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The Hawk turns 70 in 2013

Peter Haby, Hawks Museum  December 15, 2012 4:33 PM

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Leigh Matthews, Peter Crimmins and fellow teammates with the Club Mascot.

May 15, 2013 celebrates the 70th birthday of the Hawk that has become the popular mascot and logo for the Hawthorn Football Club.

In Round 2, 1943 when Hawthorn played Essendon, the match report in the Sporting Globe announced that prior to the start of the game at Glenferrie, Roy Cazaly, Hawthorn’s coach told the players that in future they would be known as the Hawks instead of the Mayblooms.  He expected players to live up to the name being ready to fight hard and carry the ball away with pace and dash to the goal.

Unfortunately the newly named Hawks went down by 31 points.  Two weeks later the Sporting Globe headline read, “Hawks continue winning form”.   This was the first time that Hawthorn’s new nickname was recorded in the press.  For the record the Hawks had previously defeated Melbourne by 45 points in Round 3 followed by a 9 point win over Fitzroy in Round 4.

The Hawk logo first appeared on both the club letterheads and the cover of the Annual Report in 1943 but it took another 5 years before the Hawk appeared on the Club’s Membership Tickets in 1948.  This was due to economical limitations within the Club.  The stock of previously printed membership tickets with the old logo had to be use first before the new logo could be adopted.

The first record of a real life Hawk used as mascot comes from The Herald Newspaper from April 17, 1946.  Featured in the sporting pages, shows a photo of the star forward, Wally Culpitt presenting a mounted Hawk with a wingspan of 3ft (90cms) to Club Secretary, Vic Hocking. The photo caption added, “that the Hawk will be carried to all games to be played by the Hawks”.   One can only wonder how long this newly forged tradition may have lasted.  This Hawk mascot unfortunately is no longer in the possession of the Club.

Circa 1950, club identity, Max Manderson while on a hunting trip in the Grampions in central Victoria shot a number of large Wedge Tailed Eagles that he had preserved by a taxidermist.  He in turn donated them to Hawthorn.  Although both stuffed birds were actually Wedge Tailed Eagles the Club mistakenly looked upon them as Hawks.  One of these Hawks can be seen in the background in a recently rediscovered photo of the Club Committee in the President’s Room at Glenferrie in 1950.

The second Hawk stands on a football with wings outstretched.  This one was the inspiration behind the logo of the Hawk carrying a football with its claws that was the popular club emblem from the late 1950s through to the early 1980s and then again from 1997 to 2007.

There are numerous examples of he Hawks featured in photos with either new recruits or when the Club was making some special announcement in the newspapers and club publications.  The two club mascots were on constant display one in the Board Room and the other in the Social Club till the early 1990s when they were placed in storage.  They are now proudly on display in the Trainers Exhibit within the Hawks Museum.

The Hawk logo was incorporated on the Club blazer pocket and has been used on the tracksuit jackets from the early 1970s appearing for the first time on the match day guernsey, being night guernsey worn in 1997.  

The Hawk has appeared on all sorts of memorabilia including badges, pennants, posters, toys and clothing.  The earliest recorded Hawk Club badge can be seen worn by Club Treasurer Bob Fergie in the 1949 Annual Report.  The Hawks Museum adopted this design for the 2002 Hawks Forever badge.

To mark the 70th anniversary of the Hawk, the Hawks Museum will be presenting a display during 2013 of the evolution of the Hawk.  

We are seeking help with this project and are asking Hawk supporters if they have any unusual Hawk items be it drawings, illustrations, badges, pennants, Hawk designs knitted of scarves, beanies or jumpers and particularly home made Hawk toys or Hawks masks.  

Does anyone recall the lady supporter who sold Hawk broaches at Glenferrie that she made from matchsticks we would love to find one of these now precious items?

If you can help or have any clues, please contact the museum on 03 95353075.