50th Anniversary Dinner

50th Anniversary Dinner

Friday 20 May 2022

On Friday 20 May the Rugby Club held its three times delayed 50th Anniversary Dinner in the Marquee Indoors – a new temporary conversion of the ITC. Just over 250 people attended from those who helped establish the Club in the 1970s to those who are currently active in the Club, with a wide range in between. There was also a good sprinkling of former Presidents and Club Captains, as well as former and current players.

The evening was expertly chaired by Mike Wheatley, who gave an excellent and witty introduction to the evening taking us through from the early days of the Club to the present day. He introduced us to a number of key figures from the Club’s history, with those present being asked to stand up and take a bow. There was also a congratulatory video message from Ronnie (Veronica) Fitzpatrick in Dubai. Ronnie started out in rugby in the Club’s Ladies team in the 1990s and went on to be capped 62 times for Scotland.

Click on above to view video

After Ewan Kelly (former Peeler) said grace, we tucked into a delicious three course meal provided by caterers Alex Graham Bakers, from a wide choice pre-selected menu.

Player Awards for 50th Season

In recognition of the close of the 50th playing season, the post-dinner entertainment kicked off with the Player Awards for the Year, with President Ken Richardson and Club Captain Euan Mochrie announcing the awards and Director of Rugby Ian McLean and Rugby development manager Dougie Thomson presenting the awards.

From left – Cal Thomson, Lewis Wells, Jamie Tulloch, Euan Murray and Euan Mochrie

Three of the five awards were voted on by the players, with the coaches voting on the other two. The award winners were:

  • Young Player of the Year – Lewis Wells
  • (Coaches) Most Improved Player of the Year – Jamie Tulloch
  • 2nd XV Player of the Year – Euan Murray
  • 1st XV Player of the Year – Lewis Wells
  • (Coaches) “Red of the Year” – Euan Mochrie
    [Player who embodies the spirit of what it means to put on that Red jersey.]

Congratulations to all the winners! In addition, two black ties were awarded:

  • Cammy Murie (who couldn’t attend in person),
  • Cal Thomson

Both were ever-presents and showed tremendous commitment throughout the season.

Video: “From Humble Beginnings”

Following the Player Awards, the celebration of the 50 years continued with a short video “From Humble Beginnings”, which featured two Club stalwarts not able to attend on the evening – former player and local historian Bruce Jamieson and former Club Captain and Club President Gerry Keating. The video was professionally produced by Lindsay Watson, daughter of Club Director Colin Watson, and can be viewed from the Club’s YouTube channel by following the link below.

Link to “From Humble Beginnings” video

Club Legends Select Their XVs

The evening continued under the chairmanship of Mike Wheatley with memories from across the decades from Club Legends Colin Wells, John Smith and Matt Dixon. Each in turn selected their XV from their playing days and Mike interviewed them about their choices. You can see their choices by clicking on the link below.

View their choices

Mike getting Colin Wells to take us through his choices

Finishing Off in Style

The formal part of the evening concluded with a vote of thanks from Ken Richardson and then then those assembled were entertained by The Christies & Co who reformed for the dinner, having played at many similar Club events over the decades.

The Christies & Co

Photos from the Evening

Club photographer Graham Black was on hand to capture the action and we are once again indebted to him for his time and work.

View Graham Black’s photos from the evening

Video Messages of Congratulation

A number of former Reds and friends of the Reds contributed to the video. You can view their messages in full by clicking the links below:

Andy Leslie
Ben Rhodes
Effie Taukafa
Blair Stewart
Stewart Hammond
Mark Packer
Les sends greeting from Waverley Rugby Club, Sydney
Sydney calling…