The Wellington Wanderers Cricket Club played its first fixtures in the summer of 1946-47 having been formed by the efforts of two men, Dutchy du Chateau and John Standish. They wanted to have a social cricket team who, because they didn’t have their own ground, travelled gypsy-like to each venue.
The striking club colours of navy blue, green and yellow were produced and with active recruiting of members from national and local representative teams the Wellington Wanderers undertook games against teams such as the NZ Nomads (Wairarapa), London NZ, The NZ Army, Erewhon and The Nondescripts as well as club sides from Johnsonville, Eastbourne etc. One of the primary objectives of the club became the promotion of the game of cricket to Secondary Schools by games against first XI’s. The Wanderers teams would always contain some Wellington representative players and occasionally a NZ player, which would provide inspiration to the young college cricketers. This promotion of the game at Secondary School level is what the club is now all about.
As a result of Dutchy du Chateau’s friendship with Peter Field, a farmer from Waikanae, a cricket ground was formed on one of Peter’s sheep paddocks and the Wanderers had a home ground to call their own. In December 1961 the first game was played and the pavilion followed in 1961. The original grass wicket was replaced in the mid 70’s by a coir matting wicket and then in 1988, with the help of the Norwood Trust, a top class artificial AstroTurf wicket was installed. Sadly due to lack of interest the last game was played in 2003 and the ground is no longer used, which means the Wellington Wanderers has returned full-circle to its roots as a ‘wandering’ cricket club.
One of the most important group of fixtures in the club’s history has been “The Tour” which originally was a five day escapade starting with a social match against a Horowhenua XI at Foxton, then the more serious business of Wanganui Collegiate, Palmerston North Boys High School, Dannevirke High School and finally Rathkeale College. More recently the tour has been scaled back to two or three fixtures, but with the current resurgence of the Wellington Wanderers the return of The Tour is a high priority. Along with the high profile fixtures against Cricket Wellington’s youth representative sides and the recently played fixture at the Basin Reserve against the Governor Generals Secondary Schools XI, The Wellington Wanderers Cricket Club Committee with support from Cricket Wellington is strongly placed to take the game of cricket to more and more College.