Port Macquarie's sesquicentenary celebrations include a river pageant, art show and regatta

Special exhibition: Kath and Alderman Norm Matesich in Colonial dress at the Art Show’s opening night, October, 1968.
Special exhibition: Kath and Alderman Norm Matesich in Colonial dress at the Art Show’s opening night, October, 1968.

Crowd on Waterfront

The biggest crowd ever, on the most perfect evening imaginable with a full moon and a flood tide, watched a spectacular aquatic procession last night. Led by a double-ender, with convicts on the oars, the river pageant moved from West Port Macquarie Bowling Club to the southern breakwall and back. Crowds thronged the waterfront and a police estimate was upwards of 10,000 people between the bowling green and the camping reserve. The floats were splendid and altogether made a fine spectacle, with lots of young people joining in the thrilling experience of being on the water at night. There were whip crackers, oystermen, churches, gunyahs, wind-mills, dancing girls, pelicans, swans, nurses, to mention a few. The fireworks display which followed, and a very entertaining concert program made it a night to remember.

New Post Office

The Postmaster-General, Mr Alan Hulme, MHR, speaking yesterday morning at the setting of the foundation stone for Port Macquarie’s new post office, told a large gathering of people how the post office will be another first for Port Macquarie in that the building is to be a complete departure from the usual, something entirely new tried for the first time by the Postmaster General’s Department, but in keeping with present day trends and Port Macquarie. Mr Hulme also recalled how the first post office here in 1832, served Kempsey as well. The minister’s movements yesterday were a long way from the horse and buggy days; he flew into Port Macquarie from Brisbane, left after lunch and was in Canberra early in the afternoon.

Week away well

Port Macquarie’s week of gaiety for the celebration of its sesqui-centenary is away to a magnificent start. Crowds filled churches on Sunday for sesqui-centenary services and at night the Avondale Symphonic Choir delighted those who went to the Ritz Theatre for a performance by these renowned singers. Yesterday a tremendous crowd went to the historic Settlement Point Regatta ground and were entertained by thrilling motor boat races, water skiers and surf boat rowers. One of the speed boats sank, unfortunately in 40 feet of water, and hadn’t been recovered at the close of the day. The driver was unhurt in the crash.

Lady Casey to visit Art Show

Lady Casey will pay a brief visit this afternoon to Port Macquarie’s art exhibition, in the CWA hall. The exhibition opened officially on Saturday night, and the work of quite a number of local artists has already won much favourable comment. Visiting artists from adjoining rivers were invited to join this Sesqui-Centenary Exhibition, but in several sections local artists won through.

Ahoy there: One of the many floats in the Sesqui-Centenary river pageant, October, 1968.

Ahoy there: One of the many floats in the Sesqui-Centenary river pageant, October, 1968.

Museum Extension Preview

Mr Neville Anderson, president of the Hastings District Historical Society, proudly welcomed a number of invited guests to a preview of the museum extensions on Friday evening. The society has every reason to be proud of its museum, and no doubt the State Governor, Sir Roden Cutler, VC, will be pleased to officially open the extensions. Sir Roden is the society’s patron. The new two-storied building is joined to the original building by a corridor and is divided by a delightful court yard paved with convict-made bricks.

This story Sesquicentenary celebrations in 1968 first appeared on Port Macquarie News.

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