Elephants raced twice
As was mentioned in the article about elephant races in Matamata (Photo revives memories, Matamata Chronicle August 3, 2011) there was a second elephant race nearly three years after the first one.
In April 1965 another elephant race took place in Matamata, this time organised by the Lions Club and running in the other direction from Arawa St up to Arawa St extension.
The following is the Matamata County Mail account of this race.
‘‘Teachers Put Up A Grade – Mr G McNeil, headmaster, Wardville School, wins yesterday afternoon’s elephant race down Arawa Street on Rill, aged 75 years. Mr K Ross, Matamata Primary School, on Lena, 65-year-old elephant, deadheated with 25-year-old Jocky ridden by Mr R Gavin, Firth School. Arawa Street was packed with excited children for the race. A collection from spectators raised 20 pounds for Firth School swimming baths.
The race was sponsored by the Lions Club through the courtesy of Sole Bros & Wink’s Circus.’’