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150th Celebrations

Weekend Itinerary

Friday 29th May

Saturday 30th May

Sunday 31st May

  • Remembrance Lunch at the Club
  • Invitational Games 
  • Relaxed Get together 


We have a small, intelligent, good-looking and hardworking team developing a programme of activities, but additional help is urgently required so if you or somebody you know is able to contribute, please let us know. 

Please send your details to

Ross Graham.

Scott Fuller.

2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the WFC.  The Axemen have fielded teams every winter since 1870.  We are regarded as the second oldest rugby club in NZ, after the Nelson Rugby Football Club. We plan to celebrate in style our first 150 years and our pioneering role in the history of rugby in our city and region.  This follows celebrations held in 1970 (100 years) and 1995 (125 years).


  • We want to ensure our proud history and traditions are enjoyed and celebrated by all members, seniors and juniors, as well as families and supporters.
  • We want to welcome back to the Club former members and supporters, from throughout NZ and overseas.
  • We plan to celebrate our achievements both on and off the field, acknowledge  those who helped build and sustain the Club and reaffirm our great legacy.
  • Keith Quinn is writing an official history of the Club from 1870 to 2020.
  • Along the way we hope to win some significant silverware.
  • Our celebrations and attendant publicity will help market the Club to potential players, administrators and sponsors.
  • We want to remind the community of the power of sport, particularly at the grassroots level.

The NZRU, Wellington RFU and Wellington City Council have all pledged to support us.


We will commence the programme on 7 March, when we host matches involving our senior and junior teams against Nelson RFC.  Our clubs first played each other in 1870, with follow-up contests in 1871 and 1872.  These matches represented the first inter-club and inter-Provincial  matches played in NZ.  We also played each other over Queens Birthday Weekend in 1970, when both clubs celebrated their centenaries.

We plan to host a dinner involving our two great clubs after the matches.  The NZRU will be actively involved, including filming the matches and the dinner for the GrassRoots Rugby television show.  We hope that TVNZ and other media will also be involved.

QUEENS BIRTHDAY WEEKEND 29th - 31st May 2020

The centrepiece of our celebrations will be held over Queens Birthday Weekend 2020.  The programme is taking shape.  All social events and as many matches as possible will be held at Hataitai Park.  We will use a marquee for key events.

The programme will start on the evening of Friday 28 May with a Mix and Mingle Party, featuring a complimentary Axeman Cocktail.  The will be brief welcoming speeches from the Mayor of Wellington and the President of the WRFU, followed by a welcome by our Junior Club.

Saturday 29 May will kick off with Junior matches, followed by a Club buffet lunch.  This will be enhanced by a debate between personalities form the WFC  and the club we will be playing matches against in the afternoon.

We have asked to WRFU to schedule if possible Premier, Premier Reserve and Colts matches against our old rivals from down the road, Poneke RFC.  These games will be followed by a traditional after-match get together.

Saturday evening will see the WFC 150 Gala Dinner, with a high profile guest speaker.  We plan to read messages from the various clubs around NZ with whom we have enjoyed a close playing relationship over the decades.

Sunday 31 May will be an Axemen at Home Day.  After a photo session late morning we plan an informal Hangi/BBQ event which will include a remembrance of Axemen who served and in some cases lost their lives overseas, a WFC quiz, reminiscences from members etc.

The afternoon might include social matches, a women’s match, Levin and. Veitch Shield competitions and Junior Club activities, before the celebrations conclude with an informal gathering.


Whilst the Club has a reasonable database of current and past players and supporters, we know there are literally hundreds we don’t have a record of and who would be interested in attending key events in 2020.

We need your help to make contact with these people.  

We acknowledge it can be difficult for many to contemplate attending a reunion unless they can be confident that when they rock up they will be reconnecting with people with whom they went into battle with many years ago.  Then the war stories, exaggerations, b/s and shared happy memories will begin to flow.

We are asking all Club members to share with us the names and contact details (email addresses and/phone numbers) of ex-players, members, friends and family who might wish to be involved. The data should be forwarded to Jason Judd (Juddy) at his email address 

Help us make 2020 a great 150th celebration.

Give Em the Axe

Ross Graham
Chair of the Wellington Football Club 2020 Team


Thanks to Woolf Photography for supporting the event