Following an eventful few years planning and participating in our Club’s 50th Anniversary celebrations I just wanted to thank you all for your contributions and support of these events, which has been invaluable.
We have made the most we can of the Club’s celebrations with a celebrity game against The Penguins on Saturday 20th August 2016 followed that same night with a Club celebration dinner dance in The Pickaquoy Centre which had 620 members, players, sponsors and guests in attendance. Al Kellock, Scotland’s Captain was the main speaker on the night and we heard and sang the first rendition of the ORFC Club Anthem “It’s More Than a Game”, composed and sung by Andy Cant and produced by Stewart Shearer.
There was a huge amount of work needed to organise and to pull off such a day and the Club is very grateful to all of you who helped with the organising of the event, attended the dinner/dance and/or helped make that day, indeed that weekend, such a memorable occasion.
Following this great start it was agreed that the Club would produce a 50th Anniversary Book and production of that commenced after the anniversary dinner/dance was over.
Our 50th Anniversary Book was produced by a team of people who volunteered to undertake this task. Robert Leslie wrote the bulk of the text, John Copland provided most of the historical facts and stories, Ian Rushbrook produced all of the Club statistics, Ian Gibson was the proof reader and Ian Carse coordinated the project. In addition, most of the photos came from club members, the choice of which to include in the book was difficult, but we tried to get a balance of photos to reflect all eras, all sections and memorable moments as the club developed.
Invaluable contributions to the book were made by Dee Bradbury, the SRU President, and Al Kellock and Fin Calder, two of Scotland’s great players. Thanks also go to the SRU’s Senior Corporate Affairs and Stakeholder Manager, Graham Law, for his advice and assistance throughout.
The book was produced by The Orcadian, whose staff were all brilliant at helping ORFC with the production of the book, but particular thanks go to Karin Brown, Drew Kennedy, Mark Harcus and Tom O’Brien for their patience, unstinting support and professional ideas/assistance.
In addition Ken Amer and his son Ally were a huge help to ORFC throughout
Our 50th Anniversary Book hit the streets in time for the 2019 sevens tournament and has sold well since. We are still selling the book and there are only 80 copies left of the books produced. Most of the books were bought directly through The Club but a further thanks must go to the staff in The Orcadian Bookshop for having sold many copies on behalf of ORFC at their shop in KIrkwall. Thanks must also go to Mary Laird, her daughter Karen and the staff in Logo for selling some our books during the Spring and Summer of 2019.
We had all hoped that this season would have capped all of the above with the first fifteen squad winning the league, gaining promotion back to the National leagues, and having played at Murrayfield in the Shield final while all of our other teams were maintaining and building upon their own successes, but Covid19 put an end to all of those dreams and put sport into context when something so serious places everyone at risk.
However, the last few years have been a marvellous period for the Club and you all deserve praise for everything you have done in that period and I look forward to seeing you all once rugby gets going again.
Meantime, stay safe and thanks to you all for everything you have done, and continue to do, which makes ORFC a Club we can all take great pride in.
Orkney Rugby Football Club
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