GARY MCALLISTER SHIELD

23 July 2014

vs Old Xaverians 26th July

/docs/2014/2014 GARY MAC.docx

The Committee

Gary McAllister Shield

31 July 2014

Some 220 people attended this sell out lunch, where St Bernards play Xavier each year for the Gary McAllister Shield, which fell on the VAFA's Mens Health Round

This game honours Gary who passed away two years ago, and the outstanding contribution he made over 40yrs at Bernardsfc and as teacher at Xavier College for 20yrs.
 
Guest speakers for the day included Melb University Associate Professor Suresh Sundram whose research into mental illness is supported by the VAFA's charity partner One in Five. Suresh outlined that mental illness takes a terrible toll on society with the suicide rate sadly running at over 2,500 Australians a year, and many tens of thousands more who struggle on in pain and anguish. However through raising awareness about mental health and raising funds to find cures and treatments, as a community we can make a real difference.
 
VAFA CEO Michael Sholly also spoke about the excellent work done by One in Five and what an important issue mental health is amongst both the VAFA and the broader community. On a lighter hearted note Michael also touched on the great rivalry between the two clubs involved on the day as he coached Xavier to the 2003 premiership over St Bernards. Seems back in the day at the Snakepit there was often a shortage of hot water for rivals post game showers. Of course these days the new pavilion has solved those problems.
 
The highlight of the lunch was Frank Monaghan's heart felt speech about Gary and the rich legacy he left at the club. Frank highlighted the great times and the great spirit at the club through all Garys years. Including some colourful stories about ski trips and some of the shenangigans the boys got up to back in the day. Its was a moving and special speech about a very special man Gary McAllister, and on completion of the talk Frank was given a well deserved stiring round of applause.
 
This very positive function was then followed by a red hot game between traditional rivals Bernards and Xavier, and after a strong fightback it was Xavier who get their name engraved on the Gary McAllister Shield this year.
The lunch raffle also raised a $1,000 donation for One in Five, and we wish they and Associate Professor Suresh all the very best as they work diligently away to improve awareness and treatments for mental health issues.

Patrick Crabb