It was rather fitting, with the 150th anniversary approaching of his arrival in Port Macquarie, that a descendant of Captain Francis Allman should open the seventeenth Carnival of the Pines.
He was Mr Ross Symonds, known and admired throughout this and other communities for his presentation of the news on ABC television.
It has been the custom since the first Carnival of the Pines in 1955, to officially open it at the Easter Monday procession, but because of other commitments Mr Symonds was only able to manage it on Good Friday. Thus, the official opening became a pleasant segment of Friday night's proceedings in the open air on a delightfully calm evening at West Port Macquarie Park.
Pleasant evenings have followed four sundrenched days of marvellous autumn weather, and tremendous crowds of people have been thoroughly enjoying the Easter break. There was a big crowd at West Port Park to hear Mr Symonds open the Carnival and to witness the first of two brilliant and sincere performances of the Iona Passion Play, the second being on Easter Saturday night before a very large crowd.
It was a surprise all round when Mr Symonds identified himself with Port Macquarie's first Commandant. Captain Francis Allman, saying "he was my great, great grandfather".
Port Macquarie is enjoying its best-ever Easter, and a week of gloriously calm and sunny days has been enjoyed to the full by thousands of holidaymakers.
First indication that the town was in for a record Easter came on Saturday morning when all shopping areas were thronged with people for a full three-hour period and at times it was difficult to walk the footpath on either side of Horton Street.
The campground has more people than ever before and practically all available accommodation in flats, hotels and motels has been occupied for the past three days.
The only organisation with a grudge against the weather is the sailing club, the weather being too perfect for the "ships with sail," and race starts were at times held up.
Flynns Beach had near summer crowds on the past three days and the very clear and warm water at both Town and Flynns beaches has been delightful.
The beach weather was a great draw, yet there was a big crowd at the air pageant yesterday when at least 50 planes participated in an entertaining and spectacular program, there was also spectacle at the Pony Club's gymkhana at Hibbard, and all this was rounded off with a new innovation - a clay pigeon shoot at night.
Locals dominate fishing championships
In the Carnival of the Pines Fishing Championships held on Easter Saturday, Port Macquarie fishermen and women took most of the prizes.
The event was a triumph for the Royce Smith family, who won The Champion Boat, and Mrs Smith was woman champion, while Wayne won the Junior Championship.
Twenty two boats competed in the Carnival event and weighed in a total of 1388 lbs. of fish.
Royce Smith's boat, with Mrs Smith and Wayne aboard, weighed in 139 lbs, of fish.
The title of Champion Fisherman went to Robert Lundell.