9 months ago

Fitzgerald's Town

portion of the

portion of the peninsula. At present most of the township is covered with native grass, which is admirably suited when cleared of tussocks for sports. The Tods often made a paddock available, either opposite the school on land now partly developed as Liffey Fields, or nearer their homestead on the Lincoln - Tai Tapu Road. This last venue was the better of the Tods’ paddocks because when the former was used, horses tethered under the blue gums fronting the paddock on James Street would stampede when a train rumbled past. One meeting was held in the centre of the village on ground behind the Perthshire Arms Hotel because work on the railway line made it impossible to use the Tod paddock opposite the school. On other occasions sites near the mill, perhaps on Moffat’s farm, and on G.A. Smith’s farm were used. The job of providing refreshments for the day was usually left to the publican who was well supported by the public, but when there was a good cause others were allowed to share the privilege. Thus in 1881, the Anglican church held a bazaar and a gift auction in the nearby school room in aid of parochial funds and to help defray the cost of repairing the vicarage, and the following year the right to provide refreshments and luncheon was granted to the Presbyterians who were fund raising for their new church – the Union Church on James Street. A temperance booth was occasionally allowed to offer refreshments, usually in opposition to the publican’s booth, and there were stalls selling sweets and toys for the children. Sometimes bands entertained the crowd and on one occasion at least, a young Burnham Band played several selections which were well received and were considered to be one of the principal attractions of the day. The success of the sports day often depended on the weather. Not surprisingly wind, especially the nor’wester, could make the day unpleasant, but activities were never postponed because of it. Rain, however, was a different matter. On two or three occasions rain delayed the start of competition, brought the games to an early conclusion, or forced the committee to postpone the event altogether. The 1875 event was abandoned because of unexpected and heavy rain, and on 1 January 1890 the weather was so bad that the day’s sport was postponed until the following week. 20 There is always a silver lining and when the 1875 event was abandoned the Perthshire Arms hotel did a roaring trade and was “crammed to overflowing” much to the publican’s delight, and in 1890 the postponed sports drew a crowd of about one thousand people. 138

Lawn Tennis Club A lawn tennis club was active in Lincoln during the late nineteenth century, but little is known of it. However, it is clear that the club was founded in 1886, and was functioning at least as late as 1898. An account of the club’s annual general meeting in September 1887 21 establishes that it was functioning during the previous year, for at that meeting the chairman, the Rev A. Tosswill, congratulated the club on its success, financially and otherwise, on the completion of its first year. At this meeting A.P. O’Callaghan MHR was elected President, and Dr Cooke, with Messrs Gray, Hay, Hill, Wilkinson, and the Revd. Tosswill were elected to the committee. 49. Report of the success of the Lincoln Tennis Club. The Star. 12 December 1892. Courtesy of Papers Past. In July 1898 Richard Wright sold just over four acres, part of Rural Section 2159, fronting Gerald Street, to Bishop Grimes, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Christchurch. The deed of sale records that Wright had earlier leased 33 perches of that land to the Lincoln Lawn Tennis Club for five years and that the sale to the diocese was subject to the terms of that lease being honoured. The tennis 139

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