Cambridge club to mark centenary next April

CENTENARY COMING: Cambridge Hockey Club won the South Canterbury Hockey Association senior competition on debut in 1913.
CENTENARY COMING: Cambridge Hockey Club won the South Canterbury Hockey Association senior competition on debut in 1913.

Timaru's Cambridge Hockey Club is set to celebrate its centennial next April and is hoping as many former players as possible will attend.

The club has a proud history, with the senior men's side winning the title 35 times but there has been a drought in recent years, with the last title in 2006.

Cambridge have also impressed over the years in the Walker & Hall Shield, which decides the top club side between Ashburton, Oamaru and Timaru.

First played for in 1932, it has been won by Cambridge 15 times, the last in 2001.

The club records show a meeting was held in Hutchison's Tea Rooms on March 13, 1913 to discuss the advisability of forming a new hockey club in Timaru.

"Mr N B Edwards was voted to the chair and after a brief discussion it was carried unanimously that such a club be formed.

"It was proposed by Mr C Nixon and seconded by Mr Fleck that the club be named ‘Cambridge Hockey Club'.

"It was decided that the club colours would be light blue jerseys and white pants. The subscription was fixed at seven shillings and sixpence for the season."

The first Patron was James Craigie, MP, (whom Craigie Ave was named after) and the first president was John Hole.

In 1913 Cambridge beat St Mary's, Te Rangi and Geraldine to win the competition on debut.

Cambridge centenary committee chairman Ian McEwen said like other organisations, the club had experienced ups and downs but always came out on a level keel.

Over the years the club has had teams in the senior, senior reserve, senior women and schoolboy grades, he said.

At present, however, there were senior and senior reserve men's teams. Cambridge have had three players represent New Zealand.

Ian Armstrong played for Cambridge from 1939-41 and Phil Cassin was a member in 1954.

The most recent was Chris Leslie, who runs the Southern Hockey Academy and is assistant coach of the women's Black Sticks. Their longest-serving president was Percy Clarke, who served for 21 seasons straight.

McEwan said Clarke was well known in Timaru in the 70s and 80s as the "Rawleighs man", selling door-to-door.

Over the years, Cambridge has played against Runanga (West Coast), United (Dunedin), Sydenham (Christchurch) and Redcliffs (Christchurch) in end-of-year tournaments.

The centenary will run for three days from April 12, including a Friday night get-together, past versus present game and formal dinner.

Anyone interested can contact Steve Taylor on 021 873 501 or email Ian at

The Timaru Herald