Royal South Street Society is granted “Royal” status for services to the community.

Squadron leader Hicks of the RAF Band offers to bring his band to Ballarat to provide a concert programme to raise funds for South Street, while the Courier/3BA Ballad competition sees an increase in prize money – first place £100 pounds, second place £25 pounds and third place£10 pounds.

Television comes to Ballarat and its first station BTV Channel 6 goes to air with test patterns on 17 March 1962.


The Mackay Junior Choral Society travels 2,000 miles to win the Juvenile Choral Contest and win the hearts of local audiences.

The members endeared themselves to their hosts with their fresh personalities and to the audience of the contest with their melodious singing.”

The Piano Accordion Section is no more and new sections are added including Recorder Bands, a Champion Concerto and Spectacular Exercises in the Senior Novice Section.


New Zealand entrants cross the puddle and successfully compete in the vocal sections by winning the Sun Aria in ’64, ’65 and ’66.

The Manawatu Society of Registered Music Teachers of New Zealand hopes to establish a similar contest to the Sun Aria for the Centennial Celebrations of Palmerston North, NZ.

Victoria, NSW and Tasmania Band Associations send their State Champions to Ballarat to compete in the Champion of Champions Contest – and a proposal is put forward to create a CWA Choral Contest for CWA Associations only.

The death of Lyle Blackman, Secretary of the Society is met with great sadness after serving the society for 58 years.

Ballarat National Theatre enters the Play Section and on the national stage, Beatlemania sweeps the nation.



Royal South Street purchases Her Majesty’s Theatre at a cost of 32,500 pounds through the support of Ballarat businessmen and the State Government. Renamed The Memorial Theatre, it becomes the home of the Competitions for the next 22 years before being gifted to the City of Ballarat as part of an agreement to support the restoration and renovation of the building.

During the renovation period, South Street competitions were conducted in the City Hall.

A triumphant young Kiri Te Kanawa from New Zealand wins the Courier Ballad, Sun Aria, Star for Opera, and Elsie Morrison prizes.


A Grand Inaugural concert is held at the Memorial Theatre and attended by Sir Henry and Lady Bolte, who present a cheque of $38,000 to match funds raised by the society to help renovate the theatre.

A Bechstein Grand Piano used by Dame Nellie Melba on her tour of Australia some forty years ago is presented to the Society from the Directors of 3BA. The piano was bought by 3BA from Miss Tillie Howard, a well-known music teacher, soon after the establishment of the radio station.

Solo and Duo Items are to be included in the Folk Singing section for the first time under the strict proviso that all numbers to be genuine folk songs, no pop songs permitted!

On a more sombre note, Australia sends more troops to Vietnam.


Major top to bottom alterations are undertaken to the theatre including a new front curtain, stage lighting, drapes, heating, carpets, parapets and roof.


Mr A W Steane, who was instrumental in forming the Calisthenics Section in 1903 dies aged 93 and Sovereign Hill opens in Ballarat showcasing Australia and the region’s remarkable goldrush history.