From humble beginnings, Everton Districts Cricket Club has established itself as a strong supporter of junior cricket on Brisbane’s north side. Our grounds at Kenna Street, West Chermside are utilised by both junior and senior cricket at BNJCA, Warehouse and Metropolitan North School Sports levels. Here are some initial developments that help forge Everton Districts Cricket Club’s reputation as an influential cricketing entity in Brisbane.
Until the 1974/75 season, Everton Districts Cricket Club was a sub-committee of the Everton Districts Australian Rules Football Club and played out of fields at Mott Street, Enoggera. In 1974, the cricketers broke away and became Everton Districts Cricket Club, with a later name change to Everton Districts Cricket Club Inc. From the late 1970’s to 1980, the club was the tenant of a piece of Brisbane City Council land in Blaker Road, Oxford Park. However, development restrictions were placed on the club, and as the land was re-zoned to open space, efforts to construct a clubhouse were rejected by the Council.
From mid 1980, negotiations took place with the Brisbane City Council to acquire a piece of land at West Chermside, and after three years of discussion, approval was given to commence the development of an inactive, vermin-infested rubbish tip. Rats the size of small cats, spiders, snakes and a variety of other infestations were finally buried or driven from the area.
In November 1984, the first push from a bull dozer signaled what would become a week-end ritual for the next five years. Four people began to achieve a dram of “turf wickets for junior cricketers”. John Manson (the whole complex is the John Manson Sports Complex), Jim Neibling (the Jim Neibling Oval is the western most oval), Peter Gallagher (the Peter Gallagher Oval is directly in front of the clubhouse), and Bill Willett (the clubhouse is the William “Bill” Willett Pavilion), along with a number of other stalwarts, have been responsible for the development of the complex that is now being enjoyed by hundreds of past and present members.
An estimated 1,000,000 yards of fill has been buried and leveled by the club. Approximately $150,000 of the club’s funds was used for the development of the fields and clubhouse. It was estimated by both Council and private companies that to develop the fields commercially using the same materials would have cost around one million dollars. Some areas of the complex have been lifted over sixty feet. And all of this was done by club volunteers.
It therefore goes without saying that members of Everton Districts Cricket Club must appreciate and protect the facilities we have, as it will be a long time before anything like this will happen again.
The fields are leased through the Brisbane City Council and are presently used by approximately 230 junior and senior club members for training and games.
Everton Districts is also home for Metropolitan North School Sports and host their representative cricket teams from Brisbane North Primary and Secondary schools. Metropolitan North uses the complex for training, selection trials and matches. The fields are further used by primary and secondary schools for inter-school cricket on Wednesday and Friday afternoons.
Everton Districts Cricket Club relies greatly on volunteer support from the players, patrons and members of the local community in order to help maintain and further develop the clubs facilities. Our intention is to ensure that the club has a bright future, both as a cricketing venue and a place for the whole family.