Guyra Cricket Presentations
Guyra Cricket Club held their presentations for the 2021/22 season at the Guyra Bowling Club on Saturday May 21st.
The dinner was a change of format to previous years and organisers were rewarded with an excellent roll up of both junior and senior players.
A highlight of the night was the announcement of life membrship for Reg Campbell, recognising his contribution to cricket in Guyra over many years.
Accepting the award on his behalf were grand daughter Simmone Stanley, nephews Dick and Peter Campbell and great nephew Michael Jackson.
Peter was also guest speaker for the night and shared his own memories of cricket in the Guyra district including some memorable incidents and people.
Reg Campbell played cricket from his boyhood until he was approximately 60 years of age, a career spanning 47 years. He was a leading cricketer of his era, an extremely good batsman and also a very capable bowler. Reg represented the Guyra district for many years in the NEDCA fixtures from his younger days up until the mid/late 1960s.
He was a prolific scorer, making a good number of centuries in both local and district cricket as advised by his contemporaries, but in his modest ways he had never kept a tally or mentioned his achievements. As a measure of his batting prowess, in 1939 he was posted to Kyogle as a schoolteacher and returned home to Guyra in January 1940. He only played half the 1939/40 season at Kylogle yet he still won the batting aggregate for the season.
He began his cricket career in the Guyra competition with his home team of Llangothlin when he was about 13yrs. He was quickly into the game and became a very good batsman even at a young age. In 1937/38 he played in Armidale as he was at the Armidale Teachers College. He played half a season at Kyogle as mentioned above and then returned to Guyra in January 1940 and remained there for the rest of his career and life.
Reg was a natural leader and was the captain of his club Llangothlin until it folded in the mid 1950s. The bulk of the remaining Llangothlin players then moved to Bald Blair and he remained with that club until he retired. The Bald Blair club had great success over this period, winning its inaugural premiership in 1963/64 with Reg as captain. The club repeated the form of winning the premiership in 1970/71, 1971/72, 1972/73 and 1973/74, again with Reg as captain. He didn’t insist on being captain, rather his teammates wanted him to be so, he was a natural in the role and understood the game in depth.
He continued to play until about 1979 when he retired due to health issues which affected his mobility. Reg was a very well respected member of the Guyra District Cricket Association and he was held in high regard for his contribution to Guyra cricket as a competitor and fellow sportsman.
His most lasting legacy was his role in establishing the new oval and turf wicket on what is now the showpiece of the Recreation Ground in Guyra. Together with Ted Mulligan, whose career incidentally mirrored that of Reg, they lobbied the Guyra Shire Council with a proposal to construct a new oval and turf wicket on the existing Recreation Ground. This was in 1969 and at the time there were two playing fields on the Rec ground with a cement cricket pitch laid between them.
They held regular discussions on the project with Council, which was keen to improve the sporting amenities in Guyra and construction of the new oval took place in 1970/71. Play commenced on the new turf wicket in the 1971/72 season. Council left the maintenance of the turf wicket to the GDCA and Reg stepped up and became the curator, a role he held for the next 10 years plus. All voluntary, he never asked for nor received any recompense for his efforts.
He nurtured the wicket, establishing a strong turf over several seasons, preparing the wicket for each weekend’s matches and the ground quickly became a favourite for the local players. Guyra cricket had come of age by being able to play on the most traditional of cricket surfaces. His contribution to Guyra cricket is unsurpassed.