This week, as Barker competes in the 86th CAS Track and Field Championships, we look at the history of the CAS.
In 1922, Mr Archer, Head of Trinity Grammar School, made the first attempt to organise a sporting association between his school, Barker College, St Aloysius College and Cranbrook. The matter was dismissed as both Barker and Cranbrook were adamant they would be accepted as members of the AAGPS.
By 1928 however, it was evident that acceptance into the AAGPS was highly unlikely. Mr MacNeil, Head of the newly established Knox Grammar School, therefore approached the Heads of Barker, St Aloysius and Trinity with the intent of establishing an association. MacNeil received support for his initiative and suggested holding a conference in the early months of 1929 to finalise the matter.
And so it was, in March 1929, representatives of these four schools met to discuss the proposal. In May a constitution was drafted, and after much discussion it was decided the name for the Association should be The Associated Schools of NSW. The constitution was ratified by the Councils of each the four schools and Sir Henry Braddon was inaugurated as President of the Association. Sub committees for the organisation of inter-school competitions were also immediately formed. It was not until October 1929 that Cranbrook sought membership of the Association, with their membership being accepted in the December of the same year. Waverley College did not become a member of the CAS until 1944.
The original objectives of the CAS were “mutual support and consultations, the promotion of annual competitions in Football, Cricket, and Athletics, and the establishment of a uniform basis of policy and activity in other questions of common interest” (The College Barker, Oct. 1929, p. 16). Gradually, more sports were added, with a total of 12 sports across the summer and winter seasons now being part of the CAS competition. Other activities, such as Debating, Chess, a Cadet Drill competition and Art Show, are also part of today’s CAS program.
The Combined Athletics Sports Meeting held at the Sydney Cricket Ground on 19 October 1929 marked the official beginning of CAS competitions. The Athletics teams of Barker, Knox, Trinity and St Aloysius met for the first time to compete against in other in a program of events across four divisions. The Challenge Cup, presented by Mr Andrew Reid, a member of the Knox Council, was awarded to Knox, who scored 120 points. Barker came in second, followed by Trinity and finally St Aloysius. Since this time, Barker has won the Andrew Reid Esq Challenge Cup a total of 18 times.
It was not until four years after the founding of the CAS that the first Combined Swimming Championships were held. On 6 March 1933, representatives of the now five member schools met at Manly Municipal Baths to compete in 20 events. The timing of the events across the day was determined by the tides. Knox won the competition on 89 points, followed by Cranbrook, Trinity, Barker and St Aloysius respectively. Barker has only won the Thyne Challenge Shield for Swimming in 1940 and 1946. In 1980, Jane Francis and Lindsay Charlton represented Barker at the CAS Combined Swimming Championships, making them the first girls to ever compete in a CAS event.
Three of the trophies awarded by the CAS recognise Barker College staff. In 1930, three Barker old boys - Douglas Bobart, Walter Moody and Donald Campbell - present the Henry Plume Shield, in honour of Barker’s founder and first Head. The shield is presented each year to the winner of the Rugby competition. The Neil Logan CAS Cross Country Open Championship Team Shield recognises the work of Neil Logan (on staff 1989-2007) towards Cross Country in its inaugural years. This shield was first awarded in 1990. For many years, Paul Fedeles (on staff 1978-2007) was convenor, MIC and coach of CAS Basketball. The CAS vs ISA Basketball trophy recognises this dedication.
Over the past 86 years of CAS competitions, Barker has performed reasonably well. Although we have been out done in some activities, there are others that Barker has come to dominate. Either way, when Barker students don the red and blue at CAS events, they do so with pride and strive to achieve their best.
Caption: A CAS Combined Athletics Sports Meeting in progress at the University of Sydney Oval, 1940s