The La Trobe University Hockey Club was incredibly sad to see two club legends, James and Belinda Blackburn play their last games for the Gunners this weekend.
Known to most of us as Blackers and Gus, pictured above after both winning a 2013 Premiership, their family is relocating interstate after a combined 34 seasons at the club.
Gus started her career at the Gunners in 1992, where she would go on to serve an unprecedented 13 years in an Executive Committee position, including Secretary (1995-1998), President (1999-2000), and Treasurer (2004-2009). This is longer than anyone else in the club’s history. She was the first female at the club to be awarded Life Membership in 2002 in recognition for her contribution and service to the club, and has the Women’s 2s ‘Belinda Blackburn’ Shield named in her honour. On the field Gus won Premierships in 1995, 2012 and 2013 and played a key role in the formation of the ‘La Trobe Ladies’.
Blackers, although having not been at the club quite as long, celebrated his 11th season at the club this year. Having played a key role in Premiership teams in 2010 and 2012, with contributions on field including a leadership position as Captain of the ‘Handsome Men’s 5s’, Blackers was also key in ‘reviving’ the Club’s culture in recent years, including the notorious Albury Easter Carnival and Club Appreciation Night. Picking up from where his wife left off, Blackers stepped onto the Committee as Treasurer in 2010 where he remained for five years.
Between the two of them, they have single handedly held the Treasurer position for 11 years. Their contribution to all aspects of the club, whether it be on or off the field, on the Administration or driving the club’s social culture – they have been critical to the club’s success over the past two decades and they will be incredibly missed.
We wish Blackers and Gus and the Blackburn family all the best in their new adventure and hope to see them one day return the Cauldron and the mighty Gunners.