By Josh Garry
Howick Hornets is a club that for 60 years, has been the greatest provider of entertainment, creator of memories, teacher of respect and the meaning of pride for thousands Howickians, myself very much included.
For us, Paparoa Park is now, and has always been home.
Every blade of grass [from the paddocks to the hill] is genuinely nothing short of sacred to the players and fans alike.
The weekend just gone was the chance to not only celebrate all of this in true Hornets style, but also, further incorporate the club’s proud history with its very promising future and, importantly, share the occasion with the entire Howick community.
Friday and Saturday evenings saw foundation members, life members, long-standing sponsors, players and fans alike coming together and enjoying two very memorable nights.
Saturdays fantastic event hosted by sports broadcasting legend Stephen McIvor had plenty of special segments throughout the night, but none more so than the naming of Howick Hornets newest life member, Neville Campbell.
It was a magical night to top off the two important wins achieved on the field by the Hornet senior sides.
The fans who braved the dreadful conditions were treated to dominant displays, with both the home sides leading from start to finish, thus ensuring there is plenty to turn up for over the next few weeks.
Hornets Fox memorial Reserve Grade remain unbeaten all season so far, with the Premier side staying in the scrap for a semi-final spot over the next few weeks.
The upcoming draw sees the Hornets face Marist and Pt Chev away, finishing with the Mt Albert Lions at Paparoa, which could well be the game of the season.
Sunday’s community day was largely postponed because of weather, although that didn’t stop the team at Ray White Eastern Group from coming along and entertaining the kids with face painting, balloon animals and other cool games, while the Howick Masters over 35 teams put on a great game for the many people who turned up in support.
To top this all off, this game was expertly refereed by Howick’s very own ARL-qualified ref, a future leader of the club, 12-year-old Randy Tuck.
And nothing in the end could have been more fitting than for Randy, part of the Hornets future, to officially blow time on a special weekend that celebrated its past.
Cheers Howick. Here’s to the next 60.
- Josh Garry is from Howick Hornets Rugby League