This was for the centenary of the towns of Shortland and Grahamstown being reunited as one, from then on known as Thames. There are interesting reminders in the papers of people being reminded to address their letters as THAMES, and not just Shortland or Grahamstown! One speculates it was an identity that many didn't want to give up, without a fight.
The book published for the centenary has been noted in a previous posting.
In fact the township of Tararu was also included, as reported in national newspapers of the time.
|West Coast Times 24/11/1873|
While searching for this info, I came across the details of the first goldfields landing.
|New Zealand Tablet 16/8/1873|