In 1960 the Wanganui Chronicle front page carried news of John F Kennedy's election to the US presidency, the rise of the Irish Republican Army, the war in Vietnam, the space race and a Whanganui farmer's wife becoming the first Mrs New Zealand.

Jill Sicely was a young mother living on her Parapapra farm with husband Ian and their five children when she entered the competition.

"It started as a joke," she says.

"I broke our bakelite radio when I knocked it off the shelf while vacuuming and Ian said I should enter the contest to win us a new