Another piece of the jigsaw puzzle that is VFL umpiring history was put in place at the Yarrawonga golf club this week, when heritage certificate number 40 (field umpires) was presented to Alex Mackenzie, son of George James Mackenzie. George was appointed to his first game of VFL football on 2 May 1908 between Essendon and University. George umpired in 14 VFL games.
Alex who was a very good football player and golfer retired to Yarrawonga some 26 years ago and has spent a little time listening to the stories of AFLUA life members, hall of fame inductees and life time achievement award winners, Alan Cole, Darryl Williams, Bill Yendle, Clive Macaulay and Ian Pritchard. Alex decided he should join in the conversation and mentioned in passing that his father was a VFL umpire. Alan Cole decided to put it to the test and contacted the office only to find that Alex was in fact correct.
CEO, Peter Howe made the trip to the border with X men co-ordinators Ron Bailey and Ted Johnson to present the certificate in the presence of our esteemed members.
Alex was very proud to receive the certificate on behalf of the Mackenzie family saying that “our family was very proud of the achievements of our father. In those times in the early 1900’s everything was pioneering and new. My father loved his football and sport in general.” Something not lost on Alex who is a life member of the Yarrawonga golf club.
Howe, Johnson and Bailey made the most of the trip lunching with our members at the golf club, visiting those who could not make the lunch and reminiscing about the “good old days”.
Pictured left to right, Alan Cole, Ted Johnson, Peter Howe, Ron Bailey, Alex Mackenzie, Darryl Williams and Bill Yendle.