It is with great sadness that I write to the East Torrens family to advise the passing of our former President and Life Member, Dr Dean Southwood.
Dean is possibly the most influential person in East Torrens’ history. His passion and hard work for our club has shaped it in to the success it is today.
Dean’s hard working “get-your-hands-dirty” attitude is something that has influenced me while undertaking the Presidents role.
His visionary role in the Anti-Smoking movement is something that is now accepted world-wide, and has provided ongoing financial support to our club through “Foundation East Torrens” until this day.
I have spoken to Dean’s wife, Margaret by telephone on Saturday to pass on our condoloences and express our gratutitute for Deans’s leadership and contrbution to our club.
I have asked Peter Herbert to write some further word on Dean’s amazing service to East Torrens and these are below.
Vale, Dean Southwood you will be sorely missed.
SOUTHWOOD, Dean Milton
The players and supporters, both past and present, of the East Torrens District Cricket Club will be saddened to learn of Dean’s passing, on Maundy Thursday (09/04/2020).
We salute a man whose passion and energy over many years, as President, Chairman, amazing fundraiser (and the list could go on) made a contribution to the club which has been unsurpassed in South Australian cricket.
Dean was an eastern-suburbs man throughout; he kept an eye on East Torrens’ progress every week. He was also a legendary supporter of the Redlegs.
His vision for the club never wavered from the moment in 1974 when he was invited to help the cause. From then on he was always ready and willing to do the hard yards, including even pitch preparation, which were sorely needed at the time.
As a busy Ear, Nose and Throat surgeon, it seems incredible that Deano could fit in the massive contribution in time and energy to our club that he did. He was originally invited to the club by Dr Clive Matthews, a GP, who was one of our A/B – Grade players. At the time we possessed many very good players, but the playing and practice conditions would be laughed at today. For half of the 1974/5 season, Campbelltown Oval was unfit for any cricket; then it was out of action the entire 1975/6 season, a premiership year for the A-Grade.
You wouldn’t have put sheep onto the practice area! Good place to lose any form you might have had.
It was at this time that the two doctors swung into action, setting the club up on a more professional basis. Naturally that meant money, and sponsorship was needed.
Dean was in the perfect position to judge the harmful effects of smoking; quite simply he basically took on the tobacco companies and the SACA (whose main sponsor was Benson and Hedges). Dean was subsequently able to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the club. One of the fruits of his herculean efforts was a new pavilion to take over from the besser-brick ‘changeroom’ (recently demolished).
His courage in the face of strong opposition from the tobacco lobby was outstanding.
At times Dean could present a brusque, almost grumpy exterior, brooking no nonsense; he was never loveable, just pragmatic and driven. But underneath beat a mighty heart, passionate for the red and blue. For those who have seen the club from the start of the 1970’s, it is hard to imagine how East Torrens could be in the healthy state it is today without Dean.
For those who haven’t done so already, get hold of a copy of Parade to Paradise, our history, and read more about this remarkable man.
Our thoughts are with his lovely wife Marg, who was ever by his side at our club, and his family, at this time.