Former Melbourne High School Old Boys coach and Big V representative coach, Peter Kanis, recently passed away on November 25.
Peter captained the Melbourne High School first eighteen in 1948 and followed his older brother to VFL club Hawthorn, where he played 41 senior games, before having his career affected by injury.
In his final year at the club, he had the honour to lead a Hawthorn team on to the MCG for the club’s first ever VFL finals appearance when the reserves made the finals in 1956. The Hawthorn seniors made the club’s first finals series the next year.
The MHSOB club President in 1966, Alf Keam, convinced Peter to coach his old school side who were then one of the power club’s in A Section. The team lost in the Grand Final by 9 points to Old Paradians, who were the power club of the 1960s, winning multiple flags, the likes of which has only been rivalled by the great Ormond teams of the 80s and Old Xavs in the 90s.
Peter was unable to coach the team in 1967 and was replaced by his lifelong mate from Melbourne High School and Hawthorn, Brian Kann. Peter returned to coach MHSOB in 1968 & 69. Interestingly, his on-field general and B&F winner in those years, was the legendary Jock Nelson, who was later honoured for his playing feats by having the BOG medal in the Premier A Grand Final named after him.
Peter was asked to coach the VAFA representative team in 1969. The team travelled by train to Adelaide for what turned out to be an unsuccessful campaign for the Big V.
Peter is the uncle of current VAFA Chairman George Voyage and former Caulfield Grammarians/University Blues player John Kanis.
The VAFA offers its sincerest condolences to Melbourne High School Old Boys and the family and friends of Peter Kanis.