The Formation of Newcastle Lord’s Taverners
Two of the Australian Lord’s Taverners founding fathers, John McCallum and John Darling, were present with the then Chief Executive, Keith Lewis, at the birth of the Newcastle branch in October 1992.
The inaugural meeting of the Newcastle branch was held in the attractive Tree House Room at the University of Newcastle and was attended by cricketers, cricket lovers and academics from around the Hunter.
John McCallum’s wonderful wife and fellow actor, Googie Withers, and John Darling’s wife Sally were among the guests. John McCallum entertained the gathering with a delightful talk about the Taverners and their ideals but it was Googie who had the last word and brought the house down.
“I just want you all to know,” she said, tongue in cheek, “I hate cricket.”
Professor Saxon White, a Rugby Union Wallaby and former first grade cricketer with the University club in Sydney, was elected Branch President and Vic Levi, a Newcastle journalist and former first grade cricketer was made Chairman. Graeme Jefferies, then secretary of Newcastle Chamber of Commerce and a well-known umpire, was elected Branch Secretary.
The branch’s first XI consisted of Professor Saxon White, Vic Levi, John Price MLA, Jim Barry, George Bodell, Denis Broad, Ken Clifford, Professor Richard Henry, Graeme Jeffries, Dick Stokoe and Kevin McDonald.
Today the branch is lead by former Test cricketer Rick McCosker (President) and former Newcastle representative cricketer and Rugby League player John McLaughlin (Chairman).
In December 2016 the Newcastle branch became Lord’s Taverners Australia Hunter Branch to make the organisation more relevant to the whole region.