The First Hundred - 1956


Last Modified: 18-3-2023 15:44

Mayor: Mr E. P. Meachen

Councillors: Messrs W. C. Davies, C. C. Dix, F. Faulding, S. P. Harling, T. F. Hegglun, R. W. Kibblewhite, H. E. McKinley, G. E. Marshall, H. A. J. Sowman, A. B. N. Roy, G. T. H. Cawte.


10: The first New Zealand newsprint from Kawerau is used by The Express.

25: The chairman of the Marlborough Electric Power Board, Mr A. H. Nees, states that either gas or electricity must go from Blenheim; and it would not be electricity, he said.

26: The following are the first elected members of the newly-formed Marlborough Catchment Board: Mr E. P. Meachen, chairman, Messrs T. H. Barnes, T. S. Eckford, H. A. J. Sowman, A. H. W. Adams, T. Airey and A. W. Dick; Mr P. S. Crisp, secretary, Mr C. C. Davidson, engineer.

The Marlborough Regional Committee of the New Zealand  Historic Places Trust formed; Mr F. W. Smith, chairman, Mr I. R. Simonsen, secretary.


Many visitors appreciate the blaze of colour in the Blenheim gardens tended by Mr G. D. Young, the Council's head gardener, and Mr H. J. Jellyman, in charge of Riverside Park.

1: 185 pupils commence classes at the newly-built Bohally (pro­nounced Bohawley, it was pointed out) Intermediate School. Mr G. S. Brash, later headmaster of the Blenheim School, was in charge; Mr J. R. Verity was appointed headmaster in 1957.

18: There is a good demand for shares in the proposed Marl­borough Lucerne Meal Company to be sited on the Old Renwick Road near Blenheim.


The Wairau River Board, which had operated for 82 years, ceases to exist. The last chairman was Mr R. Sutherland.

Mr Patrick Power, estimated to be 105, celebrated his birthday at Wairau Hospital (he died in October).


The Council's Swimming Bath loan of £25,000 is filled in four days. There is still a division of opinion regarding the site —Kinross Street or Pollard Park.


12: The top floor of the Club Hotel seriously damaged by fire.

A new world record is established by Messrs R. H. McDonald and D. R. Yandle, of Blenheim, who cut through an 18-inch pine log in 10 seconds.

The Council lodges an objection to the Local Government Com­mission against Redwoodtown's application for county-town status.


1: The Council would fight to the last ditch to retain the Gas­works; it would distribute its own electricity if necessary, said Mr H. E. Bungate, Gasworks engineer. The Gasworks were declared an essential industry in July.

23: Blenheim butchers appeal to the Council for control of the Abattoir. The Council declined to hand over control.


2: Marlborough Marching Association formed. Mr C. Harris, first president.

3: North Island merchants offer 1/- per lb for locally grown walnuts.

6: Blenheim is jubilant when the Government announces that a drive-on car ferry would be ordered for the Wellington-Picton run. At this stage there were no recommendations for the carry­ing of rail traffic.


The rent of a shop in Market Street is described as being as high as £21 a week.


Gill Construction and Mr R. L. Townley provide, at no charge, earth-moving machinery for voluntary labour to excavate the site of the new Olympic Swimming Pool in Kinross Street.

22: The Blenheim branch of Federated Farmers arrange for the first anti-hydatid dosing of dogs in Blenheim.

The Wairau Lodge celebrates its 75th year. Mr T. G. Neal, W.M.


Anti-polio injections of Salk vaccine are given to Blenheim children.

£608,000 will have to be spent on Borough works in the next 10 years, said Mr C. D. Peat, Borough engineer.

The first naval vessels, H.M.N.Z.M.L. Paea and Mako, travel up the Opawa river to Blenheim.

The Springlands school celebrates its 70th anniversary. Mr R. A. Cox, headmaster. Three first-day scholars attend.

The Marlborough Highland Dancing Association formed. Mr A. B. McWhinnie, first president.


5: The Council sinks a 42-inch water bore in Kinross Street. A 101b case of cherries from Ivory Orchards Ltd was sold at Whangarei for 42 guineas in aid of Red Cross.

Rates produce £63,232; building permits £233,871; population 8219; valuation, capital £7,271,455, unimproved £1,430,575.

Cite this page

Beverley, A. (2023). The First Hundred - 1956. Retrieved February, 28, 2024, from