NZRL life member passes away

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NZRL life member passes away

Postby Northern_Union » Sun May 05, 2013 11:06 am

http://www.nzrl.co.nz/news-archive/nzrl ... -away.aspx
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New Zealand Rugby League, its staff, Board and wider community wish to express their sadness on hearing of the passing of Life Member Bernie Wood MNZM. Mr Wood passed away last night at home with his family by his side. Our thoughts and sympathy are with his wife and family and the Porirua Vikings club - where he has been President since 2005 - he will be sadly missed.

Funeral Service 11am Friday May 3, 2013
St Barnabus Church, Main Road, Paremata.
Bernie will be taken to Whenua Tapu Cemetry for a private burial.

Mr Wood was named a member of the NZ Order of Merit (MNZM) in 2000 and awarded an NZRL Life Membership in 2008. He was made an honorary NZRL Official Historian in April 2012 - a position he shared with Mr John Coffey. Between them, they produced a number of high quality rugby league publications including 'The KIWIS' in 2007 and the 'Centenary Book - An Illustrated History' for the NZRL in 2010. One of Mr Woods most recent achievements was in securing $1.6 million in funding for an all weather, 24/7 league turf at Porirua's Ascot Park which will be the first league turf of its kind in Australasia.

Bernie's long career in league began as a schoolboy in the league stronghold of Greymouth in the 1940s. He was a NZ Schoolboy Kiwi in 1955.

As a serial rugby league administrator, he was a Wellington League Board of Control member from 1968 to 1992, a NZ Rugby League Board Member from 1992 to 2002, managed age group Kiwi teams in Australia and in 1995, organized the first NZ women's league tournament in Nelson.

In 1990, he was a major player in the organizing the Sesqui double header league and rugby test matches at Athletic Park, Wellington with the biggest crowd ever recorded at a Wellington league match of 28,000.

In his roles for local, regional and national rugby league, it is conservatively estimated that he has raised as a volunteer, more than $8 million over 50 years including $1 million to fund the national club competition in the 1990s, and organising the entry of rugby league into TAB's sports betting where the NZRL earns ongoing commission.

He has also been a prolific writer and historian on league and trotting, producing the NZRL Annuals for 25 years to 2002; the history of the NZRL (2007), Auckland Rugby League (2009) and Maori Rugby League (all with John Coffey); plus the History of the New Zealand Trotting Cup (1980), "Flying Sulkies" and a centennial history of the Cup in 2003.

Funeral Service Arrangements

11am on Friday May 3, 2013

St Barnabus Church, Main Road, Paremata

Bernie will be taken to Whenua Tapu Cemetry for a private burial.

A social function will take place 5pm on Friday. Details will be posted once confirmed.


The man was a giant of the game off the field for rugby league in New Zealand. A true gentleman and a sad loss for anyone that cares about rugby league in New Zealand.
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