By 1914 the town of Northcote’s population had risen dramatically to over 21,000 people living in 4801 houses.
The Council successfully applied for Northcote to become gazetted as a City on 30 March and a special Proclamation ceremony was held to celebrate this soon afterwards on the 27 May 1914.
Thousands of people lined the decorated streets to be part of this historic occasion and watch special guests and dignitaries arrive in a cavalcade of motor cars along High Street. His Excellency, the State Governor, Sir Arthur Stanley read out the Proclamation from a dais outside Northcote Town Hall.
He explained to the crowds that the gazette notice he was reading was in fact the city’s birth certificate and he had great pleasure in congratulating the Mayor on a very fine child. This was met with laughter, applause, cheers and singing from the crowd even though it was a very wet wintry day.
Another reason the crowds were excited on this day was the introduction of an electricity supply to Northcote.
As part of the celebrations the Lady Mayoress, Mrs Dennis, switched on the supply of electricity from a special switchboard erected inside the Town Hall. The lamps shone brightly amid more cheers from the excited crowds outside.
The Town Hall was brilliantly illuminated for several nights afterwards much to the delight of the local citizens, proud that their town was now a city – and with electricity too!
A special edition of the Northcote Leader (30 May 1914) was printed in purple ink to commemorate the occasion. It was double the usual size and was sold for the price of one penny.
The headline proudly stated “Northcote a City! Citizens Rejoice!” followed by “A city set on a hill cannot be hid.”
Northcote proclaimed a city 27 May, 1914
Invitation to Northcote Proclamation as a city celebrations