Clarence Harry Griffin (1905 - 1980)
CLARENCE HARRY GRIFFIN was born 20 Feb 1905 in Kaponga, Taranaki, to parents Arthur and Helena Griffin. His brother Alf told of Clarrie's ill-health when a teenager after suffering from severe pneumonia which nearly caused his death.
This became the catylist for an active sporting career to restore and improve his lung capacity. He took up cycling in the 1920's with the H.A.A.C (the Hawera Amateur Cycling Club) and entered long (100 mile) and short (50 mile) road races throughout the country - eg Gisborne and Ashburton.
He told of his experience at the Selwyn bridge 25 miles from Christchurch. Just one lane with passing bays and came upon two lorries nose to nose arguing who had to back up. The cyclists helped each other climb over the lorries however in the process, scratching and denting the cabs causing both drivers to turn their anger on the competitors. Piling for a new replacement bridge was started in 1927. The racing cycle had wooden rims and fixed wheel and often obtained speeds of 30 to 40 miles per hour, no mean feat considering the road surface in those days but absence of braking meant flatter terraine was preferred for safety.
Clarrie was a regulare contender in the cycle events locally at Hawera and Patea between 1920 and 1930
In 1922 Clarrie was employed by Robert Campbell on his dairy farm. His father, well known athlette, taught a boxing club up to 1913 while at Riverlea when the family moved to Inaha. Clarrie's ability as a pugilist was demonstrated when he remonstrated with 4 boys who entered his owner's property and at court was fined for one boy's loss of a tooth
Brother Eric and Clarrie Griffin commenced farming a block together at Inaha together.
19 Oct 1925 At the Pedigree Jersey sale. offered by J B Clemow "Penrose Rambler" (Primrose Glory Lad - Penrose Princess) 13 months - Mr C Griffin paid 26 guineas. Clarrie's pedigree jersey cattle herd Atea was a source of pride, recording high butterfat records, successful at A and P shows and breeding stud bulls. He was made an honary member of the Jersey Breeders Club.
Sister Vera house-kept house for the brothers - the farm later divided this in half and farmed individually.
Clarrie become engaged to Dolly Zena Newsham and built his house
Their marriage took place on the 17th Aug 1932 in Seventh Day Adventist Church, Albion St., Hawera.
As a practising Seventh-day Adventist, religious observance of their Sabbath is undertaken from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset - they avoid secular work, business and activities such as shopping and entertainment. Sport eg cycling held on a Saturday was not able to followed, but medical, relief and humanitarian work is accepted.
Zena was the daughter of GEORGE NEWSHAM and JANE PROSSER and was b: 02 Dec 1907 in Opunake. She was a fine musician and after a long and relentless fight with cancer died 12th Dec 1955 at Stratford, aged 48 and was buried at the Hawera Lawn Cemetery.
In the 1950's he bought a run-off block at Sutherland road, Manaia where he lived and employed share-milkers on the Inaha farm. Use of weedsprays over many years had exposed Clarrie to enviromental toxins and are believed to have been a causative factor in his death from cancer aged 75 years on 30 Mar 1980 at Hawera Hospital, Taranaki. He was buried at Hawera Cem. Plot 4 Block XL on 2/04/1980 with Zena.
Clarrie remarried 1960 to IRIS LILLIAN FORD nee PILCHER (b: 10th Dec 1908 in Whataupoko, and she d; 18 Aug 1977 in Hawera aged 68 years. Lil's first marriage was to James Alan Ford - their 5 sons, Malcolm, Basil, Noel, Lance and Carl Ford.