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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Maitland’s sporting history on show

From legendary boxer Les Darcy to rally car driver Ken Tubman, Maitland’s list of sporting heroes is long and illustrious.

A new exhibition will showcase the city’s athletic prowess while also highlighting the development and success of many clubs.

Winning Isn’t Everything: A History of Maitland Sport is open until Sunday 13 December.

Maitland Regional Museum representative Janece McDonald says the exhibition has a particular focus on sport in the 19th Century.

“Maitland is chock full of sporting champions at all levels – Olympians, world, state, and national,” Ms McDonald says.

“We’re trying to show Maitland sport is not just Les Darcy and rugby league, there are a plethora of clubs, each encouraging participation.

“The exhibition showcases 19th Century sport, how clubs have evolved, and what they provide today – competition, fitness, and friendships.”

The exhibition includes a section on rugby league legend Terry Pannowitz, who played a club record 270 games for the Maitland Pickers and was a multiple premiership-winning captain-coach, playing for Newcastle, Country NSW, and Australia.

It also features a display on Ken Tubman, who spent his entire life in Maitland and will be remembered as one of Australia’s most successful rally drivers.

Tubman won the original Australian Redex Trial – a trip of more than 10,000 kilometres across the country – in 1953 alongside co-driver John Marshall. The duo drove a ’53 Peugeot 203.

He then claimed the second World Cup Rally in 1974 after travelling from London to Munich via Nigeria.

“[The exhibition] highlights some individuals, like Ken Tubman – his overalls have never been on display before – and Col Johnston, who was ‘Mr Cricket’ in Maitland, as well as the city’s swimming clubs – Maitland Swimming Club is 80-years-old – and the bowling clubs, which do a lot for sport here,” Ms McDonald says.

“There’s also an interesting history with rowing – way back in the 1800s, regattas were held year after year until the club’s demise in the 1890s.

“It then started up again in the 1920s before dying off in the 1930s and was restored by Hunter Valley Grammar [School] in the 1990s.

“HVGS parents started Endeavour Rowing Club, and there’s a lovely complex at Berry Park [near Morpeth].”

Winning Isn’t Everything: A History of Maitland Sport is a collaboration between Maitland Regional Museum, The Clothing Museum, East Maitland Bowling Club and Easts Leisure and Golf.

The exhibition is open from 10am to 3pm on Saturdays and Sundays at Brough House (73 Church Street, Maitland).

Cost is $5 adults, children free. Phone 4933 4450 for weekday group bookings or email [email protected] for more information.