MEMORIAL RUGBY PITCH
Babson College Lower Athletic Fields, September 20, 2003.
On a bright and sunny fall day at the home field, Babson Rugby hosted a Women’s match versus MIT at 11:00am and a Men’s match versus Bowdoin College at 1:00pm. Between matches, in conjunction with Babson College, Alumni, friends and the Harrington Family, we dedicated the home field in honor of our friend and founding father, the late Charlie Harrington (1960-1996).
The dedication ceremony included opening remarks from College President, Brian Barefoot and Director of Athletics, Frank Millerick. Tim DeMello,’81, Founder of Babson United Rugby Club, provided heartfelt memories of Charlie, and introduced Charlie’s Family who read a poem in his honor. Ken Jasper, ’82 provided additional perspective on his camaraderie with Charlie and the relationship we all enjoyed through rugby.
College Administration, Athletics and Alumni Relations were all on hand and thanked for their support in this endeavor. Rugby Alumni generously supported the financial challenge to dedicate the pitch in Charlie’s honor, and many of Charlie’s teammates were on hand to enjoy the celebration.
Ceremonial Rugby Balls were presented to Charlie’s family and a plaque with Charlie’s likeness was unveiled at the field, where it remains today in his honor. Those who knew Charlie, know that he represents the best in all of us, and it is fitting that his name and presence remain vigilant on our home field.
Babson Class of ’83 (1960 - 1996)
In the fall of 1979, Charlie Harrington came to Babson as a freshman and quickly joined a fledgling group of athletes under the tutelage of Tim DeMello (B’81) in an effort to establish the Babson United Rugby Club (BURC). Eager to learn the game and make an impact with the club, Charlie became a consistent performer and dedicated rugger, on and off the pitch. As a back, Charlie was a classic American-born athlete with more guts than style as he gritted out eight productive seasons on the pitch; running, kicking, scoring, and singing his way into notoriety.
His leadership and winning attitude were evidenced by the ‘5th in New England’ NERFU ranking BURC achieved in Charlie’s senior year as he co-captained the club along with Dave MacKay. In the spring of 1983, Charlie was recognized in Sports Illustrated’s ‘Faces in the Crowd’ for scoring ‘the deciding try in his club’s 12-9 win over Amherst in the New England Small College Rugby Tournament title game.’ The profile went on to recognize Charlie as ‘a founding member of the 4-year-old Babson club.’
Off the field, Charlie’s contribution in club management progressed through positions in Promotion/Public Relations, Secretary, and BURC’s 3rd President (1982-1983). Charlie maintained an excellent working relationship with Babson Administration and the Athletic Department; a feat that was consistently challenged by the still-new, and unconventional culture of rugby on campus. In the years after graduation, Charlie was a regular participant in the annual Alumni Game.
He maintained a fond connection to the club and initiated an annual ski weekend with fellow alumni in 1994 that continues each year in his honor. After graduation in 1983, Charlie married his high school sweetheart, Mary Maccaferri, and they settled in Plymouth, MA where they started a family and Charlie pursued his commercial fishing career. While remodeling an older home in the shore community of Manomet, Charlie regularly reinvested in his growing business as he shared responsibilities for his growing family.
In 1994, Charlie moved to Sandwich, MA and with a larger boat, he continued his successful lobstering enterprise with hundreds of traps in Cape Cod Bay.
Tragically, on December 16, 1996, Charlie was swept overboard while tending to his traps and was lost at sea. Services were painfully held just prior to the holidays that year and Mary was left to raise Seth (13) and Laura (11). The close-knit fishing and business community packed the church along with family, friends, and more than 20 Babson Alumni.
Charlie’s legacy at Babson, with his friends, his family and his community is the embodiment of qualities that represent the best in BURC. It is fitting that Babson and BURC have rallied around his memory to dedicate the Rugby Pitch in his name. In doing so, we help to ensure the longevity of BURC and the enduring contribution that Charlie has provided to the Babson experience and BURC.
During the 35th Anniversary weekend of Babson Rugby, Charlie was posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014.
GOAL POSTS & IRRIGATION
Regulation Goal Posts and Irrigation Installed 2017 through Alumni Donations
In 2017 the Harrington Pitch was expanded to a full-size regulation field. At the same time, in-ground irrigation and regulation goal posts were purchased and installed. Many thanks to generous donations from Tim DeMello ’81, Ed Sheehy ’82 and Bill McNamara ’92 to make that possible.
This natural grass pitch is one of the finest in New England and the envy of schools throughout the region. Babson has hosted NERFU Championships, a variety of 7’s tournaments and numerous invitational events over the years. It’s a great place to watch matches and reconnect with old teammates.
Dedicated in honor of Professor John McKenzie on Saturday, April 28, 2007
Through Alumni Donations, an electronic, remote-control scoreboard was purchased and installed in early 2007. Between Alumni games on Saturday, April 28 that spring, the scoreboard was dedicated to long-time Faculty Advisor, Professor John ‘Duke’ McKenzie.
Professor McKenzie connected with Tim DeMello ’81 when he was starting the club in the fall of 1979. As a former player at the University of Michigan and in graduate school at Amherst, Professor McKenzie has been an ardent supporter of the club since it’s inception. He has been an advisor, coach, referee, historian and financial supporter. John was inducted into Babson Rugby’s Hall of Fame in the 2004 Inaugural class.