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Club history

Read a brief history of our club (the oldest hockey club in Wellington, and the second oldest in the country) and view some vintage photos of the good old days.

Excerpt from "100 years of dribble: Karori Hockey Club"

As written by Rose-Marie Thompson in 1999...

Karori's modest start was in 1899. Led by Godfrey W.G. Davies, three other young men, S. McKenzie, C. Cathie, and L. Davies, Godfrey's young brother, met in an old Karori barn to discuss the formation of a hockey club in Karori.

Godfrey, a player in one of the Wellington teams, decided that Karori could support a club of its own.

Mr Cathie was delegated to approach the WHA to discuss the prospect of affiliation.

They had to find their own ground to fulfill one of the conditions of membership of the WHA, which had been formed the previous season.

Mr Campbell had generously donated a paddock for the Club's use during the season.

The first hockey field.

Joe Englert - a Karori Hockey Club player to be proud of

From the archives comes a story of a past KHC player and coach to be admired.

Joe Englert, a former Wellington and New Zealand hockey representative, was a stalwart of Karori Hockey Club and showed the type of grit and determination that makes a great hockey player.

After representing NZ in 1950, he suffered a near-tragic accident in 1953.

Not the type of person to give up easily though, he brought himself back from the brink of death and defied the odds to again represent NZ in 1955.

A decades-long member of KHC, he forms part of the proud history and tradition of Wellington's oldest hockey club.

Read the full story of his comeback:
(Having trouble reading the image text? View aClose transcript of the article)

All the world loves a "comeback" story

And Joe Englert's is one worth reading

By Phillip Dennis

Most of us have heard of how Murray Halberg overcame a severe football accident, which left him with a permanently disfigured left arm, to become the fastest mile runner we've ever produced; heard, too, of the 20 spells in hospital undergone as a result of numerous broken bones, a crushed arm and a spinal infection by that champion cross-country and track distance runner, Kerry Williams.

There are a number of these stories to be told of New Zealand sportsmen - of fortitude, raw courage and strength of will to rise above such immense physical setbacks. But none, I believe, can surpass that of H. J. (Joe) Englert, one of the country's best-known hockey personalities.

Englert first played hockey on the right wing for Wellington (as a member of the Karori club) in 1947, although he had represented Waikato while stationed in the district with the war-time RNZAF. In 1950, although on a losing North Island side in the inter-island match at Wanganui, he played so well that he earned his New Zealand jersey and a trip to Australia.

He missed the international side when the Australians came here in 1952, and then, a year later, came the near-tragic mishap.

Englert, a carpenter, was perched on scaffolding dismantling a glasshouse when he lost his balance and crashed through it.

As he fell, a piece of jagged glass went up through his left armpit and literally tore the tendons to shreds.

This happened, unfortunately, on the one day he was alone on the job, and as he lay there, shocked and bleeding, he lost what was later estimated at two thirds of his blood.

Eventually he dragged himself to a nearby house (how, he doesn't remember), where, as medical aid was being summoned, he collapsed again in a pool of blood.

When the ambulance arrived, one look was taken at the dazed and bleeding Englert before he was piled straight into the front seat and dashed to the hospital.

"If we'd have wasted time putting him on a stretcher and getting him into the back, I don't think he'd still be with us," the driver later told Joe's family.

His life was almost despaired of as an emergency operation was performed immediately, the first task being the removal from the gaping wound of a four-inch piece of glass!

It was touch and go for many hours. Joe Englert was in bad shape - he didn't recognise his brother Peter for some time.

Then the family came to light with blood donations. Transfusions were made.

"I don't know how much of his own blood he has left, now," said Peter, himself a New Zealand hockey representative, "But there's quite a lot of the family's there as well!"

Few thought that Joe had any more hockey to play, but this tough character made an astonishing recovery. He made ground fast, refusing all the time to believe that his playing days were over.

As soon as he left the hospital, months later, he began slowly but surely to rebuild his physique. In six months' time, he played played club hockey again...this was at the close of the 1954 season.

He found that he was no longer able to lift his left arm shoulder high, but shrugged this off as "no hockey disability, anyhow."

Hadn't he once tripped over a hoop and stumbled forward to immerse both hands in boiling tar (which brought massive blisters)? And later broken his nose in three consecutive hockey matches?

The upshot of the recovery, then, was that this hardy, strongly-built character found all his old touch once again, and not only resumed his place on Wellington's right-wing, but also regained his old position in the New Zealand team which played the Indian Wanderers in the First Test at Wellington last winter.

Today, Joe Englert won't discuss his accident. He looks back on it as "Just one of those things" - "I don't remember much about it" is all he can be induced to say.

But in our book, of all the remarkable recoveries, this one takes the cake.

Close transcript

Joe Englert - past KHC player and coach

Photographs of our club history

Credit: Karori Hockey Club. Karori Historical Society: Photographs of Karori. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

Karori Hockey Club - Date: Unknown

Karori Hockey Club - Date: Unknown

Karori Hockey Club seniors - Date: 1909

Karori Hockey Club seniors - Date: 1909

Karori Hockey Club junior team - Date: 1930

Karori Hockey Club junior team - Date: 1930

Karori Hockey Club third-grade team - Date: 1933

Karori Hockey Club third-grade team - Date: 1933

Karori Hockey Club - Date: 1899

Karori Hockey Club - Date: 1899

Karori Hockey Club - Date: Unknown

Karori Hockey Club - Date: Unknown

Karori Hockey Club - Date: 1933

Karori Hockey Club - Date: 1933

Hockey match at Karori Park - Date: c1950s

Hockey match at Karori Park - Date: c1950s