SNRR Life Members
Inaugural Life Member of SNRR
Peter Taylor (also known as “Sticks” amongst many people in the Manly rugby community) has been refereeing kids rugby on the northern beaches since the 1960s. More than 50 years. Yes, really – more than 50 years !
There is video evidence of Peter running touch in the 1971 Grand Final of the U10s. He started refereeing before that but record keeping is not a strong suit within the Manly rugby community. It seems that we mostly like telling tall stories whilst drinking beer and laughing with our mates. So, the exact date of when Peter started out refereeing is still a bit cloudy. Peter was thereabouts 20 years old when he started his refereeing career. He is now 75 years old and living in an aged care residence in Normanhurst. His last season refereeing was in 2019. That means he was 72 years old when he finally stopped refereeing.
Peter was a Fairlight local for a very long time until ill health saw him having to move into the aged care residence in Normanhurst. He was often seen strolling up to the Fairlight shops on Sydney Rd so that he could drop in to the Fairlight cake shop and grab a pie for lunch and maybe even “a little something” to enjoy after lunch with a cup of tea.
When Peter first started refereeing kids rugby the appointment to matches and training of rugby referees was delivered by Manly Rugby Referees Association. In 2004 Manly RRA merged into Metropolitan North Zone Rugby Referees Association along with the Warringah and Gordon RRAs. That merged entity is now known as Sydney North Rugby Referees, Inc (“SNRR”).
SNRR has just announced that Peter Taylor’s massive contribution to rugby on Sydney’s northern beaches has been formally acknowledged by SNRR conferring Life Member status on Peter earlier this week. SNRR President, Chris Hedge, was smiling broadly when he said “That makes Peter the very first Life Member of SNRR and I can’t think of a better person who embodies the spirit of contributing to rugby and contributing to their community.”
Manly Junior Rugby Union (“MJRU”) conferred Life Member status on Peter a number of years ago. One of the most memorable anecdotes shared about Peter at the time is that he did not drive a car, so he would make his way to the venue of whatever matches he was refereeing either on foot or by public transport. Now that really is commitment.
Peter has always been of very slight stature (hence, his nick name of “Sticks”) and he is also very softly spoken. Until his retirement from refereeing, he was immediately recognizable by so many people in the rugby family on the northern beaches. He is also a person for whom so many of those people “have a soft spot”. Peter’s gentle nature and softly spoken manner meant that he was widely recognized as the perfect referee to handle those matches that involved our very youngest players – those between 8 yo and 11 yo.
Congratulations Peter and enjoy your retirement.