Date: 22 NOVEMBER - 1 DECEMBE
The VII Commonwealth Games are remembered for their “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 10 100-degree-plus days had been recorded in Perth. Australian soldiers were pressed into action, ferrying water to competing athletes.
Thirty-five countries sent a total of 863 athletes and 178 officials to Perth. 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.
Nine sports were featured at the Perth Games – Athletics, Boxing, Cycling, Fencing, Lawn Bowls, Rowing, Swimming and Diving, Weightlifting, and Wrestling.
For Perth, the staging of the Commonwealth Games provided it with a springboard for phenomenal development in sport and recreation, centered around the sports facilities that were built for the Games. These facilities have catered not only for elite sport but provided much-needed opportunities for the development of organised recreational sport as well as a focus for Australia's first University degree Program in Physical Education.