Kenneth (Ken) Udy Treseder (County Club) Interview

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Interviewer:  Leslie Morgan


Well, I was born in 1933 and my parents and siblings - Edna and Gilbert Treseder, and Rae and Nola were my two sisters. I had some children, Stephen, Karen and Andrew. Dad used to be a member of the Club before I ever joined of course, and so I joined.

I was educated at Crownthorpe School, and that was a little country school. I think there were twenty-eight people there, and that was all. And then I went from there - we had to have boarding schools 'cause there was no buses or anything going to town, so I had to board. No, no, there was one person. My father wanted to send me to Wanganui and I said “no - I know a fellow that's going there and I don't like him.” [Chuckle] So ... tossed up between Wellington and Nelson College, and I ended up in Nelson College.

My occupation? Is a sheep and beef farmer. My father had the farm before me and then I was … being the only son I managed to take it over from him. Went to State Advances and got some loans from them and set up my own farm. And then a few years later I bought another couple hundred acres and that helped things.

I didn't have any military experience - I mucked my knee up when I was playing football when I was about seventeen - eighteen. And that was the end of my football for that, so that was it.

As far as the County Club goes, I remember when I joined - at the time it was 1963 and I was twenty-nine years of age and I had a lot of good friends in the Club there. There was oh … many friends, and we used to go and drink at the old Hastings pub, in there - it was next to the railway line, next to the clock tower. When I joined the Club it was very much better and much more ... nicer, and other friends were there as well, so it was good. Oh, there was many friends there - Rick Train and Campbell Jackson and oh - there's too many to mention really - Stuart Monteith and … You used to go along to the Club there on a Wednesday after the sale, and sometimes I'd go in on a Friday. It wasn't always a Wednesday and a Friday because we lived twenty-two miles out in the country and it was quite a business to go out there.

But the reason I really joined the Club was my father was there and his friends, so I carried on. And the snooker and billiards Championships - there were trophies there for that, but - I think I won one trophy in snooker way back. I can't remember what it was now. That was what I used to do.

'When did I like to visit the Club? [?] day or day of the week?' Well, as I say it was Wednesdays after the sale sort of thing and sometimes if we were in town on a Friday I'd go in there, and … you know, I had children of course. It was a bit awkward because they had to … my wife had to look after them and - I couldn't stay there all the time. But you know, she had a good place at the Hawke's Bay Farmers' Stock Agents, and there was a room up there where they used to take children. You had to pay for a certain amount and they'd take little wee children up there, and wives could go around shopping and then go and collect them later in the car and go back home again sort of thing.

Then the servants in the Club - they were great people. There was one I remember, Dick Burfield, he was a good fella. I can't remember the other names of them but there were two chaps there. You know, if someone wanted to come - one of our members, say - with their wives or someone else, they'd press a button at the front door; they'd ask for Mr Treseder, and they'd go away - they'd leave them there - they wouldn't invite them in, no way they'd invite them in, and they'd go and get the person they wanted ... me or whoever it was … and then I'd go out there and see what the story was. But there was none of these – you know, people just couldn't walk into the Club. You had to – I mean, a member could, yes, but a non-member – they had to ring the bell. And there was a little room out there for visitors and it would be a third of the size of this room. And you used to ... sometimes we'd take our wives in there if the children were okay. I remember when I first arrived, my father used to go in there with someone, you know. But you know, you'd have about half a dozen to eight people, and there was a crowd in there, you know? But it was good. That was what we expected, and then later on the Club got very popular - 'cause all the stock agents, they were all in the Club but they didn't pay - the firms paid them to get in there. And it was - that was the thing. All the stock agents used to come in there especially after the sale or something, they'd come in and talk about it, 'cause they'd try to get some clients you see, or talk with outside clients and ... that was it - that's what they used to do. But it was – no, it was very good.

There was one ... I just remembered, there was a fellow in there, Gordon Amner, he was a character. He was a 2nd World War veteran, and he used to be a gunner in these Lancaster bombers. And he was a character of a fella. But he used to tell us stories - he said one time, coming from England and going to Malta - that's an island off Italy there - you know where Malta is? And they were shot at or something, and there was hardly any petrol left in the tank and they just managed to get down and they managed to land before the petrol ran out, sort of thing, [chuckle] so – just one of those things, but he was a character of a fellow - scrapes he used to get into, my gosh ... in the Bombers, you know ... it was amazing.

What else is there? There was the Card room, Reading room, Lounge. The lounge – oh, I didn't use that much at all. I know there's one old fella, he used to go in there and he'd sleep in there sort of thing, you know [chuckle]. Well, he just about ... had a big couch and big arm chairs there and you'd lie down there and go to sleep sort of thing sometimes. [Chuckle] But that's what there was.

And the Card room - my father was very keen on cards. I never played cards. Father was keen on cards and he used to go in there with old Mick Thomson and Harry Blackmore and few of these old identities, and they'd have a good time and go back into the bar and have a drink or two and then go home. So it was good fun. And in those days there was about oh, five hundred members there, at the Club. It came down to about a hundred and sixty or something at the very finish, and we had to sell it.

And 'were any wives were invited to any occasions there?' Well, any time we had an occasion - when the kids were little my wife didn't go, and I didn't go much at all. It was just because ... you know, we had a do at the Club there, so we could get babysitters, well we'd get babysitters and we'd join in, you know - it'd be good fun.

'The U-shaped bar made of macrocarpa' - that was very later on, because that was put in by Grieve - the boy Grieve. He donated this macrocarpa for this bar but as I say … see we used to have two - way back we had two fires – there was one fire for the Reading room and another fire for the Dining area and the bar, and there was a wall between the two of them, you see - that was the Reading room on one side and the bar on the other side. That's what we used to have, but then later on when they did these alterations - they thought it was a good idea - they put the bar … pulled down the wall between the bar and the Reading room and then they created all one room. It was a very big area then. But you know, times change and people change, and that was it.

But oh, gosh - my father – he used to go there sometimes, and one time he was late home and Mum was saying, “Your father's not home yet”. I said “oh, what's the time?” It was about one o'clock in the morning, and anyhow he arrived eventually home and … “where were you?” “I was looking at budgies” he said [chuckle] “at one of the fella's places” - but I don't know - that's what he said, he was looking at budgies, but they must have had a few whiskies or something. [Laughter] Oh, dear. Well, lots of funny things went on.

The bar, yeah - it came from the Pacific Hotel - the later part that came in, yes, yes. And the meals served at the Club - it was only lunch except for occasions that we were there, you know, like these parties or something that we had, and they'd put on a meal for us. But that was later on, but earlier on they used to have good meals there. They used to have … I think one time I remember ... there was three snooker tables in the billiard room and they used to have all these tables - they were chocka full of food. They had covers on the tables and boards sort of over the top, and oh - beautiful food. But that was when there was four or five hundred members.

What did the lunch menu consist of?

It was mainly cold. Well … no, you could have a meal there - bit of a meal. You usually had salads or something like that. Sometimes you might have had a rice dish. Sometimes they used to say “what did you want, this or that?” ... one of the two of them sort of thing, you know.

So it was more than pea, pie and pud?

Oh yes, definitely, definitely. No, it was very good. And a cup of tea or coffee you used to have, you know. No, it was good.

'Do I keep in touch with any of the older members?' Yes, well … ones that are alive, but not many of them are alive now, not really. Well, a few of them are - old Hanson Averill, Stuart Monteith I go and have … 'cause I've joined the Havelock Club now and play snooker there, so you know, I see him quite a bit.

I've had Stuart in to record his memories.

Yeah. There's good people there, and there's some old characters. Stuart would know more than I did 'cause he use to be a member before I was a member.

What if any inter-Club activities took place? Like ... I can't remember what other clubs were around at that stage.

Yes, well we used to play the RSA Club, and we used to play the Taradale Club, and the RSA in Napier Club, and the Cosmopolitan Club. That's now been pulled down. I think the members there have joined the RSA. We used to play those and it was good fun.

What activities? Was it just ..?

Just snooker at those Clubs. They still have the competitions but we pulled out of that, you know – we didn't have the numbers.

Any trophies involved or was it just ..?

Yes there was a trophy involved I think – yes, yes, but I don't think we ever won it - we might have won it once, I forget now.

Shield or cup or ..?

Aah … I think it was a cup – I think, but I'm not sure.

Are there any … you've talked about one or two characters, are there any other characters you'd like to mention that were a part of the Club?

Yes - well there'd be ... ones that I can remember. There was ... old Roy Sherwood was there and - I know they used to have on the bar little tabs for matches, you know, for lighting your pipe or something like that. On his side of the bar the matches always disappeared. I don't know where they went, but I could have a fair guess. [Chuckle] 'Cause with a pipe you're always lighting it, going up, you know, going up again sort of thing, so ...

So he would have been Sherwood's Transport?

Yep, yep - Roy Sherwood started it.

Yeah, no I'm mentioning that because while I know what some of these people did, whoever's doing this or researching may not know.

No, no, no.

And we mentioned Mick Thomson – of course he was ...

Yep. He was a great fella. He used to be in Blackmore's, Mick Thomson did, yeah.


And he was Blackmore's right-hand man. And then Colin came into the business - well he was in the business sort of thing, with his father - Colin Blackmore. Then I don't know what the story was, but Mick Thomson left, and I think they might have had a bit of a … argument or something, I don't know what it was. And so he left and put his own store up and a lot of people went there, you know?

Yes, yes.

And they're still going.

Yes, yes – they're still going.

He was an old character of a fella, old Mick Thomson, he was ... have a few whiskies in ... by gosh, he'd enjoy it, but never get abusive, no, no, no. Just fun, you know.

Well, you wouldn't be allowed to, in the Club.

No, no, no. No, no. No. If you did - I know there was one member there, I won't mention names but he thrown out of the Club. Yep. Drinking too much and just getting abusive - out you go. He's finished.


No it was very good like that. The stewards especially - well they kept the standard of the Club going, and the stewards that we had, you know. That's the early days that I'm talking about, or earlier days.

Yes. What were the highlights for you belonging to the Club?

It was some place to go to. Like when I was in town I wouldn't sit around in the car and wait for my wife to finish the grocery shopping or something like that, or if I was in town and she wasn't in town sort of thing, it would be, you know, 'oh, I think I'll pop round to the Club for a couple of hours', you know. And that's what I used to do. But, you know, it was either a Wednesday 'cause I used to go to the sale, and then after the sale I'd pop round to the Club. I know Brett Trainor used to do the same thing too, you know - have a few games of snooker and then we'd take off home, you know.

Can you think of anything else that you ..?

I can't think of any other things that I could. No I don't think so.

Can I ask ... in those days the men and women were kept separate - of course today it would be a big political no-no that women were barred, but in those days it was acceptable. Right?

Yes. Quite acceptable.

So looking at that playing level if you like - how did your wife find you belonging to the Club. What was her feelings?

I don't think she minded. No, she was very good. I think all the wives understood, you know - it was a place for the men to go to. No my wife didn't mind, I don't think. Oh, she probably … way in the beginning when the children were young and if I went there and I'd get home a bit later than I intended, it might have been a bit … you know, smack on the hands sort of thing [chuckle] to be honest, but I think I wouldn't be the only one.

No. And it's not the Club's fault. [Laughter]

Wasn't my fault either. [Laughter]







Kenneth Udy Treseder
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