Devotion to rugby honoured

Last updated 05:00 19/07/2014
Les Bayly
HONOURED: Les Bayly.

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The man known as "Mr Stratford Rugby" has received further recognition for his devotion to the sport.

Les Bayly, 88, was one of three people known for their dedication to the community who were presented with Citizens Awards by Stratford District Mayor Neil Volzke on Wednesday.

Bayly, David Brunton and Gloria Webby were supported by family, friends and council representatives who filled the council chamber to overflowing.

"The three people chosen have been involved in a broad range of activities over many years including arts, farming and sport. It's good to be able to formally recognise their contribution to the Stratford community," Volzke said.

Bayly's decades-long service as a player, coach and administrator, including being president of the Taranaki Rugby Football Union in its centennial year, 1985, were acknowledged by the award.

He is the Stratford Rugby and Sports Club's oldest life member and still enjoys getting out to watch a game.

Club president Mike O'Neill said Bayly was respected as both a player and as a coach.

He is the oldest recipient of the 90 people who have had their service acknowledged in the 23 years the awards have been running.

Brunton was recognised for his lifetime of service to the Cardiff district, where he had roles in every organisation in the community over the years, as well as the Stratford A and P Association and his years breeding and showing Ayrshire cattle.

Webby is a well known figure in the Stratford Arts Community and was commended for her enthusiasm and ability to find fun in even mundane situations.

All three recipients expressed surprise at being singled out for their achievements and all thanked their spouses and families for the support they had received.

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