AFL Round 10 – Geelong v Gold Coast: Turn on the lights

Score a footy and Cats gear

Score a footy and Cats gear

They used to call Geelong ‘Sleepy Hollow’.  Not long after we moved from Hawthorn to the Bellarine Peninsula the Geelong Mayor of the day put a notional Sleepy Hollow in a pretend coffin in a pretend grave.  I believe this was significant in the growth of the city.  Bold decisions were made; the waterfront revamped.  The downers of the Pyramid collapse and other hits to Geelong employment were put behind although last week’s Ford announcement whilst not entirely unexpected, a blow nevertheless.

Bringing the TAC head office was a fillip for local employment.  Occasional visits from cruise ships hit the front of the Addy = Geelong Advertiser for non-Geelong residents.  New housing developments on the fringe of Geelong in every direction are growing the city in all respects.  What about when they redeveloped Bay City Plaza into a fair dinkum Westfield shopping centre?  And then there’s Armstrong Creek – a huge new housing development on the way to Torquay – thousands of new houses will create virtually a whole new town.  Last year we* even elected our own mayor – I know this well as I worked long hours organising the votes to be counted in the few weeks leading up to the election day. Faster trains are promised.  The three Premierships of the local football club helped lift the spirits of the whole region.

(* I use this term loosely as I well know that just because you live in an area for 15 years does not mean that you are classed as a local; generations are normally needed).

There has now been another big change to the Geelong city area.

I’m likening the new development in Geelong to the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the sense that you can see it from many different spots and get a whole new perspective.  Of course the view from the harbour itself is magnificent or near the Opera House or on it.  But when you go down a small street in Balmain you get a whole different perspective of how big the bridge is.  Or just walking the streets of Sydney and catch a glimpse of the bridge between two buildings.  It’s like the thing is ubiquitous.

I’m experiencing the same thing in Geelong recently.  I look out my fourth floor office window and I can see a small part of 1, just a glimpse of 2, the top of 4 either just poking behind or above the Catholic Cathedral but none of 3.  From the top of Leopold hill on the way into Geelong all four are clearly visible.  The other day I noticed you can even see all four of them all the 20 kms way back in Drysdale just after the roundabout.  They’re huge.  They dominate the South Geelong skyline.  Looking like four enormous toothbrushes or even four huge flyswats they can be seen from all directions.

Saturday 1 June saw the four new Geelong light towers turned on and a match played under lights at Kardinia Park for premiership points.  This is big for Geelong.  The Addy had a special issue. I even bought my glow in the dark wrist band that came with Saturday’s issue.  I love the Addy – it is so Geelong.  “Daylight saving begins at 2am Geelong time tomorrow”.

I made a last minute decision to attend Saturday night’s game, managed to grab one of the remaining few tickets to be there as this big event for Geelong unfolded.

For three quarters the game did not match the occasion, it was a reasonably scrappy affair with rare highlights.  Someone flicked the switch at three quarter time and Geelong started playing the way it has for the last seven years: playing on through the corridor.  The result was a nine goal to one last quarter (the one by Ablett almost defying belief – again).

Geelong – the football team looks strong.

Geelong the city continues to grow.

Votes: 3 Bartel, 2 Enright, 1 Ablett

About Noel McPhee

Noel's background is in statistics including 13 years at the ABS. More recent employment has been at Deakin University and Services Australia. He has worked on every State and Commonwealth election this millennium plus a few Local Government Elections. His weekly article, 'The Stats Bench' appears weekly on the Eastern Football Netball League's website. Noel's legacy as a sportsman is that he tried hard; two cricket fielding trophies, a tennis premiership and boundary umpiring about 80 EFL senior games. He has completed over 25 parkruns in quite slow times in the last three years.


  1. Noel, You’re right. The light towers at Kardinia Park are now major landmarks on the Geelong horizon. Driving from Melbourne I caught my first glimpse of them around Avalon. Got a better view, peering beyond the refinery, on the Robert Sergi Bridge. Up close they look great.

    Being a mick though I’ve got to stick up for St Mary’s being still the No. 1 Geelong landmark, especially since I was christened there. Catholics certainly know where to plant a big church, don’t they.

    Lovely to catch up at the launch last Friday and reminisce about old times at the ABS. Cheers.

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