TOWN EDITION. [lssued at 5 p.m.] The Ashburton Guardian. TUESDAY, JANUARY 19, 1881. An Industrial Exhibition.
The Local Industries Association of Ashburton purpose holding an Industrial Exhibition some time within the next few months. The date has not yet been fixed, as sufficient importance attaches to the date of holding the exhibition to make it a question not to be rashly settled. On the sth of March the Horticultural Society hold their annual Flower Show, and if the Local Industries Association are willing to content themselves with such an exhibition as can be made in the Upper Room of the Town Hall, and possibly such portion of the hall itself as is not required for the accommodation of flowers, fruit, or vegetables, then no better opportunity can present itself than that afforded by the sth March. The time is near at hand to be sure, but it is quite long enough to afford ample opportunity for the collection of such small exhibits as one would expect to see at such a show as an Industrial Exhibition held on the sth March in the Town Hall would be; and so far as it is possible with the limited space at the Society’s disposal in the Upper Room, the little show would be a successful one, measured by attendance and financial results. But it would only be an entertainment after all, and as an aid to the objects of the Local Industries Association it would be of small account indeed. We fancy that : something more is wanted than the humble affair would be that, “ cabin’d, cribbed, confined ” in the Upper Room, divided public attention with the Flower Show; something sufficiently large to attract visitors and leave an impression upon them; something that would tend, by displaying 1 the manufactures of the colony and its. resources in raw material, to stir up the latent energies of our local workers, and aid in the development of ideas ; something, also, of sufficient magnitude that would induce local men to put forth a strong effort to show what can be got either in material or manufactures out Of our own county. We cannot expect, of course, to have such an exhibition in Ashburton as our neighbors in Christchurch recently had, but we might certainly hope, if the thing were energetically worked up, to have one that would be no discredit to the district in which we live, and one that would be beneficial as a technical teacher. There are many ways in which the enterprise could be made attractive, for we know many homes in the Ashburton county that are adorned with valuable works of art of every description, and if those homes were requisitioned to aid the success of the movement a really attractive thing could be made of it. Then we do not favor holding the exhibition on one day only, but we recommend, if it is to accomplish all that is wanted of it, that it extend over, say a week or more, and let it for the time being do duty as a sort of museum. We fancy the cost of thus extending the exhibition over several days would not be so very great, nor beyond what even a normal charge for would cover, while the benefits it would confer would be incalculable. Our mineral deposits are,
already well known and highly spoken of, and if a fair number of die practical men of the colony could be brought to see the higher class specimens which it would be so easy to place in the Town Hall, we believe great good would follow from this source alone, while the inducement an exhibition of some magnitude would offer as an advertising medium to m my manufacturers would have the effect of bringing some of their efforts for our working-men to look at, learn from, and compare notes with. It is not for us to dictate to the promoters of the exhibition, but we fancy the hints we have thrown out arc worthy of consideration. We know that the suggestion of an Industrial Exhibition was thrown out by our respected Town Clerk, naore for the Association’s consideration than to be immediately acted upon, and the Association’s thanks are due to him for the suggestion ; but we hope the question of giving time for extensive arrange*, meuts with "a view to a larger exhibition than he hinted at will'be considered. It is pretty generally allowed that the future of the colony must be made by manufactures more than by the crop and the fleece; and when it is considered that in this hemisphere we have open to us commerce with some 700,000,000 people in Australasia, and among the races of Asia, that are practically as near to us as they are to our formidable rivals in America and at Home ; and that America is actually at this moment doing her very best to wrest that commerce—not from us, for we have it not- but from the great country that gave us birth, and whose prestige as the premier workshop of the world, ihe .sew World is doing her best to undermine-- - it is high time that New Zealand shook herself together and prepared to join the contest. Exhibitions of the Melbourne and Sydney stamp show what countries can do, and though they may be costly in the extreme, yet their value to the colonies in which they have been held, cannot be estimated in money; and does it not stand to reason that in a proportionate degree a local exhibition like what has been proposed, will show the resources of the district in which it is to be held, those of its neighbouring districts, and be followed with the same class of benefits that the greater shows of industry haveleft behind them ?