By David Bruce on Tue, 24 Jan 2012
It was a secret - but most of Kurow knew about All Black and Rugby World Cup winning captain Richie McCaw's visit to his home town on Sunday.
About 1200 local people turned up to pay homage to McCaw, accompanied by his parents Donald and Margaret, who spent more than two hours meeting people ranging in age from children to a 91-year-old at the town's hay bale tribute to the World Cup tournament and All Blacks win.
One of the organisers, Bob Watherston, said the visit was confirmed about the middle of last week after the town had been trying to get something organised with the home town hero since the World Cup.
The event was kept secret, publicised by "word of mouth" to local people. Media were not notified so McCaw could have a relaxing time.
The aim was for the town and its people to meet McCaw and his family, who were brought into Kurow on the back of a Kurow Fire Brigade fire engine.
"It was to celebrate a great personality as well as the World Cup win in a relaxed atmosphere without any pressure on Richie," Mr Watherston said.
Kurow junior rugby also benefited with a "gold coin" collection. Mr Watherston was unsure how much was raised, but said some people were donating up to $20. Entertainment was also arranged.
McCaw grew up in the neighbouring Hakataramea Valley and spent his early school years and rugby career in Kurow.