TWO very different ceremonies will be held at Singleton Rugby Club on Saturday afternoon. Each are significant in their own right.
Greg Bennett will be awarded with life membership in the Fats Halter Bar at 2:30pm.
The ashes of foundation member Bob Graham, who died earlier this year, will also be spread across Rugby Park playing field at the end of the game which will be Singleton’s last home game for the season proper.
The gathering to celebrate the contribution of both men will arouse stories from a proud era in Singleton’s rugby history when the club stamped its authority on the Hunter competition and the game itself.
Bob Graham was the first player to appear in 50 club competition matches for Singleton, three of which were in reserve grade and a massive 47 in first grade.
Bob did not play rugby until he was 32 years of age and was talked into it by swimming colleague Brian Coe.
Brian explained that there was a plan to get rugby football going in Singleton and the Hunter Valley and that Singleton needed men of Bob’s size. At the time he was 200cm tall and 115kg.
After a memorable playing career, Bob turned his talents to refereeing for a couple of seasons.
As well as being a foundation member of Singleton Rugby Club, Bob has held numerous positons from coach to secretary and board member on several occasions. He was awarded life membership in 1979.
Rugby league was the game for Greg Bennett in his youth and it was only when his oldest son, Mark, started playing in the under 16s team that Mr Bennett, and wife Lola, began their involvement with Singleton Rugby Club.
Keeping the grounds in pristine order and lending a tractor and slasher to ensure the ground’s maintenance was the first of many duties Mr Bennett would find himself involved in over the following 50 years.
Mr Bennett was appointed manager of various teams, including the first fifteen and was awarded the President’s Trophy for his contribution to the club.
In his hey-day, his efforts in providing ‘camp oven’ meals on Thursday night after training remain legendary as is the manner in which he looked after all the players.
The wonderful part about it was that he enjoyed doing it.