The Borough of Queenscliffe commemorated the town’s connection to the Aboriginal Cricket Team that played in England in 1868. Queenscliff is where the team left Victoria in October 1867 for the famous 1868 Tour of England, becoming Australia’s first international sporting team. The team traveled from Queenscliff to Sydney and then left Sydney for England in February 1868.
The commemorative Message Book was on display in Queenscliff during February and was shown to three local primary schools as part of a presentation to students at Queenscliff Primary School, St Aloysius School and Point Lonsdale Primary School on Friday February 28.
The following day the Message Book was officially presented to the Borough of Queenscliffe as part of the commemorative two-day cricket match between Queenscliff and Anglesea at the Queenscliff Recreation Oval on February 29 and March 7.
The Major of the Borough of Queenscliffe, Cr Ross Ebbels, was joined by other Council representatives, Federal Member for Corangamite Libby Coker MP, Wotjobaluk Elder Richard Kennedy and members of the Mullagh Wills Foundation including Chair, Jane Nathan, for the official function in the Queenscliff Recreation Oval social rooms.
Cr Ebbels was thrilled the Borough of Queenscliffe was involved in the special occasion.
“Queenscliff’s Aboriginal history is a significant part of what make this community such a special place. We are delighted to welcome Richard Kennedy to help us commemorate an important step along the long road towards reconciliation that happened here in the Borough.”
Richard Kennedy presented Queenscliffe Mayor, Cr Ebbels with a commemorative message stick during the official ceremony and prior to the match official guests were joined by both cricket teams on the ground for a traditional ‘Welcome to Country’ and smoking ceremony.
The following Saturday, March 7, the Mullagh Wills trophy was presented to the Anglesea team at the conclusion of the tight game which was decided on the final over. Queenscliff were chasing 208 and with one over remaining they were 9 wickets down for 200. In a very tense final over they scored six runs to be 9 for 206, finishing 2 runs behind the Anglesea total of 208. Appropriately it was an exciting completion to the Mullagh Wills Match.