Last Saturday the Credit Union Christmas Pageant heralded the start of the Christmas season in Adelaide. More than 300,000 people lined the streets for the spectacle; my son and his family were among them. Thanks to Bec, my daugher-in-law, for the photos.
The first "Johnnies" Pageant was held in 1933 and has been held each year since, apart from a four year break during World War II. The idea was conceived by Sir Edward Hayward, owner and general-manager of John Martins (a retail store).
Due to the eminent closure John Martin's, ownership was taken over by the State government which secured sponsorship from six credit unions in 1996; hence the change in name.
Each year a Pageant Queen is chosen as the public face of the pageant. This tradition commenced in 1940. The current queen and princesses are representatives from each of the six credit unions that sponsor the event.
Workers at John Martins, and now the credit unions, play a very big part in the pageant. My mother worked at John Martins and had the privilege of being part of this great event.