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This information may interest some readers regarding the above rugby club. It is well known through documentation that the club originated from a split with the Excelsior Rugby Football Club in Gore. The first ever Annual meeting was held on 31st March 1905 where 40 delegates were present. The Pioneer Club was affiliated to the Southland Rugby Football Union. The colours decided were green and blue.
The very first match was a friendly encounter between Albion and Pioneer on Gore Showgrounds on 11th April 1905. The team comprised of:
A. Blackwood, J. Johnson, G. Blackwood, I. Blackwood, J. Baldwin (captain), T. Preece, A. Whytock, A. Thomson, T. Kelleher, M. Green, A. McDowell, T. Sherbourne, A. Hogg, A. O'Kane, S. Jackways, W. Thomas and A. Gordon.
First Official Match:
10th May 1905 against Wyndham at Wyndham. The dray left Gore at 12.30pm with the above team plus, Cockroft, E. Kelliher, C. Collett, L. Smith, Thos Turnbull, W. Kerr, A. Corrie, F. Cassidy, E. Sherbourne and Thomas Kean.
The second grade included, W. Maude, L. Smith, Findlay, W. Ross, C. Badman, A. Beattie, W. Page, J. Campbell, W. Woodward, B. Jones, A. Anderson, Crighton, B. Jackways, E. Wilson, C. Sherbourne.
The first XV won the senior competition with the second and third grade also winning their competition.
The club lost a lot of valuable players, who had either left the district or were injured. This meant the 2nd and third division teams were depleted.
The club rebuilt and won the senior premiership again. 96 points for and 6 against. The club changed their colours to red and white.
With the end of W1 and 73 players having responded to the call of King and Country, and 75 players from the Gore Pioneer Club it was a case of rebuilding numbers, with many soldiers coming back with war wounds and not being able to play.
President was John Day and Sec. D. Cronin.
J. W. Holmes and F. O'Kane represented Southland in their first shield match against Wellington and both players were also nominated for the South Island team.
The following players represented Eastern Southland; J. W. Holmes, F. O'Kane, W. Keinan, A. Davidosn, O. O'Kane, W. Adamson, W. Boroman and Jas Adams.
1925: Patron - John Day, President - C. M. Wilson, Hon. Sec and Treas - J. McGrath, Ass - G. Young. The Club insurance scheme was in full operation, thanks to the endeavours of Mr C. M. Wilson, who convinced the club that the Eastern Sub Union insurance scheme did not give satisfaction and that the club should have its own scheme. This was very successful and they were proud to announce that seventy pounds had been paid out in compensation that year to players.
Two members; Jas McMurtrie and S. J. O'Sullivan were honoured with a life membership.
The 1st XV won the Wallis Shield, while the 4th grade won their grade.
The following players represented Eastern Southland: A. Davidson, T. Moffit, F. Fitzgerald, E. Ottrey, (captain) G. Brown, J. Murtagh, F. Soper, J. W. Sewell, C. Martin.
L. Davidson (2nd), M. O'Shea, J. Davidson, H. Hill and J. Cooper (3rd).
The club was the only one which had four teams competing in the Eastern Competition.
The club had a credit balance of 8.2.1 pounds and their insurance account a credit balance of 59.6.10 pounds.
Seniors won the Wallis Shield and 4th grade Wingham Cup.
The following members represent the district: J. W. Sewell, V. Fitzgerald, A. H. Davidson, J. E. Churstain, C. W. Archer, J. A. Mathieson, F. J. Thomson, W. Mair, M. O'Shea, E. Bell, C. Millar.
The club formed an athletic club under the name of "Pioneer Athletic Club" with the object of keeping the players fit and to encourage a closer association during the summer months.
Pioneer Football Club - 1st Fifteen, 1953.
Winners of Wallis Shield and Holders of Fleet Cup.
Back: V. Newall (Coach), J. Bellew, J. Ford, M. Watson, C. O'Brien, L. Russell, J. Morris, S. Baldwin (President).
Middle: C. Haggart, R. Dickison, K. Wilson, P. O'Connor (vice captain), G. Groves (captain), D. McLennan, P. Barnes, C. Whittaker, W. Lewis.
Front: J. Smith, W. Arcer, T. Morgan, A. McMeeken.
Absent: W. Taylor, D. Latty, M. McDermid, G. Wilson.
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