60 years with club
Les McCarthy, the senior golden oldie of the Hastings High School Old Boys’ rugby club, was honoured at the club’s old-timers’ day last Saturday.
McCarthy, 81 next month and a member of the club for 60 years, was presented with a rugby ball signed by the senior team which played Havelock North in the Nash Cup match at Nelson Park in the afternoon.
The presentation, which was kept secret, was made by club captain Wayne Wooster at the after-match function at the clubrooms in Alexander Crescent.
McCarthy was actually leaving for home before the presentation to be stopped at the door by Wooster.
“Hang on, you have got to stick around for a minute or two,” Wooster said.
He then presented the ball to McCarthy, who was obviously touched by the gesture.
“It is a really good club. They consider their older members. I was given a gold button after being a member for 50 years,” he said.
McCarthy has been a wonderful servant of the club which he joined in 1932 after playing for Waipukurau High School Old Boys.
He played for HHSOB seniors from 1932 to 1939 – he was captain in 1938 and 1939, was a Hastings sub-union representative as well as Hawke’s Bay full-back in 1936.
His administrative record is also impressive. He was a club executive for 29 years (1932 to 1961), was assistant club captain in 1948-949 ad [and] club captain for 11 years from 1951 to 1961.
He was also club treasurer and secretary for two years.
McCarthy was made a life member in 1956 and was president of the Hastings Sub-Union in 1974.
An avid follower of rugby, he is a regular follower of HHSOB teams.
“I really enjoy my rugby
… I have nothing else to do,” he said this week.
He enjoys the game for what it is. But he has reservations about some of today’s trends, especially the intrusion of international and first-class rugby on club matches so early in the season.
“I think there is too much big rugby. The public is being saturated with it,” he said
“The club player is missing out. We used to have two full rounds of club matches, and when the representative season started, we had the Lane Cup.”
This season the club season in Hawke’s Bay ends at the start of August.
“There is nothing for the club player after than. I think that is quite a concern,” McCarthy said.
Photo caption – Les McCarthy with the rugby ball presented to him for 60 years’ service with Hastings School Old Boys.