2016 Gala Queen

The Halifax Charity Gala Committee and Halifax Calder Rotary Club are both proud to annouce that Steph Smith has been chosen to The Gala Queen at The 60th Halifax Charity Gala 2016! read more...

Reunion of all past Gala Queens & Attendants

Were you a former Halifax Gala Queen or one of their Attendants? Or do you know anybody who was?
See the full list of past Queens & Attendants on our Roll Of Honour page. 

As part of the celebrations for reaching our milestone 60th Gala, Halifax Calder Rotary Club are looking to find & contact all previous ladies who were chosen for the role, and reuniting them on Gala Day, Saturday 11th June 2016.

Get in touch with Elaine Bowers on 07960 770675 or email galaqueen@halifaxgala.org.uk if you were a Queen/Attendant, or if you know how to get in touch with anybody who was.

Background

After a fifteen year absence, Halifax Calder Rotary Club hope to bring a Gala Queen back to Halifax’s longest running charity event.

Since its inception in 1957, Halifax Charity Gala has had a Gala Queen annually until the 44th Gala in 2000 before being abandoned in favour of an “ambassador” in 2001, which was soon dropped due to lack of uptake. The role of Gala Queen became less desirable at that time, and was difficult to organise, so it was decided by the Committee of the time to postpone the competition, despite valiant attempts to keep the Gala Queen as a key part of the day. Most recently, at the 53rd Gala in 2009, Sophie Farrell was Gala Queen, with the position continuing for a another year; there was a Gala Prince & Princess at the 55th Gala in 2011.

Halifax Charity Gala Queen

In the 1950s it was the usual thing for such events to have a local person as a figurehead for the event/day. This was in the form of a Gala/Rose/etc Queen. It was the task of a member of the Gala organising committee to stage an event where local girls/young ladies aged approximately 16–25 years could enter a competition to become the Gala Queen for the event. The competition was such that the Gala Queen and two attendants were chosen for the day.

The competition was not specifically a beauty/talent competition, it was more about a person who had the right attitude, commitment and desire to become the Gala Queen. Through the 50/60/70s the event was so successful that in some years there was a need to run two qualifying heats and a final over 3 days. The competition was run at various venues through the years from local hotels, Bingo Halls to the Halifax Play House.

The Gala Queen was a fundamental part of the Halifax Charity Gala. They would lead the Gala Parade through Halifax to Manor Heath, be part of the opening ceremony, judge the best stall and hand out prizes to various winners through the day. In addition the Gala Queen could be asked to attend events hosted by the various member Charities through the year and also be present in the procession of other local Galas eg Brighouse, Sowerby Bridge, etc. 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. Historically, Galas have always had Gala Queens, and Halifax is excited to see the return of this important part of the event. Their final duty was to be part of the following year’s competition where they would hand over the sash and crown to the new Gala Queen.

Do you know more than we do?

We're hoping to learn more about the early Gala Queens, their role at the event and in the wider community, so that we can document the course of events over the years and retain the knowledge for future years & generations. We'd also welcome and photographs or videos. Please email galaqueen@halifaxgala.org.uk or call Elaine on 07960 770675 with any comments or feedback.

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