Our new pavilion - the long wait is over
by Charlie Walker
OUR NEW PAVILION - THE LONG WAIT IS OVER!
More than a decade of frustration, stalled planning and dashed hopes finally came to an end when the new $2.5 million Ormond Park pavilion was officially opened on May 3.
Moonee Valley Mayor Narelle Sharpe cut the ribbon to signify the pavilion was handed over to the cricket and football clubs, with an arch of black and white balloons a triumphant backdrop.
The Friday evening opening perfectly showcased the Moonee Valley Football and Cricket clubs, and with the Auskick kids and parents packing the oval, the opening crowd swelled beyond 1000 - and all were impressed.
Cr Jim Cusack, who has been an unrelenting advocate for the new clubrooms, spoke at the opening, after Mayor Sharpe opened proceedings.
Council CEO Bryan Lancaster, Cricket Club president Charlie Walker and Football Club president Jason Helwig also spoke as part of the official party.
In his speech, Charlie Walker acknowledged the efforts of cricket premiership co-captain and football secretary Brett Curran and Cr Nicole Marshall. Cr Cusack and Cr Marshall championed the need for the new pavilion from the moment they did a walk-through in November 2015 and fully realised how unsuitable the old facility was for our two clubs.
At left: Cutting the ribbon: L-R Cricket president Charlie Walker, Cr Samantha Byrne, Mayor Narelle Sharpe, CEO Bryan Lancaster, Cr Jim Cusack and football president Jason Helwig.
One of the highlights - which many in the crowd went up to see - was the new upstairs scorer's box, with its air conditioning and room for more than a dozen people. It's got a definite future as a corporate box on occasions, looking right over the bowler's arm at the northern end.
The new and expanded canteen is also a highlight, as was the catering on the night, organised by Tracey Larobina and a dedicated crew of football supporters.
Moonee Valley cricket and football legend Ian Denny has organised Life Member Committees for both clubs, and is leading a joint fundraising push to fit out the new pavilion, which has already supplied catering equipment and new TVs and entertainment equipment.
At left: Three proud Life Members who remember back to the days of the old "Dungeon" pavilion in the 1980s - two pavilions removed from now. L-R Sandro Capocchi, Greg Peters and Club founder Ray Storey.
Moonee Valley Cricket Club was very proud to welcome so many Life Members to the opening, led by Club founder Ray Storey, down from Leitchville for the occasion.
Other Life Members were Greg Peters, John Talone, Darren Nagle, Mark Gauci, Matt Thomas, Jim McKenzie, Sandro Capocchi, Ian Sutherland, Joe Ansaldo, Jim Polonidis, Ian Denny, Bob Sciacchitano, Michael Cumbo, Dean Jukic, Kevin Gardiner, Jesse Felle and Charlie Walker.
A big contingent of current players, past players, supporters and families also did our cricket club proud - as did the football club.
All got the opportunity to see through the new pavilion. The social space is 194 square metres - almost three times the space of the old pavilion. In his speech Charlie acknowledged the decision by the Council on the back of advocacy from Cr Cusack to fund tables and 70 chairs - ensuring the social area is a comfortable and welcoming space.
At right: Old times: L-R Joe Ansaldo, Jim Polonidis, and two of the regulars from the last Moonee Valley women's cricket teams, Kim Johnston and Victoria Thorneycroft.
There are four changerooms - the front rooms can be opened up into one big room for Moonee Valley. They provide the capacity for separate changing areas for women - one of the drawbacks when Moonee Valley last had women's teams - and we're working towards the reintroduction of women's cricket for the 2019/20 season.
***For more photos from the opening, click HERE
***To see the walk-through during construction featuring Complete Stainless Steel, click HERE
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