The First Hundred - 1963


Last Modified: 18-3-2023 16:48

Mayor: Mr S. P. Harling

Councillors: Messrs C. C. Dix, D. S. Hall, D. C. Irving, 14. E. McKinley, G. E. Marshall, F. L. Smith, G. A. Wall, G. H. Whimp, E. S. Young.


9: The Council calls for more information regarding a proposal by the Marlborough Branch of the N.Z. Organic Compost Society, recommending a plant to compost Blenheim sewage and waste.

18: A Blenheim Queen's Scout, Brent Bythell, visits the Ant­arctic..

22: Members of the National Film Unit in Blenheim shooting sequences for a Marlborough film called "North-East Corner".


5: Opening day of the new Marlborough Girls' College. The first girl to arrive (6 a.m.) was Ruth Falloon. Miss N. Rickard, first principal.

The Blenheim Lions Club formed. Mr A. C. Welsh, president.

13: Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh visit Blen­heim. They were given a great welcome in Pollard Park by 12,000 people. A luncheon was held at the Criterion Hotel. Mr William Barratt, managing director, welcomed the Royal couple. Mr and Mrs J. Price, of Linton Street, became the proud parents of twins on the day of the visit.

18: The Mayor, Mr S. P. Harling, and Councillors G. A. Wall and E. S. Young, ride Bullen's circus elephants in a race through Market Street against the Mayor of Picton, Mr A. E. Greig, and Councillors G. A. Turner and R. R. Hargreaves. Councillor Young won.

Centennial Hall finance is obtained through a scheme operated by the Auckland Building Society whereby profits from shares bought by Marlburians accrue to the fund.


12: Mr C. F. Bryan, district manager of N.A.C., transferred to Nelson. Mr E. K. Eastgate is appointed district manager. Residents of Burleigh and Northtown complain about the bellow­ing of hundreds of cattle at the cattle fair held at the Saleyards. The Council is told that £790,000 will be needed to bring the Borough services and facilities up to a desirable standard.

Mr A. R. Macdonald, Olympic Pool custodian, reports the season's pool income as £2073.5.9 (76,440 admissions); 1962, £2193 (86,431); 1961, £1635 (56,015); 1960, £1811 (59,355); 1959, £1599 (48,286).


26: There are 171 licensed television sets in Blenheim. The Council calls for plans for a new civic centre.

30: The Marlborough Catchment Board's new Wairau River diversion channel is opened by the Minister of Works, Mr Goosman.


19: The Blenheim Municipal Band wins the national C grade championship at Wellington. Mr G. Hope, conductor. Woolworths opens its newly-renovated retail store in Market Street South.


Mrs Lorna de Bled (now Mrs Hurst) is appointed Blenheim's first parking meter officer.

27: The Council has a road work estimate of £60,310. Rate­payers are allowed to pay rates by instalments. Rates increase.


15: Another flood in Blenheim, with the Taylor River at its highest mark for 15 years.

25: Mr S. I. Vercoe retires after 20 years as district commis­sioner of Marlborough Boy Scouts. Mr D. J. Kinnaird is appointed.


7: The Hon. T. P. Shand, who was due to address a business­men's luncheon, is unable to fly to Blenheim owing to the bad weather. He gave the talk through loud speakers over the telephone.

14: For the first time in 50 years triplets are born at Holmdale, Blenheim. James, Noel and Kenneth, sons of Mr and Mrs Dennis Greer.


Blenheim people are disappointed to learn that the proposed astronomical observatory would be established at Mount John, Canterbury, not at Black Birch, Awatere Valley, where pro­longed tests had been conducted. Marlborough had made a big community effort during the testing period and many people, especially Mr F. L. Smith, contributed time and material.

"It is a far cry from the day when there were ten blacksmiths' shops in Blenheim," said the last of the Blenheim smithies, Mr R. W. (Bob) Wilson.


Many annual events are held during the year — Springlands Gala, the C.B.A. Bazaar, the A. & P. Show, the Marlborough

Arts Society exhibition, and the Miss Sophisticate competition. A silver cigarette casket is sent by the chairman of the A.A. of Great Britain, Lord Brentford, to the chairman of the Marl­borough A.A., Mr F. W. Parker, to mark the 50th anniversary of the local branch.


A Blenheim clothing factory, Marlborough Lingerie, which started in George Street with a staff of six in 1946, now has a modern factory employing 140.

The Old Folks & Pensioners' Society changes its name to Marl­borough Senior Citizens Association. Mr W. D. Sanders, president.


13: At the National Rose Show in Wellington, Dr K. H. Patterson wins the championship bloom with his red hybrid tea rose, F. W. Alesworth. Mr W. E. Glennie wins, for the second time, the open decorative section.

22: The United States Air Force personnel at Woodbourne under Captain M. G. Closs are shocked to hear of the assassina­tion of President Kennedy.

30: The Hon. T. P. Shand is re-elected member for Marl­borough.


A Blenheim businessman, Mr E. Y. Penny, is so pleased with the special Christmas coloured lights in town that he donates two guineas to the Blenheim Borough Council.

Rates produce £112,891; building permits £417,887; area of Borough 2497 acres; valuation, capital £12,928,000, unimproved £3,546,000.

Cite this page

Beverley, A. (2023). The First Hundred - 1963. Retrieved May, 29, 2024, from