15 July 2021 – 

The increased interest in Lord’s Taverners ACT events as Canberra continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic continued when around 100 people attended the 2021 Lord’s Taverners ACT Annual Dinner.

There were many highlights at the event, which took place at Royal Canberra Golf Club, Yarralumla on Thursday, 6 May, including the announcement of another two junior taverners award-winners, an entertaining guest speaker, raffle prizes and guest appearances from the Patron of the Lord’s Taverners Australia (and the Governor-General of Australia), His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), and the Chairman of Cricket Australia, Earl Eddings.

The guest speaker was the outgoing ACT Cricket Association Head Curator, Brad Van Dam, who provided his insights into management of the turf at Manuka Oval, including preparing the cricket pitches.

Brad, who was interviewed by local media legend Tim Gavel, spoke about overcoming the challenges posed by a hectic season of Big Bash fixtures at Manuka which came with greater demands from both Cricket ACT and Cricket Australia (and cricket’s various media partners), preparing pitches and scrambling to “get the covers on” when rain hit.

After an absence of 12 months because of the pandemic, the  Graham Wilkinson Memorial Junior Taverners Awards for up-and-coming young cricketers in the region were announced at the dinner.

Zak Keogh and Julia Bassett, who both play for Weston Creek Molonglo, are the 2021 recipients and each received $1500 and a Kookaburra cricket kit. Making the presentations to Julia and Zak was Cricket Australia Chairman Eddings.

Upon receiving their recognition, the pair spoke about their own personal cricket careers and playing the game from a community cricket perspective in Canberra.

Also as part of the event, the Lord’s Taverners ACT formally congratulated James Allsopp on being appointed to his new position with Cricket Australia (as Executive General Manager of Community Cricket) and welcomed Olivia Thornton as James’s successor as Chief Executive Officer of Cricket ACT.

On a sombre note, Patron Hurley led a toast in honour of the former 12th Man of the Lord’s Taverners, His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, KG, KT, OM, GBE, AK, QSO, PC. Prince Philip died in April at the age of 99.

The night concluded with the drawing of the raffle, where the three prize-winners were:

  • Jason Stott – Accommodation for two nights at Abode Malua Bay;
  • Jill Holden – $500 voucher from Fox Antiques; and
  • Marcus Thompson – $150 voucher from Daana restaurant, Curtin.

What was another highly successful event resulted in the Lord’s Taverners ACT raising $6,200, which goes towards the work the Lord’s Taverners does supporting local young and disadvantaged cricketers and other athletes.