1945 saw the beginnings of the Pukekohe Indian Sports Club, the formation of which was encouraged by Madhav Kalidas Master. Other people involved in this venture included Ravji C Hari, Parbhu Bhikha, Bhana Khusal, Kesha Parsot, Balu Girdhar and several others.
The first President elected was Daya Natha, and the first Secretary Ranchhod Girdhar.
Although the original records are not available, information was obtained from photographs and by through discussions with the remaining founding members and the wider community. Even some of this information varies. However, overall the main points of the Club’s history have been generally agreed and are recorded for the first time.
The 1945 hockey team consisted mainly of young men, but was supplemented by a number of players in their 40’s. Their success as a team was not that great, but they went out to enjoy the game in a sportsmanlike manner. Many of the players used the long hook English sticks and this was evident when the Club was revived in 1960 and Naran Kana used this particular English style hockey stick.
In 1945 the Pukekohe Indian Sports Club can claim to have been a multicultured Club with Maori and European players in their hockey team.
The hockey team was coached by Bhana Fakir, who used to travel from Auckland. The training field was a horse paddock at the back of the Wallabh’s property in Upper Queen Street, Pukekohe.
The majority of players travelled to games in 30cwt canopy trucks owned by the Wallabh and Girdhar families. The games were played in Waiuku, Waiau Pa, Patumahoe, Kingseat and Pukekohe. Ravji C Hari also used to supply transport to take the “boys” around (sometimes Wellington). Meetings were held at Parbhu Bhikha’s house, but these didn’t occur very often and were usually convened to organise a social event. The functions (ie annual sports days etc) were held on a Sunday as people weren’t allowed to work that day. The games were usually on a Saturday afternoon.
The coach in 1945 was Mervyn J Cooper. In those years Kohekohe was the strongest team. Practices were held on Thursday nights. Invitation games were played in Papatoetoe against Auckland, Wellington and Rotorua. To encourage young players Madhav Master, donated the Nehru Cup for the Franklin Hockey Association competition. The Indian team of that era did not win this cup, which is still being played for in the present Counties Hockey Association competition. However, the team did win a seven-a-side tournament which was the first success of many to come for the Club.
On the cricket front, the team was quite successful with individual players taking a number of wickets and compiling some good scores. The newspaper articles explain the way in which the cricket team was entered into the Franklin competition.