Heritage isn’t just dusty ornaments and yellowing photos of bearded gents …

… it’s the things we remember, the times that shape us. And one of my favourite things in our digital collection is only 29 years old – our 1981 Springbok Tour posters.

As we head towards the Rugby World Cup next year, it’s a good time to think again about ‘The Tour’. Rugby came to mean so much more than kicking a ball about. Back in 1981, New Zealand was a nation divided. Should politics and sports mix? Can we play rugby against a nation that practices apartheid? Civil disturbances shook the country as the South African rugby team toured.

I was a school kid  in Gore, and can remember getting into feisty arguments with pro-Tour kids and my parents going to protests.

These posters are our heritage.

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