The Blockhouse Bay Cricket Club – 1937 to 1973

Blockhouse Bay Cricket Club badge

From early years cricket was a favourite game for the locals. The first cricket pitch was on the beach at low tide, which must have made for some interesting ball chases amongst the mud and mangroves.

The first registered cricket club in the Bay was formed in 1937 and a committee was elected on 15 April, comprised as follows: Mr and Mrs George Skellon, Stan Johnston, Les Paice, Eric McCurdy, Ray Kealey, Jim Fisk, Ken Kealey and Des Uffindel as Secretary.

Initially one team was entered and took part in the competitions throughout Auckland under the banner of the City & Suburban Cricket Association.

The first team members were Jock Hinton, Ron and George Skellon, Des Uffindel, Clive McCarthy, Norman Ashton, Stan Johnston, Ray and Ken Kealey, Bob Thompson and Eric McCurdy.

The Club laid the first concrete pitch in the Domain next to the primary school. This was covered with special matting which gave a true representation of consistency.

The Club prospered with more players joining and competed with two or three teams in the various grades. The first team to achieve honours was the 1950/51 team who became the 2nd Grade runners-up. During the best years of the Club, the team were winners in both the 2nd Grade and 5th Grade. Another club, Ponsonby, amalgamated with Blockhouse Bay in 1961 and then for some years Blockhouse Bay fielded a Senior Team in the top grade.

When a proper cricket pitch was established locally in grounds on Rathlin Street and Exminster Street, this provided a boost in membership. Later on in 1973 Blockhouse Bay Cricket Club became a feeder club to the Suburbs New Lynn Club under the Auckland Cricket Association and our original Blockhouse Bay Cricket Club name eventually disappeared.

The original club had a life span of over 30 years and many of our players went on to representative honours. Ken Kealey served for 25 years as Secretary and was also Chairman of the Management Committee of the City & Suburban Association in 1963/4.

The Historical Society is fortunate to hold in its archives the studio photographs of the teams from those early years.