Did you take part in the wacky boats afloat Rotary fundraiser along the Hastings River for The Retirement Village?

Hula maid: Nurse Sue Williams prepares to board the Hastings District Hospital float in the Rotary Clubs water pageant, 1971. Photo: supplied

Hula maid: Nurse Sue Williams prepares to board the Hastings District Hospital float in the Rotary Clubs water pageant, 1971. Photo: supplied

Open air fundraiser

Nurse Sue Williams was among those on the Hastings District Hospital float in the Saturday afternoon water pageant organised by the Port Macquarie Rotary Club as a fundraiser for the Retirement Village.

Sue and her shipboard mates were a real delight among the palms and hibiscus on their oyster punt as the water pageant floated gracefully across the harbour in the late afternoon.

Mr Ron Whitehead was heard in his usual role as caller of the procession when the old double-ender Beagle with five "convicts" at the oars led the ten floats towards the crowd which waited on the green and exceeded 3000 at its peak.

Once ashore, the contingent joined those already there in drinks and refreshments (1000 steaks went across the barbecue), and enjoyed the entertainment outdoors in perfect evening weather.

More than $1000 was taken at the stalls, and a nett result of several hundred dollars is anticipated.

My how we have grown: Looking down onto William and Horton Streets, 1971.

My how we have grown: Looking down onto William and Horton Streets, 1971.

Twenty-five years of development

Though Port Macquarie is 153 years old historically, its major development covers a period of less than 25 years.

This is apparent from the records and recollections of the municipal health and building surveyor, Mr W. de la Rue, who last week completed 25 years in office.

When Mr de la Rue was appointed in January 1946, Port Macquarie extended less than two miles from the post office in any direction with a population of less than 3000.

None of its present 30 motels had been erected. There was no town water supply or sewerage system and street sealing was limited to Horton, William, Gordon and Clarence streets.

Value of new buildings erected in 1946, was $116,000 compared with $4.5 million last year.

In 1946, good building land was available for a dollar a foot frontage, but was hard to get.

Few would sell because rates were so low. The whole of Clifton Estate's 90 acres, together with the large family home, was sold for $6000 in 1947.

Today a single building block on the estate is worth more than $4,000.

In 25 years, the municipality has more than trebled in size and population, with land values increasing a hundred fold.

Council staff has risen from 4 to 74,and most streets are sealed and water and sewerage extends throughout most of the municipal area.

Reeled in: Ern Little helps to identify the grey whaler shark caught by John Denning, 1971.

Reeled in: Ern Little helps to identify the grey whaler shark caught by John Denning, 1971.

Grey whaler shark record

Australia's amateur champ, Fred Denning, believed his son John captured an Australian record for the family when he landed a grey whaler shark off rocks at the Lighthouse on Friday night.

Using an 80lb breaking strain line, John successfully landed the big fish, even though his first attempt to gaff it resulted in the shark rolling over on the gaff and splintering it to matchwood.

Fred believes the fish to be the largest ever landed by rod and reel off the rocks.

The Dennings had no means of weighing the fish. It would have lost some weight after hanging through Friday night.

When cut in half to weigh it on Saturday morning 11 young sharks and the considerable amount of fluid they were in slipped away. What was left weighed 218 lbs.

This story Remember 1971: Fun flotilla raises funds for hospital first appeared on Port Macquarie News.

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