EATC History

 

 

The name of the Club, Ewan, is an acknowledgment to the humble beginnings of the race, when the meeting was held at the old mining township of Ewan, on the northern banks of Running River some 100 miles north of Townsville.  Little is known of the early racing at Ewan, with little information available as to when the Club was formed.

Known as the Ewan Amateur Picnic Hack Race Club, the first recorded race meeting for the Club in the North Queensland Racing Association Calendar was held on 15th April, 1922.   The track was virtually around the township and the winning post just outside the pub, run by Bill and Mrs Little.

 

There were seven races on the programme with total prizemoney of £60, plus a bracelet.  The two feature races were the Ewan Handicap, over 6 furlongs for prizemoney of £10 for the winner and £2 for second; and the Ladies Bracelet over 6 furlongs for prizemoney of a bracelet for the winner and £2 for second.  The Ewan Handicap was won by A. Powely’s Aged Ch.G., Socks, ridden by M. Donovan (M. Donovan had also ridden the same horse earlier to win the Maiden Plate).  The Ladies Bracelet was won by Mrs Sharman’s Br H 4, Gallant Tom, ridden by Mr McLachlan. 

 

The Club raced on until approximately 1934-35 when it was closed down due to the Great Depression.  The last meeting was purportedly the only all-cornfed meeting held by the Club and all the races were won by horses owned by Frank Alston from Stonleigh, Ingham.

The Club experienced a revival in 1955, with the main force behind the revitalization being Fred Purdie. Mr Purdie had been an ace jockey, riding amateur mostly around Bowen and who had, at the time, drawn New Moon Station, which almost adjoined Ewan, in a land ballot.

 

Mr Purdie became the first President of the revived Club and was greatly assisted by an enthusiastic committee, including Len Couch and Toho O’Shea. The track was relocated about 2 miles upstream of Running River on Zig Zag Station, then owned by Cecil and Doris Milton and later by the former Vice-President, Doug Davidson and his wife Rose.

After the 1970 meeting at Ewan, the Committee decided to relocate the running rails to its present site on Stockyard Creek. The first meeting held at Stockyard Creek was in 1971.

 

In 2015, in light of the climatic conditions, the Ewan Committee voted to change from a grass to corn fed format. To read about the Club's decision, please click here.

 

 

Since the Club was reformed in 1955, the Presidents have been:

 

  • Fred Purdie;

  • Warren Matthews,

  • Mac Core,

  • Graham Von Wald,

  • Robert Kirkwood, and

  • David Woodhouse, the current President.  

Since 1955, the Secretaries have been:

 

  • John O’Shea;

  • Jack Matthews;  

  • Eugene Matthews;

  • Peter Roberts; and

  • Noel Brosnan,

  • Daryl Gammon, and

  • Matthew Kinnane the current Secretary. 

The first Vice-Presidents are not known however Doug Davidson, a past Vice-President, held the position for 23 years.  Since Doug’s retirement in 1982 the Vice Presidents have been:

 

  • Gordon Gaynor;

  • Allan Gaynor,

  • Robert Kirkwood;

  • David Woodhouse,

  • Ben Von Wald,

  • George Watkin, and

  • Stacey Kirkwood, the current Vice-President.

 

Patrons of the Club have been:

 

  • Charlie Furber,

  • Mary Core,

  • Dixie Von Wald,

  • Mac Core; and

  • Jean Core,

  • Margaret Collins,

  • Les and Busby Mayne,

  • Graham and Karen Von Wald, and

  • Noel and Mary Brosnan, the current Patrons.

There are 10 surviving Life Members of the Club, namely:

 

Tom Mann, Toby Atkinson, Eugene Matthews, Bill Reddie, Peter Roberts, Graham Von Wald , Noel Brosnan, Tom Kirkwood, Josephine Mayne, and Warren Matthews.