1960 — 1969
Unlike the other divisions in our history, the 1960 beginning is not clear cut. Each twenty years had brought a clear change, first with the re-formation of the club in 1900 and the two wars in 1920 and 1940. The 1960 change was a very gradual one and the change has had very great consequences. This change was the drift to other areas. This had started as a drift in the late 1950s but became more pronounced in the 1960s and 70s. In these years, the Carterton Club fielded primary school boys teams. These were very popular and well patronised by the local boys. At secondary age, the club put one team each year into the colleges. Of these twenty players, we seldom get more than five back. Where do they go? The Carterton club, along with the others in the area is affected by the drift to larger centres.

Unfortunately it is the leaders who go. The club has been affected first in its playing numbers, secondly in the numbers of leaders in the club ranks. This lack of leadership has led to a development of apathy. ln the final twenty years there has been only one occasion when an election for the committee has been necessary. On more occasions it has been impossible to fill all the vacancies.

Another field where apathy has been shown is in the support of club functions. The first of these to go was the Annual Ball. This slowly died through lack of support. Once the Kings Theatre was packed with dancers, the hall being so full that few men could find a seat, Numbers declined till at the final ball to be held, nine couples attended. Where it was rare to find more than one absentee from the two oldest teams, by the end of the ball era it is obvious that player support had disappeared.

Another club venture to slowly die was the ‘Ladies Night‘ Presentation of Trophies. This had started in 1948 as an occasion when the club could express its thanks to the ladies who had worked so well to provide the supper for the ball. At this first function, ninety-fivc per cent of the club’s players attended. Refreshments consisted of 4% gallons of beer. Supper was provided and served by the committee. Admission was free. The function rapidly increased in popularity. Admission remained the same, but by the early l960‘s lack of interest was again evident, and by 1965 about twenty players would attend. An effort was made to inject some life into the presentation and this worked for a while. The change ? Paying for the function instead of it being free.

From the 1970’s, however, number again dwindled until insufficient interest in club functions caused a further change. This was provided by having a club Get-‘Together on a Sunday and present the trophies there. The trial lasted one season.

In 1965, the club started to hold cabarets. These were first held in the clubrooms but soon outgrew the available room. A change to the King’s Theatre and later Municipal Hall allowed for more to attend. The halls were filled at the beginning, but again there has been a gradual decline in support. The change has been gradual but sure, and must provide the greatest challenge for the future.

The 1960’s came in with seniors and juniors well up in their competition, thirds in the middle and fourths and fifths struggling. Grades below seventh were at usual strength. Fourth and fifths continued to struggle for a year or two till it was found to be impossible to field teams in what has since been known as ‘College Grades’. Thc club then became really divided in two with neither half having much knowledge of what the other half was doing. This artificial break has not helped to strengthen the club. In 196], Carterton won its last senior championship. The juniors also were at the top of their grade. This team had some very good ‘tussels’ with Pioneer. They applied ‘ which although perfectly fair, seemed to infuriate tactics , the Maori boys.

Carterton always had senior referees to control these matches. In 196], the team had to surround the referee to shield him from the hostile spectators. N0 one bothered to change, but all grabbed their gear and moved hastily home.

At this stage, the seniors and juniors would entertain the opposition with a few drinks in a corner of the Clubrooms. Not very elaborate but a start.

In 1963, Margaret McKenzie and Helen Blake made history. After the first home match, they moved in and provided tea and biscuits at the after match function. Before this, no wives dared enter the clubrooms. Instead they sat outside waiting for their husbands to emerge at 5.30. This brave move, unpopular in many quarters, led to the After Match Functions that were among the best in the district up to the Centennial.

By 1964, the changing rooms had become too small, so further rooms were added. 1964 also saw a Jubilee Function held. The functions opened with a Jubilee Ball attended by over 300 people. On Saturday, games were played, with a parade to the Cenotaph in the afternoon. A dinner and dance were held in the evening and then on Sunday was a Church Parade followed by a game between Alan Blake‘s XV and Centurions. 1964 also saw the seniors beaten in the final match with Gladstone. The following season, the feat was repeated, this time by losing to Featherston.

The latter part of the 1960’s saw the idea of an overseas trip germinate. Fund raising started. This was igwainly hay carting. ln the first two summers. some 50,000 aes Pf hay were carted. The revenue was there and fi”a”Y “1 1968 the trip to Australia took place. This was largely a club team as it was not possible to field a complete team from any grade;‘The grades by this time had started to change. A 59″”)? B grade had been introduced. Carterton had supported this and entered a team. Unfortunately, this left many players Iof junior rank without a game and many left the club to join others. This has had a profound effect on the club over the last fifteen years.

Winners of Wairarapa Championship
Back Row: R. Lerlihun (<;uacl1), K. Te lliwi, A. Whirtornbe, 0. Cummings, D. Crawley, D. Brunton, S. Mason, 5- Fcll» sishnt coach) T. Fell (as. .’ t ‘ – _ \ B d Middle Row: A. J. Mckemic (president). W_- Y-1*1Y°‘ll»t1‘;‘i-n)y‘“‘R: A. Ewington (vice captain), W- M111″ (WP, ‘ M Muorhead T Geangc (club captain). Te Hiwi, . . – _ ~ I’|T>CI1, G. Lcmhan, P.
Front Row: S. Yule, G. Moorcotk, P. 4K