The way we were: Pill box hats hit Porirua


The 1960s seemed a pros­per­ous time - as long as you paid your tele­vi­sion licence.

The power of ad­ver­tis­ing had hit the broad sheets and ‘‘easy credit fi­nance’’ had made it’s way into the na­tional psy­che.

Con­sumers no longer needed the money to take their Sun­beam Beater­mix, vene­tian blind or Zip fry­pan home from the store - they could walk out and pay later.

For­tu­nately, there were plenty of job op­por­tu­ni­ties about in Porirua City.

In the Sit­u­a­tions Va­cant col­umns of the time a few big em­ploy­ers stood out - of­ten tak­ing full page ads to shout the many virtues of their busi­ness.

The Ko­dak Pro­cess­ing Lab­o­ra­tory in Els­don was one such em­ployer.

The work­place boasted it’s own staff cam­era club, a sub­sidised sa­lon and a ‘‘five star menu’’ fea­tured meals fish schnitzel, hun­gar­ian goulash and oys­ter cock­tails for em­ploy­ees.

Trans­port home af­ter a night shift at the fac­tory was free - the com­pany would pay for a taxi but it wasn’t just the perks em­ploy­ees could look for­ward to.

‘‘With over­time, the take­home pay for quite a few male staff of­ten reaches 30 pound a week. For skilled women work­ers 20 pound is not ex­cep­tional.’’

Mean­while, the prop­erty mar­ket was boom­ing, a two storey house in Pare­mata sold for 8150 pound while a five bed­room home on Mana Es­planade was ask­ing 9500 pound.

A new in­dus­try for Porirua was an­nounced, with a new com­pany, Hills Hats, mak­ing the berets for the army, scouts, po­lice and civil avi­a­tion.

‘‘A new note in fash­ion is in­tro­duced by the pill box shapes.’’

As a grow­ing com­mu­nity Porirua should be rep­re­sented by it’s very own mu­nic­i­pal band, the pa­per re­ported.

‘‘It’s im­por­tant we can hold our col­lec­tive heads high.’’

Bands­men from Mana Col­lege would be call­ing on ev­ery house in Porirua East to col­lect do­na­tions, res­i­dents were warned.

How­ever, de­spite the ap­par­ent pros­per­ity of the time, not ev­ery­body paid their bills.

A spokesman for the Ra­dio In­spec­tors’ Di­vi­sion said 16,466 ‘dodgers’ had been caught with un­li­censed tele­vi­sions or ra­dios in the Welling­ton area.

‘‘Thirty per­sons would come be­fore the Mag­is­trates court to an­swer for their be­hav­iour.’’


Easy credit terms: an ad­ver­tise­ment from the 1960 Kapi-Mana News.

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