Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 44, September 2000

Editor's note: The following article is based on a talk given by Mr Les Turnbull at a reunion of the Poland family,heldin Paeroa in 1998. The information was obtained from a search of articles relating to the family published during 1898 in the local newspaper, The Ohinemuri Gazette and Upper Thames Warden. The purpose of the talk was to give those attending the reunion an idea of the activities of the family 100 years previously.

In 1898 Hugh and Ellen Poland resided in Paeroa, together with their sons, James (5), Francis (3) Roy (2) and Cecil (1).

I am sure that they would have attended Mass, given by Bishop Lenehan at 11 am and, no doubt would have attended The Mission Week in the aid of Mt Magdala Magdalene Asylum in Christchurch. Rev Father Genaty said Mass on Sunday 20 February at which £30 was raised. They also probably would have attended the 17th March St. Patrick's Day celebration held at the Criterion Hotel and seen Dion Boucicault's celebrated play "The Slaughraun" in aid of The Catholic Church Funds.

Hugh Poland was Secretary Handicapper and member of The Protest Committee for the Druid's Sports Meeting on 29 January 1898 and would have attended a meeting to discuss this in the Lodge Room at 7 30 pm on Monday 10 January. The programme for the Business Sports Meeting, held at the Paeroa Racecourse was as follows:

1. Maiden Race - 150 yards

2. Druids Cup of £20 - 100 yards, 220 yards, 440 yards

3. Hurdles 200 yards, 10 flights

4. Maori Hack Race - 1 mile Post entries Maori riders for horses that have never won

5. Amateur Race - 120 yards

6. Fire Brigade Competition Open. Engine practice two men

7. Amateur Bicycle Race - 1 mile

8. Amateur Bicycle Race - 3 miles

9. Boy's Pony Race - % mile

10. Half Mile Handicap

11. Hack Race

12. Ladies Bracelet

13. Handicap Trot - P/2 miles

14. Handicap Hack Race of £10

15. Druids Race - 120 yards Open to all Druids

16. Open Mile

Excursion Train Auckland to Waikato }

P S: Patiki excursion from Thames      }Race card 6d

SS Waimarie - Auckland                     }

He also, together with a Mr Moore, was the handicapping committee for Footsport, for the Fire Brigade Sports and The Paeroa Racing Club Sports.

In rugby circles it appears that the existing Paeroa Rugby Club had been struggling up to 1897 and that a further club was formed in April 1898.This was called"Taniwha Football" and, listed amongst the Vice Presidents was Hugh Poland. He was on the Selection Committee and was also the Club Captain. The Paeroa Football Club grounds had been leased for the coming season and their first match was to be against the Paeroa Football Club on 23 April 1898. On 27 April a meeting was held between both clubs to amalgamate, the ensuing club to be known as Paeroa Football Club. Their colours were to be black and gold and Hugh Poland was to be the selector for all teams, senior and junior. Their first match was against Te Aroha, at Te Aroha on 30 April and Paeroa lost 8-0.

There is a report that Hugh refereed a match between Paeroa and Karangahake, which was a scoreless draw. In late May a Referees Association was formed by the Ohinemuri Rugby Union and Mr Hugh Poland and a Mr Jones were elected as the examining committee for referees.

Hugh was selected to play for the Druids Lodge against the Oddfellows Lodge on 10 August, however this game was postponed to 24 September owing to the state of the weather. The fixture was played but there is no report of the results, the conclusion being that either the standard of play was so poor, or else the hospitality was so good.

At the Annual General Meeting of the Paeroa School Committee, Hugh Poland was re-elected to the Committee, polling in fifth place for the ten seats available. Old identities included on the committee were J W Shaw, G Crosby and F Beattie. His name was also mentioned amongst several others who wrote to the Thames Poultry Club for details to establish such a club in Paeroa.

At "Star of Paeroa Lodge of Druids" half-yearly meeting. Brother Poland is mentioned as Delegate to Grand Lodge. He was also nominated for the position of District President.

An item in the newspaper on 28 September 1898 reported that a Children's Ball had been held and that Master James Poland had attended, dressed as Paddy from Cork.

Amongst other items of interest appearing in the newspaper for that year was the opening of the Paeroa Gas Works, and the beginning of the Paeroa Water Supply from Taraki Creek. Te Aroha was proclaimed a Borough and the Thames - Auckland Railway was officially opened. World events included the declaration, in April, of the American Spanish War. In May William Gladstone died and Queen Victoria celebrated her 80th Birthday. Sir George Grey died in September.

The greatest occasion of this momentous year was the birth of the first daughter to Ellen and Hugh Poland. Eileen Mary was born on 28 September 1898.

Nana Poland's Lemon Honey Recipe

1lb sugar

4 eggs

4 ozs butter

juice and rind of 4 lemons

Beat eggs lightly, add sugar and other ingredients and bring to boil slowly.