1963 1st XV 50 Years On

August 19, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Prior to 1st XV 1A semi-final against King’s, the College welcomed back some very special guests  - members of the 1963 1st XV and their wives - for a luncheon held in the Jack Paine Centre. Guest of honour was the first Deputy Head and Coach of the 1963 team, Jack Paine along with his wife, Beverly.

The venue proved to be a superb choice with winter sun streaming in to warm the atrium. The group marvelled at the new art facilities developed since their era before sitting down for a convivial lunch, the first time back at College for some.

Organiser, Graham Mathieson was pleased to bring the group together. Of the original team, three had no contact details and Michael Stevens and Grant Rope have sadly passed away but eleven former players who lived outside Auckland or overseas responded to send their good wishes. Ray Barker, father of Dean Barker, was unable to attend as he was supporting his son and Team New Zealand in the Americas Cup in San Francisco!

As the Old Collegians executive members were attending the Sydney Reunion, John Gilbert joined the lunch to report on the success of this year’s London Reunion, commenting in particular on the positive impact that the College Pipes and Drums made on the night of the dinner.

Jack Paine was called on to speak and despite his advancing years, his wit proved to be as razor sharp as ever! He told the ‘boys’ that he hoped they had wiped their feet before they came in and to meet him out on the paddock after lunch for a team practice! Much discussion ensued about the current form of the game compared to 50 years ago – they were the first to admit that with 5 wins, 2 draws and 9 losses, they certainly were no match for the 2013 1st XV! Graham Mathieson said that his only personal claim to fame was reputedly being the first Saint Kentigern player to score a try against Auckland Grammar.

As the lunch wrapped up and the group prepared to go and watch the game, both Ken Graham and Jock Anderson said they had not returned to the College in the last 50 years and they acknowledged that it was their loss. They were amazed by what they now see and it has spurred them to maintain their contact. We now look forward to seeing them at future events!

The Old Collegians Association would like to thank Mrs Glennis Pearson for her work preparing the venue.

In attendance: Ian (Jock) Anderson, Ken Graham, Greg Jackson, Mike Lack (Captain), Graham Mathieson, Craig Pollock, John Sherlock, John (Sam) Andrews and Jack Paine (Coach)

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