The Eastlake Demons were established 1991, via a merger of the Eastlake Football Club and the Manuka Football Club.
The Federal Territory Australian Rules Football League was just two years old when the Eastlake Football Club first emerged on the scene in 1926. The club comprised chiefly of local tradesmen, many of whom had moved to Canberra from the southern states.
During world war two, Eastlake combined briefly with Manuka, becoming known for a time as ‘City’.
Between 1962 and 1966 Eastlake dominated the Canberra football scene as no team, before or since, has done. Playing a strong, aggressive style of football, and boasting a formidable defence, the side was never severely tested in 5 consecutive grand finals. Future VFL champion Alex Jesaulenko was a member of three of these premiership winning Eastlake combinations.
After losing three consecutive grand finals between 1982 and 1984 the club began to struggle, and in 1991 the oldest surviving ACTAFL club entered into a merger agreement with Manuka which spawned the establishment of the Southern District Demons.
Manuka Oval, Manuka Circle, Manuka
Manuka is an area in the Inner South district of Canberra, covering parts of the suburbs of Griffith and Forrest. The precinct is named after Manuka Circle, the street which forms the northern boundary of the precinct. Manuka Circle was on Walter Burley Griffin’s original plan for Canberra and is named after the New Zealand tea tree, Mānuka.
1928, 1930, 1933-34, 1937, 1942, 1945, 1948, 1957, 1960, 1962-63-64-65-66, 1972, 1976, 1978, 2001