Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 56, September 2012

Andy Kelly Shield

Many old Waikino residents returned "home" in February last for the playing of the 65th annual Andy Kelly Memorial Shield cricket match.

The shield was named after a prominent resident of the town and played between today's residents and members of the Waikino Old Boys, Auckland Club. The local team won the shield last year and again this year. It is a great family fun day out.

Sports Awards

The annual Hauraki/Thames-Coromandel District Sports Awards revealed an interesting diversity of sports played in the districts. The top award, Sportsperson of the Year was taken out by disabled athlete Sue Reid, a hand-cyclist, for the second successive year. She won the bronze medal in the para-cycling world championships in Denmark last September, this was her second bronze medal at this event.

The Thames Valley Deerstalkers Association was awarded the Club of the Year for hosting the World English Sporting Championships on its Paeroa shooting range, while the same club's secretary, Maureen Coleman, received the Administrator of the Year award.

Other award winners were: Service to Sport, Richard Boenders, John Brooks, Joe Nelms, Alex Quinn. Referee/Umpire. Miah Williams (touch). Coach of the Year, Chris Allen and Ian Handcock (rugby). Team of the Year, Valley United Men's Intercity Hockey team. Sporting Personality of the Year, Rhonda Williams (touch). 40-years plus Sportsperson of the Year, David Low (croquet). Junior Sportswoman of the Year, Grace Spiers (surfing). Junior Sportsman of the Year, Dylan Schmidt (trampoline).

Hauraki District Awards

The Hauraki District Council recognised those individuals who, at considerable expense and sacrifice, make substantial efforts to the betterment of their communities with the presentation of the Hauraki District Council Citizen Awards. The recipients for 2011 were: Plains Ward: Francis Bain Fullerton, Brian Dudley Sandbook, Graham George Courtney. Paeroa Ward: Michael Desmond Deane, Tina Marie Lavery, Ronald Seymour Tyrell, Howard Graham Morrison. Waihi Ward: Michael James Heyden, John Alexander Campbell. The Hauraki District Council's Young Achievers Awards, recognising outstanding achievement by young people of the District went to: Hauraki Plains College: Rachael Schmidt, Ivan Bax, Jean Balchin, Chloe Potts. Paeroa College: Michael Watton, Daniel Vernon. Waihi College: Becky Scoggins, Lee Kelly, Alarna Sutton.

20 Fine Days in a Row

The 20th annual Battle of the Streets, New Zealand's largest and most popular motorcycle racing event, held around the centre of Paeroa was again blessed with fine warm weather. This was the 20th occasion on the third Sunday of February that the weather gods have smiled on the event and as usual there was a large attendance of "petrol heads" present to witness excellent racing around the noted "hacksaw" circuit. There over 160 competitors, who amassed more than 200 entries in the various events. Speeds of up to 280 kph were reached by the top riders along the main street straight, while the spectacular side-cars hit the 160kph mark. As usual the 300-odd volunteers needed for the smooth running of the event, were on duty from 4.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. on race day setting up the circuit and then dismantling it and the end of the day's most successful racing. Over the past 20 years this event has distributed almost $750,000 to those club's whose members assist on the day.

Rotary Donates Books

Year 4 students at the Goldfields School in Paeroa have received illustrated dictionaries from the Paeroa Rotary Club as part of the Dictionaries in Schools programme commenced by a former World Rotary president, New Zealander Bill Boyd. In thanking the club, the school principal, Gary Quarless, welcomed the Usborne Illustrated Dictionaries, which he said will be great for the all the pupils, both in the school and at home.

Double Celebration

The Waihi Beach Tennis Club, in November last year, celebrated its 80th anniversary by the opening of new all-weather courts. The club was founded in 1931, and many of the former members returned to reminisce over the many enjoyable days spent on the grass courts and then later asphalt surfaces. The special Tiger Turf all-weather surface was laid and also flooding lighting erected to provide for night games. Club president Rob Hope and the Western Bay of Plenty District Council's Deputy-Mayor Paul Thomas, both spoke, then cut the ribbon to declare the courts officially opened. Mr Hope served up the first ball using a wooden-framed racquet from the 1930s era. He went on to acknowledge the assistance and support received from the District Council, Waikato Trust, Waihi Rotary and the Valder Ohinemuri Charitable Trust. The 80th birthday cake was cut by two long standing members Cath McCowatt and Joy Galloway.

Cadet of the Year

Rebekah Laurence, a 17-year-old Paeroa College student and member of the Paeroa St. John Ambulance Cadet Division, has been chosen as the St. John Cadet of the Year for the Hauraki-Coromandel district. Rebekah joined the Paeroa cadets in 2004 and proceeded up through the ranks to be a Gold Cadet. There were some 2500 youth members in the five districts of the St. John Northern Region and the judges had a very difficult task of reducing this number to just five district winners. Her award enables her to become "a bridge" between the cadets and leaders, and at District management level she will be advocate for the cadets.

On The Way To The Top

Miah Williams, a top New Zealand touch referee, after one year as a rugby referee, is on the way to top of this code. He was graded top of the Thames Valley referees and this enabled him to enter the New Zealand Rugby Union's Referees' Academy. He also became the first Thames Valley whistler to be appointed to the national seven tournament in Queenstown last January. At the national Maori sports awards held just prior to last Christmas, 29-year-old Miah received the award for the top Maori Umpire/Referee in New Zealand. In the 2011 season Miah controlled Heatland and ITM Cup fixtures and was close to a Super 15 appointment.

NZ Champion

AJ Launder, a 17-year-old from Turua, won the New Zealand 2011-12 Suzuki Sports Cup series with two rounds to go. Over the season he amassed enough points, 183, following the second last meeting at Taupo in March, to win the title.


The Paeroa Racing Club, formerly the Ohinemuri Jockey Club, at a special meeting of members held on July 9, 2012, decided to wind-up the cash-strapped club. The final race meeting scheduled for July 29 was abandoned owing to inclement weather. The club's inaugural race meeting was held in March, 1876. It was the oldest sporting club in Paeroa, and one the oldest in New Zealand.