The First Hundred - 1958


Last Modified: 18-3-2023 16:09

Mayor: Mr E. P. Meachen

Councillors: Messrs C. C. Dix, F. Paulding, S. P. Harting, T. F. Hegglun, R. W. Kibblewhite, H. E. McKinley, G. E. Marshall, H. A. J. Sowman, L. S. Jellyman, R. T. Scott.


Tourism is on the increase in Marlborough. Blenheim accom­modation caters for tour parties and many visitors.

13: The first parking meters are installed in Blenheim.

15: Mr & Mrs H. Doyle build a miniature toytown in their garden in Main Street.

The Council borrows £150,000 for a sewerage development scheme and £10,000 for street improvements.


Mr T. V. Healy, chairman of the proposed centennial community sports hall publicity committee, announces plans for the raising of £60,000.

8: Plans for the new Blenheim Police Station are being pre­pared in Wellington. The building was completed seven years later.

10: Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother visits Blenheim for two hours. Thousands gathered to pay homage to the Royal visitor. The Mayoress, Mrs E. P. Meachen, presented her with a bouquet made by Mrs W. E. Glennie, of Blick's Road.


6: Mr A. H. MacQueen winds the clock in the War Memorial clock tower twice a week, it is reported.


During this period of great development in Blenheim, there are many projects proposed: A new girls' college, a college hostel, a new Police station, a Naval college at Woodbourne, new R.S.A. rooms, a Marlborough Harbour Board, a cut to take Wairau River flood water from Botham's bend to the sea, a road from Rarangi to White's Bay.


Mr W. J. Elvy, an authority on Marlborough Maori history, pub­lishes a book on the subject, "Kei Puta to Wairau".

10: The new Baptist Church in High Street is opened by Mr A. Robertson. It was built by J. Waters & Sons for £7000.

13: The new public library in Seymour Square is opened by the Mayor, Mr E. P. Meachen. It was built by J. Waters & Sons for £25,000. Architect, Mr E. 1. Hubbard. Mrs A. E. B. Green donated £100 to buy chairs for the library.

The Marlborough provincial centennial fund reaches £4164.


7: The Mayor, Mr E. P. Meachen, and the chairman of reserves, Mr S. P. Harling, plant the first roses in the Centennial Rose Garden at Pollard Park. Mr A. M. Hale, president of the Rose Society, donated 50 standard roses.

Traffic Officer W. P. Gibson and Traffic Officer V. R. Kingdon take drivers over 70 for annual driving tests.

The president of Jaycee, Mr G. P. Shirtcliffe, reported to the Chamber of Commerce that the time was ripe for Marlborough to appoint a public relations officer. Mr C. E. Saunders, presi­dent of the Chamber, mentioned the possibility of the Province being landed with a 'dud'.


27: Building commences on the first motel (6 units) in Grove Road, for Mr C. Powell. Builder, W. E. North & Sons.

28: The Council meets for the first time in its new Chamber (formerly the library).

The Council again refused Jaycee a request to remove the rotunda from Market Place.


6: The third hockey test between Australia and New Zealand is played at Lansdowne Park. Australia won 3-2.

The Rev. L. C. Robson is inducted as Minister of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church.

Somebody suspended a guy from the Post Office flagpole with a placard: "Farewell, Rotunda."

27: Eighteen Marlborough Harrier Club runners carry goodwill messages from the Mayor, Mr E. P. Meachen, to the Mayor of Nelson, Mr S. I. Russell, on the occasion of Nelson's Centennial.


The Borough engineer, Mr C. D. Peat, resigns. Mr J. C. G. Watt appointed.

5: The Second Blenheim Girls' Brigade Company formed. Mrs G. E. Petrie, first captain.

There is great opposition in Blenheim to the proposed laying of the Cook Strait cable. It was felt that industry should come to the source of power in the South Island, not vice versa.

J. E. Thomas's Ltd open their new showroom next to the Post Office. Mr T. W. Thomas, managing director.

15: The new traffic bridge over the Wairau on the Blenheim-Nelson highway is opened by the Hon. H. Watt, chairman of the National Roads Board.


8: The new Olympic Swimming Pool is used by the public for the first time.

A vintage car club is formed in Blenheim. Mr R. J. Swingler, chairman.

Sixty per cent of Redwoodtown ratepayers favour incorporation into the Borough.

22: The new St. Andrew's Church Hall, Henry Street, is dedi­cated by the Rev. W. B. Watt, Moderator of the Nelson-Marl­borough Presbytery. Builders, T. H. Barnes & Co.; cost, £14,000.

Mr Frank Kerr, who has driven Newman's Blenheim-Nelson buses for 36 years, retires.


Mrs V. Congdon, of Blenheim, broadcasts a monthly Marlbor­ough newsletter over 2YA.

The A.A. camp in Grove Road is packed with Christmas visitors. The service officer, Mr Wally Perkins, is kept busy assisting motorists.

Rates produce £74,452; building permits £252,595; area 1945 acres; valuation, capital £8,196,975, unimproved £1,559,920.

Cite this page

Beverley, A. (2023). The First Hundred - 1958. Retrieved February, 28, 2024, from