An unusual snow-like scene presented itself on Thursday afternoon. Most residents had not seen hail like it in Port Macquarie, but 30 years ago there was a similar fall. The children enjoyed it, but the damage was cruel. Market gardeners lost all their crops, and the beautiful spring gardens were torn to shreds. Heavy rain accompanied the hail and more than an inch fell in less than an hour. The hail first fell at the golf club at 1pm, and then an hour marble-size hail fell. A storm west of town and one off Tacking Point, both moved over town in the late afternoon and heavy hail fell on the way to Wauchope and over the Settlement Point area.
The fourth annual Mid North Coast Orchid Championships in Port Macquarie at the weekend scored two important firsts. It was the first ever attended by a group of 24 overseas visitors from America, Japan, and New Zealand, and the first time in the world a sarcanophis was exhibited. Jean Cannons hybridised it from an Australian native orchid and an imported specie. It won for her the prize for the most pre-eminent entry. Mrs Cannons also took out grand champion AOV orchid of the Mid North Coast with a slipper orchid having a four and a half inch bloom. Grand champion cymbidium went to Port Macquarie grower Ron Towells and the reserve to club secretary Norm Barlin, of Wauchope. There were 192 entries this year, with 150 non-competitive Australian native orchids staged especially for the overseas visitors who described the show as one of the prettiest exhibitions they had attended.
Wales loan to council
Port Macquarie Municipal Council has arranged $120,000 in loans from the Bank of New South Wales. Port Macquarie manager Mr G.J. Corner said one loan of $75,000 would be used to improve the sewerage works. The other two loans will be used to acquire and develop land for off-street parking and the establishment of country industry.
New coach services
In the first three weeks of operation the new coach service between Tamworth and Port Macquarie carried 119 passengers and 1,090 pounds of freight and parcels. Hannaford's Coaches operates the service introduced on August 18. Proprietor Jack Hannaford said he was extremely pleased with the way the service had been patronised. Passengers included holidaymakers, school children, businessmen and retirees. Passengers had indicated the trip was both comfortable and scenic.