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Last night the long-talkod-of “ Carnival ” of the Fire Brigade came off. The fun began with a concert in the Town Hall, which was very well filled indeed with the general public. The opening item was a piano solo by Mr. Herman Morris, played in the masterly style he is known to possess, and then Captain Wilkie shortly addressed the audience. Mr. Horace Gates followed with the song, <f He’s the man for me,” slightly localised to compliment the Mayor and Councillors, the Borough Engineers, and the Volunteers, after which Mr. Pelvin M f Duff danced the Highland Fling, in costume,

to Mr. John M‘Kay’s “spring on the pipes.” The skirl of the pipes having died away Mr. G. D. Branson’s glee party sang “ Hark ! the lark ” with good effect, and Mr. Walter Dolman, with a terrific make up, delivered a stump speech, which bristled with puns and sly jokes at nearly every public man in the township. It was a decided hit, and elicited roars of laughter. Mr. R. Cullen then sang a negro song in character, varying the run of it with a few steps of a breakdown. He was well received in this effort, raid he was equally popular in his song “ The days when I was young,” sung at a later period of the evening. Mr. Morris having played another exquisite solo, Mr. Branson sang “ The Tar’s Farewell ” in his customary style. The other items wore “ Sweet and Low,” by the glee party ; two Scotch reels by Messrs. Murray, M'Duff, M'Rae, and Kidd ; a Ghvlie Oallum, or the Sword Dance, by Mr. M‘Rae, the piper being Mr. John M'Kay; “ Hullachan,” by the dancers; , and then the Brigade sang their chorus. The whole membership of the Brigade were on the platform, and took .up the “ Pinafore ” chorus to a local song, sung by Mr. Gates and written by the captain. The song wis a chaffing let out at nearly all and sundry with whom the Brigade has differed in the past; but the poet did not reckon on any addition being made to his lines, and a verse was slipped in composed by the singer, for the captain’s own benefit, which took immensely, none enjoyin; it more heartily than the captain himself. At the end of the concert colored lire was burned, and in the lurid light Mr Walter Dolman, as “ Auld Clootie,” tailed and horned in full, and bearing the orthodox three - pronged fork, danced a ( bout, with Mr. W. Adams near him as Mephistopheles. Leaving the hall rhe Brigade formed in procession after the fire engine, and carrying torches, and headed by the band, they marched up East-street and round to the Fire Brigade station, his Satanic Majesty and Mephistopheles presiding at the sulphur foumain ou the engine. At the station a display of fireworks took place. This was a great success, and for more than an hour rockets shot up and burst in stars, Catherine wheels revolved and showered golden rain, Roman candles burned, and colored fires blazed. Quite a number of large beams had been erected on the station ground to facilitate the display, and everything bore testimony to the time and labor spent by the Brigade in making the thing the success it was. The demonstration, w r e believe, will form a fair fund for the Brigade, but if it did nothing else it brought many hundreds of Ashburton residents to a knowledge of how many and who are the men who devote so much of their time to qualifying themselves; for usefulness at the summons of the dreaded fire bell, and this knowledge ought to prevent any crippling in the Brigade’s powers for want of funds. ‘

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Bibliographic details

THE FIRE BRIGADE CARNIVAL., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 227, 28 December 1880

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THE FIRE BRIGADE CARNIVAL. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 227, 28 December 1880

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