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  • Keith Newman

Haumoana Basketball’s Long Game

The Haumoana Basketball Club which had its origins as a social club in 1945, celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1995 when it was wondered, whether those original players could ever have imagined the hundreds of others would have a chance to play for the team over the following decades.

The meeting to form the club was held in the Haumoana Hall on Tuesday 7 May, 1946 but the teams were too late to enter into club matches that year so it was decided to ask various teams around the district for friendly matches.

It wrote to the secretary of the Haumoana Beach Improvement Society for the use of the picnic ground at Black Bridge and to ask for the release of funds from the Haumoana Football Club which were held in its account. The girls all agreed to bring threepence to each club night to pay for the lights in the hall. Lorraine Lindsay (Emmerson) who was elected to the committee that night, went on to become the Haumoana coach through until the name change to Haumoana Netball Club in 1969.

Over the years the club fielded two or three teams a season as part of the Hastings Association and often went around the country playing in Masterton, Gisborne, Stratford, Wanganui and elsewhere.

In a report on the 50th jubilee, attended by ex-players from throughout New Zealand and Australia, former club member Delwynne Cameron said Haumoana never trialled its players and it still doesn’t. “Whoever turns up gets a game…It has remarkably few coaches — seven only, and many original players now have daughters and granddaughters who play. It has always been like a family…In fact the history of the club is a bit like the history of Haumoana,” she said.

Prior to establishing their own hard court players had to take a bus from Haumoana to Hastings depot and then walk to Ebbett Park.

They bought home many wins and always impressed in their smart “uniforms of grey skirts, white blouses, red cardigans, black blazers and black shoes”

Hawke’s Bay County councillor, Mr. J. Tucker, had declared the new basketball courts at Haumoana open in July 1961. The club had been saving and planning for its new hard court which was achieved with the help of the Haumoana Progressive Association, the Park Committee and the county riding member, Mr. Tucker.

Grand opening of the new Haumoana, Cape Coast, Hawke's Bay, Basketball court in July 1961

It was one of the few clubs in the village that had not gone into recess at some stage. It was hoped the Basketball Association would class the new courts as “home” courts so the local club could make full use of them and not have to travel to Hastings every Saturday.

The original Haumoana Basketball Team, 1941

The original 1946 Haumoana Basketball Club: Back row: L. Scott; L. Lindsay, J. Krebs, M. Kirk, D. Castles. Front row: R. Twort, I. Bowler, P. O’Brien and J. McKeesick. Note the willows at the park end where the second Black Bridge was eventually land to provide better access to the Cape Coast.

The Haumoana, Cape Coast, Hawke's Bay, Basketball "A" Team on Opening Day of the 1961 Season

Haumoana Basketball team 1960: Back row: V. Hatherall, W. Kean, B. Preston, S. Haycock, Front row: L. Townsend, G McDonald, M. Hatherall, R. Earle.

The Haumoana, Cape Coast, Hawke's Bay Basketball Team in 1960

The Haumoana A Team on opening day July 1961: Back row: Dale Osborne, Violet Hatherall, Hazel McLeod, Roslyne Earl, Joan Grogan, Lorraine Emmerson (coach). Front row: Gay McDonald, Gillian Oliver, Lynne Townsend and Shirley Haycock (captain).

1990 Reunion for the Life Members of the Haumoana, Cape Coast, Hawke's Bay, Basketball Team

Life members 1990 reunion: Back row: Ruby Birth, Neta Manning, Beth Townsend, Delwynne Cameron, Joyce Butcher, Barbara Jensen, Middle row: Lorraine Emmerson, Rosemary Stanley. Front row: Shirley Randell, Lynne Townsend and Rosalynne Wilson.

Sources: Hawke’s Bay Photo News, The Hawke's Bay Publishing Company Ltd, July 1961, p.45, Hawke’s Bay Knowledge Bank Haumoana Netball Club to celebrate 50 years, The Dominion, July 1995 Notes and scrapbook Delwynne Hall (nee Butcher)

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