2015 marked the club’s Centennial year. Under the leadership of our Centennial Committee consisting of Alan Stevens, David Lonsdale, and Colin Maclachlan, many club members were engaged and involved in delivering a year-long programme to celebrate this milestone, in which many of our current and past members were able to participate and enjoy.
The key events were:
The 2015 AGM was held on the 10th off March 2015, exactly one hundred years ago to the day, that our founding fathers meet at the Bristol Hotel, and directly through the wall to where the original meeting was held in the Barbers Building
On 18 April our traditional opening race of the season at Island Bay (formerly the Le Gaye), was raced for the Centennial Cup generously donated by our Centennial Committee. The race started from Cliff House, where our inaugural run was held on 24 April 2015. One of the highlights was a magnificently decorated Centennial cake donated by Don Dalgliesh
On Queens Birthday weekend we staged our major celebration. Friday night saw registrations, welcome and social gathering at the clubhouse which was decorated with memorabilia (including the evolution of the club strip) and historic photos. On Saturday afternoon we held our historic Ballantyne Cup race on the stock banks on the Hutt River. Runners and Walkers could compete for 1, 2 or 3 laps, with all finishers (including a few past members), receiving a commemorative medal. The centre-piece of the weekend was the Centenary Dinner held at Wellington College, which was attended by 215 guests. A lot of effort was made to decorate the venue with club trophies, memorabilia and a slide show of scenes from our history accompanied by a review of our club history. The climax to the evening was the naming (after an attendees ballot), of Melissa Moon and Steve Hunt as our Athletes of the Century. Sunday was more sedate with a pack run from the clubhouse, followed by a casual lunch and photos. All in all the weekend was an overwhelming success, and it was great to receive so much positive feedback from past members on the state and the ongoing success of the club.
On 2 September we launched our Centennial Book “The Story of Wellington Scottish Athletics Club (1915-2015)” at the Bristol Hotel. Congratulations to Grant McLean as Chief Editor, and his team of writers who spent countless hours compiling our history and who have brilliantly captured the essence of Scottish; friendship, loyalty and a fierce competitive streak. We have received so many positive comments about the book that it has been proposed we nominate it in the non-fiction section of the 2016 NZ book awards.
On 11 October saw us stage a 100 x 1-mile relay organised by David Lonsdale at Newtown Park. Participants included runners past and present walkers and J Teamers. It was a really fun day and well supported.
The icing on the season’s celebration was the successful retention of our title as the Top Club at the National Road relays
A special thank you to the many members who assisted in the organising and running of these events.
I am not sure whether our founders would have envisioned what Scottish might have looked like in 2015, but I am confident that they would be proud of the fantastic history that the club has created over the past 100 years, and of our standing as one of the leading athletic clubs in New Zealand.
Now that the streamers have been cleaned up, and we enter into our second century it is a timely reminder that we are all caretakers of their legacy, as well as being responsible for creating one of our own for future members to reflect on and enjoy. I certainly hope that in 2115 WSAC is celebrating its Bi-Centennial as a strong and vibrant club.
Glen Wallis – Club President 2010-2015