DOC JONES STEPS DOWN
After 9 years at the helm of False Bay RFC, Gareth Jones has stepped aside as Chairman to take a well earned rest, although he continues to serve on the committee of the Club.
Succeeding Mike Punt as Chairman in 2008, Gareth set about building on the very strong foundations laid by his predecessor, identifying fundamental issues to which he remained committed to the end. These issues included being a community-based club, not the community geographical adjacent to the Phillip Herbstein Fields, but the community of rugby which has created an environment for players and supporters from further afield to find a comfortable rugby and friendship home in Constantia.
Sustainability was another pillar of his vision. He strongly believes that club rugby is not in any way served by building a team. Build a club and a team would follow was loosely his motto and this has proved to be so true. The Bay Sports Bar & Restaurant forms a part of this commitment, his role with members such as John Henry and Graham Garbers (to name but a few) invaluable in the establishment of this key component of modern day FBRFC.
Gareth Jones went to Wynberg Boys High School and studied medicine at the University of Cape Town. He has had a tremendous impact on the lives of anyone he has interacted with and been at the front of every bus he has ever driven upon, no passenger is our Gareth. He represented Western Province and Natal at prop for a combined cap tally approaching triple figures, his Province stint during the Golden Years when the Union won five Currie Cup titles. His Cape Club Rugby days were spent at UCT and the mighty Defence of the eighties.
Herein lies the wonder of Gareth Jones, Life Member of False Bay RFC. At no stage did he ever competitively represent the club other than when he returned to Cape Town after a number of years in Kleinzee. While many a Jock would argue that their league was competitive, Gareth’s participation as a player at False Bay was limited to a few years as a Jock and then a Crock. His dedication to his then adopted club further demonstrates the quality of the man.
Not that the Bay was strange to the man, he had many a dear friend at the club who paved the way for his natural progression to our ranks, including Club President Louis de Waal, Brent Jordaan, Basil Bey and many more. His quiet presence in the Jocks ranks in no small way contributed to the successful and happy environment in that group, which ultimately served the club well in time to come.
Gareth’s dream for club rugby and False Bay was perhaps not unique but his determination, drive and sheer doggedness certainly was. A formidable support for Mike Punt, who was elected Chairman in 2004 when False Bay was relegated to Division One, Doc was the obvious choice to succeed Mike when he vacated the position. Mike’s foundations required someone with vision to continue the revival and the Bay was blessed to have that someone willing to continue the good work.
Gareth’s simple ethic is to do something better the next time. In terms of False Bay Rugby Club, he continuously reminded us of “whatever we do now, we do it better than last year”.
While the revival of the club has been due to the tireless commitment and dedication of a number of people, it has been Gareth’s influence which has kept the wheels rolling. Never afraid of failure and similarly never fearsome of dreaming a dream, Gareth has led from the front and given us all a club of which to be proud.
This drive and commitment has not been the ruthless type so easily viewed in modern life as the standard to success. His influence has been filled with his love for humanity, compassion and empathy. He treats everyone as equal, an ethos inherent at our club but heightened under his watch. His commitment to the backbone of False Bay RFC, the players, is legendary. He seldom missed a match. If it was wet and cold, Gareth would be wearing his blazer and gumboots. If the weather was more temperate, his blazer and shoes, but whatever the conditions, he would be on the sidelines to support all teams be it Friday or Saturday.
Being an “all-or-nothing” type of guy, the role of Chairman is a taxing one for someone like Gareth. Ask any of the people on his mailing list, hearing the email alarm on one’s phone at midnight means only one thing, Gareth has sent a mail. His effort, dedication and input would have laid any lesser man low years ago, but his love for this club and single-minded desire to see it succeed has kept Gareth committed. But he needs to fill the tank now and has handed the reins over to a man of no less substance and dedication, Kevin Lennett, whose style and commitment will build on the work Gareth has done over the last nine years.
Thank you Doc. We are most grateful for your efforts and forever enriched through knowing you. Enjoy the rest. See you on the sidelines.
A few messages from some of the managing members follow:
“Seated in the stands at Newlands in the mid 1980’s, I recall Gareth Jones playing for Western Province in the front row and being thankful that I was not playing against him. Never did I envisage that at the end of the 2016 rugby season he would have completed 9 years as False Bay’s top class Chairman having transformed this club into one of the strongest clubs in Southern Africa.
“Dr Gareth Jones has led from the front in many of the club’s aspects viz injuries, integration, diplomacy, clubhouse upgrade and above all leadership. Thanks Doc, you have been a massive tonic to False Bay RFC . Needless to say your advice will be sort after in the future!
Best wishes to you and Jill for a slightly less active life”.
Louis de Waal, Club President
“So I remember watching False Bay from the side of the B field as a complete outsider. I noticed this man walking around in gum boots with an air of determination and clear authority. It was clear he was orchestrating something.
“Well as we know he orchestrated the rebirth of our club. He gently asked me to join the committee promising a small role. Of course, I got to know Doc later and realised that there was no such thing as a small role!
“A great man. a decent man. a fair man. a Bay man. Thanks Doc for all your commitment to our club and I am looking forward to learning from you in the years to come”.
Kevin Lennett, Chairman FBRFC 2017
“It's my belief that should there be a single individual who has turned False Bay around it would be Gareth. Almost new to the club, his commitment has been undivided and his organisational skills unparalleled.
“Gareth turned his (and our) dreams and visions into reality. Special to the core”.
John Henry- Life Member
“Doc has been a gracious and devoted Chairman to FBRFC. He has led the club through some troubled times but has always been steadfast in the belief that we are about community, not just the community of Constantia but of rugby lovers, Capetonians and ultimately South Africans.
He has always understood that "our club” is a place where we are all equal and accepted amongst our peers and that it provides a safe melting pot for its community.
It has been a privilege watching The Bay revival under his guidance and the strong structures both on and off the field are testament to in large his driving force (not just his efforts I am aware) but the man simply does not know how to take no or I/we are tired for an answer.
Lee Muller- First XV Ass Manager / Committee Member
“With the understanding that a False Bay player's sole responsibility is to leave the jersey in a better place than when he received it, to leave his mark and create a legacy for the next person to pick up, I believe our leader Doc Jones could not have set a finer example as Chairman of False Bay Rugby Club. Spend time with Doc and one soon realises that it’s by no mistake or good fortune that the club is where it is today. His Manner, Values and Work Ethic has filtered down through the club, a Legacy indeed. Thanks for everything Doc. UTB”
Graham Knoop- First XV Captain
“Doc Jones, along with Graham Garbers, were in the same Matric class as me so I have known him for a long time.
"Doc took over as the Chairman 9 years ago, and with his management skills, the Club grew even stronger, especially when the Bay Sports Bar formed a Joint Venture with False Bay. The great work and hours put in by Doc saw an influx of both players and supporters alike, not to mention the pub customers who frequent the place on regular intervals. It was an absolute pleasure to serve on the Committee with Doc at the helm and I'm sure he will continue to offer assistance going forward. He will be remembered for his 9 years as the Chairman of False Bay RFC for all the great work done by him”.
“ Dr Gareth Jones, Level-headed leadership in crisis. Leads by example. Compassion beyond belief to all, whenever.
Ian Morris- Under 20 Mentor/manager, Committee Member
“I was there when Doc took over from Mike Punt. Two distinctive styles of management. MP was needed to turn things around
with a harder approach whilst Doc was more the ''diplomat ''.
“His style of leadership was a welcome change & he lead from the front whilst still allowing his committee to carry on their duties without him breathing down our necks. He did however not accept mediocrity, he pushed in his subtle and sometimes direct way that it is about HOW & not so much why, make a plan ,make it work. I still run my business using his philosophy of "Each year we do it better''.
“Always a great listener & deep thinker but found sometimes I needed an English degree to understand his use of the language. I very quickly went out and bought a dictionary , thanks to him. I always admired his writing skills, he is an all-inclusive person who makes everyone feel welcome, making a point to let them know that."
“He was hugely instrumental in guiding us to ensure we delivered the results on and off the field."
“So a great deal I have learnt from this man. I can’t even criticise his Umms & Aarr's in his speeches as he pauses before his next words that always keep us interested.”
Mike Kros- Life Member