Thursday, July 16, 2015

THAMES (NZ): Thames Hospital Sports Day 1899

When the hospital needed new buildings, the town rallied around to fundraise, and to assist where they could. One such event was a sports day in Te Aroha.

On 4 May 1899, an excursion to Te Aroha was arranged by Messrs R R Menzies, J M Foy, and Thomas Cantley.  Along with other committee members in Thames and Te Aroha.
(see Photos below)


It must have been quite a sight at the Grahamstown Railway Station, on May 4th.
“At five minutes to nine the train, which, consisted of 22 carriages and two engines, left the Grahamstown station.  Quite a number also embarked at Shortland and Kopu, until there were about 600 on board, some 25 or 30 more joining the train at  Paeroa.”
 During the day the Hauraki Rifles Band played to the crowd, who were joined by 400 residents of Te Aroha and the surrounding district. Money was raised from the train tickets, and also gate fees. The Thames Amateur Athletic Club acted as handicapper for the amateur events.

Events ranged from running to bike races. The 75yds Handicap Final Heat was won by Leonard, with Coote second and Lloyd third. The Schoolboys’ Championship 75yds was won by Rickit of Thames High School. The one-mile Bicycle Handicap was won by Hayward, with Herival in second place. There was a tug-of-War for schoolboys between Thames and Te Aroha, which was won by Thames. Results of some of the other events are shown below.
Photo sources: Auckland Weekly News 12 MAY 1899 p005
'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-18990512-5-1'