There were celebrations aplenty at Kalangadoo on Saturday as the town’s football club celebrated its 2001 premiership reunion and the awarding of a life membership.
The club marked the two-dec- ade reunion of the successful 2001 premiership side that saw the playing of a MSEFL history-making grand final replay, with the Magpies breaking a 17-year premiership drought defeating the Nangwarry Saints at Mount Burr.
The build-up to their round 5 clash at Kalangadoo’s Footy Park began at Thursday night training, before a function on Friday at the Commercial Hotel in Mount Gambier, which coincidentally is managed by well-known identity and former Kalangadoo coach Mark “Memory” Lane.
Lane was also a member of the 2001 premiership.
Peter Collins, coach at the time and Ben Mules, then captain, organised the reunion and were pleased with the response with all but two of the 20 playing members of the team attending.
Then president Kerry McManus gave a heartfelt speech on his memories of getting the ultimate prize and recognised the contributions of those involved.
Collins gave an insight into the trials and tribulations of resurrecting the chances of making the finals after early setbacks left his side written off as a contender.
Captain Ben Mules, then 18 and ready to embark on a 200-plus game career at Glenelg before returning in 2014 to coach Kalangadoo to their next flag, was the main man in seeing the get together run smoothly.
Mules was able to source countless hours of archival footage of the 2001 Magpie campaign from a relative and edited it to a fantastic newsreel of the on-field drama and jubilation of players and supporters alike.
Premiership player Anthony “Killa” Kilsby gave an emotional rendition of the premiership song penned in the weeks prior by Kalangadoo Club poet and historian Reg Chuck who sadly passed away the week before the ultimate victory.
The focus shifted on the Saturday to Kalangadoo where a 2001 team photo was taken and notice made of current players Mules and then 16-year-old rookie Chris Mules sporting a can, giving a good indication that current coach Kevin Stark had issued them an “RDO” for the day.
Following a comprehensive victory over this year’s crop of Saints, the highlight of the evening was the awarding of life membership to triple Mail Medallist and 259 game veteran Brian Casey who travelled from Perth for the occasion, narrowly avoiding COVID lockdown rules in the process.