Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 32, September 1988

The months of April, May and. June in 1926 were fairly momentous ones for Waihi, Mr. Carbutt recalled.

Mr. Carbutt has spent a lifetime of maintaining an interest in motor vehicles. In 1926 as a young man he prepared his father's Model T Ford for the first and, as it turned out, the last motor racing day on Waihi Beach.

The event was held on April 14 and it was the inaugural motor racing meeting of the Waihi branch of the Auckland Automobile Association. It was planned to be an annual event but a fatal accident during the fourth race cancelled out the rest of the programme and Fred never competed. The event was never staged again.

The vehicle in the accident was a race prepared Hudson "Six" driven by Mr. Walter Tanner, the son of a well-known Waihi butcher. His mechanic and friend was 21 year old William Colledge who was a well-known boxer in the town. It was he who was killed in the high speed event. The Hudson failed to negotiate a turn, flipped over twice and burst into flames. Mr. Tanner sustained severe injuries and was sent to hospital.

Mr. Carbutt recalled that hotel license applications for the Ohinemuri District were to be filed by May 10 with any license being granted to take effect on July 1.

This was a truly momentous occasion, said Mr. Carbutt, as the district had been "dry" since 1908.

Sewerage. In the month of May a great deal of interest was being taken in a proposal to instal a sewerage scheme in the central part of Waihi. It had been ordered by the Director General of Health to put sewerage in the congested part of the town and the hospital.

The Mayor at that time was Mr. W. M. Wallnutt who strongly opposed the scheme on the grounds that it would place a financial burden of some £10,000 ($20,000) of borrowed money on the ratepayers. He asked for a poll of ratepayers.

The matter was stood over pending a report from the Town Clerk as to whether a drainage rate would be payable by the ratepayers as a whole, or only to those in a special drainage area.

In May of that year the Auckland Education Board announced that a poll from parents of the three Waihi schools be taken on amalgamation of the Waihi District High School and the Waihi South School. A petition with 300 signatures was sent to the Board opposing the scheme.