The Canterbury Men’s Hockey Club was initiated by Kevin Mitchell who had been a member of the Waratah Club, which disbanded in 1967. After the collapse of Waratah, in 1968 its players scattered to various other clubs for an intervening season before Kevin hatched the new-club plan, regrouped and recruited. In talks with Bert Brownlow, then secretary of the Southern Hockey Association, he officially named the new club Canterbury. Kevin’s liking for the Canterbury Rugby League Club in Sydney and the Canterbury Hockey Club in New Zealand, after a visit there, inspired the name choice. The lion logo was his idea too. Although Waratah’s colours were a light blue-and-white chequered shirt with the red waratah flower as an emblem, Canterbury’s strip became predominantly red (like the Liverpool Football Club), with sky-blue trim and a rampant red lion logo on a white background.
The fledgling club of 1969 fielded three senior teams – A Grade, Second Grade, Third Grade and an U/15 side. Team pennants with player names were presented. The first A Grade team consisted of creator Kevin Mitchell, Graeme Corney, Eric Perriman, John Lawler, Greg Chambers, Richard Hawson, Brian Mitchell, Geoff Kiernan (coach) Laurie Ford, David Price, Michael Dann and Ken Warn.
In 1975 Kevin travelled with coach Col Beaton’s A pool Canterbury team to Melbourne for several pre-season practice games. A file picture shows this team.
In 1992 Kevin coached the A Reserve Men’s team to both Southern and State Premierships. Kevin, together with his hockey playing wife Christine, worked tirelessly
to improve the fortunes and numbers of the youthful Canterbury Club. Kevin worked hard at underage level developing a pool of young talent to introduce in future years.
Christine was an original member of the Canterbury Women’s Club and served on its committee.
Founder Kevin has always been a proud supporter of his club. His legacy has left a robust club that has produced Australian representatives and Premierships through the years and a progressive
growth that has woven a women’s club into an amalgamated Canterbury Hockey Club. It now boasts men’s and women’s teams from underage youngsters through to Masters, and at times it has been the largest and most successful club in the Southern Hockey Association.
Compiled by Jane Patten in discussion with Kevin and other early players.