In the latter part of 1944 three people began to take an interest in archery. They were Peg and Brae Bartley and the late Fred Savage, and they joined up with the Griffins Club. They bought their own bows for 27 shillings from a chap in Dunedin by name of Hughie Butel (how that man's name crops up in archery), but they were unable to use them because they never saw the other members of the club.
It turned out that the other members of the club, a factory one, shot during their lunch hour.
Thus came the birth of the idea to form their own club, and after much hunting around for a suitable ground they were compelled to accept the Randwick School grounds as the only available site, with an initial outlay of 6 pounds for a season's use. It was decided to name the club after the school, and so the Randwick Archery Club was born.
Brae Bartley had written to Mr H J Ryan of Dunedin requesting information about archery equipment. In reply Mr Ryan had suggested they contact Mr Norm Rodgerson who had recently arrived in the Hutt Valley from the south.
Having decided on an opening day, to be held in October 1944, the foundation members were hard at work making targets when Norm Rodgerson arrived on the scene, having also had a letter from Mr Ryan telling him about the enquires from the new archery club.
t was just as well that he arrived when he did. Members were hard at work making wooden box frames covered on each side with scrim, and with the inner cavity stuffed with straw. Norm was able to show them a much more improved method of target making using a coiled straw snake. Beneficial assistance was also forthcoming in target making from Harold Hunt of the Gaiety Club of Wellington, where archery was a popular pastime included in the task of entertaining the troops. The targets, when completed, were stored in the school's air-raid shelter that was also used for the first Club meeting.
At this meeting Norm Rodgerson was elected as club Captain, Brae Bartley as Vice-captain, Don Gordon as Treasurer and Freddie Savage Secretary.
Other local clubs were invited to the opening that was attended by about 30 to 40 archers. Competitions were held at 30 yards, followed by a William Tell shoot, complete with apple. Afternoon tea was served in one of the school's rooms.
After Christmas, in early 1945, a permanent butt was formed by the Silverstream Bridge, where a shoot was held every Sunday, and where a very large number of arrows were broken. Later in the year a move was made to an indoor range in the Scout Hall by the stop bank.
By this time membership had grown and included archers from as far afield as Eastbourne, Island Bay and Ngauranga.
Over the 1945 Christmas Holidays an archery camp was set up in Morrisons Bush, about 13 members spending a most enjoyable two weeks, with about fifty rabbits meeting their Waterloo.
About this time the Randwick Club joined with the Ngaio and Sherwood Clubs in establishing an archery range in the Wellington Sports Centre, as Randwick had found the financial burden at Randwick school too great. At the Sports Centre each club shot in their individual club competitions over 30 yards.
A further move was made by Randwick in 1946 to an indoor range in the Moera Hall, where the club has been established for their indoor seasons since.
About the end of 1947 an outdoor range was also opened in the grounds of Griffins Factory, at no cost to the club, and it was here that the members had their first experience of shooting at ranges up to 60 yards.
In February 1948, Molly and Norm Rodgerson, Peg and Brae Bartley, Pat Robins, Rona Hill and Doreen Strickland attended the first New Zealand National Championships at Dunedin, and brought home their share of the awards. A lot was learned from this top line competition, and a marked improvement was noticeable in their shooting thereafter.
Towards the end of 1948, the management of Griffins notified the club that their grounds were required for staff cricket, and the need for a new ground became paramount. Just prior to this, the WCC town Planner, who had been requested by the Petone Borough Council to arrange sports grounds for the Borough, had seen Norm Rodgerson regarding the possibility of a ground at the end of North Street being used as an archery range, with the prospect of forming a club in Petone. Norm inspected the wilderness of gorse-covered humps and hollows, agreed that it could be made into an archery range, but suggested that it be offered to the Randwick Club.
The ground was consequently incorporated into the Town Plan as an archery range (designated Archers Green) and two weeks later Randwick Club's use of Griffins ground ceased.
Randwick snapped up the new location. Members got straight to work to clean up the ground, and were able to do such a good job that shooting commenced almost at once. A clubhouse was erected at a cost of 45 pounds, partly financed from member loans that were paid back as funds became available.
The second National Championships held in Auckland in 1949 was attended by about 15 members of the ever-growing Randwick club, and again a fair share of the awards came home to the new Archery Green. Most popular success at this meeting was the winning of the Jackson Shield for the best-dressed team, the Club's new uniform having been specially made for this event. (This was to be the club's first of four successes in this event to date).
Since these notes were compiled--for the Club's 10th Anniversary Celebrations in 1954--Randwick has continued to achieve successes at both the National and District levels, and development of the grounds continued to the point where the Club had a ten target, full 90 metre range, with clubhouse facilities.
June the 10th 2006 saw the last official shoot at North street after 56 years of it being our home. Some 40 plus archers from around the district attended the event which was followed by a barbecue luncheon/afternoon tea; a sad occasion, but an enjoyable day for those attending. After all of those years at North Street the club was now be located very close to where it first started, at the northern end, on the eastern side of Randwick Road, Moera, Lower Hutt. At first, the new site, near the railway line needed a lot of imagination to see it as an archery range. It was overgrown with gorse and brambles. A large amount of work by club members has meant that we now have a full 90 metre range and a shorter JAMA range on site. Work is still in progress to create a range that meats the needs of all our members, with plans for clubrooms and an indoor range in the future.
168 Randwick Road