Re­opened RSA de­stroyed by fire

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

Ev­ery week the South Waikato News delves into its ar­chives to see what was mak­ing the news 10, 25 and 50 years ago. This week we found sto­ries on an RSA fire, film­ing at Kin­leith and a hit-and-run ac­ci­dent.

10 years ago RSA gut­ted by fire

March 7, 2001 The Toko­roa RSA was gut­ted by fire in the early hours of yes­ter­day morn­ing, just one year af­ter re­open­ing its doors as a com­mer­cial op­er­a­tion.

It took fire crews on eight fire ap­pli­ances from Toko­roa, Pu­taruru, and Ro­torua 11⁄ hours to tackle the blaze, which broke out at 2.20am.

Toko­roa deputy chief fire of­fi­cer Dave Mor­ris es­ti­mated that 70 per cent of the build­ing was de­stroyed in the fire, and ir­re­place­able mem­o­ra­bilia had been lost. ‘‘ You could see a big glow in the sky. It broke through the roof.’’

The fire started on the first floor of the RSA, which con­tained of­fices and a kitchen and restau­rant, and suf­fered the most ex­ten­sive dam­age.

Down­stairs, the bar area was gut­ted, while pho­tographs of soldiers were left half hang­ing off the walls.

Ro­torua fire safety of­fi­cer Stu­art Boot­ten said he would be treat­ing the fire as sus­pi­cious un­til he could prove other­wise but was yet to es­tab­lish a cause. He said had a sprin­kler sys­tem been in­stalled in the build­ing it would have pre­vented most of the dam­age.

25 years ago Mill life on film Fe­bru­ary 4, 1986 A video on the his­tory of the New Zealand for­est in­dus­try is be­ing pro­duced by NZ For­est Prod­ucts Lim­ited.

The film has been com- mis­sioned as part of the com­pany’s 50-year ju­bilee cel­e­bra­tion and in­cludes film­ing on the Kin­leith site.

Ti­tled For­est Gold, it is a three-part drama­tised doc­u­men­tary put to­gether as an ed­u­ca­tional re­source for New Zealand schools.

Its sto­ry­line re­volves around a re­tired bush­man, Clar­rie Martin played by Derek Hardwick, his grand­son Ja­son played by Hamish Mc­Cracken and his son, NZFP em­ployee, played by Alan Snoad. All three ac­tors are from Auck­land.

The video looks at the his­tory of the for­est in­dus­try, the for­est in­dus­try to­day and the for­est in­dus­try in the fu­ture.

The pro­gramme has been pro­duced in con­sul­ta­tion with the Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment and is aimed at forms one to four.

The video was pro­duced and di­rected by Tim Mow­bray of the Mass Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­pany Lim­ited of Auck­land.

50 years ago Youth fright­ened by po­lice – is claim in court

March 2, 1961 An al­le­ga­tion that when giv­ing a state­ment to the Toko­roa Po­lice con­cern­ing a hit-and-run ac­ci­dent he had been fright­ened by a threat of be­ing held in cus­tody and that part of the state­ment was in­cor­rect, was made by Robin Hil­lary Gre­gory, 18 years, mill worker, of Toko­roa, when he ap­peared at the Pu­taruru Mag­is­trate’s Court.

Gre­gory (Mr M.L. Mor­gan) de­nied charges of driv­ing at a speed which may have been dan­ger­ous, of fail­ing to re­port an ac­ci­dent in which a per­son was in­jured, of fail­ing to stop, of fail­ing to as­cer­tain if any­one was in­jured and of fail­ing to ren­der as­sis­tance.

The ac­ci­dent con­cerned oc­curred at Dal­meny Road, Toko­roa, on Jan­uary 5, when a child, Robert Burns, was in­jured. Giv­ing ev­i­dence for the pros­e­cu­tion, L.B Wynd, of Toko­roa, said that he wit­nessed the ac­ci­dent.

When he was walk­ing on Dal­meny Road, a car driven by Gre­gory passed him.

It was trav­el­ling at about 40 miles an hour.

Some chil­dren were play­ing on the foot­path and one of them went to run across the road. The car was then 50 yards from the child.

The driver made no at­tempt to avoid the child and the child was hit by the mud­guard on the driver’s side and knocked down.

The wit­ness said he picked up the child. The car dis­ap­peared but re­turned five or ten min­utes later.

GUT­TED: The Toko­roa RSA was se­verely dam­aged by a blaze in March 2001.

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