Nunawading Cricket Club

Joe Carter

Joe Carter

At the Annual General Meeting of season 1953-54, Joe Carter was nominated by Tom Reeves and seconded by Jim Aumann, and unanimously awarded, Life Membership of the Club. There is no other record of this event taking place but it is recorded in the minutes of the AGM. Joe had not been recognised subsequent to this and the club, in season 2001-2002 rectified this matter. Joe was an Englishman who played county cricket with Nottinghamshire before the war and was known as one of nature’s gentlemen. He arrived in Australia in 1947 as a 47 year old and settled in Mitcham, playing cricket for Nunawading in his first summer in Australia.

Nunawading CC Barbeque Carnival, March 1955

Nunawading was struggling financially and by the end of  each season were either in debt or just in the black. In February 1955, Joe Carter had an idea to pull Nunawading out of it’s financial predicament by holding a ‘Barbeque Carnival’. Joe was Senior Vice President at the time and outlined the idea of running several stalls (cake, sweets and ice-cream, drinks and plants), a spinning wheel, BBQ, lucky envelopes, skittles, pennies on squares, gymnastic and wrestling displays,  blocks, darts, a march past by the Youth Club, and a monster raffle, first prize a Sunbeam Mixmaster,  to be organised with the assistance of the Nunawading Youth Club. The carnival was opened by Mr Gray, the local parliamentary representative. Various senior members of the Club were assigned responsibility for organising each element and a member of the local constabulary, Constable Lucas, was a supporter. All players were ask to sell raffle tickets and the event was advertised locally. The Youth Club became involved in selling tickets as well and the Senior Girls were asked to sell the lucky envelopes. The event was taken very seriously, so much so that insurance was taken out against 10 points of rain falling between 6 and 8 pm on the evening of March 25 1955. 

The carnival was an outstanding success. The Club made over £168 profit and approximately 30 cricketers were involved in running the stalls etc. These funds were eventually used to purchase mats and equipment over the next couple of seasons. In possibly the first and only time this has happened, player subscriptions were reduced by 50% to £ 1.1.0. 

At the end of the 54-55 season, the Club had over £ 140 in the bank, a major turnaround.

Selection

Selection was a very topical issue in these post war years. Captains were not allowed to be selectors and positions as selectors were eagerly contested. There were even roles as Assistant Selectors.  In 1953-54 Tom Reeves moved amotion that captains be appointed selectors with two other senior members and a special General Meeting was called to debate the motion. Players unable to attend the meeting were able to submit a written vote. At this meeting, on October 20, 1954, the President, Ted Aumann, stated that the rules of debate shall apply to the discussion and that, once a player had spoken for or against the motion, they could not speak again. Debate ran hot, Tom suggesting that the captains had a mandate to select teams based on the fact that they had been appointed captains and that the players would have faith in their selections. Opposition from Jack  McLelland was forthcoming, he stated that “a complete lack of bias is impossible in a captain, a necessary item”. Further, he stated that “…the captain does not have to face criticism when an independent selection committee is on the job” 

Voting was held by a show of hands, Frank Kitchen and Joe Carter were scrutineers and postal votes were counted. The voting resulted in 60.5% being in favour of the motion and the motion, therefore, won the day. For season 54-55 the selection committee comprised of captains Jim McLelland, Tom Reeves and Eric Best and selectors Joe Carter and Ken Rout.

Joe flew to Australia in a ‘Flying Boat’, a trip taking 7 days only to return to England the following week to collect his family as he had secured employment with a hosiery company which provided the privilege of bringing out his family as C Class passengers. Joe returned with his wife Irene and two daughters, one of whom married Nunawading player Laurie Foster and played until the mid 1950’s, well into his 50’s himself. Joe captained the C Grade Premiership team in 1948-49. Joe and family moved around after he retired, settling in Bendigo where Joe died in 1987, aged 87. At his request, Joe’s ashes were scattered over the MCG.