March 11 2020
"We played together for the Hong Kong Football Club where we met when he was 25 and I was 24. My background is real estate and law and I was working for the largest property group there when he turned up to start his own clothing business. I beat him into the Hong Kong team but had to give up because of recurring concussions. I then became hon secretary of the union which gave me the background for the book.With the Hong Kong 7s being postponed this year, I suggest you pick up a copy of the book and you'll find yourself transported back in time to learn about the beginning of the renowned tournament and get some insight into the Hong Kong rugby scene at the time. I found the book enthralling and had a few chuckles along the way at the old school rugby culture. Anyone who has been involved in rugby politics will appreciate the insights the author shares on what happens behind the scenes.
In the later 1960s I moved to Vancouver where the property world has served me well. My sons played some rugby at high school, not my daughter, but lived hockey so I drifted away from the sport. However, I was back in Hong Kong fairly often, and kept up with Tokkie while he was founding the Hong Kong Sevens. Then I lost track of him but heard way after the event he had died young. A few years ago my wife Lane and I we were in Hong Kong and I was asked what had happened to Tokkie Smith? He had founded the Hong Kong Sevens, was known as Mr. Rugby and internationally recognized but then just mysteriously disappeared. He was not even recorded, except in a list as a past chairman, in the Hong Kong RU Awards. When I dug into it I discovered what had happened and set out on a modest crusade to have him properly recognized in rugby history. The Canadian members of Tokkie’s Dragons helped with the story and all agree!"
The Hong Kong Sevens was originally the idea of the Marketing and Promotions Manager of Rothman's Export for a Pan Asia 15s Rugby Tournament. Rodney Bentham-Wood wanted Rothmans to sponsor a pan Asia rugby Tournament. Leah May was considering Carlsberg as the main sponsor. However, after a discussion between him and the chairman of the HKRFU, South African entrepreneur, A.D.C. "Tokkie" Smith, it was decided that a Sevens Tournament would be cheaper and simpler to set up.