Topic: A Short History of Jubilee Park / Jamieson Oval (Te Puke)

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This article on the history of Te Puke's Jubilee Park / Jamieson Oval is by local historian and author, Christine Clement.

The land know known as Jubilee Park (which includes Jamieson Oval) was included in the original purchase of the Te Puke Block from local Maori Waitaha.  The purchase was finalised in November 1878 after at least three years of negotiations through the Native (later Maori) Land Court.

The block was surveyed in 1879 and in the sale of Deferred Payment blocks in December 1880 Block II Section 21 was purchased by Jordan and Raymond.  Section 21 stretched from the short extension of Boucher Avenue (beside KFC) along what is now Station Road/Lee Street to the Waiari Stream and the Main Road/Jellicoe Street.  It was later split into two sections and it seems that the northern piece (Pt Sec 21 Block 2) was purchased by Thomas Lemon though he did not appear to live on this section (he had a house built higher up No 2 Road in 1910).  The southern section (Pt Sec 21 Block 1) appears to have been purchased by Robert King.  He may have lived on his land on the corner of Commerce Lane and King Street in a house that was later lived in by the Jamieson family – Mrs Jamieson was Robert King’s sister.  This house was later used as the United Pirate Rugby Club rooms from 1967 before being demolished and replaced by the Government building in 1986.  Robert King certainly lived in a large house which he built on Queen Street (Fenton McFadden site).

The first buildings in Te Puke began on the southern side of the main road, between Oxford and Jocelyn Streets and until the opening of the first Te Puke (Kenealy’s) Hotel around 1893 there does not appear to have been any settlement on that side of the road.  No mention is made of any farming activity on this land during visits to the township by the Bay of Plenty Times during the 1880s/1890s.  In 1900 Te Puke sports activities were centered on the Domain opposite the Te Puke School (Cameron Road) including the erection of tennis courts on the site of the present netball courts.  However the Domain was very rough and full of small hills and gullies and was not suitable for sports or shows until it was developed later.

By February 1906 there is mention of the “large paddock at the rear of Kenealy’s Hotel“ being used for the Te Puke Agricultural & Pastoral Association show.  By 1912 the Te Puke Golf Club is meeting on the property of Thomas Lemon on No 2 Road, and by 1915 rugby is being played in “Montgomery’s paddock” (he was the owner of the hotel).  The 1918 Peace Celebrations were held in “Jamieson’s paddock” - presumably all the same place.

On lower Jocelyn Street, Gavin Wallace was operating a store on what is now Super Liquor by 1905.  It burnt down around 1915 and in 1920 the Kaituna Private Hotel was operating on this site.  (The building had been transported and re-erected from the Ohinemuri goldfields.)  The hotel (then Thompson Sacks) burnt down in 1966 and the current commercial premises appears to have been built shortly afterwards.  It was built as an off-licence for the hotel.  By 1947 the Road Services depot was in the area of the car-park between Super Liquor and St John Ambulance Hall.  It was demolished in 1971 and the area turned into a car-park with planting done by local service groups.  At the same time the new grandstand was built.  In October 1957 the new St John Ambulance Hall was built on land leased from the Borough Council at a peppercorn rental.

In February 1910 Robert King opened the Te Puke Bowling Club greens.  It seems certain that he donated this land for the erection of these greens as he still owned the property thereabouts.  In 1934 the estate of Robert King offered the Town Board three acres of land at the back of the bowling green for the formation of tennis courts and in 1935 the Borough Council purchased some land from the Robert King estate to form the stock route.

The Te Puke Town Board was formed in 1913 and both Thomas Lemon and Robert King were members.  The chairman, Thomas Palmer made a report on what was needed in Te Puke and one proposal was that land for a recreation ground be bought for the town.  In December 1924 the Te Puke Times mentions that Thomas Lemon has kindly allowed the use of his property for golf and football, as well as many town functions.  “If there were no ground on which sports and football could be held, it would have a serious effect on the prosperity of the town”.  Mr Lemon was leasing the ground to the Town Board for £20 pa.  In June 1930 the hotly contested Te Hurinui Apanui Rugby Shield match (for Bay of Plenty teams) was played at “Rugby Park” and Te Puke (the current holder) played Opotiki.  It is estimated that between 1300 and 1400 people attended.

In 1932 Thomas Lemon offered the Rugby Union sole use of his land and the Te Puke Golf Club then had to move.  In September 1934 the Borough Council purchased the land from the estate of Thomas Lemon for £1000 for the 12 acres.  Various names are suggested for the park but in May 1935 it is namedJubileeParkin honor of the His Majesty’s Silver Jubilee.  The main entrance to the park was through what is now Palmer Place and “Hera’s Memorial” and (in 1940) Centennial Gates are erected there.  During the 1930s unemployed labour was used to level the playing areas.

Jubilee Park c1940

JubileePark– c1940 – On the football ground it says

“Under construction as our Centennial Scheme”.

(National Archives)

On the 24 May 1946 the Te Puke Times published that “the new football and sports ground on Jubilee Park is to be called Jamieson Oval in memory of the late Mr Andrew Jamieson, who was so actively interested in past years in trying to develop sport in Te Puke. This decision is arrived at by the Te Puke Borough Council at a recent monthly meeting.”  John Andrew (Andy) Jamieson had been a member of the Town Board/Borough Council and was killed inGreece in 1941.  He was a nephew of Robert King and had lived in the house on the corner ofCommerce Lane andKing Street.  Ironically Te Puke’s Mayor Jonathan (Dick) Brown has died in office in October 1945 and it is wondered that the new oval was not named for him.  The park was used for rugby matches, tennis and basketball, visits of the circus, parades to welcome visiting dignatories as well as the 1945 Peace celebrations.

In 1971 the Borough Council decided to re-zone Jubilee Park as a commercial zone to enable the future development of Palmer Place, plus the council land fronting Palmer Place and Jellicoe Street (now Palmer Court), the old Basketball courts (now the car park) and the service lane at the rear of the Jellicoe Street business premises “to create an attractive shopping area fronting Jamieson Oval”, within the planned scheme. Parking for 150 cars will be provided and it will enable the sections fronting the service lane (now Commerce Lane), most of which are 180 feet in depth and stretch back to Jellicoe Street, to be better utilised.

In August 1985 plans were released for the proposed Jubilee Park commercial development (see below).  At the same time the Borough Council applied to the Local Government Commission for 33.5 hectares of land to the west of State Highway Two (between Oxford Street and No 1 Road, known as Cannell’s Farm), to be included in the borough.  This was to enable two rugby grounds and two soccer fields to be built, with facilities for parking and clubrooms, plus new tennis courts and an adventure playground. This proposal would then leave JubileeParkfree for the planned commercial development. This had come about as the result of a five year study and debate on the council’s ‘Report on Growth Options’ prepared by Harrison Grierson Consultants Limited.  In August 1986 the Te Puke High School’s lease of the Domain expired and the Education Department indicated that it wished to purchase a portion of the Domain facing Cameron Roadfor an arts and crafts block as well as extend the lease for another 30 years.  The last time the Education Board took land from the Domain for the school there was a huge outcry from the townspeople.  However the Te Puke Borough Council considered that money received from the sale (plus the sale of Jubilee Park) could go towards the planned recreation ground on Cannell’s farm.

 Proposed Jubilee Park commercial development 1985

Proposed Jubilee Park commercial development

(Te Puke Times – August 1985)

It is assumed that the above plans were not proceeded with due to the planned amalgamation of local bodies.  This eventually happened on the 1 November 1989 when the Te Puke Borough Council became the Western Bay of Plenty District Council.

by Christine Clement (2012).

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A Short History of Jubilee Park / Jamieson Oval (Te Puke)


Year:1946
City:Te Puke, New Zealand
Location:


Latitude and Longitude coordinates: -37.7861649,176.3254445

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License
A Short History of Jubilee Park / Jamieson Oval (Te Puke) by Debbie McCauley (Tauranga City Libraries) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License