Newcastle Joyful and Happy – Victory in the Pacific (VP) Celebrations Newcastle (N.S.W.) in 1945

A rare colour 16mm film of Newcastle in the throes of celebration and jubilation at the end of World War II has emerged and has been digitised by the University of Newcastle’s GLAMx AV Lab.

The film begins with the front page of The Newcastle Sun of Wednesday 15 August 1945 with the headline “WAR IS OVER JAPAN QUITS” see: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article156728488

“War Is Over Japan Quits” The Newcastle Sun Wednesday 15 August 1945.

 

A full account of the activities of the day are documented in the Newcastle Morning Herald of the following day, 15 August 1945 here:

Newcastle Morning Herald & Miners’ Advocate 16 August 1945 (9.3 MB PDF)

All the events in the film occurred on the same day, i.e. 15 August 1945. (Thanks to David Dial OAM and Greg Ray for the clarification and direction to information sources)

“THANKSGIVING SERVICE DREW THOUSANDS.

After a morning’s abandonment to wild rejoicings, the many thousands of people who attended the civic thanksgiving service in King Edward Park were just as wholehearted in their expression of a spirit of solemn thankfulness that the war was over. Picture shows a section of the huge crowd.”

David Dial OAM states:

“From what I have read on Trove the programme for the VP Day in Newcastle celebration and activities were discussed and planned beforehand and implemented upon the announcement of Japan’s surrender.

The “Hokey Pokey” song and dance was adopted as Newcastle’s Victory dance.

This would be something that could be re-enacted on Saturday 15th August 2020 in the vicinity of the former Newcastle Post Office with participants dressing in similar costumes and hats as depicted in the coloured film.

Personally, I don’t think the “hanging out” of tram doors would be allowable in the re-enactment of the city’s celebrations.”

As an aside, to get a fuller understanding of the significance of King Edward Park as a gathering place for such patriotic celebrations please consult the “Origins of King Edward Park” post on this site: https://hunterlivinghistories.com/2012/08/31/origins-of-king-edward-park/

Here are the screenshots from the film sequence.

 

This rare 16mm colour film of Newcastle’s celebrations during Victory in the Pacific (VP) Day or VJ Day (Victory in Japan) was donated to Greg and Sylvia Ray in 2019 by Mrs Vera Findlay of Greta.

The original creator of the film is unidentified.

Greg and Sylvia Ray had the film digitised to accompany the related WW2 photographs in their book “Newcastle The Missing Years” see: https://www.phototimetunnel.com/august-15-1945-the-war-is-over-vp-day-newcastle-nsw

Greg and Sylvia Ray donated the original 16mm film to Cultural Collections, in the Auchmuty Library of the University of Newcastle in January 2020.

The film was digitised by Phillip Lloyd (UON AV Digitisation Specialist) on 20 February 2020 at the GLAMx Audio-visual Digitisation Lab, Auchmuty Library, University of Newcastle.

RARE FOOTAGE OF NEWCASTLE CELEBRATING END OF WORLD WAR II RE-DISCOVERED

Rare film a ‘treasure’ Newcastle Herald 3 March 2020 p.3

Listing of articles relating to event in TROVE (Compiled by Louise Gale)

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article156726760
VP-Day Plans Are Announced (1945, August 13). The Newcastle Sun (NSW : 1918 – 1954), p. 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article156726758
POLICE ADVICE FOR NEWCASTLE (1945, August 13). The Newcastle Sun (NSW : 1918 – 1954), p. 3.

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article134377714
SPEEDING PLANS FOR V.P. CELEBRATIONS (1945, August 14). Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate (NSW : 1876 – 1954), p. 2.

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article134377759
Regulation Gazetted For V.P. Holidays (1945, August 14). Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate (NSW : 1876 – 1954), p. 3.

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article156727638
DAY AND NIGHT PROCESSIONS VP DAY PLANS ARE TAKING SHAPE (1945, August 14). The Newcastle Sun (NSW : 1918 – 1954), p. 3.

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article134377671
HOTELS WILL CLOSE ON FIRST V.P. DAY (1945, August 14). Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate (NSW : 1876 – 1954), p. 2.

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article134373757
CITY FRANTIC WITH JOY (1945, August 16). Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate (NSW : 1876 – 1954), p. 2.

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article134373847
THIS “CROCODILE” DIDN’T BITE (1945, August 16). Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate (NSW : 1876 – 1954), p. 10.

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article134373729
Thousands Became Silent In King Edward Park (1945, August 16). Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate (NSW : 1876 – 1954), p. 2.

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article134373733
MOTHER DIED DURING UNITED SERVICE (1945, August 16). Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate (NSW : 1876 – 1954), p. 2.

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article134373761
V.P. PROGRAMME FOR TO-DAY (1945, August 16). Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate (NSW : 1876 – 1954), p. 2.

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article134373818
Sidelights on City’s V.P. Day Enthusiasm (1945, August 16). Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate (NSW : 1876 – 1954), p. 4.

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article134373735
PEOPLE RODE PRECARIOUSLY (1945, August 16). Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate (NSW : 1876 – 1954), p. 2.

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article134355980
2000 Free Meals on V.P. Day (1945, August 21). Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate (NSW : 1876 – 1954), p. 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article134367341
Trams Took £1051 on V.P. Day (1945, August 22). Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate (NSW : 1876 – 1954), p. 2.

Gionni Di Gravio, OAM
University Archivist & Chair, HLH


4 thoughts on “Newcastle Joyful and Happy – Victory in the Pacific (VP) Celebrations Newcastle (N.S.W.) in 1945

  1. How totally brilliant is this; the original photographer, the finders, the donors, the digitisers, Gionni and your team of wonderful archivists and helpers. WELL DONE. STUNNING!!! What else can I say???

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