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The 1953-54 royal summer inspired professional and amateur filmmakers alike; thousands of feet of film were lavished on the tour. Members of the Otago Cine Club were no exception producing a 40-minute documentary rich in detail covering the Queen’s three days in Dunedin.

January 1954.
Produced by members of the Otago Cine Club

The arrival.
The royal train arrives at Dunedin station, people waving union jacks line the tracks.

The royal couple emerge from the train, after well wishes they depart for the Law Courts Hotel where red carpet is laid in readiness. The Queen and Prince Philip wave from the balcony and the streets are deep with thousands of cheering fans.

Floral and lighting displays cover the city in welcome to the Queen. By day Dunedin is awash with floral tributes, by night the city becomes a fairyland of coloured lights, buildings are festooned in red, white and blue.

The town hall reception.
The royal couple leave the hotel for the civic reception; cheering crowds line the streets. The Mayor presents the city’s gift, an inlaid casket of 7 New Zealand woods. Inside the casket is an album of photos and coloured slides of Dunedin and a 16mm colour film of Dunedin produced by the Otago Cine Club.

A huge crowd waits in the Octagon roaring with welcome when the Queen makes a balcony appearance. Also in the Octagon is a floral arch, of quarter-of-a-million blooms erected by the Reserves Dept.

Floral displays, created by women’s organisations, adorn all the shops, of particular note is a magnificent floral crown in market reserve prepared by the Otago Home Economics Association in collaboration with the Princess Street South Otago Businessmen’s Association.

Scenes of cars being towed out of the royal route and trams crowded with people.
Views inside the royal suite at the Law Courts Hotel, the furniture is made locally and the colour schemes were devised in Dunedin.

The Picnic at Forbury Park.
Scenes at the picnic where 15,000 school children wait to see their queen. They are entertained by clowns, displays by local associations, bands, and sports cars. The Queen and Prince arrive in a landrover to cheers from a multitude of children. The sound is deafening. The scene is "a rippling, shivering expanse of red, white and blue".

The Carisbrook Sports Meeting.
A crowd of 35,000 watch athletes, marching teams and bands on parade. Special platforms are erected for highland dancers. Yvette Williams attempts to break her New Zealand long jump record.

The Royal Concert.
A formal evening occasion featuring English music associated with the royal family. Pianist Richard Farrell plays with the National Orchestra.

The tour of the Roslyn Mills.
Wednesday 27 January. A visit to the Ross and Glendinning’s Roslyn Woollen Mills begins with another happy progress through Dunedin streets. Patients and nurses from Dunedin hospital line the street to cheer. The Queen completes a tour of inspection all departments of the mill, stopping to watch a Princess Elizabeth tartan rug being woven.

The Queen at Karitane Hospital.
A visit to the Truby King Harris Karitane Hospital at Andersons Bay, 1 of 6 in NZ and the training centre for Plunket nurses.

The Departure.
Thursday 28 January. His Worship Mayor LM Wright farewells the royal visitors. Large crowds gather at hotel to cheer the departing guests who brought joy and happiness to thousands during their three-day visit.

At Lookout Point, Dunedin’s southern boundary, over 5000 gather to cheer.


The End.

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Year 1954

Reference number F28504

Source Moving Image Collection

Media type Moving Image

Place of Production NEW ZEALAND/AOTEAROA

Genre Amateur

Duration 0:37:59

Production company Otago Cine Club

Viewing locations

- 2005.2480

Medianet available

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