Saturday, March 10, 2018

Thames (NZ): Women Poets of Thames

Women on the goldfield, often used poetry to express their views on current topics and their life in general. These poems in later decades were often seen in print as 'letters to the editor'. Nom de plumes were usually the order of the day, and common to both men and women.

Margaret Ann Sinclair aka Roslyn was one such writer who appeared in the local papers during the 1890s. Many of her poems around the 1900s spoke of the loss of life surrounding New Zealand's involvement in the South African Wars. Margaret's story can be found in a Treasury Journal article and a booklet that she published entitled Huia's Homeland can be read or downloaded online.

Many of the poems have Thames as a backdrop, and then there are some that are named specifically after the town Margaret loved. The Thames, New Zealand, and the Traveller - is below, and the focus is the Caledonian Mine and the impact that it had on the town.

Today, another group of Thames women are telling their tales, and they will recite some of their poems during Thames' Heritage Festival 16-18 March 2018. Sunday, 18th March at the School of Mines, Margaret Reid and Althea Loveday will share some poems along with the story of Janet Waddell (midwife and founder of the Sperry Maternity Home in Thames).