Monday, November 7, 2011

Thames (NZ) "The First time' : Sports Day

With the goldfields having opened on 1 August 1867, the New Year marked the beginning of a New Year and fresh hopes of riches.  To mark this great 'first' on the Thames goldfields, the landlords of the ten Shortland hotels that were at that stage open, offered free drinks. It was estimated that there were 5000 miners on the field by that time and on New Years Eve approximately 500 men took up the offer and drank the night away. The custom of first foot-in was duly accommodated along with the customary drink.

The day of 1 January 1868, then saw the commencement of the town's first sporting official event. The caledonian games commenced at 11am and ran for the next 4 days, on the flat land below James Mackay and Chef Taipari's residence in Bowen (later Rolleston Street)

A full account and details of the events are in the Daily Southern Cross Newspaper dated 6/1/1868
The first days results are below:

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