The death of Ken Thomas was the inspiration behind the family cow although it is dedicated to all the generations that have gone before. James Buchanan Thomas bought the Kereone road farm in 1919 which of course is the feature of ‘our cow’.
Elizabeth graduated in fine art from Otago New Zealand, majoring in printmaking, and travelled to London in 1985 where she worked as an artist and illustrator. Clients included Penguin Books, Daily Telegraph and Broadgate. In 2000 she became a professional pilot. In 2009 Elizabeth made a return to fine art. She is a member of the East London Printmakers and a full member of the Society of Graphic Fine Artists.View website
The first of our family arrived in NZ in the 1860s and settled in Rototuna (Frederick George Thomas). His son James Buchanan Thomas moved to what is now Thomas Road at Waihou (it was JBs widow Margaret that donated the land for Thomas Park and the Plunket rooms).
He had 4 children 2 of whom (Stan and Fred –my grandfather, played rugby for Waikato- Stan was also an All Black trialist) Alan was a referee and also a Waikato selector and coach. There was also a daughter Anne who was a Morrinsville resident for many years (married name Mallet)
JB bought the Kereone road farm in 1919 which of course is the feature of ‘our cow’.
Fred’s 3 children (Ken, Cliff and Margaret) lived most of their life locally. Ken (KJ) had 39 years in Local government, firstly on the Piako County Council (chairman from 1974 to 1989) and was the first mayor of the Matamata Piako District Council from 1989 to 1998.
Cliff was a real estate salesman for many years and prominent in rugby refereeing. Margaret was a nurse who travelled extensively before settling back in Morrinsville.
In terms of the next generation, Bruce and James (cousins) are the first generation to milk cows on the property.
James lives on part of the old family farm and works as a farm consultant (as well as being on the Matamata Piako District council) and married Jane who teaches at Morrinsville college. Their daughter Sarah passed away in 2007 and son Matthew is a banking consultant in Hamilton.
One sister (Karen) lives in wellington and is CEO of SOLGOM and the other (Joanne) runs a hairdressing business in Morrinsville.
Of Cliff’s children, Bruce is still local and owns another part of the original farm, and is also a farm consultant and a board member of Anexa Animal Health and was also a rugby referee.
His brother Roger (another referee!) is a sheep farmer near Gore and his sister Kaye lives near Katikati.