NARRABRI will toast to 50 years of the Blue Boars today with a gala ball and special rugby game.
It’s part of a big weekend of activities.
The anniversary celebrations officially kicked-off last night with the players from each of the five decades getting together at different hotels to share a few drinks and reminisce about their playing days before all meeting up at the RSL club.
The club was formed in 1964 with Roger Prendergast, who was at the time the manager of the then Rural Bank, one of the driving forces in getting the Blue Boars up and running.
Most of the players were from the Narrabri area, and it didn’t take too long for them to taste success.
The first couple of years were pretty dry as far as wins, Terry Orman recalled.
Orman joined the Blue Boars in their second year and played a few seasons during the ’60s. He has also filled many positions on the committee and was president during the ’80s.
“In ’66 they came last in the competition, didn’t beat anyone,” he said.
“The next year they won the competition.”
It was to be the first of many.
To Orman’s understanding the Blue Boars knick name came about a bit by accident. “My recollection is they were looking for a name,” he said.
“I think some approached one of the emblem places. They said we’ve got this tie with a pig on it.”
And so the Blue Boars were born, and quite appropriately.
Back in the early days they played at Collins Park.
As Orman said, everything was played there.
That did create a few complications, not the least flooding.
“Every time there was a flood we couldn’t play,” Orman said.
Most times anyway.
“I remember we did bring Inverell on trucks through floodwater to get them here,” Orman recalled.
He said they picked them up at about Bellata.
After getting the go-ahead to play they then trucked them back out after the game.
“They got home and discovered it was the only game that was played,” Orman said.
While he lives up in Queensland these days, Orman still gets back to watch games and was at Moree to watch the Blue Boars play in last years decider, and has seen the club develop to be now one of the strongest clubs in the zone and have its own ground and club house.
They moved to their current base at Dangar Park during the ’70s, acquiring the land under the RED Scheme instigated by Gough Whitlam’s government.
“We took the opportunity to take a lease on that,” Orman said.
“The advantage there was it got a lot less use and was above the floodplain.”
Today’s activities will kick-off with the Blue Boars 1st XV taking on a Presidents XV.
The presidents side will be coached by Jack Farrer and former Wallaby Tim Gavin, and include former Wallaby centre Tim Horan.
He’ll be joined by former Brumbies and Force second rower Richard Standford, former junior Blue Boar and Country rep Tom Vaessen, barnstorming Blue Boars second rower Matt Trindall, and other Blue Boars juniors and seniors, and inter-state players.
Players are coming back from all over with 400 expected for the anniversary ball tonight.
“From the 1964 side we have 15 of them coming back,” president Jack Findley said.
He said they’ve made a special cap for the weekend for them which they were presenting last night.