Ken Johnston

Life Membership Awarded - 1990/1991

Croydon born Ken Johnston ('The Colonel') has a history with the Association that spans over 60 years. Educated at Croydon State School and Box Hill Boys Technical School, Ken went on to study Building Science at Swinburne Technical College. Married to Dianne in 1966, Ken has a son and a daughter and two grandsons. Ken started with Croydon North Cricket Club in 1951 under the guidance of close family friend and fellow RDCA Life Member Mervyn Cooper who at the time was captain of the Second Eleven. In the mornings Ken would play Under 16's with Croydon United Cricket Club (formerly St. Johns) as Croydon North did not have a junior side until 1954. Ken then captained Croydon North's first Under 16 team in 1954/55 at age 14. Ken played in three First Eleven, 2 Veteran and a Third Eleven (he was captain) premierships with Croydon North between 1961/62 to 1989/90 and he was awarded Life Membership of the club in 1971 – a First Eleven premiership year. As a wicketkeeper and opening batsman, Ken enjoyed a long and successful playing career, representing the Association on many occasions including one match on the MCG. His activities were not confined to the playing field though – a club committee member and club delegate to the RDCA were roles also undertaken by Ken. He was club Secretary for 8 years and served for 15 years on the local Croydon North Parks Management Committee with the then Croydon City Council.

Ken played for 16 seasons with Croydon Football Club where he played over 200 senior games and where he is a Life Member. There is a strong family connection with the RDCA as Ken's father, Reg, is also a Life Member of the Association and was also President of the Association for 5 years from 1963. Ken's Uncle, Alby Westcott, is also a Life Member of the Association. There is also a family connection with Croydon Cricket Club where Ken's Grandfather, Stan Westcott, was President, Secretary and a Life Member.

Long service to the Association saw Ken rewarded with RDCA Life Membership in the 1990/91 season. Besides being a club Delegate for over 20 years , Ken joined the RDCA Executive in 1964 and over time served as Social Secretary, Vice President, Senior Vice President and as an Association selector. In 1970 Ken was Team Manager of the RDCA Under 21 team that won its first VJCU (Victorian Junior Cricket Union) premiership. (Steve Pascoe was Captain and Anne Pascoe was Scorer – both RDCA Life Members in later years). The Senior competition has named the 'I' Grade trophy the 'Ken Johnston Shield'.

In 1988 at the request of then RDCA President Bill Dean J.P., OAM, Ken was instrumental in establishing the RDCA Veterans Competition. Ken served as President and Secretary of that competition for its first four years and was President for 15 of the first 17 Veterans seasons. In recognition of his untiring involvement with the Veterans competition, Ken was appointed as Patron of the RDCA Veterans Competition in 2001. The RDCA Veterans Division 2 Premiership Trophy is the Ken Johnston Shield. Ken also acted as Tour Manager for Veterans 'Golden Oldies Festivals' tours to Christchurch in 1992, Capetown in 1998 and Vancouver in 2002. In 2006 Ken was deservedly recognised for over 50 years of Service to Cricket with the Cricket Australia Award.

Ken was also involved in the Probus Club of Ringwood, the Yarrunga Community Retirement Group and served for 4 years as a Senior Grand Lodge Officer for Freemasonry Victoria. Ken sadly passed away in September 2010.

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