50 Years of rugby in Helensville

50 years of rugby in Helensville
The Helensville District Rugby Club is celebrating 50 years of Rugby this year. There will be celebrations held from 4 - 6th June ‘Queen’s Birthday weekend’. Both Senior teams the Premier 2 and the Raging Bulls will be plating at the club. Festivities include a Golf Day at South Head Golf Club of Friday 4th June. Saturday will see the Junior Teams playing at home at the club. there will be a Luncheon for Club Old Boys which will be followed by the Premier 2 Team playing Silverdale and the Raging Bulls playing the Glenfield Grizzlies. On Sunday 6th there will be a Festival game of rugby and refreshments at the clubrooms.
Rugby was first played in Helensville in the late eighteen hundreds.  The first organised game was played in 1890 when North played South Helensville at the old Showgrounds, opposite the site of Kaipara Dairy Company factory.
In 1900 the Auckland Rugby Union recorded that the Kaipara Union was affiliated with three clubs – they were Helensville, Kaukapakapa and Te Pua.  They had little success as a union and although they tried again in 1905 there were continual difficulties until the union became firmly established in 1912.
Active clubs at this time were Waimauku, Helensville and Kaukapakapa.  Parakai affiliated in 1913.
In the 1920’s the competition developed between teams from Parakai, Waimauku, Glorit, Kaukapakapa, Riverhead, and three teams – Pirates, Power Board and Helensville – from the township of Helensville.
The star player of those days was Peter Olsen who played for the Maori All Blacks on their 1926-27 tour of Australia, Ceylon, France, Britain and Canada.  Other players of note in the early 1900’s were Burt Fletcher, Ross Sellers, Harold Pengelly and Charlie Keane.
Rugby had always been important to the people of Helensville and its surrounding districts and a rugby club had existed in some shape or form for many years before the Helensville District’s Rugby Football Club was formed in 1970.
For further information contact Andy Cummings on 021 685 199

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