Sad to report on the demise of another Richmond Old Boy in John Pearson who passed away on 27th November 2015 aged 71 years. There will be a funeral service for John on Wednesday 2nd December 2015 in the Main Chapel of the Morrison Funeral Home, 220 Universal Drive, Henderson, Auckland at 10:00am. Followed by interment at Waikumete Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Melanoma New Zealand.
RICHMOND ROVERS are a mighty Grey Lynn institution and have been for more than a century. So it’s no surprise that they get a chapter all their own in a beautiful new book about the suburb. It’s called The Grey Lynn Book: The Life and Times of New Zealand’s Most Fascinating Suburb. From the area’s origins as a highly valued Maori stronghold to its status as one of the most desirable addresses in the country, it looks at the area’s people, institutions, businesses, traditions and history. Grey Lynn and its colourful stories are brought to life in this large format, full-colour hardback book. This is a book for everyone who loves Grey Lynn or has ever wondered what’s behind its cult status. I have two signed copies of The Grey Lynn Book to give
away. To go in the draw just email email@example.com with the subject line Butcher’s Book.
IF YOU think of Auckland and the Kiwis and North Sydney Bears And the North of England’s Hull rugby league club you get a clue... I am trying not to mention the mighty Richmond Rovers because The Butcher gets up in arms being a Mangere East Hawks tragic...,,team-mates back in the day included fellow Kiwis
Shane Varley and Gus Fepuliae from Richmond The “Finisher” James Leauluai, Gary Kemble and Dane O’hara at Hull and the great Mark Graham at North Sydney.
Oldie but goodie leaguies will know that the clues point to the elder boy of one of our finest league families and one of the most gifted players that ever pulled on a black and white V.
An ex Kiwis captain in 79 and 84 he played 28 tests. He remains the only Kiwi that was undefeated as Captain. He has spent recent years in the USA, Pheonix Arizona on Religious studies...more recently mentoring to dis-advantaged youth and prison inmates from a fitness of spiritual mind aspect plus a fitness of physical and health basis. For those who haven’t guessed yet we are talking about Fred ah Kuoi recently permanently returned to Auckland with his wife Margo and family. One of those football players that had time and space and the ability to put players into that all important gap. I saw players around him grow and improve and expand their visions. Much of the success of Richmond and the Kiwis and indeed the Bears and Hull was built on his guidance and wizardry at stand off. Fred is looking to to re-establish himself back home and explore opportunities in and outside the great game. Sir Peter and Fred are old friends and no doubt you will have an opportunity to catch up with the first five maestro at one of the Butchers fund raising Lunch activities. I was lucky enough to be involved with Fred and his similarly talented and community conscious brothers the late club legend Afi, Peter, Andrew and Paul over several years at our footy home away from home Grey Lynn Park. It’s worth noting that they all still put in the yards down at the park and that no less a contributor to their achievements is the younger sibling Elizabeth who is making a fine fist of managing the Richmond premiers who put the Sharman Cup in the cabinet this season and rise again to The Fox first grade for another tilt. Wikipedia will tell you the full detail of Fred’s achievements but a few minutes in his company serves a better purpose in knowing the man. One of life’s gentlemen and NZ’s (re)gain. Welcome home Fred.
An Ex-Kiwi of the 1950s passed Away 21th November in Whakatane. VERN BAKALICH 86 years old from the Richmond Club. Played 42 times for the Kiwis with 13 Tests between 1954 and 57. In 2013 he was elected to the wing spot in the Richmond Clubs Centenary Team of the Century.
A photo is included of Vern who was a member of the all-conquering 1956 Richmond Seniors that contained no less than 7 current Kiwis. The Captain Cliff Johnson, Tommy Baxter, Vern Bakalich, John Lasher, Jim Riddell, Joe Murray, Sel Belsham to top it off they supplied the Kiwi coach Snow Telford as well.
Vern played 13 test matches for the Kiwis scoring 3 tries during the period of 1953 – 1957 and also took up coaching the Richmond Premier teams. There will be a funeral service for Vern tomorrow on Tuesday 24th November in Whakatane.
A TRIP DOWN MEMORY -JOHN 'HONE' HOLLOWAY
Vern Bakalich one of life's Gentlemen, a really nice guy. Selected at wing for Richmonds Team of the Century in 2013. Richmond, Auckland, NZ Kiwis. Turned to coaching after his playing days. See attached phototheres a few of us in his 66 prems. A pretty impressive line up of suits in this including: Ellis Hoskins, Scotty Miller, Williamson, Lorrigan, happy Harry Dunn, Ray Preston… all good men of the Club. I recall an end of season old boys game versus Prems. A friendly game at Grey Lynn Park that year when I came off the back of a scrum and ran toward Vern who was playing first 5… I was laughing and saying he was too old to catch me when Tommy Baxter spotted me from Centre and pretty much knocked me into the club room car park. When I eventually recovered I told Baxter we had been told to take it easy on the old guys and what was he up to, he said “I never took it easy when I played and I am not starting now.” He was around 40 years old at that point and was still hard as rocks. To give him a break I ran down the blind side for the rest of the game!!! Rod Rowe reminded me that Vern's late wife Faye was a lovely lady as well and I recall her as a stalwart member of the famed Ladies Committees of the 1950s/60’s with Mrs Williams, Rowe, Hoskins, Pearson, Buchan, Tobin, West among others…. wonderful hardworking Maroon and Blue heroes.
Seeking applications from interested parties for the 2016 Season.
The Richmond Rovers rugby league club are currently seeking expressions of interest for coaches and team staff for the under 20s for the 2016 season.
If you are keen to join an infamous Auckland rugby league club developing good people for the future then please register your interest by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or for more information call: 021 360 040
Please include your name, contact details, the grade/s you are interested in and any relevant experience or certifications you have.
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