Gala queens to be reunited for event’s 60th anniversary

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Ambitious plans are underway to reunite the 47 past Halifax Charity Gala queens as part of the celebrations taking place for the town’s 60th Gala.

Halifax Calder Rotary Club are planning a reunion event on Saturday, June 11, on Manor Heath Park, as the Gala takes place.

When the Gala first began in 1957, the event would usually have a local person as a figurehead for the proceedings.

The committee at the time would stage an event where young women could enter a competition to be the queen, and they would also choose two attendants.

Whilst the competition was not designed to be a beauty or talent competition, queens from the 50s and 60s would have been permitted to enter Miss Yorkshire, under the Miss Halifax title. where success would have led to Miss UK and possibly even further.

The competition was so popular with local girls that it was often necessary to stage qualifying heats before a final round of selection could take place.

Chairman Lee Gething said, “The Gala has missed having the queens and their attendants, as it’s one of the highlights of Gala Day for many.

“We’re hopeful that Halifax Calder Rotary Club will be successful in tracking down the previous winners, as it will be fantastic to see them all together, and see what they have been doing since their Gala year.”

Since then, many women will have married and changed their name, making them even harder to find now. Some have moved away from Halifax, and even away from Yorkshire.

Now the Gala Committee is urging anyone who knows any of the past 47 queens of their attendants to pass the message on, so they can be invited to take part in the celebrations.

Elaine Bowers, of Halifax Calder Rotary Club added, “We’re looking forward to working with Halifax Charity Gala to celebrate their 60th event.

“We’re optimistic that, with the help of local Halifax people, we’ll be able to track down most of the previous Gala queens.

“The club is very excited to have everyone together so they can tell each other the stories of their year as queen, and see how things changed over the years that the competition was running.”

Anybody who was a previous Halifax Charity Gala Queen or attendant should email galaqueen@halifaxgala.org.uk or call Elaine on 07960 770675.

There will be a special reunion event taking place on Gala Day.

This year will see Halifax Charity stage their 60th event in Manor Heath Park, raising money for more than 50 good causes that benefit the people of Calderdale.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/halifaxgala