Home' The Mirror Central Otago : April 17th 2013 Contents 17.4.13
Wine and rugby: Jubilee committee member Bob Perriam, left, holds the commemorative wine which will be for sale,
while fellow committee members Joss and Trevor Leyser hold some of the club's banners.
Brothers in boots: The Cromwell
seven-a-side team, made up of the
Colling and Clark brothers, which won
the Middlesex Cup Sevens title, in
1971. Back row, from left: John, Don,
Leigh and Lyn Colling. Front row, from
left: Richard, Don and Tony Clark.
Historical club: The 1888 Bannockburn Football Club. Back row, from left: J
Menzies (president), T Lawrence, G Lawrence, G Murchie, W Robertson, C
Tippett. Front row, from left: A Horn (sitting on ground), A Hawkes, J Horn, W
Strong (captain), J Burrows, H Parcell, T Torrance (sitting on ground).
By EMMA DAWE
Two of Cromwell's best known
rugby families, who between
them produced two All Blacks and
several representative players,
will be well represented at the
Cromwell Rugby Club's 125th
jubilee next weekend.
Five of the seven members of the
Clark and Colling families, who
all played rugby in the district,
including former All Black Don
Clark, are expected to attend the
They'll be among around 200
people at the jubilee, which will
also feature former Wallaby Nick
Farr-Jones as the guest speaker,
an auction of old-style jerseys and
the current Cromwell team taking
on Upper Clutha for the John
Planning for the jubilee, which
also includes Bannockburn and
Lowburn, as they had their own
clubs for many years, started 18
months ago, with a small but
dedicated committee led by club
stalwart John Fitzgerald.
Another club stalwart, Trevor
Leyser, who played more than 230
games for the club, has, along
with his wife Joss, produced a
book about the club's history,
which will be for sale.
Wine which has been produced
for the jubilee and commemorat-
ive wine glasses will also be on
Committee member Bob Perriam
said a special part of the club's
history was during the construc-
tion of the Clyde Dam, which saw
the population of Cromwell peak
at around 5000 people. The
workers and their families boo-
sted the club's numbers, which
meant it could field an under-20
team, a senior team, two premier
teams, a golden oldies team and a
The club has had many successes
in its 125-year history, with the
most recent seeing the 2007 team,
which had 38 players in its wider
squad, win every trophy on offer --
only three other Cromwell teams
have achieved that feat.
Another success saw the 1968
team travel to Australia, where it
won four out of its five games.
Mr Perriam said the trip was
organised by his late father,
Charlie, at the invitation of some
Australian players -- the team was
the only Cromwell team to have
At least 12 of those players will be
at the jubilee, and will have their
own separate reunion at Bendigo
Cromwell, and surrounding dis-
tricts, was much like many
country clubs in New Zealand,
where membership fluctuated
depending on the number of
young men in town at the time,
Mr Perriam said.
He believed there would have
been many talented players in the
early days who wouldn't have
been considered for higher rugby
honours, either because they lived
too far away from Cromwell, or,
during the war years, they were
away fighting. But it was almost
the reverse today, as the talented
players needed to leave Cromwell
to succeed at a higher level.
Mrs Leyser said one of the club's
highlights was in 1999, when the
All Blacks, coached by John Hart,
were supposed to be training in
Queenstown, but had to come to
Cromwell instead because it had
snowed in Queenstown.
The training session, at Anderson
Park, was supposed to be a secret,
but a young boy saw them and
spread the word -- and about 300
people turned up to watch them,
Mrs Leyser said.
Some of the All Blacks included
Jonah Lomu, Jeff Wilson, Taine
Randall, Christian Cullen and
While the players didn't stick
around to sign autographs, it was
just one of many memorable
moments in the club's history.
Anyone wanting to register for the
jubilee can do so by phoning
021 247 3505 or emailing
Epic race returns to lakeside
By JESSICA MADDOCK
On two wheels: Adventure racing
legend Steve Gurney competes in the
Contact Epic mountain bike race,
which returns to Hawea this weekend.
Entries in this year's Contact Epic
mountain bike races at Hawea
have risen a whopping 40 per cent.
Director Danielle Nicholson said
840 riders had entered the three
races this weekend -- the 125km
Contact Epic, the 95km Classic
and the new 35km Traverse.
The Contact Epic circum-
navigates Lake Hawea, starting
and finishing in Hawea township,
the Classic starts at Kidds Bush
on the shores of Lake Hawea and
finishes in Hawea.
The Traverse also starts and
finishes in Hawea but follows the
Clutha and Hawea rivers instead
of the lake edge.
More than half the entries are in
the longest race.
Nicholson is attributing the leap
in interest to the new, shorter race
option, the Traverse, and growing
awareness about the event.
It gives the public the chance to
ride through the Hunter Valley
and Dingle Burn high country
stations, with past events attract-
ing riders aged 16 to 73.
''It's on people's bucket list now --
they've had a few years to plan
Nicholson said there was a
marked increase in the number of
Christchurch and Australian
riders entering the races this year
and the new Traverse event had
attracted entries from as far as
Hong Kong and New York.
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