MACCABI Victoria inducted eight people into its Hall of Fame on Tuesday night at a gala event held at Brighton International.
More than 350 people turned out for the five-yearly event, which also saw existing members Kurt Defris and Robby Foldvari elevated to legend status.
Maccabi Victoria also handed out its annual awards on the night.
Guest speaker was former Common wealth Games gold Medallist Steve Moneghetti, who spoke about goal-setting, and there were tributes to Hall of Fame members who had died in recent years, including Leon Haskin, Morris Ashkanasy and John Brustman.
Defris was a trailblazer, starting the Hakoah soccer club in Melbourne and running the Hakoah Table Tennis Club for many years. Defris, who died in 1982, went on to hold a senior position in the Victorian Soccer Federation and became vice-president of the Victorian Table Tennis Association, as well as president of the Victorian Ice Hockey Association. He was an official for the Olympic Games in Melbourne in 1956 and was honored with an Order of Australia Medal in 1979.
Foldvari is on of Australia’s most decorated billiards and snooker players with countless international championships to his name. He dominated the domestic scene in the late 1980s and early 1990s and went on to win the World Professional Billiards Championship in 1986.
The elevation of Foldvari and Defris brings to four the number of legends with Basil Isaacs and Suzy Javor elevated in 2000.
Former Matilda Tal Karp was the only athlete to be induced into the Hall of Fame with seven of the eight spots going to administrators. Current MAI president Lisa Borowick, was inducted along with Joe Aarons, Tom Danos, Mark Feldy, Jeffrey Jankie, David Smorgon and David Sonenberg.
North Caulfield Maccabi rising star Ashley Brown took out the Club Junior Sportsperson of the Year, while another soccer player, Alon Blumgart, claimed the Club Sportsperson of the Year gong.
The Masters Sportsperson of the Year award went to Harry Szmerling of the Maccabi Toastmasters Club, Sean Berman took out the Junior Sportsperson of the Year award, while lawn bowler Gail Nadelman was named Masters Sportsperson of the Year.