Dhahran Rugby Union Football Club
May Ball print images 1978 – 1984

Contrary to John Kates's thoughts that his inaugural Ball might have been the first and last to be held, a May Ball was held every year until 1984. Following a similar pattern each year, members were required to don formal dress, listen to speeches, dance to a band, take part in raffles, eat delicious food, and have a good time.

Dhahran Rugby Union Football Club
Food-Formality- Bands - Sponsors

The Balls were organised by the Social Secretary and a team of volunteers. Sponsors were found for raffle prizes, table decorations, printing, and photography. With ARAMCO recognizing DRUFC as an AEA self-directed group, DRUFC was able to use the Pool Patio facilities in Dhahran, and subsequently the Dining Room complex, rather than using hotels like the Al-Ghosaibi.

This had a beneficial result on ticket prices as the SR200 that John charged in 1975 had been reduced to SR75 for the 1978 May Ball, but eventually increased to SR100 by 1983.

Three Not the May Ball reunions have subsequently been held in the UK:

Dhahran Rugby Union Football Club
Poster announcing the NTMB1
  • NTMB1 in June 2013 at Limpley Stoke, Bath organised by Graham and Pam Vizor.
  • NTMB2 in July 2017 at Tarporley, Cheshire organised by Jean Sullivan.
  • NTMB3 in September 2022 at Hammersmith, London organised by Richard Thom.
Dhahran Rugby Union Football Club
NTMB Hotels

View previous NTMB reports:


Part 2 Part 4

Dhahran Rugby Union Football Club

About The Author

Arriving in Saudi Arabia in 1976 was like coming home, as Richard had been brought up in Kuwait as an “oilbrat” during the 1950s and 60s where his dad was Chief Health Officer for the Kuwait Oil Co. As a Chartered Accountant, Richard worked for Aramco in both Internal Audit and Contract Cost Compliance, but despite his father’s prowess as a golfer and his mother as a tennis player (Persian Gulf Oil Companies Lawn Tennis Association Ladies Champion in 1956), his social life gravitated to the Dhahran Rugby Club and amateur dramatics. He used his organising skills to become a representative on the Aramco Employees Association, Treasurer for DRUFC between 1976/77 and 1978/79, and then Chairman in 1979/80 before leaving in 1980. He continued with a varied finance career in shipping (Japan) automobiles (Guam) and dance education (UK).

Finally retiring in 2015, Richard and his husband live in London and he has used his time not only to continue travelling, but also to write Dance into Business for dance students wanting to start a business.

About this Article

The Unofficial History was produced to mark what would have been the approximate 50th Anniversary of the Dhahran Rugby Union Football Club (DRUFC) 1972- 2022, depending on what year you believe the club to have been established.

The Editor: Richard Thom first started playing rugby as a young boy in Scotland playing for the 1st XV at prep school, and then the Colts and 1st XV at Strathallan. He rediscovered rugby in Saudi Arabia, and not only played for the 1st and 2nd XVs on the wing but helped to keep the Club on track as Treasurer and Chairman. Moving to Japan after Saudi, Richard continued to play for the Yokohama Country and Athletic Club (YCAC) as second row for the 2nd XV, a far cry from the wing in Saudi.

Coming back to the UK in the mid-80s, it was the camaraderie among those in the club who played, supported or just joined in that helped to bond us all together to meet regularly and to mark the occasion with a "Not the May Ball," the third for which this booklet was produced.

Dhahran Rugby Union Football Club

The Contributors:

  • John Bailey 1975 - 1980
  • Mike Galbraith 1971
  • John Kates 1973 - 1975
  • Bill Flynn 1973 - 1975
  • Martin Watson 1974 – 1977
  • Stan Peters 1974 – 1978
  • Mike Sullivan 1978 - 1984
  • Graham Vizor 1977 – 2007

The Supporters:

  • Carolyn Coles 1977 - 1985
  • Lesley Williams 1979 - 1986