December: Carols by Candlelight

Timaru carolers have long celebrated Christmas with Rotary, usually the prior Weekend.  Without missing a year since 1967, Carols by Candlelight has become a long standing tradition, run firstly by the Timaru club for two years, then by the Timaru South club until handed to the Timaru North club in 2014.

"A particular bad run of wet weather in the 1990s saw a series of transfers from the Timaru Botanic Gardens to the Sacred Heart Basilica, and the eventual decision to become an indoor event at the Theatre Royal." quotes the Timaru Herald,  mentioning entry is on a first-come-first-served basis. The 1100 seat theatre is often filled to capacity. Use of glow sticks is encouraged to build the 'candlelight' atmosphere.

Rotary organises, promotes and hosts each year's programme, inviting local entities, bands and groups to compare and perform. Big thanks to compare Tony Bunting, Alpine Energy Brass Band and the Salvation Army Band who have been major contributors throughout.

Venue hire and promotion costs are usually covered by sponsorship, Alpine Energy being our current sponsor. There is no charge for entry but gold coin donations at the door benefit a wide range of charities chosen each year.


About 600 carol singers gathered and sang all the traditional carols backed by The Alpine Energy Brass Band, Salvation Army Band and Ryth-Mix Singers and Double Talk, Mrs A's Emma and Cameron, Caitlin Bradley, Jane Bowen performed guest items along with pipers and dancers - all compared by.Tony Bunting. Donations went to Hospice.

Past Timaru Herald news items:

2009: Carols night to help tsunami victims
2009: Carols as popular as ever
2011: Rotary to sing for MRI scanner
2012: Enchantment-of-Christmas
2018: Concert raises more than $1700 for charity