History – Reunions and anniversaries

The 40th anniversary in 2011

Anniversary programme - click to viewThe club celebrated its Ruby Jubilee in 2011, marked by an anniversary dinner on Friday 13 May, a luncheon before the MSP v Hutt Old Boys Marist clash at Evans Bay on the Saturday, a 'dooley hooley' back at the clubrooms on Saturday evening and a Club Mass on Sunday.

Click on the anniversary programme at right to view the welcome from MSP President Mick Robbers, a list of MSP players who have gained international honours 1996-2011, club office holders 1996-2011, and reminiscences from the club's first chairman, Ron Evans.

Here also are photo galleries of:

The 25th Jubilee team

To mark MSP's 25th jubilee in 1996, the late Ivan Vodanovich, a former All Black selector and coach and MSP life member, picked a team that was, in his opinion, the best of the players who had represented MSP in the club's short history.

His selection, which included six All Blacks and a Maori All Black captain, was:

Brian McGrattan

Kevin Horan (c)

James Carlson

Paul Quinn

John Fleming

Steve Hinds

Maurice Standish

Issac Feaunati

Neil Sorenson

Tu Wyllie (vc)

Grant Batty

Norm Broughton

John Schuster

Robert Gray

Joe Karam

Three stalwarts (25th jubilee)

Three Marist and St Pats players from the early days re-united at the club's 25th jubilee: from left, Brian Frederikson, the late Tino Fidow, and Robert Gray.

Past Players and Supporters Day 15 May 2010

It was a great occasion at MSP's Evans Bay gym on 15 May when past players and supporters gathered for the unveiling of the club's new Honours Boards, and to watch the premiers' match against Petone.

MSP president Mick Robbers presented the club's centurions present with badges to recognise the 100 games they played for MSP's premier team. Noreen O'Callaghan was warmly thanked for her contribution to the Boards, which also recognise the club's Sportsmen of the Year and the winners of the Mick Horan Memorial Trophy.

The afternoon was capped off with a clean sweep of wins over Petone by the premiers, senior 1s and senior 2s. See the rogues' gallery for photos of the past players and supporters.

St Pats Old Boys Originals 60 years on

These members of the 1949 St Pats Old Boys senior side were the second team in Marist St Pats to win a Jubilee Cup.

The Marist club had first won the trophy in 1948, and the team above shared it with Petone a year later. Marist went on to win it again in 1950. Marist and SPOB later merged in 1971.

Sixty years after their 1949 victory, members of the SPOB team gathered at the clubrooms on Old Timers' Day, 4 May 2009, to celebrate the occasion.

Pictured above, from left: Les Simmons, John Watt, Ted Buddicom, Bill Roche, Len Jackson, Noel Mullin, Des Chambers, and Bernie Lynch. Current MSP president Mick Robbers is on the right, and Old Timers' Day organiser John Gordon is at the lectern in the rear.

Tales from a 1970s' reunion

by Tim Donoghue

Brian Dickson, Kevin Horan, Tu Wyllie, Bill TeOka, and John Wootton.
(L to R): Brian Dickson, Kevin Horan, Tu Wyllie, Bill TeOka, and John Wootton.

Colin Jackson still cuts a fine figure.

Colin Jackson still cuts a fine figure.

Brian McGrattan, Bill TeOka and James Carlson.

Brian McGrattan, Bill TeOka and James Carlson.

Tim Donoghue was the scribe.
Tim Donoghue was the scribe.

Grant Laffey, Viv and Ross Pinkham
Grant Laffey, Viv and Ross Pinkham (Ross took the photos).

Those who attended the reunion were:

Broad, Fr Geoff
Carlson, James
Coady, Patrick
Collins, Bill
Coulter, Brian and Carole
Dickson, Brian and Eliza
Donoghue, Tim and Gabrielle
Douglas, Angus and Jo Ann
Duffin, Tony and Sue
Fa'anoi, Dominic and Simone
Fitzgerald, Mike and Maureen
Fleming, John and Stephanie
Gray, David and Ros
Gray, Robert and Christine
Harper, Mike
Hawea, Keith
Hinds, Steve
Horan, Jo
Horan, Kevin and Jan
Huriwai, Henry
Jackson, Colin and Rose
Kerr, Kevin
Knox, John and Carol
Laffey, Grant
McGrattan, Brian and Tracy
McGuinness, Brian and Cheryl
Marinkovich, Zuk
Meachen, Tony and Rosalie
Mulvey, Brian and Faye
O’Leary, Mike
O’Loughlin, Vince and Chris
Perry, Mark and Christine
Pinkham, Ross and Viv
Quinn, Paul
Rennell, Ray
Rodger, Pete
Rona, Cliff and Viv
Spillane, John
Standish, Maurice and Pep
Teoka, Bill and Anne-Marie
Tocker, Murray
Walker, Walton
Walker, Tony
Walsh, Tony
Wanden, Phil and Carolyn
Wanden, Bernie and Sharon
Wilkinson, Gerard and Shirley
Wootton, John and Mary
Wyllie, Tu and Margaret

They came via their parted ways on a night of wind and rain, sensing a Mick Horan smile hovering above their old club and reunion weekend activities.
They were, of course, members of the champion 1978-80 Marist St Pats senior A rugby teams who attended a reunion weekend from Friday 2 June, to Sunday 4 June 2006 in Wellington.
The champion 1979 MSP Jubilee Cup winning team was one of the best sides ever to take the field in the history of New Zealand club rugby. So it was appropriate that team members should honour their coaches Brian Coulter and the late Mick Horan in their own personal and special ways.
Former club chairman John Knox made a small presentation to Mick’s widow, Jo Horan, for a lifetime of service to the Marist and Marist St Pat’s clubs at a function at the MSP clubrooms on Friday, June 2.
Tony Duffin too made a similar presentation to his fellow life member Coulter - who at the reunion weekend was accompanied as always by his wife Carole - at the Latitude 41 restaurant function on the Saturday night.
A number of former players from the champion 1979 team also paid their own individual tributes to Coulter and Horan - following in captain Kevin Horan’s and Maurice Standish’s official speaking footsteps - in their impromptu speeches at the dinner.
The captain of the 1978-80 teams Kevin Horan and his wife Jan traveled from Japan - where Kevin has a coaching contract - to attend the reunion. Billy TeOka and his wife Anne-Marie travelled from Australia to attend.
The champion 1979 team was in its embryonic stages in the late 1960s when Coulter, who played halfback in Wellington provincial rugby’s best ever win (over the Springboks on Athletic Park in 1965) assumed the coaching job of the old Marist Club from Mick Horan.
Beneath their protective umbrella was a midfield back by the name of Cliff Rona, Mick Horan’s brother Kevin, and the biggest rugby character to ever don an MSP jersey, Standish himself.
The five of them were very much on the scene in 1979 when the MSP juggernaut swept all before it with a clean-sweep - played 20, won 20, with 391 points for and 123 points against record. This sequence of wins was part of a 42-match winning run.

The members of this 1979 team were:

Walton Walker (assistant manager), Maurice Standish, Mike O’Leary, John Wootton, Gerard Wilkinson, John Fleming (All Black 1978-80), Steve Hinds, Tony Duffin, Brian McGrattan (All Black 1983-86), Bill L’Estrange (masseur), Phil Wanden, Bill Collins, Henry Huriwai, Keith Hawea, Cliff Rona, Paul Quinn, Dominic Fa’anoi, Bernie Wanden, James Carlson, Vince O’Loughlin, Phil O’Keefe, Angus Douglas, Tony Walsh, Brian Coulter (coach), Tu Wyllie (All Black 1980), John Knox (chairman), Kevin Horan (captain), Mike Fitzgerald (club captain), Murray Tocker, Brian Mulvey (manager) and Colin Jackson.

When the weekend was all over Coulter - the sort of person Johnny Cash had in mind when he sang the immortal lines - ‘no, I won’t back down’ (how else to you think the Coulter and Horan-coached teams beat Petone?) - had the last word.
‘It was special,’ said Coulter.
Today’s premiers and coach Brendan Reidy did their bit to help make the weekend a great success with a great 30-21 win over Poneke on Kilbirnie Park.

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