My family assembled at my grandparent’s farm on Christmas Eve this year, as they have for every year that I can remember. We have our long-held traditions: taking the tractor out to cut down a tree, bring it back, decorate it; prawns and oysters for entree, before moving onto a big dinner feast; Santa even makes an appearance.
Another event was added to the already full timetable in 2012: The Ron Browne Memorial Cricket Game.
A few of my uncles conceived the idea – as many great ideas are – late one night after a few drinks: round up all the relatives, split them into two teams, and play a game of cricket in memory of my father. A hat would then be passed around to collect money in his honour to donate to Motor Neuron Disease research. Another uncle even put his talents to use to create not one, but two, trophies to commemorate the occasion.
The two teams were captained by my sister and myself. The players ranged in age from six (Riley, who got bored quite quickly and preferred to sit on the ground and poke sticks into dried cow pats, but still managed to bowl me out) up to mid-eighty (my grandparents).
My team won (woo!) and we all had tremendous fun. At the presentation ceremony afterwards, my sister said how she thought about how proud dad would’ve been of everyone and would’ve said something diplomatic, something along the lines of ‘Cricket was the overall winner of day’.
Yes, I agree.
However, I think it went beyond that. If you ask me, the ultimate winner was family.
In the end, we collected over $225.