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Saturday, November 18, 2023

The Grafton Jacaranda Competition of Yesteryear


I’m remembering the Jacaranda Festivals of my childhood at Grafton in northern New South Wales, with a sure nostalgia. Did such a time of innocence actually exist? Is that this celebration completely different in the present day?

Under is a photograph from my sister’s album of her, Candy Susan, and our pricey little sister, Jillian, folks dancing with college pals on the Grafton Jacaranda Competition within the fifties.

jill-susan-dancing-jacaranda-festival

This annual spring-time celebration begins on the finish of October and lasts till the primary week in November. It has gone on since nineteen thirty-four, and was the primary such folks competition within the nation.

The Grafton Jacaranda Competition  is in practically in full swing in my hometown as I write this submit. It’s a spring celebration that’s held yearly throughout the first week in November. Presently, the jacaranda bushes are in full bloom.

Some childhood reminiscences are golden. Or, on this case, mauve, lilac, purple, and, as Dad as soon as mentioned, “heliotrope”. It’s laborious to pin down the precise color of the flowers that bloom on the jacaranda bushes, and kind carpets of blossoms on the floor of the roads and avenues. Generally they appear lighter hued, mauve in my reminiscence, at different occasions, darkly purple.

Native companies embellished “floats” that have been pushed by town streets, in a parade seen by crowds of spectators.

grafton-float-jacaranda-festival

The chosen “Jacaranda Queen” rode in a single car and waved to the crowds. My ex-schoolmate good friend was chosen one yr.

the-jacaranda-queen-float

At night time, embellished vessel floats have been steered alongside the Clarence River, watched by crowds of spectators lining the waterfront. One in all these  floats would carry the Jacaranda Queen, who was chosen every year by a particular board to offer speeches and symbolize the entire event.

float-clarence-river-fifties

 Young women within the fifties and sixties wore leis made out of crepe paper at jacaranda time. Mum at all times ran up a vivid new skirt on her Singer stitching machine for me—and my sisters—to put on with a white shirt. leis-crepe-jacaranda-festival

Many thanks for the historic Grafton Jacaranda Photographs (above) which are from the Hackett household albums.

early-jacaranda-festival-maypole

An early jacaranda competition with maypole dancing

maypole-dancers-ireland

Early maypole in Eire

My daughter, Kate’s new home in Yarrawarrah, that we share along with her as an escape from town, has two Jacaranda bushes in full eye sight from the home, practically able to burst into bloom with enthralling color.



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