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Portrait of a Volunteer

In these highly charged times when we all seem to be time poor and expect things yesterday – its sometimes good to be reminded that, without the selfless work and dedication of others, the Rugby Club we enjoy today simply would not exist. With this is mind we remember:


1921 - 19.03.1992

Service Record No. 1288974 served in the RAF during WW2

Many an Old Surbitonian will fondly remember Gordon in later life as our somewhat grumpy bar-keep, but few know of his immense contribution to our Rugby Club over many, many decades.

  • OSRFC Player 1940’s – Front Row – retired due to injury

  • Chairman – 1959 - 1968

  • Committee member for countless years

  • Groundsman *

  • Maintenance **

  • Team Manager

  • St John’ Ambulance & Physio (Bill!!!) Liaison

  • Pavilion Cleaner

  • Sometime Caterer

  • Peace keeper with Memorial ground neighbours

  • Bar Manager – all bar work – including ordering, beer management and lots of after-hours!!

* Groundsman duties - Line marking, grass mowing, tree surgery, posts, driveway maintenance, pitch care and gardener…

‘**Maintenance – Hot water for the main bath and tin baths!! Plus clearing up after! Electrician, plumber, builder and general repairs.

It has to be noted that the first pavilion was not on main drainage – the tin baths were used alongside the main concrete plunge bath and were all filled and emptied by hose – syphoned into a ditch running across the back of the pavilion – all this, including the medieval sanitation, was under Gordons stewardship – no wonder he was grumpy!!

How far we have come and how lucky we are to have the fantastic facilities we have – despite the improvements all we have has been made possible by the selfless contribution of volunteers who like Gordon gave of their time for the love of their club.

If we are to continue to prosper we need for members to look to themselves and ask – “What can I do for the club?”

Because without the likes of Gordon Levati our club simply wouldn’t be here today!!

With thanks to Terry Coe & the Braemar All Stars for Gordon’s Bio. If anyone has any photos of Gordon to link to this tribute, please forward to me at the following email address

Ian Thomas



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