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A Newsletter Published in 1963

A Newsletter written in 1963, when the club was 25 years old:


In April 1938 and subsequently, the Oxford County Council Staff Hockey Club held several meetings. The outcome of these meetings was that, in order to increase membership, they decided to form an entirely new club, to be called the Oxford Hawks.

The inaugural meeting of this new club took place that the King's Arms Hotel on the 12th September 1938 - Major Shepherd was elected our President and has honoured us with his guidance to this day. John Critchley was the club's first captain and Frank Hughes the Secretary.

No doubt our present Team Secretary, Colin Blackwell, will be interested to learn that in those riotous days of 1938, it took TWO team secretaries to get twenty-two men on to the field.

Leslie Carden, who has been our financial adviser since August 1946, can proudly boast of his achievements over the years - on being elected he proposed a reduction of the 1939 subscription to 15/- per person over 20 years of age and a 1/6 match fee - today he still balances the books with a subscription of 30/- for players over 21 and a match fee of 3/6 which includes travelling to away matches (average 50 miles) plus tea for all home players and I think that you will agree with me that this is a jolly good effort.

During it's life the club has had two major set-backs - firstly the 1939/45 war, when the club's activities were suspended sine die on October 13th, 1939, to be re-started thanks to the strenuous efforts of C W Hough, F M Hughes, L Carden and others - and secondly in November, 1954 when our Vice-President, Dick Munsey and Beryl Bloomer so tragically met their deaths.

The club has always considered the entertainment of our visitors as important as giving them a good run for their money on the field - in this aspect, we have not been as fortunate as most clubs as we do not have a club house.  However, the days of taking visitors on a conducted tour of Oxford have been greatly improved upon - our good friends from Bournemouth will remember our efforts in the late forties - a game in North Oxford, followed by a wash in a converted Urn - down to a café in the centre of Oxford - then on to the Territorial Drill Hall until 7 pm and finally ending up at the King's Arms Stock room. Today we have an excellent pitch and changing accommodation, thanks to the efforts of Mr Walby, the Parks Superintendent, and a club room at the Cherwell Hotel, where we entertain for tea and the odd noggin. However, we have not given up hope that one day we shall achieve our Utopia.

Recently I spent a pleasant evening browsing through old minute books and two things struck me forcibly, One - that over the years we have always been fortunate with our officers on the social side of the club, a most important feature of any club, but especially in the case of ours, because the profits made on our Dances and Christmas Draw have subsidised other expenditure - Secondly - and perhaps, the most important, the very happy relationship between the club and Magdalen College School, where so many of our members first learnt their hockey. Today there is a cup known as the Munsey Memorial Cup, awarded annually to the boy who, in the opinion of the Master, and the hockey master, has been the most promising player of the year. Here again I know you will agree with me when I say, may this relationship long continue as without these boys coming along no club can prosper.

The club has a very vain streak, sartorially speaking - in 1939, it took two meetings and a casting vote following three abstentions to decide the design of the club shirt, then again, in 1956 it took an ad hoc Committee, three General Committee meetings and two AGMs to decide the design of a new club tie and then only after a heated discussion.

On the field itself we have established ourselves as a club of some standing and over the years have improved our fixtures considerably; next season we are running three sides throughout the winter and one side in the summer - our share of County honours has equalled our friends and rivals The City and we have always carried our fair share of the administrative side by providing four Secretaries, five Team Secretaries and two Treasurers since 1947.

The stars of the Hockey field who have played for us, (and some still are) included Henry Maitland (Scotland), Geoff Thompson (Wales), John Tobin (North) and a galaxy of university Blues from Oxford and the other place.

I am conscious that in this short history I have left unreported a number of memories both happy and otherwise of the pasty twenty-one years, of which I myself, have actually witnessed 15 years. I have also left unpraised a number of people who have done in the past, and are still doing today, much to keep the Magenta and Black colours flying high - my apologies but time and space I fear will not permit; but believe me they are not forgotten.


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