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Petone's First 100 Years (1940)


Thanksgiving Service.
Sermon by Bishop Gerard.

Special services were held in all the Petone churches on Sunday, November 26th. In St. Augustine's Church a celebration of Corporate Communion was held at 8 a.m., the service being attended by over 300 communicants.
This was followed by a reunion breakfast. The celebrants at the service were the Rt. Rev. G. V. Gerard, Bishop of Waiapu; the Rev. J. D. Russell, Archdeacon of Oamaru; and the Rev. H. S. I. Kenney, vicar of the church.
The two first-named are former vicars of St. Augustine's.
The preacher at the 11 a.m. service at St. Augustine's was Archdeacon Russell, who, at the request of the donor, Mrs. Elizabeth Yates, unveiled a stained-glass window given in memory of her late husband, Mr. Wm. Yates.
Archdeacon Russell spoke on the need for assurance in the verities of the Christian faith.
In the afternoon a jubilee thanksgiving service was held in the new grandstand on the Recreation Ground, the preacher being the Rt. Rev. G. V. Gerard. The service was conducted by the Rev. H. S. I. Kenney (Anglican), the Rev. Colin Mackenzie (Presbyterian), Major O. Ransom (Salvation Army), and the Rev. E. Sage (Methodist). There were also present on the platform the Revs. J. D. Russell and P. Temuera (Anglican).
The service was preceded by a youth procession, through Jackson Street, of 420 members of youth organisations marshalled by Mr. Roy Nelson and led by the Salvation Army Band. The organisations included groups of Girl Guides, Boy Scouts, Sea Scouts, Girls' Brigades, Boys' Brigades, Sunbeams, St. John Cadets, Cubs, Brownies, and young members of the Y.M.C.A.
The singing at the service was led by a special choir of 80 voices under the conductorship of Mr. F. Bryant and accompanied by the Salvation Army Band. A choir of 60 Maori voices opened the service with an unaccompanied hymn and assisted the special choir in the rest of the singing.
The form of service, divided into five parts, had been prepared by the Petone Ministers' Fraternal.
The Rt. Rev. G. V. Gerard and other visiting ministers were received before the service by the Mayor, Mr. G. London, and Councillors J. C. Burns, A. M. Macfarlane, J. Huggan, and W. H. Edwards, and Mr. C. P. Brockelbank and other members of the jubilee committee. Among those present at the service were the Hon. W. Nash, Mrs. Nash, and Mr. A. Scholefield, ex-Mayor.
The grandstand, which seats 1,400, was filled.
Preaching from the text "Except the Lord build the house they labour in vain that build it," His Lordship Bishop Gerard
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Petone Jubilee Reunion—the Official Table.

said there could be no stability in civic life unless it was built on the foundation of religion. The last few months had shown that no civilisation could stand if religion were taken away. The world needed to recognise the debt it owed to Christianity.
The choir sang the anthem "Jerusalem."

College Display.

On Monday the pupils of the Hutt Valley Memorial college, the buildings of which abut the Petone Recreation Ground, gave a display of marching, drilling, and physical exercises to music supplied by the college band.
At the close of the display, old residents were the guests of the college. An inspection of the building was made and afternoon tea dispensed.

Petone Choir's Effort.

The Evening Post reporting on the concert which was held on Monday night states:—
" Much to its own surprise Petone, last night, discovered another acquisition of the highest class. This happened at the Jubilee Commemoration concert when a specially trained choir of 80 voices made its first public appearance.
" The attendance exceeded expectation.
" Under the baton of Mr. F. Bryant, the choir sang a number of charming melodies, and revealed that it was something more than a mere aggregation of voices. It is an admirably balanced combination, capable of an infinite range of expression.
" The concert was organised by Mr. F. Bryant, and Mrs. Alma Millward.
" The accompanists were Mrs. H. Maud, and Miss F. Hobbs. Mr. L. Price acted as stage manager, Messrs. W. Ryan and M. Bell as property men, and Mr. R. Walsh as house manager."

Schools' Day.

The largest gathering yet to visit the new Petone grandstand was present on the afternoon of Tuesday, November 28th, to see the display of Petone Primary Schools.
The four schools taking part, Petone Central, Petone West, Wilford, and the Petone Convent School, gave a very fine display. The whole-hearted efforts of the children, down to the smallest infant, were well applauded.
Perhaps the most impressive items were the massed drill, the infants' display, and the girls' folk dances. In these displays, from 200 to over 300 pupils moved together to the music, and the effect was most impressive. The children moving in rhythmic patterns on the green turf made an unforgettable picture.
Smaller groups went through a minuet, a beautifully-costumed country dance, and the appealing maypole dance. In all cases, the children required a minimum of direction, and in the dances in which larger numbers of children appeared, there was at times hardly a teacher on the ground.
During the earlier part of the day a combined sports meeting of 44 events was held, and there were over 300 entrants.

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