Karaka Rugby Clubs Proud History

Although the Karaka Club started strong when it was formed in 1935 (sporting yellow and black team colours) it had difficulty retaining its identity since the war. On two occasions, it even went into recess!

Despite these upsets, the Karaka Club was always striving to give service to the Counties Rugby Football Union, its public and players. One of its proudest victories was winning the Proficiency Trophy for Sportsmanship and team Spirit, awarded annually by the Counties Referrers' Association.

Subscriptions in the early years were 25 cents per player, per match. Gate takings for six home games totalled five dollars and ten cents!!

At the outbreak of the Second World War Karaka combined with Kingseat, but shortly fell into recess. It was reformed in 1946, and following two tough seasons the club was forced to combine again, this time with Waiau Pa - only to go into recess once again. In spite of all the amalgamating, 1948 saw Karaka gain its own grounds adjacent to the Karaka Hall, where we still proudly stand today.

1955 saw a change in team colours to blue and gold under the chairmanship of Mr Ewan Kidd. Mr Claude Downs (deceased), assisted the Club to retain its identity and it has remained strong ever since.

In 1956 and 1957, as the club’s playing strength improved, a third-grade team was entered. In 1958 that team won the open junior grade competition. In the team were players such as Henry Elliott, Gordon Hill and Ian Laing, all of whom made Counties third grade rep teams.

In 1959 the team moved up to senior B, and the club has fielded a senior team ever since (except for 1976 when the main team was playing restricted juniors)

The seniors won the B competition with the third-grade team being runners-up in their grade. Worthy of mention in those years are the late Arthur Gleeson who was president (1960-73) and Reg Sharplin who coached the seniors from 1956 to 1966

Another stalwart who worked hard for the club was the late Chris Steele who on joining the committee in 1955, was elected treasurer, filling this position for 10 years.

Karaka has won grade and senior B championships, and has also been on the bottom of the ladder.

Since then the club has had huge success with Counties rep players and even an All Black.

Karaka Rugby Club prides itself on its family values which grow stronger with every new member and family that join us each year. We thank you all for your continued support.