A magnificent luncheon was conducted to celebrate those surviving Old Paradians' Amateur Football Club footballers from the Club’s first Premiership in 1951 after its establishment in 1929.
The MC on the day was Judge David Jones (1958) who was able to go around the room and ask the players some memories of the 1951 season and the Grand Final where the Old Paradians' thrashed Alphington in the replay of Grand Final one from the week before where the Paradians' won narrowly.
The luncheon was originally to be held in 2021 but due to COVID it was pushed back into 2022.
The five living members of the team present on the day were Brian Hill, still at school as an 18-year-old, Maurie Considine a 19-year-olddefender, Ray Hangan, another 19 year old back flanker, Brian Turner a 17 year old centre half forward and Denis Toner a 21 year old mid fielder. They all spoke with great pride on the achievement of the flag and the friendships that were forged from the win and their association with the Old Paradians' Football Club. Sadly, since the original dinner was planned in 2021, Brian Hill’s brother Geoff and Geoff Kenny also members of the Premiership side had passed away.
Each player was presented with a commemorative medallion. Brian Hill accepted one on behalf of his brother. It was also acknowledged that Phil McLaughlin’s daughters Maureen and Mary were also in the room to celebrate the event. Phil was VAFA Best and Fairest in the premiership year 1951 and again in 1952, recognised as perhaps the Old Paradians' Football Club’s greatest ever player.
Chris Bibby former President of the OPAFC spoke passionately and with great pride about the honoured place the 1951 Premiership and its players have in the history of the Football Club.
A presentation on the screen was dedicated to the Premiership players as well as some historical memorabilia of the Premiership that was given pride of place in an impressive display below the Premiership pennant.
A proud day for the Football Club.
(On behalf of the OPA)