26 September 2023

Archives shines on past right Christmases

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ArchivesACT has welcomed the festive spirit with its December Find of the Month by reflecting on Canberra City’s Christmas trees and Christmas cards.

Archives said organised celebrations of the festive season had a long tradition in Canberra.

“Each year the Department of Territory and Municipal Services was heavily involved with the public Christmas celebrations,” Archives said.

“Prior to self-government it fell upon City Parks Administration to arrange festive lighting and an annual Christmas tree,” it said.

“This tree was usually sponsored by a business or charitable group.”

Archives said one of the files in this month’s Find explored the construction of a steel lined hole in 1974 on Alinga Street (Garema Place) for the erection of a large Christmas tree each year.

It said that, after construction, there were regular calls from local shop owners for the planting of a permanent pine tree in Civic.

“They hoped to reduce the recurring costs of erecting a cut tree each year and minimise Occupational Health and Safety concerns when erecting the tree and spray painting the tree in a pedestrian mall,” it said.

“Temporary trees required two coats of paint to aid in maintaining colour and preventing them from drying out.”

Archives said that, initially, Government covered all costs associated with erecting the tree in Garema Place but since 1980, local businesses and community groups had sponsored the tree.

ArchivesACT’s December Find of the Month can be accessed at this PS News link.

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