International eyes on town

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McCaw welcome to wear Kurow red again
CHRIS.TOBIN
@oamarumail.co.nz
Kurow has been basking in the reflected glory of its favourite rugby son, double World Cupwinning All Black captain Richie McCaw, and would love to see him bring the trophy to the town.
‘‘It would certainly be something I’d promote,’’ Kurow Museum chairman John Sturgeon said.
‘‘If the World Cup came here, it would be hugely supported — there’d be a big party.’’
Kurow Rugby Club president, publican Ross Paton said McCaw came back to the small Waitaki Valley town (population 339) after the 2011 World Cup victory.
‘‘We had him up at the corner for a sausage sizzle. We hope we can do something similar this time. If the cup was there, it would be even better.’’
Mr Paton said it was ‘‘still early days yet’’ as far as organising something to mark the All Blacks’ victory and the McCaw-Kurow connection.
He did not discount the possibility of McCaw turning out for the Kurow rugby team, with his career going full circle — from Kurow to the global stage and back again.
‘‘We’d love that,’’ Mr Paton said.
‘‘It’s a massive thing for our club to see a local boy come good and become captain of the All Blacks.’’
Carron Cossens, of the Kurow Museum and Information Centre, said the museum was displaying a picture of McCaw in Kurow colours.
‘‘We’ve got the jersey waiting for him.’’
The World Cup had created heightened interest in the McCaw story and his origins in Kurow and nearby Hakataramea, where his family farmed for generations.
‘‘We had someone in here yesterday who is writing a book about him. People come in from all walks of life,’’ Mr Paton said.
TV1 and TV3 had visited doing stories, as had a reporter from English newspaper The Telegraph. Mr Paton did not mind the interest.
‘‘I don’t mind, because I know one day it will stop.’’
In the last two weeks, Ms Cossens said the information centre’s website had received 400 extra hits from people wanting to know more about Kurow.
‘‘I’ve had emails from Switzerland asking how to get to Kurow, and from Germany asking for details.’’
The museum had recreated a a rugby dressing room as a display, with some of McCaw’s rugby jerseys
and other memorabilia. In the centre of town, a 4.8m picture of the All Black skipper, arms folded, advises visitors they are in McCaw Country. Nearby, a display of hay bales bears an impression of McCaw.
A more permanent McCaw display was being considered, Mr Sturgeon said.
‘‘The museum has areas it could use. One could be at the entrance of the Alps 2 Ocean trail.’’
He welcomed the increased interest in Kurow.
‘‘It has been a long time coming. It’s also the birthplace of social security (in New Zealand). The museum wants to get out there with these things and Richie is part of that.’’