Procession in drenching rain
For the first time in 16 years, Port Macquarie's annual Carnival of the Pines procession was marred yesterday.
A postponement in the morning found conditions no better in the afternoon, and although there was a let-up for an hour, heavy rain fell as the procession moved into Horton Street, and past the official dais on the balcony of the Jim Boardman Centre.
Each carnival, since the first in 1955, has had something outstanding to commend it; this one will be remembered for the resolute manner in which all of those associated with the floats, the marshalling orderlies, police and carnival officials, stuck with their tasks in true carnival spirit. Visitors, too, from many parts, graciously accepted the inevitable.
The good spirit of those taking part had to be seen to be believed. Water sprouted from the silver instruments of the Newcastle Transport Band; a drenching took none of the sparkle from the girls of the famous St. George Baton Twirlers; queen and princess candidates smiled it off as they waived gaily; crowds lined the streets and stood in the rain.
The judging had to be done under the most difficult conditions, with driving rain making it almost impossible to see across the street. Winners were: best decorated - Plaza Merchants; best commercial - Portland Trading Company; most original - Hastings River Auto Port; best sporting - Ski School and Junior League equal first; best individual - Plaza Merchants; queen float - Municipal Council; princess float - Town Hall Committee.
Two Australian titles
Port Macquarie's Surf Club rose to the greatest heights of its illustrious history when it won two national titles at the weekend - the doubles ski event and the junior surf boat race - at the Australian Surf Championships on Victoria's Ocean Grove Beach.
The outstanding performances of the seven young men who represented the club against the best in Australia will go down in history books as one of the finest sporting achievements of all time.
And the history-making didn't finish with Sunday's successes.
It is believed Port Macquarie's junior boat crew, who won the New South Wales championship at Wanda Beach only a few weeks ago, has become the first junior crew in the history of surfing to win both a state and national title in the one year.
The heroes of all this great honour are Jim Pullen and Peter Hennessey on the double surf ski, and Bay McManus, Denis Peltier, Ross and Jim McMullen, and Neville Duncome - and five of them were born here.