Chapter 1: The Early Years 1870s – 1963


The Border Football Club

On March 4 1882, the Annual General Meeting of the Waimate Football Club took place at the Royal Hotel. Fourteen members were present.

Officers elected were: President, Mr G.B. Barclay, captain, Mr J.R. Stewart; treasurer, Mr Newbauld; secretary Mr G. Barclay; committee: Messrs F. O’Brien, M. Sherwin, G. Clayton.

At the meeting it was resolved to alter the name of the club to that of the “Border Football Club” and to avoid confusion in matches, players would have uniforms of dark blue jerseys with a light blue sash. Subscriptions for the new club were set at 2/6.

The meeting decided to order a match ball bigger that those already in the club’s possession.

It was resolved to open the season the following Saturday with a scratch match, one of the officers being requested to obtain a suitable ground.

July 1, 1882: “Full attendance of members is expected at the opening of the football season in Manchester’s Paddock”

Junior Club Formed

It was in June 1900 that it was decided to form a junior rugby club in Waimate. The name chosen was the “Zealandia Club” The colours of the new club were to be black and light blue.

With the object of helping funds for the new club a novel idea was adopted. Twelve vice-presidents were elected. But each had to donate 5/- to the club for the privilege.

Early teams

Early teams travelled distances to play games and Waimate were no exception. The “Waimate Advertiser” of July 24, 1900 relates that:

“If Morven Football Club can make arrangements, a team of old Waimate players will try conclusions with the country club at Morven on Thursday”.

The team was listed as:

Fullback: T. Scales; Three-quarters: W. Grinson, W. Thomas and Lundy; five-eights; C. Samuels; Half: Paul Tau; Forwards: J. Norton, P. Sullivan, H. Wawlor, A. Forsythe, D. McLeish, J. Corry, W. Seaman, John Gardner, R. Samuel.

During this period Zealandia were another team scheduled to play Morven at Victoria Park.

Zealandia; Fullback: W. Sinclair, Three-quarter; Finnie, Smart, Presland: five eight: J. Rattray: Half: J. Mines, Forwards: A. Berry, B. O’Brien, Finn, Williams, Drayton, Ellen, Dailey and Flaherty.

Waimate Veterans team to play Morven on August 16 1900 is as follows: Brinkman, Dailey, Drayton (2), Finn, Freeman, Hansen, Mines, Sauer, Rattray, Smart, Thyne (2). Toohers, Watts.

Lean Times

Rugby appeared to fall on lean times in Waimate around the turn of the century and the “Waimate Advertiser” of April 25, 1901 reported to its readers:

“As football in this town has been practically dead for the last two years it has been decided to try and rally lovers of the game together again and also to bring out fresh blood and get as good, if not a better team than in the past season. “A meeting for this purpose will be held this evening in St Augustine’s schoolroom when all players and intending players are requested to roll up”.

Waimate Club Formed

The meeting was a success as a further issue of the paper records, “That Mr C.J. Goldstone was voted to the chair”.

It was decided at this 1901 meeting to form the Waimate Rugby Club. The new Club’s uniform is a black jersey with a blue sash across the shoulder.

Officers elected comprised of:

Patron: Hon. Major Steward; President, W.J. Wills; Vice-President, Dr H. Barclay, Rev P. Regnault, Messrs Pitcaithly, T. Twomey, A. Manchester, S. Binney, W. Coltman, J. Freeman, F. Brinkman, I. Williams, F. Bunkman, L. Toohers.

Captain, A. Rattray: deputy, L. Thomas; secretary, J. O’Brien; treasurer, J. Kilgour; sub fixed at 3/-.

A month later the newly formed club contested a match at Victoria Park against Morven.

The match was well attended by spectators and the “Advertiser” also noted that among the spectators “were a number of ladies”.

The Years 1902-26

In 1902 rugby in Waimate was in a sorry state and there was a danger that the Waimate Club would be forced into recess.

However, when the club held their annual meeting on April12, 1902. Mr C.J. Goldstone was voted to the chair and in a few well know remarks, put the position of the club clearly to all present.

He said that it was apparently the desire of a few enthusiasts to revive the “good old game” in Waimate. For his own part he could see no reason why the club should not be as successful as in past years.

All above present were strongly in favour of keeping the club going and promised to give the club all the assistance in their power. The election of officers resulted:

Patron, Hon. Major Steward; president, Mr W.J. Wills, vice-president, Rev, Father Regnault, Messr Pitcaithly, W. Coltman, E.C. Studholme, G. Mathias, W. Gargreaves, L. Toohers, T. Twomey, A. Harris, B. Flynn, H. Middleton, F. Brinkman: Captain, A. Rattray; secretary, R. Rattray: treasurer, W. Goldstone.

It was resolved that the club join the South Canterbury Football Union, selection of a Delegate was left over until a future meeting. Opening day was fixed for Thursday, April 17.

1902 Fixtures

On April 29 the secretaries of the Waimate, Timaru, Star, Temuka, Geraldine, Colonial, Pirates, High School and School Boys Football met at the Wallingford Hotel, Temuka, and the fixtures were drawn up for the first round.

The teams entered in the competition were as follows: Temuka (senior, junior and trophy teams), Timaru (senior and junior teams), Geraldine (senior and junior teams) Pirates, Ashburton (senior team), Waimate (senior team), Star (junior and trophy teams), Colonials (trophy teams), High School and School Old Boys (trophy teams).

It was reported Waimate began the 1902 season with rather an early win when they journeyed to Timaru and meet Ashburton Pirates. At 11 o’clock, the appointed hour for the starting, the team was two men short but after picking up a substitute, they left Manchester’s

corner at 11.15 and reached the grounds in Timaru at 3pm.

By 1908 a Sub-Union had been formed. Teams in the fixtures were Hiwiroa, Zealandia, Taniwha and Morven.

Taniwha team: J. Cameron, E. Steele, J. Flaherty, T. Hawkins, P. Murtagh, J Sizemore, C. Cameron, A. Dyer, R. Gall, F. Robson, A. Hendry, D. Richards, J. Kent, J. Smith, E. Kelliher.

Zealandia team; W. Eathorne, D. Symon, D. Gunn, J. Symon, W. Sutherland, J. Condon, J. Bayley, E. Travers, Brien, A. Hunt, E. Wilson, N. Morgan, S. Laird, H. Williams, J. Hickey.


It was reported that noticeable faults came out of Thursday games and the chief fault was with the barrackers, especially in encroaching on the field of play and some not showing respectability in their language:

It was decided that referees be appointed from outside the districts that are competing.

Training on Sabbath

Rumour has it on good authority that two clubs in the competition are taking the Sabbath for training purposes! It would be well if the committee would take a firm stand in this matter in the interest of football generally.

Football suffered during the war years and in 1920-22 Hiwiroa was the only club mentioned.

Sub Union Formed

On March 25, 1922, a meeting of enthusiasts was held with the object of forming a sub association, and a general meeting was called for April 4, 1922.

About 50 attended.

It was decided that a sub-union was the only way to help football, in view of the difference in half-holidays in South Canterbury.

On the motion of Mr E. Travers it was agreed to split the town into two districts – west of Parsonage Road and north of Queen Street in one district – the remainder of the town constituting the other district; the Marist Brothers supplying two teams on the basis outlined.

The meeting being largely old Hiwiroa Club members recommended that the funds of the Club, amounting to £13 funds and two footballs be handed over to the Sub-Union.

Lack of Grounds

It was reported on May 9,1925, that football has made great strides and indications pointed to still more progress being made. The great drawback has been lack of a ground and facilities.

A massive Queen Carnival was organized to raise funds, with a total of £736/18/2 being raised.

The annual sub-union report of March 31, 1926 states that the sub-union purchased 12 ½ acres of ground from Mrs. Manchester and before the season was far advanced, two playing grounds were in use.

A grandstand at the cost of over £500 was erected. Several gentlemen taking out £5 debentures covered half the cost. Tenders were to be called for roofing the grandstand and the Eaton Street entrance was to be blocked off.

Representative Matches


South Canterbury Representative Team 1888

One of the early Waimate players was E.C. (Edward) Studholme, who was a member of the first South Canterbury team that played the N.Z. Native XV in 1888. On several occasions Studholme travelled by train to Timaru on Saturday morning for a match in the afternoon. The return trip to Waimate some thirty-two miles was usually made on foot. At times he was given a lift for part of the way, but there was not much hitch-hiking in those days, and he mostly completed the whole journey without an offer of a ride – Surely a remarkable performance exemplifying the keenness and love for the game.


A Waimate football team circa 1890


Waimate Representative Team 1908


Zealandia v Taniwha

The above match was played in the park yesterday. Taniwha kicked off and the ball was returned, C Cameron was kicked in the head, he had to be carried off. Just after resuming J Torrance had to retire. Play was very fast, both sides striving for the honours. Inside ten minutes Sutherland got the ball and almost crossed, the whistle calling for a scrum. From this Sutherland again got possession and passed to Hunt, who crossed. No goal resulted. Zealandia had the better of the game, though the opposing team passed very well. Just before time Taniwha broke through and went near scoring, but Condon relieved by finding the line well down. Mr Leslie O’Callaghan refereed.

Hiwiroa v Morven

Hiwiroa journeyed to Morven yesterday afternoon, and won their match with Morven by 16 points to 8. Hiwiroa had a good set of backs, and were fortunate enough to win the toss and play with a good stiff breeze behind them during the first spell. Play was fast all through, and a noteworthy feature was the absence of rough play.

Tomorrow’s fixture

The following are the fixtures for tomorrow; – Hiwiroa v Zealandia at 2p.m (referee, M Mines)

Taniwha v Morven at 3.25p.m, (referee, J Torrance)

Both matches are to be played in Victoria Park. The following players will represent the Taniwha Club in their match against Morven on Thursday in Victoria Park; – Full back: J Cameron; three quarters: EJ Steele, J Flaherty and T Hawkins: five-eights: P Murtagh and J Sizemore; half: CW Cameron; forwards: A Dyer, R Gall, F Robson, A Hendry, S Richards, James Kent and J Smith; wing forwards: E Kelleher, emergencies: backs, P Hendry, W Divers; forwards, J Coulbourne, P Hendry, J Kent, GW Moore.

The following players have been selected to represent Zealandia Club in to-morrows’ fixtures: Fullback W Eathorne; three quarters: D. Symons, D. Gunn and J. Symon; five eights: D. Sutherland; half J.Condon; forwards: F. Bayley, E. Travers, J. Brien, A. Hunt, (capt), E. Wilson, N. Morgan, S. Laird, H. Williams and J. Hickey. Emergencies: O. Smart, H. Sinclair, and G. Miller. The match will commence at 2pm in Victoria Park.


The following players have been finally selected to represent Waimate against South Canterbury on Thursday next: – P Sullivan,

Zealandia; J Sizemore, Taniwha; W Duckett, Hiwiroa: J Flaherty, Taniwha; W Divers capt., Taniwha; A Henderson, Zealandia; W Hutchings, Hiwiroa; A Dyer,

Taniwha; F Robson, Taniwha; E Travers, Zealandia; M Hanley, Morven; W Hutt, Hiwiroa, J Sturgess, Hiwiroa; J Kent, Taniwha; Emergencies, forward, J Brien, Zealandia; M Hanley, Morven; W Hutt, Hiwiroa; J Sturgess, Hiwiroa; J Kent, Taniwha; Emergencies, forward, J Brien, Zealandia; A Hendry, Taniwha; D McGregor, Hiwiroa.

Any of the above that are unable to attend must inform the secretary as soon as possible.


Hiwiroa Football Club – Premier Winners 1911