"Natives" and "Port Natives"

Anything to do with the history of the SANFL

"Natives" and "Port Natives"

Postby StrayDog » Sun Dec 22, 2019 2:42 pm

Regarding the subject of wooded spoons and a topic touched on the 2019 Grand Final thread:-

viewtopic.php?f=1&p=2404126#p2404126

robranisgod wrote:
RB wrote:Nup, looking to beat Torrens' record of going without a spoon for their first 33 seasons. Wouldn't be many teams anywhere that have done that.


I always thought that the Natives Football club which won the wooden spoon in 1896 and West Torrens Football Club were in fact the same club, the same as Medindie Football Club and North Adelaide Football Club and more recently Footscray Football Club and the Western Bulldogs Football Club.

In no way am I trying to decry West Torrens (my mother would roll in her grave) but I just seek clarification as to whether Natives changed their name to West Torrens or they were two separate clubs.


The "Natives" name appears to have been historically confusing:-

https://australian-rules-football.fando ... AFA_Season

"..."This prompted F. Ward of the Natives Football Club to write to the South Australian Chronicle on the matter. He said:

"We would be glad if you would kindly mention in your report of the football match between the Ports and Port Natives, on the Alberton Oval this (Saturday) afternoon, that the Port Natives are not to be confounded with the Natives — the new senior club. The Port Natives are simply the Albertons of last year."


This quote is found under the sub headings "Season Fixture>Practice Matches"



Regarding "Natives":-

"The Natives Football Club is a former club in the South Australian Football Association (S.A.F.A). When inducted into the SAFA, the club played in two seasons."

https://australian-rules-football.fando ... tball_Club

I suspect that these were the "Natives" that brought home the spoon in 1895 as per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_S ... den_spoons, and understand that "Port Natives" played in the Adelaide and Suburban Association, simplified their name to "Natives" in 1896 and adopted "West Torrens" the year after.


Regarding "Port Natives":-

"This was a splinter group of dissatisfied members of the Port Adelaide Football Club, who, in 1894, broke from that Club when unable to get games with Port, and formed their own team known as the Port Natives. This Club was accepted into the Adelaide and Suburban Association and won two Premierships in a row. The success was cut short when the Adelaide and Suburban competition went into a recess. The Port Natives, at their Annual meeting in March 1896, renamed themselves simply “Natives” and were accepted into to South Australian Football Association for that season."

https://wwtfc.com.au/west-torrens-footb ... b-history/



Again, apologies if I've duplicated a topic on there, no disrespect intended.
"— here I opened wide the door; —
Darkness there, and nothing more."


- Edgar Allan Poe from " The Raven "

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Re: "Natives" and "Port Natives"

Postby RB » Sun Dec 22, 2019 5:54 pm

Torrens were definitely a successor to one of those clubs.

This is dealt with in 'Best of Both Worlds', the biography of WTFC, WFC and WWTFC, released about ten years ago - if anyone has a copy they might check it out and post.

My understanding was that the club was founded in 1897 and was called either Natives or Port Natives that season (and in fact they played their home matches at Alberton in 1897) before changing to West Torrens in 1898 and moving to Jubilee Oval.

The original team was definitely composed of former Port players.
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Re: "Natives" and "Port Natives"

Postby DOC » Sun Dec 22, 2019 7:59 pm

The origins of the team which went on to carry the name of West Torrens into the SAFA and SANFL date back to 1894, however, when a group of Port Adelaide players, unable to get a regular game, elected to form a breakaway side known as Port Natives. This team, which wore red and white playing uniforms, was affiliated with the Adelaide and Suburban Association in 1894 and the following year was admitted to the SAFA, when it changed its colours to black and gold. After a season under the Port Natives monicker during which it finished last, followed by a season simply as Natives, when it came second from last, the club members unanimously agreed a name change to West Torrens in 1897 to coincide with the inception of district football. By this time, the club had also adopted the blue and gold colours that would become its trademark.

Until 1922 the side played most of its home matches at the well appointed but misleadingly named Hindmarsh Oval - misleading because it was far from oval in shape - before moving to a new and permanent home base, Thebarton Oval, which it was to retain until its final ever league season in 1990
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Re: "Natives" and "Port Natives"

Postby Aerie » Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:04 pm

Port Natives definitely the same club as West Torrens.

1894 - Port Natives formed by players broken away from Port Adelaide, won premiership in Adelaide and Suburban Association
1895 - won 2nd premiership in Adelaide and Suburban Association which disbanded at end of that year
1896 - Renamed Natives and accepted in SAFA - finished 4th of 5 teams (Port Adelaide wooden spooners)
1897 - Renamed West Torrens with introduction of district football
1990 - Merged with Woodville to become Woodville-West Torrens Football Club

https://wwtfc.com.au/west-torrens-footb ... b-history/

Similarly; West Torrens District Cricket Club were renamed West Torrens due to introduction of district cricket in 1897 - but were previously Hindmarsh Cricket Club and have played uninterupted since 1865 (besides the war years I guess).
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Re: "Natives" and "Port Natives"

Postby robranisgod » Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:00 am

Aerie wrote:Port Natives definitely the same club as West Torrens.

1894 - Port Natives formed by players broken away from Port Adelaide, won premiership in Adelaide and Suburban Association
1895 - won 2nd premiership in Adelaide and Suburban Association which disbanded at end of that year
1896 - Renamed Natives and accepted in SAFA - finished 4th of 5 teams (Port Adelaide wooden spooners)
1897 - Renamed West Torrens with introduction of district football
1990 - Merged with Woodville to become Woodville-West Torrens Football Club

https://wwtfc.com.au/west-torrens-footb ... b-history/

Similarly; West Torrens District Cricket Club were renamed West Torrens due to introduction of district cricket in 1897 - but were previously Hindmarsh Cricket Club and have played uninterupted since 1865 (besides the war years I guess).


But what of the Natives side which finished bottom in 1895? Was that a different club which then folded and was replaced by another club with the same name? I am not trying to be smart but rather just trying to understand whether there was both Natives and Port Natives in 1895 albeit in different competitions.
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Re: "Natives" and "Port Natives"

Postby RB » Wed Jan 15, 2020 6:08 am

As I understand it, there were 2.
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Re: "Natives" and "Port Natives"

Postby Aerie » Mon Jan 20, 2020 6:32 pm

This article possibly explains it?

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/arti ... -year=1895

West Torrens lines seem to go:

1893 - Port Natives in Adelaide & Suburban
1894 - Port Natives in Adelaide & Suburban
1895 - Natives in SAFA (a new Port Natives team formed in Adelaide & Suburban from previous Albertons Football Club - not related to West Torrens)
1896 - Natives in SAFA
1897 - West Torrens

The Port Natives of 1895 seem to be a replacement for a team called Albertons?

Scrolling through other Trove articles - it looks like Port Natives first started in 1893.
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/arti ... by=dateAsc

Then admission to SAFA in 1895 from Port Natives and junior players from other nearby clubs. Blue and Gold as colours.
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/arti ... -year=1895
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Re: "Natives" and "Port Natives"

Postby robranisgod » Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:13 am

Aerie wrote:This article possibly explains it?

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/arti ... -year=1895

West Torrens lines seem to go:

1893 - Port Natives in Adelaide & Suburban
1894 - Port Natives in Adelaide & Suburban
1895 - Natives in SAFA (a new Port Natives team formed in Adelaide & Suburban from previous Albertons Football Club - not related to West Torrens)
1896 - Natives in SAFA
1897 - West Torrens

The Port Natives of 1895 seem to be a replacement for a team called Albertons?

Scrolling through other Trove articles - it looks like Port Natives first started in 1893.
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/arti ... by=dateAsc

Then admission to SAFA in 1895 from Port Natives and junior players from other nearby clubs. Blue and Gold as colours.
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/arti ... -year=1895

Thanks for all of that.
So, not that it really matters but the club that changed its name to West Torrens did in fact win the wooden spoon in their first season in the major competition.
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Re: "Natives" and "Port Natives"

Postby Aerie » Tue Jan 21, 2020 11:50 am

robranisgod wrote:
Aerie wrote:This article possibly explains it?

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/arti ... -year=1895

West Torrens lines seem to go:

1893 - Port Natives in Adelaide & Suburban
1894 - Port Natives in Adelaide & Suburban
1895 - Natives in SAFA (a new Port Natives team formed in Adelaide & Suburban from previous Albertons Football Club - not related to West Torrens)
1896 - Natives in SAFA
1897 - West Torrens

The Port Natives of 1895 seem to be a replacement for a team called Albertons?

Scrolling through other Trove articles - it looks like Port Natives first started in 1893.
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/arti ... by=dateAsc

Then admission to SAFA in 1895 from Port Natives and junior players from other nearby clubs. Blue and Gold as colours.
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/arti ... -year=1895

Thanks for all of that.
So, not that it really matters but the club that changed its name to West Torrens did in fact win the wooden spoon in their first season in the major competition.


Yes, Natives / West Torrens finished last in their first season in 1895.

As far as I’m concerned, West Torrens and Natives are one and the same. Much like the Western Bulldogs are Footscray. Not sure why the first two years of its existence in the SAFA seems to be disregarded in the history books.
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