Lew Patterson

Lew Patterson
Lew Patterson

Many of the club members always thought Lew WAS Ngatapa.

From the word go he was totally immersed in the Ngatapa club administration and, along with the likes of Paddy Wanklyn, they were the pioneers for the club.

Armed with a vision for the sub-union players in the early fifties, their aim was to amalgamate the Tahunga, Waerenga o kuri, Ngatapa, Rere and Whanahou sides to form a single unit to play in the PBRFU championship. After a huge amount of work, they formed a club, taking Ngatapa as their name, and was accepted by the PBRFU, officially starting the club in 1957.

Lew was Ngatapa's first club captain and served in that capacity for three years, as well as serving as the club president from 1960 to 1963.

Apart from his love for Ngatapa, he also wanted to see the game progress, and he was elected on the PBRFU management committee. During Lew's term, Gisborne hosted a multitude of international teams; from Argentina to The Lions. He was the 'Liaison Officer' for many of the touring teams, who were able to get quite a taste of New Zealand - with most having the ability to visit Lew's farm.

Lew became the manager of the Poverty Bay senior side in the late sixties, teaming up with one of the Bay's best coaches, Tony Sheehan. He stayed on as manager until 1975.

When the senior reserve grade (now senior division one) began in the early seventies, Lew wanted them to have something to strive for, so he donated the Lew Patterson Cup for the grade's champions.

Until declining health, Lew was a part of the furniture at Rugby Park. He loved to see the games in the press box, and was a perceptive observer.

He was always a friendly face on the union, never shirked his jobs, extremely popular, and a community-minded person.

We salute you for the terrific work you did for the game you loved.