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Tuesday, 14 April 2015

2015 Le Gaye Island Bay Revisited - Wellington Sat 30 April 2005

Evening Post 27 April 1915

2015 is the 100th anniversary year for Scottish Harriers which was formed after members of Brooklyn Harriers broke away to form the new club. The club has had an interesting past and the Wellingtonian newspaper recently carried an article on the planned activities to be held over Queen Birthday weekend at the end of May.

As part of the celebrations the first club race of the 2015 winter season will be the Le Gaye, and will start outside of Cliff House in Island Bay. Cliff House was the start of the clubs very first run away back on 10 April 1915. All clubs participated in the opening run and apparently there were 12 starters.

The Le Gaye Rose Bowl was donated in 1928 by Mr Le Gaye Holthouse to be presented for a sealed handicap.  The first winner of the trophy away back in 1928 was N J Bramley and it is an uncanny coincidence that one of the new Scottish committee member is Nathan Bramley.

According to the club the Le Gaye trophy is past its useful life and will be replaced by a new Centennial Cup.  It is not clear whether in future the race will still be known as the Le Gaye or the Centennial. Perhaps the Le Gaye Centennial name might be a compromise.
But the good news is that the Ballantyne Memorial Cup race is back on the race programme for 2015 as part of the centennial celebrations. It was removed from the programme in 2014 but it is fitting that it has been reinstated not only as a mark of respect to the club founders but as a Scottish tribute to the sacrifices made 100 years ago during the Great War by young Kiwis (including members of Scottish) at Gallipoli and the battlefields of Europe. 
The timing is also significant because the cup was donated in 1923 by Walter Ballantyne and his wife to commemorate their son Bob who died on 14 November 1918 from influenza after being repatriated to NZ after being wounded at Passchendale The Ballantyne men were both founding members of Scottish with Bob being the first club champion.
The bad new is there is no indication the Ballantyne will be restored to its rightful place on the race programme in 2016 and beyond.
But for the Le Gaye at least it seems fitting to post a few photos taken 10 years ago at Island Bay, most of which have not been published before.