Topic: Thomason Road (TDN 3/11/2018)

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Thomason Road 

This portion of the old State Highway 3 was renamed when the Kent Road – Waiwhakaiho realignment project bypassed it in 2003. The road was named for one of the area’s long term residents, conservationist and honorary ranger, Frederick Cowan Thomason (1918-1999), who had recently died.

The Thomason family had been living in Taranaki since James William Thomason with his wife Clementina migrated with their children from Shetland, Scotland in 1874.  His son, James Ingram Thomason, farmed in the Egmont Village area, marrying Bertha Chard from nearby Upland Road.

Their son, Fred, attended Egmont Village School with his siblings and was a good amateur cyclist in Taranaki. In 1938, aged 20, Fred joined the NZ Police Force, serving in Wellington. Members of the Police were not permitted to enlist as soldiers in World War II, much to his and some of his colleagues’ disgust. After much agitation, he was seconded to the Fijian Police Force in an area where there was a US Airforce Base.

After his father’s death in 1944, Fred returned to Egmont Village with his wife Margaret and their two children, Stuart & Heather, living on part of the old family farm. Others of the family left the area, including his mother Bertha (nee Chard) - described as ‘The Mother of Egmont Village’. Fred operated the school bus service for 25 years. He was very interested in local history and much of the book Egmont Village: 125 years was based on his articles.

The Thomason family still have a base in Taranaki.  The cycling tradition grew with his son Stuart, a semi-professional, and his son Jason, a professional racer, winning the Stage 4 leg of Cycling Australia’s National Road Series in August.  Grandad would have been proud.

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