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John Martin's Christmas pageant
Title : John Martin's Christmas pageant John Martin's Christmas pageant
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Creator : Axer, Ron
Place Of Creation : Adelaide
Date of creation : 1955
Format : Film
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
The State Library of South Australia is keen to find out more about SA Memory items. We encourage you to contact the Library if you have additional information about any of these items.
Copyright :

Reproduction rights are owned by State Library of South Australia. This footage may be viewed for personal research or study. Use for any other purpose requires permission from the State Library of South Australia. To request approval, complete the Permission to publish form.

Description :

The State Library holds a collection of 15 film reels taken by amateur filmmaker Ron Axer between c. 1950-1974.

The returned serviceman and newsagent of Mannum, South Australia, recorded local scenes and events in the Riverland, and attractions in Adelaide including this footage of the 1955 John Martin's Christmas Pageant.

The inaugural pageant was staged by department store John Martin & Co. (John Martin's) in 1933. The brainchild of John Martin's chairman, Edward Hayward, the pageant was based on similar festive parades in North America.

With the exception of 1939-1944, when festivities were suspended due to World War II, the pageant has taken place every year - rain, hail or shine.

Generations of South Australian children have been delighted by the annual spectacle.

Since 1996, the Christmas pageant has been owned and organised by the South Australian Government, through the South Australian Tourism Commission. A long-term pledge of sponsorship from six of the state's credit unions has ensured the continuation of this South Australian icon beyond the life of its originator, John Martin's.

Read more about the history of the pageant on SA Memory at Adelaide Christmas pageant

SA Memory visitor, Elizabeth Foster, wrote to inform us that she features in this footage. Elizabeth carried the 'S' in 'XMAS' that year, and her nieces can be seen riding the Space Rocket; Merrilyn Fryer (aged 8) stands outside of the rocket and her sister Christine Fryer (aged 6) is seated inside.
Related names :

John Martin & Co.

Coverage year : 1955
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 :



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