The Old Paradians’ Association has inducted Peter Bedford into the Hall of Fame, on the 50th anniversary of his Brownlow Medal victory for competition fairest and best.
Peter, affectionately known as ‘Wheels’, was notified in writing by the Association President Paul Shannon on behalf of the committee.
“This is quite incredible. It’s an unbelievable honour. I don’t quite know what to say. Perhaps I could say thankyou to the President and the committee,” Peter said.
Only last November, and with the assistance of his late wife Lynne’s grandson Nate Anderson, Peter cut the ribbon to formally open the Peter Bedford Centre - a newly-built sporting facility at Parade’s Bundoora campus.
“I’m totally overwhelmed,” Peter told the audience, amongst them his older brother and fellow OP Brian, after cutting the ribbon at the time.
“It’s an incredible honour, to be recognised in this way by my old school. I am truly indebted to Parade, it has always been a great part of my life.”
When contacted for comment regarding his induction into the Hall this week, Peter replied: “I’ve only just come from an interview where I said that of all the honours I’ve had, to have the sports centre at my old school named after myself is the greatest honour of all . . . and now this”.
“I saw some comments from Carlton’s Sam Walsh about his old school St Joseph’s Geelong and what it had done for him in terms of rounding him off as a person . . . and I feel exactly the same way about Parade,” Peter said.
“Looking down the list of inductees – Sir Bernard Callinan . . . Sir Norman O’Bryan . . . ‘Jock’ McHale . . . it’s quite humbling.”
It was 50 years ago this August – August 31 to be precise – that Bedford was declared the medal winner in Dallas Brookes Hall – the same place in which he completed his exams as a Parade student six years earlier.
In what was the first count televised, Bedford emerged the winner with 25 votes (having polled 5x3 votes, 4x2 votes and 2x1 votes in 11 games) from Footscray’s Gary Dempsey with 21, Carlton’s Alex Jesaulenko (20) and North Melbourne’s Barry Cable (19).
“The count happened on the Monday night prior to the first-semi when South played St Kilda (Bob Skilton’s one and only finals appearance) and we were unfortunately beaten by the Saints,” Peter recalled.
“The medal was actually presented to me the following weekend on Second Semi-Final day before the Carlton-Collingwood match (see the video below). The Governor of Victoria Sir Rohan Delacombe (who two years earlier formerly opened Parade College Bundoora) put the medal around my neck in the middle of the MCG and I then ran a lap with the captains of the non-competing clubs –Barry Davis, Roger Dean, Bill Goggin, Kevin Murray and David Parkin amongst them.
In 2010, the Association committee, in its wisdom, saw fit to establish an Old Paradians Hall of Fame. The committee’s rationale was that a Hall of Fame would help perpetuate the memory of the people who brought honour to Parade College and who by their contributions to society serve as authentic role models for present and future generations of the Parade community.
To assist with the process of induction, members of the committee sought the counsel of Parade College’s 1944 Head Prefect the late Bill Dunne, who, since commencing his schooling at the ‘Old Bluestone Pile’ just a few short months before the outbreak of the Second World War, committed his boundless energies to the cause of Parade and the Old Paradians’ Association for more than 70 years.
Peter, who will be presented with a memento to honour his induction at a later occasion, is the 17th inductee into the Old Paradians’ Association Hall of Fame - and joins the following former students in the Hall:
Lou Arthur, Gen. John Baker AC, Sir Bernard Callinan AC, Michael (‘Mick’) Cocks, Sir John Collins KBE, Lt. Col. Charles Denehy CDG, Mr. Leo Doyle, Bill Dunne, The Most Rev. Arthur Fox, Ivan Hutchinson, ‘Jock’ McHale, Sir Norman O’Bryan, Michael Pratt GC, Capt. Prof. Kevin Rickard AM, John Wegner AO and Dr Denis Moore CFC.
PETER LAWRENCE ANTHONY BEDFORD
Born: April 11, 1947
Final Year student Parade College (1964)
League football career
South Melbourne: 178 games, 325 goals 1968-1976
Carlton: eight games, four goals 1977-’78
Brownlow Medal: 1970
South Melbourne best and fairest: 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1975
South Melbourne leading goalkicker: 1971, 1972, 1973
South Melbourne captain: 1973–1976
South Melbourne/Sydney Swans Team of the Century
Victorian representative: 13 games, 11 goals
1st class cricket career
Victoria right-hand bat; leg spin: 39 matches 1966/’67 - 1972/’73
1602 runs at 28.10; 45 wickets at 33.40
134 not out v Western Australia - Melbourne, 1969/’70
5/40 v South Australia – Adelaide, 1969/’70