burnside lacrosse club
linden park - south australia
The History of Lacrosse in Australia and Burnside Lacrosse Club.
Lacrosse is one of the oldest sports in North America. The game's roots can be
traced back to Native American religion, where lacrosse, or Baggataway, as named
by the native indians, was often played to resolve conflicts, heal sick people, and
develop virile, strong men to be warriors. To Native Americans, lacrosse is still
referred to as "The Creator's Game."
Lacrosse was used by many tribes as training for war, with the Cherokee refering to
the game as “little brother of war”. These early games consisted of hundreds (and
records of thousands) of players, with goals (being an object) being miles apart.
These games were sometimes played over a whole, or even a number of days.
The french explorers were reportedly the first Europeans to witness the sport,
believing the sticks used resembled a Bishop’s Crozier, or “La Crosse” in french.
There are contradicting reports that the name was derived from a field hockey game
the french
played, call “jeu de la crosse”.
Lacrosse was first introduced to Australia in 1876, when Canadian Lambton L Mount imported 40 lacrosse sticks from
Canada, for the creation of the Melbourne Lacrosse Club. The first practice match was played in June 1876 at Albert Park,
by players from the Melbourne club. Games continued to be played between the “Reds”and the “Blues” between 1877 and
1878 and by 1879, four clubs existed in Melbourne.
From these beginnings, Men’s lacrosse spread aroound the country.
Women’s Lacrosse was first established in Melbourne, Victoria, in 1936 with the formation
of two teams Williamstown and YWCA/Melbourne University, with the Victorian Women’s
Lacrosse Association (VWLA), now known as Women’s Lacrosse Victoria, being formed
in the same year, with Miss Rawlins(pioneer of the sport) as President, and Mrs Joy
Parker (nee Newhouse) as Secretary. In 1939 the VWLA became affiliated with the All
England Women’s Lacrosse Association, and the following year with the United States
Women’s Lacrosse Association (USWLA).  The first ‘international’ match was played at
Melbourne University in 1938, against visiting American hockey players who also played
by late 1940 Australia was deeply involved in the Second World War, and lacrosse sticks
were put aside. The sport did not reform until 1962.  It was in this year that Mrs Shaw,
placed an advertisement in an Adelaide paper calling for women interested in playing
lacrosse. The prospect of interstate competition was the impetus needed, and the South
Australian Women’s Lacrosse Association (SAWLA) was formed, along with the Victorian Association re-forming. 
Following the first interstate match in August 1963 between SA and Victoria (in Adelaide), which saw Victoria take the
honour as winners, the Australian Women’s Lacrosse Council (AWLC) was formed, now known as Women’s Lacrosse
Australia (WLA).  Joy Parker became the first President, and went on to become the first Patron and Life Member of both
the VWLA and the AWLC.
Word drifted across to Western Australia and in 1965, the Western Australian Women’s Lacrosse Association (now known
as Lacrosse West) was formed. In this year the first Senior Women’s National Championship was held.  The AWLC
gradually developed, and by 1975 the game had spread to the island state of Tasmania, where the Tasmania Amateur
Lacrosse Association formed (now known as Lacrosse Tasmania). In 1995, New South Wales Lacrosse Inc became the
most recent State to join WLA.  Lacrosse is now also beginning in Queensland.
Men’s Lacrosse was formed in South Australia in 1883, with the Adelaide Lacrosse Club. The sport grew quickly, and by
1887 the Adelaide Lacrosse Club had been joined by North Adelaide Lacrosse Club, Noarlunga Lacrosse Club and
Knightsbridge Lacrosse Club (based in Leabrook and the father of the Burnside Lacrosse Club). In 1888, the governing
body, South Australian Lacrosse Association was formed. 
Clubs were soon established across the state, including Port Augusta, Port Germein, Jamestown and Riverton. Pre wars,
lacrosse was one of the most popular sports in the country, unfortunately (for lacrosse) with the rise of Australian Rules
Football, the sport of lacrosse in Australia has declined.
Senior national championships have been held since 1978, with South Australia reigning supreme, being undefeated for
the first 12 years of the competition, before a monumental defeat by Victoria.
The Knightsbridge Lacrosse Club, based in Leabrook,  moved to the Eastern suburb of Linden Park in 1952 and was
renamed the Burnside Lacrosse Club and commenced as a men’s lacrosse club, in the Burnside Council District.
Alby Fewster
In spite of a problem with his left hip, which was with him from the tender age of seven, Alby was constantly involved in his
principle sport of lacrosse.
Alby had a 20 year playing career with East Torrens from 1928 to 1948 substantial considering the problem he had with his
Alby gave incalculable service to “his club” in administration from 1941 to the mid 1980’s in such capacities as Treasurer,
Secretary, and Chairman. Vice-Chairman, Vice-President and President.
Alby was a delegate to the S.A.L.A. from 1943 to 1950.
Manager of the S.A.L.A. State team in 1947 and again in 1949.
Chairman of the Junior and New Teams Committee in 1960.
Was one of several people who helped form the Burnside Lacrosse Club along with Carl Schulz, Ray Cathie and others
from the East Torrens Lacrosse Club in 1952.
Elected as a Life Membership of East Torrens 1928 to 1992, 64 years of meritorious service.
Alby received an ALC Certificate of Merit in 1961.
Alby was respected by all as a man of courage who fought manfully against his illness.
He wasn’t the sort of man to “beat about the bush”; he called a spade a spade and appreciated similar directness and
honesty in his dealings with others.
A trophy has been struck to perpetuate the Memory of
Thomas Harold (Alby) Fewster and a commemoration game is held each year during the first minor round game between
the East Torrens and Burnside Lacrosse Clubs and is played at the home ground of the previous years winner.
Burnside - Chadstone Lacrosse Clubs
Burnside Lacrosse Club and our Victorian Sister club Chadstone Lacrosse Club have enjoyed an ongoing annual inter-club
weekend and games which is one of the longest in Australian Sporting History.
Accurate history on this relationship is currently being compiled and will be included soon.