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The Show Dinner.

The annual Dinner in connection with the Agricultural and Pastoral Association’s Show was held on Tuesday evening in the sample rooms of the Somerset Hotel. The attendance of members was remarkably thin, and certainly not af all in proportion to the deserts of the caterer, Mr. Shearman, whose, preparations for his guests were of the most thorough character. Mr. W. C. Walker, the President of the Association, was chairman ; and Mr. John. Carter, Vice-President;'was croupier. After the usual loyal and patriotic toasts had been disposed of, Mr C. P. Cox proposed, ‘ ‘ The County Council.” In the' course' of his remarks, he referred to the saleyards in which the show had been held, contending that the building of the yards, by,the Council was a proper step, and one that would surely yield a grand revenue ere long > / ' ; In responding, ‘ the Chairman said he felt proud of the Councilhvhen he looked at the yards. No county in; the', colony had yards affording better accoMmodation or possessing a better site. He was sure the time would come when all would give, the Council hearty, thanks for having put up the yards. Dr. Trevor proposed the “ Borough Council,” associating the name of the Mayor with, the toast. Mr. Friedlander had shown wonderful ability in. bleeding the Government and- Road Boards:

The Mayor responded, acknowledging the aid given him in the money matter by Mr. Wright. / Dr. Stewart proposed, “ The Ashburton Agricultural, and Pastoral Association. ” He was sorry to see so few farmers present at the dinner, which was held ;on the evening of the day on which their best Show had taken place. After referring to the valuable papers read at the monthly meetings, the doctor said he thought more attention should be paid to grasses. If this were done, they might then be able to show paddocks that did not become bare in parts,, but were grassed evenly and plentifully all over. What.were the most suitable grasses should be made an an important question by the Society; not allowed to rest untill fully answered.: The Dr. advocated a central Association, holding peripatetic shows, as was done by the larger Associations at home. In reference to wire binding, he thought twine was the more dangerous article to horses. He coupled the toast with the name of -

The President, who replied. He spoke hopefully of the Society’s future, and instanced that day’s success as a good ground for hope. He was sorry that farmers did not take more interest in the matters affecting them, and-it ought to be the: society’s duty to create that interest. It was a difficult matter to draw together often, because of their scattered and distant residences, but they ought to make a special effort to come together on an occasion like the annual dinner, ; and“ this one especially, so far as the host hvas concerned, deserved ■ more ; patronage.Mr. Walker ..then urged more, united action in politics among the fanners.. Had they been a great political power like the grangers of .America, the obnoxious [railway tariff recently proposed by Government would never • have got further than ton paper. As it was the farmers relegated hese matters to their local boards, and vhey knew what was the result. If Gocerninent knew that the fanners of the olony were knit together in one great political power, which, they; might easily be, Government would respect that power, and never dare to impose a tax like what the new railway tarriff was. A Society like theirs ought to foster a view like this. The toast of “The Judges” having been proposed by the Chairman, and responded to by Mr. . Boas and Mr. ■ Oliver. ■ v, r ;

Dr. Stewart made a suggestion to dis-, tribute the prizes next year at the public dinner, with a view to enhancing their value in the eyes of the recipients.

Mr. Oliver gave the toast of the “Successful Competitors,” to which Messrs. Grigg and Carter x-eplied. Mr. Carter was sorry to find his firm almost the only exhibitors in sheep, and he felt sorry that they had been so. It was no honor to be allowed, to walk over, and a prize so gained was worthless, so far as the objects of the Society were concerned. Had he known there was to be no competition he certainly would not have shown. He had gone to Christchurch and to II imam, and had been defeated for honors in both cases. He came to Ashburton, and nobody cared to compete with him. This was much to be regretted) and he hoped it would not be allowed another year. Ho, desired competition, and had believed that those who promised last year to come forward, would have done so. After a well'deserved tribute paid to the Secretary, Mr. Jameson, Mr. carter, sat down.

Mr. Grigg in,responding to,-the toast. He understood that the County Shows were intended to induce competition omorigst the; small farmers'. ’ It would be small encouragement for small farmers to find the yard swept year, after year by .the large.breeders,, whose, stock were,prepared: for show, arid who has permitted. them to" reach a high point of excellence, arid when gentlemen bf Mi% Carter’s. standing exhibited they had no chance. . In' this, belief he himself had refraiped/from, showing riiuch. He had only 'shown in A few classes, but had ’taken' ' eight-' first' prizes but of ten entries, arid these prizes he was proud of. The Ashburton show was in no way a disgrace to the district, as the Metropolitan show : had amply proved what the district can do. After Mr. Wood had replied to the toast,of .the “ Unsuccessful Competitors,” and : -referred to the support his brewery had received from Mr. Shearman,}? ; Mr. ‘ Grigg proposed ‘ ‘ the Canterbury Agricultural arid Pastoral Association.” The show held this year in Christchurch was one of which they might ; well be ! proud. He looked upon it 'as the show of the Middle Island) and from the iirimerise number of visitors from all parts of Hew Zealand who came to it, it was-apparerit that outsiders adjudged it iri the slime light; A gentleman from Horae said- of it that it brought out a show of implements that was equal to the display to be seen at any of the,great English.or Scotch show's. Good implements were of more value to the farrixer than Were, the high! priced cattle, and he believed that the introduction- of a really good sowingmachine that would spread the seed evenly,t so as to procure an even ; crop, was;, ofmore value in the district than was a 500 .guinea animal.. In respect to the suggestion iriade regarding a - peripatetic show, he would remark that an endeavor had alrerdy been made to ■ institute" a' national Association that would hold such shows, but members for ,it , were , only.forthcoming .from Canterbury.. - : . Mr; Boag, whose name was coupled with the toast, replied. He. had been present at seventeen, of the Christchurch-.shows, and he c.ould, say that the; earlier ones, were; inferior to the Ashburton shows which .might be called the" earlier ones of this Association. He had been Home in 1875, and of, course saw several shows there, but only the Royal,, the Highland,; and the West of England shows were superior to' the one held in’ Christchurch. He thought it was every man’s duty to shew the; very.. best ,he Ixad,, no matter what position ■he belch as a ■ farmer or breeder.

In responding to other toasts the Mayor condemned the want of interest shown by the farmers in not agitating against the increased railway tariff. He hoped they would attend . a meeting shortly to be called on this subject, which was one of vital importance to them, -as it materially affects the- profits: on all their: produce carried to market. Mr. Passmore spoke

at some length on the same subject, pointing out that it was another tax’ on the farmer, and to him meant Ll5O a year. :s. ■ The “ Officers of the Association ” were enthusiastically received, - and the praise given them heartily concurred with. A special toast was i -drunk ,in full bumpers to Mr. Joseph Hunt, for his many services to the Association, and a vote of thanks was also passed to him. After some other toasts had been disposed of the company dispersed, having sung “ God Save the Queen” and “ Auld Lang-Syne;” '

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Bibliographic details

The Show Dinner., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 195, 18 November 1880

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The Show Dinner. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 195, 18 November 1880

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