Story: Anniversaries

Diamond jubilee arch, Masterton, 1897

Diamond jubilee arch, Masterton, 1897

A gaily decorated carriage stands in front of a commemorative arch on Queen Street, Masterton, on the occasion of Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee (the 60th year of her reign). Ten years before, in 1887, Masterton had held a procession and put up a memorial arch, but in 1897 the Wairarapa Daily Times decreed that, compared with the golden jubilee, 'there had been better weather, better arrangements and better enjoyment'. The central focus of the public display was this substantial arch built on a timber frame and decorated with foliage. There were portraits of Queen Victoria over each footpath, and a crown was suspended from the centre of the arch. At night fireworks were let off from the top of the arch, which was decorated with fairy lamps. Further along Queen Street local businesses brightly decorated their shop fronts and the streets had lines of flags and bunting. There was a procession in the morning, and sports in the afternoon. The local newspaper expressed delight that the day was not marred by drunkenness or larrikinism.

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Wairarapa Archive
Reference: 97-151/82.R6B1S1

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How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'Anniversaries - Early celebrations and Queen Victoria’s jubilees', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/43006/diamond-jubilee-arch-masterton-1897 (accessed 16 October 2019)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 20 Jun 2012