This Edition (3.4) Revised on – 8th Jan 2019


Inside cover


The story of the beginning and passing of the Glenfield Rovers Golden Oldies movement, located in Auckland, New Zealand, between the Spring of 1980 until the Autumn of 1998.


This book was written as an autobiographical journal with the aim of, not only recording details of the Glenfield Rovers Golden Oldies close association with each other but ultimately their well organized social events. But importantly also trying to understand why this group fitted together with ease in so many ways. On reflection, I suppose it was mainly written because of a hidden underlying drive from a mystical connection to Mick Jagger, which I only now begin to fully understand.


 All participants in this story came from traditional family backgrounds and were raising their own children with a similar priority of beliefs, attitudes and values, which I often think are somewhat missing in many of today’s families. A good friend recently commented on his visit to our old clubrooms, that much of the old camaraderie and social interaction between players and spectators had diminished. So I believe the age which fostered a group such as the Glenfield Rovers Golden Oldies, has probably vanished forever.


The idea for the title of this book germinated after reviewing a series of photographs from several of the trips that this eclectic group of Football players organized. One photo stood out: that of Kevin and I having a drink and a laugh, in the Hard Rock Café in Honolulu, next to a giant statue of the head and shoulders of Mick Jagger, This photo symbolized accurately my feelings driven by the aforementioned connection to Mick Jagger, and that it closely represented the strong friendships and great times encountered by the Glenfield Rovers Golden Oldies group.





The story of a Golden Oldies Football team

Based on events that happened in the 1980’s and through the 1990’s.

Written By Dave Johnstone © January 2010 onwards


(Friendships made in sport are both endearing and enduring, The Golden Oldies Movement)


1. Preface


Through this book I will try to explain why a group of men, who were Football team-mates, ultimately became good friends along with their wives, girlfriends, and children. They became very good friends and remain so to this day. I also try to explain, even as I grapple with it now, why the events outlined here do not happen often in today’s World, and may not again. I suppose every generation has its own unique way of evolving friendships, relationships, making their entertainment, and making their money, and our generation was no different. We were middle class, and we formed strong supportive families and groups of friends. I remember John O’Rourke raised his own young boys to call me “Uncle Dave”, even though I was not related. They called me that even after they graduated from junior players to Glenfield’s senior section. This was a mark of respect shown for an older unrelated friend who had a close association with a family.


And so I wanted to capture the settings and environment that lead to this series of fun-filled adventures in our lives, and make comparisons to today, that probably makes it impossible for this type of adventure to happen now. While the story is a little dramatized but not exaggerated, and very occasionally fictionalized, mostly it is a true recording of the events that provided the stimulus to shape and structure this writing project.


Everyone on these adventures would have had a different way of viewing these events. This is my view of these satisfying, amiable, and enjoyable times that transpired during this period.


I didn’t know at the time the actual reason for starting this book, but it began many years after the actual events took place and following a few social meetings with a couple of veteran, and at the time rather good, footballer mates. We frequently discussed, over a few beers, much of which was common in our past lives. Our previous team squads and team mates who had often, in the mean time gone their own ways, lived their own lives, travelled different paths, made and lost fortunes, wives, and in several sad instances, lives. The personalities we had then, didn’t change, other influences on our lives since, may have. Time or space apart was not a barrier to a satisfying friendship. Meet a friend after 10 years of time and 1000’s of miles of distance, and they are still a good friend. You meet, you hug, celebrate, as if you had just scored a goal. Who needs a wife? Perhaps that alludes to issues that some of our Football team faced during those seemingly happy and carefree times. Friendships just happen, and true friends are forever. One cannot buy friendship.


A frequent theme through these infrequent catch-up sessions was football and its related social activities. It became evident that it was a great influence on all of us through the years between 1980 and 2000. It molded our social lives and in fact our existence in ways unimagined. So much so, that the events related here still leave tremors of conscious and vivid memories almost 40 years after. It needed to be documented or lost forever.


The greatest influence on myself that I remember is the humour and fun of having and being surrounded with good friends, and the power, strength and energy that members of a group like ours drew from each other. That enabled us to plan, organize, and get things done, and bring our dreams to fruition.


I had often thought I should document this period, and indeed I did dabble with it periodically, but why did I eventually and decisively decide to start such an endeavor? One day, a click and a light-bulb shone. Following a dream one night about one of Mick’s (Rolling Stones) songs, “Little Red Rooster”, and trying to understand the lyrics, (a wayward Rooster - a cock - leaving the hens - the memories fading?). I am still unsure of the relevance to this book of that dream, other than the stories would have been lost forever unless recorded - the Little Red Rooster returns. Additionally I do remember two special and unplanned occasions when I had the good fortune to watch the Rolling Stones and Mick Jagger. Both happened in London, England, the first around 1963 in a coffee bar near Soho in London. There was a small enthusiastic crowd which drew me in. The band unknown to me at the time seemed like they were rehearsing, which I am sure they were. I watched the small, noisy stage from the door-way. They were rough and ready at that time, but Mick Jagger always had that edgy, unpolished, and unconventional sort of vocal sound, even then.


The second occurrence was in the mid-60’s and at that time I was a frequent visitor to the Marquee club in London. One Thursday night the Stones were playing and the band sounded much more polished than the previous occasion a few years earlier.  But I recognized Mick Jagger’s vocal style instantly.


And so it began, prompted by this hidden underlying drive from a mystical connection to Mick Jagger.


I would like to acknowledge and give a very special thanks to: Kevin Simms whose continual feed-back and ideas help formulate many portions of this work. And due to Kevin’s prompting, and persistence, and younger memory, the story will be finished and published, and together we shall meet again and enjoy another beer with Mick Jagger.


Herein are the chapters of my story.


2. The Background


A daughter of one of the team remarked, much later after the trips were long finished with, that the values implanted in her from those family oriented socializing occasions still lived within her, and now these values are also passed on to her own children. At the time I never recognized the fact that I suppose, we were one large extended family.


This was the key that unlocked the vast store of images and stories that were held and hidden by myself and others within the group. This was the kicking-off point.


We were all mostly typical nuclear families - two parents, two and one-half children (I am not sure what happened to my other one-half child?), with one parent staying at home to care for the children - this now has apparently disappeared.


To expand on this point all participants in this story came from traditional family backgrounds and we were raising our own children with a similar priority of beliefs, attitudes and values, which I often think are somewhat missing or have changed in many of today’s families. None of us were particularly religious but used common sense, instinct, and this set of values as our guidelines through life, but there was a deeper underlying natural communal spirit that bonded us all together and helped guide our decisions and behaviors.


Video games and home computers were in their infancy, so recreation time for the young ones, and us Golden Oldies, was spent outdoors exploring, and playing organized and unorganized games and sports. Every week-end 5 or 6 families would head up to Long Bay park with cricket gear, a football and a rugby ball, and food for a BBQ. Everyone adults and children joined in, and on one special occasion the famous All-Black John Kirwin joined in and kicked the ball around for 5 minutes. Today, my grand children and grand nieces and grand nephews are babysat by electronic devices so the parent can do other stuff away from the kids. The use of social media to spread memes and other gossip and images is causing so much distress with sometimes disastrous consequences. The worst that could happen in our day was a broken arm from falling off a skateboard.


We now have the post-nuclear family, two parents working; single-parent families; adoptive families; remarried families; same sex parents, and so on. This family is more fluid, more flexible, and more obviously vulnerable to change and pressures from outside itself, than in the period this story covers.


Our old family values were traditional values that were passed on from generation to generation within the family that addressed the family roles, family structure and function, attitudes, and ideas. These traditional values were like unwritten codes that guided our actions as individuals. They helped us decide what was right or wrong. I only ever stole one thing from a shop, and felt so terribly guilty after the initial buzz of excitement had passed. I could never tell anyone about the incident.


A friend recently commented on a visit to our old clubrooms, where much of the old camaraderie and social interaction between players and spectators existed, had diminished. There is now, very definitely a different atmosphere or culture during matches and at the after match functions. A major impact is “money”, and even amateur players at club level now expect a fee to play. Good players were always paid a small match fee, but not everyone in the team. And club management is now remunerated and mostly full-time, while going back 20 years or more these management chores were labours of love. So I believe the age which fostered groups such as the Glenfield Golden Oldies to exist, has probably vanished forever.


I now see youngsters from financially well-off families taking up sports such as golf,

ice hockey, tennis, where the equipment or coaching costs prohibit less well-off families

from participating. Football is a truly world-wide sport as the equipment is inexpensive and a vacant dirt-patch is easy to find. Eventually the local football talent pool gets smaller, due to encroachment by higher visibility sports and the parochial support of local football clubs has diminished. Families have moved away from the urban areas of the clubs into sub-urban or fully rural areas.


Even a small and low profile football club such as Glenfield Rovers, pay average players to play first team football. What kind of team or club spirit will that encourage? In the 80’s with a vibrant youth section, junior players aimed to get in the first team, at the club to which they or their parents belonged to. Family and friends hung around to make it a vibrant, enthusiastic, loyal, and supportive group for all levels of the club. This helped foster a strong social gathering for senior, open grades, and junior sections of the club, as well as providing a players pool for open (social) grade football and many coaches and referees for junior teams. It seemed like a natural progression – junior player to senior player; spectator/parent to player, or coach, or referee.


Now everyone can afford to take vacations by using credit cards, by extending mortgages, but back in the 80’s we wanted to save, making it a special event. Thus fund raising became a big boost to many in the group. So the money flow is different now compared to the 80’s. On a whim, we can now pop off to a remote destination, on our own, and have bragging rights.


Another factor that has changed since the 80’s that I am sure played a large part in my family bonding was road trips. This required its participants to spend multiple hours squeezed into a car to head to a destination (normally a beach), to meet up with friends, and several times to a football tournament, often for junior tournaments such as at Mata Mata. In later times we would fly to an overseas destination, for a holiday. A Sunday drive was a staple of my children when growing up, as was the stop at a favourite road-side café. There was a great café stop on the way to Thames. The journey was as much fun as the destination. And the car was always full of well used AA maps, and discarded fish and chip wrappings - never McDonalds or KFC debris. And we took our rubbish home with us, and not throw it out of the car window like we now see littered on roadsides and footpaths everywhere.


While as a group we were of somewhat dissimilar personalities, and broadly different backgrounds, like a summer seed-head we dispersed, and now rarely meet. On occasion we do make contact via the digital media, or face to face, our previous mutual relationships, friendships and camaraderie still remains a powerful common bond.

To put everything in context, we had unconsciously, placed much emphasis on socializing (BBQ’s, after match meet-ups, camping, etc.) within the group, and all of this, despite many of our team raising teenage families and struggling with careers. I now reflect that our small group was a microcosm of the World in general, and whatever problems and challenges the World faced, we faced as a group: tragedies, comedies, politics, and sexual misbehavior. I am absolutely sure that we were a rather unique group of individuals, which circumstances threw together. And that, to us, the experiences we embarked upon cemented something special and incomprehensible, to others, in our consciousness. So much so, that the strength of the kinship became an inspiration to others as well as a tremendous jealousy.


For a while other social groups formed and mimicked our style and Endeavour’s, but generally they failed to match our organization and enthusiasm and fell by the wayside.


It also became apparent, that as we all grew older, and the team slid down the league hierarchy, and the overseas trips and tournaments grew less, something else was happening. Youthfulness was leaving us behind, children had left home, and the wear and tear of playing through injuries, caught up with us. We could no longer manage and enjoy these football related activities. Bit by bit we fragmented and fell apart.


Think of the following chapters as a series of short stories in a social history chronicle. Those times cannot be described as being better, or worse than today’s vacations; just different. These stories fill a gap which possibly reflects a changing World with it’s changing attitudes and values; and will help explain how and why our special group evolved in the later part of the 20th Century.


I note that today groups of friends and families attend remote destination weddings, and I would imagine that participants on those trips have similar experiences to the Golden Oldies movement, but without the fundraising, and only at a one-off event.


As I was the main administrator contact for the group, I still receive an occasional email from the Golden Oldies Movement, advising on Golden Oldies / old-timers / masters tournaments for a variety of sports (e.g. soccer, rugby, bowls, and cricket) in a variety of countries (e.g. Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and USA). So old-timers sporting events are still alive, but I don’t know how well participated. I am too old to try again. But I did swap emails with John Lindsay on this matter, and we made it this far: ”2017 masters games are in Auckland NZ. If u would like to have a good delve into what is happening then do so. Bowls are in there, and so is football, oldest divisions are over 55 and over 60. Have a read and see what u think.”


Many of my old football mates are now into the game of lawn-bowls, but I think it is the cheap beer at the bowling clubs, rather than the game that is the attraction.


Then there was this email:


Let the Love of the Game take you to Christchurch, New Zealand and join us from 1-29 April 2018 for the Christchurch Casino Golden Oldies Sports Celebration 2018.

Besides joining us for a great celebration of sport, you will also be part of Golden Oldies History!
Throughout the month of April 2018, Christchurch will play host to 10 Golden Oldies World Sports
Festivals resulting in the largest festival of its kind: Basketball, Cricket, Football, Golf, Hockey,
Lawn Bowls, Netball, Rugby, Softball and Squash.


And this email received in July 2018:


“Book a date with Denver! Golden oldies Rugby 2020

Over 300 days of sunshine, spectacular natural beauty, one of America's finest craft beer centres, amazing live music and one of the most passionate rugby community's you'll ever have the pleasure of meeting.
Golden Oldies Rugby Denver 2020 will be the trip of a lifetime and we'd love to have you along for the ride!

This email was sent by Golden Oldies, Vintage Sport and Leisure Ltd,
Orewa 0946, Auckland, New Zealand







3. The Introduction


In the spring of 1979 I drove into McFetridge Park Auckland, in a canary yellow 1976 Plymouth Duster, as the refrains of rock and disco music started reverberating around the three-quarter empty gravel parking lot. The sounds of Donna Summer, The Bee Gees, Gloria Gaynor and the Rolling Stones (Little Red Rooster) emanating from the new concrete-block walled, and cement floored building that was home of our football club, Glenfield Rovers AFC. As was normal for a Monday night the three football fields were not in use, the meager and under powered flood-lights were dark. The cold changing rooms which also housed the toilet amenities, smelt damp and moldy. The cold changing rooms were littered with used playing apparel, forgotten by players hurriedly packing their bags in their rush to escape to the “pub” after a game or a practice session. This accumulation of rubbish may have been weeks old and would have contributed to the unpleasant stale odor hanging around the building. If we wanted to socialize after the exercise, we had to meet elsewhere.


The Duster was the last visible remnant of a previous periods of my life spent in Canada and the UK. Football was different in Canada, not only was it called Soccer, but there were some facilities owned by a club or a team. These teams were centered on groups of similar interest, but mostly ethnic origin (Germany, Britain, Holland, Croatia, Serbia, Italy and Portugal). All games, except at the highest level were mostly played on public parks owned by a City, and the after game facilities such as club room or changing room were mostly non-existent, except for the ethnic clubs. After game refreshments required meeting back at a regularly frequented bar or ethnic club, such as the German orientated Schwaben Club. So New Zealand made a refreshing change where most sporting clubs, whatever the code (Football, Rugby Union, Rugby League, Cricket, field Hockey), were centered around a local sub-urban club house.  This club oriented philosophy built a strong affiliation within the club and it’s suburb and fostered keen rivalries between other clubs where the suburbs were close to each other (e.g. Glenfield, Birkenhead, Forrest Hill, North Shore (Devonport), and East Coast Bays). It was around the early 1980’s that there was a boom in clubs renovating and upgrading the club-room facilities, and this was in line with higher wages in general and greater disposable income of the club members. Plus there was also the desire to stick together and keep profits close.


In the early 80’s there were two buildings standing on McFetridge Park. The original dark, damp, and drafty, changing rooms (a concrete block shed), which included a small tuck-shop (run by Kevin’s mother - an example of how a family integrated into the fabric of a sports club), where players remained uncomfortable and miserable for a long while after a cool shower on a cold, wet, windy day, and a very muddy pitch (then pitch #2 or #3). This was especially true when four teams were changing and showering at the same time. In any case the shower did nothing to clean the stinking swamp-like mud that clung to the knees and boots like chewing gum. Even a case of Lion Red beer in the changing room never seemed to really help. However, a short car trip up the hill to the Glenfield Tavern bar was a much better after-the-game meeting place, and was forever popular, as it was both wet and warm. I suppose that this early relationship between the club and the pub was the reason the Tavern became the main sponsor of the first team in later seasons. (Liquor would be many a person's friend, were they celebrating winning or losing)


The newer building was the ground floor and phase-1 of an ambitious development project that would house Glenfield Rovers Football Club well into the 21st Century. This new building incorporated larger more comfortable changing rooms and certainly better showers, and a short walk down a corridor to a carpeted main hall. After a while the planned liquor licence was obtained and a bar and bar-manager were put in place in the

freshly painted hall. It was relatively luxurious compared to the old changing shed. However, being the basement of a larger and grander building meant that the stale smoky air could only be exchanged with the fresh outside air through a set of double doors, and it was not a very efficient gas exchange system. Smoking inside a public building was still allowed, and at the end of the night out clothes stank of smoke and spilt beer, and went straight into the wash basket back at home.


It always seemed to me to be a contradiction that we played a game, or practiced for 2 hours or so, and then spend a few hours drinking and undoing all the benefits of the fitness. I was always aware that drinking after an injury occurred, such as a pulled muscle, was frowned upon by medics as it thinned the blood and inhibited clotting, thereby delaying the date of healing. But none of this mattered as we socialized with our team, our opponents, or in fact with any new or old friend.


Additional funds beyond the reach of the modest club at that time were needed to build phase-2 top-level. This grand main-level was a much later stage of development although detailed plans had already been drafted and approved. So I suppose, this is why a form of mutualism developed between the organization of the club, and our group of social football players who wanted to play beyond the confines of the club and local associations - the Golden Oldies football team. Each benefitted from the other in this non-parasitic relationship which lasted from the early 80’s to the late 90’s.


The benefits to the club not only included, receiving money generated by fundraising, but also willing help in the form of coaches, managers, and players for both junior and senior branches of the club, as well as participation in the running of the club at the highest level - the management committee. I can even remember giving up part of a Friday evening, doing my rostered duty to mark the fields with lime, using a contraption, where the rusting and paint caked wheels probably worked best 20 years earlier.


And another often ignored fact was that our group were also willing participants in the interior/exterior decoration of the upstairs level once building framework was complete.


Anyway, each Monday night the club’s lower level main hall was booked for a Jazzercise session organized and initially patronized by the clubs Golden Oldie football team. This was the first venture that benefitted both the club and the Golden Oldies. The club received valuable hall rental fees on a night when the clubroom was unused, and the Golden Oldies raised funds for themselves by charging a $2.00 entry fee.


Co-incidentally, around the World at this time there was a growing association of older- age (masters) team sports, which was given the generic name of the Golden Oldies movement, and players were being organized into teams, and teams into tournaments, with teams in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand being at the forefront. I remember Air New Zealand originally became involved with, and sponsored the first international festival of Golden Oldies Rugby in Auckland. They fostered and encouraged Golden Oldies Rugby worldwide and organized biennial international festivals. Soon after Rugby, about 1983, football festivals were added to the family of Golden Oldies sports festivities. It is recorded that Air New Zealand had invested many hundreds of thousands of dollars into the movement, organizing and presenting sports tournaments in several different countries including New Zealand, Australia, USA, and UK.


The festivals sounded interesting to us, with a week of organized sport and associated activities and functions. The festivals welcomed not only players but also: partners, spouses, families, and supporters. Each festival had the same format, three days of games on alternate days, and three specially-created social functions for all participants. These functions consisted of a Welcome Party, a mid-week function to enjoy a 'taste' of the host country (food and drink), and a Gala Farewell Banquet. All of these events, as well as after match-day functions catered perfectly to that aspect of life related to camaraderie aided by alcoholic refreshments, as we learned to our satisfaction in later years.


Glenfield Golden Oldies sampled this fare initially at the 1992 Surfers Paradise festival and we had a memorable time on and off the field, but more on that later. The festivals offered an abundance of fun, friendship, and fraternity, and these attributes were very much aligned to the thinking behind the original formation of the Glenfield Golden Oldies.

A perfect and memorable indication that these tournaments and festivals gave special moments to more than just the Glenfield Golden Oldies, happened unexpectedly one evening in 2018 while on holiday from Canada. Kevin Simms, and I, was out to dine in Devonport, Auckland, when we started chatting with a couple on the next table. It started with a casual remark about football that was overheard and tweaked the interest of the other party. This initiated a subsequent connection to the first Surfers festival (1992). At that point we started discussing the past and it turned out that the other man was an ex-player from the Thames Football club. Thames used to hold an annual over 30’s tournament, at which Glenfield Over-30’s or Over-35’s regularly attended. Thames is about 1 hour and 45 min (114.8 km) from Glenfield.

Further, the Thames player was also at the first Surfers festival (1992), and remembers, playing Glenfield Golden Oldies, and we reminisced and reflected on those festivals and that Bobby Moore (World Cup winner for England in 1996) was a week long guest of honour at the festival. I also pointed out to the Thames player that I remembered him well (joke) and still bore the scars of his nailed on boot studs (big laugh).


It was no surprise that Glenfield’s first Over-30’s team were formed to enter a new age-graded football competition which was organized by the Auckland Football Association.

The competition was aimed originally at the over 30’s age group. Ultimately this turned out to be a good move for the Football Association as the competition grew from 3 initial divisions (24 teams) into at least 6 divisions, and also expanded into an over 35’s competition comprising another 6 divisions.  Our original Glenfield’s Over-30’s was comprised of, and was inspired by a group of older first team, reserve and open-grade players, but we all had a common goal of fun first but still wanting to play a decent standard of football. As well as the age graded competitions the Auckland Football Association also organised other social or open graded competitions ranging from “AFA Senior”, and “Open Grade A” to “Open Grade F”.


The Glenfield Golden-Oldies in its infancy started out as a social off-shoot of Glenfield’s AFA Senior team and the Open-A grade team, with a sprinkling of veterans from the first team and reserves, and naturally we were a collection of players of differing playing abilities, ages and ethnic backgrounds. One thing we all had in common was a fondness of football and travel. It was no surprise that a core of this eclectic group started thinking about a “team-trip”. The Golden Oldies all had this common goal of stretching playing years, keeping fit and having fun. After a very short time a unique camaraderie grew between the players and our wives and girl-friends, some more than others. Socializing after games on a Saturday and during the off-season was common. A local tennis club (at Birkenhead) was also a beneficiary of this socializing as a group of the football players joined in fair numbers.  And later on a local Glenfield bowling club, also benefitted.


It was through this friendship and fellowship that thoughts of playing further afield than Auckland were often discussed. The Golden Oldies naturally formalized into a recognized organization, still affiliated to and within the Glenfield Rovers community, and we started meeting regularly, with the main purpose of deciding the how, the when and the where of an off-season trip. In the mean-time friendly matches were often arranged on a Sunday or in the summer against older age groups from other Auckland clubs with similar minded players. These out-of seasons (summer) friendly matches were often arranged and after a couple of years this lead to trying local social-graded tournaments at: Forrest Hill, Birkenhead, West Auckland, and Waiheki Island. Then further afield to Thames, Mt. Maunganui and Melville. At this time some wives and children also attended, though this was not a uniform practice within the group, more of a personal choice.


In our trip meetings the potential of playing games in several overseas venues was discussed, with Australia and Fiji high on the list. After much debate Fiji was the democratically selected location for the first trip. Due to its infancy, which caused some uncertainty within the Golden Oldies group, Air New Zealand’s football festivals were passed over at this time. But with a friend of the group being part owner of a local travel agency, we had had important access to information on locations, hotels and flights which made us believe we could do all the arranging ourselves, rather than leaving that to the Golden Oldies festival organizers.


Members within the group possessed a wide range of disposable income, that being derived by both white and blue collared workers. This of course led to a wide range of views on how to pay for such a trip, spanning from “pay your own way” to “sponsorship” to “fundraising”. It was ultimately agreed that “fundraising” would be the fairest way to proceed. However there were to be stipulations that had to be met. For every fundraising venture embarked upon, attendance for each individual in the group was noted and recorded. Proceeds from each fundraising project were to be split in proportion to the effort provided by the individual oldie, our wives or our girlfriends. Furthermore, funds raised would first go to the playing member and any balance would be split amongst the travelling partners.


The composition of the group changed from time to time but generally skills included an electrician, an electrical engineer, a printer, a plumber, a computer programmer, a warehouseman, a painter, a lift (elevator) mechanic, a building foreman, a builder, a millwright, an accountant. The Golden Oldies included a fair representation of company owners, self-employed and employed. So generally this was a good group to get involved with specialized fundraising labour projects.


If a member dropped out of the group, their share of the funds raised to that point would be refunded. Additionally each oldie had to deposit $50 per month into the groups recently opened bank account. Everyone was encouraged to participate in fundraising, even those with more than modest means. We were building a unified team and this was seen as a great way to bond even further.


In 1980 the date of the trip was decided. It was to be quite soon after a local playing season had finished, and set for October 1982. This gave the Golden Oldies 2 years to raise as much money as possible which hopefully would include all airfares, accommodation and a little spending money, as any shortfall would have to be met by all the committed individuals.


It should be noted that during an approximate 15 year span, the core of the Golden Oldies social group remained the same, but on the more serious side of playing Saturday competition football the original Open-A grade team moved across to Over-30’s, then Over-35’s as our legs became sorer – carrying more belly baggage, joints became stiffer, more bandaged, wrapped and injury prone, and obviously slower. Aging was having an affect, and so other younger and sociably acceptable players were drafted into the Saturday teams when retiring naturally occurred. But it is known for certain, that to this day one of the core group (John) is still playing Saturday Over-35 football at Glenfield well into his 60’s.


I, a veteran a little older than John, still had (until 2016) a few games a year for a local pub team in Canada, until the league folded due to lack of over 35 players. At the end I found lacing and unlacing the boots, and pulling up socks, harder than playing the game.

And chasing the “make up numbers” sons of other old-timers in opposition teams was near impossible.


4. Raising Funds


Chapter 4.1 - Jazzercise


Jazzercise was an aerobic exercise form that suited our Golden Oldies requirement to maintain fitness during the off-season, and was of benefit to our wives and girlfriends at the same time. The Monday night session was the first of many fundraising activities employed to raise money for the Fiji trip. The sessions were organized and presented by a member of the group, Terry Horseman, because he said he was the “fittest”. Terry wore brief but baggy shorts, covering flimsy, silky underwear that left very little to the imagination. Most of the women did not position themselves too close to his instructional and guiding gyrations on the raised stage.


On the other hand there were regularly at least two exceptionally good looking, fit, and tightly clad women in the audience, and the men would jostle to get a close-by starting position so as to ogle their firm, curvy, sweating bodies. Terry did produce a hard work-out, and by and large most escaped unscathed by any serious injuries. A few did succumb and I bear the scars of a weak lumber region to this day. Warm-ups were short and hard, and produced a sweat before the actual session started. There was no warm-down period at the end of the session, other than a short dash to the car to avoid the rain or the cold.


The hall was used several times a week as a bar after the Saturday games, and Tuesday through Thursday night training sessions. The floor was spotted generously with beer stains from careless inebriated players and fans. One had to search out a reasonably clean area of the carpet to hygienically negotiate the Jazzercise floor exercises. In winter a series of low wattage overhead electric fires did not spread sufficient warmth to raise the temperature of the carpet covered concrete floor to anything other than just above temperature of cold beer. The sensible took an exercise mat.


Spanning a two year period jazzercise sessions probably raised around $3,000 for the group, and the Club benefited by over $1,000. This was an outstanding effort by Terry, and all those that participated in this fun but arduous event.



Chapter 4.2 – Garage-Sales


The smell of the Mad Butchers best pork sausages, sizzling on the grill of a home-made barbeque, was a sign that things were stirring in the bowels of the clubrooms on Archers Rd. It signified another popular fundraising event for the Golden Oldies, a Saturday morning “garage sale and sausage sizzle”.


In New Zealand at that time, apart from filler and spices, most sausages were allowed to be made from a mixture of beef, pork and mutton. The type of sausage depended on the proportions of each meat in the sausage. So a pork sausage contained (in the order of meat-ratios) pork, beef, and mutton. A beef sausage contained, beef, pork, and mutton, and a lamb sausage contained mutton (and presumably some lamb), pork, and beef. It was one way in which vast quantities of sheep-meat could be disposed of surreptitiously. On the barbeque was a mixture of pork and beef sausages. Anyway, tucked into a bun with onions and mustard, one considered not, the contents of the flavorful delicacy, but always wondered which was beef or pork as the lamb (mutton) flavour masked all else. Cooking was easy on a home-made, half an oil barrel BBQ, acquired by Mike Hollick.


It was beholden on every Oldie to scour their house and garden for items we no longer had a use for. Even neighbors, friends, and comrades from within the club were cajoled into providing redundant and surplus items. Pete McBrierty, who worked at the navy dockyard, could always be counted upon to supply, amongst other engineering-type hardware items, gallon tins of gunmetal grey paint. We were sure that’s the reason the Royal New Zealand Navy’s peace-time fleet (about a dozen ships) never looked resplendent in similar colours.


On the Friday evening before the garage sale, the Golden Oldies met to unload their cargos. With a philosophy of “one man’s junk being another man’s treasure” anything and everything was saleable. The fun part of the evening was trying to sort the items into recognizable piles, hangers, or bins, for pricing. Some items defied categorization. Where do you put a three foot long carved wooden spoon, for example. In the end that spoon wasn’t sold but donated to a special use within the Football club, a “stirrer of the year” award, of which there were many candidates (myself included). One never discarded clothing that had been recently worn in public. Imagine the fun when Doug Cresswell our resident joker noticed such items. Prancing around the hall bedecked in Maureen Johnstone’s old frock and Sue Smith’s hat, had those gathered, crying with laughter.


Once things were sorted into an order, prices were established for most items, and that which was un-priced would be open for negotiation with a potential buyer.


Advertisements in the local North Shore Friday and Saturday papers, notices in the clubrooms, and word-of-mouth ensured a good turnout of potential buyers. After about two of these garage-sales it was noticed that traders and dealers in second-hand bric-a-brac, clothing, furniture, and other curiosities were always first to arrive when the doors to the sale opened. While it was annoying that they bought some of the “good” stuff early before the casual bargain hunters arrived. We did have their money, so we didn’t really have too much to complain about. Who knows if an item would have been sold later in the day?


An active McFetridge park, being situated on a busy Archers Rd, especially with Saturday shoppers passing by, was always a magnet for locals. Many would-be passers by stopped, had a browse, and departed with at least a sausage, and perhaps some useful nick-knack.


After a day of cooking and selling sausages and the second-hand cast-offs, we counted the proceeds. As was the normal custom, the hall was hired from the club and the hall-hire portion was subtracted from the total money made, to provide our profit.


It so happened that not everything was sold on the Saturday, so there was further effort involved in disposing of the unsold remainder. Harold Duimstra, our Friesian-made mid-field dynamo, whose sister sold stuff the Takapuna flea-market, suggested that the left-over’s be sold at this market. It was unanimously agreed that this should happen, except for the fact that finding volunteers to sell the goods at 4:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning was difficult. Showering at 4:00 a.m. was quite hard after a night of partying, but the reward of an inexpensive overseas trip was most welcome, and a great incentive. Some of our members arrived directly from a party, in a condition not too conducive to selling merchandise. Even after disgorging the contents of the stomach on the car park floor, but out of site to the customers.


After a sales site was registered, paid for, and claimed, most of the items were sold, and those that weren’t were given free of charge to Harold’s sister to dispose of when we had had enough. If they couldn’t be sold here that was the end of the road, we had no further use for them. The irony was, breakfast was usually somebody else’s fundraising sausage on a bun, to aid another group of savvy fund raisers looking for that hard-earned dollar. What goes around comes around.


Harold’s sister found an interesting way of disposing of all of the ‘left over’ clothing as a one bulk lot to a South Auckland Pacific Island Church, that distributed the clothing to its ‘poorer’ parishioners. They’d take anything & everything that was left at the end of each weekend market for $50 or something acceptable, we weren’t greedy. The church got a pile of much needed clothing, so we didn’t have to ‘dispose’ of the week’s leftovers - a win/win situation all around. I recall they got to know and like the arrangement and a couple of church folk would always be on hand each Sunday at the market’s closing time to see if we had ‘a bulk lot’ they could help us with. It made the packing up so much easier.


I also believe we sold around 25% of our trip raffle tickets at those markets too, after a bit of cajoling to a sort of captured audience?


Each “garage sale and sausage sizzle” raised about $1,500 for the Golden Oldies and the Football club itself made about $200 for the hall hire.






Chapter 4.3 - Raffles


Many an experienced fundraiser has said there are 5 top raffle prize ideas that will get people’s attention. The top of the list being travel – for example a roundtrip airfare, a package deal, a cruise, a hotel stay. Most people love to travel but the biggest obstacle is usually cost. Now if they won this raffle, they’ll just have to take some time off work and go.


The Golden Oldies were well aware of this opportunity to raise money and accordingly booked our trips well in advance of the date of the travel. Because we would probably book 30 to 40 tickets (including children) , this afforded the opportunity (purchasing power) to acquire two additional tickets for the organised trip prize, and with some judicious bargaining with our friendly travel agent, normally got us the two extra tickets at a very good price. Now and again one free ticket for every 10 adult members travelling could be the bonus. These two extra tickets were bundled with a 10-day land package and incorporated with a flexible departure time. Any additional expenditure that couldn’t be scrounged from a travel agent would be purchased by the group.


Two raffle necessities were left to organize, 1) get a friendly printer to print 5,000 tickets, 2) establish our method and logistics for selling the tickets. A few important details had to be printed on the tickets to make them legal: the name of the organising group, the number of tickets in the draw, the price of the ticket, the value and description of the prize, the draw date and where the results would be published, and that the raffle would be drawn under police supervision. Each ticket necessarily contained a unique number between 1 and 5,000.


The ticket price was set at the reasonable amount of $1.00, but tickets were stapled into books of 6 and a book could be purchased for $5.00 (an extra ticket for free was a good incentive to sell).


Selling the tickets was a matter of selecting several local venues with good pedestrian traffic, and also around the club rooms with the clubs permission. Personally each Oldie had a challenge to sell 50 tickets (10 books of 6) away from the clubrooms, which most managed to do while some took more if we were able. The balance of the tickets were sold by rosterred groups of 2 or 3 people in 4 hour shifts on a week-end, at venues at the local malls, and liquor outlets, where prior permission was obtained, of course.


If this activity seemed to be the serious part of the fund-raising objective, it was. Accounting for ticket money raised (potentially $10,000) and ticket-stub whereabouts (5,000 small tickets distributed amongst 20 or so people, including some children) was an exercise in sound management and accounting principles. But at that time Harold worked in a bank so he was responsible for the safe keeping of the proceeds.


Mostly we sold close to all of the tickets, which provided close to $5,000 profit after expenses. The biggest challenge was the collection of unsold tickets and ticket-book stubs and sorting them into numerical order (1 to 5,000) for presentation at the local constabulary.


Of course there were always those that made excuses when the distributed unsold books and the sold stubs could not be found for collection. Some had washed them in their jeans, another’s were gobbled by the family pet (a dog). With the assembled sold and unsold tickets sorted into numerical order, less those missing tickets, it was off to the police station to make the draw.


Submitting the tickets for drawing became a somewhat nervous situation. The police constable went into a back room and returned with a cup and a set of normal 6-sided dice. Then the raffle details were recorded in a book. The next question was the most difficult when asked if all the tickets were present and correct, and trying to look calm and assured when replying “yes” – knowing perhaps 30 sold and unsold tickets were missing. Perjuring oneself to a police officer. What were the odds of one of the missing 30 numbers being drawn out of 5,000 numbers? A 1-in-166 chance which I took.


5,000 numbers is represented by 4 digits. This required the repeated throws of 2 dice until an aggregate number of less than 11 appeared (with 10 being the zero, and 11 and 12 being ignored).  This procedure was followed until each of the 4 digits was drawn. The number was duly recorded in the book and the ticket was to be retrieved from the “complete” set. This was now sweaty-palms time, trying to disguise a slight shaking of the hands while a ticket was withdrawn from the box of numerically ordered tickets. Over the years, on 3 separate occasions a missing ticket was luckily not drawn. The gods smiled down on the Golden Oldies.


The winning person was phoned and advised of their luck which was always well received, and it was always an enjoyable call to make. Arrangements were made for the winner to visit the travel agent and our job was complete, with a nice profit (around $5,000 in the bank account).


The Golden Oldies became proficient at organising and running raffles and on several occasions were asked by the club to assist in running raffles on their behalf. Our efforts were always provided for a small percentage of the profit which was arranged to be directed to the Golden Oldies coffers.









Chapter 4.4 – Housie (Bingo)


It was the time before smoking was banned in public buildings in New Zealand. Every helper went home with stuffed-up noses, weeping eyes and stinking clothes. These symptoms marked the end of another successful night for those running the Monday night Bingo (Housie) sessions.


Housie, a game of chance, was a big craze during the 80’s, and the Golden Oldies assumed one more bingo-hall on a Monday night would be a hit in the Glenfield, Takapuna and Birkenhead area. In New Zealand Housie was often used as a fund raiser by sports teams, and other groups, and fund-raising raffles were often sold before each session started. Our research into this venture lead us to discussions with government departments and banks, as well as canvassing friends, neighbors, acquaintances, and the Glenfield Rovers Football club.


If the Golden Oldies could get Housie organized, Glenfield Rovers Football were more that happy to participate by renting the downstairs hall for the occasion. In this case for a small percent of the profits. The Rovers were looking for much needed funds to embark on the top-floor project. Monday night was again chosen as the preferred night as by this time jazzercise had now become a recent memory, and it did not conflict with other local bingo parlors.  With necessary approval from the responsible government department, a bank account in place, and numbered tickets ordered, the word went out.


Before the Golden Oldies organized themselves into teams to run the event, it was first necessary to reconnoiter other parlors, and see how they were run. It was not too much of a challenge for the ambitious and enterprising group of Golden Oldies. Equipment was needed and acquired: a large board divided into 99 squares numbered 1 to 99, a revolving plastic bubble large enough to contain 99 numbered smaller balls, 99 balls numbered 1 to 99, and most importantly the numbered tickets that were purchased by the patrons.


A wife of a good football playing friend of the Golden Oldies was a big inspiration at the Housie. I think she had either been a regular Housie attendee as a player , or had experience organising sessions elsewhere. With her and Jim Watt (the caller) at the helm Housie became a real success.  We were advised that one of the attractions at any Bingo Hall is the Caller. They become like local celebrities. Jim became a bit of a 'fans favorite' with the local older girls who came to Housie . One night he couldn’t do the calling and we found a replacement (Mike Hollick I think) and the old girls just about went out on strike


The first few weeks of Housie passed and attendance was in the 30 to 50 patron range, but these numbers were boosted by a much encouraged Golden Oldie participation. It was a Golden Oldie who actually won the first “full-house” call. Slowly, as word spread around Glenfield, the numbers increased to a respectful 90 to 110 patron range, and most of these became regulars for the next few years.


On Monday nights the evening was divided into 2 sessions with a break for soft-drinks both hot and cold (no alcohol sales), at the end of the first session, and allowed sufficient time to purchase books for the second session. The Golden Oldies ran the full gamut of games including “single lines”, “2 lines”, “full house” and a bonus “Super Housie” game once each evening. Calculating prize amounts and profit was the chore of a son, of Jim Watt, who enjoyed mathematics, and was an accountant by profession. The Golden Oldies sold books of 10 games which were played over the course of a session. Players generally played between one and six books each session. There were those that played at most of the local Bingo halls and were very fast at checking and dabbing a number across multiple books (professionalism at Housie?).


Prior to each session the Golden Oldies sold tickets and dabbing-markers (specifically made to make a mark a number with an opaqueness that allowed the back-ground number to show through), and often raffle tickets for a small donated or purchased prize (a gift hamper the Golden Oldies assembled). The housie players were mostly habitual gamblers and chain-smokers, and if the chance afforded itself, gin-drinkers


The session crews comprised of the caller (of the randomly selected numbers), the checkers, 2 or 3 needed depending on the number of players (these roamed the hall and called out the numbers dabbed on the winning ticket), and 2 sellers (including the prize calculator).


It should be noted that the first and longest serving and our most infamous caller, Jim Watt, had a very strong Scottish brogue, and even those that knew him, often had trouble deciphering his language, especially after a beer or two. So it took several sessions for players to understand his renditions of “legs eleven”, and “66 - two fat ladies”. But in the end they’d cheerfully respond to the calls like “all the 7’s” with “77”.


The Golden Oldies ran the Housie sessions for 4 years or more, before relinquishing control of its organization and running to the football club itself. The housie survived long enough to move upstairs into the new top floor of the clubrooms, and provided both the Golden Oldies and the Glenfield Roves a regular and not insubstantial income flow.


The following is a copy of the first winning Housie ticket from the first session run by the Golden Oldies.





Chapter 4.5 - Painting


Without a doubt fund-raising by painting buildings was the most difficult challenge we met as the Oldie group. Being paid for work that was on show to the public required a fair degree of dedication, organization and professionalism. Starting with the submission of a quote, then choosing colours, organizing labour gangs, purchasing the correct quantity of paint in the agreed colours, purchasing equipment (brushes, rollers, etc..), and actually applying the paint to a professional standard which met the customers expectations, was a risky business. Failure would mean a reduced or nil payment.


Fortunately at that time, we had a professional painter in the group, John Hinton. Apart from making the tricky calculations as to timings, costing, manpower needed, and methods of approach, John also supplied a couple of painting opportunities that proved fruitful to the group, and John also provided professional guidance on each project. Also as luck would have it the Golden Oldies had access, through various members, to an assortment of ladders, trestles, pressure tanks, and spray guns, which made life easier for the gangs of painters, and allowed the Golden Oldies to reduce costs and increase profits.


There were three main projects in this phase of fund-raising: 1) painting the roof and exterior walls of a District Health Board building, 2) painting the interior walls of an

indoor cricket arena including changing rooms and toilet blocks, and 3) painting the complete exterior (roof, walls, windows and doors and trims) of a large 2-storey family home, in at least 3 colours. Every project required multiple weekends to complete, and larger work gangs meant the projects were completed sooner. Mostly the gangs comprised 5-8 Golden Oldies. Paul Smith the electrician, who had a head for heights, was always volunteered for the hard too reach places that many of the work gang faced with trepidation.


Under professional guidance and careful manpower planning every project was completed on time and gratefully accepted and approved by the customer, especially as they had mutually beneficial quote from the Golden Oldies in the first place. Most sessions ended with a few beers at the venue or at the nearest pub.


There were other smaller less significant renovation projects such as removing stipple-coatings of a fibrous material from ceilings. It was very dusty, painstaking and probably unhealthy work, for small reward, often it was for a member of the group. However plenty of beer flowed at the end to even things up. 


While initially seen as a risky venture, these projects turned out to be the most profitable for the Golden Oldies, and from subsequent-years inspections the painting held up to be of a high standard and not one complaint was ever received. This was hardly surprising since everyone owned their own home and was useful with tools and brushes on our own home-based projects. This venture probably netted $10,000 for the group.




Chapter 4.6- Christmas Cards


It was September and an advert was spotted in the local paper, The North Shore Times, seeking persons that could stuff Christmas cards into plastic wrappers. The work was to start immediately and the deadline was the end of November. The pay was piecemeal depending on progress-delivery of completed packages.


A quick meeting indicated the Golden Oldies should apply as the final profit was $4,000 or more, depending on the number of packets completed. A phone-call and an interview later and we had the job. The Golden Oldies profit was to be 4 cents per sealed packet, rounded off to a close approximation of fullness of the last completed returned box. Nobody was going to count each packet.


The job entailed picking up from a warehouse 600,000 individual cards packed in boxes, more if we wanted. At the start of the job they would loan out a heat-sealing machine for the cellophane packets the cards were to be placed in, Boxes of open-ended cellophane packets were also supplied. Six cards were to be inserted into each packet, and once sealed the packets were to be packed back into the boxes that originally came with the cards.


There were 60 boxes of 10,000 cards and 20 boxes of cellophane packets (100,000 packets) to be picked up and stored along with the heat-sealing machine. I volunteered to use my basement for the duration of the job. So the Golden Oldies had a storage place with sufficient room for workers to count, pack, seal, and box, the cards.


It took a one or two attempts to get a process worked out, but experience soon showed that counting cards and inserting was the slowest process and required the most manpower. Only one person sealing and packing was required, and he or she was kept busy by the 4-6 card handlers. The Golden Oldies decided that the best way was to attack this and meet the deadline was to hammer away at it hard during October and early November and then assess progress. It was arranged for groups of 6 or 7 to meet 3 times per week to try and “knock the project off” as quickly as possible.


It was a smelly sort of job, as most of card-stuffers were smokers, and the heat-sealing machine gave off a burnt cellophane smoke which smelt pungent. In the confines of the basement the doors and windows had to be kept open. It was a great socializing event for the women as this project was better suited to them rather than painting, for example.


Progress was rapidly made and we achieved the target of packing 600,000 cards by December 1st. and Payment of $4,000 was duly banked after the all equipment was returned. It is presumed that all went well as the Golden Oldies were asked to perform the same job the following year, under the same terms, which the group unanimously and promptly agreed to.





Chapter 4.7 – The Pope


Pope John Paul II has been the only Pope to have visited New Zealand and he arrived on Saturday November 22, 1986. On arrival at the Auckland Domain, he celebrated what was New Zealand’s biggest ever open air Mass. The Pope then travelled around the Auckland Domain in a specially made see through Pope-mobile, so the vast throngs of people in attendance (many thousands) could view him.


Once again an advert was spotted in the national newspaper, the NZ Herald. This time it was seeking helpers to staff several sales stalls, for one day only, Saturday November 22, at the Auckland Domain. It was a full day from 8:00 in the morning until 8:00 at night. The Auckland Domain is 75 hectare park which has been developed around the cone of an extinct volcano and is close to Auckland’s city centre.


It required a formal letter of application, followed by an interview of the Oldie group leaders, by the organizers of the day’s festivities, to secure the fund-raising project. The project required 12 helpers in 2 teams of rotating groups of 6. The 2 groups rotated on and off duty in 4 hour sessions. Our job on the day was to staff a large sales white tent selling Pope memorabilia: badges, T-shirts, plates, mugs, flags, etc.. There were no obligations to be a religious organization to get the job, but the Golden Oldies were asked to be respectful and courteous to everyone at the domain – in fact from memory this was written into a short written agreement.


It was deemed a simple project which allowed both male and female members to participate. The day started at 8:00 when the Golden Oldies had to assemble tables, solid and collapsible trestles, and other display cabinetry. The trucks containing boxes of the memorabilia had to be unloaded, unpacked and arranged on and in the display tables and cabinets. We were supplied with one till for collecting money and issuing receipts. A representative of the main organizers was on-hand to advise on the overall display set-up.


This set-up was to be completed by mid-morning and the Pope was to arrive at the domain around 3:00 pm. Crowds started arriving before mid-day and the job was to sell the Pope memorabilia to the public. From mid-day until about 5:00 pm was the busiest period and time flew by. There was however still time for each Oldie to catch a glimpse of the Pope in his pope-mobile as he passed close-by the sales tent.


The sales-project was not a commission based plan, but a one-off flat-fee. This removed the onus of being on a hard sales pitch and made for a very pleasant day out, especially as Auckland presented a day with fine early summer sunshine. Nevertheless there was a steady stream of sales throughout the busy period and the Golden Oldies sold the merchandise well.


At the end of the day there was still a clean up to do before the tent was dismantled, not the responsibility of the Golden Oldies. The unsold merchandise was repacked into boxes loaded back onto trucks. After the tables and other display cabinets were dismantled the group was free to leave.  About four weeks later the cheque for the agreed payment was received with a thank you letter. The Golden Oldies banked $1,500 for our efforts which worked out to around $10.00 per hour for the helpers. This turned out to be the straight forward fundraising project the group expected.


The official version of the Pope’s trip to New Zealand can be found here:

(The Pope's visit to NZ)







Chapter 4.8 – The Laundry


Probably the most unusual and short-lived of the fund-raising ventures was providing labour at a local commercial laundry. Mostly the Oldie women took part in the project, and it was menial work with low hourly rates. The job required 3 or 4 women, for 3 or 4 evenings per week, to turn up at the laundry and clock in and out. The job was loading large washing machines with dirty laundry, mostly work related items such as uniforms, and sort and stack the clean wash at the end of the cycle.


Mickey Pirovic and Kevin Simms also attended many of the laundry sessions as well, which was located in the Diana Drive area of Glenfield. These two took care of the heavy lifting of canvas bags of washing/cleaning and our women volunteers did all of the ‘skilled work’. Recollection has it that there was some ‘clowning around (Mickey P.) and generally keeping themselves amused and distracted from the ‘mundane’ of working in a laundry (they were both professional, white collar workers at the time) , and possibly being a nuisance to the full time, regular laundry staff. But they did indicate that they really did work hard, but it was a real grind indeed.


I do not remember who provided the introduction to this project but due to the nature of the work, the attitudes of the regular laundry workers to us part-time labourers, and the hours of work, it was decided to cancel this project after only 3 weeks. The project probably only realized only $150 during this time.




Chapter 4.9 - FOOTNOTE:


It should be noted that these fundraising ventures took place during the 20-year span of the Golden Oldies activities. However, while these projects relate to raising funds for the various trips, memory loss during the writing delay, has diminished the opportunity to indicate which projects related exactly to which trips - fading memory bank, worn out circuits, blown fuses, and corrupted bits.






5. The Trips


The beginning of this book outlined the reasons for writing it, the background, and introduction chapters cover these aspects. This chapter explores and ponders on the details of the actual trips the Golden Oldies planned, organized, and undertook. I will never probably never know why, or the reasons that this group did these things collectively as we were such a diverse group of individuals. Yet the trip projects were all successfully carried out to conclusion.


We certainly “clicked” as a group. I can honestly recall only one incidence when there was a note of bitterness and unpleasantness that that caused an unsavory situation that left some shame on the group.


The following are the details of the various football/social trip projects.




Chapter 5.1 - Fiji Trip (1982) (mixed) Naviti resort:


“Bula” - welcome


This was our first overseas trip as a group of Golden Oldie Football players.  We had raised enough money to pay each players trip and accommodation at the Naviti all-inclusive resort, nestled on Fiji’s Coral Coast. Wives had to chip in some for their trip, but not the full amount. One of our close associates (Rex Chandler, travel agent) at the Rovers was a willing assistant in suggesting the location and then organizing the trip and free tickets for the raffle (Chapter 3.3 - Raffles). This organizing made our busy lives much easier.


No permission was sought from New Zealand Football Association (NZFA) to play matches overseas, which was an international requirement for teams at all levels of football.  But what alerted authorities and landed us in to trouble was writing to the Fiji Football Association (FFA) to get contacts for Fijian teams that may be willing to play matches against us. The FFA informed the NZFA, and we received a written letter from the NZFA that acted as a reprimand, a mere slap on the wrist, and the NZFA granted the Golden Oldies permission to play in Fiji. But we had learned our lesson for later trips.


Three games were arranged prior to departing Auckland through the Fiji FA. Against Nandi (Nadroga), where we were advertised in their local paper as the “Auckland Champs” and they also misspelled our club name (Glenville). Also they named us Champs of Auckland. Over-30’s division-1 winners we may have been, but we were still a very good team. And also two other arranged matches against Sigatoka and Suva, plus a hastily arranged match against the local village, where most of the village worked for Naviti Resort so it was really as much a home match for us as it was for them, no travel.


We found very early on during the trip that a local beer, Fiji bitter, was a very good tasting beer which pleased most of our palates, a good substitute for beers back home. Our fondness for its flavour meant that every match trip had a stocked up bus, and every trip back from outside the resort meant bringing back replacement stocks, as there was no beer store located on the resort.


At one Football game we watched prior to our own match, the pitch was surrounded by what must have been 500 supporters right on the touchline. The game was played between native Fijians and Indo-Fijians. The Indo-Fijians were descended from indentured labourers from the northern part of India brought to the islands by Fiji's British colonial rulers between 1879 and 1916 to work on Fiji's sugar cane plantations.


There was no love lost between the two sets of players and supporters. As soon as an Indo-Fijian was hurt or sent tumbling the crowd burst into a hysterical laughter. An eye opener for us, as up until then we thought they both groups got along quite well.


One thing we noticed quite early in our stay at Naviti was that the Fijians were a tall race of people. Most males working around the resort were as tall as or taller than our tallest player, probably Pete McBrierty.



Match Against Nandi (Nadroga)

After the match the assistants from the local club brought us large canisters of warm, sweet Milo as the after the game drink. This, after we had played 90 minutes in 30 degree plus weather. Luckily we had a Fiji bitter stock pile on the bus for the trip home.


During this match we were being outplayed by a strong and tall Nandi team that included a few Fijian international players, and who were using the match as a warm-up for an upcoming international. An incident of note was when Dave Morris received the ball around the half-way line, sprinted half the length of the pitch, and scored a screamer into the top corner of the goal, then slid on his knees in celebration. It was only when Dave turned around to claim adoration from the team that he noticed the linesman’s flag waving and the goal was disallowed, for being off-side. That was a huge discussion point with Dave for a long time after the trip had finished. This also brought back memories of an Over-30’s match back in Auckland, against Onehunga Sports, when Dave had scored 8 goals in the match and wanted one more goal to complete a hat-trick of hat-tricks. No one would pass him the ball as we all knew how this Aussie would crow about that feat. Dave talked about that lack of comradeship for ages afterwards.


Also the quite large crowd (several 100) had to pay 50c admission to watch the game.


Match Against Sigatoka


In the second match versus Sigatoka there were no changing facilities and we changed from casual clothes to Football gear, behind bushes, and other places that afforded privacy. After the game the shower was a hose attached to a single cold tap out the back of a bar, which was nearby to the match field, and substituted as Sigatoka’s club-rooms.


One other point of interest was that the bar was a men’s only club room, and having our wag’s present provided our hosts a bit of a surprise, I mean we would have thought that we should have forewarned by them. The last men’s only drinking premises in Auckland was back in the early 1980’s. When we all arrived, all the men in the club stood up as a mark of grudging respect for the ladies in their midst. I presume they couldn’t entirely refuse our entry.


In this second match we found the height of most native Fijians rather a challenge for us, and even our tallest players were considered shortish. However, during one corner, Paul Smith climbed onto Mike Hollick’s shoulders to gain a height advantage for the corner kick. The local referee did not see the funny side of the incident and he gave both players a severe telling off. And the crowd of about 500 indicated their dislike of the move with some raucous cat calls, although many may have been supporting this illegal but humorous maneuver.


Match Against Naviti Village


The local villagers all knew we were a visiting football team from Auckland, and suggested we play their local village team on a spare day. This we agreed to do and set a suitable day and time, if they supplied the pitch.


The pitch was a rough cow paddock and cows must have been moved off of it shortly before the game, as the cow pats were still fresh and fly covered. We played the match, the Golden Oldies in our smart black and gold strip, and the villagers in an assorted array of coloured shirts, shorts and socks, and the odd bare foot.  There were many occasions when we did not head the ball, but rather choosing to duck under it, as it previously had bounced in a cow pat.


At the end of the game we all amicably shared a beer together, and we offered them our beer bottles after taking a swill. When offered back for another swig we politely declined and said “it’s yours” keep it.


As many had no socks for inside the playing boots or shoes, we generously gave them our socks after the game - we had a spare back-up set. Later that day we saw the black and gold socks of Glenfield Rovers merrily swaying on their clothes lines, after they had washed them.


Match Against Suva


The trip to Suva was taken in an open sided local bus along the coast road hit by a hurricane some months earlier, and there were places where the road was not repaired. It was scary for all of us, steep drops on the seaward side, down to the beach/rocks/ocean. As this was the last match we were all buggered from playing matches, and late night carousing.


The Suva team contained many ex-pat Europeans from all nations and welcomed us whole heartedly. The game was a fitting finale to the footballing reason for embarking on the trip to start with.


Suva was seen as the last opportunity to buy duty free products to take back to New Zealand, as there were no shops near the Naviti resort. We spent some time browsing the vast array of products, but mainly electronics goods as they were quite expensive back home. I think everyone took something back, and after getting used to bartering the price with the Indo-Fijian shop keepers, we mostly came away happy. By comparing prices for similar things we assessed whether we had a bargain or were ripped off, most won some lost out by paying too much.


On the trip back from Suva everyone was tired, hot, and listless. Good old John Lindsay was trying to raise our spirits by passing around a 40oz. bottle of rum. This certainly not only raised our spirit on the bus but from memory there were a few inebriants back in the hotel rooms, but not Margaret Cresswell. After dinner we were back to normal again and the Fiji Bitter tasted good and partied on later into the night.


Non Football Activities


There were other notable non-footballing memories from the trip which should be recorded. For example, was Dave Morris swinging at toads and lizards with his irons on the golf course, hitting some, missing most. But making a mess of his clubs and leaving the toad carcasses in the closest green’s hole, making it a surprise for the first to sink a putt from the next tee-off group.


To say the least we were surprised when sitting in a bar at the resort when they announced a session of Toad Racing, and indicated we would have an opportunity to bet on the toads. Dave joked “these were the lucky ones that escaped me”. Each toad had a number stuck to their back with a sticky label, and then each toad placed in a large bucket. On the dance floor, when vacated, we noticed a painted circle in the middle. Bar patrons we were invited to bet money on which toad would first make it from the centre  circle to the outside circle. After all bets were made and the prize money collected, the bucket of toads was taken to the centre of the circle and the toads were dumped out and released. The first toad to hop to the outside circle was declared the winner. Some of the toads had to be prodded along with a stick. The toads didn’t look like they were harmed, but there were always frogs (toads?) legs on the restaurant buffet daily.


Obviously in the hot climate and surrounded by reefs we accomplished a lot of water sports: sailing, swimming, snorkeling and the likes, and we saw an amazing array of tropical sea life. But the most amazing event happened one evening when taking an after dinner stroll along the shore to a large pier.  Upon embarking on the pier we noticed the pier was surrounded by 100’s of agile, squirming, and poisonous Sea Snakes, each adorned in the black and yellow stripes similar to our Glenfield club colours.


Some were a bit tentative when we next went ocean swimming, the more timid stayed nearer to or in the resorts pool. Which reminded me of the movie Jaws. Following a viewing of that movie, some people were tentative about swimming in Lake Huron, a large landlocked fresh water lake. The mind makes people do strange things.


If one ever became tired of resort food, there was a short walk off the resort to a local diner “Tom’s Place”. It was Chinese style food, in a small unfussy restaurant frequented by locals. The kitchen was grimy and murky, and the cooks literally sweated over every meal being cooked (yum)as the place was not air conditioned.  Still if your tummy could stand it the food was at least hot, it was a change. Other than Toms, it was off to another nearby resort.


Another snack-type food option, especially for the kids was Terry Horseman’s resort room. Terry had been to the resort previously and knew all about snack-time for kids. So he took along a toasting sandwich maker, and also sliced bread and cheese from home. So Terry’s room and his toasted cheese sandwiches became a popular hang-out. We could find local supplies of similar products (bread, cheese) imported from Australia. When our kids were hungry we all trotted off to Terry’s room and have him make a pile of toasted cheese sandwiches.


The only touch of trip unpleasantness on the trip occurred after our team and Wag’s had all been on a bus trip (after a game) and had enjoyed a buffet lunch at a resort restaurant. The total bill was divided up by players/couples and was to be paid after the meal and before boarding the bus. One of the team on the bus proudly boasted that he had skipped out without paying (our player swindled the restaurant?), whilst others had lined up to do so. I think he claimed when collared to pay that he only had traveler’s cheques and hadn’t cashed any in. Someone overheard him and immediately went on the front foot. The key theme was “you're ripping off these people and may well bring the whole tour/team/club reputation into disrepute” if this gets out. Arrangements were made to repay the amount on the way back, not that the bus turned back immediately. There was plenty of anger, disbelief and bad vibes. The player never recovered from that ‘damage’ and as he wasn’t a regular player with the team at that time, he was alienated to quite some degree. Folks kept a close eye on him for the remainder of the trip at other such occasions. This incident was often talked about years afterwards, because it was clearly considered “huge damage” to the spirit and history of Glenfield Rovers Golden Oldies, and not like our culture at all.


Another fine morning relaxing by the pool while others (a mixed group) were in the pool playing volleyball. Margaret, slightly short in stature, had to jump to rebound a shot, but her bikini top slipped off and revealed all to players and spectators. Women should play volleyball in a bikini more often. With a laugh and quick clothing adjustment the game was restarted, but the point was lost (but two nice points were accessible).


I am not sure how this situation evolved but it was not until I had unpacked my suitcase back home when I found some packets of dried Kava. These brought back memories of one evening in Fiji where I remember sitting around a fire at night drinking a “kava” brew with locals and other Golden Oldies. How we got there I cannot remotely guess. I can still taste the mildly stimulating drink, with a slightly muddy, pungent flavour and hints of ginger and turmeric. It is claimed to be a sedative, I cannot vouch for that, and an anesthetic, my mouth and tongue went quite numb for a while. I had heard gross stories off how the brew was originally made but I believe ours was a powdered mix available in the local stores. Traditionally, it is prepared by chewing, grinding or pounding the roots of the kava plant, mixing with a little water and offered around in a half shell of coconut. There was a coconut shell and we drank from that with closed minds.


Leaving Fiji we were embarking the aircraft to fly home and Dave noticed while crossing the tarmac the cockpit window was open – it was another hot day. The elbow jutting out was not white. Dave stopped in his tracks and shouted “I’m not flying back in that” if that’s the pilot. We pushed him forward onto the plane, with only a little struggle and a few laughs.


Overall Trip Impressions: The trip was a fine example of what a dedicated group of individuals, who got a long well, can accomplish. There were players of all skill levels, and a few non-players just went along because it was a fun group. The people of the village of Naviti were extremely friendly and helpful. If our children were on the beach, surrounded by coconut trees, and a coconut had fallen, a male villager would grab his machete and proceed to remove the outer husk and offer the milk for a refreshing drink, and then carve open the remainder of the shell for the fresh coconut flesh.


We learned to tolerate the lizards and geckos in our resort rooms as they kept the insect population under control. Our room maid early on said “leave them alone as they are beneficial and won’t harm you.”


“Moce” – Goodbye



John Hawkins (loner by himself), Dave Johnstone (holding a purse??), Mike Hollick (looking for his purse), Doug Cresswell (almost set the rigging alight), Dave Morris (our Aussie import), Kevin Simms (suave as usual).



A team write-up and introduction in a Fiji local paper. Our name spelled wrong and we were not the Auckland champions. But a few more spectators turned up as a result of this error.

A photo of the main pool at the resort.

Back row – Terry Horseman, Dave Johnstone, John Lindsay, Jerry Whapham, Mike Hollick, Pete McBrierty, Doug Cresswell, Harold Duimstra, Kevin Simms.

Front Row – Dave Morris, Paul Smith, John Donaldson, John Hawkins.

Warming up prior to the game with the Naviti resort local staff, You cannot see the cow pats in this view of the field, but they are there. As you can see they also play rugby on this field. Imagine a scrum or a ruck on a slimy cow pat, grossly yuck.

A local restaurant outside of the resort. Scruffy, but acceptable food.

Harold, Cathy, Dave, Louise, Kevin, Glynnis, Unknown, Unknown, Marilyn

Karen, Wendy, Louise, Dave M, Glynnis



Dave M, Margaret, Doug, John, Karen, Kevin, Dave J.





Fiji Trip Personnel plus their partners (1982 ):

Dave Johnstone, Kevin Simms, John Lindsay, Paul Smith, Dave Morris, Mike Hollick, Jerry Wapham, Doug Cresswell, Terry Horseman, Pete McBrierty, John Hawkins, John Donaldson , Harold Duimstra , Ron Brown.








Chapter 5.2 - Hawaii Trip – Waikiki, Honolulu (1989) (mixed):


“Aloha” - Welcome


Note that an event in this chapter inspired the title of this book - but more on that later.


Following the Fiji trip, a couple of years passed by, with much reminiscing about the fun we had had, and much jealousy displayed by many non participants. This was now the perfect germination period in terms of the timing and wanting and wishing for another similar trip overseas. The noticeable conjecture trgarding another trip similar to Fiji started to emerge from the same group of players and wags. After a few informal get-togethers and discussions at the club and at BBQ’s and parties, ideas started to percolate through the group.


This lead to a meeting with the travel agent from the previous trip (Rex Chandler) and concrete ideas started to take shape. In more formal gatherings suggestions were tabled that included boat trips to Australia, Fiji again, other Pacific islands, or further afield to Hawaii, and even an ocean liner cruise around the nearby Pacific.


Eventually Hawaii, more specifically, Waikiki Beach the beachfront neighborhood of Honolulu was selected and a hotel search began, as there were so many options. The final choice was one of the Outrigger chain, actually Outrigger West, as its price, location and amenities suited the group perfectly. It was close to nightlife and many restaurants and bars, a block from the beach. And a big plus for us was it had an on-site pool and several bars. This was a place where we could enjoy a 10 day stay.


Because of the expense of the trip, the NZ$/US$ exchange rate was very much not in our favour, fund-raising became a priority, but we had about 3 years to save for spending money. And we had about 2 years before we had to pay for the transportation and accommodation, and the two extra tickets we wanted to raffle off for extra funds. So with dates all agreed we set about raising funds – refer chapter (3. Raising Funds). For this trip “painting as a fund-raiser” was the big money earner.


One aspect of the trip in our favour was that United and other airlines at that time had regular flight between the West coast of the USA, and Australia and New Zealand. Mostly all of the routes included a stop at Honolulu. This lead to segments of the round trip frequently sparsely booked. Thus, enabling us to plan the choice of flights and carrier at times when they offered their special discount deals.


Upon our arrival at Honolulu, all of the Golden Oldie group took stretch Limousines from the airport to the hotel, after being adorned with flower lei garlands by very pretty Hawaiian ladies, given to us as a friendship gesture. It wasn’t too long after checking in the hotel that we agreed to meet by the pool bar to become accustomed to the time-zone, refresh ourselves and plan a few activities to cover the next couple of days. After this, it was agreed that the pool bar was to become the regular meeting place prior to dinner where we polished off more than a few Mai Tai’s during happy hour, just ask Chrissie Boyd. In fact for everyone it was ‘pitchers of beer’ and Mai Tai’s by the pool every day for pre-dinner dinner drinks and to plan the evening’s entertainment. Unfortunately for us, being used to NZ and British beers, Corona and Budweiser beers took a little getting used to.


It took about 24 hours to search around Waikiki Beach and locate most of the landmarks that would occupy us between the pre-arranged football matches. In the close vicinity to the hotel there were many restaurants, bars and clubs (including a Penthouse Club). We were one block from a beautiful sandy beach, and a few blocks from the Waikiki market that sold most items, novelty and useful, that tourists required to adorn themselves with, or take home (e.g. T-shirts, jewelry, trinkets).


Having learned our lesson from the Fiji trip we formally approached the NZFA and advised them of our plans. With their approval we approached the Hawaiian Football Association and advised them of our itinerary, our pedigree, and status, and asked if they could recommend teams for us to play. They provided contact details for two clubs which we could approach. Fortunately both clubs were available and agreeable to friendly matches during our stay in Waikiki.


Both team’s make up included many “ex pats” from various places in the British Iles and other places in Europe (e.g. Holland and Germany). We drew one game and lost the other, but if the truth be known we were really beaten by the heat and hang overs in close matches. The fields on which both matches were played were located in a giant park opposite the zoo named Kapiolani Regional Park.


There were no changing sheds, and I still hold a vivid memory of Mike Hollick showering naked in the open after the game, underneath a shower used mainly for removing sand off the feet.


We had a post match beer with the opposition, out in the open. We swapped pennant flags and after the second match the opponents presented us with a large carved wooden trophy which resides in the Glenfield Rovers clubrooms to this day, although I doubt there is anyone left in the club that understands its origin.


Some of the trip highlights include the following memories and sight seeing wonders. They are in no particular sequence, just a hard-code dump-out of my brain, as the recollection of these experiences has started to diminish and so forgetting information, and misremembering it, such as the sequence of events, will slowly start to get worse. Hence the value of this book.


Ø     John Hinton flew on to LA after the trip to see a baseball game (the World Series between Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants) and got caught up in the San Francisco earthquake of 1989 (magnitude 6.9), which hit the San Francisco Bay area.

John informed us on his return, of a situation where he was waiting to cross a road by a set of traffic lights and had to hang on to the pole as the ground shook so vigorously, in that vicinity. He was slightly scared - shook-up?


Ø     There was a bar/restaurant opposite the hotel was called Moose McGillicuddies which sold a 12 egg omelette. One could eat it for free if you ate the whole thing. I don’t think anyone succeeded.


Ø     The Arizona Memorial boat trip occupied a few hours as one inspected the sunken remains of the battleship USS Arizona, resting at the bottom of Pearl Harbour.


Ø     Car hire were inexpensive and could be used to travel the circumference of the island of Oahu. Kevin Simms had his car broken into on a trip to Waimea Bay (the surf beach on the North shore). Apparently this was not an uncommon experience.


Ø     Another method of circumnavigating the Oahu Island was taking advantage of the local bus service. One got to travel completely around the island for US$1.00 and be allowed to get off and on the bus as many time as you wanted, as long as you got back on another bus at the same disembarkation point, and travelling in the same direction.. We had to make sure we never lost our tickets else we would have to fork out another US$1.00. I used this service a few times to explore the more common sights, it was simple and cheap for the whole family and the bus stopped directly outside the hotel.


Ø     Again with just a short bus trip along the coast we were snorkeling in the marine park (Hanauma Bay nature reserve). One could hire or use your own snorkeling equipment, and purchase a container of frozen peas for feeding the marine life. Basically this was a shallow water snorkeling activity over a very much alive coral reef. All the fish and crustacean life were so used to being fed peas by humans they held no fear of us. The fish would literally come to greet you and nudge you for food.


At the far extremity of the reef towards the ocean, was a very black canyon, deep enough that no bottom could be detected. I saw nobody snorkeling in that vicinity maybe because at the entrance to the park there were large graphics depicting the sea life present in the park, including several types of sharks.


Ø     Another short bus ride along the coast from Waikiki took you to Diamond Head Park formed around a 300,000 year old volcanic crater, which provided fantastic views of Honolulu and Waikiki.


Ø     Sitting in a basement bar with a good look at the street above, we noticed my daughter and her friend both 14 at the time, walking past with two much older looking boys, who must have been at least 6ft. tall. We decided to wait until later for chastisement as they were supposed to be elsewhere.


Ø     Just up the road and across from the hotel across there could be found the Penthouse club, one or two of the more adventurous (perverted) within the group spent a bit of time (money) in this club. I am not sure what their wives were up to as there were no singles amongst us.


Ø     Just 20 minutes away from Waikiki, was Hawaii’s largest open air flea market – Aloha Stadium market. It was open three days a week, with over 400 local merchants offering really good deals on imported merchandise, hand made items, eclectic art pieces, popular local snacks (much of the food cooked in a luau), and other made in Hawaii products. This was a full one-day destination for many.


There was another more local market (Waikiki Market) close to the hotel where many times an after dinner stroll in a warm evening, would take us there to browse and collect reminder trinkets for home.


Ø     The local beaches, one block from the hotel, were clean, sandy, and hot. There was an outrigger canoe ride, which was more fun than it looked. Surfing back into shore on a large wave on a 40 foot outrigger canoe under control of many paddles was exciting fun.


There were lots of Japanese tourists in bikinis on the beach, who only went for a dip when they needed to relieve themselves, I presumed, as they mostly never went swimming, but they had great bodies, so I was told, as my sunglasses were too scratched to see.


On one occasion I was quite startled when in swimming, when this large shape appeared in the water in front of me. I was relived to see it was only a huge turtle surfacing for air. Fortunately, sharks mostly stayed outside a large coral reef that ran parallel to the beech. 


Ø     On several occasions we went downtown into Honolulu itself for dinner. One of the group had found great Chinese Restaurant on the second floor of an old building that looked ready for demolition. The food was a fusion of Chinese and Polynesian that had surprising tastes for all our Kiwi palates. But no lamb.


Ø     Here are a couple of examples of me doing things on my own, as others also planned their own activities. (a) Another very short bus ride took us to the Ala Moana mall, Hawaii’s largest open-air shopping center which included an interesting international food court. One stall awakened my taste buds to crispy skinned duck with a tangy plum dipping sauce. Having never eaten this delicious way of cooking duck before, I was hooked. I have never had better since, and I visited the mall several times just for this treat. (b) While not exactly clear where this happened I did attend a Luau for the experience. I do not remember where but it was an evening affair, and I believe I was on my own. I remember the Hawaiian dances and a nice smoked pig and vegetables. The food was pulled from a large in-ground pit that was used as the oven. It was different from a New Zealand Hangi as there was no sheep meat, and the different wood used for cooking and smoking imparted a very different smoky flavour, sweeter and not so pungent.


A planned visit to the Honolulu Hard Rock Café, one night, provided the inspiration for the title of this book. The idea for the title germinated many years later, after reviewing a series of photographs from several of the trips that our eclectic group of Football players organized. One photo stood out: that of Kevin and I having a drink and a laugh, in the Hard Rock Café in Honolulu, adjacent to a giant statue of the head and shoulders of Mick Jagger.


It makes a very suitable, satisfying, and appropriate heading, because of my hidden underlying drive from my mystical connection with Mick Jagger. I am sure his sprit was secretly impelling me: during the planning of the entertainment on the night the photo was taken, to have a photo taken beside His statue, when the photo was selected for the book, and also when I constructed the book title.  Even now I don’t fully understand this sequence of events but significantly this photo symbolized and represented the close friendships and great times encountered by the Glenfield Rovers Golden Oldies.


There were lots of restaurants everywhere in Waikiki and Honolulu, all offering discounted happy-hour meals (5:30 to 6:30) upon presentation of a voucher found in the local entertainment guide, which were ubiquitously displayed. And like the beer, American food took some getting used to; for the meals were big portions with fries, potatoes, or pasta offered with every meal.  But there was always a glass or jug of water on the table, and the locally caught fish was superb, especially the Mahimahi, and Yellow Fin Tuna.


There was so much to do on this trip that we spent far less time together as a group compared to the Fiji trip and other more local trips. A segment of the group wanted to go here, another segment wanted to go there, some wanted to do things on their own, so it became fragmented, although on several occasions we did hang around as a complete group. This factor eventually contributed to the demise of the closeness developed by the fundraising efforts and team trip bonding experiences.


Also it was noticeable that before this trip and on future trips there were more people interested in joining the trips of the Golden Oldies group, but not wanting to fundraise. These more business orientated types wanted to just pay for their trip (travel and accommodation) and have their fun, and join up with the group when they wanted to, and also join in an arranged football game.


There was also quite a different experience in Hawaii (wealthy American), compared to that experienced in Fiji (native poverty). Most things adhered to this difference in scale: quality and availability of food products, services and amenities in the hotel, availability of services and amenities generally (transport), the luxury found in many stores (clothing, accessories), and with automobiles on the roads.





Dave and Kevin are spotted having “a drink with Mick Jagger” in the “Hard Rock Café” 1989, in Honolulu, USA. It was not a co-incidence that we were there at that moment!



Dave displaying a memorable trophy presented to the team by the opposition, which hopefully still stands today in a proud place of honour in the Glenfield clubrooms.





A group of players and wags having another great night out. (Left around the table From Maureen - in pink) Dave, Kevin, Anne-Marie, Bobby, Chrissie, Alan, Judy.



Hawaii Trip Personnel plus their partners:

Dave Johnstone, Kevin Simms, Paul Smith, Dave Morris, Mike Hollick, Doug Cresswell, Alan Clay , John Hinton , Harold Duimstra , Phil Taylor, Bob Boyd, Ron Brown, Alan Robertson, Jack Gibb.


Did Mike Gerrard & Mike Pirovich come on this trip ?




“Mahalo” – Thank you for coming




Chapter 5.3 - First Surfers Paradise Trip (1992) (mixed):


“G’Day Mate” - Hello


Surfers Paradise, in Queensland, Australia, was our third major third major trip of the Glenfield Golden Oldies group, which again, was assisted by the benefits of fund raising. It was also our first major initiative into the festivals of the Golden Oldies movement. Teams from Australia, New Zealand, USA, U.K. and the Caribbean were attending this event. So we had great expectations for fun off the fields, as well as competitive on the field Endeavour’s.


As mentioned earlier the festivals welcomed not only players but also: partners, spouses, families, and supporters. This festival had the format, three days of games on alternate days, and three specially-created social functions for all participants and families. These functions consisted of a Welcome Party, a mid-week function to enjoy a 'taste' of the host country (food and drink), and a Gala Farewell Banquet.


There was also a women’s section to the festival so the overall numbers of attending players and families was close to 1,000. Plus there were casual non-participating spectators watching, so the fields and entertainment tents were always busy and bustling with people.


In the case of the Queensland festival the food and drink focused on, “a shrimp on a Barbie”, and the local Castlemaine XXXX beer (XXXX because Australians could not spell beer). It has to be pointed out that the best fresh shrimp I have ever tasted was from the Gold Coast area, but the beer was only so, so.


There were 2 games every playing day, and unfortunately, and to our disappointment, our first game was against another New Zealand team (Thames I believe). However this was more than made up for in later matches as we only played one more NZ team.


The main highlight of this festival was the guest attendance of Bobby Moore (OBE) (12 April 1941 – 24 February 1993) who was guest of honor at Surfers for the entire week. Bobby played a few minutes of a game with every team that entered the tournament. A thrill for me to say I passed him the ball, but he never gave it back. Bobby Moore died a year later. Bobby was a great football player and gentleman. But in earlier times, late 60’s, I did see Bobby Moore play for West Ham at Upton Park, together with Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters – all three were 1966 World cup winners with England.


Another memory while playing and I had never experienced this before and only a few times since, was the swallowing of flies while running during a game. The flies were everywhere, and became stuck either up your nose or in your throat. I must have ingested a half a dozen every game.


But flies were everywhere, on and off the pitches, and always buzzing around ones head. No wonder the smart Aussies wore their cowboy style hat with swinging corks attached via a string to the hat brim. The movement of the corks somewhat dissuaded flies to land near ones, eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. Otherwise it was a matter of swatting the little buggers with whatever was at hand.


At the end of each day there were refreshment tents scattered around to quench the thirst. One afternoon after we had finished playing and showered, we were having a XXXX and we spotted a ladies team leg wrestling amongst themselves on the grass just inside the tent. No arms or hands allowed, and the purpose was to turn the opponent onto their stomach, from a starting position of lying on the backs using the legs only.


I presume I made a smart comment about how easy that looked and I was quickly invited by the ladies to have a go. The fittest young lady in their team and myself lay on our backs and entwined legs (nice one Dave) for the starting position. Neither of us could turn the other onto the stomach so a draw was called. I remember she did have nice shapely legs and I bought her a XXXX afterwards. I did not have the nerve for another go, for fear of losing my dignity (I said dignity!), plus I was also thirsty. I cannot remember if others from our team engaged in this fun activity.


Our accommodations were rental apartments overlooking the Beach. One could here the surf in the early morning, while in bed, and watch the surf and shark nets when eating a light breakfast, very relaxing. And it was a short coach ride to the ground by a scheduled festival service. Plus the accommodation was located only a short walk to the Surfers Paradise bars and restaurants.


When eating out on a patio in Canada or New Zealand, there were often small flocks of sparrows at your feet looking for crumbs of food. And often they would swoop on a table and pinch something edible, like a French fry, and fly off with it. But in Surfers Paradise, it was a tall white bird that sauntered up and pecked around your feet and table while eating out. Their head and beak was taller than the table and could have easily demolished a meal. These I found out later were egrets, a common local wading bird that found a liking to human food. They seemed friendly enough but I am sure their long black bill could cause some damage. The restaurant servers warned us not to encourage them by feeding them, and we took their advice, although the children misbehaved a little in that regard.


One football free day a few families decided to visit the Sea World Marine Park. The sea life in the aquarium and outdoor pools was the main attraction. But running around and between our feet on the concrete bleachers (an outdoor uncovered stand) were the largest giant cockroaches I had ever seen. These roaches were probably over two inches in length and unusually very active during the daytime, As spectators these were I think the main live attraction, but our repulsion of these quick dark brown/black insects running over our feet was quite a distraction to the main events taking place in the pool. But at least they didn’t bite.


On other free day’s we embarked on a Gold Coast and Broadwater canal cruises, as well as a boat trip to Moreton Island - third largest sand island in the world, and a boat trip to StradBroke Island. Coming from New Zealand we had a great affinity with water, both salty and fresh, and thoroughly enjoyed seeing a warmer version of our own cooler waters.


The sea life was quite varied and very different from that found back home. For example just walking along the beach front you could encounter a poisonous stonefish dwelling in the sand or a tangle with a Portuguese man-of-war jellyfish. And every freshwater lake in the district had many public notices about swimming and the danger of poisonous snakes. At least crocodiles were further north.


Walking along the beach one could spy topless ladies every where, it was part of the culture in that part of the world. But in line with this theme, there were two amusing antics that I remember well. Macca explained the first situation like this: he was walking back to the accommodation when two topless and breathless young ladies were seen running up the beach towards him. When the got closer they asked if they had seen a man wearing a white tee-shirt and jeans running by, and carrying two hand bags. He had stolen the bags from the two ladies who were sunbathing on the sand.  The three of them proceeded to walk around the block hunting for the thief, to no avail. Macca felt uncomfortable, but at the same time gentlemanly and gallant. Where was he looking when they thanked him for his efforts when they said their goodbyes? Eyeball to eyeball?


Another topless situation was on a, my family only, visit to the main Gold Coast beach when we were again surrounded by topless peaks. After about 30 minutes the wife said “bugger it” and rolled the top of her one piece costume down to her waist. I could not believe a quite prudish person who never exposes herself in public before would take such action. Anyway there she was, sunning exposed places that never before felt the direct rays of the sun, when two swimsuit clad young surfers sauntered past and took a peek. She had closed her eyes and waited for them to pass by. We discussed it later and it was not an unenjoyable experience for her.


I remember one evening after playing our two games I stopped John O’Rourke heading to his accommodation with what looked like a bag of food. I asked John was he not coming out with us for a meal and a drink in a short while, thinking he was going to eat the food in the accommodation that night. John responded that it was a couple of frozen dinners and pop that they were going to heat up and feed the kids before heading out. I had never thought of that, as the kids were quite happy to stay home and watch TV.  The next night I did the same thing. There was a convenient superette close by, so the kids could shop with us and chose their own dinner.


There were two personal activities to note as we were staying on in Australia after the rest of the Golden oldies group had returned home at the end of the Golden Oldies Festival. I hired a car to drive down to Melbourne to meet up with friends who were former work colleagues. They moved to Melbourne to assist in the development of a new computerized insurance system. Which I later had the fortune to project manage the systems first installation in New Zealand.


On the drive to Melbourne there were several memorable incidents that are worth recording. At Tweed Heads I bought the first frozen chocolate banana I had ever eaten, and it was absolutely bloody delicious. The banana was flash frozen then covered in chocolate. I have never seen one since, such a shame.


The first night on the road we stopped at Byron Bay and booked a room at a local motel.

We stayed therefore dinner and as it was early the restaurant was quiet. We started talking to the chef who was a Kiwi from South Auckland and he cooked us a great steak to perfection on a barbecue. There is nothing like buttering-up especially after the great first course, shrimp, was consumed.


I am not sure if this was on the trip to Melbourne or earlier with others in the Golden oldies group, but we also paid a visit to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. This contained an open concept environment where we could get to close contact with the local wildlife (although there was a lot of this evident on the beaches of Surfers). We saw and petted koala bears and an assortment of kangaroos and wallabies. There was also a snake pit displaying the full range of Australia’s poisonous menagerie.  So pleased we didn’t live there, as I had an opportunity to move to new I.T. employment in Melbourne a couple of years earlier.


And while in Melbourne we had two not too close encounters with the dreaded funnel web spider. Fortunately they were both dead but the visibly eye catching fresh carcasses, were weirdly still a little frightening, especially as they were both animated a day earlier.



The Golden Oldies team marches past spectators on arrival day. I am not sure whose idea it was to wear the old fashioned baggy shorts. But it fitted in with the atmosphere of the occasion.



The official team photo (Strip donated by the ANZ bank), notice the more modern shorts being worn.


First Surfers Paradise Trip (Golden Oldies Festival) personnel plus their partners:

Surfers golden oldies trip – (Back row) Jack Gibb, Keith (Macca) McSweeney, Mike Hollick, Pete Stevens, (Middle row) Pete McBrierty, John Lindsay, Rex Chandler, Ron Brown, Dave Morris, Dave Johnstone, Bobby Boyd, (Front row) John O’Rourke, Jim Watt, Doug Cresswell, Alan Robertson, Paul Smith.




“Hope you had a ripper time” – good time.








Chapter 5.4 - Second Surfers Paradise Trip (late 1998) (players only):


This was another trip to Surfers Paradise and the group that registered and entered a locally organized old-timers tournament in Surfers, I believe the Glenfield Rovers club received the invitation to attend and they quite naturally passed it on to the Golden Oldies group. The invite to the tournament, about 5 years after the formal Golden Oldies festival, was received from a football club situated in Surfers, Following a few discussions between Glenfield Rovers and the Golden Oldies group it was decided to attend the tournament which was sanctioned by the Surfers Paradise football association. 


The team that was assembled contained only a few Golden Oldies members (players) from the earlier festival and other trips, but also quite a few new faces. It must be said that all players had to be over 35, and wives and girlfriends were not included on this trip.  Many of the faces from the previous Surfers tournament had retired and there were many new over 35 players now participating at Glenfield. The desire to fund raise had diminished drastically leaving the only option of paying for oneself for the trip. There were more individuals who were financially comfortable at this time, which had displaced the group-think attitudes of helping each other, most notable on previous trips. Maybe this was the reason to not include partners.


It also must be mentioned that as the word spread that the tournament was to be held the following Autumn there were far too many interested candidates, that if not for a suitable player selection process, the trip may not have proceeded or have been pleasant.


As it turned out once the Golden Oldies became involved and established rules as to eligibility (all sorts of ages wanted to attend), and financing, numbers declined to a manageable group of about twelve who basically selected themselves. Further most played for the AFA Senior team and the top Over 35’s team, a fine selection of good, sociable, players which who knew each other and fitted together well. This was seen as a pre-requisite.


All games in the 5 day tournament were played at Musgrave Park one 90 minute game per day. There was not the same kind of tournament festivities as the previous Golden Oldies Festival, far less teams and spectators, but there was a club room including a bar.


A couple of very memorable playing incidents need to be recorded. Ian Brommer our main strike force, whose vicious shots did not leave many goalkeepers quaking in their boots, as Ian missed more than scored, but if he did get it on target, not may goalkeepers could stop the shot. In one game his towering shot was hit high up into a towering gum tree. This caused a large flock of resting sulphur crested cockatoos to take to air and fly over the pitch, each emitting their raucous screeching calls. The game stopped to enjoy the spectacle and all in attendance saw the funny side of the experience.


The other instance occurred when a team member (a Geordie - name suppressed to avoid embarrassment) was so hung-over, that he was found sleeping outside changing rooms when we were ready to start the game. He had to be woken to determine his ability to play. Twice we had to borrow a player from another team to make up numbers. If he was still asleep at half-time we had to keep the borrowed player, or at least borrow another replacement.


Most socializing within the group took place away from the park, deep in the entertainment district of Surfers paradise. There was no memorable sight seeing opportunities or trips, as this was a group that had a different demeanor to the manner, attitude, and appearance, of previous Golden Oldies projects. And consequently I cannot locate any photo’s of this trip.


We knew the horse race the Melbourne Cup was being run on Tuesday, 3 November, and Ian Gentiles a knowledgeable horse racing bettor encouraged us to share in a bet on the race. Ian also knew that two Kiwi horses finished first and second in the 1997 running of the race. He suggested that we place a quinella bet on two New Zealand bred and trained horses in the current race, the two mares, Jezabeel and Champagne. The odds were pretty good and a reasonable bet of $10 per person would give a nice return. So we bet $120.  Our quinella won, but the odds dropped significantly from what we were expecting. Jezabeel dropped down to 6-1 at stalls open time from 12-1, Champagne was 7-1.  Jezabeel beat fellow New Zealand mare Champagne in another Kiwi 1-2.


In Australia off-track betting was readily available in many bars, so we found a bar that suited us for socialising and betting. We placed the bet in this bar and although we had a nice collect, about $1850, it was down on the original starting price for the quinella. It turned out that the Aussie multi-millionaire Kerry Packer placed a significant bet somehow just prior to the start of the race, and obviously the odds dropped dramatically. Bookmakers estimated that Kerry Packer and Crown Casino boss Lloyd Williams won about $10 million after betting on Jezabeel. When we received the payout, Ian Gentiles ordered champagne all round, and Keith Johnson our financier quickly took control of the remaining cash before it was all spent. Keith divvied the cash out on nights out for the rest of the trip, so we all received an equal share in the prize money.


Second Surfers Paradise Trip Personnel no partners:

Keith Johnston, Dave Johnstone, Alan Clay, Mick Pirovich, Stu McVicker, Mac McSweeney, Mike Bindon, Ian Brommer, Keith Aspinal, Tony Read,  Ian Gentiles.



Chapter 5.5 - Local Out-Of-Season Tournaments and The Regular Season:


During the 1980’s and 1990’s Glenfield Rovers as a sports club was exactly what many people feel the definition of a sports club should be. Very sociable with members, management, and players from all grades Senior to Social, and the women's team players, mixing together easily and harmoniously. This was very noticeable at after match social gatherings which always welcomed and included the opposition teams and spectators.  There is no doubt friendships, contacts and rivalries lasting years emerged from this hospitality. As an aside, should a player ever move their job or family to another part of town, these interactions often proved a fertile ground for teams finding a new player or two to help make up the squad numbers.


‘Masters Level’ players tend to prefer playing to get fit as opposed to dieting & running laps of a park; so the pre and post season friendly matches and social tournaments became established and much awaited fixtures in any season. With a bit of planning and ringing around (these were pre mobile-phone and early internet days) so it wasn’t too difficult to find 8 or more teams of similar playing standard and with a similar appetite for maintaining fitness. Names, contact details and club information was kept and shared and so a network of like minded clubs and people combined to bring these events together. Over time these contests became regular fixtures and teams actually sought them out to attend.


It was usually a case of the regular participant teams being offered the first opportunity to be involved each year, with new teams only being added when an established participating club withdrew, or the organisers had an appetite to grow or expand the events.


In time several of these ‘tournaments’ became quite sophisticated with entry fees , trophies and medals , prize money , raffles , social dances and prize-giving’s , and even sponsorship, all helping to offset costs and volunteer organising time.


All this lead to one conclusion that social football was a growing and popular sport across Auckland and around the North Island, and several Glenfield players such as John Lindsay and Kevin Simms knew many players from other clubs spread around the country. As mentioned above, word quickly spread among this group of open grade (social grade) teams of week-end out of season tournaments being held in North Island towns such as:

  • West Auckland - pre Season Tournament (players only)
  • The Mount (Mount Maunganui) - end of season tournament (players and partners),
  • Thames - mid summer tournament (players and partners),
  • Waiheke Island - mid summer tournament  (players only)
  • Mellville - pre Season Tournament (players only)


At Glenfield, while not organized as an official Golden Oldies trip, many of the players that belonged to the Glenfield Golden Oldies Group also willingly organized and participated in these week-end tournaments. And because of the interactions between all levels of football at Glenfield it was never hard to find enough social players to form a team. But in most cases a majority of the players mentioned on earlier trips were also participants at these tournaments.


These ‘friendly’ fixtures lead to great relationships between individuals and teams alike and there were many examples of kindness and reciprocation. And the following three great anecdotes prove that point.


The first happened at the start of a competitive open grade game. The game was about to start when we noticed the opposition were two players short. John Lindsay was having none of that and called both teams together. After a short on field discussion, John took off his yellow Glenfield shirt and replaced it with an opponent’s shirt. There was no way he would let them start two players short, even after quite stiff opposition from his own team mates, and the added fact that Glenfield was  in the running for the league title (champions of Auckland). Glenfield squeaked home after a very close game.


The second incident occurred in the middle of a game versus Mt. Roskill, where Glenfield were playing with a goal keeper (Steve) who unfortunately suffered from epilepsy but only had rare attacks. It was shortly before half time when Mt. Roskill was on the attack the game sort of drifted into slow motion. The player with the ball was through on the Glenfield goal when he stopped as he could not believe his eyes. As about 5 yards outside of the penalty box ambled the Glenfield goal keeper completely oblivious to the game happening around him. The striker with the ball pushed it past the Steve who made no attempt to intercept the ball, and continued to walk the ball into the net, every other player on both sides had stopped playing while watching this unusual incident unfold.


The referee blew the whistle  for half time a little early and after we explained the situation to Mt. Roskill they wanted to cancel the goal, Glenfield understanding that we knew the risk we were taking in playing Steve, wanted the goal to stand, however Mt Roskill went on to win the game narrowly. Steve was fine later but remembered nothing.


As a side note Steve was a very sound and reliable keeper, who was a good guy and fitted in well. Many social teams never had a proper goal keeper so we were lucky to have such a dedicated person like Steve. I suppose this was typical of our approach to the game: play well at the best level possible, but encourage and develop a mutual trust and friendship.


The third incident was during a game between Glenfield and Onehunga Sports being played on a neutral field at the Auckland Domain, which contained about 10 public football pitches and very simple and basic concrete changing sheds and showers, which were unlocked and re-locked before and after Saturday’s matches. Anyway it was in the second-half of the match, when Onehunga were on the attack when a Glenfield player shouted and pointed to the Onehunga goal. Everyone stopped and couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw two players grappling and wrestling by the penalty spot, in a muddy depression (the Domain fields were never in the best of condition). Play stopped and some players went back to pull them apart. It was the Onehunga Goal keeper and Paul from Glenfield. Both were muddied, but unscathed, but had bruised egos. This was not the first run-in between this pair, there was always some pushing and shoving between them in every prior match up. Any way after a bit of light hearted banter the game resumed without further incident and both players returned to their respective positions in their teams, nobody was red carded off the field. We all shook hands and laughed at the end of the match.


During the regular season it often occurred that the team was short a player or two, and depending on the location of the game or the kick-off time, it was quite easy to phone around and pick up players, from other social teams, who didn’t mind playing in two games especially if the playing fields were close to each other. And there was also a stand-by list of casual players who could not commit to playing regularly week in and week out who would also help out. Another example of the social fabric built into the structure of Glenfield Rovers.


The clubs located in West Auckland were especially friendly and social. I think it was either Lynn-Avon United or West Auckland that first supplied us, the visiting team in an open grade league, a post game meal for each player and a couple of jugs of beer. When we found out that the home team players had a whip around to cover the cost, Glenfield jumped on the band wagon. The next occasion when Lynn-Avon United or West Auckland was playing in Glenfield we reciprocated. We had to give the kitchen staff advance notice as the first time it caught them by surprise (14 small meals) and the food took a while to prepare. They were about to leave the clubrooms when it arrived and had to persuaded to stay.


Today the popularity of these week-end tournaments has grown to such a level that the local organising bodies ‘The Federations’ have put in place pre and post season tournaments for every age group & social playing grade, every season. There can be no doubt that these are better & more professionally broadcast, subscribed and organised , so the Club initiated events are less in number these days. There is no evidence to suggest this is being done for financial reasons by the Federations , but now a team or club just needs to enter on-line , pay a fee and show up (or not). However despite this excellent service, something is missing. Maybe it’s just the handshake, the “thanks for organising the weekend”, and the “see you next year” thing, but it isn’t the same.


So the running of these local pre-season and end-of-Season tournaments and the league itself are other aspects of the Golden Oldies culture that is changing over time. Be it the game moving more from purely amateur to more professional, or moving from being human based to more organization based, or from being a personally involved culture to a more impersonal indirect culture (digitized), or being a more results oriented culture, I am not sure. But I certainly do not observe these social humanistic traits in the running of today’s sporting codes.  It is essentially just an early or late extension of the regular league season.



6. Memorials (Preserving the memory of our ‘Mighty Rovers’ Golden Oldies Family)


We Will Never Forget You:


Our Mates: Dave Morris, Mike Hollick, Paul Smith, Jim and Norma Watt, Bobby Boyd, Stu McVicar, who were involved with the organization of, or participation in these trips and their company is greatly missed.


Bobby Boyd - memorial.



A mixed group of old-timers who participated in the various trips – taken at Bobby Boyd’s memorial (2016) held in the Glenfield Rovers clubrooms. This photo was taken 30 years after Hawaii trip (1989) and the wrinkles, grey hair, and midriff bulges are a reflection of the almost three decades difference.


Back Row: John Lindsay (standing on a chair), Jack Gibb, Keith (Macca) McSweeney, Pete Stevens, Mike Gerrard, Mick Pirovich, Jim Alcorn, Kevin Simms,

Front Row: Steve Roper, John Hawkins, John O’Rourke, Doug Cresswell, Chrissie Boyd, Phil Taylor, Ron Brown, Alistair Crawford, John Donaldson, John Vincent.



Smile Light (Paul Smith Epitaph)

The sun shone in the empty room

his smile I still do see

thought not of the sadness

nor even misery,

no more his shadow shall be cast

no more the rain to feel

never immune to that smile, that

his humour did reveal.


He wandered sparkling as a star

a bright pin-prick of light

that outshone the beacons

the bonfires of the night,

happily we will remember

happily never forget

where the light shines cheerful, with

his smiles we are long blessed.


There will always be his England

there will always be his game

always those funny bits

that accompanied his flame,

though the earth unites his clay

though his glow casts no ghosts

always when I hear laughs, He's

with celestial hosts.



Untimely death (Dave Morris Epitaph)

You lived so near

Now thoughts travel far

Fond memories

Distance cannot mar,

Your epitaph

A heavenly star

And in our souls

A jagged scar.

You lived so near

Until the bizarre.


A convergence of the three

He did not plan

In a short time-span

Terminating with a tree


This was an occurrence of thee events that happened to converge at the same time by accident. More than mere coincidence as to time and place:

Not supposed to be at work

Not supposed to be driving the ride-on lawn mower

The tree was positioned at the at the bottom of the slope










7. Epilogue



In 2003 following marriage that failed to last its course, and a business needing to be closer to its main customer base, a move back to Canada was appropriate and understandable. Also at that time the current homes of my two children (now adults back living in New Zealand) were Alberta (CAN), and Rhode Island (USA). So With the kind temporary lodging assistance of two sisters living in Ontario (CA), I made the switch.


Subsequently and digitally, I found a new partner in Karen and we are still happily together today (after 15 years).


With the business doing fine and an understanding partner, regular trips back to New Zealand were planned and executed. It was on one of these trips that discussions with former team-mates and their partners, the idea of recording our earlier missions emerged.

Nothing seemed to have changed apart from our ages and appearances.


So in early 2012 the draft autobiography of sorts was first written and saved on a computer. It was in mid-2017 after further prompting from Kevin, the issue of publishing became serious, otherwise it might never become a reality due to my advancing years. So this autobiography is mostly a historical reference for the most memorable playing days and social periods of my life, to-date.


Although the ability and fitness of playing football of a reasonable standard was long since gone, there were 4 seasons of playing socially in a pub-league for my “local”. Except for the tease of taunting words from a beer drinker who sat on the side-lines, it was mostly an enjoyable experience. With many thanks to Pete (Re-Pete) who supplied the bottled water, for many a season, until illness curtailed this activity.


It should be noted that there were people who never quite fitted within the frame work and contribute to the spirit of the adventure. Like not paying a restaurant bill in Fiji, like shirking on working bee duties, like preferring to pay rather than contribute. We were a group of every day normal people, but like most aspects of society we were not by any means perfect. We had our share of divorces, separations, affairs, prostitute frequenters, alcoholics, and wife beaters. But it was a special group fostered by special times in a special football club.


And I suspect that huge common denominator in this entire story was the fact that most of us, had children of around the same age.


It must be pointed out that the social conditioning imposed by the Glenfield Club and the Golden Oldies, meant that post pub-league matches (back in Canada), I was probably the only player on my team who would sit in the pub with the opposition after a match, share a beer, and discuss the match and other issues. That was the part of the game I loved. And that is the main reason today I prefer drinking and socializing in pubs rather than in large unfriendly TV-riddled sports bars.


Knowingly, it was time to throw away the boots when the opposition turned up short of a player or two, and I was invited to play for them. Why give them your best players?

(Unlike John Lindsay, who always offered himself, even in must-win games.)


To wrap up, my playing credentials include:

v    Clacton Town FC – under 18’s (Scored all 7 goals in one 7-0 game).

v    Selected to attend all-Essex under-16’s training and trials near London.

v    Southern Amateur League (Britannic House AFC), we played on a pitch used for training by England’s senior team as its dimensions were the same as Wembly.

v    KDSL (KW Optimists).

v    Fully Qualified as a referee.

v    KW Industrial Soccer League (Hollandia) .

v    Glenfield Rovers AFC (Reserves and Open grades, Golden Oldies, junior grade coach).

v    Southern Ontario Pub League (The Whale and Ale).


It has to be mentioned again that along the way several former team-mates have died, but, some have survived the big “C”. All of these were truly great people on and off the field.


And one day I will celebrate my life with another drink with Mick Jagger. Over the past few years I have had many occasions where I have sunk a beer with my good mate Kevin, where we have discussed much of the content of this story.


Cheers good mate. To bottoms up and empty glasses.








This writing is based on the memory of the writer (30 years later) with occasional help from others. The names of the individuals on the trips may not be complete so apologies to anybody missed. Similarly any amounts stated within are sufficiently accurate to provide an indicative idea of the sums involved. And also: Some Golden Oldies are not with same partnersthis adventure is a written account of the situation at the time it happened.