Let me set the scene, 29 June 1963 and eleven 18-22 young oarsmen assemble for the first time to start training, to represent New Zealand Rowing at the 1964 Olympics Japan.
Fast forward to 2013, and after the passing of the team ‘Cox’ Doug Pulman and ‘Coach’ Eric Craies, a couple of the original team, thought it would be good to arrange a 50 year reunion of the team.
Hotel Hanmer, 29 June 2013, the members again assemble, only this time to reminisce. Now unfortunately some of the original group couldn’t make it due to health issues etc, but the hard luck stories had to go to Alan Webster who travelled 5 hours on a bus to get to Melbourne Australia Airport, only to be told his passport had expired.
Among other stories was the misrepresentation of a reporter over the closing ceremony. When some the members of the New Zealand Olympic Team bowed to the Emperor, the honourable and respectful gesture gained immense respect from both the Japanese people and a smile from Emperor Hirohito at the time, however the team were later accused of being disrespectful by the New Zealand public, because of a local newspaper misunderstanding and incorrect report of the incident.
Photographed: Mark Brownlee, Alex Clark, Peter Delaney, John Gibbon, George Paterson, Tony Popplewell and Fred Strachan (selector)
Absent: Rowers: Jim Little, David Moselen, Ray Skinner, Alan Webster, Doug Pulman, Eric Craies
Management: Don Rowlands, Hillary Jellie, Jim Craies,
Selectors: Humphret Gould, Don Rowlands
The guys suggested that they should wait another 50 years for another reunion!