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50th Anniversary Celebrations

This page contains information about Whangarei City's 50th Anniversary Celebrations.
Updated: 18/04/2018 3:03 p.m.

A city is born

On 21 May 1964, then Governor General Sir Bernard Fergusson officially declared the Borough of Whangarei to have achieved ‘city status’, meaning our population had passed 20,000.

Council records show 1 October 1964 as the date initially set for the official proclamation, to allow time to organise a remarkable 60 commemorative events.

However, for some reason lost to time, the ceremony didn’t actually occur until more than a month later - and when it happened, it happened big.

A formal declaration took place in Laurie Hall Park, followed by a civic dinner in the Town Hall, both attended by Prime Minister of the time, Sir Keith Holyoake.

An intense week of ‘City Celebrations’ followed, featuring parades, flower shows, balls and even a Miss Whangarei City competition, kicking off a further year of commemorative tournaments, carnivals and exhibitions.

50th anniversary celebrations

Fifty years on, Whangarei celebrated with one, huge Grand Parade on the morning of 1 November, followed by a party at the Town Basin.

Residents, business and community groups made the day one to remember with a parade of over 50 floats with many choosing to dress up and “Dress, dance and dazzle like they did in ‘64”.

The parade started in the central city and made its way down to the Town Basin where thousands of people came out to join in the celebration.

View pictures on our Facebook page




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