The Eketāhuna Rugby Club committee dinner was held on Friday, October 2, a function where life members, team coaches, managers and captains join JAB delegates and club committee and spouses/partners for a very convivial gathering.
President Dennis Dougherty (Doc) welcomed Graeme Cheetham to life membership of ERFC, outlining some of the background to Graeme's nomination.
Graeme accepted life membership, saying how proud he was to have played JAB, Colts and Senior Rugby for the club before heading north for farming experience.
When approached to coach the Premiers upon return to the home farm in 2001, Graeme readily accepted the challenge, getting the team from mid-table to runners-up in 2002.
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He and Lofty Stevenson (assistant coach and good mate) coached the team to three successive championships in 2003-05. Graeme came back to coach the team again in an interim capacity to help the club out and nearly pulled off another championship.
His parting comment, "I only played for two clubs, Eketāhuna and Te Kauwhata, they were both black and yellow hoops!"
President Doc then asked Roydon Cooper to come forward to accept life membership. Roydon did so, explaining his involvement in the club as a player, manager of Colts, Thirds, committee and vice-president.
Not as publicly noticeable as Graeme's work, Roydon was a mighty worker behind the scenes getting things done, especially when the club first hosted the Hurricanes at Eketāhuna.
Secretary Bridgette Udy pinned the life member's badge on Roydon, as she had for Graeme.
A great highlight for the evening and a great way to end what has been an unusual but interesting and successful season.