Cullen legacy at Arklow still strongly felt
Early last year, Arklow Rugby Club lost one of its most loyal servants when former bar secretary Tony Cullen passed away.
The genuine sorrow that was expressed by both former and current players and club officials came as no surprise. Tony was a gentleman who took pride in all he did and constantly obliged all requests from those in the club, no matter how big or small.
Some people help build and shape companies, countries, and empires. Others are more practical and have a more local profile, but have a disproportionate influence on the lives of others, which may not be ever recorded in the day-to-day history of their time.
Tony Cullen was such a man and a proud member of Arklow.
Just as the seventies were starting, Tony began a long association with Arklow that was to include all of his family over the years. He first made ready the newly acquired pitch by use of his knowledge of removing large rock formations from all over the playing pitch.
He was not a player, but this was about the only aspect of the club in which he did not perform.
He was our building consultant and our quantity surveyor, and when the first building was ever erected in Ballyrichard beside his home he took responsibility for all aspects of the club, plus grounds.
He spent endless hours keeping the club in such good condition and would never allow the club to be presented in a poor light.
He was a fellow traveller whenever Arklow represented Ireland abroad and was always among the reception committee when we received visiting teams.
Tirelessly he would be at the club until all hours, ensuring that every aspect of the club was up to his exacting high standard and was more like a home than a club.
Time did not slow him down and he remained our confidante and friend throughout the growing years of the club.
Impressions made by people last a life time, and Tony's memory will forever be there, in the clubhouse and within the members of Arklow Rugby Club.
Those who knew him and his family were indeed blessed.
"I'm closing the bar now lads if you want to get your last round."
Thanks for the memories Tony.