Author(s): Denis Dwyer
Tom Ellison is the man behind the black jersey and silver fern of the All Blacks. He was the "Mr Rugby" of his era, a tremendous player who captained the All Blacks in 1893 (the first Maori to do so), captained, coached and selected teams, developed the role of the wing-forward which was to give New Zealand an enduring advantage and wrote one of the fifi rst instructional books on rugby. His views were respected nationally and he was widely quoted. His story is rich in individuals and incident. His great-grandfather was chief Taiaroa of Ngai Tahu, his grandfather Edward Weller the whaler of Otakou and his father Raniera the discoverer of gold at Maori Point on the Shotover River. Tom Ellison went from Te Aute College to Wellington to become one of the fifi rst Maori lawyers. He had a myriad of interests and brought energy and fresh vision to them all. This is the story of his life.
Denis Dwyer has an MA (Hons) in English and History and diplomas in journalism and teaching. His family roots in rugby run deep - his grandfather Jack scored the winning try for Otago against Arthur Harding's Anglo-Welsh team at Carisbrook in 1908 (the roar could be heard at the gasworks a mile away!).