1958 Kowai Rugby title celebrated
A championship won 60 years ago in 1958 will be celebrated at Loburn on Saturday (May 12th) as members of the Kowai team gather to watch Ashley matches.
Six of the remaining seven are able to make the day, David Dalzell, Arthur Loffhagen, Brian and Ian Peter, John Rickerby and James Wilson while Errol Rickerby is unable to attend. 1958 marked the last title for Kowai who had dominated post World War 2 with victories in 1948, 1950 52, 53 and 1955.
Brian Peter recalls it was a close call as Kowai and Rangiora were equal on points at the end of round robin play but the Sub Union decided a play off match would be scheduled at Woodend. ‘‘We won 5-0 by a single try scored by John Dalzell and converted by Ivan McNally with the match referred by the Woodend School principal, Malcolm Livingstone’’. The significance of this 60 year reunion is emphasised by the fact it took 56 years for another title when Ashley (Kowai and Loburn amalgamated in 1977) beat Glenmark in 2014.
Many of the team had represented North Canterbury and Country but most were by 1958 towards the twilight of their playing days. Brian Peter made his representative debut that season and after leaving the district enjoyed a further nine titles with Glenmark. James (Jim) Wilson became a prominent administrator being a life member of North Canterbury Rugby and involved as recently as 2005 within the organising committee for their 100 year celebrations.
The team will be hoping their day is a good omen; a 40 year reunion of the 1955 side saw the 14 in attendance witness a first ever victory for the combined club over Kaiapoi, 20-19.