How appropriate it was for Keith Quinn to be the MC for the Hawke's Bay Rugby Football Union's Legends Dinner on Saturday night.

One of New Zealand's most experienced television sports commentators, Wellingtonian Quinn, 70, began his broadcasting career by covering games involving the Hawke's Bay Magpies 1960s Ranfurly Shield team.

This team was one of five new inductees into the union's Hall of Fame at the Rodney Green Event Centre-hosted dinner attended by 690 fans.

Quinn, who went on to cover 10 Olympic Games, 10 Commonwealth Games and 35 All Black tours, gave an entertaining account of his trips north for the games. He recalled being hosted at Napier's Central Hotel by Skin Butler.


The Te Kuiti-born Quinn told the function how much he enjoyed King Country's 1969 challenge which the Magpies won 19-16.

"The late Kel Tremain captained the Magpies and another All Black legend, Colin Meads captained King Country. They both encouraged their teams to play an exciting brand of rugby and both scored four tries."

He recalled former All Black and current Hawke's Bay Rugby Football Union president Blair Furlong's famous dropped goal which secured a 12-all draw against Wellington in 1967 which ensured the shield remained in the Bay for another summer.

"I think it was the 83rd minute. It might have been the 85th ... that's how much things will be exaggerated when these blokes recall their games later tonight," Quinn quipped.

Former All Black prop and current union patron Neil Thimbleby spoke on behalf of the 1960s contingent.

"I'm proud our union became one of the most progressive unions in the country. It was the first to host an All Black test under lights and we were the first to have the fairer sex at after-match functions."

Saturday night's first inductee, the late Norm McKenzie, was the Magpies sole selector for 30 years and also played for the Magpies for nine years.

He was a life member of both the Hawke's Bay and New Zealand unions and represented New Zealand on the International Rugby Board.


His grandson Neil McKenzie told the function he remembered his grandfather riding around Napier on his bike as well as the stints he did as a security man at McLean Park.

Like the 1960s shield era team, the 1920s shield era Magpies, were also inducted. This team featured the three Brownlie brothers, Cyril, Maurice and Lawrence.

Chris Brownlie, a grandson of Lawrence, spoke at the function.

The late Edward, Richard George "Dick" Steere was represented by his son Graham. Steere played 21 games for the All Blacks from 1928-'31 and the 1931 All Blacks were one of the last teams to use the old 3, 2, 3 scrum.

Former All Black lock Robbie Stuart recalled his introduction to first class rugby when selected in the 1967 Magpies alongside so many of the province's legends.

He went on to play 120 first class games for the Magpies over 14 seasons and also coached the Magpies.

Stuart also played six games for the 1977 All Blacks.

"There was tremendous camaraderie in the 1960s Magpies teams," Stuart recalled.

The latest inductees:

Norman McKenzie:

Magpies player for 9 years, sole selector for 30 years, New Zealand rep on IRB. Magpies 1920s Ranfurly Shield team. Magpies 1960s Ranfurly Shield team.

Edward Richard George "Dick" Steere: 21-match All Black, Magpie from 1927-34. Robbie Stuart: 6-game All Black, 120-game Magpie.

The inaugural Hawke's Bay Legends:
Bert Grenside: 21-match All Black, 87-game Magpie.

Maurice Brownlie: 61-match All Black, 44-game Magpie. Cyril Brownlie: 31-match All Black, 49-game Magpie.

George Nepia: 46-match All Black, 24-game Magpie.

Doug Dalton: 21-match All Black, 41-game Magpie, HB administrator and life member.

Colin Le Quesne: 46-game Magpie, HB selector-coach 1957-69, HB life member.

Tori Reid: 27-match All Black, 81-game Magpie, NZ Maori selector.

Harry Marett: 1-match All Black reserve, 68-game Magpie.

Neil Thimbleby: 13-match All Black, 158-game Magpie, HB selector-coach, HB patron.

Bill Davis: 53-match All Black, 108-game Magpie, HB administrator.

Kel Tremain: 86-match All Black, 96-game Magpie, HB administrator and life member, NZ administrator.

Ian MacRae: 45-match All Black, 85-game Magpie, HB administrator and life member, NZRU president.

Blair Furlong: 11-match All Black, 77-game Magpie, HB president.

Richard Hunt: 144-game Magpie, HB selector-coach, HB administrator and life member, NZRU director.

Jarrod Cunningham: 76-game Magpie, NZ Maori player, Blues and Hurricanes Super player.