Bob Francis: A Story of My Town
This book follows the extraordinary career of Bob Francis, in two very different fields...local body politics and rugby refereeing.
A true champion as Mayor of Masterton for 21 consecutive years, Francis was also arguably one of the best international rugby referees of his era.
The mayoralty was no joy ride. Huge issues confronted Masterton, like the fire bombing of police homes, family violence and abuse, the horrific Raymond Ratima murders and the closure of Wairarapa’s biggest employer, the Waingawa freezing works. Candid observations of these issues by Francis and the community response makes for a truly compelling read.
For rugby lovers, this book gives an insiders perspective of one of the most memorable Ranfurly Shield matches of all time and a host of enthralling internationals. It provides new insight into the World Cup referees appointments in two Rugby World Cups, including the 2007 World Cup when the All Blacks were controversially eliminated in the quarter-finals.
Written by Gary Caffell, sports editor for the Wairarapa Times Age.