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Season 2003/04 - Year 3

The second Annual General Meeting of the Association kicked off proceedings for season 2003/04 on July 23. A new venue was found for this meeting, being Redfern RSL Club. This venue would become a permanent fixture for meetings for many seasons to come. Peter Turner, who had led us for the first two seasons, stepped down from the role of President, with Bruce Parfett being elected in this role. Both Stephen Blomfield and Gordon Smith were for the 3rd season running elected unopposed in the Secretary and Treasurer positions. Pre season numbers for the upcoming season were not great, and a repeat performance of the previous season looked likely. The Association undertook an aggressive advertising campaign asking local community-based newspapers around Sydney to write a story about us in their sports section. The net result was about a dozen enquiries from people who wanted to become umpires or those wishing to resume an umpiring career from the past. After running a special course for these people at Redfern RSL we were lucky to pick up seven new members. Adding these new members into our Association created a scenario where we had a good season overall , probably not as good as year one but certainly better than year two. All 1st Grade games got umpires and we averaged about two or three 2nd grade matches from week to week. Some surplus umpires from Grade cricket from time to time also helped out although this assistance was very spasmodic. On January 3, 2004 Shires cricket had a week off while Grade cricket played a limited overs fixture. As many as ten of our members were appointed to Grade matches that date to fill a shortfall that was created by severe unavailability of Graded umpires on that day (a date which just happened to be the day a test match was being played at the SCG). Also during the season three of our members received appointments to representative matches. Bruce Parfett officiated in the Annual Shires XI Vs Grade XI match at the SCG. Peter Friend umpired the inaugural Shires XI Vs Churches XI match at Lindfield Oval, whilst Gordon Smith received an appointment to a three-day test match involving Australia Deaf v England Deaf at Uni of Sydney #1 Oval. Bruce Parfett won his third 1st Grade Grand final appointment in a row and was partnered by John Moore who was standing in this match for his second year in a row. The match was won by Strathfield CC, after the game finished in a drawn no-result when the second days play was washed out. Bruce Parfett and Robin Gandevia won the appointment to the Frank Gray Final and the umpire of the year was awarded to John Moore. The year finished on a high with a record number of 43 persons holding membership of the Association.