New Zealand, D9930


History of the Auction and Charity Fair

The origins

The letterbox flyer for the first auction.

Click for full view

  • The following appears in the Bulletin 23rd November 1967

"CLUB PROJECT; For the International Committee, Yick (Gee) reported that the committee's books for Fiji project was in hand, and was estimated to cost - for a number of English text-books, reference books, etc. - in the region of $100. To raise the needed funds the committee was planning to organise, with the agreement of the Directors and Club members, a giant auction sale. A sub-committee had already reported on the possibilities, and there had been indications of strong support for such a project from club members and friends who are prepared to donate articles and goods for sale. The International Committee was confident that, if the club got behind it, it would be able to raise enough not only for its own books project, but also to assist other projects the club was planning. (These, of course, include aid for the Taradale Play Centre and Kaitawa Holiday School schemes). Yick said the committee recommended a combined effort by the entire club to see that the auction was a resounding success. The directors have approved the plan in principle, and final sanction is now awaited." (Doug Rees reporter)

The first Rotary Auction in the car park 1968. (Click to expand.)

Identifiable (marked with a cross) are Ned Holt, Jack Lockyer and Jock Morris

Was this the inspiration for the first Auction?  The record shows that both Doug Rees and Ted Lewis were members of Yick's International committee, so the conclusion must be drawn that Doug's ideas for an auction were first floated at an International Committee meeting.             

  • The first Auction was held in March 1968 with the first convenors of the organising committee being Doug Rees and Ted Lewis. The original concept was to be based on a Paddy's Market, but it rapidly developed to a full auction. Second hand goods were solicited from the public. The Treasurer reported a final net result of $1368.15

Taradale Play Centre

  • The Directors then decided to disburse the funds as follows

$500.00  Swimming Pool & Community Centre

$100.00  Taradale Play Centre

$440.00  10 local schools and Camp Kaitawa

$100.00   Y.M.C.A

  • The distribution of funds caused enormous interest among members, and four amendments were received in writing. The interest caused Directors to delay discussion until the Club Forum and all members were issued the Rules of Debate, and the Forum was to be in the hands of the Rev. Duncan Jamieson

  • At the Club forum, the motion proposed by Jock Morris, that the swimming pool and Community Centre proposal be allocated $1000 gained favour. Caution prevailed however, because neither the swimming pool proposal nor the Community Centre were projects that had approval from required authorities, nor was there universal agreement. Tom McDonald proposed that that the $1000 be held in Club Reserve Funds for 5 years or until community fundraising for either proposal commences.

This proved to be a very wise step to take, because as is now known, neither proposal ever got off the ground.

  • No auction was held in 1969, but it was resumed in 1970 with Ian Kepka as convener. It netted $1037 which was given to support the Taradale Play Centre. For this auction, goods were solicited from local businesses and a portion of the receipts was returned to business community.


  • No auction was held in 1971. This might have been attributable to the fact that Brian Mackinlay only served half his term as President and Jock Morris returned to lead the Club for the remained of the term.

Jack Lockyer,-,-,Gilbert Atkins and Peter Sugden

Click for full view

  • The Auction returned in 1972, organised again by Doug Rees and Ted Lewis. The Club rejuvenates the Auction and sets the pattern for the next 30 years; retail goods were still being offered to sell on commission. And on the day it was reported that the rain held off until the auction was over and it was "a bonanza". A profit of $2600 was finally declared.

  • In 1974 the structure of organisation, which lasted for a period of 30 years, took shape. An Auction Committee was formed with members nominated from each committee and this group headed by Kel Tremain, and it recommend that 75% of proceeds go to the new Atawhai Home for the Aged. They also organised the first reported "After match" to be a Dine & Dance at the Masonic Hotel. The Auction also moved to the main street from the Town Hall and car park. It was a great success with over $5000 raised and this was increased by $1300 with proceeds from a stock drive organised by the Puketapu Branch of the Federated Farmers.

  • From 1972, an Auction was held every year until 2004. The event expanded to include many stalls such as books, second hand clothes, electrical goods, jewellery,. fruit, raffles. The event involved the whole club on the day, but a small band of dedicated workers gave their time for months collecting donated goods, sorting it, pricing it, and holding preliminary garage sales.

The later Years

Typical street scene

  • A net return of approximately $380,000 in 36 years is testimony to the place of the annual auction and charity fair in the club's activities. Usually held in March, it invariably involves a total club of its most important facets.  In latter years, the project has recorded an annual average return of around $18,000. The monetary outcome is vital, of course, to the promotion of the club's community and associated projects, but there is an added, major spin-off for the Club in the fellowship and co-operative zeal engendered, as all pitch in to this once a year fundraising endeavour.


Book stall held in conjunction with the Auction, 2001

  • In 2001 so many books were collected, that the Auction committee decided to hold a separate Book Fair in the Taradale Town Hall on the 6th-7th October. It was organised by Doug McGechan and raised more than $1000.

Gil enjoys a well deserved break and joke with the team

  • The money raised has been dispersed to many organisations within the Taradale district. The largest allocations of funds were $10,000 to the Club's Educational Trust Fund, $8,000 to build two units at Atawhai, and considerable sums to refurbish the Town Hall and recently to Dolbel Park development.

  • During this time, some members gave willingly of their time year in and year out. One member who was involved for every 35 years of the event, was Gil Atkins. In recognition of his work for the Auction as well as his well known reputation as the Taradale Milkman, Gil was awarded the Paul Harris Medal in 1987.
  • In 2004 it was decided to rest this fundraising formula and try something new. It was becoming increasingly obvious that the heavy work of collecting, classifying, pricing and moving auction goods and stall goods around, was being done by every year by a small band of willing workers. New methods were needed, so for 2005, the Club organised and ran a Beer Festival.

  • To read details of each auction, click here.

  • To review the revenue earned and how the funds were distributed click here.

Pictures of the 1984 Auction thanks to Bill Beaton

Warren Cooper, radio man

Dave Nichol (standing),Arthur Stafford, Josie Bell, Charlie Bell

Jim Dine, Ted Morris, Ted Skudder try selling junk!

Eve Edwards, Sue Read, Esme Gilmour, Glenys McCaw (partly obscured)

Peter Simons tries selling a plant, John Campbell behind

Jane Howard looking pleased with sales

Kel Tremain gets the crowd going in the auction. Richard Howell in cap; Dave Rench (profile)

Kel Tremain, Richard Howell in cap

Kel Tremain, Jock Morris (in white cap), Richard Howell (cap) Bob Mason, Dave Rench

Bill Beaton tries selling clothes- not food! Sheena Beaton and Christine Lee look on. Cheryl Sugden in background

A bearded John Campbell buried in the foliage

The "cuppa", a welcome break. Dianne Rench, Bev Simons, Josie Bell (all seated). Ted Skudder and Jim Gordon at back.