Meet a Local: Michael Blood
A Hawthorn Hawks football player from 1967 - 1971, Michael Blood, known by teammates as “Cappy” after Captain Blood, has strong memories of the Glenferrie Oval back in the 60s and early 70s when it was still the home of the Hawks.
Michael Blood first moved to the area in 1950 at the age of five so that his mother could care for his grandfather. The family lived in Hawthorn for three years and following the passing of his grandfather, moved to East Camberwell. It did not take long for the family to return to Hawthorn, purchasing a house in Chrystobel Crescent in 1956.
Michael attended St. Joseph’s Primary School in 1951,back when it was located in Power Street where the St Joseph’s Mews is now located, followed by St. Kevin’s College in Toorak from 1952 - 1962. As a student he played many sports - “whatever I could get into, I was in it”. The subjects Michael studied at school leaned towards Science which eventually led him to study Dentistry at Melbourne University. Dentistry was appealing to him due to the eventual self-employment and control of hours as well as ability to pursue interests outside of work including footy and cricket.
In 1967, Michael finished studying Dentistry and in the same year he joined the Victorian Football League (VFL) Hawthorn Football Club playing as ruckman. He retired from the sport in 1971, ending on a high note as the Hawthorn Hawks won the premiership that year. Reflecting on those five years, Michael remembers it as an enjoyable time in his life, especially the camaraderie and training. Being a part of a VFL team “opens you up to experiences you might not otherwise get”.
Living in Chrystobel Crescent, so close to the Glenferrie Oval, Michael has fond memories of the Hawthorn area when a game was on. At that time, the oval was surrounded by a solid wooden fence and kids would ride to the grounds, lean their bikes on the fence so they could stand on their bike seats to peek over and see the game. Trains coming into Glenferrie Station would stop in view of the oval and “watch the game for 10 minutes”.
After Michael and his wife Bernadette were married, the two moved to North Balwyn to start their family and to open Michael’s dentistry practice. They were not in North Balwyn for long because in 1976, when Michael’s parents vacated and planed to sell the Blood family-home in Chrystobel Crescent, Michael and Bernadette decided to purchase the home and moved back to Hawthorn. This was then where Michael and Bernadette raised their three children. After their kids moved out, the two continued living in the family home up until just over a year ago when they downsized, although they still remain in Hawthorn not far from Glenferrie Road.
Michael walks around the local area frequently, visiting shops such as Coles Local or relaxing in Grace Park or the Glenferrie Oval. He notices that the “streets are not well cared for”, often spotting rubbish, weeds and graffiti, and that people generally do not care for the area as they once did. He believes that “council could do more”.
Having been in Glenferrie Hawthorn on and off since 1950, Michael has seen the area evolve. Remembering when the street had two picture theatres, the second was where Coles Local is now, as well as a 10-pin bowling alley in Hawthorn Grove where there is now
an office building. Although there has been “a lot of redevelopment over the years” the area has “grown with the times”.