Penrith Referees Set to Celebrate 50 Years

ALMOST 50 years ago at 7.30pm on 24 August 1966, 13 people gathered in the boardroom of the old Penrith Leagues Club in order to form the Penrith District Rugby League Referees Association. This Wednesday night, exactly 50 years since that evening, the Penrith Referees will celebrate this landmark occasion with a Gala Dinner to be held at the Rooty Hill RSL. This prestigious event has been in planning since the Association celebrated its Silver Jubilee in back 1991.


On the night friends, family, sponsors, and members of the local community will join past and present members to celebrate and reflect on 50 years of developing and providing match officials to the Penrith District. Presentations will be made to all of the former A Grade Division One Grand Finals Referees in attendance, as well as to a number of the inaugural members who sat in that meeting in 1966. Colin Smith will also receive Life Membership of the Association on the night, becoming the 46th Life Member of the Association.

The Penrith Referees Association has a rich history and now has over 100 active members, developing and providing match officials to the largest junior competition in the world. The Association has been a launching pad for a number of current and former first grade officials, such as Peter Filmer, Phil Haines, Jason Robinson, Grant Atkins, Rickey McFarlane, David Ryan, Rohan Best and Russell Turner, who in Round 21 of this year became the first official in the history of the National Rugby League to officiate in 400 games as a touch judge.

The Penrith District Rugby League Referees Association extends its thanks and gratitude to all our sponsors and key stakeholders who have contributed to our success over the past 50 years. We look forward to the next 50 years with great confidence and enthusiasm.