Hamilton Jaycees

The Hamilton Jaycee assisted with funding toward Molly Macalister's ‘Little Bull’ (1968).

"Jaycees (an abbreviation of ‘junior chambers of commerce’) differed from other service clubs in having an age restriction (18–40), and placing as much emphasis on educating young leaders as on community service projects.

The movement started in St Louis, US, in 1915, and began in New Zealand as an off-shoot of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce. There were five chapters and 860 members in 1944, and then the movement took off as young men starting white-collar careers sought to improve the infrastructure of their suburbs. By 1970 there were 164 chapters and 6,367 members.

Jaycees were committed to a belief in God and the value of free enterprise. They provided significant training in meeting procedure, debating and project management. Initially they supported local amenities such as parks and playgrounds, and later promotional ventures like industry fairs or tourist brochures.

Jaycees spawned informal women’s auxiliaries, sometimes called Jaycettes, to assist their partners. From 1973 some chapters began admitting women – which was formally accepted nationwide after some debate in 1977. By the 2010s there were few active clubs left." (Phillips)

See also:

Molly Macalister, ‘Little Bull’ (1968), Hamilton Gardens, Hungerford Crescent, Kirikiriroa Hamilton

Images: Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, Public Art Heritage Aotearoa New Zealand, 2022