The Kalamunda Hockey Club had its origins in a meeting between John Stewart and Ralph Blazey, in March or April in 1967. They were confident of being able to form a club that would serve the immediate area, and as both knew of possible players, they decided to arrange a gathering at the Kalamunda Hotel within the following days. It was at the Hotel, with Paddy Kirk and John Woodburry that the first team was drawn up. Unfortunately, Old Scotch forfeited. Their second game was delayed as no ground was available. It wasn’t until 2 pm Saturday, 29th April 1967 that Kalamunda first saw action, with a 4-2 victory over Bedford at Hollywood (S.E.). The team was:
T. Bastow J. Stewart (Vice Capt.)
M. Parr R. Blazey (Coach) R. Tobin
M. Lewis J. Woodburry (Capt.) P. Meynert W. Serventy A. Elms
That Saturday also saw the first general meeting of the club at 46 Watsonia Road, Gooseberry Hill, at which Ralph Blazey was elected President, P. Kirk as Vice President, Mrs D.F. Woodburry as Secretary and Mrs. L. Kirk as Treasurer. Mr K.W. Dunn MLA agreed to become Patron of the club. The formation of the club was greatly assisted by the Perth Hockey Club, which went on to nominate Kalamunda for membership with WAHA. While there was no acknowledgement of the new club’s formation in the Hockey Bulletin, early issues in 1967 did list the clearance of J.W. Woodburry (from A.S.A.), W.R. Serventy (Old Halians), R. Blazey (Perth) and R. Thompson (Tuart Hill) to Kalamunda.
That season Kalamunda played in the lowest senior grade available (B3 Green), and as the ladder below shows, finished the qualifying rounds in third spot.
They accounted for Bassendean in the elimination semi-final, but lost the preliminary final to Charles St. 4-2. At the Wind-up John Stewart received the inaugural Fairest and Best trophy.
In 1968, Kalamunda was promoted to B2 Green. The season commenced with a carnival at Gibson Park on April 7th, involving the following players:
Ray Thompson, John Stewart, John Webster, Kim Ledger, Paul Nordhoff, Peter Graham-Brown, Mike Lewis, Ralph Blazey, Joe Shayler, Philip McGrath, Philip Hadley, Alan Edwards, Paddy Kirk, Steve Fairbotham, Terry Bastow, Bill Hearle, Hillary Johnston, Mike Parr and Wilf Serventy.
That year Wilf Serventy took over as President, with Kim Ledger (Treasurer) commencing his association with the club. The first official game of the season was at Fletcher Park on April 20th, with Kalamunda losing to Navy 5-1. Despite this start, Kalamunda managed to finish fourth after the qualifying rounds on 21 points, with 10 wins, 5 losses and a draw. Obviously it was a close grade, with the team only one point off top spot. They eventually lost the preliminary final 1-0 to Old Aquinians.
B2 Green (9 team grade)
The earliest known photo of a Kalamunda team comes from that season, which is believed to feature Bill Hearle, Steve Fairbotham, L. Whitaker, John Woodburry, Kim Ledger, John Stewart, Terry Bastow, Paddy Kirk, Ray Thompson, John Webster, H. Johnston.
Photo donated by John Woodburry.
After the season the club was shocked to learn of the death of one of its founders, William (Paddy) Orr Kirk on October 26th. In 1970 the club dedicated a perpetual trophy in his memory, with the “Paddy Kirk Memorial Shield” presented each year to the team with the best overall performance for the season.
In 1969, with Bill Hearle as President, Kalamunda expanded to two teams, finishing third in B2 Green (ladder shown below) and seventh from eight in B3 Green (3 wins, 13 losses and 1 draw, 32 for, 86 against). Captain/coach of the B2 Green side was Ray Thompson.