Midi Cricket Club marked its 10th anniversary year in style and with pride, bringing together captains, presidents, players – past and present – for a celebration dinner in a Valros restaurant in mid-December.
Current President Marc Dalling set the scene for the evenng with a welcoming speech to more than 30 guests that recalled Midi’s birth in Robin Hicks’ rather large back garden but also looked forward with confidence to a healthy future for the only cricket club in the Languedoc.
Here are some extracts from his speech:
“Firstly, special thanks to some of you who have come great distances – Paul (Rogers) and Isabelle from the P.O. of course, Richard Thompson and his good lady Paule from the Vaucluze. The prize for the most committed to Midi Cricket Club must go to Ginny and Stuart who have come all the way from West Sussex.”
“So, 10 years have gone by since the beginnings of the club, 10 years since that first practice seassion at five-thirty on Tuesday, 13 September on what was more or less Robin Hicks’ front garden. This was to be the first of any very enjoyable and friendly days in Roujan. I remember especially flamboyant Sunday afternoons spent playing in front of what now seems to be large crowds of cheering spectators, at least one sipping champagne out of silver goblets!
“I’ve spent a couple of days looking at emails and minutes of past committee meetings and far from being the tedious, endless mutterings of people who wished they were elsewhere that I thought they were going to be, they were actually very revealing of the state of mind of those who had been mad enough to think that cricket in the south of France would work.
“I could, and indeed, I was going to bore you with all the facts surrounding the birth of our club, who was at the first meeting, first practice etc. Some facts are important to state. It’s essential to recognise the drive and spirit shown by our first President, Robin Hicks. It’s also essential that the name of Peter Sandison be praised for having the idea in the first place and for being our first captain.
“It would also be wrong to forget the Poszwoskis, Paul and Mel, for their sterling efforts and the beginning, the Goslings for their contribution, Jackie Devereux for her design of our logo and of course, Ginny, for her help in organising sponsors.
“There are many other names who should be mentioned, several of them are here this evening. I thank them all on behalf of the club for all they have done for the club.
“Two things though struck me very deeply when going through those old memos and notes: The first is the astounding energy people put into the club – meetings and meetings to set it up and make sure it worked. The second is the rather unstable nature of the club in its first year. Within 18 months, we were up to our third President with Teddy Hutton having stepped into the breach when Robin decided to move on to new ventures and retiring gracefully to allow Colin Trickett – who is here tonight with wife Bobby – to step in.
“We also lost our captain and founder member almost as soon as we started, and Dom, not for the last time, saved the day. Colin rapidly steadied the ship, and with help from David Cole, John Holmes and the other members of the committee, found us a new ground in St. Pons and a secure future. When he stepped down in 2013, it is safe to say the club was in a very healthy position, financially as well as in its solid membership.
“And what about now, 10 years on? The club has continued to be a stable affair. Our finances are good and our membership too. Our events have become annual fixtures in the local social calendar and we are lucky to have a regular, thriving cricket bar run by David Cole and Joy Powell.
“On the sporting front, results are also improving and the team continues to be an international pool of talent with origins from Holland to South Africa, from Spain to Serbia, from Ilkeston to India.”