The Golden Days of Shannon Rugby

In the olden days, people formed in a group or team when they had the same interest. For instance, if a person had lived in Shannon for a very long time and a new person had just moved to Shannon and they had the same interests, they would form a group. This is what happened with the forming our Shannon Rugby Club.
Rugby is a major sport in New Zealand and it started in Shannon, in 1893. There were teams from Otaki and Levin. In the early days our teams played rugby on Stuckey’s Paddock in Levin and on George Woods property in Shannon.
The Shannon Rugby Club was formed in 1899 and is one of the oldest in the Horowhenua Rugby Union.
In 1912 our teams travelled to games mainly by train or by coach to Foxton.
Teams were often delayed by floods on the Foxton route.
The Shannon R.E.C was an amateur athletic association which they competed in high jump,cycling,long jump,running,shot put,discuss,for a name in the news paper.
At the REC there was no skate park. It was just all grass.
When Mr Law was talking he said that the rugby club was good and that there used to be a building on the domain.
In the 1940s the sports club was used mostly for rugby.
Mr Law said he used to play rugby himself.
The Shannon Rugby Club was one of the first to be formed in New Zealand. The first Shannon Club Rooms were burnt down and later rebuilt into new club rooms with toilets, a kitchen and a bar.

We would like to thank Koro Aaron Te Peeti for letting us interview him.
From Bush and Swamp by Marjorie Law
We also want to thank our community that shared their stories and information with us.

Team effort by Temiana (Year 6) and Brad-Lee (Year 5).

Shannon Rugby Club

The Shannon Rugby Club/ R.E.C. has been in the small town Shannon for the past 112 years which is meant to be one of the oldest Rugby Clubs in the Horowhenua Rugby Union .The first chapter in Shannon’s rugby club was played in 1889. Back then the team wore maroon and black. Shannon’s Rugby in the 1915-1918 seasons was severely cancelled because of the World War 2, although a few games were played. Other than that Shannon Rugby has been continuous. The Clubs were also open debt free thanks to former
All Black Player Jack Griffiths in 1966.
In the late 1940 ’s Mayor Fitzgerald decided that it’s time to have a Grandstand, but in-order to have a Grandstand they had to raise money for one. A Queen's Carnival was held which made $5000 dollars. Then a Wellington and Horowhenua team played against one another and over 3,000 people attended which helped raise more money for the Grandstand. An old changing shed used to be there before the Grandstand. The Grandstand cost $17.000 dollars and was built March 30th in the late 1950 ’s
I have interviewed John Williams and asked some questions. One of them was “ Who helps fund the Shannon Rugby Club”
and he replied “ Well everyone in the community does. e.g raffles, Pub charities, stock raising and running events. Part of the reason Shannon Rugby Club is how it is now is because of the tremendous support it receives from the community and with farmers donating meat and other bits really helps. “We’ve got a history of being very well run and we need to be, otherwise we wouldn’t exist,” says club legend John Williams.
In the 1992 season Shannon enjoyed winning a 32 winning streak.
( winning 32 games in a row) which is known to be the longest by any club in the Horowhenua Kapiti Union....
The Shannon Rugby Club was the first in the area to have their own scoreboard and clock. The Shannon Rugby Club rooms were also built in 1966. In 1965 the old sports pavilion was demolished and Shannon Rugby Club was erected on site.
I have enjoyed this experience which is learning about the Shannon Rugby Club this year for the Shannon heritage.

Interviewees: Mr Williams and Mr McKenzie
Book: From Bush to Swamp by Mrs Marjorie Law

By Jamiela (Year 8).