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Waihi Borough Council Diamond Jubilee Booklet 1902-1962

The following has been awarded first place in the School Essay Competition (Senior Group)

THE TOWN AS I SHOULD WISH TO SEE IT DURING ITS CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

By V. SCOTHERN, Form 6B.

Here is a subject to warm the hearts of all who suffer from optimistic imaginitis, for all the world is developing at a great rate nowadays and who knows where fate's fancy may lead!

During the Centenary Celebrations forty years hence, I would like to see a town smiled upon by the fates, because in some ways it has proved a brave little town. It was shortly after the war that the last quartz-bearing truck left the gold mine, and many felt that with it would go the population of Waihi, and soon, the town itself.

Much of the population did leave with the gold but some remained and therefore the town. Today some of its progress is marked on the doors of the Waihi Memorial Hall, some in the Public Library and soon, I hope, a fuller record may be found in a permanent museum. This will be a source of great interest. During Waihi's Centenary Celebrations, I should like to see this museum with further records of a progress as good as Waihi has made since the war years. I should like to see a town as friendly as it is now, perhaps more so, and with a progressive, but not aggressive, attitude to life.

A town still surrounded by green hills and pastures, still with the atmosphere of the farming community is what I should like to find. A town, however, tidier than it is now. I should like to find well maintained roads and footpaths. It would be very good to see a town planning and improvement association featuring prominently in the celebrations. Perhaps a prize for the best-kept street of 2002 would be presented during the celebrations and a sign put up acknowledging it. There are several places about the town where I would like to look for, and find, results of such an association's work. Down by the "Waihi Lake" I would like to find a well-laid out park. Not just a children's playground but a park with tree-shaded walks, made colourful with native blooms. Water-lilies would bloom on parts of the lake and descendants of today's ducks would come swimming for scraps thrown by 2002's children.

I would like to come from this park to the recreation ground a short distance away and see new Olympic-standard baths, and, Olympic-standard or not, at least well maintained ones with good dressing sheds. A well-drained and equipped track would be next door and jumping pits, hurdles and facilities for shot-puts and discus throwing and the rest of the paraphernalia required by a good amateur athletic club. From here, I would like to go to the main street, lined with attractive up-to-date shops, remembering to notice whether the shops look as attractive above their verandahs as below. It is amazing the influence this can have on the whole building.

Up Moresby Avenue to the college is a short distance, and it is there I would go next, hoping to see it in nearly as good condition as it is today, with an extra block or two, and good swimming baths, which the present school-going generation has missed so much. Continuing from here to the Waihi Hospital, I should like to pass through streets lined with flowering trees and shrubs, knowing they were a widespread feature of the town. The hospital itself I would expect to find as well equipped and run as now, also expanded a little. Throughout the town I would like to see more young people in their twenties.

At present, a great number of young people are lured to the bigger centres to train for jobs, or to get better ones with more prospects, or simply because there are no jobs of the right kind available here. For this reason, I would like to find in the town more firms with jobs promising a training for advancement. And yet one more small but important establishment I would like to see in Waihi during the Centenary Celebrations is an information bureau. Here would be the street guide and a person on duty most of the time to inform visitors and the townspeople of anything concerned with Waihi.

All these things I would like to see in Waihi during the Centenary Celebrations, but most of all I would look for a right spirit in the people. For the town is the people who make it, and their day to day activities. I would like to see a community that is concerned with its cultural as well as physical development, a town encouraging its musicians and artists and journalists as well as its budding athletes and businessmen, artisans and clerks. During its Centenary Celebrations, I would like to see Waihi a town of which all who live in it may be proud.