276 TWENTIETH CENTURY IMPRESSIONS OF BURMA.
Gymkhana Club. Shortly after this meeting Mr. R. R. Macdonald was taken ill, and was compelled to resign, and Mr. W. Crighton, Gymkhana, was elected to fill his place as
honorary secretary and treasurer. In October, 1898, the league took cricket also under its wing. Mr. George Blackstock, of Messrs. Rowe e Company, presented to the league a handsome trophy, known as the Rowe Cricket Shield, which is held by the champion team each year. Mr. A. G. Du Bern, of the Port Defence Athletic Club, was elected honorary secretary for the cricket competitions.
The annual meeting of 1899 marked the separation of the offices of honorary secretary and honorary treasurer, as the work had become too arduous for one officer. Mr. Du Bern, the new secretary, who had represented the Port Defence Athletic Club on the committee since 1896, has continued in the office of honorary secretary ever since, and it is mainly due to his indefatigable efforts that many of the numerous reforms in the association, the title of which was changed at that meeting from the Burma Association Football League into the Burma Athletic Association, have take place. The other officers elected were : President, General Rolland ; vice-president, Mr. R. R. Macdonald ; honorary treasurer, Mr. W. M. Turner.
In 1900 the association decided to organise an athletic meeting, and after much discussion, a change in the constitution of the association was effected, and the first council
was formed. The members were Major R. E. S. Davis, I.M.S., Lieutenants Elliott and Horsfall, and Messrs. Hamilton Price, J. Regan, C. G. Roberts, O. H. McCowen,
and George Wales. The association now began to foster sports of every description.
The programme in that year, therefore, included not only the association football and cricket competitions, but also the first
competitions in rugby football and hockey. To carry out the more ambitious schemes it was felt that a change in the financial policy of the association was advisable. Up to this date there had been no apparent object in the building up of a large reserve fund, so that the balance of the proceeds, after meeting the associationas expenses, were disposed of in charities and in paying each club an honorarium to meet its expenses during the season. The necessity of having their own grounds, however, was brought home to the association with increased force as their programme expanded. Every application of theirs for the use of the maidan had met with courteous attention from the military authorities, the gymkhana and the principal of the Rangoon College ; but still the disadvantages of not having sole control of the ground made themselves felt in various ways. To obtain their own recreation ground, it was necessary, however, for the association to form a reserve fund, and as a first step in this direction, the money hitherto given in charities and to the clubs was withheld. Mr. Du Bern suggested reclaiming the Kandawgalay dhoby tanks and converting them into an athletic field, but his idea was ridiculed, and he was asked to what sports besides swimming and water polo the land could be devoted. He, nevertheless, had soundings taken of the tanks, and found his plan perfectly feasible if funds
were available. Sir Frederick Fryer and Sir Hugh Barnes both sympathised with the scheme, but they left the province before the
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