A celebration of 100 years of Glenelg Football Club in the SANFL, Saturday 6 November 2021, Grand Hotel @ Glenelg
A good year: one crap day. Unfortunately, that one bad day was Grand Final Day, in which the team was more or less humiliated (15.9 to 4.8.). The Tigers have the worst Grand Final win ratio of any club with 26.32%, having lost 14 out of their 19 Grand Final appearances. (I have seen 12 of those defeats.)
So while musing in my room at the Grand Hotel, gazing out at the gloomy sea, it occurred to me that losing the GF in our 100th year was appropriate. It is, after all, what we do. And then I told myself off, because there is a far more upbeat and responsible way of looking at it, of which more below.
So downstairs to the bar and then the first floor Grand Ballroom for the dinner, past some historical memorabilia…
…and into the programme, which consisted of a fine welcome and introduction by CEO Justin Scripps; a somewhat alarming rap number from 2019 hero Marlon Motlop and Kulla Kelly-Mansell; various talks and panel discussions, the whole night MC’d by Glenelg stalwart Terry McAuliffe (apparently able to spare the time having lost the Virginia gubernatorial race). Your correspondent’s memory of later highlights are a trifle hazy, but overall the evening was one to cherish.
A very entertaining panel discussion involved some of the great Bay players of recent decades: Graham Cornes, Peter Marker and Fred Phillis (each of whom, despite the remorselessness of time, seems to have aged very well):
More greats beamed in from the Kernahan Family (David and Stephen):
And there was a nice address by Club Historian, Peter Cornwall, who made this timely comment in the programme notes:
“…one thing that comes with the disappointments and near misses that are simply a reflection of life, is the resilience this club, and the people within it, continue to show.” Hear hear! This worthy comment is reminiscent of the speech U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts gave to some graduates a few years ago:
“From time to time in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly, so that you will come to know the value of justice. I hope that you will suffer betrayal because that will teach you the importance of loyalty. Sorry to say, but I hope you will be lonely from time to time so that you don’t take friends for granted. I wish you bad luck, again, from time to time so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life and understand that your success is not completely deserved and that the failure of others is not completely deserved either. And when you lose, as you will from time to time, I hope every now and then, your opponent will gloat over your failure. It is a way for you to understand the importance of sportsmanship. I hope you’ll be ignored so you know the importance of listening to others, and I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion. Whether I wish these things or not, they’re going to happen. And whether you benefit from them or not will depend upon your ability to see the message in your misfortunes.”
So shame on me, and congratulations to the Glenelg Football Club on its 100th Birthday! GFC shares a 100th birthday with the Chinese Communist Party: surely the future of the Bays is brighter and much more richly deserved. Unlike with the CCP, at Tigerland all are welcome – whereas the CCP is corrupt and devious, Glenelg plays fair – whilst the CCP is ignoble, conscripted and life-hating, membership of the Glenelg Football Club means colour, movement, action, and – despite the sporadic pain – is full of joy.