Rotary club to bring back the coveted regal crown

Jean Ward was the Halifax Gala Queen in 1959.
Jean Ward was the Halifax Gala Queen in 1959.

After an absence of several years, Halifax Calder Rotary Club hopes to bring a Gala Queen back to the town’s longest running charity event.

Since it began in 1957, Halifax Charity Gala had a Gala Queen annually until the 44th Gala in 2000 before the figurehead position was abandoned in favour of an “ambassador” in 2001, which was soon dropped due to lack of uptake.

The regal role was briefly revived at the 53rd Gala in 2009 when Sophie Farrell was chosen Gala Queen, with the position continuing until the 55th event in 2011.

Previous holders of the prestigious title have been an integral part of community events, for example switching on Christmas lights, opening new buildings, and being invited as guests of honour to occasions at the theatre.

Chairman Lee Gething said: “The Gala has missed having a Queen and her attendant, as it’s one of the highlights of Gala Day for many.

“The committee are excited to see this year’s entrants, and hope they will have a special day on our Diamond Gala.”

Whilst The Gala Committee are busy preparing special celebrations for this summer’s Diamond event, Halifax Calder Rotary Club are preparing to receive auditions from girls across the town.

Girls, who are aged between 15 and 17 years on Gala Day and who are eager to promote the community and be a goodwill ambassador for the town will be invited to audition for

the role.

Entrants will be judged on their personality and enthusiasm, and must live, work or attend school in the Halifax area. Any girls interested in becoming The Gala Queen on Saturday, June 11, should email or call Elaine on 07960 770675.

Informal chats are being held at Holdsworth House Hotel in Holmfield, Halifax, on Sunday, January 17, between 9am and 2pm.

Elaine Bowers, of Halifax Calder Rotary Club added: “We’re looking forward to working with Halifax Charity Gala and the young girls of the area to bring back this historic role, especially as it coincides with a celebration year.”

This year will see Halifax Charity Gala stage its 60th event, which takes place on the second Saturday of June at the town’s Manor Heath Park.

The summer spectacular, which features a procession around the town centre as well as the gala fun at the park, raises money for more than 50 good causes that benefit the people of Calderdale.