Report from the House Manager:
1. Varsity club night, Friday May 22
As always, the Varsity crew never let the opportunity to party slip them by.
At about 4.30pm, the President of the NZRU Ian MacRae and another Hawke’s Bay All Black, Blair Furlong, popped in for a very quick drink before dinner. A few drinks later the Varsity boys began to collect. A few more drinks later the Varsity band struck up. Ian and Blair decided to delay their departure a little longer. Dave Harrop was on fiddle and Bob Burnes on guitar. ‘Beegee’ Williams was unable to make it but his place was taken very ably by Mark Eklund, the father of the Varsity skipper, Kurt Eklund. Ian and Blair abandoned all their evening plans. They were the last two to leave.
Good to have all the usual Varsity figures, including Rob Fisher and Helen. Speeches were made between songs. Neil Cullimore made a very good speech marking the presence of Ian and Blair and a very particular mention of the presence of Mike Cormack’s wife Ruth. I had taken Ruth through into the Mike Cormack suite and showed her Mike’s portrait. She was very moved. She had no idea it was there.
Rob Fisher responded on behalf of Varsity and then Ian spoke, saying how the good old days of rugby and song had been lost. But to find it alive and well at a Varsity function at the Baabaas’ clubrooms warmed the cockles of his heart. I feel a fine report on the NZ Barbarians will go back to Wellington.
2. NZ professional players meet at the clubrooms, Saturday May 23
What an exceptional couple of days for the club.
Despite the dreadful conditions, the club house was full and buzzing. In fact, because of the dreadful weather a great number decided to remain in the bar and watch it on TV, adding substantially to our bar takings. We had made space for the NZ Rugby Players’ Association gathering. They all had tickets for the match but most decided to stay in the bar. They were led by their secretary Tim Weston, and included many well-known players. I have encouraged them to come each year and we had much positive feedback in that regard from their group last night. A special mention to Mereana Wynyard and Trina Seits for feeding 25 of them all at once as well as looking after our own members and guests. The Irish stew made it back onto the menu and, on a cold wet night, was well received.
Dylan Mika had his own group who also contributed in a big way to the takings – big people with big thirsts. Dylan was graciously happy to move from his possie at the bar to make room for the NZRPA. In his group was DJ Forbes, an unbelievably humble gentleman.
Good to have Tom Johnson with us as well, accompanied again by the same two gentlemen from Hawke’s Bay, Blair Furlong and Ian MacRae, who feel very strongly that they have found the perfect watering hole.
Auckland Fun Day, Sunday May 17
Another outstanding effort by Ron Williams in getting 40 schools and about 800 kids and parents organised, with considerable assistance from Jarrod Syman (Auckland Rugby regional development co-ordinator – primary schools). We had about 50 Barbarian members on hand to help getting the kids to their games, then to their photo (thanks once again to photographer Matt Klitscer) then to the Milo truck (a big thank you to Nestle NZ), then to the BBQ (thanks to Colin Davis at Onsite Catering and what superbly cooked sausages they were, with a special mention to Meimei Peters), then to the prizegiving (every team received a gear bag and football thanks to Canterbury NZ). Although there was no competition, there was a prize for the best dressed mother (might have been grandmother).
We had a couple of injuries. Nothing major, so our docs/physios Graham Paterson, Malcolm Hood and Grant Coe had a bit of work to do. Fantastic having such an experienced medical team on hand.
Almost a complete Blues squad, led by Keven Mealamu, turned out (including the injured Jerome Kaino and Steven Luatua) and great to see the guys supporting this event. The kids just love getting autographs and getting their photos taken with the Blues team members.
Peter Thompson (Barfoot & Thompson) once again stepped up as the major sponsor, so thanks Pete and well done Fiona on spending the morning at Ngataringa Bay.
Bay of Plenty Fun Day, Wednesday June 17
We are looking for a good turnout of members for the BOP Fun Day being held on Wednesday June 17 at Paengaroa Domain, Eastern Bay of Plenty.
If you would like to attend and require accommodation you should contact Ron Williams on 021-908-610 by Wednesday June 3. Once Ron has a list of names requiring accommodation for the night, he needs to let Ray Reardon know and he will make arrangements.
Golf vs the Eagles
We have once again been invited to put a team together to play the Eagles. A date has tentatively been set for Sunday June 14 at Muriwai GC. We need to confirm whether we have a team or not by Friday May 29, so if you are available on June 14 can you send back a reply email and if we get sufficient replies to put a team together a confirmation email will be sent on Tuesday June 2.
Following are the Friday nights for May/June:
May 29 – clubroom not open due to private function
June 5 – Marist club night (tentative) Garry Walters to confirm
June 19 – Ponsonby club night
If you would like your club included, just give Dean Paddy a call on 0274-405-952 to arrange a date.
1. Major games at Eden Park are:
Saturday June 6 @ 7:35 – Blues vs Crusaders
Friday June 12 @ 7:35 – Blues vs Highlanders
Saturday July 18 @ 7.35 – NZ Barbarians vs NZ Maori
Saturday August 15 @ 7.35 – All Blacks vs Wallabies 7
2. Friday June 12 – Webb Ellis luncheon at Eden Park.
Please let Jenna McCarthny: jenna.McCarthny@aucklandrugby.co.nz or 09-815-4833 know if you will be attending. Tickets cost $100 including GST.
3. Wednesday June 17 – Bay of Plenty Schools Fun Day
From the wards:
Sir ‘DJ’ Graham spent seven days in hospital recently but he couldn’t stand the place and I’m delighted to report that he was seen on the sideline at Colin Maiden Park last Saturday.
Young Dave Dalgleish had a fall at Williams Park 10 days ago and broke his femur. His wife Verleen tells me that he is making slow progress but still in the orthopaedic ward at Middlemore, so get well Dave. The Grammar TEC (Dave was part of the T in TEC) club needs you back now that they have made the top eight round of Auckland premier club rugby.