CRL Service Pin Recipients 2017

Updated: November 28, 2017

Country Rugby League would like to acknowledge our 2017 CRL Service Pin recipients – Geoff Reichel, Jane Walmsley (Group 21), John Anderson, Ben Byrne (Group 7), Peter McDonald, Wayne Boyd (Group 10), Thomas Hickey (Newcastle and Hunter), Christine O’Keeffe (Maitland District), Peter Blom (Group 4) and Dennis Hartley (Central Coast Division Rugby League) for their outstanding contributions to Rugby League in Regional New South Wales.

The long serving volunteers will be presented with their Service Pins by ARLC Chairman John Grant at a dinner in Sydney, following the CRL Annual General Meeting on December 8th, 2017.

CRL Chairman John Anderson said all recipients should be extremely proud of their contributions.

“With a combined total of over 250 years of service to the game, the recipients are a fine example of the wonderful service that volunteers provide to the game and Country Rugby League is forever grateful for their exceptional efforts,” said Anderson.

“All recipients should be extremely proud of their efforts and the positive effect they have on their local communities through the game of Rugby League.”


Geoff Reichel (Group 21)

Geoff Reichel has been involved with Rugby League for over 50 years and was introduced to the game as a six-year-old whilst playing for the Scone Thoroughbreds and continued his playing days for the local side right through until first grade.

During his longstanding association with the game, Geoff has coached schoolboys and junior representative football sides, been a member of Scone’s Junior and Senior Rugby League Committees, refereed at Senior and Junior league matches and also served several terms as Scone Senior League Vice-President.


Wayne Boyd (Group 10)

Wayne has been an influential Rugby League figure in Bathurst after moving to the town in 1976.

After 12 years playing for the Bathurst Charleston’s, Wayne became President of the Charleston’s during 1988-1989, before continuing in the role of President for the Bathurst Penguins from 1990-1996. Wayne served as Secretary of the Penguins from 1997-1999, before assuming the role as Secretary of the Bathurst Panthers from 2000-2017.

Wayne was made a life member of the Charleston’s in 1988, the Penguins in 1998 and the Panthers in 2007.


Jane Walmsley (Group 21)

Jane has a long association with Rugby League in Group 21 and initially served as the Secretary/Treasurer for the Merriwa Magpies for over a decade.

Over the past nine years, Jane has served as Group 21 Secretary and has combined this position with her role as Treasurer over the past two seasons.

In this time, Jane has overseen a Group 21 Grand Final being played at each clubs home ground in the Group 21 Rugby League competition.

Jane is heavily involved in the organising and running of the Lake Liddell Rugby League Development Camp held each year and initiated the introduction of Ladies League Tag into Group 21 which has grown with each passing season.

Jane continues to be heavily involved with many new initiatives in Group 21, including the CRL Group 21 Women’s Nines competitions over the past two seasons.


John Anderson (Group 7)

John has a long-standing relationship with Group 7 Rugby League and has held various positions in the region over the past 21 years; beginning with his role  as a Committee Member for Milton Ulladulla Junior Rugby League from 1996-1999.

Since that time, John has served in many roles including President of Milton Ulladulla Junior Rugby League (three years), Assistant Group Registrar (six years), Group Registrar (eight years), South Coast Group 7 Junior League Management Committee Member (17 years), Illawarra South Coast Merged Competition Committee Member (17 years) and South Coast Group 7 Board of Directors (10 years).

John has performed these duties with dedication, without seeking any material gain, for the betterment of the game and the enjoyment of the players.


Ben Byrne (Group 7)

Ben joined the Group 7 Referees Association in 1993 and has been an active member over the past 25 years, officiating over 250 senior games.

Ben has taken on various roles during this time, including Association Secretary (21 years), Association Treasurer (three years), Delegate to Group 7 Senior Rugby League (20 years) and Delegate to CRLRA (16 years).

Ben was named inaugural winner of the Cleary Bros Referee of the Year Award in 2002 and was awarded the Harold Alcock Trophy for his contribution to Rugby League in Group 7 in 2008.

Ben was awarded Life Membership to South Coast Group 7 referees Association in 2005 and received a certificate from the National Rugby League  in 2017 in recognition of significant, meritorious service to Rugby League officiating.


Thomas (George) Hickey (Newcastle and Hunter)

Thomas (George) Hickey is a Life Member of the Dudley Redhead JRLFC who held many positions including Secretary, Treasurer and Trainer during his 16 year association with the club.

George is also a Life Member of Newcastle Rugby League, who served in various roles including Board Member, Manager of Newcastle Rebels Country Championship sides and Chairman of Hunter Valley Juniors between 2001 and 2012.

George also served as a Team Manager for NSW Country Representative Teams (2008-2012) and Board Member for Newcastle Leagues Club for 11 years.

After retiring from these positions, George returned to Dudley Redhead JRLFC as their ‘Infrastructure Development Officer’ and Secretary of the Balcomb Field Committee; where he has overseen the redevelopment of the playing surface and the introduction of a custom built mini-field.


Peter McDonald (Group 10)

Peter McDonald has been a long-time servant of the Western Region for the past 40 years, serving in various positions at both club and regional level during this time.

Peter initially served as Secretary of Cowra Rugby League for 20 years, before taking on the role as Secretary for Group 10 Rugby League in 1996 – a position which he still holds today.

Peter has served as Chairman of the Western Rams Region and also been a member of the Country Rugby League Board since 2014.


Christine O’Keeffe (Maitland District)

Christine O’Keeffe has served as a volunteer at Thornton Beresfield Junior Rugby League for the past 32 years, before retiring from her duties at the completion of the 2017 season.

Christine has provided First Aid assistance to thousands of players in this time and never missed a Saturday morning shift at Lindsay Oval.

The Thornton Beresfield Bears are forever grateful to Christine for her efforts, which have assisted the local community for three decades.


Dennis Hartley (Central Coast Division Rugby League)

Dennis Hartley has been actively involved with Rugby League on the Central Coast over the past 30 years with the Ourimbah Wyoming club and Central Coast Division Rugby League.

Having joined the Ourimbah Wyoming club in 1988, Dennis spent the next 17 years in various positions including Secretary, Treasurer and President within the club.

Over the past 14 years, Dennis has fulfilled many roles within Central Coast Division Rugby League including Treasurer and Team Manager for various Central Coast Representative Teams along with being a member of the Central Coast Division Executive and Management Committee.

Dennis has also served as a member of the CRL Junior Council and General Committee at various stages since 2008.


Peter Blom (Group 4)

Peter Blom has been a long-time servant of Rugby League in the Greater Northern Region for over 30 years, serving in various roles at both Senior and Junior Rugby League levels.

Peter served as the Secretary / Treasurer of West Tamworth Rugby League Football Club for 13 years (1987-1999) before taking on the same role with the Dungowan Rugby League Football Club in 2000 – a position which he still holds today.

During this time, Peter has also served as the Group 4 Rugby League Treasurer for the past 18 years and Secretary for the group for the past 3 years.

Peter has also served as the President of Tamworth and District Minor League for 14 years (1999-2012) and has been President of the Peel Schools Rugby League Carnival since 1995.