It was another beautiful sunny winter afternoon in Sydney as 170 members of the extended Brothers Rugby Club family descended on Darling Harbour for the second annual Brothers In The City celebration. The event was a complete sell out and there wasn't a spare seat in the house. There was an excited buzz about the crowd as they mingled before hand. And this was multiplied when John Eales arrived and started to chat to attendees.
As we all sat for dinner John Eales spoke, and with great aplomb and no small amount of gravitas detailed some of his experiences as the Wallabies most successful captain ever. In a highly entertaining and self deprecating manner he detailed his life as a deeply respected and incredibly successful rugby player. His speech was curtailed slightly as he had to attend the Wallabies Captain's Run, however he entertained the crowd thoroughly and had them eating out of his hands all the way through. Most people got their questions answered, however his prediction on the Wallabies score was a little off!
Our president, Ian Gibson spoke briefly, and John Waugh our patron and resident Club Historian stood and paid tribute to Brothers members that unfortunately are no longer with us.
Dinner was served and Vinny and Boof started with the Heads or Tails. Typically Simon Kearney won the heads or tails. Ninja hosted the trivia which went to a nailbiting tie breaker which was eventually won by Mike Clancy's table!
Vinny was fantastic and typically boisterous in auctioning off our two fantastic prizes, one being a first grade Jersey signed by John Eales, and the other being an entire week in luxury 4 bed accommodation. The auction raised in excess of 2000 dollars and featured a particularly intense battle between Roy Anderson and Steve Jacques and one point for the signed jersey..!
Next up was the massive Brothers In The City raffle. A huge amount of tickets were sold on the day. With a first prize of a trip to Fiji, it's no great surprise so many were sold. Our first prize was supported by our major sponsor, Flight Centre.
The winners of the raffle were
1st Prize – Sarah Wilson
2nd Prize – Greg Woods
3rd Prize – Maddy Price
The raffle was drawn by Steve Jacques a life long Brothers man and now major sponsor with RFI Wireless.
Many more drinks were had, and most attendees carried on to the Willoughby Hotel... where even more alcohol was consumed and the eyeball made another appearance. Apparently most of our first grade squad was in attendence and this bonding experience led to their biggest win of the season the next day against Barker. Rumour has it that coach cranky will, in a dramatic u-turn, impose a complete booze ban for the finals.
John Eales himself after the event took the time to send us a note to congratulate us on a well organised event and noted:
"I’m really glad that the day worked out well for the club and that it led to a successful Saturday. Wonderful to see all the pride in the club’s history and performance on the field. Looks like you have a few Merv Hazell’s in your club."
As a club we couldn't survive without your amazingly generous support and we just want to know how immensely important it is to have people taking a Friday afternoon off to come and support our amazing club. We also very much appreciate everyone who dug deep and bought raffle tickets, and all those who took the time to sell tickets and help organise the event. I think you can all agree that it was a massive success and we're all looking forward to an even bigger and better one next year, if they have enough room for us in the venue!
All in all the event raised $16,000 for the club which is a massive amount, and will go a long way towards building our club as we aim for our goal of Division 1 rugby.