VOLUNTEER MEETING AT KAIAPOI.
Lyttelton Times, Volume XVII, Issue 974, 12 March 1862, Page 4
VOLUNTEER MEETING AT KAIAPOI.
On Friday evening a public meeting was held in White's Music Hall to further the Volunteer movement in Kaiapoi and the neighbourhood. Judging by the attendance, which was numerous, the subject appeared to have great interest. W. C. Beswick, Esq., J.P., having been moved to the chair, informed the meeting of the object which had brought them together, and said that it would be unnecessary for him to enter into the question of the defenceless state of the province. He would simply assure the meeting that the volunteer movement had his cordial sympathy and should have his sup! port. He would read them a letter which had been placed in his hand. The letter, which was from an 1 influential squatter in the neighbourhood, expressed the writer's regret at not being able to be present at the meeting, and conveyed his sympathy with the cause.and his wish to become an honorary member of the Kaiapoi Company. The announcement was received with cheers. The Chairman then called upon Dr. Dudley to move the first resolution. Di. Dudley rose and said, that seeing what had been done in Christchurch and Lytteltou in this movement, it behoved Kaiapoi not to allow itself to be behindhand ;he was glad to see the province so thoroughly stirred up about it • there was no telling what news the mail, now so anxiously expected, might bring; he had been one of the volunteers from the first and though there might have been much to complain of in the working of the'thing hitherto, he felt sure that under the amended regulations and with proper training a very great improvement would take place. He had much pleasure in moving the following resolution:—" That in the opinion of 'this meeting it is desirable that Kaiapoi should not be behindhand in its support of the volunteer movement in Canterbury." The resolution was seconded by Mr. Fuller, and carried with acclamation. Mr, W. Revell rose to move the recond resolution, which was as follows : —" That the new regulations meet with the approbation of this meeting, with one exception, viz., that of limiting the Government grant to companies numbering sixty men." He read the regulations to the meeting, pointing out in what manner they differed from those hitherto in force, and the advantages they held out to those who enrolled themselves under them. With regard to the particular clause which was taken exception to, he thought the meeting would agree with him in thinking that in the case of an outlying portion of the district in which it was not likely they would raise sixty men, it was unfair that it should be debarred from the privilege of a proportion of the pecuniary assistance. He then briefly informed the meeting of the financial state of No. 5 Company at the time of its disbandment, which he said was highly satisfactory, as they were out of debt, and had the band instruments in hand. Mr. Wylde, in seconding the resolution, said he was glad to be able to inform the meeting that Mr. Crosbie Ward, a member of the General Government, who had recently come down from Auckland, had told him that when he left, it was the intention of the Government to re-consider this clause in the regulations and to alter it so that companies in the outlying districts which could not raise sixty men might receive a fair proportion of the grant. He would take this opportunity of saying that though he could no longer be an active member of the Kaiapoi Company owing to his having gone to reside in Christchurch, yet his sympathies were with his old friends, and he begged to continue an honorary member of the company. (Cheers.) The resolution was then put to the meeting and carried unanimously. Mr. Joseph Beswick then moved, the following resolution :■ —" That this meeting pledges itself to support the formation of a company of volunteers, to be called the Kaiapoi, or No. 5, Company." He alluded to the present uncertainty that existed as to whether Avar was going on between England and America, and pictured the mail now overdue as being on its road to San Erancisco in one of the enemy's privateers. He was not an alarmist, but thought that it was eveiy one's bounden duty to •support the movement in some way or other. He was aware that many having large families to support, their resources would not admit of their rendering material assistance, but at all events let them give their moral support, let them not sneer at the company when passing their doors on its way to drill, but let them take off their hats and give it a cheer. There was another, way of rendering moral support, and that was sending their families to look on at the company parading and bringing them up with the idea that they will themselves some day be called upon to take their part as citizens of a free country. (Cheers.) ■ ' •, Mr. Josiah BincH seconded the resolution, and dwelt in glowing terms on the importance of the movement, and on the old spirit of chivalry which, thought.to be dead, has in the last few years diffused itself over the British Empire, and has given life to that army of volunteers which lias sprung up to defend the hearths and homes of old England. Ho thought that,volunteering .would, like the noble game of cricket, foster a spirit of good fellowship when men, who though not actually called out to face danger, yet stood shoulder to shoulder in the ordinary routine of drill. Ho should give the movement his cordial support. (Cheers.) The resolution Avas carried unanimously. The Rev. J. Ravkn, avlio was warmly received, said that it might perhaps be said of him, that as a minister of peace lie Avas out of place in taking part in a movement of this sort, but he thought that to be prepared for any emergency was the best
means of preserving peace. He had been requested to move a resolution; it was one with which he cordially agreed, and ho had much pleasure in doing so; he would read it to the meeting:—" That those who by distance, age, or other causes, are unable to take an active part in the movoment should be invited to enrol themselves as honorary members, and contribute to the funds of the company." There would, he had no doubt, be plenty of men found willing to join the ranks, but there would be many also who from various causes Arauld be unable to do so. He considered it the duty of all those holding property to contribute towards the movement: there must be expenses attached to it, one of which, and the most important he considered, Avas the expense attending the proper training and organization of the men ; they must be all aware how essential this was to a movement of the kind, for let men be ever so brave individually, Avithout organisation they could never stand against trained forces, and in fact the greater their numbers the greater would be their difficulties. There Avas no lack of material in Canterbury for the establishment of an efficient means of defence in the shape of able bodied men. Pie believed that men, by coming out here, had acquired a greater amount of self reliance than they Avould ever have done by remaining at home, and this combined. Avith organization was a great element of strength. He had often Avondered lioav a few colonists in the American war of independence had been able to repel the attacks of the British army, but since he had been a colonist himself he had been better able to understand it. We might consider the soldiers at present in New Zealand as simply mercenaries. No country could expect to become great unless it could depend upon its OAvn sons to shed their blood in its defence. (Cheers.) The resolution, having been briefly seconded by Mr. Homersham, was put to the meeting and carried unanimously. The Rev. W. W. Willock moved " That the thanks of the community are due to the officers and men of the late No. 5 Company for having held their ground through innumerable difficulties, and for having proved themselves on various occasions, though least not last." He said that his Avas a very gracious task, and that, as the father of the community, or at all events of the female portion of it, the resolution had very properly been put into his hands, on their behalf he begged to endorse it; he did not altogether agree Avith the Avording of the resolution, as he conld not see hoAv the company could be called the least Avhen he had seen so many tall men so often assembled together ; he supposed, hoAvever, the term in this case, must have some other meaning. Mr. A. G. Rich, in seconding the resolution, said that he had hitherto held aloof from the movement mainly because he had looked upon it very much in the light of playing at soldiers, he should noAV, however, give it his cordial support, and hoped to see Kaiapoi maintain its old prestige. (Cheers.) The resolution Avas carried unanimously. A vote of thanks having been accorded to the Chairman, the meeting broke up. A subscription list was opened in the room, and about thirty pounds Avas subscribed.
On the folloAving afternoon, the Adjutant being in attendance, and having undertaken to lay any communication having reference to the attendance of a proper drill instructor which might be fonvarded to him before the proper authorities^ 23 members Avere sAvorn in. Next Saturday is the day appointed for the nomination of officers.