The Napier Technical Old Boys Rugby will finally get to mark its centennial this week, in the unique position of being a year late and having no old boys of the school from which it took its name.
The club was just 11 years old when the Napier Technical School was destroyed in the Hawke's Bay Earthquake on February 3, 1931.
The club's oldest stalwarts come from the post-World War 2 rugby area, and if raised in Napier they generally came from Napier Boys High School. At least one is in his 90s.
More than 400 people are expected to take part in the centennial on Friday night and Saturday, and it could have been more had it not been for the global pandemic and the need to postpone the celebrations from the original Easter 2020 date.
Club administrator Tracy Patterson said that by Monday 175 people from "out-of-town" had registered for the opening get-together in the Whitmore Park clubrooms – also open to current members.
The centennial dinner, which would have been held at the Rodney Green Centennial Events Centre but for the damage caused there by the November 9 Napier flood, will be held in the Pettigrew-Green Arena on Saturday night.
At least 15 games will be played at Whitmore Park on Saturday, including 12 children's matches against other clubs in the morning to a Premier-grade match between Tech and Maddison Trophy holder Hastings Rugby and Sports in the afternoon.
Patterson and club stalwart Chris Dale, who have been most involved with the celebrations, say there were people who would have travelled from Australia, and possibly further afield, had the centennial gone ahead last year.
Patterson was on Monday aware of one person planning to attend, and there may be others still hopeful.
The club, which now incorporates other sports including cricket, with a "gym" that was once a must-go for Housie players in Napier, dates its origins to the enthusiasm of teenagers and then-recent Tech school pupils Ted Burton, Ian Campbell, Bill Taggart and Sidney Northe and their chats in September 1920.
The club was formed two months later, and six years later it had its first All Black, with the arrival of 1923-1924 "Invincibles" player Bert Cooke.
Now there have been seven who became All Blacks while playing for the club, most recently wing Zac Guilford, but others who wore the Tech jersey include Norm Hewitt and Richard Turner, who each developed careers in television after the end of their playing careers two decades ago.
Turner will be the MC on Saturday night, when the guest speaker will be former All Black Ian Jones, who also developed a TV career, and a feature will be the auctioning of 15 jerseys as close as possible replicating the originals.