Buck back to present awards

Sir Wayne "Buck" Shelford (centre) presented RSA awards to Bert Pringle (seated) and Ian...
Sir Wayne "Buck" Shelford (centre) presented RSA awards to Bert Pringle (seated) and Ian Carruthers, in Milton, on Saturday. PHOTO: NICK BROOK
Milton-Bruce RSA brought back Buck to honour stalwarts at their Union St clubrooms.

Sir Wayne Shelford presented Bert Pringle and Ian "Icky" Curruthers with life membership awards and Mr Pringle also accepted an RSA Gold Star.

The event was a surprise to the keen rugby followers who were delighted to meet the All Black legend, who became RSA president last year.

"I think the last time I was here I was about 4," Sir Wayne said.

"These awards don’t go to anybody, it’s a process with a lot of consideration.

"Milton-Bruce are actually recognising Bert and Icky for their contributions to the whole community, not just RSA, and it’s a pleasure to be a part of that."

Born in 1939, Mr Pringle did compulsory military service in his youth and joined the Milton-Bruce RSA committee in 1997.

He has been president and vice-president and collected a string of merit awards before his life membership and Gold Star on Saturday.

"Anything building or handyman-related, Bert took care of," RSA secretary Donna Williams said.

"We started the [award] process about two years ago and to be fair should have started sooner.

"It’s one of those things where it wasn’t until Bert got older and started to step back, that everyone really understood how much he did."

She said Mr Curruthers was a faithful club member who took every opportunity to help.

"Icky was president for seven or eight years and you can always rely on him to see where he can be useful and get stuck in, whether it’s the spud dig [fundraiser], putting out the armistice crosses or getting behind the bar when it’s busy."

Mr Curruthers was pleased to relax after the ceremony and speeches detailing his and Mr Pringle’s service.

"I wasn’t expecting it at all," he said.

"We just grew up with RSA with our family and father.

"They were always there giving back to the community and it always felt good to be a part of that."

nick brook@odt.co.nz