In 1913, on the 5th May, a public meeting in the hall decided to form a Literary and Debating Society. The annual subscription was fixed at two shillings for gents, ladies free. Mr William Ferris was elected President, A. Tickelpenny, Secretary, and E. Tickelpenny, Treasurer.
The first debate was "Should bachelors be taxed?". The majority spoke in the negative.
After six meetings the Society was disbanded owing to lack of support.
The beginning of Federated Farmers in Tauwhare are unclear as there are no early records. However, in the late 1940's the Waikato Provincial District of Federated Farmers was formed as a breakaway movement from the Auckland Farmers' Union. District branches were set up and the first Chairman of the Tauwhare Branch was T. P. Coles.
In 1955, Mr and Mrs L. M. Wood and family arrived from the Manawatu having purchased the property now farmed by Mr L. Main. In the same year Mr Wood became Chairman of the local branch, serving with flair and dedication until he sold his farm and retired to Hamilton in 1973. He had retired as Branch Chairman in 1971 but Mr Ron Shaw, his successor, failed in health and died early in 1973, so Malcolm Wood was back in the chair briefly until he was farewelled. Having an incisive mind and being a witty public speaker, it was natural that Malcolm should gravitate to farming politics. He became a member of the influential political and economic Committee of the Waikato Province of Federated Farmers, as well as being provincial Vice-President. The political and economic committee produced the cost adjustment scheme which became provincial policy. The aim was to maintain farming incomes by increasing subsidies on cost inputs (fertiliser, etc.) and thus to counter downturns in nett returns on farm produce. In the belief that Members of Parliament in the National Government of the day were ineffectual in safeguarding farmers' economic position, the Committee urged support for independent candidates in the 1972 election. However, a motion moved at the Tauwhare Branch to support farmer independents was lost.
Notes from the Minutes.
1972. Waikato Farmers Traders Society (Inc.) was in receivership. Reasons suggested were under capitalisation and mismanagement. Farmer share holders had failed to increase share capital.
1973. Mr B. Robertson was Chairman and K. Hoult Secretary. A severe drought was noted. The Waikato County Council was asked to mark lanes for traffic turning from Highway 26 into Ruakura Road. This was done following widening of the road.
1975. Mr K. Hoult, Chairman. Mr George Ranstead urged the County Council to protect a 28 acre stand of kahikatea between Matangi and Tamahere.
1977. The amount of violence shown on television was noted and the branch demanded a reduction.
1978. Chairman, K. Hoult, suggested better liaison between workers and management at freezing works would be a good idea "otherwise workers tend to become bloody minded".
Of recent years, falling attendances have resulted in infrequent meetings. The Branch, however, stlll exists.
Farm Labour Group (Inc.)
This organisation came into existence early in 1956. The State Advances Corporation handed over the employee's house, and rent was due as from the 2nd March 1956. The first ballot of members for the services of the employee, took place on the 27th March. Twenty farmers participated in the draw and all had to be members of Federated Farmers. The first employee was Mr J. N. Pope, who resigned in August 1957 when he began a 15 year term at Mulholland's piggery.
Chairman of the group from its inception to early 1973 was L. M. Wood. Then Mr F. B. Lamb became Chairman, a position he still holds. Secretaries have been Mr N. F. Innes 1956-77, Mr A. Fotheringham 1977-82, and Mr G. Langley. Twenty four farmers are members. Employees after Jack Pope have been A. H. Farr, D. N. Gibbs, T. Plooy and T. M. Luders. Trevor Luders has been employed since June 1960, surely a record for such an organisation.
Loyal Tauwhare Lodge
Manchester Unity Independent Order of Oddfellows is a friendly society which was founded in Britain last century when conditions were hard and medical help was expensive. The movement flourished and when members migrated to New Zealand the M.U.I.O.O.F. came too and prospered here also. The idea was that small contributions be made regularly by all members so that when sickness occurred benefits could be paid out. It was emphasized that these were "just dues and not in any way charity". Members were also required to help each other mutually when adversity struck. Meetings of Lodges were conducted under a strict code of behaviour and ritual which is relatively unchanged today. The motto of the Lodge is "Friendship - Love - Truth". Nowadays, with a welfare state, the original aim of mutual help to people in need, has largely disappeared, but the Order still survives and has adapted to changing times.
Loyal Tauwhare Lodge opened on the 13th June 1935 as a branch of Morrinsville Lodge. Presiding as Noble Grand was Bro. Harry Kirkman, assisted by Bros. Werner (Vice-Grand) Whittley (Secretary), R. J. Scott (Financial Secretary). In attendance were Sister Kirkman and Bros. J. Reese, N. Ferris, R. Ramsay, I. Neil, A. Reid, R. Reese, A. Mitchell. Meetings were held fortnightly and were well supported so that on the 25th May 1938 the lodge became an independent entity - Loyal Tauwhare Lodge No. 9744. Officers were Bro. R. Ramsay (Noble Grand) Bros. Kirkman, Kirkbride, Scott, J. Spencer, N. Ferris Wheatly, Jamieson, Whittley, Fraser, Davies and sisters Kirkbridge and M. Ramsay. On this occasion the District Grand Master, Bro. Mackay, was present.
For the next three years the Lodge prospered, but with many members overseas in the war, it went into recess from the 16th February 1942 until the 21st November 1945. From the beginning the Lodge owed much to Bro. R. J. Scott of Morrinsville who was a tower of strength and later became New Zealand Grand Master.
For 10 years after the war the Lodge had a golden era, as the premier organisation in Tauwhare. Nearly all the young people became members on reaching 16 years. They learned to conduct meetings, observe and recite ritual, and served their time in the chairs. Inter-Lodge Ritual competitions helped to improve performance.
From the sixties onwards, as diversification of activities occurred, there was a steady decline in membership and attendance. Despite this the M.U.I.O.O.F. is a sound society financially and survives throughout the land.
Many local members gave outstanding service. The Financial Secretary always had a big job. These have been Bro. R. J. Scott, Sister M. Kirkman, Bros. O. W. Howe, G. Dingle, T. Luders. For outstanding efforts in the social activities one must mention Bro. Ivan Bennett, and the Wheatly and Howe families.
Country Women's Institute
This began in Tauwhare in October 1934 when 18 women joined after hearing the aims and activities explained by Mrs Robson of the Waikato Federation. Mrs P. E. Dingle was elected President. The next month 15 more women enrolled and by the end of the first year there were 44 members.
For the first 15 years when cars were few and later petrol was rationed, many women walked or cycled to meetings, and guest speakers had often to be met at the bus on Highway 26. However, attendances were good and morale high. Activities at meetings included demonstrations, speakers and cooking, sewing and floral competitions. Entertainment was arranged by junior or unmarried members. Institute birthday parties, Christmas parties and Flower Shows became annual events.
In 1935 a link was formed with Walton-on-Thames, England. Letters were exchanged and during World War II and for a few years afterwards, food parcels were sent.
Over the years much good work was done to support the Sunshine League, Lepers, the Nest, children at Tokanui, and Christopher Park. During the war years the Red Cross was supported, parcels were sent to soldiers and money raised for patriotic funds. The Waikato Federation was supported through their stalls at Waikato Winter Shows, and by involvement in group meetings, drama and choral festivals. Later, local activities included a garden circle and a golden thread book for recording items of interest.
Membership reached a peak of 73 in 1954. Then a long slow decline began until Institute was disbanded in March 1973. Presidents were Mesdames I. Dingle, M. Lynds, J. Allwood, Daisy Pope, H. E. Middlemas, V. E. Goodare, G. M. McInnes, I. Eva, A. M. Lovelock, D. Parker, E. Mulholland, P. Chitty, J. Skinner, B. Bargh, Esme Pope, Val Mellish, Joy Mulholland, Doreen Lovelock, Dena Wisnewski, Joy Hoult, Marion Claridge, Zelda Pope, Jean Carmont, Margaret Lang, Lenva Lochhead, Isabel Wood, Molly Sattrup.
WOT (Women of Tauwhare)
When the Womens' Institute went into recess, a small group of women felt that some kind of informal gatherings for women should still be available. So WOT was born in 1973, without any rules or membership fees. One, two or three conveners have been elected each year, and they try to arrange get togethers, monthly if possible, at which all women are welcome. Costs such as tea and biscuits and the occasional hall hire have been met by everyone contributing a silver coin at each meeting attended. The times of meetings have been varied so that all women should be able to attend from time to time. Programmes have also been varied, e.g. coffee mornings to enable women to meet and chat; afternoon or evening meetings with speakers or demonstrators on a wide variety of topics - health and beauty, gardening and floral art, home-making, arts and crafts, etc.; outings to visit gardens and picnic spots outside the district, etc.
Over the years two traditions have developed. The first is Flower Day held in Spring or early Summer, when women can display their talents for growing or arranging flowers, without a competitive atmosphere. Sometimes themes have been chosen, and some magnificent displays have been arranged about Countries, Festivals, Jewels of the Crown , Spring, Silver Jubilee of the Hall, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Favourite Songs, etc. The second tradition is to arrange an outing and afternoon tea for the old folk from Tamahere Eventide Home and Assissi Home. Often the two traditions have been combined and the old people have been brought to the hall to see the flowers.
Now in its 12th year, WOT seems still to be filling a need for companionship among women of the district. Conveners have been Monica Nicholl, Jan Lamb, Isabel Walker, Margaret Lang, Val Mellish, Joy Hoult, Shirley Jamieson, Madge Langley, Frances McLeary, Meg Badger, Gloria Borrell, Thelma Auld, Ettie Silvester, Nita Berry.
Military Service in World Wars
Upon the wall, just inside the entrance door to the Tauwhare School, hangs the Roll of Honour, listing men from the district who died in World War I. Alfred Tickelpenny, William Adams, Clarence Eyre, John Guest, George Guest, Percy Deaville, Gilbert Lynds, Arthur Field and Albany Field were all killed in action or died of wounds. These nine men from such a small district as Tauwhare, emphasize the shocking casualty lists of that war. Of 103,000 who served overseas 16,700 died. The total population of New Zealand was just over 1,100,00.
The Roll of Honour for World War II is in the War Memorial Hall. J. B. Honan died while serving in the army and A. M. (Max) McInnes, an airman, was also killed. Those who served overseas and returned were: Matron D. I. Brown, C. D. Bryant, J. J. Dingle, W. M. Dingle, J. Davis, W. J. Goodare, D. M. Hughes, A. H. Hansen, T. W. Honan, B. G. Mulholland, T. Neil, R. J. L. Nicholls, A. S. Playle, A. M. Read, M. W. Read, R. H. Read, R. M. Ranstead, R. A. Ramsay, R. J. Sattrup, A. T. Shaw, B. R. Shaw, D. Stevens, and F. Thompson.
Military Service - Home Guard
According to one member of A Platoon, the Home Guard in Tauwhare existed for the purpose of swapping yarns. However, it did have a serious purpose which was to do everything possible to halt or at least delay the progress of invading Japanese whose arrival was thought imminent in 1942.
Home Guard began as a civilian organisation, became part of the military forces on the 30th July 1941, and was placed on reserve at the end of 1943 when the would be invaders were being chased back home. Captain W. W. Goodare was in charge of two platoons plus a mounted troop, and his second-in-command was Lieutenant R. Ranstead. Sergeant Tom Parker and Corporal Len Skinner were attached to A Platoon and Sergeant Albert Smith was senior N.C.O. of B. Platoon. T. P. Coles was in charge of an independent mounted troop of 10 men, formed later. The company paraded outside the old hall at least once a week.
At least two camps were held, the troops sleeping in a shed on what is now Alan Browne's farm at the head of the Scotsman's Valley. There, two machine guns were sited in pits, one each side of the road. The aim was to block entry to the valley from the east. Camps were also held on D. V. Bryant's farm, being managed at the time by Sergeant T. Parker.