Players, families and supporters from across the decades will head to Murray Halberg Park this weekend as the Marist Rugby League Club celebrates 100 years of existence.
It all starts with a masters game against Pt Chevalier on Friday night, with a number of the two clubs’ best-known players set to take the field.
Pirates legend Stacey Jones will don the No.7 jersey, with Monty Betham and Wairangi Koopu named on the bench, while current Marist coach Francis Meli heads up a Saints team which also includes Willie Wolfgramm and Henry Turua.
The game will be followed by a mix and mingle night at the club.
On Saturday the morning will be full of mini/mod games, and aside from rugby league the day will feature food stalls and activities for kids.
That evening the club will host a black-tie dinner at Alexandra Park in Epsom, with live entertainment from well-known musician Lapi Mariner and his 20/20 band.
The Saints will end the weekend on Sunday with a family day. Entertainment will be provided by the local community, including the Saints Up Performing Arts Academy and Owairaka Primary School.
Some points to note on the history of the club:
- Marist was formed in 1919, with the membership drawing from Marist Brothers schools.
- The club won its first championship in 1925 with a team featuring Bill Stormont – in whose memory the Stormont Shield is named.
- The club has won six championships with the most successful team being the 1966 team featuring six Kiwis.
- The club has produced 46 Kiwis in total including ARL hall of fame inductee Tony Kriletich, trailblazer Oscar Danielson, Sonny Bill Williams, current NZRL high-performance manager Motu Tony and current NRL superstar David Fusitu’a – to name a few
- In 2019 the club fields teams from under 6’s to premiers including women and masters.