GROUP Three Rugby League has already booked the Wingham Services Club next year for the second round of inductions into the hall of fame.
The hall of fame will be launched tonight with the induction of Warren Kimberley and Kevin Hardy, both from Taree, Tony Paskins from Forster and Wal Sneddon from Queensland. All four will be present.
Tonight's function will be run by Group Three in conjunction with the Mid North Coast Men of League. Apart from the inductees, special guests will be former Australian and Newcastle hooker and captain Danny Buderus and current Newcastle five-eighth Jarrod Mullen. Both started playing rugby league in the Group Three juniors, although Mullen moved to Newcastle when he was still a young schoolboy.
Group Three secretary Barrie Smith said the plan is to have two new inductions into the hall of fame per year. He said initially there was some thought to having the inductions at the group's presentation before it was decided to run with the Men of League.
"It's a marriage we hope to keep going,'' he said.
Tonight's inductees have been profiled by the Times in the last month. Their association with rugby league in this area stretches back to the 1940s, in the case of Sneddon, while Hardy is still involved with administration of Group Three. Hardy with Taree United, Paskins with Forster-Tuncurry and Sneddon with Wauchope all coached teams to first grade premierships. Hardy, with premierships in 1973, 74 and 77 and a grand final appearance in 1978 is one of the most successful coaches in Group Three history. Paskins won titles with the powerful Forster sides of 1968 and 1970 while Sneddon captain-coached Taree Old Bar to a grand final loss to Browns Creek in 1951 before winning the competition with Wauchope in 1969.
Kimberley played more than 200 games with Wauchope, where he also coached. However, his major contribution was in administration, where he is a former president and treasurer of Group Three and a past vice president and president of the Country Rugby League. He remains a patron of the CRL.
More than 170 people will attend tonight's function while the services club will be the permanent home of the hall of fame.