From sales to dampened spirits

Saleyards Te Awamutu 1910

Looking back on reports from 1910

New sale yards at Te Awamutu were officially opened by Waikato MP Mr H Greenslade who congratulated the Town Board on their initiative in providing such modern yards.  The sale started immediately after the opening and there was a large yarding of cattle of all classes. Also up for sale were sheep, pigs, two draught horses, tine and chain harrows, a disc plough, fast buggy horse covers, a farm wagon and harness.

Treading on a match had near disastrous results for an employee of Rickit’s hardware and furnishing store at Te Awamutu.  The employee, who was upstairs handling kapok accidentally ignited the match and soon the top portion of the two storey building was well alight. A bucket brigade manned by residents was quickly on the scene and stopped the spread of the fire.   The building was also occupied by Messrs Empson, dentist, and Mr Warburton, printer and stationer, whose stock was considerably water damaged.

The first annual Presbyterian Sunday school picnic was held in Mr Allen’s paddock beside the Punui River.  The day was thoroughly enjoyable, in spite of the intense heat, and the riverbank was lined with crowds of eager picnickers. Children minus shoes and stockings were soon dipping their toes in the river while others got right in. Young folk indulged in various games while older members contentedly sat beneath the willow trees.  Great interest was taken in the nail driving competitions for ladies. After tea, the remaining provisions were packed, and horses and wagons readied for the return journey to Kihikihi. The children then scattered to their homes to prepare for an evening concert and social at the Presbyterian Church which was keenly enjoyed by a very large audience. The occasion was a financial success, despite admission being only a humble silver coin.

A public meeting was held at Pirongia to discuss deepening and clearing a stretch of the Waipā River from Pirongia to Te Kopua.  In the past, canoes and barges regularly used the waterways and it was only the arrival of the railway that reduced the use of the rivers and streams. Recent progress though had made it possible to use the Waikato River from Mercer as far as Pirongia on the Waipā. For settlers along the river, freights would be much cheaper, timber and cargoes of coal could go by boat, wool could be loaded for Auckland, cream could go to central factories and stores could come upstream. The smaller scheme, Pirongia to Te Kopua, should be done first and then, joining hands with fellow settlers lower down the river, two canals could be cut giving access to Auckland.

Heavy rain falling during the Ōhaupō Club’s annual race meeting rather dampened spirits as there was no cover available, apart from a few umbrellas, the jockeys’ dressing room, and the leeward side of vehicles.  The bedraggled aspect of some of the ladies, who had sailed forth in their best finery, was comical in the extreme.

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