Although 31 summers have come and gone since Kangaroo Valley fielded a team in the Shoalhaven District Cricket Association, more than 50 people attended last Saturday’s reunion.
They came from near and far, including one member of the 1986-87 side, Errol Shelley who travelled from Queensland for the occasion.
Caps and trophies from the 1960s could be seen, while Bert Madge wore one of the locally-knitted cricket jumpers awarded to the second grade premiership-winning players of 1974-75.
The function hosted by Kangaroo Valley Historical Society was arranged to launch the book, A History of Kangaroo Valley Cricket, written by Alan Clark.
Master of ceremonies was society president Garth Chittick who made light of his own cricketing ability.
However he could well have reminisced with Colin Condon of accepting their 1961-62 premiership blazers from Alan Davidson, then the greatest allrounder in the world.
Mr Chittick noted the long association with Cambewarra, drawing attention to the fact that when one club did not field teams, some of its players would join the other.
There were murmurs of amusement when he raised that contentious subject of whether Cambewarra was a suburb of Kangaroo Valley, or whether it should be the other way round.
The book was launched by Ian Sawkins, a member of the club’s only first grade premiership team in 1971-72, who commended the publication to his audience and also related some personal memories.
In his response, Alan Clark thanked the society for publishing the book, the Sawkins family for preserving the many old scorebooks used in the project, and the past players and relatives who had perused his profile articles.
All the speeches were delivered against the backdrop of an impromptu cricket game being played by children on Kangaroo Valley Showground, surely one of the most picturesque venues anywhere in NSW or perhaps beyond.
The last speaker was secretary Peter Dumbrell who after thanking various people for their contributions to the day, presented life membership of Kangaroo Valley Historical Society to a flabbergasted Alan Clark, “in appreciation of numerous publications of Kangaroo Valley history recorded in books and publications over many years”.
Those who had scored centuries for Kangaroo Valley were invited to come forward for the first of many photographs of past player groups.
Yarns about past days were still being exchanged long after justice had been done to the delicious afternoon tea.
For more information on the book or to order a copy, contact Kangaroo Valley Historical Society president Garth Chittick on 4465 1367.