Welcome back you sons and daughters of Dorking! It was great to see the Big Field again full of youngsters running riot on a sunny autumnal day. We’re slowly but surely getting there. Stay with it!
An introduction – I took over the unenviable task of filling Humfrey Malins’ huge shoes after he stepped down as president at the end of last season. Humfrey is a class act in every way and following on from such a distinguished and accomplished predecessor (Oxford, Law, Judge, MP etc) is going to be, ahem, challenging. Accepting the role I was acutely aware that it was about time the next generation took up the challenge of keeping our fantastic club moving forwards. Humfrey and his cohort have been responsible over the last 50 years for laying the solid foundations that make this club of ours so special. I pay personal and club-wide heartfelt thanks for his and all their many contributions.
As for myself, I’m a northerner by birth and started playing rugby at school (King’s School, Macclesfield) and Macclesfield RUFC. I eventually commenced a career in military and civil aviation that ended only this summer some 43 years later (exquisite timing, no?). Moving to Dorking in 1990 I joined DRFC and played in the lower teams until injuries to the better players allowed me to sneak into the First XV at lock and then 8 for a few years. My final playing days drew to a close playing alongside some exceptionally amusing people in the Dorking Derelicts. Halcyon days.
Both my sons have come through the mini and youth sections of the club and have played for the First XV. Ted, only for a short period before he joined the army and Harry has been a regular wing forward/number 8 for the last 12 years and club captain for 3 of those years.
As to my role – well, we have a really excellent team on the Board who have the executive responsibility, so I guess I’m around to buy the beers and be a lightning rod for any pressing issues that you may have at the club. I will also offer my experience to help the Board maintain the direction this club is taking - to be a successful, inclusive and fun place to be from the under 6’s to the First XV – boys, girls, men and women alike. Overall, I think that if this pandemic has taught us anything it must be the importance of community and mutual support and where better to find that than at Dorking RFC. Thankfully, to achieve these goals we have an amazing team of volunteers that work tirelessly to ensure that your experience at the Big Field is as good as you can wish for. There are just two things I ask of you in return – please continue to pay your subs on time (Inky Instone the Treasurer has done fantastically well to keep us financially afloat in this difficult time - but miracles he can’t do) and please help with the fundraising for our centenary redevelopment of the facilities. We’re almost there but to finish the project we need a big final push. As they said in seemingly less difficult times – let’s get it DONE!
I really look forward to seeing you all at the Big Field in the coming weeks.
Editors note: Jonty is too unassuming to note that for many years he has been in charge of grounds at the club managing our contractors and putting in a good few shifts himself to ensure the grounds are always in top notch condition!