At the Bar with Dakes….

Ian “Dakes” Dakin joined Power House in 1956 from Ivanhoe Under 19’s and has been heavily involved with the Club for almost 60 years.

The Club nominated Ian to attend Lord Somers Camp, “Big Camp” in 1957, which he attended with a number of other Football Club players and officials. Ian freely states Lord Somers Camp was a life changing experience for him. LSC has been a life time involvement for him and he and his late wife Anne were both awarded Honorary Life Membership of Lord Somers Camp.

Ian played in the 1959 undefeated Premiership team which won the clubs first ever Premiership. This team is known as “The Invincibles“. Ian eventually played 166 games for the Club.

In 1956 Ian was asked run “Footy Doubles” to raise funds, he did this in ’56 & ’57 , joined the Social Committee in 1958 and was Social Secretary in 1959, 1960. He Coached the Under 19’s from 1963 to 1965 and then became Club Secretary in 1966 and 1967, and was elected to the Presidency in 1971 and 1972. During this period the Club had Seniors, Reserves, Under 19’s , Under 17’s .

He has assisted the Club in many ways, particularly with keeping in touch with past players, helping organise reunion lunches and contacting past players to attend.

Ian embodies the true spirit of Power House.

In 2011, Ian was elevated to LEGEND status of the Power House Football Club

Dakes sat down with Pav to talk about his time at the Club…

Pav: Dakes, you finished your playing career at Power House a long time ago in 1969. How do you spend your Saturdays now?

Dakes: During the footy season I often watch Power House matches. I watch my Grand Kids playing sport, also I have a holiday house at Somers, which I and my family enjoy. Also I volunteer at LSC Community Camps for Mirabel or Very Special Kids organisations, mostly as Photographer.

Pav: You are one of only 4 people to be inducted as a “Legend” of Power House. What does that honour mean to you?

Dakes: I was very pleased to be awarded this by the club I love and which has been part of my life for nearly 60 years. It was a surprise and humbling to be named in the same group as Wal Davie, Peter “Hutchy” Hutchinson and Les Gordon.

Pav: You came to Power House in 1956. Who brought you down to the club and what were your first thoughts?

Dakes: I had trained with Collegians where I knew about 5 or 6 guys from school, and played in a practice game with them. I saw Leigh “Curly” Grant in the City one day and he suggested I come and train with Power House which he said was a really friendly Club. I met Curly and when we went in to the change rooms, there was about 25 blokes changing, including 3 other Wesley guys. All players and officials came and shook my hand and were very welcoming. There seemed to be a beaut atmosphere in the rooms. I played in a practice match which went well. Had another run at Collegians and decided “THE HOUSE” was the Club for me. There were great leaders like Wal Davie, Jack Robert and “Tank” Dillon.

Pav: How did you usually prepare for a game?

Dakes: No alcohol the night prior, steak and eggs for breakfast, then polish my boots.

Pav: So Dakes, you have seen thousands of players wear the green black and white in your time. Can you name some of the best you have seen?

Dakes: Leigh “Curly” Grant, Bruce Thompson, Les Gordon, Peter Hutchinson, John Bishop, Geoff Southby, Rick Sykes, Paul Shewan, Martin Bartlett, Peter Coloe, Mike Newton and more recently Paul Sosic, Dave Burnside, Paul Edwards, Chris Corbett, Stuart Craven, Jeff Scotland, Glyn Evans, Adam Collett and Sam Confait.

Pav: That’s a fair list Dakes, any chance you could give me your top 3 from that list?

Dakes: This is a difficult task but I’ll give it a shot…well maybe the top 6….

  1. Leigh ( Curly ) Grant played in the Australian Rules team at the 1956 Olympics. He was an outstanding Ruckman and rested in the forward pocket , kicking many goals. Very athletic, all round skills, good kick and high mark. Highly respected by opponents and VAFA, represented Victoria on several occasions. Carlton (AFL) tried very hard to get him to play, but he was busy studying Accounting and really enjoyed playing in the Amateurs .
  2. Peter ( Hutchy ) Hutchinson , Outstanding Big Man, Ruck or Centre half forward. Played 356 games, 7 times Best & Fairest winner. State representative on several occasions.
  3. Geoff Southby, played one season 1969 , Best and Fairest winner. Played Centre Half forward, very athletic, outstanding mark, and long kick. Went on to play full back for Carlton was in Carlton’s Team of the Century— considered one of greatest players in AFL.  
  4. Dave Burnside,   two time best and fairest including VAFA Best and Fairest winner. Very athletic, talented Ruckman or Centre Half Forward.
  5. Paul Edwards , three time best and fairest , very fit and strong , outstanding mark and kick, great player as full back or full forward.
  6. Les Gordon, Club games record holder, 365 games, four time best and fairest, outstanding rover and forward pocket. Great leader by example, always under packs and never gave in. Outstanding Captain Coach.

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Pav: There have certainly been some great characters who coached the club. Who were your best and your favourite?

Dakes: John Layton (1954-56 and 1959-60), John McClure(1962-65), Les Gordon(1966-69 and 1971-72) and Ralph Lane(1961)

Pav: Is there a single most satisfying moment in your time at the club?

Dakes: Being President in 1971 and beating Old Reservoir in the Grand Final was a great memory and achievement. Also being part of the 1959 Champion Team

Pav: What does the club mean to you?

Dakes: I love PHFC, over the years we have had a great ethos. Many really decent and dedicated people involved as players and officials.

Pav: You rank highly as one of the greatest clubmen in the history of the club. In your opinion, who was the greatest clubman?

Dakes:  In nearly 60 years I find it impossible to choose one person.   We have had many — to name some – Wal Davie, Les Gordon, Hutchy, Don McDonald, Tom Cross, Andrew “Doc” Morris, Peter Dakin, Ric Dakin, Dave Angel, Ian Hammet, Nic Pavlou, Steve Mason, Craig Richardson, Craig “Scamp” McFarlane, Paddy Arnold…I could go on.

Pav: The Dakin name is synonymous with Power House. Can you explain why?

Dakes:   When I joined the Club in 1956 many of the players and officials were involved with LSC. As mentioned I went to Big Camp in 1957, and LSC has played a major part in my life since then.

I was invited to join various activities and committees and when I met my wife Anne in 1959, we joined the Ball Committee and Anne quickly became involved with Football Club and LSC activities making many friends.

Our children grew up being exposed to PHFC and Lord Somers Camp. Easter family Camps were of great benefit to our family.

I got my brother Peter involved playing football and active with LSC. My son Ric went to Big Camp and has taken on many leadership roles. He was Football Manager for 20 years and is also a club life member

Also, my other son Tim went to Big Camp and continues to be involved at Community Camps. Anne and my daughter Fizz were pioneer members of Lady Somers Camp, and have been outstanding contributors to LSC & P.H

Anne became very involved with the Very Special Kids organisation, also started the VSK Community Camp.

Anne and I were both awarded Honorary Life Membership of LSC & PH.

Fizz was awarded a Community Service Award by Paul Newman Foundation. Currently she is Lady Somers Camp Leader

Pav: You are at most games and functions and are always involved at the club even now. How do things compare to when you came to the club?

Dakes:   In 1956 we had two teams, PH Green, playing in B grade and PH Gold playing in E grade. Our change rooms were next to the Rugby Club, on the ground floor of the Old Club House. Hockey and Rowing also had rooms there.

Upstairs was the great hall, used for Basketball, Boys Club, and the very popular Power House Dances.

As mentioned a number of PHFC officials and a number of players were involved with Big Camp. We got players from some of the Private Schools, which had not yet started Old School teams and many students from the country living in nearby hostels.

In 1957, I think we had about 20 players and officials at Camp — the players staffing the Canteen It was known as “TANK’S TAVERN”

The Club was very good socially and we often combined with the Rugby Club for parties and functions and an end of season match – half Rugby, half Aussie Rules.

Also in 1957 we re-started the Under 19’s.

In current times, obviously recruiting is difficult, we still have a good Club ethos, an enthusiastic committee and decent types of guys playing for us.

Unfortunately this season has been a bit of a disappointment, with several bad injuries, and losing matches, we have been in a position to win. But that is the great thing about the club…we always bounce back.

Pav: Do you still manage to catch up with your old Power House mates?

Dakes:   Yes, by phone, watching Power House, Reunion Lunches, at LSC Oldies Camps, Old’s & Bold’s lunches and Quarterly Connections.

Pav: Dakes, It’s been a pleasure sharing some of your memories of your time at the club. I look forward to seeing you at our next home game…at the bar. Thanks