A Brief History of the City of Hastings, New Zealand



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Compared with other Hawke’s Bay settlements, Hastings was slow to develop. Napier, Clive and Havelock North were already well established when the settlement which was to become Hastings was no more than a small cluster of poorly-constructed buildings spaced along the ill-formed road one day to become Heretaunga Street.

Coincident with the establishment of the railway, Hastings’ growth was accelerated. This followed the normal pattern of settlement everywhere in New Zealand and in other countries. First the railway, then the town, then the city. There are many misconceptions about Hastings and the railway. One of these is that the railway was to have been routed through Havelock North. This is untrue. The initial survey provided for a route from Napier to Awatoto, thence directly across the Heretaunga Plain to Pakipaki.

Mr Francis Hicks had bought and set aside 100 acres in the centre of Hastings. With some perspicacity Mr Hicks gave the Government, free of charge, sufficient land for a railway station and goods yards at Hastings. The route of the line was resurveyed, and on October 12, 1874, the first train rolled into Hastings.

In the meantime Mr Hicks had divided into four lots his initial purchase of 100 acres. This land was subdivided into 144 sections, which were sold at an average price of £56.0.0. each. Mr Hicks opened a general store, and shortly afterward Mr F. Sutton established the Railway Hotel. This stood on the site of the Grand Hotel in Heretaunga Street.

Briefly in its early days Hastings was known as Hicksville. The name was not altogether to the liking of the local residents. For a time they considered calling the place Heretaunga.

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Eventually they decided upon the name Hastings. Warren Hastings, born in Oxfordshire in 1732, became one of the great names in British history. He was deeply associated with the British rule of India.

The site for the new township was not a good one. The low-lying plains provided poor drainage. Constant flooding in the early days has been repeated into modern times. Early settlers and planners would have done much better to have concentrated on the much more agreeable and practical site of Havelock North. The Tukituki Valley, with its pleasant, sloping hills and attractive river, would have been an idyllic site for the Hastings of the future. But the location of the railway predicated the siting and development of Hastings. Once this trend of development had begun, there was no turning back.

Before the Pakeha Came.

The Heretaunga Plains and surrounding lands traditionally were the home of the Ngati-Kahungungu Maori people. For centuries the Ngati-Kahungungu had tilled the soil and fished the lakes and rivers for the plentiful tuna. Generally the Ngati-Kahungungu were peaceable, not given to warlike arts, and content to live quietly in their own hapu. Internecine fighting was fairly common, but such engagements, were seldom serious.

A small kaianga did exist on the shores of the Makirikiri Stream close to the site of the West End Theatre. The village was occupied by no more than a handful of Maori people. Far more important settlements had been long established at such places as Pakipaki, Bridge Pa, Whakatu, Omahu and Pakowhai. The Waipatu kaianga was not

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established until fairly recent times.

The name Waipatu has an interesting origin. George Nelson, founder of the boiling-down plant which was to become Tomoana Works, was building Waikoko Homestead. An artesian rig was being used to sink a bore near the homestead. Day by day the Maoris watched the ‘thunder’ at work with deep fascination. Came the day when the drill was withdrawn, and water gushed forth.

The Maori name for the place was inevitable: “Wai (water), “patu” (to strike).

The Makirikiri Stream was one of the numerous waterways which meandered in aimless fashion across the Heretaunga Plains. The stream was shallow, with a shingle bed (“Ma: a stream; “kirkiri [kirikiri]” : gravelly). In 1866 the Heretaunga Plains was inundated by a tremendous flood. The river changed course at Roy’s Hill, and eventually the Makirikiri Stream disappeared.

It is a cause for regret that the stream did disappear. It would forever have been an interesting and attractive waterway through the otherwise flat and featureless town of Hastings. Traces of its old bed are still clearly visible: the depression across Southland Road and through the back of the stables at the racecourse (there was a lake there until the ‘fifties), behind Central School (children still play on ‘the bank’) through the site of the present Central Fire Station (the late A. I. Rainbow as a boy shot ducks there), along Miller Street, and out through Windsor Park, where the waterway is the last visible residue of the stream.

The completion of the railway to Palmerston North in 1891 provided new impetus for the development of Hastings. People no longer had to depend on a tenuous coastal shipping service through the port of Napier for access to the

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outside world. More settlers spelled an ever-increasing demand for land. Gradually the swamps were drained and fresh areas brought into cultivation. Hastings began to become the clearing-house for the vast amount of produce to come from the fertile surrounding lands.

Early Administration.

Until 1883 Hastings was included in the Heretaunga Riding of the Hawke’s Bay County. The settlement was controlled by the Road Board responsible to the County Council. Hastings people felt they should have more immediate control in their municipal destinies. In 1883 Hastings was constituted a town district, and the first meeting of the Town Board was held on 4 February 1884. Two years later Hastings became a borough.

Hitherto the town’s main thoroughfare was simply known as Main Street, and then Heretaunga Road. The settlers changed the name to Victoria Street – until to their embarrassment they discovered that the town plan already provided for a street of that name. The main thoroughfare henceforth became Heretaunga Street.

Until this time most of Hastings streets existed no more than in maps on early surveys. Streets which were in existence was rudimentary, unmetalled, and little better than rough tracks dusty in summer and deep in mud in winter. The new Town Board obtained a tender for road-metalling at 9d. a yard. It is interesting to note that a large part of the metal for Hastings’ early streets came from a pit close by Waikoko Homestead. The depression left by the removal of the metal now provides the showground lakes.

The new Borough Council soon swung into

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action. In 1885 the borough engineer John Rochfort had recommended a drainage scheme to cost £20,000. The town’s 617 ratepayers approved the loan poll.

Fires presented a problem which were to plague Hastings for many a year. All the buildings were of wood. A high-pressure water system was not provided until 1912. For the first ten years of the town’s existence a building which caught fire was almost certainly condemned to destruction. To the delight of local people the municipality purchased in 1885 a manual fire-engine for £60. It was the residents’ pride and joy.

Before 1885 Hastings streets by night were gloomy and unlighted. Local residents abroad after dusk made their uncertain way by the fitful light of lanterns they carried. In 1884 the Napier Gas Company extended its operations to Hastings. In 1885 the Town Board decided to erect six gas street lights at a cost of £4.10.0. each, including the metal standards. Modernity had indeed come to the small town on the Plains.

The night-cart and its disagreeable contents was always an indelible part of the early municipal scene in New Zealand. By the early ‘nineties a rudimentary sewage system was in operation serving a limited number of houses. Residents were required to provide their own water supplies from artesian bores sunk on their properties. It was not until 1912 that Hastings had a high-pressure water supply. In the present it is possible to ‘date’ houses built before that year by the fact of an artesian bore being in existence on those properties.

Fires continued to be a perpetual hazard. The town’s first major disastrous fire occurred in 1893 when two blocks of business premises in Hastings were destroyed in a spectacular blaze. With the old manual fire engine hopelessly

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inadequate, Hastings appealed to Napier for assistance. Napier responded by sending their steam engine post-haste by rail.

So impressed were Hastings people by the performance of the Napier engine that they met on the spot and by the dying light of the flames subscribed 500 guineas to buy the most modern Shand Mason horse-drawn steamer. This high-pressure pump was to continue to serve Hastings well for many years. The immaculately-maintained Shand went out of commission in 1912 with the advent of a high-pressure water system and the purchase of the first petrol-driven fire engine. It is interesting to relate that the powerful pump of the old steamer is mounted on a wall of Tomoana Works engineroom and still serves its original purpose in an emergency.

By the turn of the century Hastings was well established. The central part of Heretaunga Street was lined with shop and business premises. Residential areas were developing. Orchards were spreading on the surrounding plains, and early industries were becoming established to serve urban and rural interests. It was a far cry from the time settlement centred about Francis Hicks’ all-purpose store at the corner of Heretaunga Street and Karamu Road, where the ANZ Bank now stands.

Saturday was traditionally the day for shopping and business. Most concerns, including hotels, were open until 10 p.m. Gaslit streets were thronged with crinolined women and their male escorts. Tattooed Maori women – always dressed in black – sat in the streets smoking their pipes. The first pie-cart had appeared.

Weekly horse sales took place on the land now occupied by the Public Trust Office at the intersection of Karamu Road and Queen Street. The Stortford Lodge sales were a regular feature

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of the commercial life of Hastings. The yards were established about 1887.

The First Newspaper.

New Zealanders have always been avid readers of newspapers, and Hastings people in the early days were no exception. Until 1890 Hastings had been served by the Napier Daily Telegraph, which sold advertising space at twopence an inch. On 4 September 1890, the first issue of the Hastings Standard was produced in modest premises at the intersection of Karamu Road and Heretaunga Street. The Lion Tavern now occupies the site. Mr A. Cushing was manager and Mrs. W. D. Arndt editor.

The small publication was continually beset with problems which brought changes of ownership and location of premises. Eventually the newspaper was taken over by Mr Whitlock and Mr Cairncross, who had purchased it from Mr W. Hart printer and later mayor. In 1910 Mr Hart retired from the partnership, and the newspaper eventually became the Hawke’s Bay Herald-Tribune under the direction of Mr W. A. Whitlock.

Until 1912 Hastings had been lit by gas, or other means. In that year the Borough Council established the electric-generating plant at the municipal powerhouse in Eastbourne Street. Hastings people were quick to avail themselves of this new wonder of the age. Generating plant had to be constantly augmented to meet an ever-growing demand which was not entirely met until the advent of hydro-generating power from Waikaremoana in 1927 and the eventual absorption of the town’s facilities by the Hawke’s Bay Electric Power Board in 1935.

The advent of the motor-car accelerated demands for better roads. A 1902 Oldsmobile

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bought by Mr Bernard Chambers of Te Mata in that year is believed to have been the first car in Hawke’s Bay. Mr W. B. Jones opened Hastings’ first garage. The horse remained the principal motive power for transport for another decade, and blacksmiths and saddleries were numerous in Hastings.

The Hastings Borough Council, by the greatest good fortune, never became involved in public transport. Many other municipalities would wish they had done likewise. At the turn of the century the new electric tramway was the rage among New Zealand municipalities. Electric transport was a kind of civic status symbol. Hastings at one time contemplated installing an electric tramway system which would run between Havelock North and Stortford Lodge. It was never pursued in depth, and nothing came of the idea.

Hastings: “Town of Blazes”.

Hastings always had its share of disastrous fires. The Hastings Volunteer Fire Brigade was formed on 4 January 1886, with 400 ft of hose and a borrowed bell. The brigade had plenty to do. A series of destructive fires culminated in the major blaze of 1893 which burned out a sizeable piece of the business area.

Similarly destructive was a fire which begin [began] in Williams and Kettle’s building on 14 May 1907. After working for 20 hours the brigade almost had the blaze under control. Long since out of water, the firemen were pumping from a sewer manhole near the Heretaunga Street crossing. With the fire almost out, along came the Wellington-bound mail train. The engine crew asserted that they were carrying the mails and had absolute right of way. If the hoses were not disconnected, the train would run over them. The brigade had no recourse but to lift the hoses. The fire flared afresh and burned all

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morning. Not until the advent of a high-pressure water system was an efficient fire-fighting service available.

Older people for many years spoke of the disastrous flood of 1897. On that Good Friday the Ngaruroro River burst through at Roys’ Hill and quickly engulfed a large part of the Heretaunga Plains and Hastings. Eight Hawke’s Bay people lost their lives. Old tragedies cast long shadows. Hastings people of that generation had grim memories of the flood. Houses built in the decade immediately after the 1897 flood which still stand are distinctive because of their high foundations. Most have a floor level four or five feet above ground.

A similar flood on 24 April 1938 wrought similar serious damage in Hastings and over the plains. Many hundreds of acres of farmlands were coated with silt for three and four years after the inundation.

The greatest single disaster to strike Hastings was the earthquake of 3 February 1931. The earth heaved convulsively, buildings crumpled and in the space of three minutes the business area of the town was virtually destroyed. By the greatest of good fortune fire did not follow to add its horrors to the devastation. The fire station collapsed, burying machines and equipment in the rubble. A further severe after-shock at eight that night brought down the Havelock North bridge and severed the town’s water supply. Ninety-two people lost their lives immediately, and hundreds were injured. The Hastings of today bears no traces of the disaster of that black day in 1931 when the earth went mad.

Hastings’ population has leapt ahead in the past two decades. The city is a far cry from the straggling collection of business premises lining ‘Heretaunga Road’ nearly a century ago. Hastings became a city in 1956 – and continues to expand rapidly.

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29. 2. 1884 Town Board appointed to control licensing district of Hastings.

9. 5. 1884 J. Rochfort authorised to set out permanent levels for the district. Overdraft limit of £150 arranged with Bank of New Zealand.

17. 9. 1884   Capt. Russell asked to use his influence in getting a fortnightly sitting of the Magistrate’s Court in Hastings.

8. 10. 1884   A general rate of 1/- in the £ levied.

22. 10. 1884   Complaints made to the Railways Department concerning the shunting of trains “across the main road”.

23. 3. 1885   Railways Department could not agree to provision of railway crossing at Eastbourne Street, but would provide one at Lyndon Road.

20. 8. 1885   Notice given that the board intended forming a 12 ft footpath on both sides of Market Street.

12. 10. 1885   Application to be made to the Commissioner of Telegraphs for a telephone bureau (exchange) to be provided in Hastings.

18. 2. 1886   Board granted a subsidy of £25 to the newly-formed fire brigade. Board struck a special rate of 1/- in the £ to secure its first loan of £20,000.

-. 10. 1886   The Town Board held its final meeting. In its 2½ years the board held 54 meetings, or nearly two a month.

20. 10. 1886   First meeting of the newly-formed Hastings Borough Council. The population was 1504, which had more than doubled in 2½ years. The first mayor was Mr R. Wellwood. Mr John Collinge was appointed treasurer-town clerk.

6. 1. 1887   Borough Council considered establishment of a reservoir. Dog tax was fixed, ‘greyhounds and lurchers

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10/-, all other dogs 5/-, police to collect tax for a commission of 1/- per dog’.

3. 2. 1887   Mayor was authorised to get dust in main street removed. A fire bell was erected at a cost of £25.10/-.

7. 4. 1887   “On account of unsatisfactory work” all men on the sewer works were discharged.

2. 6. 1887   Authority given for preparation of plans for municipal offices. Later in this year a tender of £600.0.0. was accepted.

7. 7. 1887   Decided that council expenditure be reduced to the lowest possible scale, and that the road overseer be given a fortnight’s notice. (Later the road overseer’s notice was cancelled, but he was advised that he must act as inspector of nuisances and dog tax collector as well as overseer with no additional salary).

4. 8. 1887   A tender was accepted for forming and metalling Heretaunga Street at £12.0.0. for formation and 10 1/2d a cubic yard for metalling.

3. 11. 1887   Southampton Street was this day opened to traffic.

15. 12. 1887   Hastings first “Hackney” carriage” licences were granted. No less than 16 tenders were received for cleaning out the Southland drain and the main drain between Hastings and Tomoana. Southland drain : 11d. per chain. Tomoana drain : 10d. per chain.

1. 3. 1888   A suggestion to council that a high-pressure water supply from Havelock North could be obtained for £4,200 was “received”.

5. 7. 1388   The Audit Office advised that payment of £8.8.0. for portrait of mayor was illegial [illegal] and could not be allowed.

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6. 12. 1888   As a result of police complaints regarding obstruction of the streets legal opinion to be obtained as to power of council to make a bylaw preventing the Salvation Army from causing obstruction by holding prayer meetings. Bylaw was later duly made.

6. 6. 1889   Hastings Fire Brigade sought council’s authority to employ casual labour at fires.

4. 7. 1889   Decided to fit sluice-gates in sewer mains to dam effluent and form reservoir for pumping by fire engine in case of emergency.

4. 12. 1890   Tenders called for the erection of a courthouse in Hastings.

2. 4. 1891   Wall Road formed.

2. 7. 1891   Recommended by Fire Inspector S. Tong that the fire brigade be disbanded as it was ‘in a very disorganised state’. (The brigade was disbanded and reformed under the immediate control of the council).

9. 7. 1891   Auditor-General requested that members of the council exercise vigilance to prevent any of its revenue being embezzled “by collectors or accountants”.

15. 2. 1892   Council at last raised £18,000 of its £25,000 loan at 5 1/4 per cent for 20 years.

6. 6. 1892   Plane trees planted both sides of Market Street.

7. 7. 1892   Numerous complaints of flooding from areas in Park Road south, Williams Street, Wall Road and Norton Road.

6. 10. 1892   Salary of £100.0.0. voted for mayor. Five chains of Park Road north raised to improve drainage.

2. 2. 1893   Applications called for office of working overseer, inspector of nuisances, buildings and hackney carriages and ranger. Salary, 10/- a day. Town Clerk’s salary reduced from £250 to £200 a year. Surfaceman’s

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wages reduced from 8/- to 7/- a day.

28. 8. 1893   First concrete kerbings laid in Hastings.

2. 11. 1893   Pakowhai Road formed.

14. 4. 1894   Mayoral salary was voted at £25.0.0. for the year.

7. 6. 1894   Plan of subdivision of Frimley Estate approved.

11. 10. 1894   All footpaths tarred and sanded and concrete kerbing and channelling laid in business area of Heretaunga Street.
A third police constable requested for Hastings (a few days earlier council had requested a constable to be on night duty).

6. 12. 1894   Williams Street declared a public road.

6. 12. 1895   No quorum being present for Mayoral Installation at 12 noon, ceremony postponed to that evening.

6. 8. 1896   A. H. Whitehouse licensed to exhibit a ‘kinemascope’.

5. 11. 1896   A motion to have the council offices connected to the telephone exchange was defeated.

14. 1. 1897   Council moved to acquire land to be known as Queen’s Square. Five months later mayor received possession of square on behalf of Hastings people.

2. 9. 1897   An attempt to license bicycles within the borough was abandoned.

11. 10. 1897   A public morgue was authorised to be erected adjacent to the Municipal Buildings.

5. 5. 1898   Council approved fire station being connected by telephone. Two months later the Town Clerk’s office was connected.

3. 11. 1898   Council negotiating for a site for public hospital at Havelock North. Later it was decided to seek a site within the borough.

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21. 12. 1898   J. N. Williams thanked for gift of land for park and recreation ground (Cornwall Park).

6. 7. 1899   A proposal for a high-pressure water supply costing £1,300.0.0. was defeated at a public poll, 69-11.

23. 1. 1901   Mayor received advice of death of Queen Victoria. Borough’s population at this time was 3650.

2. 5. 1901   Gates at Frederick Street railway crossing removed and cattle stops provided, to convert it into a public road.

7. 10. 1901   Council took over Hastings Athenaeum as a public library.
Half cost of all footpaths, kerbings and channelling to be charged to owners of frontages.

6. 2. 1902   H. J. Burton was appointed first librarian-caretaker with free fuel, lighting and use of two rooms for living quarters, at £60.0.0. a year.

3. 4. 1902   Provision made for first time for sleeping quarters for two men at fire station.

5. 6. 1902   Council voted £40.0.0. for entertainment of children on Coronation Day of King Edward VII. Sum of £400.0.0. set aside for erection of permanent memorial.

6. 10. 1904   Andrew Carnegie gave council £2,000.0.0 for erection of a library providing services were free. When it was found that building could not be properly completed for £2,000, Carnegie gave further £500.0.0.
Inspector of Nuisances instructed to make ‘surprise visits’ to all toilets in borough and report how many were using disinfectants. (It would have been an interesting exercise).

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21. 1. 1907   First licence to operate an omnibus within Hastings granted to D. C. Thornley.

7. 5. 1908   A ‘Straker’ steam road wagon and trailer purchased at cost of £899.

21. 5. 1908   Council decided there was no need for Plunket nurses in Hastings.

6. 7. 1909   Council decided to raise loan of £85,000 for high pressure water supply and electric power plant, sewer extensions and road and footpath improvements.

15. 7. 1909   A house numbering system instituted.

3. 5. 1911   Borough’s population 6286.

29. 6. 1912   W. H. Cook of Petone appointed Town Clerk and Engineer at salary of £400.

4. 7. 1912   Power house completed, 29 premises wired. Council agreed to supply electricity to Havelock North for seven years.
43 acres bought from J. Beatson for £4,000.0.0. (Windsor Park).

1913   Borough population approximately 7,000

17. 7. 1913   P. R. Purser appointed Town Clerk (£300 P.A.) and S. B. Dodge Engineer (£350 P.A.).
Loan of £29,300 approved by ratepayer for erection of Municipal Offices, Theatre and shops.

12. 3. 1914   Scheme to use Tukituki River for power generation abandoned. Tender of £12,000 for erection of Municipal Theatre accepted.

22. 7. 1915   Free library system abandoned because of deterioration of books.
Subscription system introduced.

24. 2. 1916   Consideration given to setting up municipal bakery. Scheme abandoned.

23. 3. 1916   Council purchased the biograph and plant of V. P. McCormick in the Municipal Theatre and entered into the picture business.

13. 4. 1917   Council and staff occupied the new Municipal Buildings. First council

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meeting in new premises was held 13 April 1917.

17. 7. 1918   Council approved purchase of block of land for a maternity home cottage hospital and kindred buildings as a memorial to the soldiers of Hawke’s Bay.

26. 9. 1918   Mayor proposed building a Mother’s Rest.

11. 4. 1919   Sum of £300.0.0. voted for peace celebrations.

8. 10. 1921   Memorial Hospital opened; Mrs Hagenson first matron.

5. 9. 1918   Negotiations begun for extending Station Street (Russell Street) from Heretaunga Street to Lyndon Road [begun].

3. 8. 1923   Arrangements completed with Nelsons (N. Z.) Limited to conduct Hastings municipal abattoir.

13. 9. 1923   As a result of a councillor’s refusal to withdraw offensive remarks about the Mayor a constable was called and the councillor forcibly removed from the Council Chamber. This councillor was unseated later as a result of a court conviction.

11. 11. 1923   Cenotaph unveiled.

28. 2. 1924   George Ebbett donated to council land for public park (Ebbett Park).

26. 6. 1924   Land for Mangaroa Forest, Bridge Pa, acquired for £1,200.0.0. The first of 70,000 trees planted.

19. 5. 1925   Prime Minister W. F. Massey died. Whole holiday declared for borough, all staff to receive full wages.

28. 9. 1926   Council decided to join with H.B. Electric Power Board.

11. 11. 1926   First campers allowed on Beatson (Windsor) Park.
Hastings received first power from H.B. Power Board.

22. 5. 1930   Serious unemployment in Hastings. Special assistance committee set up.

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3. 2. 1931   Emergency meeting of council held in Wesley Hall (council’s temporary offices) following earthquake. In Hastings, 92 people killed. Damage to borough property estimated at £39,100.0.0.

16. 4. 1931   Request by public resolution to immediately widen Heretaunga Street by 10 ft. between Tomoana Road and Willowpark Road. George Ebbett opposed widening.

29. 5. 1934   Council agreed to sell electrical undertaking to Hawke’s Bay Power Board.
P. R. Purser resigned; N.C. Harding appointed from 71 applications.

26. 2. 1935   Clock tower approved, erected at cost of £1,126.0.0.

3. 5. 1935   Beatson’s Park renamed Windsor Park.

14. 11. 1935   Extension of sewer outfall to the sea approved.

2. 2. 1936   Severe damage to Mangaroa Forest by storm, 1,400 trees destroyed.

12. 11. 1926 [1936]   B. M. Kessell presented council with mayoral chain to commemorate borough’s 50th jubilee.

5. 11. 1936   Property of A. A. George bought for £1,700, completing acquisition of land for Civic Square.

9. 12. 1938   New sewer at East Clive put into operation at cost of £50,000.

29. 9. 1939   Council agreed to set up organisation for growing vegetables for export.

3. 10. 1939   First contingent of soldiers from Hastings farewelled.

12. 9. 1940   Committee set up to organise Home Guard.

28. 5. 1941   A. I. Rainbow installed as Mayor; new engineer R. P. Fish welcomed.

30. 9.1941   Crematorium to be established at Hastings.

27. 8. 1945   Army huts to be erected in Windsor Park as temporary accommodation to

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relieve acute housing shortage.
Two blocks of transit houses erected.

10. 10. 1946   Memorial Library scheme adopted.

3. 12. 1947   R. D. Brown installed as Mayor.

19. 8. 1948   Decided to purchase George Ebbett’s collection of Maori curios for £3,800.0.0.

1. 8. 1951   Council concluded agreement for Transport Department to take over control of Hastings traffic.

15. 9. 1952   Branch library at Havelock North authorised.

25. 2. 1953   Visit of HM the Queen to Hastings.

12. 11. 1953   Mr W. E. Bate installed as Mayor.

28. 5. 1954   First traffic lights authorised for Hastings.

17. 11. 1954   First parking meters approved.

8. 9. 1956   Proclamation read declaring Hastings a city. Mayoral and town clerk’s robes presented by Junior Chamber of Commerce.
Greater Hastings presented new council table.

27. 9. 1956   First meeting of Hastings City Council.

11. 11. 1956   Sir Andrew Russell laid foundation stone of War Memorial Library.

18. 12. 1958   Tender for duplication of sewer outfall to sea awarded for £86,773.
Proceedings begun for a Hawke’s Bay airport.

9. 12. 1959   R. V. Giorgi installed as Mayor.

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