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The Beginnings
Brothers Hockey Club was formed in 1939 when it consisted of one team in the men’s B grade competition. Over the years the club has experienced its ups and downs with many successes and setbacks. It is currently well established in the Cairns Hockey competition with teams in all grades from boys and girls U8 teams to men and ladies classic league teams. 

The club was initially formed by St Augustine’s Marist Brothers Old Boys with the title of ‘Marist Brothers Hockey Club’. Over time the club was named simply ‘Brothers Hockey Club’. Being formed from old boys from the boys only St Augustine’s College, as expected the club catered solely for men’s teams and this would be the case for the initial thirty-six years. In 1975 women’s teams were included and as a result the club has continued to grow from strength to strength.

Once formed, Brothers Hockey Club wasted no time in making its presence felt by winning the B grade premiership in 1940.This early success was followed up with the A grade premiership in 1941, followed by premierships in 1942, 1943 and 1944. The club also won the B grade premiership in 1942.

Hockey was played in a number of venues in Cairns including Norman Park (Munro Martin), Smith Park, Martyn St, and the Cairns Cricket Grounds. In 1957 the hockey competition moved to the current location at North Cairns. Brothers Club had premiership success at each of these venues with the exception of Martyn St where hockey was only played for a very short period of time.


The late 1960’s and early 1970’s were indeed dark days for Brothers Hockey Club. There was a shortage of players and lack of support from all quarters. As a result the club was in danger of folding. Realising this, a small band of stalwarts decided a supreme effort was needed to prevent the demise of the club.


Following the premiership success in 1957 Brothers Club had a bleak period and would not win another premiership until the men’s team won the 1976 premiership. This win was especially gratifying as it was celebrating the centenary of hockey. When you consider that in 1971 the men’s team could register only 3 premiership points from one win and a draw followed by a more disappointing result in 1972, when only one win was achieved, the 1976 premiership was a great achievement.


In 1973 committees were formed with the aim of making Brothers a force again in Cairns hockey. Plans were made to foster the game in all age groups ranging from primary school through to senior men and women. Emphasis was placed on the development of juniors. Dedicated coaches focussed on students at St Augustine’s College and later at Woree State School where teams from that school played as Woree Brothers.


While the juniors were being catered for, the other divisions were not forgotten and attention was focussed on them as well. In the 1970’s, Brothers made arrangements for leading Brisbane coaches such as Doug Spice, Des Wise and Barry Dancer to conduct coaching clinics for its players. This was a first for Cairns and was a key component in the club’s rebuilding process. Brothers also made the decision to expand to include women’s teams and in 1975 the first women’s team to play in Brothers colours was included in the competition.


Success at last
The success of the approach adopted in the 1970’s was illustrated by the club’s performances since then. The club’s first success in the senior women’s competition was a premiership in 1980. We then had to wait until 1989 before the ladies would win their second premiership. Following this win they began to make their presence felt in the competition. Premierships were won in 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000 and 2007. In the senior men’s competition, 1989 marked the 11th successive Grand Final appearance. Premierships were won in 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 2017.

Off the field
Brothers Hockey Club has been a very progressive club in a number of ways both on and off the hockey field. As well as winning premierships, the club was looking at ways to enhance its position and reputation in the Cairns hockey community and the community in general. In 1983 Brothers Hockey Club became the first hockey club to have its own club house and playing fields which are located at Calanna Park, Sondrio St., Woree. Brothers have continued to maintain these facilities and in 2002 the kitchen was remodelled, the clubhouse was repainted and other improvements were made. In 2007 air conditioners donated by Robbie and Lynda Henley were installed.In 2012 Brothers Hockey Club was approached by a newly formed soccer club who made a request to share the club facilities located at Calanna Park. Both parties believe this is a progressive step as the costs will be shared and the facilities will be used on a more regular basis.
Again the clubhouse has been repainted and in time it will have the logos of both Brothers Hockey Club and JCU Strikers Football Club proudly shown on the outside of the clubhouse. In conjunction with the football club, improvements are planned for the clubhouse facilities and playing fields. In the 1970’s Brothers Hockey Club initiated and co-hosted the 4CA Sportsperson of the Year Award for a number of years. Also in the 1970’s members of the club assisted the Red Cross by donating blood and promoting this through the local media.
In the past Brothers has recognised Life Members by holding a Life Members Day which involves not only the Life Members but their families, friends and club members. As can be seen by the Club’s history there have been a number of members who have worked tirelessly over the years to ensure the continued success of the club. Many have been rewarded by being granted Life Membership. The club believes it is important to continue to recognise the efforts of these members. As a result, it is planned to reintroduce a similar event to be held on an annual basis. In 2011 Brothers launched its supporters group referred to as Brothers Retirees and Team Supporters or BRATS for short. BRATS is a supporters group that consists of past players and supporters of the club. The club believes it is important for links to past players and supporters to be maintained to ensure the club has a strong future. It is hoped that this group will be involved in, but not limited to; supporting Brothers Hockey Club develop into the future, promoting hockey in general, and involvement in club, community and social activities. Already this group has about 70 members and is slowly growing as past players and supporters become aware of its existence and purpose. In some areas we may not be considered as progressive as we would like to be. It has taken 36 years following the introduction of women’s teams into the club before its first female President was elected. In 2011 Natasha McAllister, a past player, was elected.

The Future
Recently the club has developed a 5 year plan to ensure Brothers Hockey Club is a community and family friendly, successful and progressive hockey club. One of the initial focuses is on the recruitment, development and retention of our juniors. Currently Brothers Hockey Club has a close association with Trinity Anglican School (TAS) and as a result many students from that school are playing in TAS Brothers teams as well as for Brothers in various divisions. No doubt members from TAS will be key contributors towards our future success. Brothers Club is also working very hard with the other schools in our catchment area to increase junior recruitment. These schools include Balaclava, Woree, White Rock, Bentley Park and Hambledon State Schools. Club representatives have conducted sessions with Balaclava and Bentley Park students as well as after school sessions for interested students from all of the schools in our catchment area. The club will also be looking at ways to involve as many members as possible in club and community activities as well as minimising the cost to members.In 1988 Brothers Hockey held a formal celebration of 50 years in the Cairns Competition followed by 70 years celebrations in 2008. We plan to be holding similar celebrations for many years to come.

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