Wauchope Blues Junior Rugby League celebrate 50 years Saturday July 6 2019

Calling all Wauchope Blues players, supporters, family and friends: come and be part of a big celebration.

The club will celebrate 50 years on Saturday July 6 2019 at Lank Bain sporting complex with a day of football and family fun, starting at 9.30am.

The day consists of all Wauchope Blues teams playing football, with most games against the Port Sharks.

"We invite the local community to come out and be part of the day. We have jumping castles and a family fun day planned," said Bonnie Marchment, secretary of the Wauchope Blues JRLFC.

"In the evening, we are holding a 16s and over event at the Wauchope RSL Club We would like to invite anyone that has supported or been part of the Wauchope Blues over the last 50 years to come along and catch up with old friends and share some stories. Tickets are $30 per person.

"We are auctioning off 20 of our special 50-year edition jerseys that our under 16s will play in on the day. These are a tribute to the old-style Blue with the red v jersey and the iconic skippy," she added.

There will be a raffle, $1 per ticket, with prizes including a $2,800 holiday in Fiji, a $200 Hastings Co-op voucher, two Silver category tickets to the 2019 NRL Grand Final valued at $170 each, a seafood tray valued at $200 donated by Ian and Linda Murphy, a 2019 signed Canterbury Bulldogs jersey and more.

If anyone would like to purchase tickets they can contact Bonnie at wauchopejrlsecretary@outlook.com or on 0432472943. RSVP by 21st June. No tickets will be sold at the door.

If anyone has any photos or memorabilia please send them to Bonnie at wauchopejrlsecretary@outlook.com by the end of May.

BRIEF HISTORY

After the discovery that there was an obvious interest in forming a competition for junior rugby league in the area, an inaugural meeting was held on May 14 1969, to form a Junior Rugby League Football competition in the Hastings Shire and Municipality of Port Macquarie.

Representing Wauchope at that meeting were V Gorman, G Campbell, D Greenaway, R Reid and P Jones. It was expressed that clean, unbiased football would be fostered for the good of the game.

Teams to participate would come from Wauchope, Beechwood, Port Macquarie and Camden Haven. The name of the Oxley Junior Rugby League was unanomously agreed upon. The grades chosen were under 12 years and under 9 years.

The Wauchope Junior League Club was formed in July 1969, to be affiliated with the Oxley Junior League Competition. Office bearers were: patron - Mr A Brunsdon, president - Mr G Campbell, secretary - Mr N Brennan, treasurer - Mr M. Morley, committee members: V Gorman, H Harvison, T Welsh, M Ward and T Monaghan. Coaches were T Paterson, P Monaghan and D Greenaway.

Wauchope RSL Club donated $60 for a set of football jumpers, the Co-op Football Club and Wauchope Country Club donated another $60 for a second set of jumpers. More age groups were added to the competition.

Several well-known Wauchope people who had long-term interested in rugby league became involved in the junior club. These included Andy Neal, Joe Taylor, Len Bird, Lex Laurie, Errol Leicht, Bob Woodlands, Wally Tout and Bill Pearce.

Over five decades, Wauchope Junior League Club has seen a lot of changes, including the introduction of a mini league, mod league and international competition.

Many Junior League talents have gone on to play first grade in the NRL competition. These include Rocky Laurie, Richard Laurie, Mark Laurie, David Roods, Rex Terp, Ricky Lulham, Warren Carney, Glen Rogers, Shane Millard, Mal Graham and in the present-day NRL competition, Matt King

Life Members are Pat Monaghan, Len Bird, Colin Eldridge, Vince O'Brien, Dawn Terp, John Marchment, Andy Neal, Tony Brown, Brad Hinton, Michael Bannerman, Kerry Joe Taylor, George Campbell, George Roods, Lex Laurie, Brian Stennent, Linda Murphy, Ian Murphy, Austin Bell and Troy McKinnon.

Bonnie says there already has been a lot of interest on Facebook and people are getting their old teams together.

"It's not just about this year. The club is the way it is now because of all the hard work everyone has done through the years. We want everyone in Wauchope to come together and celebrate this milestone," she said.

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