The history of Toorak East Malvern Hockey Club
Toorak East Malvern (TEM) Hockey Club is one of the oldest Clubs in Victoria. It began in 1907 with a group of school boys banding together and entering a team in the V.A.H.A Competition (which was also formed in 1907).
In 1908 the number of teams in the competition had increased from 10 to 16 and was divided into Divisions A & B. East Malvern was entered in B grade and that year won their first Premiership (the James Dunlop Cup, named after a Foundation Member). They were promoted to A Grade in 1909 and fielded a second side in B Grade.
East Malvern played an important part in the development of the Association in the early years with members Laurie Simmons (22 years service), Jim Tait, Charles Bradbury and Jack Fenton all filling various executive positions on V.A.H.A. The Club fielded two teams up to the 1930's and won the B Grade Premiership in 1931.
In 1938 the South Zone was formed and East Malvern entered a third team in B2. In 1939 this team was the club's first side to be relegated to C1. After the war, the Club steadily progressed and with an influx of players from University in 1949 became a real force in Victorian Hockey.
After being Runners-Up in 1953 they were able to win East Malvern's only A1 Premiership in 1954. The team consisted of players - Alan Hardman, Ron Westrupp (Captain), Roy Bellamy, Max Radford, Ken Brooke, Noel Brooke, Jack Watt, Lou Jenkins, Jack Marshall, John Ingram and Geoff Bray.
The 50's brought the development of under-age hockey and East Malvern fielded teams in Under 14 and Under 17 and the Seniors fielded a fourth side in the mid 60's Although they were relegated from A Grade in 1957 and A Reserve in 1963, the Club had success in the lower grades. In 1964 with a new youthful team, East Malvern won B East, but the grading system was changed and the team was not promoted Although they played in finals for the next few years they were unable to gain promotion, thus bringing about talks of amalgamation with another V.A.H.A Club - Toorak - in 1970/71.
The Toorak Central School, Canterbury Road, Toorak, fostered both music and hockey under the guidance of Schoolmaster Vincent J. Kelly. For it was there that the Australian Boy's Choir and the Toorak Hockey Club had their beginning. In 1935 the T.C.S. Under 16 hockey team was formed - Premier team in 1936 and 1939. The name was changed to "Kooyong" in the early war years.
Re-formation of the Toorak Hockey Club took place in 1947 with players such as S.Douglas, K Duggan, Ferris, S.Gee, C.Holton, J.Hough,W House, A Jenkins, G Gilby, A Kingdom, J Kingdom, K Morey, A. Morris, W Russell, G Thompson in C3 grade - Premier teams 1947 (C3), !948 (C1), 1950 (C4), 1951 (C2).
The under-age section of the Club was re-commenced in 1953 by tapping the resources of the Try Boy's Society, South Yarra (a local boys youth group). After a slow beginning the Club became a top under-age contender, winning many pennants in the 60's and providing interstate players.
However the Senior Teams languished and found it impossible to win premierships and gain promotion - seven years in the finals, six grand finals.And so to 1970/71 and the preliminary talks with East Malvern regarding amalgamation.
Although both former Clubs had attained B Grade status, for quite sometime it had been felt that as they were, they would not be able to bridge the two grades to attain A Grade Standard. The amalgamation commenced with a few remarks to this effect and from there matters proceeded with an inaugural meeting held at the Caulfield Central R.S.L. on 4th February 1971. Despite the fact that both Clubs had been vigorous opponents in their past games the amalgamation was agreed to with very few exceptions. The Club went on to achieve the A Grade status it sought, playing in several finals in the early 80's and winning the SL1 pennant in 1987.
Owing to the growth of the Club and the shortage of additional grounds, the Club moved to the R.H.Lord Park in 1977 with four grounds and modern club-rooms. During the 1977 season the Club approached a local one team women's club - Huntingdale/Oakleigh - with the view to joining TEM. The aim was to see a new women's section to the club. In 1978 two women's teams were entered in the M.W.H.A. competition one in D South and one in E South grades. Both teams finished on top of the ladder and won their respective premierships. In 1979 the clubs doubled the number of women's teams again entering four teams - C South, South, E South and E Central grades.
During the next few years the Women's section of the Club grew in strength and proceeded to advance up through the grades each season until 1989 when they realised their ambition of a team in the top grade of Women's hockey. They have remained in the top Women’s grades since this date.
TEM was one of the major forces in establishing a separate junior girls competition in 1984. Prior to this, under age girls either played in a one grade school girls competition or played in the boys competition.