If I’d been able to get into the fortress that is the scoreboard at the Ben Kavanagh Reserve in Mordialloc, a southern bayside suburb of Melbourne, I would have found the numbers 1, 9, 5 and 9 and hung them up. Year I was born. In Mordialloc. Then I might have found the numbers 5 and 1. Date and month.
But the scoreboard, if indeed it is still used as a scoreboard, was impenetrable. Rock solid. Probably built around the time I was born. It’s not going to fall down in a hurry. The sponsors will make sure of that. (Anyone need any sticky labels?)
I have no memories of visiting this ground when I was a youngster. The family left Gipps Avenue, and Melbourne, in 1963. The Mordialloc footy club was in the VFA back then, 14 years shy of its Division 2 premiership. The cricket club, established in 1885, are reigning premiers. (And no wonder: the playing surface is fantastic. I reckon the neighbouring bowls club might be a little envious.)
As I pottered about yesterday I had a sense that this part of Mordialloc hasn’t changed much since my brief time there. And – no – that’s not false nostalgia. Take a look at the bowls club entrance, and the guides hall, and the scoreboard. But change is afoot. New clubrooms on the way.