The First Hundred - 1954


Last Modified: 18-3-2023 15:35

Mayor: Mr E. P. Meachen

Councillors: Messrs W. C. Davies, C. C. Dix, F. Faulding, S. P. Harling, R. W. Kibblewhite, G. E. Marshall, H. E. McKinley,

A. B. N. Roy, H. A. J. Sowman, G. T. H. Cawte.


16: Blenheim was gaily decorated with arches, bunting, flags and flowers for the visit of Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edin­burgh, and country people flocked to town. The Royal Party arrived at Woodbourne Airport and there was bitter disap­pointment that they were driven into Blenheim in a closed car too fast for the thousands of school children lining High Street to see the Queen. The Mayor and Mayoress officiated at a wel­come in Market Place, and the party then went to the R.N.Z.A.F. Station, Woodbourne, for lunch.

21: The Mayor, Mr E. P. Meachen, receives signed photographs of Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh which the Royal couple presented to Blenheim. Those photographs now hang in the Council chambers.


There are 1033 boys and girls at Marlborough College.

Nurse I. B. McCavey, of Wairau Hospital, gains top marks in the Dominion State nursing finals. The Hospital Board pre­sented her with a gold medal. (Mr C. E. Townshend, chairman.)

The Council was amazed to discover that High Street and Max­well Road were not legal thoroughfares. It passed the necessary resolutions and they were then registered in the Deeds Office.


The district Medical Officer of Health informs the Council that the town's Taylor River water supply is a health threat, although not seriously so. Council investigates an alternative supply.

The Chamber of Commerce presses for a sealed runway at Woodbourne and invites Marlborough local bodies to join a proposed Marlborough Development Committee. This did not receive full support.


27: The Marlborough Bowling Centre holds its 29th annual Easter fours tournament in Blenheim.


Blenheim Jaycees produce a revue, "Sink or Swim," and raise £200 for the proposed Olympic swimming pool. Mr F. W. Terry, president.

Food prices have risen 40% since 1949. Sugar 9 1/2d lb; con­densed milk 1/7 tin; sausages 1/5 lb; tea 6/6 lb; eggs 6/4 doz.; bacon 3/4 lb; toilet soap 1/3.

Miss Jeanette Smith, from Marlborough, is selected to tour Fiji as a New Zealand basketball representative.

10: Mr D. Wareham, of Blenheim, wins the South Island skeet championship.

24: The Council set a record by finishing all its business in­cluding the estimates, in 40 minutes.


8: Mr H. W. Rodgers, of Blenheim, dies aged 98. He came to New Zealand as an immigrant in the Edwin Fox in 1878, arriving at Nelson, later coming to Blenheim.

The Borough engineer, Mr C. D. Peat, describes the sewerage system as most unsatisfactory. The Council installs a new pump in Grove Road.


The Council has an ambitious works programme. The Mayor states that £152,300 will be needed. Improvements were needed to the sewerage system, water supply and the Gasworks.


The Council agrees to a request from Jaycee to sponsor a com­mittee charged with raising a million threepences to build a new Olympic swimming pool (Mr S. P. Harling, chairman).

23: The Council orders one-day traffic in Arthur Street be­tween Market and Queen Streets.

A two inch water test bore in High Street indicates a supply of a million gallons per day.


9: The Come to Blenheim Association celebrates its 21st anni­versary. Mr J. Merrifield, president.

11: The first television is seen in Blenheim, demonstrated by Mr M. Spiers, of Thomson's Music Shop, in the shop window.

13: Mr T. P. Shand is re-elected to Parliament.

19: Mr E. H. Rye, an airman at Woodbourne, is selected as a New Zealand marathon runner to go to Japan.

The Betty Vercoe School of Dancing annual dance recital, raises £100 to assist Miss Joan Peek, of Picton, to further her dancing studies overseas.

25: Mr T. P. Shand, the Member for Marlborough, is appointed Postmaster-General, Minister of Telegraphs, Rehabilitation and Civil Aviation.


20: Blenheim's first pair of State pension flats is completed and occupied in Meachen Crescent. Builder, Mr W. Harland.

Rates produce £58,830; building permits £338,890; population 8790; valuation, capital £6,757,100, unimproved £1,425,060.

Cite this page

Beverley, A. (2023). The First Hundred - 1954. Retrieved February, 28, 2024, from