Fifty years ago

Former Taranaki Daily News editor Denis Garcia takes readers on a trip through the pages of the past.
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Former Taranaki Daily News editor Denis Garcia takes readers on a trip through the pages of the past.

New Plymouth, with a Maori population of 931 at the 1966 census, had the smallest number of Maoris for any North Island area, a report revealed.

The Taranaki Museum's statue of Rongo, the Maori god of agriculture, was the best piece of primitive stone sculpture in the world, the director of the Canterbury Museum, Dr R Duff, said during a public lecture at Waitara.

Almost 40 different breeds and a record 208 entries came before the judge of the South Taranaki Kennel Club's autumn show at Hawera, a Maltese bitch, Ch. Atawhia Lexie, entered by Mrs N C Simpson of New Plymouth being judged the best in the show.

Presbyterians, Methodists and Anglicans held a special combined thanksgiving service for the act of commitment.to seek union in New Plymouth's War Memorial Hall while similar services were held at the same time in Knox Presbyterian Church, Fitzroy, and St Luke's Methodist Church.

The only Taranaki player included in the New Zealand rugby league team selected to tour Australia was 23-year-old W Southorn from New Plymouth.

A New Plymouth-born judge, Mr Justice J N Wilson of Christchurch, presided over the first sitting of the Supreme Court in New Plymouth's newly-built courthouse. 

Movies: Father Came Too (New Plymouth Opera House), James Robertson Justice and Leslie Phillips; Hawaii (Mayfair), Julie Andrews, Max Von Sydow and Richard Harris; The Lively Set (Opunake Everybody's), James Darren and Pamela Tiffin; Black Spurs (Inglewood Civic), Rory Calhoun.

Burial and cremation charges were increased by the New Plymouth City Council by £1, burials to cost £8 and cremations £9,10 shillings.

New Plymouth's old airport at Bell Block would lose its identity as a flying field after May 31 when all flying activities would cease, the New Plymouth City Council decided and it authorised the parks and reserves director, Mr J W Goodwin, to call tenders for lease of the land.

In his first season of Taranaki senior rugby, the 18-year-old Tukapa fullback B Gilhooly, originally from Rahotu, won the fullback position in the Taranaki representative team to play Wanganui at Wanganui.

Thought to have been lost in Pukekura Park, New Plymouth, while on an outing with other children, five-year-old Howard Walter Brewster was found safe and well in his Westown house having made his own way home from the park where police with dogs had begun a six-hour search.

A strong Taranaki under-13 soccer team beat the touring Otago under-13 team 5-3 at Lynmouth Park, New Plymouth, Taranaki scorers being C Eruiti (2), J Collett (2) and N Shoebridge.

Taranaki Maori came out in strong protest against the Government's action in "hurrying" the Maori Affairs Amendment Bill, a 180-strong meeting of all Taranaki tribal leaders at Hawera unanimously supporting the New Zealand Maori Council in its attempt to have the bill referred to the Maori people.

Certificates were presented to Mrs N Ngatai and Miss E N Wilson of New Plymouth after they completed the New Zealand Library Association's training course at Victoria University, Wellington.

A four and a half-year-old Hawera girl, Tracey Pease, won a name-the-bird competition run by Woolworths at New Plymouth and her prize was a white budgerigar in a cage.

Debutantes presented at the annual ball of St Mary's Anglican Church, Hawera, were Misses Susan Garvin, Sharon Jones, Diana Aitchison, Anne Nicholas, Dale Ross, Margaret Weir, Lorraine Gopperth, Vivian Raynor and Karen Armstrong.

35 Years Ago: Graham Young (17) of Hawera High School wins United Nations Association national art competition; Hikurangi dining hall at Ohangai Marae, near Hawera, opened; Liz Flannery (16) of Hawera named Miss Personality at New Plymouth winter show; Dennis Barton (Inglewood) grows Taranaki's first crop of export feijoas.

25 Years Ago: 26 of Housing Corporation's New Plymouth staff lose jobs; Bill Malcom (25) of Eltham Wellington regional young farmer of the year; New Plymouth-trained Rough Habit wins $A100,000 Gold Coast race and Waitara-trained Sounds Fair wins Waikato Hurdles.

 - Stuff

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