1974 British Commonwealth Games

10th British Commonwealth Games
10th British Commonwealth Games
Host city Christchurch, New Zealand
Nations participating 38
Athletes participating 1276
Events 121 events in 10 sports
Opening ceremony 24 January
Closing ceremony 2 February
Officially opened by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Main Stadium QEII Park

The 1974 British Commonwealth Games were held in Christchurch, New Zealand from 24 January to 2 February 1974. The bid vote was held in Edinburgh at the 1970 British Commonwealth Games. The Games were officially named "the friendly games". There were 1,276 competitors and 372 officials, according to the official history, and public attendance was excellent. The main venue was the QEII Park, purpose built for this event and one of the most modern in the world when finished.[citation needed] The Athletics Stadium and fully covered Olympic standard pool, diving tank, and practise pools were all on the one site. The theme song was "Join Together", sung by Steven Allen. The 1974 Christchurch Games still eclipeses Auckland's 1990 games in the New Zealand mindset as the nation's favorite international multi-sport hosted event. Even more so now that the popular QEII Park was severely damaged beyond viable repair by a devastating earthquake that destroyed much of the city in February 2011.

1974 Commonwealth Games Bidding Results
City Round 1
New ZealandChristchurch 36
AustraliaMelbourne 2



The Games were the first large international athletic event after the murder of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. The Athletes Village, the Student accommodation of Canterbury University, was temporarily fenced in and guarded for the duration of the games. Official vehicles and persons were only allowed into sensitive areas around the venues.

The logo was the second (after Edinburgh) to be protected and trademarked,[1][2] and set a design benchmark which was echoed in the logos of the next five games.[3]

In recent years the logo has been regarded as one of New Zealand's iconic symbols, being reproduced on clothing and elsewhere.[4][5]


The Games were also an important milestone in New Zealand television, marking the introduction of colour television. Unfortunately, due to the NZBC's limited colour facilities, only athletics, swimming, and boxing could be broadcast in colour. Meanwhile paralleling the Television coverage, the National Film Unit produced a fine documented history of the Christchurch games (and the many events) in full colour. This has since been restored and is available on DVD.

Royal Family

The Games were the last time that the entire immediate British Royal Family (Elizabeth II, her husband and children) visited New Zealand as a group. The Royal Yacht "HMY Britannia" was the royal residence during the games.

Opening Ceremony

The opening ceremony was held in the mid afternoon, with Prince Phillip as the attending royal. A fanfare announced the guard of honour by the New Zealand Defence Forces, inspected by His Royal Highness. This was followed by the raising of flags of the past, present, and future hosts. God Save the Queen was sung. The field was then invaded by 2500 school children in red, white and blue rain slicks all forming in the centre to create the NZ74 symbol. A Māori concert group then performed action songs and a haka, before the teams march past. The athletes then took the oath and Sylvia Potts, the runner who fell mere meters from a gold medal finish in the 1970 Commonwealth Games, entered the stadium with the Queen's Baton. It was presented to Prince Phillip who read the message from the Queen declaring the 1974 Christchurch 10th British Commonwealth Games open. The Commonwealth flag was then marched in and hauled up with a 21 gun salute.

Precedents Set

While the Opening Ceremony was a regimented and very formal affair, the late afternoon closing ceremony was anything but. This set a precedent for other closing ceremonies since then. With the formalities out of the way, the handing over of the flag to representatives of Edmonton, Canada, the athletes broke ranks and ran amok, much to the delight of the packed stadium and the Queen herself. A flypast of the then Red Checkers RNZAF display team brought the ceremony to a close as the Queen and Prince Philip did a lap of honour around the stadium and departed.

Economic aspects

Christchurch was (and still is) the smallest city to host the modern televised Commonwealth Games. This was the first games that tried using the "Olympic" look with a standard colour scheme for facilities, passes, flags, stationary, and above all uniforms (which wearers only borrowed, but could buy outright as a memento thus helping keep costs down).

This was also the first time a city had asked the Games Federation to allow commercial advertising. This was voted down as the Federation feared advertising by big corporations would remove focus away from the amateur ethos of the Games. As no commercial hoardings were allowed, Christchurch got around this with the use of "sponsorship". One example being General Motors providing a lease fleet of Holden HQ sedans that would be sold off after the games. Air New Zealand allowed large NZ74 symbols to be placed on the fuselage sides of the airline's brand new McDonnell Douglas DC-10s, giving free advertising around the world. This in itself set a trend since with airlines vying to be "official airline" of a particular event.

Although the Games themselves were a success, making a then sizable profit of $500,000, the "sponsorship" wasn't anywhere near enough.The City of Christchurch was left with a financial facilities management debt (QEII Park) of what would be in today's (2008) amount of NZ$100million. This deterred the city from hosting major events until 1990 when the government stepped in with lotteries funding to clear the remaining debt. By then, Auckland's 1990 games were fully commercialised.

Medals by country

Participating countries
 Rank  Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  Australia 29 28 25 82
2  England 28 31 21 80
3  Canada 25 19 18 62
4  New Zealand 9 8 18 35
5  Kenya 7 2 9 18
6  India 4 8 3 15
7  Scotland 3 5 11 19
8  Nigeria 3 3 4 10
9  Northern Ireland 3 1 2 6
10  Uganda 2 4 3 9
11  Jamaica 2 1 0 3
12  Wales 1 5 4 10
13  Ghana 1 3 5 9
14  Zambia 1 1 1 3
15  Malaysia 1 0 3 4
16  Tanzania 1 0 1 2
17  Saint Vincent 1 0 0 1
18  Trinidad and Tobago 0 1 1 2
 Western Samoa 0 1 1 2*
20  Singapore 0 0 1 1
 Swaziland 0 0 1 1*
Total 121 121 132 374
  • * = First medal in the British Commonwealth Games.

Medals by event



Event Gold Silver Bronze
Men's Singles Men Malaysia Punch Gunalan Canada Jamie Paulson England Derek Talbot
Men's Doubles Men England Elliot Stuart & Derek Talbot England Ray Stevens & Mike Tredgett Malaysia Punch Gunalan & Dominic Song Chok Soon
Women's Singles Women England Gillian Gilks (Perrin) England Margaret Beck Malaysia Sylvia Meow Eng Ng
Women's Doubles Women England Margaret Beck & Gillian Gilks (Perrin) England Margaret Boxall & Sue Whetnall Malaysia Rosalind Singha Ang & Sylvia Meow Eng Ng
Mixed Doubles Mixed England Derek Talbot & Gillian Gilks (Perrin) England Paul Whetnall & Nora Gardner England Elliot Stuart & Sue Whetnall


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Singles Men England David Bryant Australia Clive White Scotland Willie Wood
Pairs Men Scotland John Christie & Alex McIntosh England John Evans & Peter Line New Zealand Bob McDonald & Phil Skoglund
Fours Men New Zealand David Baldwin, Kerry Clark, Gordon Jolly and John Somerville Australia Australia Scotland Scotland


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Light Flyweight Men Kenya Stephen Muchoki Uganda James Odwori Singapore Syed Kadir
Scotland John Bambrick
Flyweight Men Northern Ireland Davy Larmour India Chandra Narayanan Nigeria Saliu Ishola
Uganda John Byaruhanga
Bantamweight Men England Patrick Cowdell Uganda Ali Rojo Zambia Newton Chisanga
Kenya Isaac Maina
Featherweight Men Nigeria Edward Ndukwu Uganda Shadrack Odhiambo Canada Dale Andersen
Kenya Samuel Mbugua
Lightweight Men Uganda Ayub Kalule Nigeria Kayin Amah India Muniswami Venu
New Zealand Robert Colley
Light Welterweight Men Nigeria Obisia Nwankpa Ghana Anthony Martey Kenya Philip Mathenge
Scotland James Douglas
Welterweight Men Uganda Mohamed Muruli Wales Errol McKenzie Northern Ireland John Rodgers
Scotland Steve Cooney
Light Middleweight Men Zambia Lottie Mwale Scotland Alex Harrison New Zealand Lance Revill
England Robert Davies
Middleweight Men Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Frankie Lucas Zambia Julius Luipa England Carl Speare
New Zealand Leslie Rackley
Light Heavyweight Men England Billy Knight New Zealand William Byrne Northern Ireland Gordon Ferris
Nigeria Isaac Ikhouria
Heavyweight Men England Neville Meade Nigeria Fatai Ayinla Uganda Benson Masanda
Samoa Vai Samu



Event Gold Silver Bronze
Time Trial Men Australia Dick Paris 00:01:12 Australia John Nicholson 00:01:12 England Ian Hallam 00:01:12
Sprint Men Australia John Nicholson Jamaica Xavier Mirander Trinidad and Tobago Ian Atherly
Individual Pursuit Men England Ian Hallam 00:05:05 England Willi Moore 00:05:12 Australia Gary Sutton 00:05:09
Team Pursuit Men England Mick Bennett, Richard Evans, Ian Hallam & Willi Moore 00:04:41 Australia Murray Hall, Kevin Nichols, Garry Reardon & Gary Sutton 00:04:49 New Zealand Paul Brydon, René Hyde, Russell Nant & Blair Stockwell overtook
10 Miles Scratch Men England Steve Heffernan 00:20:51 Australia Murray Hall 00:20:52 England Ian Hallam 00:20:52
Tandem Men England Geoffrey Cooke & Ernest Crutchlow 10.74 Australia John Rush & Danny O'Neill New Zealand Paul Medhurst & Philip Harland


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Road Race Men Australia Clyde Sefton 05:07:17 England Phil Griffiths 05:07:46 Australia Remo Sansonetti 05:17:27



Event Gold Silver Bronze
Free Pistol Men/Open Canada Jules Sobrian 549 Australia Norman Harrison 549 England Laslo Antal 543
Rapid-Fire Pistol Men/Open Canada William Hare 586 Canada Jules Sobrian 583 New Zealand Bruce McMillan 581


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Small Bore Rifle Men/Open Australia Yvonne Gowland 594 Wales Bill Watkins 591 Scotland Alister Allan 591
Full Bore Rifle Men/Open New Zealand Maurice Gordon 387.26 Scotland Colin McEachran 386.27 England James Spaight 383.35


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Trap Men/Open Canada John Primrose 196 England Brian Bailey 193 Wales Philip Lewis 191
Skeet Men/Open Canada Harry Willsie 194 England Joe Neville 191 Australia Robin Bailey 189


Event Gold Silver Bronze
100 Metres Freestyle Men Australia Mike Wenden 52.73 Canada Bruce Robertson 53.78 Canada Brian Phillips 54.11
200 Metres Freestyle Men Australia Steve Badger 00:01:57 Canada Bruce Robertson 00:01:57 Australia Mike Wenden 00:01:58
400 Metres Freestyle Men Australia John Kulasalu 00:04:01 Australia Brad Cooper 00:04:02 Australia Steve Badger 00:04:04
1500 Metres Freestyle Men Australia Steve Holland 00:15:35 New Zealand Mark Treffers 00:16:00 Australia Steve Badger 00:16:22
100 Metres Backstroke Men Australia Mark Tonelli 59.65 Canada Steve Pickell 59.88 Australia Brad Cooper 00:01:00
200 Metres Backstroke Men Australia Brad Cooper 00:02:06 Australia Mark Tonelli 00:02:09 New Zealand Robert Williams 00:02:10
100 Metres Breaststroke Men England David Leigh 00:01:07 Scotland David Wilkie 00:01:07 England Paul Naisby 00:01:09
200 Metres Breaststroke Men Scotland David Wilkie 00:02:24 England David Leigh 00:02:25 England Paul Naisby 00:02:27
100 Metres Butterfly Men Australia Neil Rogers 56.58 Canada Byron MacDonald 56.83 Canada Bruce Robertson 56.84
200 Metres Butterfly Men England Brian Brinkley 00:02:05 Australia Ross Seymour 00:02:07 New Zealand John Coutts 00:02:07
200 Metres Individual Medley Men Scotland David Wilkie 00:02:10 England Brian Brinkley 00:02:13 Canada Gary MacDonald 00:02:13
400 Metres Individual Medley Men New Zealand Mark Treffers 00:04:36 England Brian Brinkley 00:04:41 England Ray Terrell 00:04:43
4 × 100 Metres Freestyle Relay Men Canada Canada 00:03:34 Australia Australia 00:03:34 England England 00:03:38
4 × 200 Metres Freestyle Relay Men Australia Australia 00:07:50 England England 00:07:53 Canada Canada 00:07:53
4 × 100 Metres Medley Relay Men Canada Canada 00:03:53 Australia Australia 00:03:56 England England 00:04:00


Event Gold Silver Bronze
3 Metres Springboard Diving Men Australia Don Wagstaff 531.54 Canada Scott Cranham 509.61 England Trevor Simpson 489.69
10 Metres Highboard [Platform] Diving Men Australia Don Wagstaff 490.74 Australia Andrew Jackomos 472.47 Canada Scott Cranham 460.98


Event Gold Silver Bronze
100 Metres Freestyle Women Australia Sonya Gray 59.13 Canada Gail Amundrud 59.36 Canada Judy Wright 59.46
200 Metres Freestyle Women Australia Sonya Gray 00:02:04 Australia Jenny Turrall 00:02:07 Canada Gail Amundrud 00:02:07
400 Metres Freestyle Women Australia Jenny Turrall 00:04:22 Canada Wendy Quirk 00:04:23 New Zealand Jaynie Parkhouse 00:04:23
800 Metres Freestyle Women New Zealand Jaynie Parkhouse 00:08:58 Australia Jenny Turrall 00:08:59 Australia Rosemary Milgate 00:08:59
100 Metres Backstroke Women Canada Wendy Cook 00:01:06 Canada Donna Gurr 00:01:07 Australia Linda Young 00:01:08
200 Metres Backstroke Women Canada Wendy Cook 00:02:20 Australia Sandra Yost 00:02:22 Canada Donna Gurr 00:02:24
100 Metres Breaststroke Women England Christine Gaskell 00:01:16 Canada Marion Stuart 00:01:17 Scotland Sandra Dickie 00:01:17
200 Metres Breaststroke Women Wales Pat Beavan 00:02:43 Australia Beverley Whitfield 00:02:44 Australia Allison Smith 00:02:45
100 Metres Butterfly Women Canada Patti Stenhouse 00:01:05 Scotland Kim Wickham 00:01:06 Australia Sandra Yost 00:01:06
200 Metres Butterfly Women Australia Sandra Yost 00:02:21 Canada Patti Stenhouse 00:02:21 Australia Gail Neall 00:02:22
200 Metres Individual Medley Women Canada Leslie Cliff 00:02:24 Canada Becky Smith 00:02:25 New Zealand Susan Hunter 00:02:26
400 Metres Individual Medley Women Canada Leslie Cliff 00:05:01 Canada Becky Smith 00:05:04 New Zealand Susan Hunter 00:05:07
4 × 100 Metres Freestyle Relay Women Canada Canada 00:03:57 Australia Australia 00:04:02 England England 00:04:06
4 × 100 Metres Medley Relay Women Canada Canada 00:04:25 Australia Australia 00:04:31 Scotland Scotland 00:04:32


Event Gold Silver Bronze
3 Metres Springboard Diving Women Canada Cindy Shatto 430.88 Canada Beverley Boys 426.93 Canada Teri York 413.83
10 Metres Highboard [Platform] Diving Women Canada Beverley Boys 361.95 England Beverley Williams 352.14 Australia Madeleine Barnett 339.3


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Flyweight - Overall Men Precious McKenzie (ENG) 215 Anil Mondal (IND) 200 John McNiven (SCO) 192.5
Bantamweight - Overall Men Michael Adams (AUS) 222.5 Yves Carignan (CAN) 212.5 Shanmug Velliswamy (IND) 212.5
Featherweight - Overall Men George Vasiliades (AUS) 237.5 Gerald Hay (AUS) 235 Brian Duffy (NZL) 232.5
Lightweight - Overall Men George Newton (ENG) 260 Ieuan Owen (WAL) 255 Bruce Cameron (NZL) 252.5
Middleweight - Overall Men Tony Ebert (NZL) 275 Stanley Bailey (TRI) 275 Robert Wrench (WAL) 270
Light Heavyweight - Overall Men Tony Ford (ENG) 302.5 Paul Wallwork (SAM) 300 Mike Pearman (ENG) 292.5
Middle Heavyweight - Overall Men Nicolo Ciancio (AUS) 330 Brian Marsden (NZL) 315 Steve Wyatt (AUS) 310
Heavyweight - Overall Men Russ Prior (CAN) 352.5 John Bolton (NZL) 340 John Barrett (NZL) 320
Super Heavyweight - Overall Men Graham May (NZL) 342.5 Andy Kerr (ENG) 337.5 Terry Perdue (WAL) 330


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Light Flyweight Men Mitchell Kawasaki (CAN) Wally Koenig (AUS) Radhey Shyam (IND)
Flyweight Men Sudesh Kumar (IND) Gordon Bertie (CAN) John Navie (AUS)
Bantamweight Men Prem Nath (IND) Amrik Singh (ENG) Kevin Burke (AUS)
Featherweight Men Egon Beiler (CAN) Shivaji Chingle (IND) Ray Brown (AUS)
Lightweight Men Jagrup Singh (IND) Joe Gilligan (ENG) Stephen Martin (CAN)
Welterweight Men Raghunath Pawar (IND) Tony Shacklady (ENG) Gordon Mackay (NZL)
Middleweight Men Dave Aspin (NZL) Satpal Singh (IND) Taras Hryb (CAN)
Light Heavyweight Men Terry Paice (CAN) Netra Pal Singh (IND) Maurice Allan (SCO)
Heavyweight Men Claude Pilon (CAN) Dadu Chaugule (IND) Ian Duncan (SCO)
Super Heavyweight Men Bill Benko (CAN) Bishwanath Singh (IND) Gary Knight (NZL)



Official History of the Xth British Commonwealth Games edited by A. R. Cant (2004, Christchurch)

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