Towards the end of my time at high school the board decided on a uniform change.
The grey gym frock which we wore with short sleeved shirts and socks in summer and long sleeved shirts and black tights in winters was to be replaced with a red tartan kilt in winter and a blue dress in summer.
“Blue? Why blue when the school colours were red and black?” we asked.
Those on the right side of the Waitaki River who are interested in rugby, and some who are not, are asking a similar question today: green, why green?
The question comes in response to the decision to change the Highlanders’ jersey from blue, gold and maroon the colours of Otago, North Otago and Southland, to green the colour of um, the grass they play on and some other province.
Respondents to an ODT poll have voted 90% (1321) to 10% (148) to keep the southern colours.
The Facebook page has attracted 1,853 likes and lots of comments including this from National’s Dunedin MP (and rugby referee) Michael Woodhouse:
. . . As for this happening because of the many players drafted in from outside the franchise area – sorry to be blunt but it’s not about you! You will leave. The fans won’t. this is about the thousands of fans who support this team through thick and thin over the past 15 years. Not a single one of them relates to anything but blue, maroon and gold. C’mon guys, be big enough to stop or reverse the announcement.
And an online petition has been launched saying:
Tradition and recognition is a huge part of the sport and yet the Highlanders Management seek to dissociate the Highlanders from the region. Sign this petition and Boycott the Force game!
The Highlanders have struggled for several seasons, severely testing the loyalty of fans. This year they’ve had some good wins and have been regaining support. This silly change in colours threatens to lose it again.
Have the people behind it spent too much time at the bottom of rucks?