The sporting legacy of the late John Allen was recognised last week when the John ‘JA’ Allen Oval was officially opened at Yass High.
A throng of locals made its way to the school to attend the event which included a smoking ceremony, performed by indigenous elder Eric Bell, various speeches and stories, and, eventually, the unveiling of the commemorative sign.
Mayor Nic Carmody welcomed everyone to the opening and said he was happy that council could do this for Mr Allen and his family.
“This is a wonderful community facility, in honour of a wonderful community person,” he said.
In her speech, Mr Allen’s daughter Susan Gay said this field would be a great reminder of how much John influenced the Yass area and her family.
“He was not really a player, he was a coach, an administrator,” she said.
“Thanks go to Yass Valley Council for giving our children a legacy of their pop, who they never met, which they can be proud of.”
Mr Allen passed away in 1996 and it was decided that the field would be started along with changes to the schools roads and parking issues.
Council’s Luka Kovacevic played a key role in getting the operation going and Simon Cassidy thanked him in his address to the crowd.
Mr Cassidy also thanked the Department of Education for its contribution in joint-funding the operation.
Mr Allen’s key role in schoolboy rugby league was also recognised with several ACT and Australian officials present.
Immediately after proceedings all the grand-children had a kick-around on the brand new oval before the parents retired to the Australian Hotel for some drinks in John Allen’s honour.