The centenary celebration of the Cambridge Rugby Football Club was held at the Country Club in Beacon Bay on Saturday night and turned out to be a huge success with about 100 former and current players, many with wives or girlfriends, in attendance.
Many battle-hardened players in attendance had represented Border and other provinces in interprovincial, seven-a-side games and interclub fixtures.
The evening ended with the live TV transmission of the World Cup SA v Ireland World Cup match in Paris.
Guest speaker Duitster Bosman kept everyone entertained with recollections of his university rugby days as a prop forward playing for a Van der Bijl club where he twice played with a very young future Springbok, Bakkies Botha, and later represented the Pukke (Pretoria) university squad.
He and former Bok skipper, Francois Pienaar, were instrumental in setting up the Varsity Shield and Cup leagues which continue to be contested.
The club boasts one Springbok player among its members, fullback Bernard “Bunny” Reid who represented SA in one Test in 1933 against Australia.
Former Border backline player Kevin Barnard traced a short history of the club’s success within the top Border club tournaments and advised that Cambridge has won the Grand Challenge trophy no less than 27 times. He had done some investigating using the Daily Dispatch archives and read out a number of headlines which confirmed Cambridge’s excellent play over the years.
Among the audience were three veterans, all now in their 80s, who personify the type of player the club has produced.
They were Hilmer Puchert, Aubrey Boy and Aubrey Heidtmann.
Boy, now 89, made his name in club cricket for Cambridge, playing for the club for a record 53 years and snaring well over 1,500 wickets in the top leagues while former Border lock Puchert, who played for Border in the mid-1950s, has pleasant memories of beating the strong 1955 touring British Lions team 14-12 in an upset victory.
There is no doubt in Puchert’s mind 68 years later that Border’s heroes that day were Springbok Buks Marais and soon-to-be Bok Bennett “Peewee” Howe, who toured Australia and New Zealand in 1956 with the Boks. According to Puchert, both had brilliant games in front of a huge crowd.
The chair of the rugby section of the club, Pat Dickinson, thanked the committee members and their wives and families who had worked hard to make the evening a success.
He confirmed that the club’s ambitions to return to its former glory days was on track with the club investing in its youth with some teams having an average age of only 23.