Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Thames (NZ): Queen Carnivals & Parades

From the days when the goldfields first opened, parades and carnivals were a regular event on the Thames calendar. Any excuse and a parade was held and the crowds gathered. If money was needed to be raised a solution at hand with the holding of a 'Queen Carnival.'

The last Queen Carnival I remember was held as a means of raising funds for the 'new' Thames High School gymnasium in the 1970s. Thames today has a SANTA Parade but memories of the parades of old remain brighter. The ones held for the Centennials will be covered in later blogs.

Today the focus is on the November 1935 Queen Carnival that was held to raise money for entertaining visiting Fire Brigades. The process was there would be a Queen put forward by a business/group and often fundraising took place, the winner being the group that raised the most money.  In some instances it may have also been decided on votes.

At this 1935 parade, the United Services Queen was first (Miss Maybelle Taylor), Sports and Native Queen was second (Miss Sydney Stirling) and third was the Industries and Commerce Queen (Miss Marie Price).
Queen Carnival Parade 1935
Source: 'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries AWNS-19351106-44-2

No parade was complete without a prospectors float!