Margaret Pallier 61 Years a Hawk
The Hawthorn Football Club means so much to many people. The Hawks Museum observes this daily when listening to visitors from far and wide, be they local, interstate or overseas express their devotion to the club.
Recently the museum received a letter from Andrew Pallier informing us of the sad news that his mother, Margaret Pallier had passed away.Margaret had been a ‘Friend of the Hawks Museum’ since its inception in the mid 1990s.Wishing to help the museum further, Margaret had decided to join the ‘Glenferrie Gold’ Life Patrons of the Hawks Museum.Her son Andrew carried out his mother’s wishes and joined up his mother in memory as a ‘Glenferrie Gold’ patron.
Below is Margaret’s story of following her beloved Hawks for 61 years written by her son Andrew. Of particular interest to many, Margaret played football for the Hawthorn Cheer Squad in games against the other VFL Cheer Squads in the late 1950s to the early 1960s.
In later years similar matches were a popular attraction at the Family Days held at Glenferrie. In 1978, one such match drew upon the player’s wives and girlfriends.Leigh Matthews and Peter Knights coached the teams known as Peter’s Petite Paramours and Leigh’s Lethal Lovers.
Margaret’s reflections written by her son Andrew
Margaret Pallier was born on the 9th of March 1934, in Victoria Park, Perth, Western Australia.However, her growing up years were in the Fremantle area.She attended school at Princess May Girls School and Cottesloe High School, before becoming a qualified nurse.
In 1956, she went to Melbourne to see the Olympic games. Meeting new friends they invited Margaret to see her first VFL match, the Round 16 game Hawthorn versus St. Kilda at Glenferrie Oval.At the time, she was not supporting any team, but watching the game she decided to follow the winning team.This was Hawthorn, and from that day the Hawks would be the club she would follow forevermore!
In the later fifties, she joined the Hawthorn Cheer Squad, helping out with banners and run-throughs.Margaret also played in football matches between the VFL Cheer Squads, which she enjoyed.It seemed the league stopped these games in fear of injury.
Margaret is one of those lucky Hawk supporters who have seen every finals match Hawthorn played in, either via being there, or on television.She got soaked in the incredible ‘hailstorm’ that hit the MCG during the 1957 first semi-final and got to see Graham Arthur, lift the 1961 premiership cup, the Hawks first ever.She attended the celebrations afterwards at Glenferrie Oval and loved to mention how the band played one song all night long, the Hawthorn Club song!
Margaret, found it hard to like Bob Davis, after the controversial lead up to the 1963 grand final.She always said how hot the day was and that the Hawks ran out of legs in the end.At Glenferrie Oval, she sat in the ‘Old Red Brick Stand’ and attended all matches during the sixties and early seventies.When the new Dr Ferguson Stand opened in the later sixties, she transferred her seat, as it was more convenient to sit there with her young son, Andrew while watching the Hawks battle it out.
In 1971, sitting in the rain in the top deck of the old Northern Stand at the MCG, she witnessed her and the club’s second premiership, and the disaster of losing Peter Hudson in the first match of the 1972 season.She remembered the helicopter flying over VFL Park, Waverley, in 1973 and saw the wonderful game Sir Peter (the name Margaret bestowed on Peter Hudson) played against Collingwood that day.
In the early to mid-seventies, Margaret would sit with a group of friends, a small circle of very loyal Hawthorn followers.There was Chris, who knitted during the game, another Margaret, who suffered with a speech impediment, who called the Hawks – “Hawgarwn”.There was another friend, a Scottish guy, who used to call out “Come on me Hawkers”!We also made friends with the Sands family, who got us into the new Hawthorn Stand at Princes Park.Margaret helped Mrs Sands sell raffle tickets to supporters before the main game started.
Margaret went to VFL Park with the other 92,000 spectators in 1981 to see Collingwood get steamrolled by the Hawks and waiting for nearly an hour to use the toilet before the game started.That season would be her last in Melbourne.In December, after 25 years, she moved back to Perth to start a new life.
Her love of Hawthorn continued, thanks to the Football Club sending out the “Hawk Talk”.Through the years, Margaret would listen via the media for any type of news about the going on’s with the Hawks.The radio became her companion and she would listen to any Hawthorn game that the Perth stations would bother to broadcast.Sometimes this could be frustrating for her, especially when the Eagles and the Dockers joined the VFL/AFL.
For the past 12 years, Margaret, was looked after in a nursing home.However, everybody knew she barracked for when they entered her unit.There was Hawthorn memorabilia everywhere including on her front door.When the Hawks were being broadcast she had both the radio and television on.She loved to talk football to anyone particularly about her beloved Hawks!
Margaret passed away on the 18th of September 2017, aged 83.She supported Hawthorn for 61 years and saw the club win all 13 premierships.She got to see all the great players, coaches and supporters that made the Hawthorn Football Club so special to her.She saw the years of the team trying to win ‘back-to-back’ premierships and the incredible joy of finally succeeding in 1988-89.She never imagined that the triple flags of 2013-14-15 would surpass that feat.
Of course there was heartbreak along the way.The passing of Peter Crimmins after the 1976 premiership win was one of the rare times that Margaret cried tears over anyone.She loved the ‘little fella’ and went to the benefit match at VFL Park, Waverley to see the premiers battle the VFL’s finest players.She thought it was such a nice way to say goodbye to ‘Crimmo’ for his service to the club he loved.
When her son visited the Hawks Museum for the first time a few years ago he met Garry Young who played in the 1961 premiership and had a photo taken with him. Margaret could not have been happier to receive the photo.Garry was one of her favourite players from her early days following the Hawks.
Margaret was very proud of her small roll as a member of the ‘Friends of the Hawks Museum’.She looked forward to receiving the museum’s annual newsletter and enjoyed reading about the “Friend’s Annual Function” and learning which past and present players attended.She believed that these functions kept the spark of following Hawthorn very much alive and would have loved to be able to attend.
I thank you for being there for my mother.
The late Margaret Pallier with her son and Andrew Pallier