The Ashburton Guardian, COUNTY AGRICULTURAL, & SPORTING RECORDER SATURDAY, APRIL 24, 1880.
The Exhibition just closed at Sydney has been a pecuniary loss to New South Wales, if we reckon up the actual financial results of the Show r itself. It was not intended that the gain to the colony should be calculated by the c< money taken at the doors. ” The New South Wales Government had no idea of simply going in for an extensive entertainment to the Australasian public ; to afford them an opportunity to gape and claw the elbow at the sight of the great strides the world has made in science, and the wonders of skill displayed by the world’s workmen. It was not to gratify an idle curiosity that tho great spectacle w;is laid out, but to teach a lesson ; to s how how far the Southern Hemisphere itas yet to advance before it comes abreast of the Northern, and if possible to give impetus to that progress by bringiing specimens of the Northern triumphsto the Southern soil, and to display them there side by side for the Australasian worker to look upon, and learn from, so that he emulate. The lesson
thus taught will have its value, and those colonics will have the benefit of its teaching—imperceptibly, it may be, for a time, but years hence,. perhaps, we shall see in the improvement of our manufactures, and their wider extension, that the Sydney Exhibition has not been barren of uses. But besides teaching the artificers of the South lessons of value ; besides breaking down the barriers that have kept their ideas within a circumscribed limit, and enabling them to take a wider grasp of things as they are, the Exhibition has not been without its lessons to men of trade and commerce at Home. It has shown them the resoux-ces of Australia in a way that nothing else could have done. It brought contributions of our natural wealth from every part of the Australian compass, and laid them at their feet. A walk through the Courts of the Sydney Exhibition could not fail to disabuse the English, American, and European visitors of any crude or small notions they may have entertained of the Australian colonies, and doubtless they learned much regarding the “new lands” that will be beneficial to themselves to know, and advantageous to us that they should know. We can imagine nothing more likely to influence the minds of the European manufacturers regarding the capabilities and resources of our colonics, than the opportunity that the Exhibition gave them of making themselves most thoroughly acquainted with their real worth and power. The influence of the great show upon all concerned in it cannot fail to be felt for good for many years to come, and by each colony the benefit will bo reaped just in the proportion in which it took advantage of the Exhibition to display itself. And this brings us to the question of how far New Zealand availed itself of the opportunity presented. In no sense can it be said that she appeared in Sydney in her very best garments, or that she showed there all that she might. Especially was Canterbury behindhand, and those who visited Sydney from other countries, and went back again without taking a look at our colony, could form no conception from the appearance we put in at the Exhibition of what our grand province waslike, or what its merits really were. There are many reasons, doubtless, that could be assigned for this apathy on the part of our settlers, but perhaps the chief reason was the disturbed state of financial affairs last year, which preoccupied the minds of most of those who might in better times have turned their attention to the Exhibition. Men had quite enough to do at home, perhaps, to look after their interests abroad, and so the Exhibition, and the part we ought to l?a w e played in it, was neglected. It is not too late, even yet, to recover, in part, at least, the ground we lost last year, by taking advantage of the opportunity about to he afforded by the Melbourne Exhibition of 1880, which is to be opened on the Ist of October of this year, and closed on the 31st of March following. The Exhibition will he one of the “arts, manufactures, and agricultural and industrial products of all nations,” and surely in the agricultural products at least we ought to be able to show what the soil of our colony can produce. Whatever New Zealand as a whole may do, we ought not as a county to let the opportunity pass again of giving the world some glimpse of our growing powers. Only 8000 square feet of space hrs been allotted in the Exhibition for New Zealand, and it would be well if every intending exhibitor applied at once for a share of the space through the local committees, who will supply the necessary printed forms. We are glad to see that the committee in Christchurch is making strenuous efforts to have Canterbury fairly represented, and we hope their efforts will be efficiently aided from this district. The articles we ought to be able to exhibit are, we think, amongst the following :—Grain, pulse, grass seed, flour, meal, wool, coal (sections of seams), stone, bricks, cheese, potted butter. But there are many other directions in which we may look for contributions, and it is to be hoped applications for space will be forthcoming before the 15th of May.