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Waihora Celebrate Centennial in Style
While Waihora’s 18-9 win against Lincoln in Division 1 made the headlines during Waihora’s centennial recently, it was but one of the highlights.
Perhaps the other highlight of the weekend was the centennial dinner that took place at the Lincoln Events Centre on the Saturday night and which was attended by 450 club members.
At the dinner the 15 centennial jerseys were auctioned off, most going for well over $1,000.
The club was also fortunate to have All Blacks coach Steve Hansen speak. Steve spoke of the importance of club rugby and how it produces the Richie McCaws of tomorrow. He also retold a number of amusing stories, including the reluctance of both him, Wayne Smith and, as it turned out, the All Blacks’ doctor to tell Graham Henry during the 2011 World Cup that Daniel Carter was injured.
When asked why All Blacks squads were named at the Prebbleton club and not Waihora, the All Blacks coach poignantly pointed out that it was due to “two large earthquakes but hopefully we will eventually get there”.
Also of significant interest at the centennial dinner was the selection of the best Waihora side of the last 25 years. Included was current Waihora coach Brent Lewis (who was named captain), current Waihora captain Mark Maitland and local legend prop Willie James. The side also included ex-Canterbury lock Tom Broughton.
On the Friday night the club held a conversazionne at which centennial committee chairman Tom McKay welcomed guests and the relevant toasts were made. The pre-1975 Jubilee Centennial side was also named and the centennial cake cut by the club’s oldest member, John Tobeck.
Then on Sunday the club’s under seven side took on their Lincoln counterparts for the John Thorn Memorial Trophy. That was followed by another local derby with Lincoln, this time the clubs’ Golden Oldies sides meeting.
Centennial organising secretary Murray Dulieu (who performed the same role at the 75th anniversary celebrations) said that the centennial had been 18 months in the organising and had involved a large amount of work.
Murray said members had come from as far away as Australia. He said while Waihora’s 18-9 win against Lincoln was a highlight of the weekend, the growth of the club, especially in the JAB grades, was also cause for ongoing celebration.
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