Rugby League has today unveiled a stunning tribute to the history of
the ‘Greatest Game of All’ by opening the doors to a treasure trove of
priceless memorabilia at the game’s first museum.
Chairman, Mr John Grant, and Interim ARL Commission Chief Executive, Mr
Shane Mattiske, joined current and former stars including Immortal
Johnny Raper, the Churchill Family and one of Rugby League’s oldest
surviving first grade players Bill Harris, 96, at the unveiling of RugbyLeague Central’s latest addition.
The collection features a cap
worn by Dally Messenger, the game’s first Premiership trophy, famous
jerseys and tributes to the Team of the Century, the Immortals and the
Hall of Fame.
Housed within Rugby League Central, the
purpose-built museum showcases the diverse and rich history of the game
through a wonderful selection of unique objects and artefacts from the
Australian Rugby League Collection.
Visitors will have the
opportunity to see original jerseys worn by the late Clive Churchill andArthur Beetson and Western Suburbs Magpies legend Arthur Summons;
shoulder pads worn by the likes of Dally Messenger; and the boots of
past and present heroes such as Norm Provan and Paul Gallen.
Everymajor trophy, including the Courtney Goodwill Trophy, The Royal
Agricultural Shield and the Winfield Cup, feature in the exhibition,
which also includes a pictorial historical journey and several high-techinteractive displays with statistics and video of the game’s 100
Greatest Players and scope to compare past and present players.
"Weare very proud to be here today unveiling what we hope can be
considered one of the greatest archives of our game's brilliant
history," ARLC Chairman, Mr John Grant, said.
"The artefacts that
occupy this beautiful space have taken over 100 years to collect and
have been painstakingly put together. I'd like to thank all the club
members, current and former players and their families who have
contributed to this wonderful display."
The Museum’s stable
exhibition ‘Heroes and Legends’ is a visual and interactive display
which takes visitors through a chronological look at Rugby League and
the people who have shaped it along the way.
“It was our
intention in creating the Museum to leave a legacy of Rugby League’s
Centenary Celebrations,” ARLC Interim Chief Executive, Mr Shane Mattiskesaid.
“The Rugby League Museum allows us to share with the
Australian public a collection which honours the game’s long and
“It will enable us to tell stories about the
pivotal moments and the people who have contributed towards the making
of the game as it stands today.
“It also provides a focal point
for visitors to the Moore Park-SCG precinct in Sydney and acts as a
tremendous resource for the further academic study of the game.”
Thecollection is being managed by former Penrith Panthers prop and Museum
Manager, Frank Puletua, who played professional Rugby League for 12
years and has University Degrees in Graphic Design and Fine Arts; and
historian Terry Williams.
“The Rugby League Museum will initially
be open two days a week from Wednesday 6 September from 11:00am – 2:00pmwith free admission,” Puletua said.
“We are working with the Menof League who will help conduct the tours allowing people to embrace
this amazing collection, share the timeless stories and recognise the
men and women who serviced and played the great game of Rugby League.”
Takingpart in today’s ceremony was 96-year-old Bill Harris, one of the game’soldest surviving first grade players who joined Canterbury in 1943 as awinger.
Harris, a former NSW Police Detective and international
acrobat, believes the Museum will enable people to come together and
talk about their own memories of Rugby League.
“This is a
collection that will bring people together; it is a wonderful way for
people of all ages to learn more about how this great game came
together,” Harris said.
The Museum will be open to the general
public two days a week (Wednesday and Thursday from 11:00am – 2:00pm).
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