Hastings Orphans’ Club Jubilee Booklet 2013

Hastings Orphans Club Inc.
100 Years of Entertaining.
1913 to 2013

Celebrated With Kindred Clubs of New Zealand
12th, 13th, 14th July 2013 at Lindisfarne College

2013 Committee.

Alistair Spence.  Brian McF|ynn.  P/c Robbie Elms.  P/c Bruce Giorgi.  Brendon Phibbs.  Trevor Gorst.  P/c Merv Gibbs.

P/c Dave Sayner.  P/c Colin Palmer.  P/c Bruce Gibbs.  Chief Ross Sweatman.  D/c Kelvin Gibbs.  P/c Les King.  Norm Hodgetts

Chief Ross Sweatman.


Born.  9th August 1950, Howick, Auckland. [Another Jaffa.]

Schooling. Te Awa School, Napier
[Primary] Paki Paki School
Havelock North Primary
Hastings Intermediate
Hastings Boys High School
Achieving School Certificate, Sixth Form Certificate, University Entrance.

Entered New Zealand Police Department as a Police Cadet, 1968

Graduated September, 1969 as a Police Constable. Posted to Wellington. Served 27 years in Wellington and Hastings, taking Early Retirement.

Since then have worked as self employed contractor: tree felling, demolition, house moving. Currently part time wood worker

Joined orphans after leaving Police.

Promoted to Chief Orphan 2012.

Chief’s Welcome

Brother Orphans and Savages. Welcome. As chief it is both my duty and great pleasure to welcome you all to this the celebration of one hundred years of orphandom at Hastings.

We started with a small group of dedicated far seeing people, and quickly grew into a large club that because of its popularity seriously considering limiting membership and actually passed such a resolution. I wish we could say that is a worry in today’s environment.

However the club is in good shape with a substantial membership and we head into the next century eagerly and in high spirits.

I personally wish to say thank you all for your solid support and enthusiasm. But I also remind you that it is you yourselves, who are the club, and will always be the club; without you we are nothing.


Chief Ross Sweatman.

Hastings Orphans Club Inc.

Jubilee Committee – 2013.

Chief Ross Sweatman

P/c Robbie Elms


PATRON: P/c Bill Elms

l.P. Chief P/c Bruce Gibbs

Dep Chief Bro Kelvin Gibbs

Treasurer: Bro Paul Oliver

Ass Sec: P/c Merv Gibbs

Committee Members: P/c Bruce Giorgi, P/c Colin Palmer, Bros. Norm Hodgetts, Alistair Spence, Noel Thompson, P/c Les King

Chief Steward: P/c Dave Sayner

Programme Org. Committee – Bros Brian McFlynn, Noel Thompson, & Trevor Gorst. P/cs Dave Sayner, Les King, & Merv Gibbs

Club Host: P/c Wallace Wade

Accompanist: Bro Martin Pipe,

Club Guardian: P/c Colin Palmer

Welfare: Bro. Norm Hodgetts
P/c Les King

Editor: Bro. Trevor Gorst.


Centennial Jubilee Committee – 2013.

Chief’s Autobiography and Welcome.
Some History of the Hastings Orphans Club.
The Early Beginning.
Making Our Hall Practical.
Patron’s Memories – P/c Bill Elms.
Memories from P/c Norm Compton and Others.
Centennial Weekend Programme.
Past Chiefs.
Memories from P/c Bruce Giorgi.
Clubs Raided and Hosted.
Hastings Orphans for 2013.
P/c Robbie Elms Writes.
Snippets of events.
A Steward’s Tale.
Over 50 years with Peter Merton.
Peter on the Lighter Side.
King’s Cavaliers.
Photos of Action.
2013 Masterton Raid.
Sponsors who have supported us.


The Hastings Orphans Club has its origins in England, where a group of musicians, artists, writers, and actors formed what was called the Savage Club, in October 1875.

Richard Savage was a prominent 18th Century actor and playwright. The London Savage Club became the popular place for well known artists, musicians, writers, actors, and even politicians, to go.

Well known members are said to have included Charlie Chaplin, W.S. Gilbert, Sergei Rachmaninov, and Sir Alexander Fleming. These were people with considerable skills in their particular fields. Most of the members were held in high professional regard.

These clubs eventually spread throughout the world. Savage and Orphans Clubs became well established and eventually known as Kindred Clubs. In some cities there were two clubs. One a Savage Club and the other an Orphans Club to take the over flow.

In New Zealand, entertainment of such a high quality as the original London Savage Club, was not available and Kiwis made up their own home grown entertainment. The aims of the clubs remained the same to provide entertainment in an atmosphere of social conviviality. Most of the members were, and still are, to a large extent, amateurs endeavouring to perform to their highest standards.

Over the years these Kindred Clubs have, in many areas, kept their activities alive within the Kindred Club framework . Outward Raids to other clubs have allowed a more professional performance to be programmed and worked on for presentation to the receiving club, which is known as having an Inward Raid. The Hastings Orphans Club is no exception here for it has taken part in Outward Raids and hosted Inward Raids from thirty five other clubs.

There are two main taboo topics in the Hastings Orphans’ Club and throughout the Kindred Clubs. Discussions and items involving Politics and Religion are banned. This has a very distinct effect on the club and allows Orphans and Savages alike to more easily adhere to the obligations we accept when joining the Club.

These obligations include to: foster good fellowship; promote tolerance and understanding; promote the various arts; encourage further development of one’s talents and abilities; and to assist worthwhile charitable causes.

Members of Hastings Orphans join in a few worthwhile charitable collections during the year. We also give performances to the public and are planning to do more of this to further assist some charities or raise funds for ourselves, when our own theatre-club house requires maintenance.


The Early Beginning.

On Tuesday 27th May, 1913, a meeting was held in Mr. A.E. O’Meara’s Dental Rooms, and a decision was made to form the Hastings Orphans Club. On the following Tuesday 3rd June, at a meeting held in the Grand Hotel, of all those interested, the Club was formally constituted and the following Officers elected. Chief Orphan A.L.D. Fraser, Deputy Chiefs Dr. T. McKibbin and E.B. Jones. Secretary A.E. O’Meara, Treasurer G. Hartshorn. Committee Messrs.: N. Beatson, H.J. Rodgers, J. Craig, W.J.W. Hallett and R. Byrne.

On Tuesday 23rd June 1913, the first Korero was held in the Venetian Tea Rooms and some of the members from the Napier Savage Club helped with items for this programme

As our records show, the Koreros were held regularly, but in many and varied venues, up to 1916 when the club went into recess owing to World War 1. In 1920 it reopened and gained members until the time of the 1931 earthquake when the membership was approximately 300. This dropped slightly and has had its ups and downs, and during the Second World War the Club took a prominent part in morale boosting concerts etc.

The club carried on in various venues. It was first mooted at a meeting in H.W.C. Baird’s office on Tuesday 21st August 1927, that the Club investigate the purchase of a suitable town section with the purpose of building a hall for meetings, but the prices were too high and the matter lapsed. Later several sites were inspected, including one off Lane Street in 1951 and later in 1954 a site in Queen Street, was passed over in favour of a section in King Street. After looking at many sites, actually buying a section and then reselling it, members decided to build a Hall on its present site – corner of Miller and Albert Streets.

Willing volunteers with the guidance of friendly professionals, built the hall which was officially opened on 24th July 1965 by the mayor of Hastings City, Past Chief Ron Giorgi and Chief Wally Lambie.

Making Our Hall Practical.

Extensions were needed at the end of the hall behind the stage area to allow for the making of props and scenery and the storage of the same. There also needed to be a meeting room and changing rooms. In 1973 plans were produced but the new City Council required the club to make provision for 25 off-street parking places. This required the purchase of a house and section next door. Costs went up by $6,250 in 1969 to a further $11,000 before construction had even started.

Even with these difficulties, the “shout” for the new extension roof was a resounding success on 5th June, 1979.

Other Practical Uses Include:

A useful dining room, for smaller catering

A Kitchen for all forms of catering.

BBQ area for larger catering

The hall caters for larger numbers.

Our Patron’s Memories.

One of my first memories was in 1931, 3rd February earthquake. I was sitting by the back steps of our home when suddenly the steps came up and hit me under the chin, then my mother coming out of her house on her hands and knees, grabbing me and dragging me out to the vegetable garden [to sit on the onions]. We sat there for quite a while with the ground shaking. My dad who was out with my uncle came home some time later. Not long after a tent was put up and we stayed there for several nights.

Later, in November 1931, we moved from Jervois Street to a property in Orchard Road, about 6 acres, with some fruit trees and a cow paddock, and a small house. Some of the family still own part of it. The Government took a large part of it for a school [Heretaunga Intermediate] and housing etc., which left us with just over an acre, part of which has now been sold to what is now known as Little Elms complex. In 1941 I started my apprenticeship in the engineering workshop at Tomoana Freezing Works. In 1949 I got married then changed my job to work at Barclay Motors. Not long after this my dad had to give up driving for health reasons and as my two brothers were not able to leave their jobs I said I would drive for him until he got well, but alas, he didn’t, so I have been in the business ever since.

Elva and I had two children, Margaret and Robert. In those days we would go with friends, now and then, on a Saturday afternoon to T.M.V. Vineyard where the children could play on swings etc while our friends and us partook of some beverages. It was on one of those days in the early sixties we were wining with others when one chap I knew very well by the name of Percy Lee said, ‘‘I have to leave you all, as we are having a function tonight.“ My wife said, “What is it?” He explained what it was about, then she said to him, “Can he join?” [pointing to me] “Sure,” he said, “be at the Labour and Trades Hall on Tuesday at 7.30 p.m.” So in 1961 I became a member of the H.O.C. It turns out that I knew a lot of the chaps and I seemed to get very involved. The next thing I knew I was on the committee.

The club at this time was trying to get a hall. They did have a property at Stortford Lodge where the National Bank is now. When the club wanted to proceed with building the hall on this site, the council told us it would have to be a two storied building with the hall up top. We did not want this so time was spent looking a [at] various sites, eventually our present site was selected. One of our early members Harold Davies submitted his idea but it was unsuitable.

Our firm was doing quite a lot of work at that time for Unicast Concrete so I asked Harry Romanes. He offered to draw plans using precast concrete panels so we said, “OK go ahead”. So here it is!

We started and a small shop on the corner was taken by Jack Golding. Elms moved in with machinery, removing soil etc, to allow the builders to get foundations started.

Patron’s Memories continued.

Many members were involved. I remember Bill Kyle who worked for unicast was foreman, Doug Heywood was doing plumbing, Reg Morris Electrical did the wiring and many other helpers under the foreman. When the foundations were ready Elms supplied the metal to allow the floor to be put down. We carted the precast columns and wall panels etc. Ron Dewson did roof beams steel which had to be stiffened a few years later by John Curran. There were always club members to help with painting and other tasks.

While the hall work was carrying on some of our members were making tables. Our original chairs came from Furnware. Mike Davies was sales person for this firm so he was able to get them at a good price. We also made the trolleys for storing chairs and tables under the stage.

The hall was officially opened on 24th July 1965 by the Mayor of Hastings, Past Chief Ron Giorgi and Chief Wally Lambie.

I remember Past Chief George Hunt saying to our Chief Wally Lambie that it would be good to have a lighted sign on the roof. Wally replied thanking George for the donation which did eventuate. By this time we were getting into financial trouble having a third mortgage. Chief Wally knew a chap from Taranaki way who was a great organiser in fund raising. I think his name was Peter Randford. He told us about holding a gambling night. So tickets were printed. He told us to make sure some were sold or given to the police, and to make sure we had ample supplies of alcohol and food. It certainly was a great night! When we had a count up we were able to pay off our third mortgage of over three thousand dollars, and had some left over.

We decided to let our hall for housie which was run by some of our members. This was a good fundraising venture, but the damage to the ceiling by smokers, was drastic. Tables also got quite a bit damaged so the housie was stopped. By this time, with the help of members taking out debentures, we were in a better financial position. In the late 1970s a decision was made to extend our building on the north end for better storage, dressing rooms etc., so we purchased the property next door with a house, which we still own … bringing in good rent.

When the plans were done we went to the council for a permit. The council required us to provide more off street parking so we then bought the property next door in Albert Street. After both sites were cleared we were able to make a start. Once again Unicast Concrete supplied most of the precast panels etc. We got Mackerseys to do the foundation and floor, then we all helped in the work. John Curran doing steel work etc., and when we had it all closed in, the job of cutting holes for the doors started. This was quite a job. We had to lift out panels and put them down to make stage height. There was quite a lot of internal decking inside. Ian Ward and I spent considerable time on the job. John Curran made the fireproof door. We had the council on our back asking why our car park was not finished. My reply was, “When our neighbours have their fence regulation height, we’ll do it.” [The ‘Highway 61’ fence is still ten to twelve feet high!]

Patron’s Memories continued.

There is a lot of maintenance to keep things O.K. We’ve done a recent toilet up grade and there is still more internal work to be carried out.

During my time in the club I have been involved in sketches and playing the tea chest bass for the Ukulele Band then on to bass guitar which I was conned into learning to play in Orchestra and other groups. There is never a dull moment but I have enjoyed it. I got involved with the Dominion Executive at about the time I was Chief. During one of these times Doug Heywood and his wife Joyce were going to Christchurch and asked Elva and me to go with them. In those times clubs were for men only but Christchurch had a ladies club, so Joyce and Elva were asked to go to the Ladies Club and we went to the men’s. On our return home the ladies decided to form the Pani Club in 1968. I was elected Dominion President in 1982 -1984. During my term I visited 54 clubs in New Zealand, from Orewa in the north to lnvercargill in the south. A lot of travelling!

At our 1984 A.G.M. there were no nominations for Secretary of our club, so I said I would do it until there was someone to take it on. I actually gave it up at the 2012 A.G.M., some 28 years later. Nearly half my time in the club. Over the years it has been a great experience to meet up with people all over the clubs of New Zealand.

So as you can see, I have been involved most of my life. Some Highlights were:

In 1966 Wellington Orphans Club organised a raid to Sydney and a lot of members from other clubs joined in. I think there were a fair few, a great plane load, cost for ten days was seventy pounds, which was for airfare, accommodation, sightseeing, Blue Mountains, bus trips and boat rides etc. We stayed at the Manhattan Accommodation, certainly an eye opener, brothels etc!!! We raided Timaru, and chartered a plane from Napier to the Timaru Airport. A great trip!

Past Chief Bill Elms

Some Members Memories.


The Gisborne Orphans Club dealt with 60 of their southern compatriots, members of the Hastings Orphans Club when they “raided” the city last month.

On arrival at their disembarking point, Ormonds Motor car park, the visitors were medically inspected and treated for foot and mouth diseases.

The Hastings Chief orphan, Mr Norm Compton and deputy-chief, Mr Wally Haywood, were formally charged with untold crimes and sentenced to “confinement in the stocks”. Other “raiders” were sentenced to service on the “chain gang”.

After being securely locked in the stocks, the visiting chiefs were hauled through town by their fellow prisoners to the Abercorn Hall where they were extended an official welcome and released from their sentences.

Locked in the stocks and with a hangman’s noose in readiness over his head, Hastings chief Norm Compton looks quite unperturbed by his predicament.

A “raider” gets dosed for mouth disease

Members of the Gisborne party waiting to deal with the “raiders”. From left : Roy Harris, Jim McLean, Dick Burson, Olly Colling, Bert Moles, Peter Fergusson, Keith Stitchbury, Tom Watson, George Weatherley, Mag Hayes, Eric Brown, and Eric Emmerson.

More Memories.

Past Chief Norm Compton says, ‘‘In 1964 a meeting was called to discuss the building of a new hall. I handed the meeting over to Past Chief Doug Sturm as he had all the details required for handling this particular situation. It was decided to go ahead and build the new hall. The contract was given out to Harry Romanes. Many of our members helped out in whatever way they could, according to their expertise. Items such as plumbing, electrical, cartage, stage curtains and many other needs were met by hours and hours of members skill and time.”

After a Greymouth Conference, the aeroplane we had chartered, was about twenty minutes in flight when it was discovered Ray from Horowhenua was missing. The plane swings around and goes back to find Ray waving on the tarmac. The hostess opened the door, pulls Ray in and we continued on the flight home.

Past Chief Wally Lambie, a buyer of antiques, was on a buying trip at the time of one of our raids. He was going by car. There was no drinking allowed on the bus, so Wally purchased bottles of beer. At known stops he placed a bottle of beer on several fence posts.

On a Masterton Raid only one hotel was serving beer. We all gathered there for an aftermath. Mike Davis and Norm Compton later decided they would go back to their hotel. This was an old hotel with wide passages, freestanding wardrobes and the only occupants were the Orphans. So Mike and Norm went into the rooms and moved the wardrobes over the doors. They left the rooms by the fire escapes and repeated it in all rooms. They placed their own beds down the passage way to the ladies toilets where there were no lights and they couldn’t be seen. “Davis and Compton again”, they said. How true!

Raid to Rotorua. In those days you put your shoes outside the door. There were other guests staying too. Joe Woodham shifted all the shoes, male and female, so in the morning everyone was hunting for their shoes.

On a Matamata Raid our chief Archie was apprehended first by locals. When other Hastings Orphans arrived, there was Archie with his head with horns on, poking out of a beautiful giant apple to resemble a codlin moth.

Kappi Eru had a sense of humour and made everyone go to the right of the bus in case the gorge gave way, but on the way home from Taupo on a wet day, the driver pulled left to allow a pass and the bus dropped to its door sills. We had a silent and lucky escape through the rear door but had to find alternative transport home. Past Chief Kappi Eru, arrived early at a Raid. He was chained up and had to wait some time before he was rescued by others following some hours back.

More Memories.

Past Chief, Colin Palmer, recalls that on a raid to Mount Maunganui, Brian Cossey found a piano in the bar of the hotel where we were staying and started to play some tunes. He was so engrossed in his music that he suddenly found himself in the midst of a group of Hells Angels Motorcyclists who appreciated his efforts and plied him with drinks and were reluctant to let him go.

On the same raid two members went from room to room playing and singing all through the night and kept annoying everyone. Next day at lunch they were noticed to be missing and a group of the overnight victims rushed to the bus and found them trying to sleep. They were frog marched back into the hall and invited to share lunch. Members saw that they never got much sleep on the way home.

We have visited many interesting places on raids. These include museums, gold mining, precious stone and pounamu processing. A host of friendly people have made us welcome and catered for our needs. The Aircraft Museum and Wearable Arts display at Blenheim were outstanding.

On one raid to Horowhenua the concert was in full swing when the electricity failed when a fuse blew. I asked Eric Thorpe if he could play the piano in the dark. He said he had won prizes for playing blindfolded. With Eric leading, Laurie Butler on piano accordion, Les King on guitar, and Colin Palmer on violin, we played for a singalong which lasted for forty five minutes, until the power board electrician came and restored the electric power.

P/c Colin Palmer.



Friday 12th July – Registration and Social Get-together.
5:00 pm   Lindisfarne College, Pakowhai Road, Hastings.

Saturday 13th July – Lindisfarne College
Registration Continued.
10:30 am   Official Opening: His Worship the Mayor of Hastings.
Mr Lawrence Yule and the Dominion President.
12:15 pm   Jubilee Lunch, Lindisfarne College.
2:00 pm-5:00 pm   Jubilee Sing-a-long, Jam Session, or mystery bus tour. [Pre-paid.]
5:30 pm   Dinner at Lindisfarne College.
7:30 pm   Hastings Orphans Club Centenary Korero.
10:30 pm   Supper.

Sunday 14th July – 9:30 am   Executive Meeting Kindred Clubs Assn.
(Committee Members Only.)
10:00 am   Viewing photographic display at our clubrooms.
Morning Tea.
11:00 am   BBQ Lunch, at Orphans’ Hall. Local tour. Farmers’ Market, Pernell [Pernel] Orchard at your discretion.
1:30 pm – 4:00 pm   Visitors Korero.
Afternoon Tea.



Past Chiefs

1913   A.D.L. Frazer MP
1914   G.N. Pharazyn
1914/20   PRO Patria
1921   T. Clarkson
1922   A.E.O’Meara
1923   H.G. Davies
1924   H.M. Campbell M.P.
1925   E.L. Commin
1926/27   H.W.C. Baird
1928   G.A. Maddison
1929/30   J. Bewley
1931   M.B. Peat
1932   D.A. Barthgate [Bathgate]
1933   G.A. Maddison
1934   C. Duff
1935/37   D.M. Campbell
1938/43   M.A. Hunter
1943/45   PRO Patria
1946/47   P.J. Priest
1948/49   R. V. Giorgi J.P.
1950/51   D.F. Sturm
1952   N.Q. Roach
1953   G.W. Hunt
1954   F.J. Goer
1955   J.M. Macauley
1956   W.M. Nicol
1957   T.J.W. Heighway
1958    C.S. Martin
1959   T.J.W. Heighway
1960   J.R. Trotter J.P.
1961   A.E. Morris
1962   C.F. Woodham
1963   D.J. Heywood
1964   N.D. Compton
1965   W.T. Lambie
1966   W.A. Elms
1967   G.T. Harding
1968   A.J. Woodham
1969   A.l. Laing
1970   W.E. Kyle
1971   M.R. Davis
1972   R.J. Golding
1973   R.J. Peacock
1974   D.R. Berry
1975   D.H. Eru
1976   W.J. Nelson
1977   J.G. Lomas
1978   W.D. Thompson
1979   P. Rawstrone
1980   D.G. Kemsley

Past Chiefs continued

1881 [1981]  D.J. Rich
1982   N.E. Davidson
1983   B.S. Cossey
1984/85   I.W. Livingston
1986   L.J. King
1987/88   P.W. Plumber
1989  K.C. Cooze
1990/91   M.H. Gibbs
1992   S. Robertson
1993   C. Wright
1994   B.A. Lee
1995/96   I A. Ward
1997/98   R.W. Barlow
1999/00   W.R. Wade
2001/02   C.W. Palmer
2003/04   R.W. Elms
2005/06   B.W. Giorgi
2007/08   D. Sayner
2009/10   B. Gibbs
2011    M. Iti

G&K Concrete Cutting Ltd

Saxophobics at Heritage Day

Martin Pipe

Norma Hodgetts   Ross Hart

Memories from P/c Bruce Giorgi.

My grandfather, Arturo Giorgi, was an early committee member, followed by my father, Ron Giorgi who was chief of the club in 1948. Orphandom was in our blood.

When I finally joined the Hastings Orphans Club in 1983 the chief at the time, was the late Ian Livingston, who was a great mate of my father Ron Giorgi. They won the war together as they were members of the 25th Battalion in the Second World War. I was unable to join earlier owing to sport, dance band, and other club commitments that I was involved in. Once I did join I was made very welcome and soon became involved playing base with the Harmonica Band led by the late Joe Woodham. I was backing soloist for groups formed over the years plus doing solo work.

In the 1990s I was made Programme Organiser and although this was a great challenge it gave me great satisfaction choosing an evening’s programme from such a highly talented club. This also involved me attending Committee Meetings which enabled me to discover how successfully this club operates. My father passed away in the 90s, but before he died, we presented him with his 70 years service badge. Having joined when I was 19 years old he was Patron of the Club for many years. It is no wonder that I became interested in joining the Hastings Orphans Club. This year I have been a member for 30 years. The two of us have been members for a total of 100 years. The Hastings Orphans Club is also celebrating their 100 years centennial, this year. [It would be interesting to add your grandfather’s service to the 100 years to see how large the family total would be. – Editor.]

In 2005 I became chief of the club which has been a lifetime thrill for me. In the first year I took our club to the Gisborne Orphans CIub’s 50th Jubilee. Also in 2005 our Outward Raid was to the South Island where we presented concerts to Oamaru Orphans Club, Waimate Savage Club and a combined concert in Dunedin for the Dunedin and MacAndrew Bay Clubs. This was a very successful raid in which I visited my boarding school in Oamaru, Waitaki Boys High School. There I surprised everyone with and [an] impromptu Waitaki School Haka.

P/c Bruce Giorgi continues.

Raids have always been a lot of fun with memories of great aftermaths or parties in hotel rooms. One such raid I’ll never forget was 3 to 4 am at Mt Manganui listening to Charles Jukes sweetly playing his violin. Owing to everyone being completely relaxed it was fantastic. Those sing-a-longs in the back of the bus and the jams in the pubs that we stopped at were most enjoyable.

I was introduced to rum and green ginger by Charles Jukes to warm my vocal chords on a cold winters morning. In recent years I have enjoyed being involved in the County band, the Baytones, a Four Part Harmony Group and I have done an impersonation of Elvis Presley.

I have been active in introducing 20 new members into the club with a membership of around 90, we are one of the strongest clubs in the country and the fellowship we enjoy is the envy of many. I do hope that we can continue to prosper under the principles and laws of Kindred Clubs. I strongly believe there is a place for this club in our modern society.

Past Chief Bruce Giorgi.

P/c Bruce Giorgi performing at the Hastings Heritage Day in the town centre. Marking 140 years of Hastings.

Clubs Raided & Hosted

Ashburton Savage Club
Blenheim Orphans’ Club
Cambridge Orphans’ Club
Christchurch Savage Club
Eltham Savage Club
Gisborne Orphans’ Club
Gisborne Savage Club
Hamilton Orphans’ Club
Hawera Savage Club
Hokitika Savage Club
Horowhenua Savage Club
Huntley Orphans’ Club
Katikati Orphan’s’ Club
Katikati and Districts Savage Club
Manawatu Savage Club
Matamata Savage Club
Masterton Savage Club
Morrinsville Orphans’ Club
Mount Maunganui Orphans’ Club
Napier Orphans’ Club
Napier Savage Club
Nelson Savage Club
New Plymouth Savage Club
Paeroa Savage Club
Rotorua Orphans’ Club
Stratford Savage Club
Taradale Savage Club
Te Aroha Orphans’ Club
Te Kuiti Orphan’s Club
Wanganui Savage Club
Waipawa Savage Club
Waipukurau Orphans’ Club
Waitara Savage Club
Wellington Orphans’ Club
Wellington Savage Club

Hastings Orphans 2013.

Barlow, Ray
Bixley, Trevor
Butler, Laurie
Bracey, Alex
Compton, Norm
Cossey, Brian P/c L/M
Conroy, Michael
Clark, Robbie
Coombs, Ivan
Davies, Lindsay
Dolden, Bill
Dolden, Jason
Dickinson, John
Dixon, Charlie
Elms, Bill P/c L/M
Elms, Richard
Elms, Robbie P/c
Ebbett, Dave
Fulton, Robbie
Friend, Ray
Foot, Tom
Gibbs, Bruce P/c
Gibbs, Kelvin D/c
Gibbs, Merv. P/c
Giorgi, Bruce P/c
Goodall, Kevin
Griffiths, Bruce
Green, Neville
Gorst, Trevor
Hart, Ross
Hodgetts, Norm
Haynes, Malcolm
Harris, Allen
Jeffares, Kelvin
Jury, Bob
King, Les P/c L/M
Lee, Brian P/c
Livingston, Bill
Love, Roy
Mclntyre, Peter
McFlynn, Brian
Maund, Eric
Murton, Peter
Murton, Norman
Maher, Eddie
Maultsaid, Vern
Mullany, Anthony
Oldridge, Dave
Olsen, Graeme
Oliver, Paul
Palmer, Colin P/C L/M
Pederson, Fred
Phillips, John
Plumber, Peter P/c
Pipe, Martin
Phibbs, Brendon
Pettitt, David
Rawstrone, Peter P/c
Robertson, Stan P/c
Read, Rex
Sayner, Dave P/c
Seaton, Earnest
Shaw, Nigel
Sinclair, Ray
Smith, Brian
Smith, Dave
Smith, Dave
Smith, Frank
Spence, Alistair
Stead, Ron
Stitchbury, Keith.
Sweatman, Ross Chf
Thorpe, Eric
Thomson, Noel
Wade, Wallace P/c
Wilkins, Frank
Wetere, William
Weir, Clive

P/c Robbie Elms Writes.

My earliest recollection of the Kindred Club Movement was of my father going out every Tuesday night to the Hastings Orphans Club, either to a Korero or to a Committee meeting. In the early days before we had our own hall, the Committee meetings were held at one of the member’s houses and it was a regular occurrence to have at least twelve orphan members gathered around the lounge for one of their fortnightly meetings. These meetings were usually quiet, but there was the odd raucous outburst at times.

Before the club had its own hall the Koreros were held at different venues fortnightly. I can remember dad arriving home on a Tuesday night late from work after having to shift all the club’s equipment including props, the Chief’s Chair and grand piano up the stairs of the Assembly Hall or to wherever the Korero was to be held that night. He was always assisted by the late P/c Doug Perry and several other club members. He would rush in have his tea and shower and leave again to be at the venue by 7.00 pm.

In those days the highlight for me was watching the members build the floats for incoming raids. They always did this in our workshop on one of our trucks. The time and effort they put into these floats was unbelievable. I can still remember some of the floats they built including a Big Apple, a replica of the Waitomo Caves, and a Duck Shooting Mai Mai to name a few. These welcomes usually took place in a public place, quite often by Civic Square, the incoming Chief and his Committee were usually given the treatment appropriate to the visiting club’s locality, or what the area was well known for. A common theme for these welcomes was for the members of the Raiding Party to be made to pull the bus by hand, using a large rope, from the welcome point to the hall, or wherever the evening’s show was to be held. These were in the days before OSH and all the rules of public behaviour were implemented. Sadly it was to the detriment of fun and mirth that these rules have quashed the joviality that these welcomes generated.

I can remember accompanying mum and dad, sister Margaret and other members and wives to the Annual Ladies’ Nights around the North Island clubs. My sister and I would stay at the motel while the adults would attend the Saturday evening shows. On the Sunday morning we would accompany them all to the Host Club’s hall for an early lunch prior to departure home. Sometimes these early lunches lasted for quite a long time.

P/c Robbie Elms Continues.

In 1974 the Hastings Orphans Club hosted the Biennial Dominion Conference of Kindred Clubs, where our own member, P/c Doug Heywood was elected as Dominion President for a two year term. The time and effort our members put into this weekend was immense. Our family hosted the out-going Dominion President Charlie Pemberton, his wife and two children for the weekend. They came from MacAndrew Bay Orphans Club in Dunedin. The friendships we developed from this is something you will never lose or forget.

1975 was a memorable year for me as it was the year that I joined the Hastings Orphans Club along with present members Bro Dave Oldridge, and P/c’s Stan Robertson and Wallace Wade. My membership card number was 161 and I was not the last to be initiated that year.

The following AGM in 1976 I was elected to the Committee, in 1977 I was elected as Assistant Secretary (to Secretaries P/c Doug Perry, Roy Peacock and Bill Elms). In 1995 I was elected as Club Treasurer holding that position until 2001 when I was elected as Deputy Chief to Chief Colin Palmer. I became Chief Orphan for 2003/4.

Two of the highlights for me during my term as Chief Orphan, were: helping to plan and participate in the club’s 90th Jubilee Celebrations, the other was when I had the pleasure to present a Hastings Orphans Badge to my eldest son Richard after his initiation into the H.O.C.

After serving two years as Immediate Past Chief in 2005/6 I was elected as the Chief Steward for 2007/8 during Dave Sayner’s term as Chief Orphan. In 2009 I was elected onto the Committee, 2010 I had a year off Committee but was back as Treasurer in 2011 for a year and in 2012 I was elected as Club Secretary. This position I still have at present.

In 1985/87 I served as Central Group Secretary for Central Group President P/c Doug Perry. Those friendships made have lasted to the present.

In 2010/12 I was Central Group President and wish to thank P/cs Merv Gibbs, Bill Elms, and Dave Sayner for their fellowship and companionship whilst touring the Central Group Clubs. Thanks to my wife Bev who also accompanied me to all the Central Group Clubs Closing Nights.

P/c Robbie Elms Continues

At the Dominion Conference in Nelson in 2012, I was lucky enough to be elected as Junior Vice President of the Kindred Clubs Association of N.Z. It is with great pride and dignity that I represent the Hastings Orphans Club at this level of the movement.

During my 38 years of involvement in the Hastings Orphan Club I have been an active member of the Sketch Group. I cannot say how many times I have performed on stage over the years but I have enjoyed every moment and look forward to many more in the future.

One thing I can recommend to all members of the Kindred Clubs movement is that the more you put into your participation the more enjoyment you will receive in return. Also the friendship formed by travelling around the country visiting other clubs is one I recommend to all fellow members. These friendships from people all around N.Z. are ones I treasure and will have for the rest of my life.

P/c Robbie Elms.

Robbie Elms changes from Past Chief to Police Constable in this sketch with Rex Read.

Hastings Heritage Day was held in the centre of Hastings. Five groups took part. Kings Cavaliers, Songsters, Bruce Giorgi, Earnest Seadon, and the Saxophobics.

Snippets of Events.

On our Raid to Nelson and Blenheim in 2007 we enjoyed a visit to the Omaka Air Museum where a wonderful assortment of vintage warplanes is on show. When we emerged a call went out for Bro Norm Hodgetts to go to the office. His first response was to vehemently say, ‘‘I didn’t touch any-thing.” Wondering what possible misdemeanour could have been committed by him, he returned to find that he was the 20,000th visitor and was presented with a nice gift to commemorate the occasion. It was also his golden wedding anniversary.

P/c Colin Palmer.

At the Pohangina Valley Trip [out from Ashurst] … a long time ago. Tommy Patrick climbed up a 30 foot flag pole and began playing his banjo at about 2:00 a.m. P/c Doug Haywood [Heywood] called out, “Come down from there Tommy!”

“No I’m alright!” was the reply.

Doug again called out, “Come down !!”

Again, “No! I’m alright!” was the reply.

With the third call, Doug also added, “if you come down now I will shout a beer”

Tommy straight away slid down … but unfortunately … banjo and strap came down one side and Tommy the other.

P/c Norm Compton … Also told by Norm Hodgetts and others.

HB Platform Hire LTD



After a few years on the committee, I was appointed programme organiser at the AGM of 2005 by the new Chief Bruce Giorgi. Prior to that I was involved in music groups. I soon realised that we as a club were mostly entertaining club members only at the Koreros so I started concerts at Havelock North, Cornwall Park and the Opera House Plaza. These were just to show the public who we are and what we do. I hope these sort of concerts can continue for the survival of the club.

[We are continuing these. Editor.]

Bro Ross Hart.

In 2013 a committee of six was formed to produce the programmes for the year. There were several arguments for this. Ross Hart had done a great job but he had been left on his own to make up programmes. 2013 was to be a very busy year and more minds and ideas would probably be best to handle programme making. Six individuals can bring together a wider variety of contacts and ideas for promoting the programmes. Our code is to be fair to all members who wish to perform, and give them time, but share out all performances across the whole spectrum of our collective Orphans skills. It is not easy, and very active members may appear over a range of different skills even though we try to limit the number of times a member may be involved in any one concert.

The Programme Committee, [listed near the front of this booklet] meets once a week usually on a Sunday. We endeavour to have programmes worked out well in advance [sometimes six weeks or so] but they always have to be refined the week before the Korero or concert. Changes can occur for a number of reasons, however we have alternatives ready to use should it be necessary. All programmes are approved by the Committee before presentation.

This year I have been involved from the printing point of view. Coloured programmes have been a feature of 2013 our Centennial Year.

Bro Trevor Gorst. Editor.

A Steward’s Tale.

l joined the Hastings Orphans Club in 1996 at the end of the season. I went to my first AGM out of interest, and found the club in need of a Steward as the previous steward had resigned. There were no takers for the job, and the meeting came to a halt, so I asked what the job involved. After listening to the job description I said that it didn’t sound too difficult, so I offered to do it for the first few meetings, until they found someone else. When I first took the job the previous steward would not give me a list of food stuffs or quantities needed and being one of those males whose eyes are painted on I had no memory of what I had eaten the previous season. The system is that the food stuff is purchased by the steward and he brings it to the hall on Korero night. The two ladies, [outsiders not Orphans wives] who come in and make sandwiches, warm savouries etc., are part of a large family who have been involved with the club on the catering side for over 46 years, on a volunteer basis. I found to my horror that the ladies had also resigned at the end of the last season due to a dispute with the previous steward. Kelvin Gibbs advised me to go and see Robyn, who had been the head lady for some years and ask her about food stuff to buy. He did say that if she won’t help you then only God can! I went to see Robyn, told her my tale and asked for guidance. She told me I was stark raving mad, then invited me inside for a coffee. During this we chatted and she made out a list. She then went off further into the house and when she came back she said that she had talked to her daughter Lynette, and that they would help me for the first few Koreros to get me started. At the end of the first season and after supper I took Robyn and Lynette out into the auditorium where they were both presented with bouquets of flowers and a small thank you speech. At the end of this Robyn turned to me with tears in her eyes, gave me a big hug and then whispered into my ear, “That was beautiful Dave, but if you ever do it again, I will kill you!” A few years later Lynette got married and gave up. Robyn’s sister Dianne took her place. A few more years and Robyn gave up so Dianne is now in charge, and the whole family is still with us. Plus all the time they have been involved with the club they have never let us down. Over the years we have cut out foods that were not popular, and therefore a waste of time and money. One example was savaloys, we used to put them out and the leftovers were taken home by Robin for her dog who loved them. When the dog died of old age we

A Steward’s Tale continued.

then realised how few were actually eaten. So we started counting what went out and what came back, plus buying new things until we got a simple but happy balance with very little waste. [“School lunches for grown ups,” my ladies tell me.] I cater for 60 members which is an average Korero attendance. If less come then food is ample. If more come in, then its be in quick. Supper time is the time members get a chance to mix – mingle and socialize together. To me it is very beneficial to members and the club.

I have been told that many years ago when the club was young – roads were bad and travelling was slow and difficult, that members would come straight from work, sit and enjoy a full roast meal, with drinks, then get changed into uniform and go into their meeting. Sounds lovely, but thank God I wasn’t steward then!!!

Stewardship today is not so scary, plus it is made a lot easier with the help of the members who willingly put out glasses – beer onto tables, and help clear and wash up at the end of supper time. I would also be lost without the help of members who volunteer to cook and serve, plus clean up when we do a full meal or BBQ. My grateful thanks go to all those members.

Two brand new stoves have just been installed in the kitchen but I haven’t got my pilots licence for them yet, so I am not allowed to touch! The whole kitchen area is going to have a complete revamp at the end of this season. I have enjoyed my 17 years with the club and hope it continues to prosper so that we can all enjoy many more years of fellowship and friendship.

P/c Dave Sayner
Chief Steward.

Chief Steward Dave Sayner – left..
Brian McFlynn – right.

52 Years a Hastings Orphan.

I was first introduced to the Hastings Orphans Club in 1961 by Joe Woodham. He wanted me to back the Harmonica band with the piano accordion. At that time it was lead [led] by Cyril Woodham and later by Joe Woodham.

The club met at the Labour and Trades Hall in Queen Street on the site presently occupied by the New World Supermarket. The club met there for the first season, moved to the Old Manchester Unity Hall in Market Street and later moved on to the Assembly Hall until our hall was built in 1965.

When l joined the club in 1961 we did not have an orchestra. A group was formed led by Joe Woodham – piano, Peter Murton – alto sax, Owen Appleby – piano accordion, and Ken Ingram on the drums. This group was supplemented by Jim Brown – drums 1964, Ian Stafford – trumpet 1965, Ray Scott – steel guitar 1966, Nigel Shaw – alto sax 1967, Andy Lang – tea chest bass, Glen Smythe – drums, Brian Smith – drums 1968, Geoff Waite – Trumpet and Jack Golding – alto sax.

This orchestra was disbanded in the early 1980s due to the ill health of Joe Woodham.

Brian Cossey reformed the orchestra in the mid 1980s. Brian on piano organ, Nigel Shaw alto sax, Jim Williamson tenor sax, Stan Robertson tenor sax, Peter Flood alto sax, Charlie Juke violin 1976, Colin Palmer violin, Bill Elms tea chest bass, later bass guitar, Henry McLaughlin guitar/banjo, Nick Renton drums, Doug Perry drums, Ian Heaps banjo mandolin, Ian Ward drums, Peter Murton alto sax, Brian Rae drums, Len Giles alto sax, and Norman Murton alto sax/clarinet. This orchestra disbanded in 2005.

The Saxophobics formed in 2005. Eric Thorpe pianist, Brian Rae drums, Norm Merton [Murton] alto sax and clarinet, Nigel Shaw alto sax and clarinet, Peter Merton [Murton] tenor and alto sax, Les King double bass, Dave Ebbett drums 2007, Vern Maultsaid tenor sax 2008, Trevor Gorst pianist 2011.

Eric Thorpe arranged the music for the group producing some ninety pieces.

I have had great satisfaction over the last 52 years playing in these groups, and also playing solos on both saxes and the piano accordion.

Peter Murton

Peter “on the lighter side”.

On the lighter side of the club about 1965 we had a raid from Masterton Club with an aftermath being held at the Hastings Hotel (now Paper Plus). This was about 3.00am. We were playing and I had that feeling someone was behind me. I looked around to see three constables standing there with the sergeant around the corner checking it out. I didn’t know what to do, stand there or run! Obviously the appropriate fee was paid and the police left.

On the same night Gordon Harding decided to pack a scrum down in the front foyer at 5:00pm. It was pushed about very severely and wound up on the footpath. Gordon, being very clumsy, had the misfortune to push his head through the fire alarm glass and push the button. Five minutes later, two fire engines were at the front door.

Two old timers involved with orchestras and bands

Peter Murton

Brian Cossey

King’s Cavaliers.

P/c Les King formed a music entertaining group in the year 2001.

They called themselves King’s Cavaliers. The members of the original group were Les King .. guitar, Ian Ward .. drums, Ian Heaps .. banjo, Colin Palmer .. violin, John Brannigan .. piano accordian, and Peter Plummer .. singer.

The band entertained at Mary Doyle retirement homes for five years. During that time we had Laurie Butler .. piano accordion, and David Chalmers .. Banjo. We entertained in a variety of clubs and old folk’s homes, and the Hastings Orphans Club “den” for concerts.

Today the band has grown with members now being Les King .. double bass, Eddie Maher .. guitar, Dave Ebbett .. Drums, Colin Palmer ..  Violin, Eric Maund .. piano accordion, Tom Foot .. button accordion, Dave Smith .. piano accordion, Willy Wetere .. saxophone and clarinet, Clive Weir .. banjo and singer, Peter Plumber .. Singer, and Malcolm Haynes .. singer. We are still going strong entertaining for the Hastings Orphans Club and other organisations on request.

I wish to note and acknowledge the passing of Bos [Bros] lan Ward, Ian Heaps and John Brannigan who all gave sterling service to King’s Cavaliers.

P/c Les King

Tom Foot.   Inset Eric Maund.   Dave Ebbett.   Malcolm Haynes.   Clive Weir.
P/c Les King.   P/c Peter Plummer   Dave Smith   P/c Colin Palmer   Eddie Maher   Willie Wetere

Vern Maultsaid, Dave Ebbett [drums], Peter Murton, P/c Les King, [bass], Norm Murton, Nigel Shaw, Trev Gorst

Alex Bracey plays and sings.

Ross Hart Sings.

A sketch by Brian McF|ynn And Rex Read.

P/c Stan Robertson Sings.

Earnest Seadon playing the Pipes.

Masterton Raid 2013.

We finally reached the Masterton Savage Club rooms.

Where they have a nifty theatre upstairs.

Three P/cs and One D/c performed

Chief Ross, tried to pass his business on to his son Dave.

Bruce Giorgi dug up Elvis while Brian Smith and Ross Hart backed him.

Both clubs joined forces for a great jam session led by Sav Doreen Wakefield a most accomplished pianist and accordian player. In short, a great time was had by all.

Many congratulations have come from our sponsors


Parkvale Pharmacy

L.E. Elms and Sons Ltd



SERENGETI hair & beauty


Kauri House Auctions


All the sponsors we approached for donations were amazed that the Hastings Orphans Club had been entertaining for 100 years. They were most happy to support us.


Hawke’s Bay Yacht Charters

hawkesbay orthodontics



Thomson’s SUITS



Bread & Butter

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Surnames in this booklet –
Appleby, Baird, Barlow, Bathgate, Beatson, Berry, Bewley, Bixley, Bracey, Brannigan, Brown, Butler, Byrne, Campbell, Chalmers, Clark, Clarkson, Commin, Compton, Conroy, Coombs, Cooze, Cossey, Craig, Davidson, Davies, Davis, Dickinson, Dixon, Dolden, Duff, Ebbett, Elms, Eru, Flood, Foot, Fraser, Friend, Fulton, Geor, Gibbs, Giles, Giorgi, Golding, Goodall, Gorst, Green, Griffiths, Hallett, Harding, Harris, Hart, Hartshorn, Haynes, Heaps, Heighway, Heywood, Hodgetts, Hunt, Hunter, Ingram, Iti, Jeffares, Jones, Juke, Jury, Kemsley, King, Kyle, Laing, Lambie, Lang, Lee, Livingston, Lomas, Love, Macauley, Maddison, Maher, Martin, Maultsaid, Maund, McFlynn, McIntyre, McKibbin, Morris, Mullany, Murton, Nelson, Nicol, Oldridge, Oliver, Olsen, O’Meara, Palmer, Patria, Patrick, Peacock, Pederson, Peat, Perry, Pettitt, Pharazyn, Phibbs, Phillips, Pipe, Plummer, Priest, Rawstrone, Read, Renton, Rich, Roach, Robertson, Rodgers, Sayner, Seaton, Shaw, Sinclair, Smith, Smythe, Spence, Stead, Stitchbury, Sturm, Sweatman, Thompson, Thorpe, Trotter, Wade, Waite, Ward, Weir, Wetere, Wilkins, Williamson, Woodham, Wright

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Hastings Orphans' Club Inc.

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Date published

July 2013


Hastings Orphans' Club Incorporated

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