The Southern Zone wishes to advise of the recent passing of a significant figure in rugby league and the community on the West Coast. Frank Gibson passed away on 19th November at the age of 94. He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Dot, 4 children, 8 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.
Frank was recognised as a gentleman of the highest degree, a man of principal, a quiet achiever and tireless worker who was respected by all who had the priviliege of knowing him. He had his Grey Valley community at heart and gave his time freely holding positions of office on school and sporting committees. He was President of the Ngahere Sports Club and was involved with the Ngahere sales yard and Ngahere Rugby League Club. He was a long serving member of the Waro-rakau league club.
A dedicated servant of West Coast Rugby league, he was a life member of WCRL, life member of the WCRL schoolboy board and was a schoolboy patron. He was awarded a Distinguished Service Medal by the NZRL for services to rugby league and was awarded the Grey District Mayoral volunteers award, He was NZRL Volunteer of the Year in 2010.
Frank will be remembered as a long serving groundsman of the West Coast home of rugby league at Wingham Park in a remarkable duration which spanned close to 45 years. “Frank was a legend of our game,” retired WCRL President Peter Kerridge said. “His contribution to rugby league was outstanding , especially as Wingham Park groundsman. The accolades that came his way were richly deserved.”
“Frank was immensely popular at all levels in rugby league circles and he was held in great respect and affection. We were lucky to have his services for so long and his passing is mourned throughout the game in NZ.”
The Southern Zone and all of the rugby league community of the South Island pass on its condolences to the family at the loss of a father, grandfather, great grandfather and a significant member of the rugby league community.