The City Club march was an annual competition event, held the day after the Soccer Carnival as part of Boys’ Club Week. Boys in clubs from all over NSW would march down the streets of Sydney in a fabulous parade beginning in Hyde Park, with proud parents cheering from the sidelines. A Commissioner’s Trophy was awarded to the best marching squad.
In 1971, a marching squad was created for the Balmain Youth Club under the supervision of George Ledain, who hailed from the soccer section. Sixty boys were needed for the squad to be eligible to participate, and while the original 15 registered gradually grew, a few boys had to be added last minute. A great deal of effort went into preparation – ”combing and spraying hair, seeing the boys were clean and presentable”.
As was reported in the Tiger Rag, a paper circulated by the soccer section to players, “led by our own Club Band, the squad marched to perfection, and could not be faulted and again our band of ladies were on the footpath to cheer the boys on. Finishing in Martin Place, Balmain were declared the winners, all our leader George could say is ‘you beauty’. George and (2) two of the banner bearers were taken up on stage and presented with the Commissioner’s Trophy. We wanted this so badly … On arriving back at the club, we were guests of the Ladies Auxiliary, who turned the food on for all, and rightly they deserved it, it was a matter of fattening up the bird who layed [sic] the ‘golden egg’.”
In their years participating, and under marching leader and BPCBC Secretary-Supervisor Greg Nicol, they were five-time winners and five-time runners up – an achievement no other club could match. “A blaze of glory, the Tigers out-drilled and out-marched them all,” wrote Wourlie proudly. “It was our pride and joy.”