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November 2009 - Oamaru's Victorian Heritage Celebrations

Toroa Heritage Week Boat race.

On Saturday 21 November a contingent of 16 personnel from HMNZS TOROA travelled to Oamaru to take part in the Saturday events of Oamaru’s annual Heritage week celebrations. From steam to horse power Oamaru’s Victorian heritage celebrations had a little bit of everything. There were highland pipe and garrison bands, horses and Morris dancers.


Waitaki Mayor and Mayoress Alex and Heather Familton rode sedately in a horse-drawn carriage with the Wizard of New Zealand, the Queen of Victorian Oamaru, Julie Walker and chairwoman of the celebrations organising committee, Sally Hope.


There were Victorian eastern belly dancers, vintage tractors, a double-decker bus, a traction engine, loads of Victorian attired ladies and gents and sixteen very smart looking sailors resplendent in white uniform from TOROA.


The afternoon activity consisted of a very keenly contested rowing race between Navy and the Oamaru Rowing Club. This event dates back to the early 1930’s between the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy and the Oamaru Rowing Club. How the race first came about is lost in time however the original Oamaru Cup was apparently discovered in a trophy cabinet at HMS TAMAR Hong Kong many years ago and returned to New Zealand. A replica cup was donated by the Heritage Week Committee about eight years ago and ever since has been the subject of an annual battle between the Rowing Club and TOROA. Very happy to report that for only the second time in the past eight years Navy scored a very convincing win and brought the cup home.

Toroa victorious Crew Photo
Image Above: From left to right, ODEF Scott Turner, SLT Peter Campbell, ABSEA Hamish Tyson, LT CDR Rob Tomlinson, WO Neil Cameron, CPO Ash Ashworth, LSEA Iain Johnstone, and LWEF Barry Harwood
TOROA Ships company march as part of the Omaru's Heritage week celebrations
Image Above: TOROA boats crew and supporters march through the city as part of the celebrations.
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