Maher Cup Centenary
On Tuesday 4 May 1920 Edward John Maher motored into Tumut from Young with his wife Veronica (Ronnie) and three young children to take over the Wynyard Hotel. It was a quality hotel, with staff meeting tourists at the railway and arranged their onward travel up into the Snowy Mountains for fishing and sight-seeing.
Known as E.J. or simply Ted, and aged 32 he was a busy bloke going places. Within a year he had ticked off the following: donated a football cup in his name; captained a local football team; appointed chairman of the Tumut Ramblers Football Club; refereed and ran the line; led the change from union to league; joined the committees of the agricultural society, the turf club and a tennis club; shot at the Tumut Rifle Club, purchased the local Tattersalls licence, and played cricket.
His first love was probably cricket. He became patron of the local club and donated a bat to the Lizards cricket team, for whom he was an excellent batsman and useful bowler. He was reported to be handy at being ‘able to knock up a century or two’ and had taken ‘ten wickets in an innings’. At football he played as a half or centre. He was to played in two Maher Cup matches.
Born at Grant’s Corner outside Woodstock, Maher had establish a farm at Crowther, before swapping it for the local pub, the Calare Hotel in Bendick Murrell. He moved on to the grander Royal Hotel in Young before departing to the hill country. When he left Tumut in 1922 he continued in hotel businesses until his death in 1952.
His sporting cup was purchased in Sydney in 1919. It was much like others that businessmen, and particularly publicans, had long put up in Tumut and elsewhere for mutual promotion. Some other football cups in play in the southwest in 1920 were West Wyalong’s Chigwidden Cup (publican); Shields’ Cup of Barmedman (publican), Monty Mellor Cup, Temora (publican); Junee’s Monsignor Buckley Cup (priest); Murrumburrah’s Bond Memorial Cup (barber); Cootamundra’s E.O. Mangan (storekeeper) and Prentice Cups (publican) and the Albion Cup, Grenfell (hotel). That the Maher Challenge Cup eventually became famous was a matter of timing and good fortune.
 The Lizards were drawn from the northern (sunny) side of Wynyard Street. The opposition were named the Polar Bears.
 Burrowa News, 1 April 1949, p.8., http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article102815059