Impressions of the Hawks Museum during my first week
Asked to reflect upon my impressions of the Hawks Museum, the very first thing that sprung to mind was my recollection of the aroma of the place. The first time I stepped foot inside the veritable bastion of brown and gold the scent of history hit hard. It’s a mix of the bygone era of yesteryear and of hard won accolades and distinction, of sweat and tears, of memories of sports men (and now women too) in their prime, of tradition and the evolution of that tradition. A place to soak up all that has made the club what it is today.
After a few days working in the museum, the memory of the aroma faded (as it does when you become immersed in a place) and what came to the fore was a sense that this is very special place run by very special people. At the heart of the museum is Peter Haby, a man who has carefully curated each of the items on display and has dedicated his life to developing and displaying the collection the club now holds.
The museum not only harks back to the past, but it celebrates the here and now and points to future. Displays celebrating the women’s 2018 successes: the VFLW premiership and Bupa Victorian Netball League Premiership remind me that the club’s successes span more than just the AFL. The indigenous jumpers are really quite something. As well as honouring the Clubs first nations’ players they are works of art and are simply beautiful guernsey’s in and of themselves.….. and who can go past the display celebrating the spectacular Threepeat! Cyril’s Guernsey and a replica of his Norm Smith Medal from 2015 are there as well as the boots Gibbo & Gunston wore in that same game.
My favourite pieces in the museum are those with a cheeky story behind their acquisition. The clock souvenired from Glenferrie Oval (which can be seen on display on the Stairway of Memories), the framed (and famed) Chance Bateman dreadlock and the door to the current office which was the old door to the Presidents’ Office at Glenferrie and contains a beautiful art deco glasswork panel. It’s the story of how each item comes to be in the collection that makes the museum come alive. I also love the chronological presentation of each of the guernseys worn by the players from the 1902 guernsey with gentlemanly braces worn over the top to the present era brown and gold stripes. Braces, collars, buttons, long sleeves, yokes, V’s, diagonal stripes and the club initials (logo) come and go as the evolution of our guernsey marches on.
I’ve also really enjoyed meeting and welcoming visitors to the museum. It’s a key part in the public face of the club, and although tucked away on level one, it’s one of the places where the public can get their fill of their Hawks when they come out to Waverley. I’ve greeted all sorts, from the die-hard fans to those with just a passing interest. It’s a privilege and an honour to be able host their visit. I’d encourage you to stop by the Museum next time you’re out at Waverley. It’s a destination in itself!
Rochelle standing beside a favourite cabinet – The tribute to the 2015 Premiership