News, Events and Culture

1940s

World War II; New Zealand Centenary celebrations, the Manawatū River floods and there are severe earthquakes.

Victory over Japan Day Celebrations, 1945

1940

 
  • A&P Showgrounds, Awapuni racecourse and Awatapu Golf Course all utilised as army training camps during the war
 
  • Milson aerodrome placed under the control of the RNZAF and a radar training school established
 
  • Māori Battalion formed and trained at Showgrounds
 
  • Centennial Drive constructed as part of the New Zealand Centenary celebrations
25-Apr
  • Māori Battalion paraded in the City for ANZAC day
1-May
  • Māori Battalion marched to Railway Station for embarkation overseas
 
  • Celebrations of New Zealand Centenary (100 years)
20-Apr
  • Pioneer Memorial on Mount Stewart opened

1941

 
  • Peter Black Conservatory established at the Esplanade
5-Feb
  • First Intermediate School opens on Ferguson Street
4-5-May
  • Major flood of the Manawatū River, most of Hokowhitu and Awapuni is under water, 62 houses in Hokowhitu are flooded and some residents evacuated (river peaks at 5.8m)
Christmas
  • Intermediate School in Ferguson Street taken over as an army hospital for American casualties from the Pacific theatre

1942

 
  • Linton Army Camp established
23-Jun
  • Severe earthquake
18-Jul
  • ANA (Army, Navy, and Air Force) Dance Hall opens on George Street, later known as Astoria Ballroom
2-Aug
  • Severe earthquake

1943

 
  • Kosy theatre renamed The Vogue (cinema)

1944

 
  • Summer drought causes water shortages in City; the Council digs a soak well on the riverbank to increase the available water supply
31-Dec
  • Winter Show Buildings at Showgrounds destroyed by fire

1945

 
  • Population 25,277
 
  • Second World War ends
13-Jun
  • New City Council Chambers and administration building opens on Church Street by The Square (now known as Square Edge)
November
  • Transit Camp established at Hokowhitu to provide temporary accommodation during the post-war housing shortage
 
  • During the late 1940s the Council names a number of streets after winners of the Victoria Cross including Upham and Ngarimu

1946

 
  • George Hamish Ormond Wilson elected as MP for Palmerston North
 
  • A house in Queen Street is officially opened as the YWCA clubrooms

1947

 
  • Geoffrey Tremaine elected Mayor
 
  • Clothes rationing finally comes to an end

1949

 
  • William Blair Tennent elected as MP for Palmerston North
9-Feb
  • Poll of ratepayers approves loan proposal of £100,000 pounds for a new filtration plant and water mains and £71,000 for a new 23m dam to improve the Palmerston North water supply
Disclaimer

Most dates are taken from tertiary sources and accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Researchers are strongly advised to check specific dates in other sources to confirm accuracy to their own satisfaction. All corrections or additional information and dates gratefully considered - please contact the Ian Matheson City Archives.