THE ODDFELLOWS’ BALL.
Last night the looked for Oddfellows’ Ball came off in the Town Hall, and was indeed what the Committee have all along desired to make it—one of the greatest affairs of the kind that has been held in connection with the Order in Canterbury. Some sixty or seventy couples wore present, but these, wo understand, did not represent all tho tickets that had been taken by the many friends of Oddfellowship, both inside and outside the Ashburton district. As it was, a fair number of strangers from a distance attended. The hall was splendidly decorated with evergreens, and wreaths of such flowers as are available at this season, while by each window was secured one of the many certificates of merit held by past officers of the local Lodge and members who have earned their honors elsewhere. Cross rods at intervals round the hall exhibited insignia of the various <1 eg -="-i,ue mngyiacwnito, tnescarlet, tho purple, Ac., —the purple degree occupying the chief position in front of the hall stage. In the centre of the hall was hung tho splendid blue silk banner of the district, inscribed with the mottoes of the Order and emblazoned with its emblems. Just over the main entrance to tho hall, the dispensation of the Lodge was displayed, and at nine o’clock the proceedings opened with’a very imposing Oddfellows’ pageant, the members marching in procession three times round the room under archways formed of the dispensation, the banner, crosses, Ac., the whole closing with the master of ceremonies giving the password for the evening, and the past master giving the • “initiation fire.” On tho conclusion of this pageant the ball opened, the music being supplied by Gardiner’s band from Christchurch, with a spirit that “ put life and mettle in the heels " of the dancers. The recent alterations on tho hall proved a great enhancement to the comfort and enjoyment of tho company, as the large room behind the dress circle served admirably as a suppcr-i’oom, while tho dress circle itself provided an excellent “coign of vantage” from which the older and more staid members and their lady friends could view the gay scene below. The space between the right ante-room and the dress circle staircase being now covered in, a jmauA-ecm-rtiiiTent passage-way afforded access from tho hall to the upper rooms without going into the open air. The commissriatdepartment was under the charge of Mr. George Eagle, the genial representative of the Somerset, and was in every way satisfactory. It would be invidious, perhaps, to signalise by special mention any individual member of a Committee whose united efforts have been crowned by so pronounced a success as was last night’s bail, but we think special credit is due to Mr. Williams, the Secretary, for the admirable decorations. This work is always difficult, especially so in midwinter, when “Flora’s blazing bloom” is past for the year; but notwithstanding all difficulties tfic hall was handsomely adorned, and the recent renovations on the building materially aided in giving brilliance to its appearance. The duties of master of ceremonies were ablydischarged by Mr. G. F. Scott, the N. G. of the Lodge, and his management gave every satisfaction. The list of dances was a long one, but it was faithfully told out, keeping the company active till an early' hour this morning.
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