Australia’s first World Sports Champion.
On display in McCrossin’s Mill Museum is a superb marble obelisk, which was installed on the grave of Edward Trickett, an elderly gentleman who had come from Sydney to Uralla to visit his son. They decided to dig a mineshaft. It collapsed. The old man perished, which is why he is buried in Uralla rather than his “home town” Sydney. The grave is in the isolated Salvation Army section of the cemetery, away from everything else, except the morning sunlight and the frosts, in the rarely visited north east corner near a ragged stand of gum trees.
In 1982 some idiots toppled this gravestone from its plinth, causing minor damage…to the obelisk, not them, more’s the pity. No doubt they singled this one out because, unlike them, it stood tallest in the cemetery. And no wonder.
On 27th June, 1876, Edward Trickett became Australia’s first International Sporting Champion, when he defeated Henry Sadler of England on the River Thames for the World’s Champion Sculler trophy. Not many knew of Trickett’s extraordinary achievement.
Even fewer knew the location of the grave and memorial. But we did. With the Trickett family’s approval, we relocated the memorial to McCrossin’s Mill…forever. We erected another not-quite-so-grand headstone, displaying the exact wording of the original, on the site.
“Trickett’s Triumph” is the name of a song, which actually sounds more like fanfare, written in his honour. The exhibition is to permanently honour the champion who is Number One in Australia’s Sporting Hall of Fame.
Yet despite being literally “on top of the world”, Trickett was to descend to the very depths of depression. The exhibition explains how cruel fate can be. One of the museum founders, after a five year dogged pursuit, recently acquired Trickett’s 1876 World Champion’s trophy, the holy grail of Australian Rowing. We say it is the most iconic artefact in Australia’s sporting history. And that’s official. It says so on the label. And museums don’t lie.
by Kent Mayo (Honorary Director).