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The Mackay Cricket and
Harrup Park Story: 1867 – Now

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Harrup Park’s links to Lord’s
“the home of cricket”

John Ewen (JE) Davidson played in Mackay’s first official cricket match, and was a member of Marylebone Cricket Club, that owns Lord’s. He was Foundation President of the MCA.

Henry Finch Hatton arrived in Mackay in 1872, his brother Harold arrived in 1875, and both were keen cricketers who joined the Mackay Cricket Club. Henry and Harold’s ancestor Edward Finch Hatton, the 8th Earl of Winchilsea, and two others had bought land that later became Lord’s.

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4 May 1867

Mackay gets a cricket club

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“it all started on Monday November 9 1868, with a
cricket match played on a very simple pitch marked
out on the grass of a paddock in what is now the
western end of Shakespeare Street.”

9 November 1868

Town vs River Cricket Game

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1868 to 1873

Cricket as part of Mackay’s Social Scene

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1 May 1873

Mackay vs Broadsound, a “notable social occasion”

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The MCC of 1873 was “flourishing”, with enough
players to field two teams.

Late 1881

A new committee and Mackay takes on Rockhampton

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“Cricketers at this time were visiting Mackay by boat.
There were many problems and long delays with the
tides and sandbanks. It wasn’t until the completion of
the North Coast railway in December 1923 that teams
could travel via train.”

18 September 1882

School of Arts Concert

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The first cricket pitches pre-1900 were mostly rough soil and grass.

1885

Queen’s Park East

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1888

Queen’s Park West

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2 September 1891

The Mackay Cricket Association is established

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January 1889

Mackay cricketer plays for Queensland

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5 November 1894

Australian test match cricketers visit Mackay

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1896

Mackay cricketers visit Charters Towers

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By 1900 the Mackay cricket pitches were concrete covered in matting, so higher scoring matches were common.

Easter 1902

Townsville vs Mackay

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Early 1900’s

A new wicket for Market Reserve

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Easter 1908

A win at the North Queensland Cricket Championship

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The outbreak of the First World War, a cyclone in January 1918 and the Spanish Flu epidemic in 1919 sent cricket in Mackay into recess for 6 years. After the war many British migrants and single men from Southern states were attracted to Mackay by the burgeoning sugar industry where they made a significant impact to the quality of cricket played at that time.

1920’s – 1939

Easter carnivals

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1925

The Bardsley XI toured Mackay

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1926/1927 season

Two junior cricket teams

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Late 1920’s

A burgeoning Mackay cricket scene

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30 August 1928

The Mackay Junior Cricket Association was formed

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3 November 1929

Women join the cricketing ranks

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April 1931

Don Bradman came to Mackay

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Christmas 1937

The opening of the Queen’s Park turf wickets

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By the 1938/1939 season, Mackay junior cricket was “strong, active and progressive” and featured 30 affiliated teams.

1939

Mrs Graham’s cow paddock

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22 March 1940

Bill Ives XI

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1941

Amalgamation of the Mackay Cricket Association and the Mackay Junior Cricket Association

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In those early days at Juliet Street there were 5 concrete and two turf wickets. In the dry months, the outfields were bare and dusty, during rain they were muddy, and during the wet season they were overgrown with grass. Eventually the Association came into a position to acquire a mower.

1945/1946 season

Cricket was back in full swing

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1948

Mackay Cricket gets its first coach

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23 August 1948

Harrup Park gets its name

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By the 1948/1949 season, there were 47 teams registered as part of the Mackay Cricket Association.

Easter 1949

Mackay vs Jack Chegwyn’s NSW XI

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1949/1950 season

District cricket zones

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1949/1950 season

Rain plays havoc on the MCA finances

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5 January 1950

Mackay cricketer chosen the play Sheffield Shield

 

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1950

Hockey and cricket coincide

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1954

Australia Day Carnivals

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8 September 1962

The Pavilion

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April 1965

Cobb and Co XI

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1967/1968 season

Umpire payments

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December 1968

The West Indies come to Mackay

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1970

AFL signs on

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August 1974

Mackay Junior Cricket Association is reinstated

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September 1975

Warren Saunders XI

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October 1976

Sheffield Shield players converge on Harrup for a mixed teams competition

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1976/1977 season

Completion of flexicrete and synthetic turf wickets

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1978

6 A Grade clubs

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6 December 1978

The World Series came to Mackay

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7&8 March 1981

Papua New Guinea vs Mackay

1982

Liquor licence application

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1982/1983 season

Mid-North zone formed for Queensland Country selection trials

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30 April 1984

A steering committee was appointed to investigate and report back on the feasibility of establishing a licenced cricketer’s club.

30 July 1984

Mackay Cricket Association is incorporated

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1987/1988

Synthetic turf laid on some wickets and dressing rooms and extensions added to the pavilion.

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28 January 1988

The Ansett Challenge, Mackay vs Rockhampton, with Rockhampton winning by 22 runs in a rain shortened game.

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December 1988

Pakistan played Queensland in two one day matches

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11 October 1989

XXXX Challenge Cup

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May 1990

The Moscow Circus came to Harrup and so did torrential rain

30 July 1991

Mackay Cricket Association officially owns Harrup Park

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28 February 1992

Harrup hosted a World Cup match.. or tried to

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August 1992

Wanderers Cricket Club played 2 one day matches against Mackay

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6 July 1994

9 hole par 3 golf course opened

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Mid 1990’s

Harrup hosts the Junior State Championships and Cricket Academy games

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22-25 November 1995

Queensland vs Sri Lanka

3 August 1999

The $2 million Harrup Park is opened

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“Cricketers now have a meeting place far grander than Ray [Mitchell}’s most optimistic dreams”

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“The long grass, dust and mud of the Juliet Street of 1946 are now long forgotten.”

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Early 2000’s

Over a $3million Field 1 rebuild was undertaken to enlarge, drain, resurface and refence, and install an electronic scoreboard, sight screens and night game lights to bring it up to a TV standard.

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Early 2000’s

Lease signed with Mackay Australian Rules for Harrup to be the City Hawks Club’s homeground.

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2001/2002 season

MJCA and MCA affiliated again at a special general meeting, the new joint association was called the Mackay Cricket Association Inc.

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2003/2004

$1.3million club expansion, featuring an outside deck and coffee lounge and refurbished and extended bars and gaming.

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2003/2004

Cricket becomes a curriculum subject at North Mackay State High School and hosted at Harrup Park.

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2006

Australian Vigoro Championships held at Harrup

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4 January 2008

Mackay Invitational XI vs East Asia Pacific day/night match for over 50s cricketers

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January 2008

Australian Country Championships

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2007/2008 season

A new electronic scoreboard was installed on the Mitchell Oval, commissioned from a Queensland Government Grant, along with new lighting.

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The 2007/2008, 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 seasons were the worst ever, with more wet days than days played of cricket. For the first time in 70 years, there was no winner of the Poole Cup in 2010/2011.