The exact origin as to when and where the club began is not known, one just assumes it was here, although the former existence of a cricket pitch at Bugle Ranges, on the present property of Mr. N. Simpson, remains a mystery.
The “Courier” wrote of Wistow cricketers providing entertainment at a fund raising evening at Mr. Paterson’s farm “Yungkunga” on the 12th. Oct. 1894, and similarly a concert on the 27th March 1896, and social events on the 13th May 1898, also a social at “Yungkunga” on the 29th Sept. 1899 was this the beginning of the club?
A match, Mt. Barker v’ Wistow with results appeared in the “Courier” on 18th Dec. 1899, but where did they play? Local knowledge would indicate that play on the pitch on “the hill”, (of which there have been several) commenced sometime between 1865 and 1912. During this period the land together with “Morning Star Inn” was owned by publican Mr Edward Yates and later his wife Mrs.J. Yates. In 1912 the property was sold to Mr Frederick Blight, and has been in the ownership of that family since: but in a gesture of extreme generosity the last owners, Brian F. and Ian F. Blight donated “The Hill” cricket ground to the Wistow Cricket Club Inc. on 30th January 1995. – Much Appreciated – Certainly a family that could be regarded as “benefactors” to the club!!
It is understood matches in the early days were played intermittently during the season, “arranged” games played on Sundays, with minor bets between some players.
In 1934 the Mt. Barker and districts cricket association was formed, Wistow being a founding club, together with Mt.Barker Blue, Mt. Barker White and Methodist.
Club colours were revealed soon after our first premiership of 1951/52 when the team was “capped” with maroon “baggies” embroidered with a gold monogram, as well as matching maroon blazers with gold trim. When this uniform had almost disappeared, it was decided in 1975 to again “cap” the side.The Western Australian state team had recently adopted a very “trend setting” gold cap. a bright departure from the “norm”, of dark colours, so we copied it by reversing our colours to a gold English style cap with maroon emblem, (designed by Keith Miller, a player of the time This type of cap is currently being worn.
The late 1950’s and early ’60’s were a golden era, winning 6 ‘A’ grade premierships from 7 grand finals in 9 seasons, but it also was the beginning of changing times. The club had been a single team of local cricketers, (many belonging to former pioneer families of Wistow), and only an odd extra “outsider” included. Strong common threads of community unity were destined for demise, with the closure of Wistow primary school, also resident involvement in a dairying and fanning industry which was in gradual recession, as well as the arrival of television, which left other community activities floundering. This, as well as the need for extra “outside” players when we fielded a ‘B’ grade in 1961 and later a “C” grade, slowly changed the face of the club. Today in 1996, after thirty odd years of friends and mates joining the teams, local participation is minimal, however this constant supply of players ensures us of a competitive club
The Colts competition, which began in 1970 with an Under 16 team, has groomed young players, benefiting the senior teams since.
Although the Junior competition has fluctuated over the seasons in strength and numbers, today, in 2018, it has never been healthier with parent interest and keen players fielding teams in U/10’s, U/14’s and U/16’s competitions.
In “A” Grade another successful era was to start with the Premiership of 1993/94. For the next 14 seasons, to 2007/08, Wistow played in nine Grand Finals winning five Premierships.
Along the way, in early 2000’s, we adopted the mascot “echnidas” as it was claimed that during post-match drinks one was seen on the oval!!
In recent history, grants have been obtained, i.e. 1990 (tractor), 1995 (mower shed) 2015 (new clubroom), helping with those projects. Though nothing could compare with the $100,000 grant in 2016 from Holden Home Ground Advantage, the winning submission was entered by Brendan Nettle, a stroke of excellence which will propel the club forward as has never been seen before. Michael Paech is the most proactive president ever overseeing major projects.