Historical information

Australian Rules football had been played in the Bacchus Marsh area from at least the 1870s. The first meeting to form a club was held in Bacchus Marsh in 1874 but it was not until the 1880s that regular matches were played in the district. In 1912 it was decided by representatives from a number of football clubs in the district to form a football association to better organize and promote the development of the game in the district. Hence by 25 May 1912 the Bacchus Marsh District Football Association was formed comprising the following clubs: Bacchus Marsh, Deer Park, Melton, Parwan, and Maddingley.
This image shows the delegates from the various clubs to the newly formed association. The individual people in the image have been specifically identified but the clubs they represented have not. The unnamed umpires in the image have been identified by the honorary historian and statistician of the Australian Football League Umpires Association, David Flegg. Left, Fred Lucas (Goal Umpire), centre, Evan James (Field Umpire), and right, James Smith (Goal Umpire). The date of this image is 9th August 1913. Newspaper reports in the Bacchus Marsh Express on 9th August confirm the participation of these umpires in a Bacchus Marsh versus Melton match on this date. The match took place at Maddingley Park, which appears to be the location where the picture was taken.


This item has historic and social significance as an image of one of the early sporting administrators of Bacchus Marsh and District. It is a typical example of group photographs of this era. It is evidence of the transition of football from a social informal setting to an organised activity and signals the growth of importance of sport, in this case Australian Rules football, as a cultural and social activity central to the Australian ethos. It reflects the pride local districts invested in their local sporting clubs.

Physical description

A sepia photograph mounted on a cardboard mat, showing a group of sixteen men arranged in three rows in a park setting. Twelve men are dressed in suits, collars and ties, a thirteenth man is wearing a uniform coat with epaulettes. Several of the men are wearing ribbons which may indicate their membership of the Association, and/or their status as delegates. In the front row, three men are crouched, two wearing white coats over their suits, and holding white flags, denoting their role as goal umpires. The middle man, the field umpire, is wearing long-sleeved top, shorts, socks and laced-up athletic shoes.

Inscriptions & markings

On the front, under the photo, hand-written, the words: Delegates 1913. Bacchus Marsh District Football Association.
Beneath the title: Top Frank Winderlich. H Connors (s deleted). G.Coburn. P. McDonald. McKenzie? Grant Morton. Edgar Smith.
Mid: Roy Edwards. J.J.Barry Snr. Ross. Robert Dugdale. Cunningham. J.B. Doherty.
Bottom Row. Not inscribed but have been identified as VFL accredited umpires. Left, Goal Umpire Fred Lucas, centre Field Umpire Evan James, right Goal Umpire James Smith.
On the back: Hand-written: Executive members of the First Football League (formed 1912). Given by E.Kight. E. Kight Grant Street Bacchus Marsh. On a white label: Miss Gwynne Moore.