THIS band of brothers might not be as agile* as they were when they ran onto a football field at Oak Park 50 years ago but their sibling rivalry* is as strong as ever.
The Germaine boys of Glenroy — all 10 of them — played at the same club at the same time in 1967.
“A couple of us played 300 games,’’ second eldest Stan said. “We were all pretty ordinary, a bunch of battlers*, but there were a couple of good ones.’’
The youngest, Peter, now 56, was a junior.
The oldest, John, now 72, played for the seniors.
Somewhere in between there was Stan, Leon, Victor, Ken, David, Stephen, Doug and Danny.
Stan said their late parents, Stanley Thomas and Emily May, encouraged the boys into the game after they saw his progression*.
There were five sisters too, three of them survive today — all part of one mighty team of which their parents could be proud.
The brothers credit the club, now part of the Essendon and District Football League, for giving them a purpose during their formative* years in what was once a rough neighbourhood.
“We lived in an area where everybody was always getting into trouble or going to jail,’’ Stan said.
“We all got into footy and then never had any problems.
“It was a privilege to play with the club, still a fantastic association,’’ Stan said.
To commemorate their family’s football history, this week the brothers recreated a 50-year-old photo that first appeared in The Sun News-Pictorial newspaper.
At least four of the brothers plan to attend special 60th anniversary celebrations at Oak Park Community Sports Association in July.
1967 FOOTBALL FACTS
● It was the 71st season of the elite VFL Australian Rules football competition.
● In the VFL there were 12 teams who competed over 18 rounds.
● Fitzroy, which merged with the Brisbane Bears in 1996, South Melbourne, which went on to become the Sydney Swans in 1982, and Footscray, now the Western Bulldogs, were also in the league.
● Richmond won the VFL Premiership by nine points against Geelong.
● Footscray and Fitzroy placed in the last positions on the VFL ladder, winning just four matches each for the season.
agile: quick and able
battlers: ordinary Australians
LISTEN TO TODAY’S STORY
Design a newspaper advertisement about the Germaine family 50th anniversary celebration.
Your advertisement should encourage people to go to the celebration and show why this is an important community event.
Imagine that you are John Germaine, the eldest of the boys.
You have been asked to speak at the celebration.
Write the speech that you would give.
Your speech could include the benefits of football for your family, what it was like having all 10 boys playing at the club, information about your family or anything else that you think that he would say.
Time: allow 70 minutes to complete this actitivy
Curriculum links: English, Visual Communication and Design
Find out more about the history of Australian rules football and answer these questions:
When did the VFL competition start?
When did the VFL change to the AFL?
Why did this change happen?
What was it like to be a kid in 1967?
Find out about life in the 1960s.
Create four posters, each showing the clothes, music, popular TV programs and popular games or toys for kids of the 1960s.
Time: allow 120 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum links: English, Visual Communications and Design, History
(Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers, Punctuation)
Peter, John, Stan, Leon, Victor, Ken, David, Stephen, Doug and Danny.
For each of the brothers who played footy for Glenroy, choose three words to describe their personalities, traits or abilities.
Tip: You obviously won’t know them, so use your creativity to come up with the words.
Time: allow 15 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum links: English, Big Write, VCOP