1975 – Seven junior teams and one senior team commenced training at Renown Park. The senior team, led by Venis Haywood, managed reasonably well after sunset with the existing single pole in Park Street “small lights’ left over from the RSL League days.
Late 1970s – With the increase of club teams to 20 teams and with much success in the senior teams as premiers and finalists, training became very serious. It was unanimously decided that the lights needed improvement, being “too dull”. Donated by Billy MOore and Bernie Evans and installed by John Mitchell, the small lights were replaced with 4 more powerful “quartz” floodlights. What an improvement!
Mid 1980s – Serious training sessions finally “rubbed” onto the junior teams. Times extended themselves into dusk, so Phil Tonks U/12 coach (electrician extraordinnaire) donated a mobile quartz floodlight for use by junior teqams training adjacent to the canteeen. Sadly they are not now needed and remain in the gear room.
Late 1980s – With a great number of senior teams training “into the night” the floodlit area became prime property; i.e. hard to share equally for all teams. As the existing lights only illuminated a third of the playing field, the club had a serious problem. The foresight of Club President, John Davies, resolved the matter with the installation of our present day “six pole / quartz” lighting system; a great success and a credit to John and his committee.
It is with great sadness that we report that one of the club’s founding members and long-time Oatley resident, Barry Finn, passed away yesterday after a lengthy battle with an illness.
Barry was one of our club’s original committee members along with Ted Thornwaite and Bob Dines, and he served as Club Treasurer from 1975 to 1979.
His son Darren writes, “Dad was very active in the club when it first started and I remember many days where we were down at Renown Park and dad was mowing lawns, setting up goal posts and organising the canteen.
For a while there it was like a 2nd home. We made lots of good friends through the club and had several successes.”