It is with great sadness that the OBURFC advises members of the peaceful passing of our Life Member and Past President Vern Darke.
Vern joined the Wellington College Old Boys Rugby Football Club in 1949 and played through the grades finally playing for the Senior side in the mid to late 1950’s as a loose forward. Once retired he became a regular attender of the senior game’s week in week out.
In 1978, along with two other members of the club, he helped set up the Wellington College Old Boys Rugby Football Supporters Club which operated very successfully for about 6 years. The club ran many raffles to raise funds to purchase an ex–NZ Railways bus which was used to transport supporters to and from the senior matches each Saturday and was also hired by the Wellington Rugby Union to take the Wellington Representative team to matches in the lower half of the North Island. Vern obtained his passenger service licence, along with 7 other members of the club and became a very accomplished bus driver!
Vern went on to become the Manager of the Senior team during the time Brian Cuff was coach. He created a great team spirit and whilst the team never won the Jubilee Cup it was a very happy team and they played some great rugby.
For the last 30 plus years, Vern has lived in Waikanae with his wife Joy, but during the club rugby season there would have had to have been a major disaster to have stopped him from coming into the city to watch his beloved rugby club playing in the Premier Competition.
Only towards the end of last season was his absence noted and that was due to failing health.
Vern was a very popular member of the OBURFC, always happy and smiling (particularly when we started winning the Jubilee Cup in latter years) and a great contributor to the rugby discussions post match.
An OBURFC member to the core, he will be greatly missed