W. Baldwin

Life Membership Awarded - 1951/1952

Bill was born at Kilsyth and, after an education at Kilsyth Primary School (to 8th grade) he worked as a Blacksmith and Farrier, operating his business on the site that is now the Croydon Primary School in Kent Avenue, Croydon. Married with 2 children, Bill became heavily involved in local sport, primarily Australian Rules Football and cricket.

Bill was the father of Roy Baldwin, another RDCA Life Member and stalwart of the Kilsyth Cricket and Football clubs. He was instrumental in assisting the establishment of the 'old' Kilsyth ground in Colchester Road.

Bill was a very good local football player at Kilsyth Football Club having won 3 Croydon – Ferntree Gully Football League (now Eastern Football League) Best and Fairest awards. He was President of the Kilsyth Football Club from 1950 to 1960 and was awarded Life Membership of the club in recognition of his support and service to the club. His wife Elsie was also made a Life Member of the football club, as was Bill's brother Harry (uncle of Roy Baldwin). Bill also played some football at Irymple where the family moved in search of work during the Depression, and at Sandringham in the Victorian Football Association (VFA).

The Kilsyth Cricket Club playing list registered with the RDCA in 1928/29 shows Bill as a playing member of the club he would eventually represent as a delegate to the RDCA, commencing in 1932/33 and still being evident in 1948/49. Bill captained the club to 6 premierships and he won RDCA bowling awards in 1933-34 and 1939-40 in A Grade.

Bill served the Association for a number of years and was a Vice President in 1943/44, 1944/45 and 1952/53 when he was also a selector for the representative teams. He was awarded Life Membership of the Association in 1951/52.

In the magnificent book 'From Paddocks to Parks', written by RDCA Life Member Phil McCallum OAM, the following tribute from Lou Salvana, RDCA Life Member and then President of the Association is printed:

For 30 years he has been playing the game. Years ago he was an opening bowler with a nasty, rising off-break ball that rapped you on the knuckle and had you caught at first slip or fine leg. Then as he got older he read Grimmett's book and began to bowl slow leg breaks and, to Bill's surprise, he got wickets. Then he began to take up the role of opening batsman. He never was a bat, but somehow or other after reading Bradman's book, he started to make runs. Then he was appointed captain of Kilsyth and he began to study the tactics of Jardine and Armstrong and became ruthless and his captaincy won Kilsyth the premierships in 1949/50 and 1950/5.

He's not only a good cricketer, he's a good sport.


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