Dennis McLeod has been around the Napier Technical College Old Boys Rugby club for 61 years.
But when the club held a club day on Saturday, with almost all its 15 teams playing at home at Whitmore Park, there was still something new to do - as the sausage sizzle man.
"That was my first day," said the 68-year-old McLeod, whose time with the club spans almost two-thirds of its history. The club was to have held a centennial at Easter but now, due to the Covid-19 crisis, club officials have the celebration in a holding pattern, not quite sure when it will be able to stage the big bash.
President James Bryant and centennial committee member Chris Dale, both also stalwarts, hope it will be June next year, but Bryant, says "that's probably what we'll be working from".
When it was postponed as the pandemic response kicked in during March, there have been about 380 "pre-sales", he says, adding, "we would have had close to 500".
Some were coming from overseas, a factor now in the front row of issues the club has to consider in setting a new date, so that those from afar are not booking-in at considerable cost for something that might not happen on the chosen date due to issues beyond the club's control.
Bryant and Dale agree it's an issue facing most sports organisations – that of organising events with doubt about when they can be held, what can be held, who can come and whether the sponsors and supporters who made the original commitments can still be involved.
"We've been quite fortunate," says Dale, with Bryant confirming that everyone who was in is still in.
McLeod, who's spent many years coaching and on the committee, had been planning to ease out, but it's not a decision stalwarts tend to be able to make for themselves anymore.
While Tech has a healthy table of old-times who are there at the park and in the clubhouse most weekends – including people who helped build "the gym" in the good old days – Morgan says there is a missing generation, which he in part attributes to social changes emanating from hours-of-work changes emanating from the Employment Contracts Act era of almost 30 years ago.
Even the "thirds" – a mainly social, notional president's grade team he ran for 20 years or so – had been feeling the pinch for numbers. "They were the guys who propped up your club," he says.
Consequently, when he turned over his first sausage on Saturday, tipping on the sauce, he was soon aware it was another job he wouldn't able to give up easily.
"There was no one else to do it, so I put my hand up," he said, confirming that if needed he'd be there to help out again this Saturday, and likewise for the rest of the shortened 2020 season.
Dale is another who's been around for years – 43 by his count, despite having "started out with Marist". His father Jack had a lot to do with the club, mainly through its cricket sides.
He remembers when the club had 420 children in the age group rugby teams, and while not as big now, the numbers on Saturday mornings are still healthy, says club manager and junior rugby co-ordinator Tracy Patterson.
The Texans, as they are called by those who've lost connection with the foundation in the Technical High School which disappeared in the 1931 Hawke's Bay Earthquake, had 10 teams in action on Saturday morning, and Patterson says it wasn't the scores that mattered, just the fact they were all there and playing.
Four of the five women's, colts and senior sides had home games. All won, except the Senior Thirds, who played away.
The premier side included one of the club's All Blacks, in centre/wing/fullback Zac Guildord, among several of the more famed Texans expected to show up for the centennial, whenever that may be.
Others include Norm Hewitt and near-All Black Richard Buckman.
Then there is the table of stalwarts, including Gary Kivell, who recently has been sifting through generations of newspaper cuttings of team performances. Standing on the sideline on Saturday - one of many life members out for the day - he recalls one clipping confirmed he probably still holds the record for the most points for Tech in a Premier/Senior First match – 37, if based on modern scoring of five points for a try.