Ian “Jesse” James’ memory lights up recreation ground

GLENORCHY’S Eady Street Recreation Ground was bathed in new floodlighting recently to commemorate local sporting identity, the late Ian ‘Jesse’ James.

The number one oval was also renamed the ‘Ian ‘Jesse’ James Memorial Ground’ in his memory.

Passing away in November last year, Mr James was a former employee of the Glenorchy City Council and a participant and supporter of many sporting clubs and groups in the Glenorchy municipality, including the Glenorchy Cricket Club and the Glenorchy Football Club.

Glenorchy Mayor Kristie Johnston said Mr James had been a long-time contributor to the Glenorchy community, acting as both a council employee for 43-years and a high-achieving sportsman and sporting administrator.

“His family has asked that his contribution be recognised and Council readily agreed that the naming of the oval was a fitting tribute to a person who had impacted the lives of thousands of people in Glenorchy,” she said.

“The Eady Street Recreation Ground was the venue of many of his sporting exploits and it is appropriate that it now carries his name.”

Mr James’ grandchildren switched on the new oval floodlighting on Friday 4 March and were also present for the unveiling of a special plaque that marked the official naming of the Ian ‘Jessie’ James Memorial Ground.

Mayor Johnston said the council had installed the new floodlighting at a cost of $240,000 and had allocated a further $200,000 for additional improvements at the ground.

“The Ian ‘Jesse’ James Memorial Ground will now be a focus for healthy sporting activity in Glenorchy and forever mark the passing of a wonderful local sporting identity,” she said.

The Glenorchy Recreation Ground was established primarily as a cricket ground (Eady Street Oval) in the 1930s for the Glenorchy Cricket Club until 1999, where occupancy for the summer season was then transferred to the Wellington Cricket Club.

The Glenorchy Rugby Union was formed in 1965 and has used the oval since that time.

In 2013, the Glenorchy City Council established a ‘Glenorchy Recreation Ground Master Plan User Group’, which was chaired by Alderman Steve King and included representaives of the Wellington Cricket Club, the Glenorchy Rugby Union Club, the Glenorchy Knights Football Club and the Glenorchy District Football Club.

Council general manager Peter Brooks said council staff played prominent roles in developing the proposal and taking it to council for approval.

“Council staff and the committee, under the leadership of Mr King, did a tremendous job to bring forward a proposal that appropriately recognises Jesse James’ community services and also provides a significantly improved facility for the Glenorchy community,” he said.

Mr King said Ian ‘Jesse’ James was an “outstanding” Glenorchy sportsman and citizen who was “highly worthy” of ongoing recognition.

The new lighting and improvement have been strongly supported by the council and all members of the User Group.

Mayor Johnston said the ground and facilities would continue to be well utilised and cater to a number of sports and activities, including cricket, football, soccer and rugby union.

Caption: From left, Alderman Steve King, William (grandson), Judy (wife of Jesse), Sophie (granddaughter), Charlie (grandson), Melanie (daughter-in-Law), Stuart (son) and Glenorchy Mayor Kristie Johnston.

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