HISTORY III: The Mighty Mongrel Mob

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The legend goes, sometime in the 1960s, a group of criminal youth appeared in front of a judge in Hastings, a city of 49,000 in the Hawke’s Bay region. The youth stood in front of the judge who berated them for their misdeeds, eventually calling them “nothing but a pack of mongrels”.

The term ‘mongrel’ originated to define a dog of unidentifiable mixed breed, but overtime the term had taken on different meanings. The term evolved to be used by some in a derogatory sense to refer to a person of mixed racial origin and finally ‘mongrel’ became a term used by some to refer to ‘mischievous delinquents’.

This was the manner in which the judge delivered his ‘mongrel’ comments to the youth present. Far from rejecting the term, the men embraced the word and began to refer to their group as the Mongrels. By 1970, the Mongrels evolved into the Mongrel Mob gang.

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