Parkdale Gift History
In 1963 The Parkdale Football Club, which played in the Federal District League formed a Professional Athletic Club. The Parkdale Gift ran for two years from 1963-4.
On 6 April 1963 the first Parkdale Gift was held at the clubs still home ground of the Parkdale Vultures Football Club “Gerry Green Reserve” on Nepean Highway, Parkdale. Now playing in the VAFA Premier B competition, Parkdale Vultures Football Club is well on its way to becoming the biggest club in the City of Kingston. www.thevulturesnest.com
The feature event was the Parkdale Gift over 130 yards worth £65, mile – £50, 600 yards – £35, 75 yards – £25. The event was the last before the world famous Stawell Gift. Also included at the event was a relay between the Senior and Junior Federal District League Clubs.
The winner of the Gift was Graham Huggins of 5.75 yards. The time was unknown but Huggins did not incur a penalty for Stawell. Details about Graham Huggins is currently being sought and will be included as they become available.
The Gift of 1964 was won by local professional running legend Robert (Bob) Wishart. This was one of many prestigious races won by Bob over his professional running career that still continues today.
The gift field comprised of 72 of Victoria’s finest sprinters competing for the £65 prize money on offer.
The backmarker was Australian Professional Champion Terry Clarke (3 Yards). Clarke had just won the Oakleigh Gift and was going for his second win in two weeks. The red hot favourite was Max Ramage off (8.75 yards). Ramage had finished third in the prestigious Bendigo 1000 of that year and was favoured to take home the prize. Robert (Bob) Wishart (4.75 yards), Peter Possetti and Les Stock were other fancied athletes runners for the day.
After the heats – the three semi-finals were run with the first two proceeding to the final.
- Semi Final One – was won by Walsh (6.25yards) with Wishart (4.75yards) finishing second in a time of 11.5.
- Semi Final Two – was won by Stock (4.25yards) and Boate (12yards) finishing second in a time of 11.4 and
- Semi Final Three -was won by Brenchley (10yards) and Harrington (10.5yards) in a time of 11.7.
The final proved to be a dramatic affair with the now new favourite Les Stock breaking twice and being disqualified. In a closely fought finish Bob Wishart (4.75 yards) (1) prevailed from Walsh (6.25yards) (2nd) and Harrington (10.5yards) (3rd) in the slick time of 11.3. (these times were as listed in the newspapers of the day).
It is unknown why the Parkdale Gift did not continue but in 2018 some 54 years later History is Revived – Who will win the Male and Female Parkdale Gifts in 2018?
Role of Honour
|1963||130 Yards||Graham Huggins||5.75 yards||?|
|1964||130 Yards||Robert Wishart||4.75 yards||11.3|