It was a day that was eagerly anticipated by the citizens of Newcastle, the 2nd biggest city in NSW and it was perhaps the biggest day since the 5th September 1859 when Newcastle was declared a city, although there would have been other major civil celebrations, like when the first council meeting for the Borough of Newcastle was held. However, the day in question was the opening of the Newcastle Post Office, on the 8th August 1903.
Never before had the citizens seen such an occasion, the streets were full of red white and blue
bunting, various bands played non-stop throughout the day, children whooped it up along Hunter Street, while ladies and gentlemen in all their finery paraded & met each other with all the courtesy that is usually only afforded to royalty. The highlight of the day was of course the official opening ceremony which was performed by the then Postmaster General Senator James Drake.
The Post Office was designed by the NSW Government Architect, Walter Vernon and is one of the finest examples of Edwardian Classical architecture seen in Australia. With its ground-floor arcade, first-floor colonnade, parapet and cupolas, Vernon apparently based the design of Newcastle Post Office on Palladio's Basilica at Vicenza. The Post Office was completed in just over 3 years and cost an estimated