Phillips hails Melbourne at annual dinner
Leader of the Opposition Dr Peter Phillips played a few brilliant strokes at the Melbourne Cricket Club's annual dinner at Saturday night at its Courtney Walsh Drive headquarters.
Before a full house of happy diners, Dr Phillips played a wonderful innings, reeling off some scintillating strokes as he meandered through the history of the club, which was also celebrating its 125th anniversary, as he went through its ups and downs and ending with its many triumphs.
More important, however, he showered many praises on the club for its pursuit of excellence, its commitment to cricket, and the will to keep going even in the face of waning support for cricket clubs.
Phillips also had special praise for president Mark Neita and his committee, who he singled out for gaining the sponsorship of Foska Oats, Purewater, and a host of others and for staging what has now become the annual half marathon road race and for refurbishing the cricket field.
For the 125th anniversary, Ruddy Marzouca, Keith Reese, Tony Becca, Ruddy Williams, Mickey HoSue, and Monica HoSue were lauded for their services to the club through the years.
Other attractions at the dinner included the presentation of a special award to Jamaica's captain Nikita Miller and the Cricketer of the Year to Christopher Lamont, while the outstanding youth award was renamed the Stefan McLaren Award in honour of the promising cricketer, Stefan McLaren, who was killed earlier in the year.
The annual Founder's Award for services rendered was also presented to Mark Neita while Neita presented the annual President's Award to the family of the recently deceased Mark Chin for his outstanding contribution to the club.
Master of Ceremonies was Churchill Neita, and the special guests included Sir Kenneth Hall, Sir Hilary Beckles, Arnold Bertram, Mike Fennell, Dr O. C. Hutchinson, Billy Heaven, Curtis Francis, and Lindel Wright.