THE MARK TAYLOR OVAL PAGE
YOU-TUBE VIDEO OF MARK TAYLOR'S SPEECH AT THE RENAMING OF WAITARA OVAL CEREMONY IN NOVEMBER 2011
"The Diary" column in the Sydney Morning Herald of the 7th November's 2011, perfectly encapsulated the big day with their article: "Tubby Goes To Ground" and we can think of no bettter introduction to our Mark Taylor Oval Page:
"Years ago, if you had overheard the words Mark Taylor Oval you might have thought you were hearing no more than a terse description of the former Australian cricket team captain's undisputedly generous dimensions. Yesterday the words assumed a more dignified context as Waitara Oval was formally renamed Mark Taylor Oval, in the presence of the Premier, Barry O'Farrell, and Hornsby mayor, Nick Berman. ''It was a huge turnout, hundreds of people here, the biggest crowd since 1992,'' Berman told us. On that day Taylor and Adam Gilchrist had turned out for Northern District against Bankstown, who fielded Steve and Mark Waugh.
The renaming of the oval almost never happened. A long-running rumble between Hornsby and Canada Bay councils as to whether Waitara or Drummoyne Oval would be blessed by Taylor's name was only resolved, and not easily, late last year. Berman was very pleased it came Waitara's way, as he feels the culture Taylor found when he came to Northern District as a teenager help shaped him as person and as a cricketer - a player, who, as the Premier noted yesterday, was known not just for his skill but his sportsmanship. ''He came here [from Wagga] as a 16-year-old, and he was given an opportunity at that age, and exposed to that culture. The naming of the oval is a reflection of the efforts of the local community.''"
MARK TAYLOR - MARK OF A CHAMPION
The renaming of Waitara Oval on the 6th November 2011, to Mark Taylor Oval saluted the man affectionately known as "Tubby" and acknowledged his very special contribution to cricket for the Northern District Cricket Club and Australia.
During Mark’s career, he epitomised everything that is good about the game of cricket. He played with a fierce determination, displayed modesty, humility and good sportsmanship. Mark retired from test cricket on the 2nd February 1999 and the Wikipedia resume of his cricketing career is profiled HERE.
On Saturday, 30th January 1999, Mark walked out of the dressing rooms at Waitara Oval for the last time as a player. The Hornsby Advocate was on hand that day and reported on the occasion in an article that can be read HERE.
We were most fortunate to have gifted photographers: Geoff Howden; David Lowe and David Turik on deck to chonicle the day's events and we are most thankful for their contribution.
Click HERE to see a selection of their great work, featuring the action, formalities and colour of the big day, including: the Official Ceremony; T20 matches versus Blacktown; behind the scenes and dignitaries.
Mike Langford reflected: "Judging by the wonderful feedback, the day was a huge success .... The ND‟s Legends have been kind in their appraisals of the day .... I'll pick a few examples from tens of responses ... 1 from a Sponsor, 1 from opposition, several from a past players and 1 from Council ...."
To read the feedback, click HERE to go to our "Testimonials and Thanks Page".
"TALES FROM THE VAULT" BY NEIL MARKS
Club Patron and Legend: Neil "Harpo" Marks (pictured left on the opening day), mused about how Waitara Oval's name change came into being and the opposition greats, who have graced old Waitara, in a series of features originally published in Blackmails #5 and #6 of season 2011-12. Neil's articles can be enjoyed HERE.
THE FUTURE FOR MARK TAYLOR OVAL
As President: Mike Langford remarked during the 6th November's opening ceremony:
“Our aim, with the help of council and all other stakeholders in the Club, is to see Mark Taylor Oval and the surrounding Waitara Park become one of the “Centres of Excellence” in the Sydney metropolitan area, providing state of the art facilities not only to cricket but to many other community and sporting bodies in the Shire ... something that is desperately needed in this northern region of Sydney.”
... We still have some work to do!