Potted Paragraphs Review – Points of Interest
IN A BROCHURE such as this, it is impossible to adequately survey the history of Hastings, or to more than very briefly refer to its prospects for the future, but here is presented some “potted paragraphs” which may prove of interest:
Created a Town District in 1883, Hastings became a Borough in 1886, and a city in 1956.
This year’s census revealed that the borough area had 5,489 inhabited dwellings.
With the extension of the borough boundaries-now being considered by the Boundaries Commission – the city population will be about 21,000. The present urban population is 28,000.
The Maori population of the borough at the last census was 411.
There are few better “beauty spots” in the country than Cornwall Park – a gift to the people from the Williams family, who also presented Frimley Park with its fifty acres, which is now in the process of development.
Hastings – apart from Havelock North, which is often referred to as “the home of learning” – has eight primary schools and three high schools, and with two exceptions (which will be catered for in the near future), all have their own swimming baths.
At one time, with more than 5,000 acres, Hastings had what was reputed to be the largest borough in the world. This was reduced to 2,613 acres, but will increase by almost 1,000 acres if the proposed boundary changes take place.
Just on 6,000 Hastings homes and businesses are connected to telephone.
Motor vehicles registered in Hastings last year totalled nearly 13,000.
The average annual rainfall in Hastings is just on 33 inches. The sunshine hour average is 2416, which places it the Dominion’s “top ten” for sunshine.
Hastings was the first place in New Zealand to establish a Women’s Rest.
Though not in the borough – it is just on the outskirts – the Showgrounds at Tomoana are considered to be the finest in the Southern Hemisphere.
The Fallen Soldiers Memorial Hospital is part of the district’s memorial of World War I. The Cenotaph and the Havelock North Monument complete the memorial, to which people subscribed £18,000 more than twenty-five years ago.
The World War ΙΙ Memorial will be the Public Library in Civic Square, to be erected shortly. To this the people subscribed more than ₤30,000.
The Hastings Highland Games at Easter and the Blossom Festival in September – creations of Greater Hastings – are foremost events of their time in New Zealand.
Hastings is one of the lowest rated cities in New Zealand. This year’s rate 6.45d in the ₤.
Building permits issued during the last financial year were valued at ₤820,655.
Over the past ten years, 1,732 new houses have been erected in the city area – an average of nearly three a week.
The view from “The Peak” on the Havelock Hills has been described as one of the finest in New Zealand.
To relieve congestion in Heretaunga Street, traffic lights are soon to be installed between Karamu Road and Market Street.
An indication of progress: Less than fifty years ago, the capital value of Hastings was placed at ₤1,370,000. To-day it is ₤20,500,000.
With its 1,350 seating accommodation, the Hastings Municipal Theatre, erected in 1914, has the second largest stage in the Southern Hemisphere. His Majesty’s Theatre in Melbourne is said to be the only theatre with more.
Community effort: The mayoral robes now being worn by the first City Mayor, Mr. W.E. Bate, O.B.E., are a gift of the Hastings Junior Chamber of Commerce. The mayoral chair is a gift from women’s organisations, the council table is a gift from Greater Hastings, and the new coat-of-arms is a gift from Hastings, England.
Formed in 1886, the Hastings Fire Brigade is now one of the Dominion’s most modern. Many New Zealand championships have come their way.
The Hastings racecourse is considered to be among the six best in New Zealand.
Hastings has had sixteen mayors, but only three town clerks since it became a borough in 1886. The first town clerk was Mr. John Collinge, the second Mr. P.R. Purser, and the present clerk is Mr N.C. Harding.
Visitors to the City Celebrations and Blossom Festival should make a point of seeing Oak Avenue, just past the Hospital. It is impressive.