A “Learn to Play Rugby” advertisement in the St. George Call was part of the preliminary organising by four men to form a new junior rugby club. The year – 1958, the men –‘Poss’ Davis, Clive Sullivan, Reg Richards and Bill Cerrutti, the club – Sylvania Junior Rugby Club.
The first working committee of the club was formed and the office bearers were:
- Patron: Bill Cerrutti
- President: Clive Sullivan
- Secretary: Frank Mears
- Treasurer: Reg Richards
- General: ‘Poss’ Davis, Laurie Conroy.
It was to their credit that the ladies formed an auxiliary that played an extremely active part in supporting the men and much of the early success and survival of the club must be credited to their efforts. The first Ladies Auxiliary was:
- President: Mrs. Richards
- Secretary: Mrs. Mears
- Treasurer: Mrs Sullivan
- General: Mrs. Davis, Mrs. English.
On those cold wintry nights the committee meetings were held in the kiosk at Hurstville Oval. In the formation year, the club entered two teams in the junior competition, which attracted teams from as widespread an area as Homebush and East Hills. The two teams were 12 & 14’s, coached by Reg Richards, ‘Poss’ Davis and Bill Cerrutti. It was to the credit of these men, the players and the club as a whole that the Under 12’s took the premiership and the Under 14’s shared a Joint Premiership with South Hurstville.
Premiership wins in those early days of the club had less material rewards attached to them than today. The first presentation night was held in the Boomerang Hall, at Sylvania and each boy received a club pennant.
The Annual General Meeting of the club in 1959 resulted in both the Committee and Ladies Auxiliary being re-elected unaltered.
The club fielded three teams in this years competition, Under 12, 14 & 16’s. In the absence of any contrary information it must be assumed that none of these teams qualified for the end of season play-offs.
In these early years the Ladies Auxiliary was very active with house parties and raffles and were the mainstay in providing the club finances. This year the meetings were not only being held at Hurstville Oval, but also Carss Park Life Saving Club hall and private homes.
In 1960 there were changes in the office bearers. The club now boasted two patrons – Bill Cerrutti and Reg Richards, as well as, four Vice-Presidents. New President was Laurie Conroy, Treasurer Mr. Tait and Frank Mears was still Secretary.
The club in its third year of competition fielded teams in Under 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 & 18 year age groups. The Under 15 team won the premiership and this was the first year the club was in a position to provide premiership pockets for the players. It is also worth noting that the Under 13’s contested the final and the 12’s and 14’s the semi-finals.
This was the first year that the club had a picnic and presentation day, which was held at StanwellPark.
The committee remained unchanged for the 1961 season and the club entered teams in the Under 12 – 16 year age groups. Until this time the club has been sharing CarssPark as a home ground, as no available grounds exited south of Tom Ugly’s Bridge. Negotiations commenced this year with Kogarah council for use of the Merriman Street Reserve, at Blakehurst, as the clubs home base. No premierships were reported for this year.
In 1962 the Merriman Street Reserve was obtained, but only used by younger age groups as it was undeveloped and had limited area. The club entered teams in the under 10, 12, 13, 14, 16 & 18 year age groups.
In 1963 an open age team was entered in the Judd Cup, Sub-district competition.
In 1964 the club name was officially changed to Sylvania-Blakehurst Junior Rugby Club.
By 1967 there had become to clubs with separate identities, Blakehurst – still playing at Merriman Street, where they are today and Sylvania Junior Rugby Club – re-born through the zeal of some ex Eastern Suburbs players, who created the “red, white & blue” identity the club still proudly wears, unchanged, all these years later.
Sylvania Junior Rugby Football Club commenced in its present form on March 22, 1967. From 1958-61, a club called Sylvania participated in the re-formed St.George Junior Rugby competitions. This club played matches on the Northern side of Tom Uglys Bridge at Carss Park (sharing the ground with South Hurstville Royals), then Merriman St. Oval (now known as The Green). They were known as Sylvania/Blakehurst from 1962-64 and then Blakehurst from 1965.
A group of former Eastern Suburbs senior grade players, led by Ken Laird, banded together to form the club now known as Sylvania.The club fielded an U/8 team in its first season in 1967 which won 6 and lost 10 matches to finish 8th of 12 teams behind the premiers, South Hurstville.
The club has continued to grow over the ensuing years, providing fun and enjoyment to many players from U/6 to Sub-District level.The club has provided many representative players over the years up to Waratahs (NSW) level. The facilities at Sylvania`s home ground, A.R.Hurst Field, are amongst the finest in Sydney.
In May 2017, Club President Andrew Chaney led the club to its 50th Anniversary Celebrations welcoming back registered player number 1, Mr Rob Laird, and other esteemed guests i.e. The Hurst Family. The Guest of Honour at the Anniversary Dinner was Mr Iain Payten, Chief Rugby Union Columnist at The Daily Telegraph -a former minis Bulldog.