The VII Commonwealth Games are remembered for its “heat, dust and glory”. The day before the Perth Games opened the temperature was an expected 80 degrees Fahrenheit, but the heat was measured at 105 degrees at the opening ceremony in the new Perry Lakes Stadium the following day and such extremes persisted throughout the Games’ duration. In the previous 65 years, only ten 100 degree plus days had been recorded in Perth. Australian soldiers were pressed into action, ferrying water to competing athletes.
James Coote of the London Daily Telegraph describes:
“The VII Commonwealth Games have proved that it is possible for an area as basically devoid of sports interest as Perth to stage the second most important sports meeting in the World – and stage it successfully. Perth has shown that these Games will continue for years to come”
Participating Nations: 35 countries
Participants: 1,041 athletes and officials
Sports/Disciplines: Nine sports were featured at the Perth Games – athletics, boxing, cycling, fencing, lawn bowls, rowing, swimming and diving, weightlifting and wrestling.
Jersey was amongst the medal winners for the first time, whilst British Honduras, Dominica, Papua New Guinea and St Lucia all made their inaugural Games appearances. Aden also competed by special invitation. Sabah , Sarawak and Malaya competed for the last time before taking part in 1966 under the Malaysian flag.