Fifty years ago: Heavy rain and flooding turns fatal in South Taranaki

Heavy flooding in south Taranaki in 2015. Fifty years ago, flooding turned fatal.
Robert Charles/Fairfax NZ

Heavy flooding in south Taranaki in 2015. Fifty years ago, flooding turned fatal.

Two men died in South Taranaki and a state of emergency was declared in Hawera when the town's water supply was cut following the heaviest rain in 20 years causing extensive flooding.

After several non-injury accidents had resulted, mainly from vehicles backing out of angle parking on West Quay, the Waitara Borough Council decided to discontinue angle parking in the area following a report from the traffic officer, Mr T G Adams.

The Taranaki search and rescue reserve group, composed of ex-territorial force personnel, the only one of its kind in New Zealand, was disbanded after its chairman, Mr A D Pettigrew, was told by the Taranaki search and rescue controller and chairman of the search and rescue committee of the Taranaki Alpine Club, Mr D H Rawson, that because of changes in circumstances the reserve group would not be able to play a role in the future.

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.

To enable the St John Ambulance Association and the Red Cross to erect a combined building, the Waitara Borough Council agreed to grant the use of an area of land behind the memorial hall after listening to a spokesman for a joint deputation, Mr P Greenlees.

Taranaki had already promised $14,000 for the appeal for a Taranaki hall of residence at Massey College at Palmerston North, the appeal committee chairman, Mr A D Horner, Hawera, said, adding that this was nearly half of the $30,000 target.

The Hawera Aero Club decided to apply for an import licence for a new aircraft to serve as an air ambulance, air taxi, for charter flights and for the use of members, the club's chief instructor, Mr H J B Scott, said.

Movies: The Wrong Box (Mayfair), John Mills, Ralph Richardson, Michael Caine, Peter Sellers and Tony Hancock; In Like Flint (State), James Coburn; Judith (Stratford Plaza), Sophia Loren; Frankie and Johnny (Opunake Everybody's), Elvis Presley.  

Inglewood was the first town in New Zealand to have a meals-on-wheels scheme and the first to lose it, a member of the town's Red Cross and organiser of the service, Mrs D Kohn, said, when the meals arrived from the New Plymouth hospital for the last time in eight and a half years, the future of the service being in the hands of the Health Department.

A New Plymouth Presbyterian minister, the Rev L V Watkins of St Andrew's Church, announced that he would be exchanging his parish for a year with the Rev M D Keeler of Williamsville, Buffalo, New York, which had a congregation of 800.

Fluoridation of public water supplies as a safe and economical public health measure was endorsed by the New Zealand Dental Association during its annual conference at New Plymouth.

The Toko Young Farmers' Club junior debating team of Messrs D Anderson (leader), G Wellington and R Buchanan beat Karawaka (North Taranaki) to qualify for the Wellington regional junior debating finals.

With 29 points, D Kelly's Hawera team of R Tantrum, J Scott, M Symes and himself won the Taranaki Amateur Billiards and Snooker Association's 1967 snooker teams' championship.

Taranaki representative and former All Black R H Brown played his 200th first class rugby match when he took the field for Taranaki against Bay of Plenty before a crowd of 5700 at Rugby Park, New Plymouth, and he marked the occasion by kicking a dropped goal in his team's 20-6 win.

The well-being, vitality and value of New Plymouth's new art gallery would depend to a large degree on the support of members of the North Taranaki Society of Arts, Dr E P Allen said in opening the society's second half-yearly exhibition.

Taranaki hockey representative and a member of the 1965 New Zealand touring team, Ashley Corbett of New Plymouth, was selected in the New Zealand team to play in an international tournament in London.

More than 1100 people from many parts of Taranaki packed Stratford's war memorial hall to protest at the Government's proposal to amalgamate the Stratford Hospital Board with other Taranaki hospital boards, registering their strong opposition and signing a petition.

Thirteen girls between the ages of 14 and 16 years appeared before Mr A Yortt SM in the Stratford Children's Court on a total of 53 shoplifting and six receiving stolen property charges resulting from thefts from 13 local businesses.

35 Years Ago: Paul Ballinger (Taranaki) easily retains senior New Zealand cross-country title; New Plymouth's one-way traffic system comes into operation; New Plymouth photographers Roy Charters and Rowan Guthrie awarded New Zealand Professional Photographers' Association honorary fellowships; New Zealand Synthetic Fuels Corporation buys Hen and Chickens motel at Bell Block as accommodation for workers. 

25 Years Ago: Jamie Cameron kicks seven penalty goals as Taranaki rugby team beats Bay of Plenty 21-19; New Plymouth's Neil Wolfe appointed to Totalisator Agency Board; Taranaki bankruptcies rise from 58 to 76 in year; Hawera steeplechaser Am Sour  wins feature event at New Plymouth races.

 - Stuff

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