I’d established that Katanning’s main footy ground Quartermaine Oval didn’t have a traditional scoreboard and decided on a final scout around town. Footy had also been played at the showgrounds and the racecourse. Then I noticed something on the Katanning map in my UBD Gregory’s Street Directory Western Australia – Kupara Park – football oval.
It took some finding with roads and tracks blocked but when I finally got to the chained up old main gate the scoreboard stood out proudly. Once alive with activity from footy, cricket and softball Kupara now sits empty slowly fading away.
Kupara Park was the home of the Katanning Australs Football Club. Created after the Katanning Imperials and Rovers merged, the Lions were a founding club in the Central Great Southern Football League in 1960. Australs won premierships in 1970, 1971, 1972, 1975 and 1978.
One of Kupara’s most memorable days didn’t feature Australs. A huge hail storm during the grand final between Katanning Wanderers and Kojonup sent Kojonup captain-coach Graham Zilko to hospital and the game was abandoned. Wanderers won the replay.
In 1990 they joined the Albany based Great Southern Football League where they remained until the end of 2000 when the club was suspended by the league. A Way of Life, a history of WA country football notes it was because “…they lacked leadership within the club”.