Gallaher Family Mural
Renee Te Pairi, Steve Graveson
& Dena Hale (a Gallaher descendant).
|Maria Gallaher was Katikati's first teacher and her son Dave, one of her early pupils, became the first captain of the New Zealand All Blacks. The mural describes the family's struggle as pioneers and Dave's legendary career.
This mural is on the wall of the original school building in Beach Road (only a short distance from the intersection with SH2) and permanently on view to the public. Head north along Katikati's Main Street and turn right into Beach Road at the Talisman Hotel corner.You are welcome to enter the school grounds to view.
How much of a hero was Dave Gallaher? Below is an extract from The Official History of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade.
The transports called at Albany on 15th February, leaving on the 17th, and were at Colombo on the 28th and 29th. At each of these places route marches were held and general leave given, and at Albany the officers were invited to a ball given by the citizens. The behaviour of the men at both ports of call was the subject of favourable comment on the part of shore officials and the people generally, the only "regrettable incident" being the stranding of two or three of the personnel at Colombo owing to a misunderstanding as to the hour of departure. As the last of the troopships left the latter port and was making good headway westwards, a small tug came racing out and signalled her to stop. There was much speculation as to the reason for this action, and the usual wild explanations multiplied as the tug was seen to lower a boat which pulled smartly over to the trooper. The gangway was put down, and up this majestically stepped a solitary Rifleman. This was the famous New Zealand footballer, "Wing" David afterwards killed in action in Francea man much beloved by his comrades and something of a trial to, though secretly admired by, his officers. Arrived on deck, he waved a haughty dismissal to the tug and a condescending signal to the bridge that the troopship might now proceed. The usual cold formalities regarding the matter.
Dave Gallaher: The Katikati Connection