Clubhelps tick off bucket list
‘‘It's only a small thing compared to what they've done for our club’’
Mt Albert-Ponsonby football club has honoured a member who gave 46-years of service with the ride of a lifetime.
Maureen Burnside, 75, will head into palliative care this week, but she’ll do so with the satisfaction of finally driving in a 1966 Ford Galaxie.
Club organisers found out about Burnside’s condition, and her bucket list wish, and frantically rushed around town to find a way of getting her into the red convertible.
They contacted the New Zealand Hot Rod Association with a plea for help, and finally found an owner willing to offer Burnside a ride in a red 1966 Ford Galaxie.
Mount Albert-Ponsonby’s chairman Keith Earl said it was the least the club could do after all her years of service.
‘‘When you have people who have been at the club for over 40 years, you need to be appreciative of that,’’ Earl said.
‘‘It’s just something we could do and it’s only a small thing compared to what they’ve done for our club. If it puts a smile on her face for an hour, that’s pricless.’’ Burnside was taken for a ride the 60s classic on Friday in around Auckland’s waterfront before returning to the club for celebratory drinks.
She first came to the club in 1971 with her husband Wally Burnside.
She brought her two sons, Tony and Craig, down to the club to register them for football. When she returned home, she informed her husband he would be the coach and she would be the manager.
Since then, she’s held a range of positions at the club, including junior president, and has become famous for her lamb and gravy rolls.
In 2011, both her and her husband received long service medals from Auckland Football.
Wally Burnside said the club had given them a lot of satisfaction over the years, and the gesture was humbling.
‘‘You become a part of the club I guess,’’ he said.
‘‘It becomes all your friends. We weren’t expecting it, but we appreciate what the club’s done.’’
Mt Albert-Ponsonby are currently competing in the Northern Regional Football League’s (NRFL) Division One competition, with eyes to move up to the NRFL Premier League.
Maureen and Wally Burnside still attend club home games every second week.
Her family wished for her condition to remain private.
Maureen Burnside sits inside a 1966 Ford Galaxie, a car she’s had on her bucket list for a while. Keith Earl