Kaiapoi cricket hits 150 not out
The Kaiapoi Cricket Club is preparing for their 150th summer.
Current president Dean Arps said the ‘‘club has gone through ups and downs over the years like any club’’ and was looking forward to celebrating the milestone.
The club formed in 1867 but the original home remains a mystery.
‘‘The guys at the museum didn’t know, and I asked around the club but no one knows. They may not have even had a home ground to start with,’’ Arps said.
He had heard the rumours of games at a ‘‘Kaikanui field’’ but it was when the rugby club was established, at Kaiapoi Park, that the cricket club also found a home.
The golden age of the club was the 1970s and 80s, winning 11 senior two-day competition title, including in seven between the 1980-81 and 1990-91 seasons, and five one-day titles.
A feature through the golden period was Peter Williams, who played for Kaiapoi for 25 years and is now club patron and a life member.
‘‘I played for the senior team straight out of high school in 1966. We had two very competitive senior sides of equal strength,’’ Williams said.
Featuring two teams was a one off but highlighted the dawn of what was to be a strong 20 years of Kaiapoi cricket. From the heights of the 80s, the club dropped out of the top grade in the late 1990s.
They gained promotion back to the North Canterbury senior grade for the 2005/06 summer. Kaiapoi have yet to feature in the more recent Canterbury Country Premier competition, which Arps said is a goal for the club in the next few years as their top team plays in the Country Senior A grade. They will enter three open grade sides this summer and a similar a number in the junior grades.
‘‘The junior section has declined. We have only had two junior side’s which is a bit disappointing. I know there are kids that go to local schools but play at other clubs which is baffling.’’
Arps has also been working with Kaiapoi HS to get a Y9/10 team into the Canterbury Country competition.
The jubilee celebrations will be held on September 29 to October 1, beginning with an informal gathering at the clubrooms on Friday. A 30 over match will be played on Saturday between past and present players before a function in the Kaiapoi Club. A Sunday lunch will be held at the Kaikanui Tavern.
The Country premier club season starts on October 7.
Kaiapoi Cricket Club life member Peter Williams and president Dean Arps look at old photos ahead of the 150th jubilee