1920 — 1929
The third period of our history was ushered in on a low note, yet was to prove of significance throughout New Zealand. It has already been noted that the Carterton Club was instrumental in bringing to the notice of the Wairarapa Rugby Union the need for the establishment of a referees‘ association. This had duly eventuated and a club member Ted McKenzie now held the record for control of Ranfurly Shield matches. This was still continuing and Ted’s refereeing career climaxed in 1921 with the first test against the Springboks. Another far reaching event brought about by club members was the match with Hawke‘s Bay.

Norman McKenzie left Carterton and settled in Hawke’s Bay where he soon became senior selector, a position similar to that held by his brother Ted in Wairarapa. Neither side found it easy to arrange fixtures, so the two selectors persuaded their unions to arrange the annual fixture. This first started in 1917 as a not very important fixture on the Rugby calendar. 1920 however saw the fixture assume importance and home and away matches were held each year.

The 1920 and 1921 Committees could well be the envy of all other committees. It never met, so achieved nothing‘ The only noteworthy happening was that the Club had found a new meeting headquarters, the Fire Brigade Hall. This continued until the hall was demolished after the 1942 earthquake. With lack of enterprise by the Committee it is not surprising that there was similar lack shown by players, and though three teams were entered in 1920 and 1921, only in 1921 did the Thirds win their competition.

In 1922, the Management Committee was instructed to go into ways and means to construct a training shed. The club had for some years been at the Showgrounds and changing facilities with showers were provided by both the Club and Marquis Hotels. The committee soon got busy and approached the P. & A. 50cietY which agrgef ;’n’t’:1‘:_:: land available. £77 ($154) was soon raised an fie d » of £5 ($10), £2/10/0 ($5) and £1 ($2) were 0 “9 – The activity transferred itself to the players and the Seniors made no race of the Championship in 1923. The Juniors were not so successful, but the Third grade won the northern division. ln the play off, they were beaten by Martinborough. The Fourth grade team which consisted solely of Carterton High School pupils, also suffered defeat in the play-off game. The efforts of the four teams won the Dewar Shield in its first season of competition.

A higher honour was that of Ted McKenzie’s election to the Management Committee of the N.Z.R.F.U., a position be held till the end of the 1930 season. To date, he is the only Wairarapa member to have been on the Management Committee or Council.

1924 brought something new. For the first time u coach was appointed. This notable was T. Collerton who was appointed club coach. Messrs J. W. Henderson and C. Olson were appointed Fourth grade coaches. N0 championships were won, but two club members Ted and Norman McKenzie were appointed New Zealand selectors.

In 1925, a further team, Fifth grade was entered. The club supplied jerseys for fourth and fifth grade teams, giving them out at the start of the season. Thirty-four jerseys were issued and disappointment was expressed by the management committee that only five Fourth grade and four Fifth grade jerseys were returned.

1926 and 1927 are years of uncertainty. The Ryan Cup for the Senior championship carries the name Carterton for each of these seasons; the Wairarapa Rugby Union records do the same. However the “Wairarapa Age” notes in 1926: ‘Carterton plays Greytown seniors on Saturday in the final match of the championship. If it wins, Carterton will share the championship’. The account of the match showed Carterton a distant second at the end of the game, while the championship results showed in the paper that Greytown was first, Featherston second, Carterton third.

The following season, Carterton suffered an early defeat and trailed in second place throughout the season. In the final match, against Gladstone, Carterton dominated play and won 10 points to 6. (It is worth noting that the front row of the Carterton scrum consisted of Bill lrvine and Keith Reid. Bill played for New Zealand in I924 and I930. While Keith played for New Zealand in I929. These two continued playing in the front row for Carterton till 1930, surely the only time we have ever had a front row all New Zealand representatives. Carterton won much hall from the scrums in those years).

In thc final played a week later, Bill Irvine played as loose forward and a lock was shifted up to the front row. We were outplayed in the forwards and lost a close game 3 to nil. In 1927 also, the club, along with the Athletic Cluh and the P. and A.Society joined forces to install flood lighting on the Showgrounds. The money prcviously collected for the gymnasium was transferred to pay for this amenity. 1927 also saw the retirement of Alby Desmond from playing. He had played for the Seniors apart from War Service, continuously since 1910. During that time, he had played 126 representative matches, 73 of them first class fixtures. H0 had also twice represented North Island and once North Island Country. For his service on the playing field, he was made a Life Member of the club. To date he is the only club member to have been so honoured for his playing services. In the minute book for I927 (and many other years) much Lime is given to arrangement for the Annual Ball.

This was considered one of the social highlights of the town’s year. It is perhaps worthwhile looking at one of these functions. The following requirements are listed as being necessary: I2 doz. dessert spoons, /1 doz. tea spoons, 4 doz. table spoons, 2 doz. jugs, 2 doz. sugar basins, ll, doz. vases, 6 doz. glass dishes, 12 doz. cups and saucers, 6 doz. dinner plates, I2 doz. bread and butter plates, I tca urn, lg cases bananas, 5 doz. lemons, 2 doz. oranges, 4 bottles sherry, 4 bottles port wine, I small bottle brandy, 2 doz. bottles ginger ale, 10 gallons milk, 4 gallons cream, 8 large loaves (cut at bakers), 2 hams, 2 doz. sponges for trifles, 8 lb. butter, ll lb. tea, l lb. icing sugar, § lb. mustard, 2 lb. ground coffee, 2 llb. tins custard powder, 2 Zlb. tins raspberry jam, 24 lb. sugar, l bottle vanilla, 3 bottles passion fruit juice, 1 doz. tins peaches, 1 doz. tins apricots, 1 doz. tins pineapple, 2 bags firewood, supper tickets—5 colours 62 of each, pass-out checks, rolls of tickets for the box, 1 enamel bath, 1 enamel bucket, 2 kerosene tins for coffee. Someone to make coffee. Helpers in kitchen, doorkeepers, M.C.’s, ticket box light, pins, crepe paper (cut at the printers), ball of string, brooms, ladders, ball room powder, change for the door.

For some time before the event, Ladies‘ Committees met and made arrangements. On the day before the Ball (Which was always held on a Monday) preparations began. Men decorated the hall with streamers, always maroon. Other decorations added to the novelty of each year’s efiort. Football posts often appeared on the stage; models of players were cut out for a background to the orchestra; artificial grass sprouted along the stage; the stage curtains were once (much later) decorated by cut outs of a herd of charging buffalo; sometimes the streamers went straight across the hall; at others a central decoration, a cart wheel, was hoisted to take the streamers out from a central point. Greenery was brought and used to decorate the corners. No effort was spared to beautify the hall.

in the kitchen, the Ladies’ Committee made preparations for Monday’s activities. On Monday, all was activity in the kitchen and supper room. The kitchen soon became filled with steam through which figures bustled. Gradually order prevailed, and by late afternoon, all was ready. The tables were covered with white table cloths on which the assorted silver gleamed. The plates, always white with red edging, were placed exactly in place. Down the centre of the tables were the jellies, red, with the letters C.F.C. traced out in whipped cream. Beside the jellies were bowls of fruit salad, cream, and plates of sandwiches. Along the tables were the flowers, always vases of red and white camelias. One hundred and twenty-four places set for each of the five sittings, and the fifth sitting was set out as neatly as the first.

At 8 o’clock, the ball was due to start and from 7.45 onwards, the dancers began to arrive. At 8, the orchestra started. From the balcony of the King’s Theatre, the sight of the floor soon disappeared to be replaced by the sight of the dancers. the men all in white shirts, bow ties, dark suits, the ladies in their latest creation that swept to the floor, a very colourful spectacle. The ball continued till about 1.30 a.m. It was very seldom that anyone missed work next day. Alcohol was banned by law within half zi mile of a dance hall, but this was not always observed. The local schoolboys knew when the Football Ball was on and were out in force to collect empties. One school teacher of this era relates how, when sitting on the back of a truck clearing the dust from his throat, he was startled at a small figure appearing beside him. ‘Please sir, can l have that bottle when you’ve finished with it, and please sir I’m sorry I wasn’t at school today, but if I get that bottle l’ll be there tomorrow‘.

There was activity on the playing field too with a Sixth grade appearing in 1928 in which year both the Senior championship and Dewar Shields were won. ln this year, a Club Captain appeared for the first time, J. Colbournc being elected.

The next year, 1929 does not appear to have been noteworthy in the Club’s history. However, a lone voice at the Wairarapa Rugby Union’s annual meeting pointed out that this season was the 50th Anniversary of Club Rugby in Wairarapa. There ended the golden jubilee. The club was more intent on having three full rounds of the competition played. This was agreed to by the Wairarapa Union and the season got underway. Three full rounds were not played, as the first game of the third round, Carterton v. Greytown, the Jubilee fixture, saw Carterton win and be so far in front the Union concluded the championship. Oi this Jubilee match, the “Wairarapa Daily News” said: ‘Carterton had to go all out to avoid defeat, but finally emerged winners by the narrow margin of 16 points to I3’. The Carterton team for this fixture was: C. Jensen, P. Burgess, W. Henderson, S. Moore, J. Denby, F. Fitzgerald, I. Hart, M. Campbell, W. Irvine, J. Churchouse, T. Bond. K. Fairbrother, M. Knowles, E. Woodhill, A. Cox, D. Oliver, L. Clark.

On the same (lay that this match was played, New Zealand played Australia at Sydney. Both Carterton and Greytown were represented with Keith Reid in the front row for N.Z. and C. Stringfellow going on as a replacement at half time. Incidentally. Keith Reid became one of the last players from the Carterton Club to be ‘capped’. After 1934, the N.Z.R.F.U. discontinued the practice of awarding caps to test representatives.

In the golden jubilee year. the Junior team was: J. Fitzgerald, W. Taylor, E. Thompson, J. Steffert, W. Dunee, D. Smith, R. Madden, J. Sage, S. Reid, A. Steffen, J. Tnplin, W. Knowles, F. Anderson, B. Halcombe, A. Kay, M. Scott, S. Hart.

The Third grade team was: Butler, Cleland, Denby, Rogers, Taplin, Jensen, Roydhouse, Allen, Hodder, Broome, O‘Loughlin, Udy, Broomc, Rosyth, Johnson, Burden, Blatehforcl.

The Fourths were: McKay, Muir, Boustead, (jollerton, Allen. Brnzendale. Barlow, Holmes, Lipinski, Dwnnc, Booth, Cook, Boustcad, Hall, Crothers, Gallon.

Winners Ryan Cup and Dewar Shield
Back Row: C. Reid (patron). L. Churcliouse, J. Ch\Jl’L‘llUUhL‘. F. Anderson, H. A. McPhee (hon. secretary).
Middle Row: C. /\. Gray (coach), G. Sielleri, M. Knowles, W. Taylor, P. Burgess, C. W. Jensen, W. F. Knowles
Frunt Row: M. Campbell, J. W. Denby, ll. H. Trapp, K. H. Reid (captain), F. Fit7.gerald, T. Lipinski, T. Nickorima.
Absent: D. Oliver, S. Reid.

Fmh gfade Players were: Jensen, Stevens, Millichamp, Dwane, Salisbury, Steffert, Jensen, Reid, Cave, Raymond, Jensen, Palmer, Lipinski, Wiley, Allen, Archer, Pink, Collie.

Sixth grade members were: Lenihan, Reading, Wilkins, Taylor, Rawlings, Quigg, Steffert, Brown, Smith, Crawiey, Boustead, Wiley. Conwell, Playle, Roydhouse. This team did not play very often. During the second half of the season, they either won or lost by default.

These six teams combined to give another win for the Dewar Shield, a feat that was repeated in the following 2 seasons, when the Seniors also won the championship. In 1930, Bill Irvine was the last club ‘cap’ as he played for New Zealand against British Isles. Keith Reid represented North Island in 1929 and 1931.

In 1932, there are several interesting comments in the “Wairarapa Daily News”, referring to a match versus Dalefield it says, ‘There was no quarter given among the forwards. Both sides mixed it very willingly, and at times the ball seemed to be of secondary consideration’. And again of a match versus Masterton, ‘There was far too much talking on the field. In fact the Masterton team stopped talking only twice during the match—the final ten minutes of each spell when they were too puffed for further speech’. And again, ‘The players should take pity on the spectators. Time was when the spectators could comment about the game as it progressed. There was 50 much talk on the field last Saturday that the spectators could not hear themselves speak’.

In 1932 also, the Carterton forwards became known as the ‘Red Devils‘ with newspaper reports stating that they were everywhere. So good was their work that at the end of the season, Carterton was level with Red Star. These two played off for the championship. The match resulted in an 8 all draw, so the teams were re-drawn for the lst of October. There was great jubilation locally when Carterton won. Red Star had appeared to score, but leading referee Jim Blake as line umpire, had his flag raised. Referee Bert McKenzie consulted the line umpire, and after discussion, ruled out the try. Carterton had kicked the ball out, ‘Stars’ took a quick throw in and swept on to score. Jim Blake kept his flag raised as he considered the ball not thrown in from the correct spot. Red Star protested to the Rugby Union on the technicality that the line umpire had his flag raised ‘at the wrong spot’.

The appeal was forwarded to the N.Z.R.F.U., which in rum forwarded it to the International Board. This body gave its verdict in favour of Red Star. Although we lost the championship, we, along with Red Star, are the only Wairarapa clubs to appear in the book “Case Laws of Rugby Union”. It is perhaps ironical that the referee, Bert McKenzie, was in this season president of the N.Z. Referees’ Association. I-Ie had a long career refereeing from 1920-40, during which he controlled 12 Ranfurly Shield matches, a record that stands in our Centennial year. He also won his N.Z. referees’ blazer when he controlled the match New Zealand versus Australia in 1936.

1932 also saw a unique event in the club’s history.

The annual subscriptions were lowered from the previous season, not because the club had too much money, but because, with the depression, players could not afiord to pay more. Fifth and sixth grades disappeared for the same reason.

In 1933, although no championships were won, the Clubs teams did well enough to win the Dewar Shield again. The Seniors again played well and by defeating Featherston 9-5 qualified to play Gladstone in the final. In the final, Carterton won l5—3. This year I933 does not appear on the banner. The match was notable in that a Wellington referee was called in for the match. The Fourth grade also won the championship in this year and once again, the Dewar Shield was retained. This was repeated in 1935-36-37-38. In these years, the club was truly top Wairarapa Club.

The Seniors won the championship in I934 and 1938, the Juniors in I934 and 1938, the Thirds in I935.

The record of club teams in 1938 is:
Played Won Drew Lost
Senior 10 9 1 —
Junior – —
Third – 9
Fourth 3 —

That brought the club to its Diamond Jubilee. Some 250 past and present members assembled for the occasion. The members assembled for a street march led by the Carterton Pipe Hand with the Silver Band half-way down the procession, the parade set off. As it started, so did the rain. Undeterred, the parade continued till it turned off Belvedere Road to go into the Showgrounds when according to the news report, ‘The rain, falling more heavily, caused the parade to be abandoned as members took refuge in a nearby hostelry‘. As was to be expected, the game of the day was against Greytown. As in 1929, both teams had one player each absent, George Brown (Carterton) and Rex Brunton (Greytown) being absent with the Wairarapa team playing Bush. The match was drawn 3 points all.

At its conclusion, the Reid family presented a cup for annual competition between these two old clubs. For his services, Charlie had in this era, been elected a Life Member of the club. The only other unmentioned recipient of this was Wally Hart.

The l940 annual meeting was told, the Diamond Jubilee had been looked forward to with great interest. All functions were well attended and the minute attention to oo:=o $715719

Winners Ryan Cup, Redmond Cup, Reid Cup, Dewar Shield
Back Row: E. Holmes, A. Matheson, N. Trziss, O. Rasmussen, H. Matheson, G. Brown.
Middle Row: B. Catt (club captain), C. Jensen, J. Walker, M.Hurley, D. Aluxancler, T. Harp, W. Crowley, J. Fitzgerald
(line un1pirt:).
Front Row: G. Stcllcrt (hon. secretary), G. Udy, D. Smith (vice captain), F. Fitzgerald (coach and captain), J.Corlctt, A. Reading, A. Reid (president).
In Front: T Lipiriski, J. Tauchcr.

detail assured success. Owing to the adverse weather conditions, all matches, except the Carterton versus Greytown match were cancelled, as was a Gala to be held in conjunction with the Jubilee.

After the wet match, a Smoke Concert was held in the Tea Kiosk. A Church Parade was held on Sunday and the jubilee concluded with a Jubilee Ball.

ln this twenty years, the club had achieved a lot.

Much credit must go to the committees. The various presidents from 1920 were: l. Hodder, W. G. Waterson, W. A. Hart (2 years), T. V. Moore, A. Hall, R. J. Gayfer, A. E. Reid, J. C. Harp (2 years), C. Jensen snr., W. F.Knowles, V. L. Robinson, D. H. I-latton, H. Moore, G. A.Vincent, C. A. Gray, C. Manley, A. E. Reid (2 years), and the secretaries W. A. Hart (3 years), A. D. Barr, T. Curran and A. E. Reid, A. E. Reid (2 years), H. A. McPhee (l0 years), R. J. Whiteman, G. Steffert (2 years).

Credit must also go to the Ladies Committees. It was often said that the strength of the club could be gauged by the strength of the ladies committee. Sixty years had been a long time, the club had come a long way and become recognised as a leader in the field of Rugby.