2012 Pop Stewart Memorial
In 1940 a young girl by the name of Norma Stewart, along with her sister joined the Brunswick Cycling Club.
Their Father Jack, who wasn’t a cyclist, took them to the races every week, just like any “normal” parent would.
Back then there were no sub junior or juvenile categories,you had to be 16 years old to race a bike.
1940 is famous for another piece of Brunswick Amateur Cycling Club History, Double Decker Buses replaced the last of the cable trams in Melbourne and the steel tracks that the cars ran along would later be used to form the foundations for the Velodrome in Harrison St built in 1956.
In 1942 Mr Stewart or “Pop” as he would later be known as took his first official position on the club committee and this is where the “normal” finishes.
Pop gave every spare minute of his time to the club and the V.A.C.U. (Victorian Amateur Cycling Union) which is now Cycling Victoria.
Pop would always have a supportive comment whether you came first, last or failed to finish.
“Good luck for next week then”
Pop continued his voluntary service till his passing in 1979.
The 34th running of the Pop Stewart Memorial was a race of “firsts” for many.
This season has been a “real” winter and it’s been many years since we have raced when water was flowing across the roads.
It’s also the first time that the Granite Road circuit, with it’s 3km gravel sector, has been used for the Pop Stewart.
It was also the first time that Nick “spiro” Edwards had ever won a bike race!
It was a perfect day for a bike race, cold, a strong wind with the tail wind section being up the climb so it favoured no one, and intermittent rain, it’s hard to keep your concentration under these conditions and add to all of this the water that has been accumulating in the paddocks all week flowing across sections of the course guaranteed that all those who finished deserved praise.
In the Junior race it was a young BMX ‘er Andre Akritidis who has a Pop Stewart Trophy to place in his trophy cabinet riding strongly and using his skills on the descent of Granite Hill to keep in touch with the lead group and making his move on the gravel.
As prestige goes the Pop Stewart ranks second to the Brunswick Club Championship followed by the Chris Douglas Memorial, but’s thats another story.