New Life Member – Blair Crawford
At the 2015 Southern Rugby Football Club AGM Blair Crawford was made a Life Member which was thoughly deserved, attended by probably the largest turn out in years and enjoyable day was had by all which finally wound up at 11:00pm that night
Speech for the induction by Gareth Woodhouse
It is a privilege to be standing here talking about my mates
I am not going to stand up here and reel off a bunch of dates although there are some dates that are important
Being a son of a well known Club member or as many would say a club legend there was some expectation when Blair started playing for the SRFC juniors, but with all things both past and future Blair made his own way in rugby, when the juniors were over with he moved onto Kings High School. This is where I first met Blair although he was a year ahead of me at school we moved in the same circles, Blair left Kings and went straight into the SRFC colts. A group of friends were formed with Southern at its heart, Terry Washington, Rob Kennedy, Steve Turnbull, Darryl Annis, Greg Donaldson, Paul Grellet, Mick Wray, Billy McDermott etc, we all shared the love for this club, New Years Day cricket trips to Alexandra, Speights, Coruba and in time Gin. These friendships are life long and form the basis of a relationship with the Southern RFC which is unbreakable.
To play 100 games for the Southern Premiers is an achievement in itself, but Blair continued to play for the P2’s and then the Seniors (3rd Grade) until the team folded, I am sure that if the team was still operating, Blair would still be playing today. During his time in the Premiers he played along side some of Southern’s more recent legends Steve Hotton, Jamie Joseph, Steven Bachop, Stu Forster, Ken Woodhouse and Kupu Vanisi just to name a few.
Two things stick in my mind from this time;
Firstly – That pesky hamstring, hence the name Ping Crawford
Secondly – The Southern Prems were playing Dunedin at Tahuna Park, Blair got caught up in a maul, I don’t know what he did but Billy Lang a prop from Dunedin took exception to it and knocked Blair out. My lasting memory of this was Blair sticking out the top of the maul and flopping around like a rag doll as the maul moved side to side, Hence the head gear in the photo on the wall.
Blair went onto the Senior Committee in 1998and took on the position of Secretary which he served as until 2005 and was one of the longest serving club secretaries, After this Blair went onto serve as Junior Club Captain and along with Helen rebuilt the Junior club to make it one of the strongest in Dunedin. In 2009 & 2010 Blair served as Senior Club Captain. In 2011 Blair moved into the position of Chairman / Active Vice President which he has served until now and is the President in waiting, We all sacrifice much to be involved in the running of the club but Blair sacrifices more than most, it seams that each time I ring Blair he is heading to another meeting weather it be SRFC Junior, Junior Metro or a Senior Sub Committee and this is all done along side with running a busy Events Centre and his family commitments.
A Player, A Supporter, An Administrator or all three
I have been thinking about what this means and have come to the conclusion about the following,
Loyalty – You could not find a more loyal person than Blair. Through thick and thin Blair has been there supporting the teams, club functions, working bees etc
Legacy – Will the club be better off when Blair steps out of the lime light?. The club is in a strong position both on the playing side, financially and continues to get stronger. 100 Premier games, Club Secretary, Club Captain, Future President and now Life member.
Commitment – Is there a more committed member of the Southern Club, Senior Committee, Junior Committee, Working Bees, Club Setup, Bar Duty and House all done with work and family commitments.