The neglected Eastern Province Rugby Union (EPRU) memorabilia left behind at the Rugby’s old headquarters in Port Elizabeth has now been removed from the Legends Room at the Boet Erasmus Stadium to be placed at a secured offsite storage – this is part of the process of removing all the other items belonging to the Union.
Large numbers of memorabilia were left in the Boet Erasmus Legends Room of the old Eastern Province Rugby Union headquarters when the union moved to its new premises in the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium.
Former Eastern Province players and supporters were upset when it emerged that the memorabilia were gathering dust at the old stadium. Some also feared irreplaceable items would be stolen or damaged.
Memorabilia include the 1959 ball used in the match between Argentina and the Junior Springboks and the honours roll dating back to 1891, along with items from Springboks such as Gavin Cowley.
Former EP rugby supporters club president, Jannie du Preez, said that a rugby museum situated at the Crusaders club in Port Elizabeth would be ideal.
Du Preez said; “I know Tobie Hanekom and Martin Nefdt would like to start something like that. When there’s cricket at St George’s Park, people can have a look through that and it’s an easy way of exposing the old rugby history.”
A lack of space has been cited by EP rugby for not moving all of the memorabilia to their new offices. The South African Rugby Union also offered to archive and store the items on behalf of EP Rugby.
EP Rugby spokesperson, Thobile Hans said; “The Union acknowledges that this is a time consuming process, however, we have put measures in place to secure all that belongs to us is in storage until we acquire sufficient space in our new premises at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium”.