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The winton Rugby Club held their centennial celebrations in 1982 and although they were happy about reaching this milestone there was an underlying problem for the club's survival and that was the fact that there would be enough youth to sustain the survival. The celebrations were held over three days and approx 260 attended.
The president of the New Zealand Rugby, Mr Stuart Sharp, of Invercargill expressed his concerns regarding youth entering the sport. He said Southland could lead the way in working out a strategy how to do this. Mr Allan Cooper, a life member of the club confirmed the concerns and said the 'past is a memory' and the challenge is in the future. 'The game at the top level is nothing with them" he said. He went on to say that maybe SRFU could look at making Winton the centre of the union in the province.
Mr Jack North, president of the SRFU said his concerns were the changing rules and how the player was suppose to be keeping up with them. He went on to congratulate the club and noted that they won the Galbraith Sheild before World War I.
Mr Robin Tait, president of the Central Rugby Football Club said that Winton was one of the strongest clubs in the area and praised the work of Mr John Kilkerr, chairman of the celebrations committee.
Mr Ray Harper, New Zealand RFU Councillor spoke of his trip to South Africa.
Guest speaker, Brian McKechnie spoke about the committment made to represent your country and the contrast in treatment of financial terms from Rugby to Cricket. Mr Frank Boyle of Dunedin recounted a lot of personalities and deeds of past members.
Ned Cosgrove and Arthur Skinner,the two oldest members present and who both played in the 1920s cut the centennial cake on behalf of the club.
Toasts and responses were made by Rev L.A. Boyle (silent toast), J. W. Smith (Winton Rugby Football Club), M M. W. Rabbit, president of the club, C.A. Cooper (NZRFU and SRFU) S. A.Sharp, J.A. North and J.M. McHugh (Central District sub-union),R.J. Tait, S.J. Pittaway, (Kindered clubs, referees and news media), C.J. Rowe and W. A Tait (past and absent members) and F.P Boyle. The M.C. was Mr D.A. Henderson.
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