Pierre Trudeau. Robert Muldoon. Jimmy Carter. Suharto. Masayoshi Ōhira. B. J. Vorster. Malcolm Fraser. James Callaghan. A lot has changed since the 1970s. One thing that hasn’t is the regular gathering of rugby enthusiasts in Jakarta under the banner of ISCI Rugby, known today as the Jakarta Komodo Rugby Club.
Is it destiny, fortune, or random nature that brings us to Indonesia? Perhaps all three! We may be school teachers or petroleum engineers or NGO workers or students or sales professionals. We come from Australia, Japan, Sumatra, Canada, New Zealand, the United States, France, England, Scotland and everywhere else in the world where the love of rugby reaches. We have high school kids playing alongside those who long ago refused to recognise 50 years old as a barrier to tackle rugby. We have well attended Junior Rugby.
Jalan Ciputat Raya, JIS, BIS. We train and play in these venues. Through our shared toil on the field, we earn the pleasure of spending time with each other off of it. We celebrate our most splendid victories with night bus tours of Jakarta. We enjoy these just as much as tamer after training meals shared together. We enjoy getting to know each other’s partners, wives, and children. We look forward to celebrating our weddings, birthdays, and national holidays in each other’s presence.
Bali, Kalimantan, Sulawesi. Singapore, Manila, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Labui, Hanoi, KL. We love the chance to tour. We turn in legendary performances both on and off the field. We create memories that we will never forget.
Time does not stand still, so eventually we move on from Komodo Rugby. Some of us move to another country. Some of us realise we should finally hang up the boots. Some of us both. We move on grateful for our memories with the Club and appreciative of how great life in Jakarta has been because of the friendships we owe to our time spent with our mates from rugby.
Sadly, for six teammates, their time with the Club ended prematurely. They never had the chance to move on. The six killed in the Bali bombings on 12 October 2002 were representative of the mix of nationalities, professions, ages, and characters that make the Club the magical place it is today, just as it has been over the last three plus decades.
Whether we are conscious of it or not, each time we take field for a training, each time we line up for a kick-off, each time we board a flight for a tour, each time we gather to celebrate a birthday, each time our families join together for a brunch, each time we head out for a night on the town as a team, we do so carrying on the proud tradition of those who have come and gone before us.
It is a special honour for all of us as we share the legacy of Scott Lysaght, Merv Popadynec, Rob Thwaites, Jamie Wellington, Nathan Swain, Ben Roberts and the Komodo Rugby Club.