THE IRISH RELIEF FUND.
, PUBLIC MEETING. I The meeting which lias been so | anxiously looked for by the sympathisers I with the distressed in Ireland was held I last night, and at 8 p. in. the audience I consisted of nine persons, of whom four I were press representatives ; and by about I half-past eight the body of the hall held I 35 sympathisers, besides those on the I platform. I His Worship the Mayor occupied the I chair, and said the meeting had Jbeen J called in consequence of a requisition pre-! seated to him by several prominent! citizens, and. he regretted so few had re-1 sponded to the call. It was dishearten-1 ing to speak to so thin a house, and it was I not easy to speak on such an important! subject with so small an audience, besides, 1 the question'they had met to consider had I been well ventilated by the press. But I when a good action had to be done, too I much could not bo said in favor of the! cause that called for it. It behoved thel colonists to work hand in hand to assist! those who urgently required their help at! Home. An article had appeared in the! “ Herald ” last night which told a har-1 rowing talc of the distress in Ireland, I
which should cause ail m the district ■, to open their hearts ; and as people , in tlus colony were prosperous the should say to themselves “ Let us do what we can for the sufferers in Ireland.” Pastor Ghiniquy, a foreigner, has held the f Irishmen up as having assisted England in earning her many victories, and all would agree that they were valuable colonists, lie hoped this district would do its boat s to send help to the suffering ones. 4 Mr. Bullock said Ashburton until now had been foremost in subscribing to alleviate distress. He hoped that on tins occasion it would not b&digckward, and aHhough there might he of money • in this country, there was never shortness of food. If fanners could not give money, they could give grain, which could be converted into mono}'. Even if in Ireland they had good crops next year, there would still be the high rents to contend with, and farmers would therefore bo induced to emigrate to this colony. Ho hoped that the present depression would be the cause of a large number of the Irish fanners becoming colonists. He would move—“ That the present meeting deeply sympathises with the people of Ireland in their present distress, and pledge themselves to use every effort to assist in its relief.” Mr. O’Reilly, in seconding the resolution, said the present distress was such as had not been known sinceiie famine of 1817. The distress prevailed so much in Ulster as in other parts ; but when Armagh and Tipperary, the richest counties in Ireland, cried out that they were starving, there could be no doubt '>f the magnitude of the suffering. The • appeal made by the Mayor of Dublin had been nobly responded to. He knew the country, and could picture to himself the people of Ireland dying for want of food. The resolution was carried unanimously. The Mayor then read a letter from Mr. Joseph Clark, regretting his unavoidable absence, and offering to receive grain and store it free of charge, and also promising his aid to secure the threshing of a thousand bushels gratuitously, and to render any other assistance in his power. (Cheers.) Mr. John Orr said he was not ashamed to say lie was an Irishman, and he could say as a colonist the Irishmen were our friends. If wc wanted soldiers to fight, or navvies to make our railways, they were found to be the. best men for it. He would propose—“ That an Irish Relief Fund be formed in Ashburton, and any sum raised be sent to the Lord Mayor of Dublin through the Christchurch Committeo as soon as possible.” Mr. Joseph Ivess seconded the motion, and said no doubt the busy season of the year had a deal to do with the small attendance. A large sum had already been transmitted from New Zealand, and ho felt certain that Ashburton would keep up its reputation for liberality. Mr. Ivess concluded with an appeal to the meeting for assistance. Qh| His Worship considered that the portiono of the resolution referring to remitting the money collected to Christchurch was unfair to Ashburton. This County would no doubt collect a large sum, and he considered the people quite able to make as good arrangements as any other, and he would ask the mover to alter that part of the resolution Mr. Ivess said that as no large amount was likely to be collected, and LSO had already been forwarded, it was undesirable to alter it. The last portion of the resolution was ultimately eliminated. Mr. T. R. Hodder proposed—“ That a Committee comprising his Worship the Mayor, the Revs. Paige, Beattie, Keall, and Smith, Messrs, H. J. Weeks, M. Friedlandcr, ■ J. Orr, A. Orr, J. Ivors, 'T. Williams, C, ■ Dixon, F. P. O’Reilly, and the mover ’ ’ with power to add to their number, be formed to make arrangements for collect- ning subscriptions, Ac. ” He had refused to subscribe previously, as he considered the matter should have been better ventilated than it had been at that time ; but ; he was of opinion now, that Ashburton’s quota to the fund would be worth mentioning. Our feelings of humanity ought i ; to be stirred up in this cause, and he I hoped the Committee would meet with success, and that quickly, earnestly and , ' heartily. -k Mr. Max. Friodlauder seconded the re- > solution, hoping all would put their i shoulders to the wheel in this matter. ’ Mr. Shearer made some remarks which, , owing to the acousHc properties of the ' hall, were at the reporters’ table. . His Worship gave the experience of a lady who had only that day returned from a visit to Ireland, and she gave a very sad account of the state of the Old Country. The resolution was carried unanimously. A vote of thanks was passed to the Chairman, and a subscription list at once opened in the room. ‘ j|;
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