End of a rugby era as Dougie steps down | South Coast Herald

End of a rugby era as Dougie steps down | South Coast Herald

Dougie Haralambous has stepped down as president of the Southern KZN Rugby Sub-Union.

This took place at the sub-union’s recent AGM, where Junior Fourie (another big name in South Coast rugby) was voted in as Dougie’s replacement.

The new committee for the Southern KZN Rugby Sub-union comprises (back, from left) Mmeli Gumede (exec member), John Hopley (secretary), Andries Fourie (exec member) and Mariana Semmens (treasurer), with Lucky Ncayiyana (deputy president), Junior Fourie (president), Dougie Haralambous (exec member) and Dr Lulu Bodla (exec member).

“We had a very successful AGM and a strong committee was elected which I am sure will continue in the same vein or better than I did,” said Dougie.

In many ways it’s the end of era, with Dougie’s name synonymous with local rugby.

It’s been a difficult decision but as he approaches 70 he wants to spend more time with his grandchildren, who are spread out in Cape Town, England and Greece.

His rugby career started at the tender age of 10 when he attended Aurora Primary in Welkom.

This is where he was born from Cypriot parents who immigrated to South Africa just before World War II.

He later went to Mansfield High and finished his matric there in 1973.

Dawie Snyman (chairman of the Southern KZN Referees’ Association) with Mmeli Gumede (SKZN executive member).

He went to army SSB and School of Armour in 74, where he continued his rugby, having represented the OFS Defence Force.

After his military service, he married Athena and they departed to the UK where they stayed in London for five years.

Dougie played rugby for London New Zealand Rugby club and represented Middlesex County Clubs.

After their return to South Africa, they settled in Cape Town.

“That was until 1982 when I was lured by my brother-in-law Zak Binikos to come and play rugby on the South Coast and, in particular, for Port Shepstone Rugby Club,” he said.

Stalwarts Zak Binikos (left) and Hylton McGarr.

It was from this platform that Dougie ventured into administration while still playing the game.

He was involved with the Douglas Mitchell committee and initiated the building of the second rugby field and later, as chairman of South Coast Warriors (when rugby went professional) was responsible for starting the U20 team for Warriors.

After a short spell of business in Durban where he launched his Offshore franchise business – around 1999/2000 – he returned to the South Coast and was asked to get involved with rugby once again.

He was then elected to be on the KZN Rugby Union council and in 2012 elected as President for Southern KZN.

In 2016 he helped start the SKZN Sharks Academy in association with the Sharks, which had a major positive impact with rugby in general in the area.

Dougie served on the KZN executive and in 2018 was appointed as director on the Sharks board.

During his 12 years as president of the SKZN, the sub-union had much success, including winning the Ebbo Bastard trophy – which is an inter sub-union competition, for the first time in 2013.

SKZN would go on to win this again in 2015, 2017 and 2023.

There have been other highlights over the years, including the Cherry Blossom Festival in the USA in 1980 and 1981, as well the Golden Oldies tour to the UK in 1991.

Dougie Haralambous receives a certificate of excellence from outgoing secretary, Chrissie Minnie.

Other than that, Dougie could probably write a book about all he has seen and done. Maybe he will.

“With the Springboks winning the World Cup, and all our SKZN clubs scooping every trophy in the KZN league, the decision to retire from rugby to spend time with my four children and 10 grandkids couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time,” said Dougie.


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Source: https://www.citizen.co.za/south-coast-herald/sports-news/local-sports/2023/12/05/end-of-a-rugby-era-as-dougie-steps-down/