THE THAMES (NZ): Calendar of the town's history

What makes Thames special? What dates should we remember?

Important dates may include a wide variety of things. Such as openings of buildings, the first time something happened or the last! Things that you may stop and say, "I wonder when that happened?"

This will be a work in progress, so check back for updates from time to time.

1867:
  • July 30 - Official Proclamation, Thames Goldfield. (1)
  • August 1 - Thames Goldfield opened and first boat load of miners and officials arrived late evening, most may not have come ashore until the following day due to bad weather.
  • August 7 - First Miner's Right issued to Samuel HAMILTON.
  • August 10 - First official gold find following the proclamation, known as the Shotover Claim
1868:
  • January 1 - Caledonian Games on Shortland flat
  • November 2 - Thames Goldfields Hospital officially opened. (2)

1869:
  • August 1 - Tararu Lighthouse turned on for first-time. (5)
1871:
  • Census Thames Electorate 12,000 (boundaries unclear). (1)
1872:
1873:
  • November - The Thames was gazetted as the "Borough of Thames." (2)
1874:
  • March 25 - First Thames Borough Council was elected. (2)
  • April 15 - First official meeting of the Thames Borough in the upstairs of the Government buildings, Queen Street. (2)
  • First Mayor of Thames was William Davies. (2)
1876:

1877:
  • State School System began with the Education Act 1877. (1)
1878:
  • January 25 - New Tararu School opened.
  • May 15 - Waiokaraka School opened, Thames School closed.
  • December 21 - First sod turned for Thames Railway. (5)
1879:
  • October 23 - Thames Orphanage opened, Kauaeranga Valley.

1880:
  • April 5 - first pupils enrolled at Thames High School. (1)
  • April 12 - Thames High School Officially opened. (1)
 1885:
  • November - School of Mines inaugurated. (1)
1890:
  • January 25 - First introductory lecture, Thames School of Mines held in Gresham Hall
  • August 16 - School of Mines building opened, lectures started 17th (Cochrane Street building)

1890:
  • Thames Miners' Union formed. (5)

1892:
  • August 4 - First Arbor Day, planting of trees at Tararu (5)
  • Electricity in Surgical Ward, Thames Hospital. (5)
  • Thames Telephone Exchange opened. (5)
1893:
  • Georgina Burgess (wife of Registrar), first Thames Woman to vote in the elections.
  • December - Thames Orphanage Closed.
1898:
1902:
  • November 10 - Band Rotunda at Victoria Park opened.
  • Kauaeranga Girls School closed, pupils sent to Parawai.
1914:
  • Electricity supply for Thames households. (5)
  • December : Kauaeranga Boys School closed.

1915:
  • May 25 - Thames High School new building opened in Sealey Street, on old Kauaeranga Baillie Street School site.
1916:
  • April 25 - First ANZAC Commemoration in Central Hall (5)
1917:
  • February - Major flood. (2)
1918:
  • November - Town hit with the flu epidemic.

1920:
  • February 17 - First trial of Airmail Post (5)
1924:
  • September - start to constructing concrete strip Pollen St

1925:
  • April 25 - Peace Memorial on Waiotahi Hill unveiled.

1928:
  • May 11 - Hauraki Bridge officially opened (4)
  • June 4 - Rhodes Park officially opened (3)
1929:
  • December 19 - Diamond Jubilee Children's Playground opened

1938:
  • January 28 - New Post Office central Pollen Street opened
1954:
  • May 3 - School of Mines Closed.
  • October 9 - 'New" Nurses Home, Thames Hospital opened
1962:
  • New classrooms built at Thames South School
  • April - schools take part in Oral Poliomyelitis Vaccination' programme
  • Thames Free Kindergarten built at Grey Street, Thames
1963:
  • Thames Hospital Ward Block (facing Mackay Street) opened 9th August 1963
1966:
  • Sept/Oct Regent Theatre old Central Hall demolished and new Supermarket opened under new Municipal Building corner Mary and Pollen Streets.
1967:
  • March 6 - Parawai School opened for pupils, official opening 24th June 1967.
  • March 23 - Official opening of Kopu-Hikuai Road
  • August - Thames Goldfield's centennial commemorations
1968:
  • April 8 - Unveiling of the Town Clock, above the Municipal Building, corner Mary & Pollen Street, Thames
1969:
  • April - Work began on the Lion's Club redevelopment of the Children's Playground at Porritt Park, Queen Street, Thames.
1971:
  • December - School Reunions held at Tararu and Kopu Schools. Three schools closed (Kopu, Central and Tararu) pupils to go to the new Moanataiari School.
 1972:
  • February 2 - Moanataiari School opened for pupils.
  • May 27 - Moanataiari School officially opened by Hon. H L Pickering, Minister of Education.
1973:
  • Thames Borough Centennial
  • May 27 - Moanataiari School officially opened by Hon. H L Pickering, Minister of Education.
  • October 18th - THS Gymnasium opened by Mr F Burke.
1989:
  • November 15 - Pak'n Save Supermarket opened Goldfields Mall
  • November c24-28- Old Kauaeranga Wooden Bridge dismantled.
1990:
  • June 1 - Thames Library's new Mackay Street building opened
  • November 7 - Goldfields Shopping Centre opened. (Pak'n Save opened 1989). (5)
2009:
  • April 15 - The Treasury (Thames Coromandel Heritage Trust) opened Queen Street
2017:
  • February 28 - Thames High School Wharenui building officially opened.
  • April 1 - New Skate park opened at the northern end of Porritt Park, Queen Street
 References:
(1) Thames Diamond Jubilee Souvenir 1867 1927
(2) Thames Borough Centenary 1873 1973, L P O'Neill (Editor)
(3) Thames Star Newspaper 5 June 1928
(4) Thames Star Newspaper 11 May 1928
(5) Thames 'Firsts': Special Events on the Thames Goldfields, Althea Barker
(6) Men of Metal,C W Vennell. Wilson & Horton Ltd.