It is no longer on the club's name. No longer part of the club's logo.
It has been removed from the club's social media accounts. But it can never be erased from the club's history or soul.
And while the National Basketball League may be keen to move on from the decision to remove "Illawarra" from the Hawks' name as part of the relaunch of the club, many fans intend to ensure it is never forgotten.
This is the Illawarra's club.
The Rimmer family of Towradgi are like many families that support the Hawks, vowing to continue to support the club but also pledging to ensure the team's "ILL-A_WAR-RA" chant rings out around the WIN Entertainment Centre when their beloved players are on the floor.
"We love the club and we still want to support them because if we don't, we will lose them," dad Rod Rimmer said.
"But we'll be going to the game yelling out the Illawarra chant and if we all keep doing that we'll send a little message to say we support it and we want it back."
Rod, his wife and Wollongong City councillor Janelle and their sons Cameron (14) and Jordan (16) are season ticketholders of the club and intend to stay that way.
For them, like many Illawarra families, going to games has become a family tradition.
Also like many of the Hawkheads, Rod started gong to Hawks games with his parents when they played at the Snakepit.
That is the history and the longevity, which the NBL's only remaining foundation club can boast and fans are keen to ensure is maintained and recognised under the new ownership.
"At first I was really disappointed about getting rid of the name," Rod said.,
"Every other club has where they are from why get rid of the Illawarra? Your first thoughts are they are trying to get rid of of the club, but you move on and you think about it and they are trying to entice more fans to our club."
Chris Brettell is part of a family which is considered Illawarra Hawks' royalty.
His father Peter was the original chairman of the local basketball association when it owned the club and was not only instrumental in getting the club into the NBL but also instrumental in helping secure the funding for the construction of the club's game day home, the WIN Entertainment Centre.
Chris, like his mate and last season's club coach Matt Flinn, not only grew up around the club but also ended up playing with the club.
Chris played 39 games between 1990-93 and his brother Jason also played 69 games for the club.
Now living in Brisbane where he is head of insurance product for RACQ, Chris still remains a passionate fan on the club and even sat on the bench alongside Flinn and assistant coach Eric Cooks during a game in Brisbane last season.
While he too is disappointed with the loss of the name "Illawarra", he's urging fans to show their allegiance to the club and to wear that allegiance proudly to help rebuild the club.
"I don't care whether it's on your hat or your tatt, shout it from the rooftops," Chris said.
"I liken it to the positive upside of hardcore British soccer fans. The chanting and singing, it doesn't matter where it comes from and let's really own that as a club.
The rhymes and chants, the old-school Illawarra chant drowns out all manners of evil. I'd like to see us channel that passion and spirit.
I don't care whether it's on your hat or your tatt, shout it from the rooftops.Chris Brettell
"There is a lot of upside to this. This is a great club, a foundation club with a lot of history, and a great coach in Brian Goorjian and now you have to live up to it as a fan. Put the game first, don't hide away. Say 'I'm a Hawks fan and I'm gonna tell people about it'.
"Hawks fans are die hard fans. I'm a Hawks fans and we support our club no matter what and now we need lots of people to support us."
Whitlam MP Stephen Jones has been one Hawkhead making an impassioned plea to the NBL for the return of the "Illawarra" to the Hawks.
This week, the NBL provided a written response to Mr Jones in which NBL Commissioner Jeremy Loeliger said the league "has continued to support a team in the region at considerable expense when the vast weight of economic analysis would suggest that we ought to do otherwise".
Mr Loeliger said new owners had "committed significant capital to supporting a team that many others would have simply taken elsewhere".
"The change of name is not unprecedented," he said.
"The club has changed names in the past, going from Illawarra, to Wollongong and back again, in order to appeal to a greater fan base. What has endured since 1979, and will continue to endure, is the name the Hawks."
Fans will also ensure the Illawarra name stays with the Hawks as well.
ED SPACE: Let's chant of 'ILL-A-WAR-RA' at the start of every home game
ILL-A-WAR-RA. Clap clap, clap clap clap.
The chant starts with a few, it builds and then it reverberates around the entire stadium.
It's a chant that fans of the Illawarra Hawks basketball club have come to know and love.
Heard at the end of the game, it usually means the opposition team is walking out of the WIN Entertainment Centre as a loser. The chant makes the hairs rise and the goosebumps appear.
Admittedly it wasn't heard a whole lot last season ... except the win over Sydney on New year's Eve .... except the win over Sydney on New year's Eve. That wasn't a mistake, I just wanted to say it twice.
There are moments in sport that defy sport. These moments mean more than just a contest between two teams or individuals.
When the Illawarra chant rings out in means you are part of a tribe. You are a Hawkhead.
You love the Illawarra as the foundation club of the National Basketball League and you love the region the side represents.
That does not disappear with the simple removal of the name of the Illawarra from the club's name and brand. You can call a duck a chicken but it is still a duck. The Hawks are still the Illawarra Hawks whether the league refers to them as that or not.
So today and forever more hear this plea: Let's make it known just whose team these Hawks are.
Firstly, stick by the team. This team needs your love and support now more than ever before. The new owners clearly want to make a difference and an impact. No-one could argue against that after the signing of the Greatest of All-Time coach in Brian Goorjian.
Secondly, make that support known. Turn up to the games, buy the gear, support the players and share that love on every social platform you have whether that be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TicTok, :Linkedin, Pinterest, YouTube or Tinder.
Thirdly, shout "ILL-A-WAR-RA" from the rooftops at the start of every Wollongong home game.
Ed Space is a weekly column by Illawarra Mercury editor Julian O'Brien