Canberra Week Procession, 1974

Canberra Week Procession, 1974
Southern Cross Austereo
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On Saturday 16 March 1974 an enthusiastic crowd of 25,000 people turned out to watch the Canberra Week Procession. It was the first parade held in the nation’s capital since 1966. Thirty floats plus bands, marching girls and sporting and community groups left Gordon Street in the city, wound their way around London Circuit, across Northbourne Avenue to Electricity House. Vintage cars transported the 20 Canberra Day Princess finalists (the eventual winner was Gayle Sheridan of Downer).

Stars of the procession were popular television icons of the day, Aunty Jack and Humphrey B Bear. Attended by Thin Arthur and Kid Eager, Aunty Jack left the procession at Canberra’s Civic Square to be crowned the 1974 Queen of Canberra by Member for Canberra, Kep Enderby. His coronation speech (sadly not included in the surviving footage) stated his desire to rename Canberra 'South Wollongong’, and to make it a light industrial area!

This historic event was captured by a CTC-TV news cameraman. The footage was shot in colour, even though it would be another 12 months before colour television officially began in Australia. This camera footage and audio is not edited and was used to produce a CTC-TV news story which is not known to survive.

Note: The audio on the excerpt is location sound only.