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Rain last evening thinned out the celebrating crowds in Queen S'.reet, but there was little lessening of the noise and gaiety. Many people who had not been in the city during the 'afternoon replaced, those who had gone home and the revelry continued till after midnight.

Everybody was adorned for the occasion in some way or other. Paper hats were popular and the fashion for women seemed to be to have their hair tied with a bow of red, white and blue paper, and to be liberally sprinkled with confetti.

Whistles, hooters, hand sirens, cow bells, and rattles kept up the din throughout the evening.

The closing of the hotels reduced the drinking, but mere were many who still had bottles of beer. When emptied, the bottles joined the piles of broken glass which choked the gutters. City Council employees worked throughout the evening to dispose of the broken glass and by 10 o'clock much of it had been removed.

There were many who preferred warmth and comfort to the treadmill of Queen Street, and picture theatres were crowded. Milk bars and restaurants which remained open did a roaring trade and at times there were queues of people waiting their turn to get in.

In the main the crowd was good humoured but as always there was an irresponsible element and the festivities were marred by one or two unfortunate incidents which, but for the good temper and patience of the police, might have developed into serious trouble. Windows Broken One such incident occurred shortly before six o'clock when a police sergeant tried to reason with several sailors and a civilian who had climbed on to the shop verandah of Milne and Choyce's store. When the sergeant attempted to induce them to climb a ladder, enter a first floor window and so return to safety, hostile elements in the crowd began throwing bottles, several of which smashed first floor windows. The police officer was showered with glass, and a brick, which narrowly missed him, went through a second floor window.

A diversion created by a scuffle in the crowd enabled the sergeant to get the men off the verandah, but other policemen had a difficult time in breaking up the scuffle and dispersing the crowd.

Another ugly incident occurred in Wellesley Street at 9 o'clock. A large and hostile group surrounded several policemen who had made an arrest and were taking a man to the police station. Again the police showed great patience under trying circumstances, and though the crowd trailed up to the station in O'Rorke Street it eventually dispersed without any serious trouble occurring.

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Bibliographic details

EVENING GAIETY, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 193, 16 August 1945

Word Count

EVENING GAIETY Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 193, 16 August 1945

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