RIP Laurie Heil 1939-2016

It is with sadness I report the passing of Laurie Heil, the man behind the idea that the Randwick and Petersham-Marrickville clubs should merge. Laurie died on Thursday 8 December at his home following a recent surgical procedure. He was 77.

In the year 2000 Laurie was in his third term as CEO of the old Randwick club and was heavily involved in the battle to save the club which looked like being axed under the NSW Cricket Association proposal to reduce the number of clubs. He came up with the plan to head off extinction by merging with Petersham-Marrickville which was also under threat. A bold suggestion, but with 16 years hindsight, one which proved to be a stroke of genius.

Originally a policeman from Western Australia, Laurie had a great interest in cricket and was involved with the start-up of the Sydney Coastal Cricket Club in 1991 where he went on to coach both David Warner and Usman Khawaja as juniors. He then took over as Hon Secretary of the South Eastern Junior Cricket Association before heeding the call from Randwick in 1998 to join the club as its CEO.
During his three years in that role he was instrumental in the success of the Randwick Centenary celebrations as well as suggesting the creation of a formal supporters group. That was the start of what is now known as the Randwick Petersham “Legends”. Laurie was its first Hon Secretary, a role he also performed on the Centenary Celebrations Sub-Committee.

When the merger eventuated, it was no surprise that Laurie Heil was installed as Randwick Petersham’s first CEO in 2001-02. However, a workload which required his presence interstate for lengthy periods restricted his ability to perform the role to the high standard he had established and he was forced to stand down and sever his administration links after that first season.

Laurie remained a keen supporter of the club and a member of the Legends for a number of years before he moved away from Sydney to Lake Heights on the South Coast near Shellharbour where he remained until his passing. He continued his association with cricket in the Illawarra area and this season, as he had been for the past three summers, was both the senior and junior coach of the Northern Districts Cricket Club at Woonona. He was preparing to run a coaching school in the area over the upcoming Christmas holidays.

An enthusiastic worker for cricket, Randwick Petersham owes him a great debt of gratitude for his foresight and imagination. The success of Randwick Petersham Cricket is testimony to his innovation and dedication.

RIP Laurence V Heil.

Funeral arrangements will be advised when known.

Lyall Gardner
9 December 2016

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