Taupo trophy dashing back to Plimmerton
The mystery of the Taupo Dash trophy has been solved, revealing the antique’s true home is near Cook Strait.
The Taupo Times ran a story last month about the trophy, which had been in Garry Carlyle’s family for more than 40 years with little known about its origin.
The inscription on the trophy reads: W. Martin, 1st, 75 yards Taupo Dash, ‘‘PLIM’’, 5-4-20.
Carlyle had little luck over the years tracing the trophy’s history.
However, a Turangi resident, Shirley Hooker, and Taupo Library digital services librarian Sandra Quinn have finally shed some light.
After reading the Taupo Times article, Hooker decided to do some research of her own and stumbled across the Plimmerton Community website.
‘‘ I believe ‘‘ PLIM’’ is for Plimmerton which was known as Taupo by Maori,’’ she said. Quinn’s research agreed. ‘‘I have found quite a few links that make me reasonably certain that the cup was won by William Martin at the Easter Monday Plimmerton Picnic Sports meeting,’’ she said.
The event was held annually and Martin was on the organising committee in 1922, Quinn said.
Plimmerton Residents Association database manager Allan Dodson confirmed the Taupo Dash was part of the Picnic Sports.
‘‘Plimmerton was a holiday destination from the 1890s, with excursion trains coming from Wellington and Palmerston North to bring people for a holiday at the beach,’’ he said.
‘‘Events like the Picnic Sports day on Easter Monday, 1920, were put on to encourage families to come.’’
‘‘One of the races [in the event] was the 75-yard Taupo Dash (68.5 metres) for men and the race was won by a local man, W (William) Martin, who was presented with a small trophy to celebrate the win.’’
Dodson said Martin was a keen sportsman with a ‘‘fine reputation for tennis and bowls’’.
‘‘William briefly served in World War I, but only in New Zealand. He was demobilised after the signing of the Armistice in November 1918,’’ he said.
‘‘The Martin family owned the Post Office Store in Steyne Ave, Plimmerton, which was established by William’s parents in 1897-8 and was one of the first businesses in the main street.
‘‘As the store was adjacent to the Plimmerton Railway station, up until 1923 it was the post office and William was the postmaster for the district. He operated it up until 1944, when he retired.
‘‘It now houses a small art gallery, which has been displaying items associated with the immediate area and I would love to get the trophy back to Plimmerton.’’
Dodson said he would talk to the owner of the art gallery and to Pataka Museum, to make them aware of the trophy’s existence.
‘‘I’m sure in the interim it will be displayed in the gallery,’’ he said.
Carlyle said he would be happy for the trophy to be returned to Plimmerton and thought it was great the mystery had finally been solved.
‘‘This is a fantastic result and my mother will be over the moon. I would never have guessed it was from Plimmerton,’’ he said.
Taupo mayor David Trewavas said it was great the original home of the trophy had been found.
‘‘ I will make contact with Porirua mayor Nick Leggett to organise its return home to Plimmerton,’’ he said.
Puzzle solved: The Taupo Dash Trophy is destined for a new home in Plimmerton.