In the 1960s the Glenfield area was a fast developing suburb, the only sporting facilities were out of the area. Boys wanting to play rugby had only the Northcote Rugby Club as an avenue to play. After a frustrating year under Northcote a group of local fathers namely Les Nordstrand, Don MacKenzie, Bill Dagger and Brian Bergin, got together and decided to see about forming a local Club. Brian approached the Auckland Rugby Union with the idea and after much discussion the Union said they would support a Satellite Club under the umbrella of the Northcote Rugby Club. A Public Meeting at the Glenfield Primary School was organised and received a great response, with around 100 people attending. The Club was duly formed with officers and a committee but there was no direct representation on the Auckland Union ( anything raised was through Northcote Rugby Club).
After two seasons running under this system and a growing number of teams, the then committee decided Glenfield Rugby should be a club in there own right, not an unwanted attachment through the Northcote Rugby Club. The Auckland Union was approached and Glenfield was advised the approval of the Northcote Club was required. There was a lot of opposition to Glenfield detaching from Northcote but thanks to ‘Snow’ White, who played a critical role in smoothing the waters, the Northcote Committee finally agreed and the Auckland Union sanctioned the formal application to become a Club. This gave Glenfield formal rights in the Union and Brian Bergin became the first delegate. The Club developed fairly quickly with the number of Boys teams all based at McFetridge Park. Brian Bergin kept the Club’s gear in his basement at home. So from a small beginning as a satellite Club in 1969, Glenfield Rubgy Football Club became a fully fledged Club in 1971.
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The Committee realised quite early in the piece, if Glenfield Rugby was to make it’s mark that they needed some high profile help. They were able to enlist the services of Jack Kirk, a Councillor, to give them guidance and help. He put the committee in touch with Fred Thomas, the then current Mayor of North Shore City, so when the development of Kaipatiki Park began Glenfield became the first cab off the rank. In fact the committee almost camped in the Mayor’s Office and even before the development was finalised they were given the green light to make Kaipatiki Park “Glenfield Rugby Football Clubs” home. When the changing rooms etc were built Bill Dagger took over the running of the Tuck Shop and organised something a bit more solid by way of refreshments for the more senior players. Bill did a great job in those early days, often under some challenging situations.
The Grizzlies were formed in 1976 and their establishment really lifted the Club. It brought in players in both Junior and Grades – they also assisted the Club in management and finance. In addition, with added numbers it showed that if the Club was to develop further it needed its own Club Rooms. It was about this time that Keith Stick replaced J. Kirk as Patron. Keith was involved in the construction industry so was a big help in developing plans for the Club Rooms and its construction. Joe Sweetman was another who played a big role in construction of the premises. The funding of the building was a Club effort and everybody got behind the development. Glenfield Rubgy had a lot of financial help from Lion Breweries thanks to Pine Harrison and Merv Ewing. In addition Club members got behind the effort, especially the three big nights held in the Glenfield College Hall.
The Club Rooms were opened in 1979 and the furnishings, ie carpet and furniture were greatly assisted by donors who do not want to be named. The Bar set-up was basically arranged by Lion Breweries. The Bar management was in the hands of three people, Bill Dagger, Pepe Horora and Brian Bergin, before licencing, hours were very flexible. Two women who contributed much to the Club were Peg Hellier and Maureen McCrae. As for the others, the Life Members speak for themselves but Glenfield has some great people who contributed both on and off the committee. Graham Black, who although not involved in the initial development has done a tremendous job on the finance side and is still Auditor for the Club and Treasurer of the Old Boys.
The Club also had a big hand in the formation of the North Harbour Union. Brian Bergin was part of the original group in proposing the Union, along with Helensville, Western United and North Shore. It took quite a while for to get the other Shore clubs onboard and to convince the Auckland Rugby Union to agree, which they did in 1985.