She’s a mys­tery girl

Central Leader - - News - By Scott Mor­gan

The City-New­ton Rugby League Club is looking to solve an old mys­tery be­fore its cen­te­nary cel­e­bra­tions.

In the 1980s club stal­wart Den­nis Ste­wart came across an un­usual photo of an uniden­ti­fied woman kick­ing a ball off from the half­way line at Car­law Park.

He es­ti­mates the game was played some­time in the 1920s or 1930s be­cause the player on the left of the ref­eree is wear­ing a New­ton club jer­sey, used be­fore the City and New­ton clubs com­bined in 1949.

Both clubs were formed in 1908.

De­spite show­ing the photo to a num­ber of older Auck­land rugby league sup­port­ers, no one has been able to iden­tify the mys­tery woman.

“Some­one sug­gested it might be a mayor’s wife,” he says.

“We even sent of few copies off to Aus­tralia where th­ese old guys live but had no pos­i­tive re­sponses.”

Mr Ste­wart, who has been in­volved with City New­ton since the 1970s, says the club has a small mem­ber­ship th­ese days, with just a mas­ters and se­nior A team tak­ing the field last sea­son.

How­ever he’s proud the se­nior A team man­aged to win its divi­sion in such an im­por­tant year.

“It was huge to win a cham­pi­onship in our 100th year. I haven’t heard of any other clubs do­ing it.”

He says the club was com­pet­i­tive in the Fox Memo­rial club com­pe­ti­tion in the 1980s, but chang­ing de­mo­graph­ics have seen the loss of a huge num­ber of play­ers in the last 20 years.

“When the price of houses started go­ing up in the in­ner city it got dif­fi­cult,” he says.

“We used to have a whole team come out of one street.”

But de­spite dif­fi­cul­ties in re­cent times, Mr Ste­wart is keen to see any­one who has played for or sup­ported the club over the years join the cel­e­bra­tions.

“We’re try­ing to look them all up,” he says.

The cel­e­bra­tions take place at the Vic­to­ria Park Bowl­ing Club, Beau­mont St, Free­mans Bay, on Novem­ber 22 from 5.30pm.

If you can iden­tify the woman in the photo email edcl@snl.

Who are you?: An un­known woman kicks a ball from the half­way line at Car­law Park in the early 1900s. The City-New­ton club is cel­e­brat­ing its cen­te­nary and would like help iden­ti­fy­ing who the woman is.

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