While the town has begun the celebrations for the 150th year since Thames was proclaimed a Goldfield (30 July 1867) and the Thames Goldfield was officially opened (1 August 1867) - many of us remember back to the 1967 commemorations.
The Thames Library has a display that showcases ephemera and a wonderful scrapbook full of newspaper clippings.
1967 - 100 Years a Goldfield
The design of Thames’ memorial was based loosely on one that Mr A C Espiner had seen in Ballarat, Australia. They had a poppet head over a stone archway. Espiner liked the idea of the poppet head, but felt the Thames one, should be covered with polished stones from around the Thames District. (Photos above (left) during construction and (right) on the day of unveiling)
The unveiling took place on 1st August, at the area now known as Taipari Park, a historically important and tapu site. The honour of unveiling the plaque was given to Alderman Joan H Norris from Thames’ sister city Abingdon in England. Assisted ably by Mayor W C T Brunton.
The plaque on the front facing Jellicoe Crescent reads:
"Dedicated to the Pioneers of the Thames Goldfield. James Mackay Civil Commissioner and First Warden, Te Hoterene Taipari and Wirope Hoterene Taipari, Principal Chiefs, arranged opening of Thames Goldfield. This Memorial Cairn was unveiled by Alderman Joan Harcourt Norris Mayor-Elect Borough of Abingdon, England, on 1st August 1967.” (Photo below)