The Doncaster Athletic Club celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Club at Manningham Hotel & Club on Saturday, 30 April.  The 50th Anniversary celebration was scheduled for November 2021 but it was one of the many ‘casualties’ of COVID.  While the celebration was a little late, it was a fantastic night.  With over 120 people attending the atmosphere exceptional all evening, the only disappointing part of the evening was that it came to an end.

The 50th Anniversary Sub-Committee had done a wonderful job and Club President, Campbell McLennan, thanked them and gave full credit to Nathan Down, Kate Downward, Colleen Kelly, David Mitchell, Boris Mathys and Graham Ford.

In fact, Kate had gone above and beyond, not only contributing to the event, Kate did a mountain of work updating the Club History.  Kate spoke to the group outlining how she pulled 50 years together and briefly underlined some of the highlights over those years.  Kate then said that only 50 hard copies of the History had been printed, these will become cherished items.  The History will be accessible online.

While Kate took us down memory lane, Darryl Kilmartin spoke to the group about the future.  Darryl has picked up the role of Council negotiator from Ivan Harding so he knows plenty about things such as new lights, track upgrades and new clubrooms.  Darryl gave the group an overview of these items and even mentioned a possible grandstand development some years down the track.

Then our DAC Podcast gurus, Nathan Down and Boris Mathys invited Rob Neish, Peter Ruff, Charmaine Smith, Stu McLay, Nick Finch and Alessia Wynne to the stage.  What followed was a stunning snapshot of what Doncaster Athletic Club is and why this Club is so pivotal to those of us who have been involved over the past 50 years.

These outstanding, yet typical, Club Members talked about the early days of the merging of the Women’s and Men’s amateur clubs, committee meetings held in the local hotel, fundraising, Christmas parties, selling BBQ sausages at Bunnings, Saturday nights out on the Party Bus and the like.  This group also spoke of some wonderful coaches, officials and quite a few very, very good athletes.  We could have listened to Rob, Peter, Charm, Stu, Nick and Alessia for quite a while longer.

While dinner was being served the screen displayed a slide show that Colleen Kelly, Dave Mitchell Graham Ford and Kate Downward collated.  A wonderful pictorial of a wonderful Club, enjoy it below.

50th Anniversary Celebration Slide Show