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Petone's First 100 Years (1940)


Fire Brigades
Centennial Competitions. Petone Successes.

The Centennial Demonstration of the United Fire Brigades' Association of New Zealand, on March 7, 8, and 9, 1940, was a record one in several respects. For the Petone Brigade it provided the top-rung in a distinguished competitive career, and at the same time showed that the well-known Petone organisation and hospitality was something more than a tradition.
On the competitive side, Petone's "bag" included all three points' shields, outright wins in four of the twelve events, and a first equal in another. Petone won the Championship Shield, the Manual Shield, and the High Pressure Shield for skill in the various divisions of fire brigade work. Other successes were in the Four Men Motor (draw), the Four Men Motor (dry), the Two Men Hose and Standpipe, and the Four Men Motor Pump from Standpipe. In addition, Petone drew for first place with Carterton in the Three Men Motor (dressing) event, and was second in the Two Men Rescue, the Four Men Hose, and Standpipe, and the Three Men Disabled Hose events.
In the Championship Shield Petone piled up the impressive total of 100 1/2 points, after leading from the first day of the competitions. It is pleasing to note that Petone's closest rival in both the Championship Shield and the High Pressure Shield was another Hutt Valley Brigade, Upper Hutt. This Brigade was second to Petone with 75 1/2 points in the Championship Shield, and was narrowly beaten by Petone by five points in the High Pressure Shield. Carterton, last year's triple champions, were third in both of these trophies, and second in the Manual Shield. Upper Hutt won the Merryweather and Simplex Shields for single events.
The successes of Petone and Upper Hutt are all the more praiseworthy when it is realised that a total of fifty-one brigades entered for the demonstration, which is recognised as the New Zealand Fire Brigades' Championship meeting. The entries represented the most efficient volunteer brigades in the Dominion, from Kaikohe in North Auckland, to the Bluff, and despite war conditions preventing several brigades from competing, entries were well up to the previous best.
Another triumph was the organisation which took care of the 500 visiting firemen, and the 137 delegates who attended the record conference, held on March 4th and 5th. The firemen all voted the entertainments perfect, and no complaints were received from either guests or hosts. The Petone Borough Council offered every assistance and co-operated in a way that opened the eyes of the executive. Officials stated that the lay-out of the ground was ideal, and the water pressure steady from start to finish of the demonstration. On their part, Petone Councillors were able to comment most favourably on the conduct of the visitors, and to assure them that they would be very welcome to come again.
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Fire Brigade Competition, 1940.

Three men dressing event.
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Conference of United Fire Brigades' Association of N.Z. Held at Petone, March1940.

Photo, S.P. Andrew.

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