomp, Val Perovic and Geoff Southby.
Ian Aitken, Rod Austin, Adrian Gleeson, Matthew Hogg, Ted Hopkins, Michael Kennedy, Andy Lukas, Warren McKenzie, Paul Meldrum, Denis Munari, Fraser Murphy, Phil Pinnell, Bryan Quirk, David Rhys-Jones, Warren Jones and Shane Robertson – Premiership players one and all – were also conspicuous by their presence.
So too were Michael Jamison and Heath Scotland – the most recent of the club’s on-field retirees –who were there to represent 21st century Carlton. Also on hand was the club’s longest-serving President John Elliott and its current President Mark Lo Giudice.
Former Carlton Chief Executive Stephen Gough, who together with Frank Brosnan, Shane O’Sullivan and Sharon McColl was responsible for organizing the Carlton Life Members Luncheon, described the event as a strictly social get-together “that’s not a day for speeches, fundraising, raffles or panels”.
“But as the Luncheon was cancelled last year and Life Members had not come together since 2019, it’s important to acknowledge the passing of five Life Members,” Gough said.
“I am of course speaking of Mark Naley, Ken Kleiman, Henry Gardner, Sam Smorgon and most recently Eric Salter – and we extend our deepest condolences to the friends and families of those esteemed Life Members.”
Gough also acknowledged the President and board of directors of the Carlton Football Club for supporting the Life Members Luncheon “and getting everyone together”.
Special mention was also made of the club’s most recently-awarded AFL Life Members Eddie Betts, Marc Murphy and Shane O’Sullivan, and tribute was paid to David McKay following his recent elevation to Legend status in the Carlton Football Club’s Hall of Fame.
As Gough noted: “If you think of the history of this club since 1864, only 14 people have been afforded that recognition . . . so to the great ‘Swan’ and (wife) Meg, well done”.
In closing, certificates were presented to 20 Life Members attending the function for the first time, as the countdown to Thursday night’s contest with the reigning Premier began in earnest.