Raiders 40th anniversary celebrations kicked off with a formal dinner for 80 and guest speakers at its clubrooms on Friday, July 1 .
Guest speakers Foundation Secretary Alan Keenan and Life member Jeff Turner entertained with humorous and emotional memories.
The following day saw all the Raiders’ teams, from Under 6 to Premiers, play at home in Stanmore Bay. A good crowd turned out to see the Premiers take on high flying Howick in a televised match. Raiders stung the favoured Hornets with an early try. Howick fought back and held an 8-4 half time lead. They extended that advantage after the break but Raiders responded with one of their own to keep the in the hunt. Raiders launched repeated attacks but the Hornets’ defence was sound. Howick showed their class with a late try to wrap it up at 22-12.
Despite the loss, this was a gutsy and committed effort from the locals.
Sunday saw the Old Boys hosting all seven teams in its module. Players and supporters were treated to Raiders’ traditional seafood entrees of locally harvested mussels, kina and smoked fish.
Co-organiser Roger Reid says the whole 40th anniversary weekend was supported by good crowds every day, some travelling from Australia for the event and celebrations went on well into every night.
Video greetings were sent from France and England by ex-players, Karl Temata, Afeka Paleasina and Tyrone Pau.
Roger says the only down side was that his co-organiser, Karen Gibbons, went down with Covid-19 the day before the celebrations began.