by Chris Tobin
Two stalwarts of the Temuka Rugby Club have been made life members.
Terry Clarke and Ross “Hose” Priddle have been given the honour after long service for the Magpies.
Both said they were pleased about the recognition.
“It was a good effort for both of us,” Priddle said.
Clarke said he felt “quite chuffed”.
“I heard a whisper a year ago that it might happen.”
Clarke started with the club in 1974.
“We shifted to Temuka from Christchurch and I started playing in the ninth grade.”
Working his way through the grades, he made his senior debut as a flanker.
Then he went into the backs and on to the wing, but such was his versatility he packed down at lock when needed.
“If they were short I’d play at lock. The last game I had was at lock in 2007. I was 46 at the time.”
Temuka had strong senior teams through the 1980s and into the early 1990s and regularly won the South Canterbury senior competition.
The senior championship win over Pleasant Point in 1991 was one that stuck in Clarke’s mind.
“I played just short of 250 senior games but it’s not a record. Brian McCully played 300 games and that was in the days before substitutions.”
Clarke also played five matches for South Canterbury and “a heap for South Canterbury B”.
Highlights over the years included all of the club’s trips, particularly one to the United States in 1981.
“‘Hose’ went on it, too. We went to San Francisco, San Jose and played Arizona State in their first ever game”
Clarke went back to the United States in 1986 to play, and then spent a season in Canada turning out for club side the Kelowna Crows.
“I still keep in contact with them.”
Clarke said the Temuka club had “a bloody good atmosphere”.
“I’m still involved as senior manager and I’m on the committee.”
Impaired sight meant Priddle never got to run out to play in the black and white hoops of Temuka, but he has done a mountain of work for the club.
He started helping in 1981 on the clock/scoreboard at the Temuka Domain and has had stints on the committee and as club captain.
“I’ve been running on the water, helping organise the buses. Work doesn’t do itself.”
He said he had enjoyed it over the years – “otherwise I wouldn’t have been there so long”.
The highlight for him was Temuka’s string of Skinner Cup victories (then the premier senior club rugby trophy in South Canterbury).
“I was with the Bs for the last few years winning in 2015-16 and 2017-18.
“That has been a good feat, too.”