Fred Hodgkins was born in Ringwood. His primary education was at Ringwood and then East Ringwood Primary Schools before he went to Swinburne Technical College for his secondary education. Originally running a mixed grocery / milk bar business near the East Ringwood Primary School, he built his own house before switching occupations to become a builder. He married Vivienne and had a daughter and three sons. Fred started his cricket career at East Ringwood where he attended the first meeting of the East Ringwood club.
Although never a member of the RDCA Executive, Fred's contribution to the RDCA spanned many years and an involvement in many areas. Fred was an RDCA representative player on many occasions and assisted as an RDCA selector for some years in the 1960's.
The RDCA Executive Minute Books detail that Fred was quite a cricketer on the field – he won the 1945/46 and 1949/50 Association batting average awards for what is now known as the Newey Plate. He also won the C2 Grade Association bowling average in 1961/62.
Fred was on the East Ringwood Cricket Club committee from 1932 to 1978 (46 years) and was President of the club for 9 years in the 1960's and 70's. He was a delegate to the RDCA for many years and was awarded Life Membership of the club in 1951. He was further honoured by the club with the “J.F. Hodgkins Shield” being presented to the First Eleven Champion each season. On the field Fred was quite some cricketer. He played for over 50 years and was in the First Eleven for more that 20 years and he played his last game when aged in his seventies. Over 40 centuries with a highest score of 190 not out was complimented by around 2000 wickets taken across all grades he played in. He won 12 East Ringwood batting awards and six bowling awards. The bottom ground at East Ringwood is named after him and his Ashes were spread over the main oval. A premiership player, Fred's three sons all played with their father. He was heavily involved with the club's junior teams, ferrying around the young players so they could have their game of cricket. Fred also established a local Table tennis club.
In February 2011 Fred was posthumously inducted into the inaugural East Ringwood Cricket Club Hall of Fame as one of the first two Legends of the club.
The following testimonial was taken from the 2005/06 RDCA Annual Report :
“Fred Hodgkins, who passed away in September 2004, began his cricket career at the age of 10 (playing his first game in a senior team) when East Ringwood Cricket Club was formed in 1928.
He went on to play cricket with East Ringwood for over 60 years and in that time his aggressive approach to batting won him an Association batting average on 6 occasions. He also sent down wily leg spinners that gained him the bowling average 3 times. Fred played in early RDCA teams and scored 2 centuries in these games.
He became a local legend in the competition and East Ringwood sources claim that he holds the then record for the fastest century, in just over four (8 ball) overs. Fred also achieved the phenomenal feat of scoring more than 100 centuries during his career.
Fred Hodgkins was the first RDCA cricketer to be awarded Life Membership solely for his on field performances, and his modest, gentlemanly manner made him a worthy recipient of that honour”.
Fred was awarded his RDCA Life Membership in 1974/75.
We are indebted to Fred's son Brian for providing the above photograph. Brian was also inducted into the inaugural East Ringwood Cricket Club Hall of Fame in February 2011.