Talking about Sports
It is interesting to look at the advances made by Maoris in sports in the last generation. It has been particularly noticeable that whereas Maoris once concentrated mainly on Rugby football they are now taking prominent places in the other sports.
This is probably a direct result of the much discussed ‘drift’ to the cities and larger country towns. Rugby is played in all districts. Even the smallest rural area has its football club, but not all have the facilities to be able to cater for other sports.
Although it is not for me to argue the pros and cons of whether or not the Maori should become a city dweller, I do think that active and successful participation in all forms of recreation will do a lot towards fostering greater racial amity. The Maori is likely to remain a racial minority group for a long time, but I see no reason why, in the long run, they should not become as thoroughly accepted as are many of the present groups of minority interest. For example the farmer, the R.S.A., the various religious denominations and the varying political interests, are all minority groups, even pressure groups, but all contain a fairly representative cross section of the general community.
The recently concluded Maori golf championship, the annual tennis championships, the very successful athletic tournament and the popular hockey and basketball tournaments are all indications of the widening interest shown
by Maoris in sport. Not only is interest widening, but also the standard of proficiency is improving.
To-day golf is played, and played well, by many hundreds of Maoris. Tori Jones and his late brother, Walley, were regular and popular figures at New Zealand National tournaments. The Greys and Winterburns from Otaki Lane also played top class golf. Tori Jones had the distinction of leading the field at the end of the second round in the 1952 open at Belmont recently, and if his putting were in the same class as his long game he could possibly have been the ultimate winner. Lui Paewai, notable as a member of the 1924 ‘Invincibles’, is now making a reputation as a golfer also.
Dick Pelham, another football star of the past, has found considerable success at surf swimming and competitive life saving. Dick has represented New Zealand in these sports and is now a valued administrator.
John and Peter Smith, the North Auckland football idols, have won reputations as tennis players and cricketers of above average ability.
Not many Maoris have shown interest or ability at cricket, but since the war the number playing has noticeably increased. My knowledge is confined mainly to Wellington, but I can recall only Jimmy Ell as a first class cricketer. It is of note also that Jimmy still holds the Wellington record for highest score. Last year the Auckland Plunket Shield team included a highly promising Maori colt in Doug Hemi, and it is most significant that there are at least two Maori girls playing representative women's cricket.
Among the women, Rangi Corbett won the distinction of representing the North Island at outdoor basketball this year. She is, I think, the first Maori to earn selection since Meg Matangi captained New Zealand nearly 20 years ago.
Pat Anglem, of Bluff, has won fame on an international level at our newest sport—archery. She won the 1951 sea-fab International Mail Contest against the outstanding archers of the world; she contested the event again this year and I understand was placed second.
Moana Manley is showing exceptional promise as a junior swimmer and could become our first Maori Olympic candidate.
The women's sporting commentator at Wellington radio station, 2ZB, is a Maori who has
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represented her province at indoor basketball and women's cricket.
These are just some of the people who are making careers in sport, and the success they are achieving is reflecting credit on the Maori race as a whole.
Let us hope that the progress will be maintained and that before long we shall find Maoris figuring in all representative teams to the same extent as they do in Rugby.
EASTER TENNIS TOURNAMENT
Easter is the time set for the big annual tournament of the Maori Lawn Tennis Association. It will be held at Rotorua, and arrangements are in the hands of the Arawa Lawn Tennis Association.
The women's championship is at present held by Miss Dadu Morrison (Arawa), and the men's championship by W. Keys (Rohe Potae).
Other results at last year's championships were: Men's Doubles, B. Penny and C. McLaughlin (Matatua); Women's Doubles, Miss P. Davis and Miss T. Royal (Arawa); Combined Doubles, D. Webby and Miss Dadu Morrison (Arawa); Boys' Singles, M. Harvey (Horouta); Girls' Singles, Miss K. Hamiora (Arawa).
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QUEEN VICTORIA SCHOOL
In 1953 Queen Victoria School will have existed for fifty years. Celebrations to commemorate this will be held at the school on June 12, 13 and 14. Past pupils throughout New Zealand are asked to send their names and addresses to the school as soon as possible, so they may be advised of the arrangements.
ST. PETER'S CELEBRATES SILVER
In June this year, St. Peter's Maori College, Northcote, will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of its foundation as a School of Catechists. It is planned to commemorate this occasion with a Silver Jubilee Celebration, which would have as its main feature a re-union of all old boys of the college, since its commencement, in 1928, until the present time. Old boys wishing to attend and not yet invited should send their names and addresses to the college.
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The development of 2757 acres of Maori land at Ngaiotonga (Northland) has been approved by Cabinet. Tentatively, it is thought the land will carry eleven dairy farms and two sheep farms. Cost of development to the settlement stage is estimated to be £44 per acre.