125th Anniversary Dinner

In 2021, the Coburg Harriers are celebrating 125 years as an athletics club.

Not just running, throwing and jumping; but building a community of like-minded people, helping them develop and cultivating an environment where everyone is welcome to join in and achieve their own personal best – whatever that looks like for them.

The Coburg Harriers is one of the oldest athletics clubs in Australia.  The club held a   125th anniversary celebration on Saturday 27th March, 2021 with a family friendly  dinner at the Glenroy Bowls Club.

On the menu was a walk down memory lane with the history of the club, some sparkling speeches and the induction of the latest group of life members as well as an enjoyable evening with club members, special guests and friends and family.

BACKGROUND

The Coburg Harriers were formed on March 30, 1896 and is the fifth oldest Victorian club with its philosophy best summed up by the Club motto:

NOT THE QUARRY BUT THE CHASE, NOT THE TROPHY BUT THE RACE

Some highlights on the way to 125 years include:

  • The Corner Hotel (still at the corner of Bell Street and Sydney Road) provided a horse trough and sometimes the use of their wash house as change rooms
  • The Clubs first Olympian was W. V. Aitken in the marathon at the 1908 London Olympics – he retired at the 21.5-mile mark because of sleepiness
  • First cinder track laid in 1947
  • On Tuesday 22 June, 1954, the Coburg Harriers raced tram number 233 over a five-mile course from Elizabeth Street GPO to Bell Street, Coburg
  • Two mile handicap race held at half time at Coburg Football Club matches
  • First 24 hour run 1954
  • Ten club athletes had the honour of carrying the 1956 Olympic Torch and sixteen acted as officials for the Olympic track and field events
  • The Club was instrumental in forming other sporting clubs in and around the area like the Brunswick Harriers, the Moreland Harriers, the Coburg Table Tennis Club, the Coburg Lacrosse Club and the Coburg Womens Amateur Athletic Club
  • Herb Elliott and Raelene Boyle – both Legends in the Sport Australia Hall of Fame and named one of 100 National Living Treasures by the National Trust of Australia – past members

Further details of the Coburg Harriers’ history can be found here.