The SRFC was formed in the fall of 1966 by several members of the Olympic Club who were not satisfied with the leadership there. They mounted a poster – blitz and held the first organizational meeting at “Edinburgh Castle” and were surprised and pleased at the unexpectedly large response.
The organizers included PHIL GOODING, MIKE DRIVER, ROGER DIXON, FRED FORSTER, among others.
Plans for the 50th Anniversary began in mid 2013, with the target date of the Spring, 2016. Plans foundered somewhat with turnover at the club, but when NEIL FOOTE came on as Director, he provided his enthusiastic support and we moved on and decided to celebrate our other founding Club’s 30th anniversary as well.
The early planning had input from the following folks: JOHN GARRATT, MIKE SMITH, DAVE SHRIMPTON, DAVE MEESON, JIMMY WALKER, FRED FORSTER, GREG ROCCA, GARY GALLOWAY, ANDREW KEARNEY, TONY WELLS, MIKE CARAVELLI, MIKE RODDY, KEVIN SULLIVAN PETER CLARKE, JAY HANSON, JIM MURRAY, SEAN HARRINGTON, and AUSTIN BREWIN. As the plans evolved, we had invaluable input from members of SFGG’s Women, SFGG’s Señors, Social Members and the Club’s current Men’s players under the direction of Coaches NEIL FOOTE and PAULA FUKAFUKA, as well as members of the Youth segments of our Club.
A working group under the capable direction of Super – Organizer JOHN GARRATT, saw the various components come together, and by 3 months before the weekend of November 11, 12 and 13 we had commitments from many of our scattered former members to help us celebrate.
The returning overseas people began arriving from Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia and from across the US early that week to be time-zoned acclimated for the Friday gathering, organized by the Women and Senor’s volunteers, with food prepared by JACK BACIGLIUPI, SEAN HARRINGTON and new Club President PAUL SANTINELLI, who brought along his grill to prepare a wonderful tri-tip and chicken feast for the revelers.
It was a wonderful evening – being able to catch up with former team mates from up to 40 years ago brought back memories of how much fun we had, and a new realization of the huge role the Club played in our lives. One remarkably new twist on this event was the number of our more mature selves who took advantage of Uber, Lyft and public transportation rather than risk the wrath of the arm of the Law, which hung over our heedless heads in those by-gone days. Another bit of reality: Not once during that evening’s festivities did this observer hear the phrase “You look like you could still play!”
(50/30 ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION REPORT BY AUSTIN BREWIN Continued)
We gathered at the field on Saturday for some outdoor activities. The Women’s game was cancelled, but a number of aging warriors ventured onto the field - lead by SEAN HARRINGTON to display the current state of their fitness and skills for a remarkably closely contested game of touch rugby. MARK BREWER was awarded his second SFRC MVP award by mercifully scoring the final try to end the match. GORDON WRIGHT showed off the wages of a life wasted on fitness by running past everybody whenever it stuck him to do it. He does, in fact, look quite capable of being able to “still play”.
PAULA FUKAFUKA, in his pre-game talk to the Green and the Gold – “Put on a good show for these people, Let them see how rugby has changed over the years and the style of play that SFGG practices.” The teams were evenly split, and we spectators were treated to an outstanding display of “Champagne Rugby” for the next 80 minutes. Volunteer referee NOME TIATIA let the game flow, and flow it did. A great show that ended with the Green winning with a score of approximately 52 – 48 when the final whistle blew.
Uber. Lyft and cabs delivered 183 togged – out celebrants to the Italian Athletic Club on Washington Square for the Gala.
(50/30 ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION REPORT BY AUSTIN BREWIN Continued)
JIM MURRAY had prepared a printed program, which included current addresses, a brief Club history and a history of Rugby itself in the Bay Area. Sadly, we also were reminded of our vulnerabilities by seeing the names of 49 of our deceased comrades – altogether too long, and all missed. He also included the names of several who were unable to attend our gathering due to on- going problems – MIKE SMITH, JOHN DOUGHTY, PETER CLARKE and NORMAN JACK.
The evening program was put on as the usual hearty Italian Athletic Club dinner was served, including table wine donated to our evening by GREG ROCCA, and by a full bar service.
DAN O'CONNELL was a masterful MC. DAVE SHRIMPTON composed a series of slides including a litany of accomplishments with supporting photos of the early years of SFRC, GARY GALLOWAY and JAY HANSON chimed in with some 80s and 90s history. MIKE RODDY delivered one of his unique talks reviewing the 30 years of the Golden Gate RFC. Few people on this planet have the view of events that can match MIKE’s perspective - from touch Rugby to the NCFU’s Dan Hickey. He took us from the Castaways, The Browns, Dale Allan. The Barbary Coast and a host of High School players up through the merger with SFRC- all the way expressing his unfiltered views of deals that were done or not and his observations of the underlying motives and the people who were behind the scenes and how they drove the outcome. MIKE is one of SFGG’s rare treasures.
FRANK MERRILL spoke more on the history of Rugby in the Bay Area, and noted the number of once-strong clubs which have dissolved – speaking to the uniqueness of our longevity. FRED FORSTER, in a red, spangled jacket –reputedly from the estate of Michael Jackson, ended the formal evening program with an inspired recitation of “Why the Hell We play the Game”.
A fair number of stalwarts turned out on the deck of the Mission Rock Resort for a brunch on their sunny deck. The Bloody Mary’s and Long Island Iced teas were refreshing, Some were more refreshed than others – As we left, we observed GARY GALLOWAY tackle and wrestle JIMMY WALKER to the ground on the sidewalk.
A fitting close to our Gala Celebration of Longevity.
See you all at the 75th!! (many of us are not interested in hanging around waiting for the Centennial).
Saturday 11/18/2017 saw the venerable and D2 augmented SFGG SEÑORS juggernaut take on our good friends and SF Rugby family from SF FOG. Early goings had SEÑORS scoring first a couple times with answers from a young and decently fit FOG side. Things were tight for a while but into the third and fourth 20 min. Periods the SEÑORS got guts and dotted down a few tries. Final score SEÑORS 54 - SF FOG 39. Thanks to all who came out for a great rugby day at THE BEST rugby club in California. SFGG BABY...BLEED GREEN!
BY Sean Harrinton
Anyone interested in Helping to Build Community by volunteering this weekend - We need volunteers for Bar and BBQ at club on Friday 3-7+PM, and Saturday 11AM-4PM. Send email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Meet & Greet BBQ" at the SFGG Rugby Treasure Island ClubHouse: 725 California Ave. San Francisco 94130
Newly elected Club Prez Paul Santinelli writes:
"Bar opens at 5pm,
BBQ tri tip & chicken dinner @ 6:00 (Bring cash),
Limited edition t-shirts, bottomless pints and social memberships are available while supplies last."
For those driving and parking at clubhouse, ensure you leave no valuables in your car and certainly leave nothing in sight. Uber is also option.
At SFGG Rugby - 725 California Ave.Treasure Island, 94130
10:30am SFGGRC Women's game
11:30am Touch Rugby. Please contact Fred Forster or Sean Harrington, if you'd like to play.
1:00pm Feature game pitting SFGGRC 1st XV Probables against 1st XV Possibles.
BBQ Lunch, Bar, Tshirts, High school Raffle, Social Membership - Bring Cash
Banquet at the Italian Athletic Club (MUST HAVE TICKET- Tickets Sales now Closed), 1630 Stockton Street, North Beach, San Francisco 94133. 6:30pm Cocktails; Dinner will be served at 8:00pm
11:30-ish a Beer and Brunch at Mission Rock, Mission Bay, San Francisco. (Mission Rock OPEN for Brunch 10AM to 3:00 PM. Make your own Reservations, or take your chances.)
Travel Safe & See you soon!