Local District Past Residents
Anderson Rd, Sunshine
The reserve is named after Kenneth "Ken" George Chaplin, a Sunshine Councillor.
The site was owned by Victorian Railways. The land was reserved for railway purposes with the original intent to build a train maintenance facility there as it was located in an idea location, at the junction of the Ballarat, Bendigo & Melbourne rail lines.
Prior to the land becoming a reserve, H.V. McKay used the and for testing his harvester machines. The general public also use ground as a short cut to gain access to the Devonshire Road pedestrian bridge.
When the ground officially opened on the 23rd April 1938, it was known as Sunshine Gardens Sports Reserve but the locals called it the Gardens Reserve.
At the official opening there was about 1500 people in attendance. As part of the celebrations the Sunshine Football Club made the bold move of transferring its headquarters from Selwyn Park. New club rooms and a grandstand were built for the club.
For many years the Sunshine Football & Cricket Clubs used the ground for their home games. More recently from 1980 to 2015 it was the home ground for the George Cross Soccer Club.
In 1997, the Victorian State Government sold the Chaplin Reserve to the Sunshine George Cross Soccer Club on the condition it remains as a sports ground but in 1997 the reserve was sold to developers despite protests from the local community.
The developers are planning a housing unit development on the site
Ref: Sunshine Advocate 29th April 1938
Aerial Photo:Google Maps