DEAN, Mr Thomas Joseph (Joe)


Dean Thomas Joseph Joe - Creswick Historical SocietyThomas Joseph Dean (Joe) was born at home in Ayres St , Creswick, on Jan 31st 1932 . He was the second youngest of 8 children. His sister Betty remembers the children telling stories of the other children saying they would wait outside in the back yard to hear a baby cry which signalled the birth of another sibling.

He worked as PMG (Post Master General) linesman and contributed to the Creswick community all his life.

He died on Dec 21 1986 aged 54 years.

A member of St Johns Anglican church, Joe was christened and confirmed, a committed church goer and always Involved in church activities. Joe attended Church every Sunday until he was too unwell , when he would then have communion at home and this was still happening until his death.

Joe married Gloria Jean Watkins on October 18th 1952 and they had 2 daughters, Leanne and Cheryl. They lived in Luttett St.

He had a life long involvement with the Creswick Football Club starting from playing as a junior at the Park Lake Oval until his death in 1986.

Joe was heavily involved in the operation and success of the Creswick Football club during the 1960’s ,70’s , and early 80’s. Elected to the committee in 1961 he served as President, Vice President and Secretary, each for 3 years. Ill health forced his retirement from office in 1972, but this never stopped him from contributing to the Creswick Football Club.

He held numerous positions including Trainer, Selector, Club Delegate, and timekeeper, and also the Publicity Officer for both the Creswick Football club, and then the Clunes Football League, which then became part of the - Central Highlands Football League in 1979.

His skills as a writer started at an early age – in year 8 at Primary school he won the Queens writing scholarship. Further education wasn’t available to him as he was expected to go to work to help support the family . His writing skills came to the fore, when, from 1962 , Joe wrote a weekly article in the Creswick Advertiser , a detailed commentary and a week by week record of happenings in the Creswick Football Club. He also wrote the weekly roundup for the Clunes League, before the change to the Central Highlands Football League in 1979 . He introduced a club paper, and for the convenience of spectators, a card setting out the names and numbers of players participating in various games, which included the best players and kickers , coaching techniques and on and off field activities. This, even now, provides an insight into the social fabric of the club and its role in the community. In 1972 the Creswick Advertiser noted that he had been the club historian over the years and kept important data on record. A legacy for future generations.

Perhaps Joes greatest legacy was his commitment to the youth of Creswick. At the AGM of the Creswick Football Club in 1974, Joe was awarded a life membership for his work with the Junior League. He was only the second person to receive this award at the time.

The young teens valued his support, knowledge and encouragement, which he demonstrated in his coaching skills and numerous administrative roles. He was very involved with the Under 16 team and for most of the time was their team Manager. He was instrumental in establishing an unofficial Under 12 team and then was Under 13 and Under 16 football manager. The Under 16 team was premiers in 1973.

Joe and Gloria supported in particular, the Junior teams , taking many young sportspersons under their wing, supporting and encouraging them to meet their goals.

For many years while training and coaching junior teams, they collected and washed jumpers after matches as well as taking on match activities of scoring and record keeping, always advocating strongly on behalf of the junior teams.

Former footballers remembered Joe as being a mentor - funny, down to earth , very well liked , always laughing and always there for the kids – a very gentle man. He had a very caring and nurturing way and he just so loved being involved with the children of the town. He never spoke harshly to any child and the family say he rarely had a cross word to say to them, but they were sure he got angry at times as he had a catch phrase he used “ Gloria, come and speak to the girls”!

Thursday night was team selection , and Joe was included in this process , after which he would return home with the property manager where the jumpers for each team were ticked off and packed in readiness for match day. The jumpers were the club’s responsibility and Gloria washed and mended jumpers every week. It wasn’t uncommon for players to visit Joes house for rub downs and he also took injured players to Melbourne for treatment by his friend who was an accomplished blind masseur who worked with VFL players. Leanne recalls that the house always smelt of liniment, a smell she still enjoys to this day.

Under his sensible and compassionate leadership in his various roles, the junior teams of the Creswick Football club developed a strong and resilient teamwork culture leading to strong representation and team success.

Joe became involved with the girls Netball, coaching the U16 Creswick girls team, as they were looking for volunteers to coach - he put his hand up. His family recall his match day coaches addresses, which were always delivered like a coach woud deliver a football address, always with encouragement and passion, minus the swearing of course! He loved his time with the girls and his family believed he enjoyed their time with him. On game days he would leave whatever he was doing at the football club and run over to the netball courts to get, as he put it, - “his girls match ready”. … it was very early mornings and long days. It was important to be involved in the sport that his daughters were playing, but he never actually coached their teams.

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