Olympic Year 1956

(c) Maitre d’Armes Michael A. O’Brien. Use only with permission.Olympic Year 1956 was the commencemt of 32 years coaching in Victoria by Michael A. O’Brien.

Maitre d'Armes Michael A. O'Brien

Maitre d’Armes Michael A. O’Brien

Engaged to coach by: Julius Pollack (Melbourne Fencing Club), Harry Sommerville (Salle Fluret), Andy Szakall (VRI Fencing Club), Hans Steinacher (Swiss Club), Cynthia Letts (Excalibar Club) and The Coach’s Own Club (Sala Bella Vista)

L-R: Michael Sichel vs. Eric Crawford

L-R: Michael Sichel vs. Eric Crawford

L-R: Sommerville vs. Sichel.  Tom Cross (President)

L-R: Sommerville vs. Sichel. Tom Cross (President)

Injuries, Regular, Catastrophic but never serious

Injuries, Regular, Catastrophic but never serious

Joanna Winter vs. Jill Glanville, Judges Denise O'Brien (Left), Michael Sichel (Right)

Joanna Winter vs. Jill Glanville, Judges Denise O’Brien (Left), Michael Sichel (Right)

L-R: Michael O'Brien, Joanna Winter, Helen Seal, Heather Allen, Loraine Hanger, Loraine Skinner, Jill Glanville, Sonya Allen, Annette Igulden

L-R: Michael O’Brien, Joanna Winter, Helen Seal, Heather Allen, Loraine Hanger, Loraine Skinner, Jill Glanville, Sonya Allen, Annette Igulden

L-R: Denise O'Brien and Fencer from Hungary

L-R: Denise O’Brien and Fencer from Hungary

L-R: Nori Minz (NSW), Barbara McCreath

L-R: Nori Minz (NSW), Barbara McCreath

Barbara McCreath Victor over Denise O'Brien (Left), Foreground: Winter Family. (All fencers and spectators from Salla Bella Vista Club)

Barbara McCreath Victor over Denise O’Brien (Left), Foreground: Winter Family. (All fencers and spectators from Salla Bella Vista Club)

L-R: Tom Cross, Denise O'Brien, Joanna Winter

L-R: Tom Cross, Denise O’Brien, Joanna Winter

L-R: Denise O'Brien, Kate Baxter

L-R: Denise O’Brien, Kate Baxter

Barbara McCreath (Left)

Barbara McCreath (Left)

L-R: Denise O'Brien, Joanna Winter (Training)

L-R: Denise O’Brien, Joanna Winter (Training)

L-R: Barbara McCreath, Joanna Winter

L-R: Barbara McCreath, Joanna Winter

L-R: Joy Hardon, Joanna Winter

L-R: Joy Hardon, Joanna Winter

Barbara McCreath (Left), Ruth Barnes (Right) and Andy Szakall (Presiding)

Barbara McCreath (Left), Ruth Barnes (Right) and Andy Szakall (Presiding)

Barbara McCreath unimpressed with president

Barbara McCreath unimpressed with president

Vist by Swiss Club to Roberston House Residents of QLD SBV Members

Vist by Swiss Club to Roberston House Residents of QLD SBV Members

David McKenzie vs. Michael Sichel

David McKenzie vs. Michael Sichel

Local Competition Crawford v Cross

Local Competition Crawford v Cross

L-R: David McKenzie, Brian McCowage, Kate Baxter, Ivan Lund, Keith Hackshall

L-R: David McKenzie, Brian McCowage, Kate Baxter, Ivan Lund, Keith Hackshall

Denise O'Brien and Coach Michael O'Brien Training for 1956 Olympics

Denise O’Brien and Coach Michael O’Brien Training for 1956 Olympics

Geroge Foenander (Regular Australian Foil Finalist) Training with his Coach O'Brien

Geroge Foenander (Regular Australian Foil Finalist) Training with his Coach O’Brien

L-R Back: Tom Cross, Rod Steel, David McKenzie, Michael Sichel, Ray Buckingham. L-R Front: Denise O'Brien, Coach Mtr. O'Brien, H. Hardon, Lois Joseph

L-R Back: Tom Cross, Rod Steel, David McKenzie, Michael Sichel, Ray Buckingham. L-R Front: Denise O’Brien, Coach Mtr. O’Brien, H. Hardon, Lois Joseph

St. Kilda Town Hall

St. Kilda Town Hall

Christian D'Oriola fencing Raymond Paul

Christian D’Oriola fencing Raymond Paul

Christian D'Oriola fencing Raymond Paul

Christian D’Oriola fencing Raymond Paul

Christian D'Oriola fencing Raymond Paul

Christian D’Oriola fencing Raymond Paul

Christian D'Oriola fencing Raymond Paul

Christian D’Oriola fencing Raymond Paul

Four Gold Medallists from Hungary. Left-Right. Gerevich, Kovacs, Karpati, with Manager Piller, 1932 Champion.

Cohen ( U.S.A.) and Kouznetsov ( U.S.S.R.) in the Sabre Team Event.

Mr. Guiseppe Mazzini presents the Medals in the foil teams event.

The Australian Epee Team after its first win. Left- Lund, Hackshall, Van Dijk, and Wolfensohn.

Rylskii (U.S.S.R.) congratulates Gerevich (Hungary) at the sabre teams Victory Ceremony.

The French Sabre Team. From left- Gamot, Lefevre, Morel, Roulot.

Bukantz (U.S.A), left, and Mc Cowage (Australia) during foil team event.

The Italian Team after receiving their foil medals.

In the first round of the epee teams, Lund (Australia) meets Delfino (Italy).

The Italian team their captain after winning the epee teams event.

Pew (U.S.A), Left, and Pavesi (Italy), during their epee bout. Pavesi won the Gold Medal and Pew was equal fourth.

Silver Medallist, Delfino, left, and Carleson of Sweden.

Karpati and Pawlowski, sabre Gold and Silver Medallists.

The three Sabre Medallists. From left- Pawlowski, Karpati, and Kouznetsov.

Kate Delbarre (France), left, competing against Olga Orban (Rumania) in the ladies foil. Orban won Silver Medal.

Gold Medallist, Gillian Sheen, competes against Renee Garilhe (right), winner of the Bronze Medal.

 


17 Responses to “Olympic Year 1956”

  1. amazing pictures….. david McCowage

  2. Truly fabulous images. Most fencing in Australia remains unseen by the general public. !956 was a seminal moment for fencing in Australia.

  3. Michael,

    No I’m a bit too young for that…I’m only 50. However, Harry Somerville was my principal coach, also John Humphreys and John Feathers. It’s rare to see photographs of these people all in one place. Particularly of Olympic competition.

  4. This brings back great memories for me and my time with The Salle Bella Vista and Mike O’Brien.

    • Great to hear from you Jill I will always remember my pupils who gave me so much pleasure to coach You could have been a really top class fencer and enjoyed the same success as Joh and Val . and competed at the olympics No doubt you would have been successful in any vocation .Take care Mike O.Brien

  5. Fantastic collection. Amazing locations around Melbourne too. Other than MTH, I suspect a lot of the architecture in the background no longer exists.
    Where is the shot of “Denise O’Brien and Coach Michael O’Brien Training for 1956 Olympics” taken? Enjoyed the short time that I learned to fence (1968-1969). Cannot remember my coach’s name now, but Harry S sounds familiar.

  6. Hello to all from 1956 Olympics and to present – would anyone have any information – contact details, or photos on JOHN SIMPSON – FENCER from around 1956 (he fenced in 1956 Olympics). JOHN SIMPSON is my Uncle and I am trying to locate / make contact with his family / relatives in Australia OR possibly UK. Many thanks – Jennifer Simpson.

    • Jennifer, I don’t recall John Simpson fencing in the 56 games however I. am sure he did fence in the 1958 Commonwealth games in Cardiff. Hope this is of some help to you.

    • Hi Jennifer, I am presently sitting with John drinking a drop of 12 year old whisky going through past times. He lives three doors down at 1 Vallis Road, Frome Somerset UK
      He would love for you to contact him

    • Jennifer, I work for an organisation called Active and In Touch. I know John would be delighted if you could contact him. If you email me I can put you in touch with one another.

  7. your site revived old memories of fencing in the 50’s and the 56 games which i attended as an official

  8. Hi Mike

    Great photos. I hope you well. I remember with great fondness the years spent training with you and all the great characters at MAOB in 70’s and 80’s.

    All the best Colin MAtthews.

  9. any details on keith hackshall would be appreciated thanks

    • Keith hackshall married my mother Margaret Shelley on Australia Day 1957. They were introduced to each other by Charles Stanmore at the Sydney Fencing Club. Haymarket. Mum still fences.

  10. I am trying to track down information about Joy Hardon for the Australian Olympic Committee. Does anyone know any information that could help me?

  11. I was such a little girl in 1956 but both my brothers were part of the Australian fencing team. It is wonderful to see these photos of David McKenzie. Are there any to be found of Graham McKenzie

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