Taupo tro­phy dash­ing back to Plim­mer­ton

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By LUKE KIRKEBY

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.

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