Friday, July 14, 2017

Thames (NZ): Fifty years ago 1967

While thoughts are with the opening of the goldfield nearly 150 years ago, there was a lot happening in Thames as the town awaited their centennial commemorations in 1967.

The year started on 1st January 1967 with a celebration of Captain Cook's visit to the area, a massive re-enactment was held at the Shortland Wharf.

Then in February the town was reminded of it's vulnerabilities with yet another flood. There was the usual flooding around the town and several boats were badly damaged at Shortland Wharf.

ANZAC Day April 25th, there was a large turnout of War Veterans who marched down Pollen Street to the War Memorial Cenotaph in Mary Street.

In May, the Thames South School held their reunion, while the following month (June) saw the opening of the new Parawai School.
The town was in a state on development and advancement with old buildings such as Koefoed's (corner Pollen & Willoughby Street) demolished. New streets and parks were developed and named. Bowen Place was named at a new subdivision at Parawai, and Margaret Place at Moanataiari. The new sports ground on the foreshore (created from reclaimed land) was named Danby Field.
The new subdivision on reclaimed land at the Moanataiari was proceeding, with roads and amenities well established.
Next thing on the agenda was planning for the big centennial commemorations. The memorial cairn site was chosen at the south end of town and building was begun in July 1967.

Now fifty years later, the town prepares for the next commemorations for the 150th anniversary of the Thames Goldfields.