There was extreme sadness in the wider Bay of Plenty cricket community, with the passing of two Bay of Plenty Cricket Life Members within three days of each other, in September 2020.
On Tuesday 15th September 2020, Alan Cotter passed away in Papamoa, followed just three days later by Alan Long on the 18th September 2020 in Rotorua.
Bay of Plenty Cricket which became affiliated to New Zealand Cricket in 1932, has been extremely sparing in awarding BOPCA Life Membership, with just four presentations since establishment. The honour has been reserved for outstanding contributions that have stood head and shoulders above all others, over a long period of time.
John Alan Long became the first BOPCA Life Member when the honour was conferred in February 1990. Words don't do credit to the contribution of Alan Long to Bay of Plenty and Rotorua Cricket. Alan first played senior cricket for the Rotorua RSA team, which later became the Central Cricket Club, in 1947 as a thirteen year old. Alan finally put away his bat in 2003 at the age of 69 - a truly remarkable record. Alan was presented with a New Zealand Cricket certificate that recognised his 50 year contribution as a player.
However it was that administration of the game that Alan Long truly made his mark. Life membership of Bay of Plenty Cricket, Rotorua Cricket Association and the Central Cricket Club, illustrates the contribution he made to the game in the Bay of Plenty region.
Alan was President of the Central CC for forty years. He was BOPCA Chairman for 19 years before stepping down. Alan returned as BOPCA President when Bay of Plenty junior and senior cricket merged. Alan also served as a Northern Districts Board member for seven years.
Rotorua cricket administrator and player Kane Vanner said “Alan was such a huge contributor to cricket in Rotorua and the Bay of Plenty over such a long period of time. When I joined the Central Cricket Club back in the early 2000’s, Alan was the President and although a great administrator and leader, what stood out most was his love and passion for the game”.
“After Alan hung up his boots, his enthusiasm and drive to keep being involved in cricket never faded. He was not only a driving force behind the Central Club and the Bay of Plenty and Rotorua Associations, but was a genuinely great person and a mentor to us all”.
Alan Everard Cotter had a passion for cricket that dates back to his playing days well over half a century ago. The first name that comes to people’s minds about Te Puke Cricket is Alan Cotter. Alan was a long time Te Puke Cricket Club administrator and was one of the prime movers in upgrading of the clubhouse and facilities at the picturesque Te Puke Domain. He also played a big role in the Te Puke CC 120th and 125th jubilee celebrations in the new Millennium.
The long-time Te Puke CC secretary picked up the administration reins at Bay of Plenty Cricket, when the organisation moved to amalgamate with junior cricket, in the 1990’s. Alan faithfully recorded the key facts and decisions around amalgamation and he published the major discussion documents, which came from the various think-tanks that allowed Bay of Plenty Cricket to move forward. Alan was also involved in the BOPCA Umpires Association for many years.
Long-time friend and former Te Puke Cricket Club President Gary Hart said “The cricket world was saddened to learn of the passing of Alan Cotter. He made a lifelong contribution to cricket both as a player and administrator. He had lengthy spells as secretary of Bay of Plenty Cricket Association, Te Puke Cricket Association and the Te Puke Cricket Club. In addition he served as secretary of Bay of Plenty Umpires Association. He was awarded life membership of Te Puke Cricket Club in 2006 and of Bay of Plenty Cricket in 2016”.
“Even after Alan stepped down from formal roles he would frequently wander down to the Te Puke Domain to check that all was well, and he continued to attend Te Puke Club committee meetings where his attention to detail was acute”. “He had a long playing career which often involved being the team organiser as well. All this is only a very brief synopsis of the many hours Alan contributed to cricket. He will be sadly missed”.
Alan undertook multiple roles in the Te Puke Community with service to St John’s, Toy Library, Night Owls and other community organisations and was recognised with a Trustpower Community Services Award. He was involved with a number of school committees.
Alan Cotter lived by the philosophy "that if everyone does their bit in the community then the community is a better place for it".
Vale Alan Cotter and Alan Long
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