SRFC Old Members Day – Sat 18th May

All members, past and present,  are invited to our annual ‘old members day’ reunion to be held on Saturday 18th May from 1pm onwards.

The Premier 2’s will be playing the curtain raiser at 1pm v Taieri. The main game will be the Roy Nieper Memorial Trophy between our Premiers and Taieri.  Both games can be watched from the comfort of the Clubrooms, while enjoying a drink and complimentary nibbles throughout the afternoon. Our Magpie Colts have an away game at 1pm against Alhambra Union at North Ground.

A highlight of of the day  will be the reunion of the 1970’s Southern team that toured Australia. They are claiming it as a 50 year reunion….as Billy Somerville said “we started fundraising in 1969”.  About 15 or 16 of that touring group will attend with a full afternoon of activities organised, including a meal,  and a team photo with the Ranfurly Shield being present in the Club. 

Our Junior rugby teams will play their games at 10am, and will get the opportunity to have photos with the Shield afterwards.

Please pass on this date to fellow club members who don’t read our Website, Facebook, or are on our mailing list. The more who can get along the merrier.

Jimmy Darling Memorial Service, SRFC Clubrooms 8th April, 2pm

Jimmy Darling (right) with Ian Stevens after the Premiers won the VG Cavanagh in 2017. Ian and Jimmy played in the original Cavanagh match.

It was with great sadness that we learned of Jimmy Darling’s death last week. On Monday 8th April at 2pm a Memorial Service will be held in the Southern RFC Clubrooms. Members are encouraged  to wear their Club colours to this.

Jimmy suffered a severe heart attack after going home from Alan Steven’s funeral at the Clubrooms on Tues 26th March and despite full medical support he didn’t recover and passed away on Sunday 31st March with family at his side.

Jimmy was a popular Club supporter with a great knowledge of rugby, he had enjoyed watching the Premiers beat University only a few days prior to his heart attack. Jimmy was our second oldest Honorary Vice President and served the Club in many ways over his 60+ years at the Club.

He first played for Southern in the early 1950’s. He was in the Premier team from  1955 to 1960 as Fullback and then back in 1965.

1958 played in the first V.G. Cavanagh game.

1960 SRFC Championship winning team

Otago 1955 – 3 games for Otago XV, 1957 – 12 games, 1958 – 2 games, 1965 – 2 games for Otago XV.  Total for Otago – 19 games.

Played in the winning Ranfurly Shield game 1957 v Wellington with Iain Stevens and Lindsay Townsend from Southern.

Played for North Otago from Kurow Club 1962 – 8 games, 1963 – 5 games, including playing in 1962 victory over Australia 14-13.

The 1962 Almanac described him as a safe and dependable Custodian and a valuable last line of defence.

Elected Hon Vice President in 1967 (although name then disappeared for a couple of years).

In 1983 he started his coaching career at the Club as coach of Colts with Russell Nieper and Mike Thompson. In the early 90’s he assisted Tony Gilbert with University A which had a lot of the star studded Otago team at the time.

1993/94/95 Assistant Coach of Senior B with Roger Brocklebank that won the title in 1994.

1996 Club Selector

Our thoughts are with wife Yvonne and daughters Kim, Vicki, Jacqui and their families at this time.  We will miss Jimmy and always remember the huge contribution he made to our club.
~Once a Magpie, Always a Magpie~

Alan Stevens – Southern Rugby Identity Farewelled

Alan Stevens (1934-2019) had his final farewell when his funeral service was held in the Clubrooms last week. The Club was at its 300 capacity with family, friends and Club members from near and far honoring Alan and his family.

Sons Wayne, Ross and daughter in-law Cindy all spoke of fond memories of times with Alan and the great father and husband he was, while also outlining his more recent battle with dementia. Older brother Ian (SRFC Patron and Life Member) gave the early history of Alan and recalled good memories of family times, and outlined their initial association with the rugby club.
Eion Willis a fellow member like Alan of both Southern RFC and the St Clair Bowling Club spoke about what Alan had devoted to both Clubs and his absolute commitment to everything he undertook.

Alan, or Stevie as he was affectionately known, was one of Southerns great Club men serving at the highest level as a player, coach and administrator.

Alan joined Southern from Kings High in 1949 – so was a member for 70 years! He progressed through the grades to become the Senior teams halfback in 1953 through until 1962 with the exception of 1956 and 1957 when Lindsay Townsend, an All Black, was the senior halfback.
He played in the first V.G. Cavanagh game in 1958. He played 13 games for Otago in 1958 and 59 and formed a formidable combination with his brother Ian who played 40 games for Otago as a hooker.

Alan took up coaching on his retirement and in 1964 with Bruce Amas coached the Colts team to win the competition.
He coached Third Grade from 1965 to 1967.
In 1968 he was promoted to the Premiers with Dave Smith as his assistant and together they coached the Premiers for the next 8 years.
During this time they won the Championship in 1969, 1972 and 1975.

Alan became an Otago selector and coach in 1978-79

Southern RFC:
Committee 21 years
Elected President in 1976-77
Life Member in 1981
Patron 2011 – 2014

Throughout his time at Southern he received great support from wife June, and his sons Ross, Wayne and Barry all played at Southern and are still strong supporters of the Club.

Alan will be sadly missed by all, but good memories will remain.