Club man Ai­ulu re­calls times with Jerry Collins


Fred Ai­ulu will never for­get Jerry Collins.

Ai­ulu was last Oc­to­ber hon­oured with a Porirua 50th medal, given to 50 peo­ple and cou­ples dur­ing the city’s birth­day cel­e­bra­tions.

The As­cot Park man won his medal for his un­stint­ing loy­alty and vol­un­tary con­tri­bu­tion to North­ern United Rugby Club and the game in Porirua.

One of the big fig­ures at Norths was All Black loose for­ward Collins, who died in a road crash in France last year aged just 34.

‘‘Jerry was a great man and the fam­ily would do any­thing for you,’’ Ai­ulu said.

‘‘I was al­ways his taxi driver. He would al­ways ring me up and ask for a ride when he came home to see fam­ily. I got to know him re­ally well through the club and even though we weren’t re­lated, he’d still call me un­cle.

‘‘He was a hard and fast player, who was al­ways train­ing. The young­sters all looked up to him. He was an in­spi­ra­tion to ev­ery­one he met.’’

Ai­ulu said Norths was a won­der­ful club.

‘‘No mat­ter who you are or what kind of player you are, you’re al­ways wel­come. To be part of it is thanks enough. But this medal is some­thing I will re­mem­ber for­ever.’’

Ai­ulu has been in­volved with the rugby club for more than 25 years and is now the as­sis­tant club cap­tain.

‘‘I love the sport. We didn’t have it much in Samoa when I lived there. But I started play­ing as soon as I came to New Zealand.’’

A proud mem­ory for Ai­ulu was be­ing part of the group that or­gan­ised the amal­ga­ma­tion of the Porirua and Ti­tahi Bay rugby clubs. When Ai­ulu was pre­sented with his award, some­one told him that Porirua needed more peo­ple like him.

‘‘I just like be­ing in­volved. I’m here if any­one needs me. They know where I am.’’


Fred Ai­ulu never ex­pected to be awarded for his con­tri­bu­tions.

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