How the Commercial Hockey Club was formed

The Commercial Hockey Club (CHC) was formed in 1944, when a group of high school students at the State Commercial High School in George Street, Brisbane, formed a J2 team to play in the Brisbane Junior Hockey fixtures.  The founding members included Stan Griffin OAM, Eric Vile, Arnold Dodd, K. Schwede, T Lang and R Mavromatie.

By the end of 1945, most of the original members had left high school and in 1946 CHC fielded a B2 team and a J2 team.  The number of our teams grew over the following years and in 1949 CHC won its first premiership in the B1 Grade.

Our first women’s team was formed in 1949.

It has been a fantastic rollercoaster ride up to the present where we have become Brisbane Hockey’s foremost family club. 

Development of Finsbury Park

Initially the CHC used Victoria Park for training.  CHC then used Finsbury Park, Newmarket for training and games from the late 1950's until we had a winter tenancy of Flynn Oval, Windsor from 1964 to 1969. 

The CHC was granted a lease on Finsbury Park by the Brisbane City Council in 1971.  The existing wooden clubhouse was then renovated to suit our requirements.

In 1975, plans for a new clubhouse were submitted to the Brisbane City Council for approval.  On Sunday 24th April 1977, Alderman Charles Rowland officially opened the new clubhouse.

In 1978, the second stage of the development was constructed - an amenities block consisting of dressing rooms and toilet facilities.

In the pre-artificial surface era, CHC hosted several Australian National Titles (inc. men's 1978 and women's 1979 and Colts 1980), international matches and BHA Premiership Finals at Finsbury Park.

Our lease of Finsbury Park has four playing fields with lighting for night training.  Over the years, the CHC has spent a considerable amount of money on maintenance and improvement to the condition of the fields including: top dressing, fertilisation and mowing; an underground watering system; purchase of a tractor and mowers; and upgraded lighting undertaken in 2009 at a cost of $75,500.

In 1994, extensive alterations were completed to the kitchen facilities of the clubhouse to meet Brisbane City Council requirements for a full club license.  Between 2008 and 2010, $33,000 was expended on internal refurbishment of the clubhouse and external painting.  The public car park was also sealed at a cost of $6,800 with the assistance from the Council of $2,000.

Our grounds and clubhouse are now used by a number of other sporting bodies and schools.  We have formal and informal agreements with City Touch, Gold Crest Cricket Club and City Football who use the park for fixtures and training throughout the year.

The grounds are also used by local residents for recreation purposes.

The licensing laws have change over the years in terms of noise restrictions, and as such, the clubhouse is not rented as frequently as in years gone by.  Due to the varying times of hockey fixtures, it is very difficult to hold frequent club fundraising functions.  However the CHC endeavours to hold 3 or 4 club nights during the hockey season and the old Commercial party spirit still shines through.

The days of lamington drives and chook raffles are long gone.  We have day at Downey Park to run a cake stall and raffle and this has become a good fundraiser.  A more recent source of funds is from local and state government grant applications.

CHC milestones

The CHC Women’s Hockey Club was founded in 1949 and played in the A Grade Competition in 1952.  However, due to transfers, marriages and births, the CHC Women’s Club became inactive in 1958.

In 1971 the CHC Women’s Club was reformed.  In 1988 CHC amalgamated with the Commercial Women’s Hockey Club as an Incorporated Association.

The CHC Ladies Auxiliary Committee formed in 1970 assisted the CHC to raise funds for the construction of the clubhouse, through the efforts of mothers, friends and relatives.  Prominent members included Betty Rideout, Marie Gould, Heather Dunning, Val Garraway, Wendy Sherwin, Jean Mapp, Gloria Brough, Heather Griffin, Dulcie Stradling and Viv Buhse.

CHC representatives in playing, officiating and administration.

The following CHC members were awarded life membership of BHA:  Bert Garraway (deceased), Stan Griffin OAM, Ron Marsden, Keith Mapp (deceased) and Russell Marsden.  Stan Griffin OAM and Ron Rideout were awarded life membership of Brisbane Junior Hockey Association and Colin Morley received a BHA Merit Award.

CHC members who served on various positions on BHA committees include; Graham Mapp, Jack Marshall, Mal Dawson, Roy Brough, Ron Rideout, Ray Simmonds, Jim Elms, Wayne Bellingham, Mark Carter, Karen Kuhn, Joanne Hudson, Adam Barry, Anastasia Cabot and Steve Rogers.

Stan Griffin OAM served in various positions on the Brisbane Hockey Association for 23 years.  Stan was the first Secretary of the Brisbane Junior Hockey Association, first Secretary of the Queensland Hockey Umpires Association, first Secretary of the Brisbane Indoor Hockey Association, and first Secretary of the Queensland Indoor Hockey Association.  Stan was also the Secretary of the Hockey Queensland and BHA Umpires Associations. 

In 1991, Stan Griffin was awarded the O.A.M. honour for services to hockey.

CHC members who served on various positions on BWHA Committees include: Glenda Street, Sue Brough, Jenny Butler, Gail Blackwell, Sonya Taylor and Kellie Roberts. The following CHC members received Long Service Awards from BWHA: Desley Mackay, Jenny Butler, Sonya Taylor, Sue Brough and Lisa Jones.

The following CHC members have served on the Brisbane Hockey Umpires Association/Committee: Stan Griffin (President), Lee Regnart, Ron Marsden (President), Ray Simonds, Gary Marsh, Glenn Dickson, Tom Crellin, Ross Rideout, Greg Harris, Mick Monaghan, Bob Gray, Bob Rowley (President), Leon Cross, Jamie Brough, Adam Barry (Chair) and Steve Rogers (Chair).

The following CHC members attained International Umpire Badges: Stan Griffin, Ron Marsden, Ross Rideout, Gary Marsh, Adam Barry and Steve Rogers.

The following CHC members were awarded life membership of Hockey Queensland:  Stan Griffin OAM, Bert Garraway (deceased) and Keith Mapp (deceased).  Stan was also awarded Life Membership of the Brisbane Junior Hockey Association and Queensland Hockey Umpires Association.

Hugh Robson and Ron Marsden received Distinguished Service Awards from Hockey Queensland and Ron Rideout (deceased) received an Award of Merit from Queensland Hockey Association.


In 1950, we fielded our first ‘A’ Grade men’s team in the A2 Division.  Through the 50s the CHC grew to 8 men’s and 9 boy’s teams.  However, due to transfers, marriages and births, the women’s club became inactive in 1958.  

After gaining A1 status in 1953 the CHC won its first men’s A1 premiership in 1959.

In 1997, the CHC became the only club to win men’s Divisions 1, 2 and 3 in the same season.  A record that has not been equalled.  

On two occasions our men’s Division 1 men's team achieved the 'three-peat' This occurred in 1961 – 1963 and again in 1976 – 1978.  

The men's Division 1 team achieved the astonishing feat of 8 premierships in 9 years starting in 2004, which included 7 consecutive premiership wins from 2006 – 2012.

During the 1960s and 1970s, the CHC became a force in Brisbane Hockey.  After the women’s club was reformed again in 1971 and was promoted to A1 in 1976.  We contested many A1, or Division One grand finals until we finally won back to back women’s first grade finals in 1999 and 2000. 

In 2008, The CHC became the only club in Brisbane to win both Division 1 men's and women's premierships in the same year, a feat made even more exceptional due to the fact that it was Coach Blair Brown's and Coach Lisa Morgan's debut seasons as Division 1 coaches.

The women’s Division One (now Premier League 1) also won the premiership in 2016 and 2022.

Since 1944, the CHC has won 218 men’s and boy's premierships, including 18 in Division 1.  Since 1971 the CHC has won 141 women and girls premierships, including 7 in Division 1.

A unique record in Queensland Hockey was created in 1959, when CHC members were the team captains for the three State men’s representative teams: (a) Don Currie, Captain of the Queensland Senior team which won the Australian Championships; (b) Ray Hedge, Captain of the Queensland Colts team, and (c) Hugh Robson, Captain of the Queensland Junior team which won the Australian Championships.

Don Currie, Wayne Hammond and Mark Hagar are members of the Hockey Queensland Hall of Fame and Mark Hagar was also named in the Hockey Queensland Team 100 Years.

The following CHC men’s players have represented Australia:  Don Currie, Hugh Robson (decd), Wayne Hammond, Mark Hagar, Brett Johnson and Daniel Beale.  Other CHC players who subsequently represented Australia are Stephen College and Grant Smith.

The following CHC women’s players have represented Australia:  Michelle Hagar, Tracey Belbin, Debbie Barratt, Madonna Blyth (Captain), Renae Taylor and Rosie Malone.  Tracey Belbin and Madonna Blyth were also named in the Hockey Queensland Team 100 Years.

The success of our club is due greatly to the dedicated members who have volunteered their time freely.  

The following statement in 1994 from our Jubilee booklet is as relevant today as when it was written:

Hockey has changed much over the past decade.  Changes in rules, some good and some hard to reason, the artificial surfaces which are so important to players for skills and exhibition, but have had some side effects on the game.  Costs have increased dramatically with artificial surface, and administration at the top level has had to become very professional.  The days of honorary officials and workers are becoming increasingly difficult from year to year and finding funds is a major task. The old days of players from all teams getting together to have a drink and chat in the clubhouse has almost gone.  The next decade and beyond holds many questions and will give many worries to all administrations and Commercial’s motto “Let Victory Be Ours’ will no doubt be tested.  But with 50 years behind us, who knows what the next 50 may bring.

The CHC has been built on the backbone of the hard work and dedication of many individuals and families.  This ethic has been passed on by our founders of the club, and it is the reason why the CHC is still strong and viable organisation. 

The game has changed drastically over the years and we believe that the CHC has done a fantastic job being able to still manage our own grounds and clubhouse.  We have a great work force of volunteers who are ready to work with one goal in mind and that is to benefit the CHC and its members.

Our junior development has ensured that our senior teams, at all levels, are predominantly past the CHC juniors.  The CHC has continued to be a leader in Brisbane with the number of teams fielded, premiership wins and members who have served Brisbane, Queensland and Australia as players, coaches, managers and as administrators, umpires and game officials.

Hockey fixtures are played anytime between Friday night and Sunday night.  This has created a huge work load for our men's and women's Players Committees in terms of arranging team personnel, coaches, managers and umpires.  Along with pre and post season activities and representative commitments, the hockey season breaks only for a couple of months at the end on the year.

In 2023, CHC had 40 teams (17 male and 23 female).  Of the 35 teams, that competed for Premierships, 23 teams made it to the the semi-finals (66%); 14 teams played in Grand Finals (40%); and 9 teams won Premierships (25%). 


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