Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


Legend holds keys to league museum

Legend holds keys to league museum

Few can claim to have had as much of an impact on New Zealand rugby league as Don Hammond.

These days, Hammond is best known as curator of the Rugby League Museum, housed on the ground floor of NZRL headquarters in Penrose.

But he's also regarded as one of the best to ever appear for the NZ Kiwis, playing in the second row from 1959-65.

A former five-eighth who converted to the forwards in search of game time for his Mt Albert club side, Hammond was outsized by most of his opponents, but this didn't stop him enjoying incredible success in the Kiwis jersey.

"I never cared where I played, as long as I was on the field," he recalls about his position switch.

Known as an old-fashioned type of player who tackled hard and low, Hammond, alongside Ronnie Ackland and Mel Cooke, was part of one of the most effective back-row combinations in New Zealand rugby league history.

He debuted for the Kiwis on the 1959 tour to Australia, before captaining the squad just two years later on the famous 1961 European tour. On this tour, Hammond established himself as a pivotal figure in the Kiwis team, when he helped guide them to a shock win over Great Britain in the first test.Don H

Next, he captained the side to their first test series win against France on French soil, a feat Hammond describes "one of his proudest moments in the Kiwis jersey".

He played 61 times for his country, including 20 test-match appearances, and was one of the true stalwarts of the 1960s Kiwis.

A recipient of the 1964 Auckland and national player-of-the-year awards, Hammond was inducted into the Legends of League in 2010, further establishing him as one of the best to ever play for New Zealand.

Following his retirement from playing, Hammond went on to coach Te Atatu, as well as an Auckland representative side, before becoming heavily involved with the New Zealand Kiwis Association.

This eventually led him to his current line of work.

Hammond played a crucial role in establishing the Rugby League Museum, as he - along with former team-mate and ex-Kiwis fullback Jack Fagan, collected and organised a vast array of New Zealand rugby league memorabilia that, until that point, had been locked away in storage.

The initial idea for the museum came all the way back in 2002 and it took several years of hard work before it could be opened in 2007.

New items continue to be donated to the museum, including one of the original Carlaw Park turnstiles, which "appeared out of the blue one morning".

Every item in the museum has its own unique story and its own special place in New Zealand League history, and it is hard not to feel nostalgic walking around looking at the exhibits.

Thanks largely to the ongoing work of Hammond, the museum now houses a comprehensive collection of New Zealand rugby league artifacts, from as far back as the early 1900s right through to the professional era, and is a must-see for any die-hard league fans.

SIX OF THE BEST

Over coming weeks, we'll feature some of Hammond's favourite Rugby League Museum exhibits and the stories behind them.

Here are half a dozen to look out for during your visit to the museum open day on August 24.

Captain William John McNeight's 1938 jersey

These jerseys were the first to have the white "V" around the collar and were also were the first instance of having the silver fern point out towards the sleeve. The jersey was donated by a member of McNeight's family and is currently the second-oldest jersey in the museum's possession.


Courtney Trans-Tasman Trophy


This trophy features an elaborate silver cup on top of a beautiful wooden stand. The stand contains a variety of native woods from both Australia and New Zealand, as well as paua inlays. The trophy was last contested in 1972.

1930 Courtney Football Trophy

This trophy was originally given to the Kiwis by R O Courtney Esq in appreciation for allowing him to come on tour to Australia. The trophy was played for in an inter-island competition within New Zealand.

Brian Reidy's boots from the 1961 European tour

The boots have sharp aluminium sprigs that the players had to nail in before a game. When asked if it hurt to be rucked by one of these, Hammond replies that it "hurt a lot less then than the leather sprigs they had even before that".

Ruben Wiki and Tana Umaga-signed jersey and photograph

This exhibit marks a nice coming together of both codes from two great New Zealand icons. The photograph was actually donated to the museum by Ruben Wiki himself.

2003 Women's Rugby League World Cup

One of many trophies won by the Kiwi Ferns, this cup is one of the most impressive in the entire museum.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Album Review And Rap Beefs: Tame Impala, Currents.

Tame Impala’s new album Currents has one of the hallmarks of an enduring album. At first listen it seems like good, if somewhat ordinary, pop but as you go back more and more layers unravel revealing deeply rich, expertly crafted songs. More>>

Flagging Enthusiasm: Gareth Morgan Announces Winner Of $20k Flag Competition

The winner of the Morgan Foundation’s $20,000 flag competition is “Wā kāinga / Home”, designed by Auckland based Studio Alexander. Economist and philanthropist Gareth Morgan set up the competition because he had strong views on what the flag should represent but he couldn’t draw one himself. More>>

ALSO:

Books: The Lawson Quins Tell Their Incredible Story

They could have been any family of six children – except that five of them were born at once. It will come as a shock to many older New Zealanders to realise that Saturday July 25 is the Lawson quintuplets’ 50th birthday. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Wartime Women

Coinciding as it does with the movie Imitation Game which focusses on Alan Turing breaking the Enigma code in Hut 6 at Bletchley Park (“BP”), this book is likely to attract a wide readership. It deserves to do so, as it illustrates that BP was very much more than Turing and his colleagues. More>>

Maori Language Commission: Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori 2015

The theme for Māori Language Week 27 July – 2 August 2015 is ‘Whāngaihia te Reo ki ngā Mātua’ ‘Nurture the language in parents’. It aims to encourage and support every day Māori language use for parents and caregivers with children” says Acting Chief Executive Tuehu Harris.. More>>

ALSO:

Live Music: Earl Sweatshirt Plays To Sold Out Bodega

The hyped sell-out crowd had already packed themselves as close as they could get to the stage before Earl came on. The smell of weed, sweat and beer filled Bodega – more debauched sauna than bar by this point. When he arrived on stage the screaming ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news