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Christmas Pageant, 1933
Title : Christmas Pageant, 1933 Christmas Pageant, 1933
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Creator : D. Darian Smith, (photographer)
Date of creation : 1933
Format : Photograph
Dimensions : 155 x 209 mm
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
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Donated by : John Martin & Co.
Copyright : This item is reproduced courtesy of David Jones Ltd. It may be printed or saved for research or study. Use for any other purpose requires written permission from David Jones Ltd and the State Library of South Australia. To request approval, complete the Permission to publish form.
Description :

View looking east along Rundle Street as floats in the first John Martin's pageant in 1933 travel past the Johnnie's store frontage. The closest float is 'the old Dreadnought again, which gave me many sleepless nights. That's Toby Hayward as a Spaniard stepping out across the road. You can see the Spanish set as well' [from caption on back -author unknown].

At 11.00 am, 18 Saturday November 1933, Edward Hayward stood at the corner of Angas and King William Streets and rang a bell to signify the commencement of the first John Martin's Christmas pageant. (A tradition he continued every year, until his death in 1983).

At a cost of approximately 1,250 pounds, the first pageant featured eight floats and approximately 300 members of John Martin's staff, accompanied by a number of local marching bands.

The floats brought to life Christmas characters, fairly tales and other topical themes, including the battleship depicted here. 'One of the most ambitious sets was a battle cruiser float, complete with guns and other appurtenances, but manned by a feminine crew' (The Advertiser, 20 November 1933, p. 16).

A clever marketing campaign ensured a huge turn out on the day, the 'largest crowd seen in Adelaide since the days of the war' (The Mail, 18 November 1933, p. 14).

The Advertiser recorded crowds five deep on either side of King William Street, but there were many more in Rundle Street as this photograph shows. 'Many after seeing it on one street, hurried to another to take a second view' (20 November 1933, p. 16).

The event's success led to the decision to make it an annual event.

Related names :

John Martin & Co.

Coverage year : 1933
Region : Adelaide city
Further reading :

'60th John Martin's State Bank Christmas pageant 1933-1993', Sunday Mail, 31 October 1993, 24 p. supp.

Adelaide's once-a-year day, Adelaide: Commercial Printing House, 1978.

'Street pageant delights crowd', Advertiser, 20 November 1933, p. 16.

A touch of magic [videorecording] : [the story behind the Christmas Pageant], West Lakes?, S. Aust. : Cine News Productions, 1993.

Internet links :

Credit Union Christmas pageant

John Martin's first pageant: 1933 [State Library of South Australia]



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