Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 44, September 2000

The Waihi Fire Brigade celebrated its centennial on Saturday 23 October 1999.

The main event of the celebration was a "Fire Sale and Carnival" organised by GO Waihi and the Waihi Volunteer Fire Brigade. In addition to a variety of stalls, there was a display by a fire eater and juggler. Young buskers entertained the crowd and a demonstration car crash rescue was staged, the jaws of life and other rescue equipment being used.

At midday a number of floats paraded along Seddon Street, Rosemont Road and Kenny Street to Waihi Rugby Park. The parade included a number of old and new fire engines from near and far, the Waihi Pipes and Drums, the Golden Girls Marching Team, Waihi Beach Coastguard and Waihi Scouts and Guides. At Rugby Park there was an opportunity for a closer look at the fire engines.

The Waihi Volunteer Fire Brigade was established on 28 February 1899, holding its first meeting at Fletts Hotel (now the Rob Roy). It then moved to a site on the side of Martha Hill before a section was purchased in Haszard Street and a station built. The present fire station in Kenny Street replaced the Haszard Street station after it was burnt down, and it was opened in 1966.

The Brigade purchased its first fire engine in 1914, a second hand Darracq, which was capable of reaching a high speed of 60 miles per hour. This was replaced by first a Model A, then a Model T Ford and a new V8 Ford in 1957.

From early in its formation, Waihi firemen have competed against fellow firemen in Brigades from other areas and they won the Auckland District Championships four times in the very early days - 1906, 1908, 1910 and 1916. The team comprising of Superintendent Stamp and Officers E Morgan, E Trembath, W Wotherspoon and E Walshe were regarded as the best in the country, winning the Ellington Trophy for the Auckland Championships in 1927, breaking many old records.

Today's Fire Brigade personnel continue this tradition, taking part in events on a district, regional and national level. The Waihi Fire Brigade also take part in the life of the town and district by participating in community events, school galas, etc.