At the end of the 2000 hockey season Hancock Brothers Hockey Club entered a new era when the men's and ladies Clubs merged to form the modern Hancock Brothers Hockey Club. The new Club entered its first teams in the 2001 Ipswich Hockey Competition. In 2002 the combined Club has grown to include a total of 15 men's and ladies teams and approximately 200 players ranging from 6-7 years olds to open competition and remains a strong force in Ipswich hockey. The Club is affiliated with the Ipswich Hockey Association and is also an affiliated sporting body with Brothers Leagues Club.
During the early years of Hancock Bros Plywood and Timber Mill at North Ipswich about 90% of the work force were young men under the age of 21 years. During their lunch hours they played what was called "bush" or 'back street hockey'. They had no official type gear - a length of timber for a hockey stick and a lump of wood for a ball. Playing hockey was probably caused by the influence of three employees who then played for Boomerangs Hockey Club. They were Don McMillan, Stan Wyatt and Pat Grimes. Towards the end of the 1935 season Jim Kinnane also played with Boomerang's 'B' Grade Team. Someone must have asked the question now we have four employees playing fixtures, surely we could get another eight or so from the lunch time 'maniacs' to make up a 'B' Grade team for the 1936 fixtures.
On 4 February 1936 a meeting was called at the company's 'maintenance shop' at lunchtime with the purpose of forming a 'B' Grade men's Hockey Club. Mr Charlie Smith presided. Those present were: C H Smith, C A O'Connor, L J O'Brien, D A Bourke, A D McMillan, F T Becker, E J Molloy, O V Kinnane, S L Whyte, J J Kinnane, E J Minett, J G Law, L L Pervis, H Kempthorne, DWalker, R S Delahunty and G T Grimes.
Mr Viv Hancock (owner of the Mill) was unanimously elected Patron of the Club and Mr C F Becker, President. Messrs H H Kingston, W Pemberton, W Tunstall, C Lowis, A C Swanson, E C Ingram were elected Vice Presidents. Mr Hec Kempthorne and Mr C H Smith were elected Secretary and Treasurer respectively, and Mr A D McMillan, Captain and Mr S Whyte, Vice-Captain.
Just imagine, a machine being operated by the clubs right winger and his offsider his inside man every Saturday. Every lunch time the main topic of conversation of course was hockey. They would knock off work midday Saturday and within a couple of hours they would be together again on the hockey ground. The first Hancock Brothers Hockey Club team to take the field in 1936 were all employees of the Mill and included: J J Kinnane (goal keeper), S Whyte (vice-captain), R Delahunty (fullbacks), D Walker, G Grimes, O Kinnane (halfbacks), C O'Connor, D McMillan, J Becker, C Smith, H Kempthorne, C J Minett and J Pervis (forwards and reserves). Three of these players still survive today and continue to take an active interest in the club. Although only three members of the team had played hockey before, and only four had seen a game of hockey played, and the average age being 17 years, they won the 'B' Grade premiership in this first year losing only one game. Ten members of the team gained Ipswich representation.
In 1937 the team was promoted to 'A' Grade and met with mixed success.
In 1938 the Club won its first A Grade trophy, namely the Labour Day Cup. In 1939 the Club's persistence and keenness was rewarded, and they won their first 'A' Grade premiership. The rest, as they say, is history.
Since these humble beginnings at the North Ipswich Mill the men's Club has registered over 1500 players and has won many Premierships including consecutive 'A' Grade premierships from 1955 - 1971 and 1975 - 1987 (inclusive). From the Club's ranks have come 2 Olympians, 1 Australian Colt (under 21), several National players as well as many Queensland, regional and Ipswich selections.
The Club has also produced many fine officials, coaches, selectors and managers for Ipswich, Queensland and Australian hockey administrations over the last 65 years. Even though players now come from all walks of life, the Club maintained strong connections with the Hancock Family and the North Ipswich Mill over the last 65 years. Mr Viv Hancock remained Patron of the Club from 1936 till 1963 (28 years) until his son John Hancock took over in 1964 and remained Club patron until 1990 (27 years). The Club's logo maintains this connection with the mill and includes a circular saw blade.
The current Australian Kookaburra's (men) coach, Barry Dancer is a Life Member and played his entire hockey with the Club in Ipswich.
The Early Years
1938-1940 and 1948-1951
During the years 1938-1940 and 1948-1951, Hancock's Ladies Hockey Club competed in the Ipswich Ladies Hockey Association competition. These early teams were very successful, winning premierships in 1938, 1939, 1948 and 1949.
The 1939 team were undefeated premiers. The following ladies played in the premiership team: G Brennan, M Rogers, V Pedersen, N Pyle, L Brennan, N Ponti, A Hartwig (Careless), M Brennan, L Dale, M Robinson (Mills), N Watson (Gayler), V McMillan (c), G Gardner (Johnson) (vc), L Bott and E Follett (McNeil).
After competing in the 1940 season, Hancock's did not play again until 1948, when the I.L.H.A. competition resumed after the war.
B Musch, J Lawrie (Roberts), E Becker (Wright), J Becker (Hart), B George, I Hayes, B Roots (Sauer), E Kinnane, D Munn and M Roots were just some of the ladies who played during these years and who won back to back premierships.
Beth Musch was noted for the experience she lent to the Hancock's team, while Irene Hayes and Joycie Becker distinguished themselves representing Ipswich. However, the club folded after the 1951 season.
After an absence of 23 years, Hancock's Ladies Hockey Club once again joined the I.L.H.A. competition in 1975 through the initiative of three women: Barbara Mack, Ann Fowler and Marilyn Fullelove.
The Club Reformed
The club as we know it today had its beginnings in a timber home opposite the old East Ipswich Hockey grounds. It was 1975 when Janette Howells, Marilyn Fullelove and Barbara Mack formed Hancock Ladies Hockey Club in the back room of Marilyn Fullelove's house. The meeting held on Februrary 1975 was opened by R Woodford who nominated Jim Kinnane as temporary chairman. It was moved that a Hancock's Ladies Hockey Club be formed by M. Fullelove, seconded by M Kinnane. Numbers of players were discussed. Jim Kinnane promised the support of the men's club. There was then an election of officers. For Patroness, Mrs John Hancock, was nominated by B Mack. For secretary, M. Fullelove was nominated by B Mack. Elected. B Mack was nominated by M Kinnane for treasurer. Elected. Vice Presidents Mrs S Dwyer and Mrs B Mohr were nominated by M Kinnane. Mrs Anderson was nominated by B Mack, Mrs Fuller nominated by M Fullelove. Mrs G McGuire nominated by B Mack. Nominations were closed and the nominees were duly elected. It was decided to contact the Ipswich Ladies Hockey Association and nominate two teams, moved by S Dwyer seconded by J Howells. It was discussed to approach Mr N Winks to coach.
Present at that first meeting were representatives of the Hancock Men's Hockey Club who helped establish the Ladies club, and a close affiliation with our male counterparts has been enjoyed ever since. To the surprise of many (and the founders themselves), Hancock Ladies fielded three teams in their first season, introducing many girls to hockey who otherwise may not have not have had the chance to play. Barbara Mack was the Club's treasurer until it merged with the men's Club, and Pam Winks, the inaugural President, retained that position until 1994. The 'Club' that essentially saw themselves as ladies who gathered for a social game of hockey can now count Ipswich, Regional and State players who have played hockey in the yellow and blue.
The New Generation
2000 - Present