All Black to be Redlands Rugby Union Club dinner to celebrate 40th anniversary at Judy Holt Park

REDLANDS Rugby Union Club will celebrate its 40th anniversary at a gala dinner on Saturday, September 14.

HISTORY: Redlands Rugby Union Club's first senior men's team in 1985, just after moving to Brikdale.

HISTORY: Redlands Rugby Union Club's first senior men's team in 1985, just after moving to Brikdale.

The club will take a walk down memory lane during the function and celebrate the individuals that have worked tirelessly to keep the club running smoothly since 1979.

Club president Keith 'Irish' Taylor said reaching the 40 year milestone was a big achievement for a club that continued to face the threat of player raids from powerhouse Brisbane rugby clubs and private schools.

"From the point of view of a junior club, which is what we're perceived to be, we are punching well above our weight," he said.

"I would say that we would be better and more organised than a few premier grade clubs whose main focus is seniors.

"Our main focus is, and will always be, from the bottom up - grassroots rugby."

The club will recognise the work of the late Judy Holt and the club's foundation members who were there when it all began.

Holt, a former Redlands councillor whose son Nigel represented the Wallabies in 1984, led the campaign to have rugby grounds and facilities built on dumping land at Birkdale in 1985. They are now named in her honour.

"It came to its current location with a lot of hard work and dedication from founding life members who are still heavily involved in the club," Taylor said.

"Life member John Lloyd still marks the fields today. That is the dedication and commitment from those that were around at the very start."

NEW GROUND: Former shire chairman Merv Genrich and former Cr Judy Holt next to the clubhouse during construction in 1985.

NEW GROUND: Former shire chairman Merv Genrich and former Cr Judy Holt next to the clubhouse during construction in 1985.

Taylor said the club continued to go from strength-to-strength.

"It will be a massive focus next year to grow female participation but also to grow our male participation in juniors," he said.

"There are a lot of families that are committed to the club and it has got a great atmosphere around it."

The club's under 15 team, who will play arch rivals Riverside Rugby Club in the grand final at Ballymore on Saturday, have been raising money to fund a trip to Argentina later this month.

So far they have raised $60,000 through bottle donations, barbecues and raffles.

They were also named the club's team of the year at a junior function.

"They've got a great team culture," Taylor said. "They've done absolutely everything in their power as a unit to try and fundraise as much as they can.

"We have had 14 and 15-year-old kids picking up bottles after A Day on the Green at Sirromet Wines...from a cultural perspective it shows how dedicated and committed the parents and kids were to the tour."

MUDDIES: Judy Holt and Eddie Santagiuliana with the Bledisloe Cup at the club in 2000.

MUDDIES: Judy Holt and Eddie Santagiuliana with the Bledisloe Cup at the club in 2000.

Taylor said the club continued to produce representative players despite having fewer resources than Brisbane's premier grade clubs.

"We've just had one of our under 16 players, Saxon Warwick, make the Queensland rep team," he said.

"The point is you don't need to be at a premier grade club to be seen."

A team of the best players from the past 40 years will be unveiled at the gala dinner, which will be held at the club's fields at Judy Holt Park.

Super Rugby player Ed Quirk and former All Black Eric Rush will attend as special guests.

Only a few tickets are still available to purchase.

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