June 2010

Patron Bob Sorenson officially opens new clubrooms

On Thursday June 24, 2010, patron Bob Sorenson cut the red Barbarian ribbon, officially opening our new clubrooms.

Life members and their wives were also present along with many special guests including the chairman of the Eden Park Trust John Waller and, from the NZRU, director Gerard Van Tilborg. The master of ceremonies for the evening was immediate past president Phil Lindesay, while past president, the late Mike Cormack, and this writer also spoke.

It was an evening to remember, an evening that will go down in the annals of the club. Over 100 Barbarian members, wives and guests enjoyed the ambience of our new international-class facilities. The design of the rooms and suites by well-known architect Neil Cotton has created an environment that links the past with the present and onto the future. Yes, we have our heritage in our historical photographs, stain glass windows and memorabilia, but these clubrooms bring us to the threshold of the 21st century. These international facilities are ‘modern’. The snug area for the members’ wives and guests where they can enjoy a wine or their own plunge coffee or even just to sit in the comfort of the leather chairs, watch TV or enjoy a book from the library is very special. Well known interior designer Anna Foss nee Fitzpatrick, daughter of the late BBJ and Louise, sister of Sean, spent many hours on choosing the colours, the design, the fabrics, et cetera to create a special Barbarian ambience for the club.

The Ladore Trophy for middleweight rugby was also presented to the club on the evening and we thank Norm Bennett for his kind gesture.

When you visit the clubrooms, you can view the magnificent new honours board donated by the late Pat Walsh’s wife Noeline and son Mark Walsh. Our Barbarian crest on the honours board was carved by the former Maori All Black Fred Graham.

On the evening it is worthy to note that members stayed longer than normal as many stories were shared, and games revisited, with two former All Blacks, Bernie McCahill and Ron Williams, chewing the fat and enjoying a fine bottle of red into the late hours of the night.

To all members, please ensure you visit your club. Come and enjoy the facilities that you will be very proud to use and proud to bring your guests to.

John A Mills
(President 2010-11)