On the 8th of January 2018, the Committee of MURFC granted Life Membership to Craig Albiston. Life Membership is the highest form of recognition given by our club and is only granted to those members that make the highest of contributions.
Unlike most Kiwis, Craig Albiston did not play his first game of rugby until the age of 10 when he first took the field for Paraparaumu RFC. From 1983 to 1987 Craig attended Kapiti College where he played for the College 1st XV in 1986 and 1987. Craig moved to Auckland in 1988 to pursue his academic ambitions and completed a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) in 1991. His professional career has seen him work not only in New Zealand but also in India, the US and finally Australia.
After playing for the MURFC in 3rd Grade in 1997, Craig retired from rugby to pursue his academic and career aspirations. Craig completed an MBA at the University of Melbourne. He also took retirement as the opportunity to marry Linda, their son Jakob plays for the Moorabbin Club in the Under 11s.
In 2002 he rejoined the playing ranks of the club as a member of the Gents XV for whom he played through until 2015. Rugby exists in most places on the strength of volunteerism, a virtue that is a big part of Craig’s outlook. In 2003 Craig joined the committee as the Gents XV Co-Coordinator. From 2004 through until 2011 he also took on the responsibilities of Vice-President.
In 2012 Craig, who was no doubt not present at the meeting, was elected President of the club. In what was a turbulent and difficult period for the club his first official duty was to make a presentation to the then VRU as to why MURFC should remain a first division club. History shows that he succeeded in convincing the VRU as to the worth of Victoria’s oldest club. In 2015 Craig stepped down from the Presidency to take on a general membership of the committee.
Craig’s most lasting contribution to the club has been to set up the mechanisms to ensure its financial viability. In what is a competitive sporting market MURFC needs in the order of $200,000 each year to operate. Additionally, it also needs funding for longer term assets and investing in the development of coaches and support staff. Craig succeeded in attracting the club’s first sponsors and in developing the value proposition for future sponsor engagements. In short he put the club on a sound commercial footing. He also oversaw the establishment of the MURFC Foundation and the ASF Rugby Development Fund, collectively known as the Foundation. It is the Foundation which invests in the club’s future. Craig chaired the inaugural Foundation committee as President. No doubt due to the amount of spare time he had, Craig also chaired the organizing committee of the club’s centenary celebrations. Over time Craig has raised $900,000 in sponsorship as well as $70,000 in Foundation contributions. A short summary of Craig’s playing record and importantly his contribution to the committee of MURFC follows.
1980 Paraparaumu RFC
1981 Paraparaumu RFC
1982 Paraparaumu RFC
1983 Kapiti College
1984 Kapiti College
1985 Kapiti College
1986 Kapiti College 1st XV
1987 Kapiti College 1st XV
1988 Carlton RFC U/19
1989 Auckland Uni RFC U/19
1990 Auckland Uni RFC Engineers
1991 Auckland Uni RFC Engineers
1992 San Angelo RFC, Texas
1993 Leeming RFC, Western Australia
1994 Sale Razorbacks RLFC
1995 Sale Razorbacks RLFC – Premiers
1996 Sale Razorbacks RLFC
1997 MURFC 3rd Grade
2002 – 2015 MURFC Gents XV
The MURFC Committee
2003 Gents XV Co-Coordinator
2004 Gents XV Co-Coordinator & VP
2005 Gents XV Co-Coordinator & VP
2006 Gents XV Co-Coordinator & VP
2007 Gents XV Co-Coordinator & VP
2008 Gents XV Co-Coordinator & VP
2009 Gents XV Co-Coordinator & VP
2010 Gents XV Co-Coordinator & VP
2011 Gents XV Co-Coordinator & VP
2015 Committee Member
2016 Committee Member
2017 Committee Member
2018 Committee Member
Please join with me in thanking Craig for his contribution and congratulating him on this achievement.
Melbourne University Rugby Football Club