Long service to PB and BoP rugby

Obituary: Bruce Dodge

Obituary: Bruce Dodge

Bruce Dodge.

Gisborne-born and bred Bruce Dodge, as well as completing 50 years service to rugby administration, was part of a group of talented Gisborne sportsmen and lifelong friends who christened themselves the Fab Five.

Friends from their days at Gisborne Intermediate, the five were Dodge, John Turnbull, Barry Preston, Bruce Fryer and Malcolm Vette.

All keen rugby players and cricketers they spent a lot of their time together, continuing with reunions well into recent times.

They were all stalwarts of the HSOB Rugby Club.

Turnbull was a talented cricketer who played for Auckland in the Plunket Shield, Barry Preston played numerous games for Poverty Bay and toured Sri Lanka as a NZ Colt in 1955, while Bruce Fryer, a front row forward, was part of a legendary Ardmore Teachers Training College team that included three All Blacks in the backline. He coached Ngatapa and was a referee in Gisborne and Counties, club coaching in partnership with All Black Pat Walsh.

Bruce Dodge played for the Boys’ High School first cricket 11 and rugby first 15. A loose forward for the school, he converted himself to a useful winger when he joined HSOB.

Malcolm Vette was a diligent lock for HSOB.

Bruce Dodge died in Tauranga last month. With more than 50 years of service, he made a major contribution to rugby in both Gisborne and the Bay of Plenty.

He took up administration after his playing days, starting with the HSOB committee, then became club chairman of HSOB and chairman of Poverty Bay Rugby Union.

After moving to Tauranga in 1978, he continued to play a major role and was largely responsible for the successful amalgamation of the Tauranga Old Boys and Otumoetai Cadets clubs in 1988 and the establishment of Tauranga Sports Club, of which he was a life member.

He joined the Bay of Plenty management committee in 1990 and was president of the Bay of Plenty Union in 2007-08, being made a life member of the union in 2016.

Bay of Plenty chief executive Mike Rogers said the impact Bruce Dodge had on rugby in the region was massive, with the number of people who would have benefited from the hours he put into sport in the thousands.

“He was a humble man who had the interests of the game at heart,” Rogers said.

He was someone with a wealth of knowledge who was always there when you needed him.

Bruce Dodge worked as an accountant for East Coast Fisheries before buying the Shiralee Dairy in Kaiti. After moving to Tauranga, he worked as an accountant at Sanford Fisheries until his retirement.

He is survived by his seven children, 15 grand children and great grandchildren.

Gisborne-born and bred Bruce Dodge, as well as completing 50 years service to rugby administration, was part of a group of talented Gisborne sportsmen and lifelong friends who christened themselves the Fab Five.

Friends from their days at Gisborne Intermediate, the five were Dodge, John Turnbull, Barry Preston, Bruce Fryer and Malcolm Vette.

All keen rugby players and cricketers they spent a lot of their time together, continuing with reunions well into recent times.

They were all stalwarts of the HSOB Rugby Club.

Turnbull was a talented cricketer who played for Auckland in the Plunket Shield, Barry Preston played numerous games for Poverty Bay and toured Sri Lanka as a NZ Colt in 1955, while Bruce Fryer, a front row forward, was part of a legendary Ardmore Teachers Training College team that included three All Blacks in the backline. He coached Ngatapa and was a referee in Gisborne and Counties, club coaching in partnership with All Black Pat Walsh.

Bruce Dodge played for the Boys’ High School first cricket 11 and rugby first 15. A loose forward for the school, he converted himself to a useful winger when he joined HSOB.

Malcolm Vette was a diligent lock for HSOB.

Bruce Dodge died in Tauranga last month. With more than 50 years of service, he made a major contribution to rugby in both Gisborne and the Bay of Plenty.

He took up administration after his playing days, starting with the HSOB committee, then became club chairman of HSOB and chairman of Poverty Bay Rugby Union.

After moving to Tauranga in 1978, he continued to play a major role and was largely responsible for the successful amalgamation of the Tauranga Old Boys and Otumoetai Cadets clubs in 1988 and the establishment of Tauranga Sports Club, of which he was a life member.

He joined the Bay of Plenty management committee in 1990 and was president of the Bay of Plenty Union in 2007-08, being made a life member of the union in 2016.

Bay of Plenty chief executive Mike Rogers said the impact Bruce Dodge had on rugby in the region was massive, with the number of people who would have benefited from the hours he put into sport in the thousands.

“He was a humble man who had the interests of the game at heart,” Rogers said.

He was someone with a wealth of knowledge who was always there when you needed him.

Bruce Dodge worked as an accountant for East Coast Fisheries before buying the Shiralee Dairy in Kaiti. After moving to Tauranga, he worked as an accountant at Sanford Fisheries until his retirement.

He is survived by his seven children, 15 grand children and great grandchildren.

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