The Golden Oldies

The 1980s saw resurgence in the interests of “Golden Oldies” sports. There was the International rugby, cricket and also hockey Golden Oldies events that created a lot of interest in New Zealand.

An international hockey tournament was held in Sydney, Australia in 1987. Some Indian members attended this tournament as part of the Counties Crocks team. After this tournament there was an interest to establish a Pukekohe Indian Golden Oldies hockey team. Following some informal discussion amongst interested players, a meeting was held at the residence of Pema Manga in 1988. The meeting agreed that there should be an Indian Golden Oldies hockey team. It was also decided at the meeting that the name should be Pukekohe Longkeepers. This was symbolic of the Pukekohe area where the Longkeeper Onion is a prominent name, and also to signify the ageing but resolute determination of the players to continue an active participation in the sport.

The people who attended this meeting were Balu R Hari, Balu Naran, Naran Bava, Dahya Hari, Dheru Makan, Jeram Parsot, Kandhoo Parag, Magan Ranchhod, Naran Makan, Pema Manga and Uka Chhiba.

Following the establishment of the Golden Oldies, a Golden Oldies tournament was organised by the Wellington Indian Sports Club in 1988. Other Indian sports Clubs followed Pukekohe in _ forming Golden Oldies teams. The Pukekohe Longkeepers participated along with teams from | Auckland, Christchurch, Waikato, Rotorua and Wellington. This tournament has now been a regular event being held every two years. In 1990 it was held in Auckland, in 1992 Pukekohe, and in 1994 Wellington.

The Longkeepers also participate in other regular games, including an annual match with the Counties Crocks. This event started in 1989, and in 1991 Mrs Hoskins, donated a trophy in memory of Mr. Dave Hoskins. Dave was a very prominent member in the Franklin Counties hockey scene, and also had a great involvement with Indians in Pukekohe and Wellington, so it was appropriate that this annual match should be played in his memory. There is also an annual home and away fixture against a side from Whangarei, the Kauri Gum diggers. In this event a shield made from Kauri wood is played for.

Membership of the Golden Oldies hockey teams is confined to players 40 years of age and over who wish to continue playing hockey, and maintain membership of the Pukekohe Indian Sports Club. The Golden Oldies are very much a part of the Pukekohe Indian Sports Club. Although the Golden Oldies operate their own affairs, all it’s members are required to be members of the Pukekohe Indian Sports Club, their main objective is to strive for a healthy Club.

The Golden Oldies were formed to provide a platform for persons who perhaps were past their prime in playing hockey but still wanted to participate in the sport they love in either a playing or social capacity. Winning is not the main motive of the Golden Oldies. At tournaments there are no losers, only winners. The Golden Oldies have a very important role to perform in the enhancement of the Pukekohe Indian community, being a link between the younger members and older members. The Golden Oldies hope to maintain this link by the healthy means of sport.

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