J. Stanton Harcourt gave the park to the city.
The first roofless sound stage appeared in a sketch in the ‘Leader’ on April 3, 1984, and a canvas awning was shown there
This stage was built in 1984 by the Rimutaka Lions, who had set aside $14 000 for the project, and it had already been used, while not finished, by February 1985.
The December 3, 1997 pictured the president of the Rimutaka Lions, Norm Griffin, in the ruins of the stage, burnt in a fire which he believed was deliberately burnt by vandals. He first knew of the fire when he brought a former president to look at the stage on November 25; the fire had occurred early in the month, and might have been caused by a stray firework.
The stage was used for the 2000 City Of Song Concert which started an annual trend of charity concerts organised by the Upper Hutt City Of Song Music Academy Charitable Trust formed in 2000, Comprising of Peter Hall, Steve Brattle, Frank McLoughlin and Rose Lamont. Trust Deeds
After the March 2000 City of Song concert, the organisers, including Steve Brattle, approached the Rimutaka Licensing Trust, suggesting an improved stage, with a larger floor area, a roof, and more power. The Trust offered to fund a $50 000-to-$80 000 redevelopment; the proposal was announced in the October 25 2000 ‘Leader’. The November 8 ‘Leader’ printed a photo of a model, with Steve Brattle.
This third stage had a curved roof and a small backstage room, according to a Council photograph.
Part of the 8,000 crowd at the 2000 Concert.
The ‘Leader’ of December 19, 2001 showed the ‘new $250 000 Seismic Sound Stage’ in use after the previous Sunday’s official opening, which was followed by ‘Carols in the Park’, with a massed children’s choir and an audience estimated at 5000-6000.
Concerts followed in consecutive years organised by the Upper Hutt City Of Song Music Academy Charitable Trust, designed to present emerging talent as well as promote established local talent.
Sadly 2004 was the last concert produced by The COS Music Academy Charitable Trust due to Peter Hall moving to Australia and other Trust members relocating out of the area.
Meanwhile, The Holiday Park adjacent to the main Harcourt Park area, had opened on December 20, 1988; it was offered for private lease in March 1995.
The September 19, 1989 ‘Leader’ reported the Holiday Park winning the 1989 New Zealand Institute of Park and Recreation Administration’s top award.
The Holiday Park was proposed in May 1987, as a better site than Kaitoke; the first stage proposed 110 two-room cabins, central amenities, and 15 powered caravan sites. Construction began in 1988; a government grant of $75 000 towards the capital costs was presented to the mayor in September, with the tourist flats and serviced sites expected to open for summer; it opened on December 20.
‘Leader’, September 6, 1995; Gordon and Vicki Bennett had just taken up a 20-year lease on the holiday park.
Organised by The Upper Hutt City Council under the directive of Paul Lambert, 2008 saw the stage full of excitement again with the appearance of British 1960’s rock band “The Searchers”
Carols In The Park
Organised by various local Church groups, Christmas Carols In The Park established themselves as an iconic event on the Upper Hutt entertainment calendar. With the first concert in 2011 this quickly became an awaited event each year in the build up to Christmas.
Starring outstanding talent throughout the years.
More information here
City Of Song Charitable Club
After a long break from the City Of Song Concerts in the park, Fiona Armstrong-McIntosh got together with Steve Brattle, Mark and Kay Southon, Frank McLoughlin to discuss the possibility or re establishing this popular event. Wayne Clifford-Marsh joined them at the meeting and the Upper Hutt City Of Song Charitable Club was formed to exact this purpose.
Regular meetings and various communications saw the birth of the first concert under the new banner in 2014.
The beneficiary of the gate takings was the Upper Hutt Community Rescue.
The lineup was awesome 2014 Photos
Carols In The Park have continually featured a night of Christmas Carols to promote the Christmas Spirit.
Upper Hutt City Of Song did their first concert in the park under the leadership of Peter Hall, Frank McLoughlin, Steve Brattle and Mark Southon. A resounding success from this epic concert which featured a whole bunch of Upper Hutt’s amazing talent lineup.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]