65 years of Carols at the Kings

Publish Date : 17 Oct 2023
Candles By Candlelight Three Kings 1975 2
Three Kings Carols by Candlelight, 1975.

Puketāpapa’s annual Christmas celebration in Three Kings returns in early December, with an extra reason to celebrate, marking its 65th event.

This year’s festivities are expected to bring back nostalgic traditions with candlelight, jazz and of course harmonious vocals of the local choir, among plenty of other fun activities.

Puketāpapa Local Board Chair, Ella Kumar is thrilled to be collaborating alongside community for this celebration.

“We are really excited to celebrate our signature event and its major milestone – it’s always an excellent night out for the whole family.

“And it’s a fantastic occasion to commemorate the area’s decorated history, the growth and opportunities created by leaders from our past and the rich diversity that has evolved in this area,” says Chair Kumar.

“We want to thank our community for their valuable contributions over the years and up to this day as these events would not have been possible without them.”

Charles Linden, chair of the Mount Roskill Borough Public Relations Committee, who organised the first event in 1958 had similar sentiments commending the spirit of the project (AkL, Heritage et AL, 2015).

“The co-operation and teamwork in the preparations, then the unconcealed delight and fascination of children on the night always makes it worthwhile,” said Linden.

By 1964, still under Mr Linden’s guise, the event made headlines with a 200-person choir performance by Mt Roskill Municiple Youth Choir and local churches, drawing a record 16,000 attendees who brought their own candles to light up the night.

Carols at the Kings’ inaugural event in 1958 was originally known as ‘Three Kings Carols by Candlelight’. The entirely new event was inspired by Mayor Keith Hay’s observations during his trip to the United States in the mid-1950s (Reidy, 2007).

Over the years, the event’s programme has developed from motionless characters acting out a scene, also known as a tableau; miming acts; a donkey, to more modern features such as Santa’s grotto; a bouncy castle; The Bubble Man; rock climbing; a photo booth, facepainting and much more.

Stay tuned to find out what’s in store at this year’s Carols at the Kings.

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