We have had a very busy year as a committee and have achieved a lot. The club has been very well supported and is in good spirits.
I would like to acknowledge the passing of some great Barbarian members. They will be sadly missed: our patron Jack Bourke, Mike Cormack, Sir Wilson Whineray, and Bob Scott. These gentlemen played a significant role in our club. It was also sad to see the passing of two great rugby men and Barbarians in Sir Fred Allen and Jock Hobbs.
The 75th Jubilee celebration was a very special night with a tremendous turnout of members and friends. The formal part of the evening was well run by Willie Los’e and Murray Deaker and the five knights were exceptional. The organising committee did a great job and we can all be proud of the evening we presented.
Secondary Schools Rugby
We sponsored the national Top 4 boys’ secondary schools and the Top 4 co-ed schools tournaments for the seventh year, in Rotorua. The format changed with the grand final moving a week later to St Kentigern College for SKY TV purposes.
St Kent’s was a worthy winner over Otago Boys’ High School. This is a very well coached young team, with 17 players returning for 2013. The new format certainly ensured good local support with a good number of Barbarians present at the match.
New Zealand Secondary Schools asked the club early in the year if we would sponsor a second NZ Secondary Schools team. The NZRU wants to widen the experience level from the top 26 players to the top 52. We accepted the offer as it was a great opportunity to have the red jersey on TV, as both games were televised on the Rugby Channel. It was a great team, beating Australian Schools 24-5 and Samoan Schools 70-6. We were fortunate to have six year 12 players who were not allowed in the top team under a new NZRU ruling on player burnout. Those players were the difference in the team.
The NZRU has since commented on the great success of the Barbarians team and was extremely impressed with our input. Our main sponsors in secondary schools rugby have been: The Four Winds Trust, North and South Trust and Infinity Trust. They have been invaluable in helping develop our future All Blacks in years to come.
We continued our support of Under 85kg restricted (middleweight) rugby in 2012. We held our annual representative tournament at the College Rifles club with five teams this year. Auckland, North Harbour, Thames Valley, Waikato and the Wellington Centurions all participated. Wellington won the title in its first year and was a worthy champion.
Live Sport Radio sponsored the tournament and the Auckland Rugby Union helped run the tournament superbly. Bryan Craies and Dean Allnutt kept an eye on proceedings. Bryan has been honoured for all his work in the middleweights with a cup to be named after him, to be played for by the top Auckland and Harbour teams in a pre-season competition in 2013.
It was the 23rd annual Fun Day and it continues to be a success.
Fine weather, great organisation by Ron Williams and Roger Moore and the Blues team making a real effort, ensured a good day for all the primary schools involved. We are looking to move the format to other provinces and are talking to Bay of Plenty at the moment.
We will discuss the day with the Wasps and hopefully work with them on the selected date. Peter Thompson from Barfoot and Thompson continues to sponsor the Fun Day. We are indebted to Peter for his support of the club. Peter was also a major sponsor for the jubilee dinner.
Glengarrys have become our liquor sponsor. They provided wine sponsorship for the jubilee dinner and have provided a very generous discount card to all financial members this year. Rodd and Gunn have provided excellent casual gear at a reduced rate as well.
Club nights at the clubrooms
The atmosphere in the club has been great this year. All the games were well supported by the members and the work done by Dean Paddy and Moana, Bryan and Kevin has been outstanding. The food menu has worked well. Tremendous support from Julian at Eden Park Catering made things easier from the start. It was a new initiative and it has gone well.
Sleepy’s Corner, named after Don Cameron and his incredible journalistic input to rugby, fits well in the club environment and the Mike Cormack Memorial Suite is a fine memorial to a great Barbarian who worked tirelessly for the club and its relocation.
Strategic Plan/Northern Tour
We now have an updated 3-5 year strategic plan on our website and the current committee will address the plan on a regular basis to ensure we are implementing the objectives set.
One of our major objectives is to get games for the Barbarians on the international scene. We have submitted a paper and budgets to the NZRU for a northern tour and are currently discussing the viability with their strategic and commercial people.
A special thank you to our hard-working committee over a very busy year.