Town honours rosarians, harness driver, doctor
INTERNATIONALLY renowned rose breeders Pat and Paddy Stephens packing roses for export to America in 1967.
At this year’s Pride of Te Awamutu Awards, three new inductees to Te Awamutu Walk of Fame were announced.
PADDY AND PAT STEPHENS
Paddy and the late Pat Stephens are internationally renowned rosarians, involved in international events, breeding roses and exhibiting worldwide.
They championed Te Awamutu’s Rose Garden and Mrs Stephens still holds the chair of the Te Awamutu Rose Trust.
The couple proudly promoted Te Awamutu as the Rose Town of the world, and had the honour of breeding Te Awamutu Centennial for the town’s 100th anniversary in 1984.
HARNESS driver Tony Herlihy has had the most wins of any driver in New Zealand.
Although he grew up in Te Awamutu, New Zealand’s most successful harness driver became interested in horses in Pukekohe.
He used to catch the train to his uncle Arnie Gadsby’s property where he trained horses. Mr Herlihy left school to work in Pukekohe then moved to Clevedon to work for Barry and Roy Purdon.
He married Roy’s daughter Susan, and with her brother Mark they bought a property at Ardmore. Mr Purdon trained and Mr Herlihy drove.
Six years ago he also took on the training and today the couple’s two children are also successfully involved in the industry.
Mr Herlihy has driven over 2000 winners and won every major event except an Interdominion Pacing Final.
DR LINDSAY ROGERS had a distinguished medical and military career and left a legacy for the benefit of the young people of Te Awamutu.
DR LINDSAY ROGERS
Born, schooled and trained in Otago, Dr Rogers came to Te Awamutu and went into practice with Dr Hiskens following a brief spell working overseas.
Upon the outbreak of WWII he joined the RAMC and served in North Africa and then, looking for something more interesting, won a posting as medical officer to the Partisan Army in Dalmatia and Croatia under Marshal Tito.
His courage and resourcefulness became noted, and he was compelled to write ‘Guerrilla Surgeon’ to recount his exploits. Dr Rogers was also awarded the Order of Bravery (Yugoslavia) and Order of Honour (Yugoslavia) by Marshal Tito.
He went on to serve in Tibet, Ceylon and Iraq before returning to his Te Awamutu practice.
Dr Rogers was highly involved in community affairs, and also established his farm on Cambridge Road. He met a premature death by drowning while holidaying in New Caledonia. The farm was left to Te Awamutu College and provides valuable financial and practical benefits to the young people of the town.