Rugby Jamboree – Update 4

Mark Pirie – poet and writer – at the Rugby Jamboree

Mark Pirie was born in Wellington, New Zealand, in 1974. He is a New Zealand poet, fiction writer, literary critic, publisher, editor and anthologist.

His poems have been published in India, New Zealand, Australia, Croatia, the US, Canada, Singapore, Iraq, China, Thailand, Germany, and the UK.

Mark Pirie – poet and writer – at the Rugby Jamboree

Mark has recently published Sidelights: Rugby Poems. Sidelights features poems about the All Blacks, Super and provincial rugby, women’s rugby and the author’s own rugby family.  The New Zealand Rugby Museum has been retailing Sidelights for 3-4 years.

Around 2012 Mark contacted the museum when researching a photo of his grandfather in a rugby team in the 1920s with just the initials SRFC to go on.  We helped identify that it was Sydenham Rugby Club.  Family rumour or myth is that Mark’s grandfather Tom Lawn, was asked to trial for the All Blacks but turned it down due to his work commitments.  The museum was unable to find records of Tom Lawn playing any first-class rugby, but Mark was able to discover that Tom turned out for Canterbury against Banks Peninsula in what would have been a second-class, but still competitive match for the times.  Later Tom Lawn coached the North Shore club alongside All Black Bert Cooke.  Outside of rugby Tom Lawn had an eventful business career with agricultural implement firm Booth, MacDonald & Co Ltd. Eventually becoming General Manager and in WWI employing women in the factory for making munitions.

Mark has produced and self-published a book Tom Lawn: Mystery Forward, a Life in Business and Rugby. Come and hear about Mark’s work at the Rugby Jamboree.

If Mark is feeling gracious he may even read some poetry for us.

The Rugby Jamboree it is free for everyone, come and book a stall and show us your pet rugby project.