Fifty years ago: Broiler chicken industry takes off

Broiler chicken industry in Taranaki

The broiler chicken industry in Taranaki was booming with the general manager of General Foods Corporation, Mr R C Fyfe, announcing at New Plymouth plans to be producing 5 million meat chickens a year half-way through 1968 and half would come from the company’s Bell Block growing sheds near New Plymouth.

A 260-acre property in Mangorei Rd, about two miles past New Plymouth’s Westown Golf Club, was being developed as a centre for the Ambassadors for Christ International organisation, the organisation’s New Zealand director, Mr F Leivesley, said.

Commenting on the lack of young people attending the Taranaki Jockey Club’s race meetings at New Plymouth, the president, Mr C H Wynyard, told the annual meeting that it appeared the future of the club lay with the gradual growth of New Plymouth’s population.

To stimulate interest in softball, exhibition games should be held, it was decided at the North Taranaki Softball Association’s annual meeting presided over by Mr J Wetzel.

Twelve meetings held over the past season had attracted between 55,000 and 60,000 spectators, making stock car racing the leading summer sport in Taranaki, the president, Mr Don Johanson, told the annual meeting of the Taranaki Stock Car Club at Stratford.

With record on and off-course turnover, the Stratford Trotting Club had had a good year, the president, Mr P E Jones, reported to the annual meeting.

Rangers returning from an inspection of the Holly and Pouakai huts on Mt Egmont had reported that vandals had left them in a condition “not fit for pigs to live in”, and the chief ranger, Mr G G Atkinson, blamed the problem on organised groups.

A member of a 10-strong team of New Zealand girls undertaking a winter series of sales demonstrations in Britain for the New Zealand Dairy Board was Miss Helen Burgham, a Stratford teacher.

Movies: The Early Bird (Opunake Everybody’s), Norman Wisdom; Beach Ball (Patea Civic), Ed Byrnes, Chris Noel and The Supremes; Texas Across The River (Waitara Royal), Dean Martin; The Son Of Captain Blood (Mayfair), Sean Flynn.

 Fifty years ago the broiler chicken industry in Taranaki was booming with general manager of General Foods Corporation, Mr R C Fyfe, announcing plans to be producing 5 million meat chickens a year.

A drop in passenger traffic forced Gibson Motors Ltd to abandon its Friday night and Saturday afternoon services between New Plymouth and Opunake.

Part of an old dam in the Kaupokonui River, near Kaponga, was blown up by members of the Hawera Acclimatisation Society as it was to high for trout to jump, the secretary, Mr T E Drake, reported.

Three new caves had been discovered in the Mahoenui area during the year by the Taranaki Caving Club, the retiring president, Mr R J Barham, told the annual meeting at New Plymouth, adding that a number of moa bones had been removed and sent to Canterbury University for identification.

A 17-year-old New Plymouth Venturer Scout, Tom Brummer, a member of the St Joseph’s Scout group, was chosen to spend about three weeks in Antarctica.

A New Plymouth Boys’ High School student, David Thomas, 18, was awarded an officer cadetship with the Royal New Zealand Air Force under which he would study for an engineering degree at Canterbury University.

An “opportunity shop” was opened in High St, Hawera, by the Society of St Vincent de Paul with funds to be used for charitable undertakings.

35 Years Ago: Two children rescued from blazing Braemar Motel-Hotel at New Plymouth; Inaha greyhound trainer Mrs Nancy Cobain scores six winners with six dogs at Wellington meeting; three narrowly escape death in helicopter crash at New Plymouth airport; Waimate West County Council buys demonstration farm from Crown.

25 Years Ago: Noel Cave heads New Plymouth’s new Main Streets Committee; Rochelle Carradus, 19, of Hawera crowned New Zealand’s Tulip Queen; Kate Cotter, 17,  of Sacred Heart College, New Plymouth, wins trip to America at national science fair.

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