SERVICE RECOGNISED: Bundaberg cricket identity Jim Deem is one of four finalists for a Queensland Local Hero Award.
SERVICE RECOGNISED: Bundaberg cricket identity Jim Deem is one of four finalists for a Queensland Local Hero Award. Mike Knott

'We'll be back'

JIM Deem cried when he saw the damage done to the Kendall’s Flat junior complex by the floods last week.

The Bundaberg Cricket Association life member and senior coordinator was a driving force behind the formation of the Bundaberg Junior Cricket Association in 1968 and the subsequent redevelopment of Kendall’s Flat from a council dump to what was widely regarded as the best junior cricket facility in Queensland.

But all the buildings and fields there were a disaster zone after being totally covered for a couple of days by floodwater.

Deem, who served in every executive position over the first 20 years of the BJCA, still remains heavily involved in cricket at all levels since the amalgamation of the junior and senior associations several years ago.

He said the original clubhouse would probably have to be demolished, the new clubhouse needed a new ceiling after the current one collapsed, much equipment and memorabilia were lost and their four turf and four synthetic pitches were all wrecked.

“It is pretty devastating after all the years all the committees put in to establish this place, but junior coordinator Noel Stitt and all the volunteers have been great,” Deem said.

“Builder Lew Rehbein, who is not even involved in cricket any more, has come forward and also done a great job coordinating the clean-up and recovery and looked at what needs to be done with the buildings.

“It is still a swamp and it is going to take a lot of work but we will be back.

“But it mightn’t be until at least the start of next season in September.”

With junior fixtures due to resume after the Christmas recess next Saturday, Deem said under-16 and under-14 games would be moved to Salter Oval at their regular time slots of 1.15pm and 8.45am respectively.

But with only two fields available for juniors and three matches played per week in under-14, it has been proposed that one game be played as a day-nighter each Friday on Salter Oval, starting at 4pm.

Under-12 and under-10 will also be played at their normal times of 1.15pm and 8.45am respectively at the nearby Bundaberg West and Norville State Schools fields.



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