A Golden Heritage
It was in the middle of the 19th century and civilization of Victoria’s inland was restricted to a few sheep grazing runs that stretched over much of the colony. These huge enterprises required outposts of shepherds or flock masters to keep watch over the free wandering stock as fencing was considered unnecessary in those times. The only threat to the recently introduced flocks of sheep were a few native dogs and the occasional attack by the wandering tribes of aboriginal inhabitants of the inland of Australia. These strange animals were a culinary diversity to their usual diet and the skins made comfortable clothing in the colder winter months. It was at one of these outposts on what was known as the Ravenswood Run that a hut was occupied in 1839 by a shepherd who, the overseer Tom Myers, nicknamed’Bendigo’ because he was handy with his fists and idolized the famous Nottingham prize-fighter William Abednego Thompson Whose name was derived from the biblical characters Shadrack, Meschack and Abednego and was corrupted to Bendigo because of his ‘bendy legs’ crouch in the ring. The area became known as Bendigo’s Creek and it was here 11 years later in the spring of 1851 that two women, Mrs. Margaret Kennedy and Mrs. Farrell, discovered gold at ‘The Rocks’ where the reef traverses the watercourse. The site is now marked by a plaque in Maple Street just 100 metres from the Wade St oval and a marble obelisk on High Street commemorates the discovery. At that time the whole area was covered in golden wattle, and was truly ‘Golden’ above and below ground. Acacia Floribunda is now our National Floral Emblem. This discovery along with others around the same time established the newly named Golden Square as a catalyst for the Gold Rush Era to Victoria which created the largest emigration the nation has ever seen. First came the alluvial prospectors, then the miners, when it was found that gold was also deep below. These mining operations created huge amounts of by-products of treated ore in the form of mullock, sand and slum that were dumped in vast amounts in areas around Sandhurst, as Bendigo was then known. One of these areas was known as Allingham’s Sand Dump after the proprietor of the battery used to treat the ore, and was situated in wasteland which was formally part of the meanderings of the aforementioned creek. This photo from 1926 depicts the raised area of sand on the right that was later levelled to become the Wade St Oval. On December 9th 1926, at a meeting called to form a Golden Square Progress Association ,it was suggested to ask the Bendigo City Council to try to establish a sports ground on the now unused sand dump. Permission had to be obtained from the Mines Department who then controlled the land. This finally occurred and the residents set about to level the site by working bee. Over 100 turned up in preparation for the monumental task with shovels, planks, wheelbarrows, hand trolleys, rails, and horse and drays. After much toil it was decided the task was too great and a better way had to be found. A huge bazaar was held to raise funds to let the task by tender, This of course would have involved most of the local women in the making of produce and fineries as well. It was a huge success and the job was let to a contractor Mr. W.Dole & Son with his team of horses and equipment to finish the task. The City Council provided 800 loads of topsoil to enable the planting of grass and a wooden fence was erected to form the oval in 1932. This paved the way to form the Golden Square Football Club and the South Bendigo Cricket Club changed it’s name to Golden Square and turf wickets were placed in the centre of the oval. The first change shed was a small wooden structure on the eastern side of the oval near the swimming pool and tennis courts which is now the back green of the bowls club. In 1952 a more substantial clubhouse was moved from the Upper Reserve Oval (QEO) to become the new headquarters of the Club. A kiosk and female toilet was added to the structure, which for over twenty years, was a Mecca for some memorable times. In 1971 the Club decided that the present confined oval was too small for senior football and a delegation met with the Bendigo City Council on site to try and resolve the issue. A challenge was set that if the club could convince three property holders along Maple Street to sell part of their backyards then they would consider enlargement. The Football Club would also have to provide labour to remove the existing fence and replace with a steel chain wire fence around the enlarged area. A High barrier behind the goals also being a part of the conditions of the agreement along with extensive drainage from the properties involved. The challenge was met by Arthur Doye and Col Pinal. Neville Howell surveyed and set out the oval to be the same length as the famous MCG and with the help of a small party of veteran volunteers consisting of Abb Doye, Wally Hansford and Jeff Dennis the present oval became a reality. This photo shows the old clubhouse on the left which came from the Q.E.O. Bendigo. The old ‘Grandstand’ formally part of the Public Market Buildings in Bendigo, and the visitors rooms and press box which was the old weighbridge in Cedar St. where the St.John’s Ambulance Station is now. In 1973 a State Government grant of $45,000 was finally won with great help from Cr Dick Turner to build new clubrooms at Wade St. The Club decided to contract to build it themselves and Arthur Doye was appointed overseer. Max Kelly joined Arthur as they set about the huge task of finding suitable foundations. This was finally achieved with the help of century old mining maps provided by former Mine Manager and club boot-studder Tom Rowe. These indicated a small area of subterranean quartz reef on which a two story building could be built. The rooms were officially opened for the start of the 1975 season with the club providing an extra $20,000 required for extra foundations and public toilets. At the end of the 1984 season additions were started to the upstairs social rooms and a new kitchen and kiosk to service it. This work was carried out by Ken & Tony Cowling ably assisted by John Pell, Leigh Williams, Clarrie McConville, Greg Pain and others. These additions were opened in April 85 and have enabled the club to provide outstanding facilities for the sporting public that are the envy of many in the area. New moves are afoot to extend upstairs even more soon. Relocated from the QEO in 1952, the former Golden Square Clubhouse and Kiosk became the visitors rooms and home of Bendigo Pioneers until destroyed by fire in Feb. of 2003.
Runners - Up
1946 – 1947 – 1962 – 1966 – 1971 – 1973 – 1977 – 1978 – 1980 – 1981 – 1982 – 1990 – 1992 – 1994 – 1997- 2002 – 2006 – 2008
David began his Football career with Golden Square in the under 18s in 1983.
“Wally” as he was known played in the 1984 premiership with the under 18s and won the George Symons Medal for the Bendigo League Best and Fairest that year. Favourite food: is bacon and eggs. He is married to Lisa and has 2 daughters and a son Jordan who plays in our Juniors.
1946 Dr. W. Turner
1947 C. Rohde. R. Hannan
1948 L. Ryan. G. Whiteside
1951 S. Bynon1954 – J. Rodda. V. Lapsley. L. O’Brien. S. Doney. R. Lee. M. McCormac. K. James. W. Galvin. E. Fisher.
1955 R. James. F. Budge. H. Hargreaves. J. Mcnamee. G. Gerdsen. G. Teasdale.
1956 H. Adams. Miss V. Ryan.
1957 Mrs. L. Kenyon. Mrs. C. Reade. C. Browell. T. Rowe
1958 R. McHardy. W. Dumble (McDee). P. Davidson. H. Hammill. A. Gundry. W. Rodda. F. Bolitho.
1959 A. Phillips. W. Pinch.
1960 A. Petri. T. Petterson. J. Wilkinson
1961 C. Graham. A. Gittens
1962 G. Symons. R. Beattie.
1963 Mrs. W. Pinch. J. Little. J. Purdy.
1965 E. James. C. Bourke
1966 J. Taylor.
1967 N. Strauch. A. Holland.
1968 A. Rooke. W. Bonney.
1969 D. Dunstone. G. Todeschini.
1970 L. Murley.
1972 A. Rilen.
1974 P. Moroni.
1976 A.T. Doye. R. Southcombe. W. Wilkinson
1981 E. Hynam. J.C. Potter
1983 S. Rodda. P. Davey
1984 J. Harper.
1985 J. Bennetts. C. McConville. K. Cowling.
1988 N. Carson. B. Pell.
1991 A. Patterson.
1993 M. Lowther. G. Pain.
1994 A. Southcombe.
1996 G. Winzar.
1998 R. Stearns.
2000 C. Baker. A. Jakubans
2004 M. Gastin
2007 K. Bourke
2012 J. Richards. C. Carter
2013 B. Pinner
2015 S. McCormick. J. Pertzel
2016 J. Aughey
2017 Lia Marrone
It’s A Grand Old Flag
It’s a grand old flag, it’s a high flying flag
It’s the emblem for you and for me
It’s the emblem of the team we love
The team of the Blue & the Gold.
Every heart beats bold
For the Blue & the Gold
As we sing this song for you
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
Keep your eye on the Blue & the Gold.
"Dicky" the Bulldog
It was in 1955, the year after Footscray F.C. had won their 1st & only VFL Flag, Golden Square Football Club with the most sensational recruiting coup of the decade, secured premiership player Alan Martin to coach the lowly Golden Square team.
Martin had been transferred to Bendigo by the Education Department and was still in his prime as a player and was in extremely fit physical condition.
Local football identity and radio broadcaster Dick Turner, a Truant Officer for the same government department, tagged his beloved Golden Square team the ‘Bulldogs’, the same nickname of Martin’s former VFL club.
Dick (Roy Francis) Turner, a Bendigo City Councilor for 17 years & Mayor on 3 occasions, was instrumental to help secure a grant for our new clubrooms. Dick never missed a game of football in his 33 years of ‘Calling the Board’ on 3BO and was never backward in airing his loyalty to his boyhood team much to the chagrin of other clubs’ supporters.
The building of the clubhouse extensions housing the pioneers and new changing areas in 2005 is seen above
Stage one of the new development are change and warm up facilities on the ground floor along with New Kiosk, Umpires/Netball Change Room & more storage areas.
The second stage development will involve the extension of the existing social facility upstairs with a capacity to seat 220. This will include a new foyer and entrance from McKenzie St and the building of netball change rooms, showers and store rooms below.