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There was a very large attendance at the opening of Messrs. Matson, Cox and Co.’s new sale-rooms to-day. Shortly after eleven o’clock numbers of visitors crowded into the spacious building, and by noon nearly the whole of the leading farmers, merchants, and others connected with our district agriculture and commerce were present, besides a fair sprinkling of similarly interested gentlemen from other localities. At the invitation of the proprietors those present sat down to a very elegant lunch, spread by host Shearman, in the offices connected with the establishment, Mr*. Cox occupying the chair. After full justice had been done to' the good things provided, and the usual loyal toasts disposed of in an appropriate manner, Mr. Bullock proposed, “Success to Messrs. Matson, Cox and Co., taking the opportunity to \ refer, in a few brief remarks, to the energy of the new firm in erecting such a substantial building for the conduct of their business.

Mr. Cox acknowledged the toast, which was received with every demonstration of favor, and apologised for the absence of Mr. John Matson, who was unavoidably detained elsewhere on public business.

Messrs. Walton and Thomas also returned th'anks, the latter’s characteristic reply being hailed with loud applause. Mr. Walton proposed success to other auctioneers and merchants of Ashburton, to which Mr. Bullock responded, reminding those present that in 1874. he had opened a very small auction mart, which his friends assured him was far too large for the requirements of the district, but in 1876 and again in 1878 he had found it necessary to enlarge his premises, and on each occasion he was regarded as unwise for taking the progressive step, but now a building completely surpassing any of the structures he had referred to was opened, and he hoped that a similar, if not quite so rapid, an advancement was in store for them, and that a few good harvests to the farmers would ensure the renewed prosperity of the townspeople. An adjournment was then made to the main building, whore Mr. E. Walton mounted the rostrum and briefly introduced the new firm to his large audience. During the course of his remarks he said —“ For a considerable time I have watched the progress of Ashburton with much interest, and five years ago confidently predicted that it would becoma the city of the plains. This must be the case on account of its geographical position, and its connection with a large and productive agricultural district. Five years ago the place as a town was of the smallest consequence, but now you have town halls, Council chambers, large commercial buildings, and all the elements of a great city. The place has emerged from its childhood as a village, and has now entered upon a lusty boyhood as a town, and before many years will be in its manhood as a city. Too rapid progress needs retrogression as a corrective ; you have had this unwholesome check, and now find yourselves on a more solid basis, and in a position from which you must become the depot for this part of Canterbury. People who have gone through, and are now in, the hard times you are happily emerging from, must progress with the place and rise to wraith and prosperity. Wo have spent a large sum of money on this building, because we believe all that I have said to you, and that amongst others we shall reap the advantages of the prosperity.” Mr. Walton concluded his remarks by intimating that the firm intended to hold periodical sales in the building, and conduct a wide range of business. After which, Mr, Thomas read the conditions of sale, and the business of the day was proceeded with.

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Bibliographic details

OPENING OF MATSON, COX & CO.’S NEW STORE., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 167, 15 October 1880

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OPENING OF MATSON, COX & CO.’S NEW STORE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 167, 15 October 1880