Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thames (NZ): Halloween 1888 at Thames

Yes, Thames did celebrate Halloween during the 1880s. We often hear today, why celebrate Halloween? We never have before...well that is not the case. Granted the emphasis was different than todays sole 'trick and treating' theme, but nevertheless it was Halloween.

St George's Church Hall at centre of photo, behind it is the St George's Church. To the left is the Thames Hospital and the Baillie Street entrance.

On 31 October 1888, at the St George's Church Hall, 350 people gathered to celebrate the old Scottish tradition of Halloween. The event was organised by a committee of the following ladies: Mesdames Pitkethley (senr), Smith, McAndrew, Moore, Bowie, Murdoch, Gibb, Wilson, Wells, Fletcher, Corbett, Cooke, McGregor, Anderson, Davis, Brown, Mulligan, and Miller.

This was traditionally the name given to the evening before the festival of All Hallows or All Saints which was on 1 November each year. In England and Scotland the traditions varied and the superstitious elements were more aligned to the Scottish Halloween. (Part of article on right. full report in Thames Star 1 November 1888)

In subsequent years, the Thames Burns' Club continued to celebrate Hallowe'en. Some years it was a Social and others a full Halloween Ball.

The Hallowe'en Ball 1895
The Thames Scotchmen's Annual Night Off. PLAIN AND FANCY FACES AT THE BURNS' CLUB BALL.
Source: Observer, Volume XV, Issue 880, 9 November 1895, Page 3

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