The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 6, Issue 2 (June 1, 1931)
The New Zealand School of Wrestling — Up-To-Date Gymnasium Opened At Wellington. — Promoting the Interests of a Noble Game
The New Zealand School of Wrestling
Up-To-Date Gymnasium Opened At Wellington.
Promoting the Interests of a Noble Game.
The New Zealand School of Wrestling was officially opened at Wellington on Monday, 22nd June, by Mr. H. D. Bennett, president of the Dominion Wrestling Union.
This school promises to be something out of the ordinary, and is out to develop the best amateur talent possible under ideal gymnasium conditions.
“Smiler” Clark, late Australian heavyweight champion, is the instructor, while the manager is Mr. Pat Allen, well known in Wellington.
In opening the school before a large attendance of the public, Mr. Bennett said it was the finest of its kind he had seen, and he was sure that the men who were running it would do well. Such an elaborate gymnasium would encourage young people to take up the noble game of wrestling, which was the oldest and the best sport in the world.
Mr. Bennett said that he thought the public could look forward to the New Zealand School of Wrestling to turn out some of the best amateurs in the country and the Dominion Wrestling Union would give the school every assistance possible at all times.
Speaking of professional wrestling, Mr. Bennett, whose remarks were frequently loudly applauded, said that now and again the newspaper made mention of “rough-house wrestling.”
“Complaint is made,” went on the speaker, “that wrestling is not what it used to be. It is true that at times some of the bouts have been a bit rough, at any rate in the eyes of New Zealanders. There are many of us, of course, who realise that a good deal of this so-called ‘rough-house wrestling’ is mere showmanship and is practised by the participants for the purpose of adding a little interest to the proceedings. We should tolerate it in the spirit in which it is given.”
Continuing, Mr. Bennett said that the Union was formed for the sole purpose of keeping the game clean in New Zealand; the Wrestling Union was determined not to permit professionalism among its members. All the officers acted purely in an honorary capacity; nobody was paid, each and all working as hard as possible for the love of the game.
“There is no danger,” went on the chairman of the controlling body, “of the rough element being introduced into New Zealand.”
Mr. Bennett added that amateurs had first claim upon the Union's profits. The Union was prepared to receive applications from colleges and universities for financial assistance. Funds of course were limited, but the Union would assist so far as its resources would permit.
Following the official opening, a number of exhibition bouts were staged, during which Harry Demetral, the Greek wrestler, was introduced to the public.—“N.Z. Referee.”