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Umpires Association History

Umpires Association History The Council received a request connected to provide input into a podcast relating to ACT Cricket history during the period World War II to the mid 1960’s. Adam Morehouse, the CACT Statistician & Historian, has provided a detailed overview since the inception of the Umpires Council; and for our historians the following paragraphs make interesting reading.


The first Umpires Association was formed in November 1929 when the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Cricket Umpires Association was formed at the Parks and Gardens Cottage after efforts by a Mr T. Williams that extended over two seasons. Six members were present at the first meeting where Alf Butcher was elected as Chairman and Thomas Williams was elected as Secretary.


This was after an informal discussion had taken place in September 1928 of a Cricket Umpires Association at the Ainslie Social Services Cottage. The Umpires Association met regularly during the 1929/30 season but there was a dispute at the Semi Finals where members of the Umpires Association withdrew their services after the FCT Cricket Association refused to fully meet the fees of the umpires for the season. The dispute continued into the next season with the Umpires Association eventually folding after the FCT Cricket Association refused to pay umpires in the 1930/31 season.


In 1950 the Umpires Association was reformed with Vince Griffiths elected as President, and Arthur Cummings and A Bird as Vice-Presidents. The reformed association intended to affiliate with the NSW Umpires Association and arrange for tuition and examination of all members and intending members. The following season, the Secretary of the Association, Ernest Gordon, had arranged examiners from the NSW Cricket Umpires Association to visit Canberra to test local officials. ACTCUSC Annual Report: Season 2021/22.


This association passed into limbo in the 1952/53 when the ACT Cricket Association decided to take matters into their own hands for the recruitment and retention of umpires by arranging remuneration, classes and examinations. This happened after the Secretary of the Umpires Association at a meeting said that no umpires were prepared to officiate at ACT Competitive games during the upcoming season as umpires were dissatisfied with the co-operation that they had received the previous season.


In 1952, Charles Morrison became a member of the Executive Committee of the ACT Cricket Association (ACTCA) and during the season, asked why there was no association of umpires. Ian Emerton, the President of the ACTCA, suggested that he form an Association.


Morrison reasoned that the Association would not be accepted unless its original members were also competent cricketers. He convinced Ned Custance and Austin Selleck, both former ACT representatives to become qualified umpires. They studied the laws and travelled to Sydney where they were examined by members of the NSW Cricket Umpires Association.


Later they discovered that Mark Atkinson, who was a member of the previous association, was also a member of the NSW Cricket Umpires Association (NSWCUA). The four gentlemen met at Morrison’s home in March 1953 and adopted a constitution based on the constitution of the NSWCUA. Atkinson became the President, Morrison the Secretary, Selleck the Treasurer and Custance the Assistant Secretary. By the start of the following season, they had nine qualified members with eight more qualified by the end of the season.


Charles Morrison went on to umpire many representative matches including the Prime Minister’s XI match in 1954 and Country v Metropolitan matches in 1956 and 1958. He later became President of the ACTCA. During 2009 and 2010, Morrison, Selleck and Custance all passed away with the ACT Umpires and Scorers Council renaming the Chairman’s Award to The Founders Medal in honour of these gentlemen.





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