This Saturday 5 June will see over three years' planning come to fruition as Marist St Pats at last celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Friday night's jubilee dinner is sold out and the fun for everyone begins Saturday with the clubrooms opening at 11am for a light lunch. It's a short walk down to Hataitai Park, where the premier women play at 11.30am, the prem 2s at 1pm and the prem 1s at 2.45 against Upper Hutt. Over at Evans Bay the under-85s also play at 2.45 and and then it's back to the clubrooms for a classic aftermatch.
'Man Down', the band featuring former prem players Matt Calvert and Cedric Carter, takes centre stage at 8.30pm. There's a photographer with an MSP photo wall to grab shots of friends and team mates, a revamped trophy cabinet featuring the 50th anniversary team and key trophy winners over the first 50 years, and memorabilia, photo and video displays. Tim Donoghue's 50th anniversary book, C'Mon Red, will also be on sale.
Sunday begins at 11am with Mass at the clubrooms, another light lunch and refreshments, and a leisurely afternoon to take advantage of the long weekend.
A small group began planning for the 50th at the end of 2017. But plans for last year, including a dinner for 450 at Te Papa, had be put on hold because of Covid, to the disappointment of many former players and members, especially those from overseas who had registered.
With Auckland in lockdown as recently as February this year, it was still touch and go whether an event could be held at all. However, the decision was made to forge ahead and with invitations out and the clubrooms spruced up, Marist St Pats is looking forward to celebrating its 50th in style.