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Closing Ceremony. Last evening the Hall was crowded by persons desirous of witnessing the dosing •ceremony, and musical performance accompanying the same, in connection with the Ashburton Industrial Exhibition, iSSr. The proceedings were presided over by his Worship the Mayor (in the unavoidable absence ofE. G. Wright, Esq., M. H.R., President). The first item on the programme, a piano duet “ Zehu Maedchen und Kein Mann,” was entrusted to Miss and Master Morris, and the approval of the audience was testified by the lengthy plaudits following its conclusion. This was followed by a chorus “ The Carnovale,” and next came what was undoubtedly the vocal gem of the evening, Mr Branson’s rendition of “The King’s Highway,” which received a merited encore, and in response thereto “ Thy sentinel am I ” was given, both pieces being sung with great spirit. The glee, “ The Village Chorister,” song, “ Better Bide awee,” by Mrs Ray; and song, “ The Minstrel Boy,” by Mr Weeks, were rendered with precision and effect. Miss Kate Woods, a young lady, giving every promise of becoming a performer of no little merit on the piano, then played the solo “ Les Herondelles,” in a style quite surprising, when the age of the performer is taken into consideration ; and the first part of the programme terminated with a bass solo by Mr A. Goldstandt.

The Chairman then came forward, and said ;

Ladies and gentlemen—lhave been deputed by our worthy President to give the closing address on this occasion. I wish heartily that the task were left to other hands than mine, but there is no choice, as Mr Wright is unavaidably called away on public business, to Christchurch. I am, as you know, no great public peaker, and I feel the more diffidence from the fact that I am addressing an audience who appreciate thoroughly the groat work that has been done. However, I am in for it, so I must do my best. Most of you know that I have a warm interest in Ashburton, which has been my home for the last nine or ten years. I have seen the town rise from what I may almost call “ pre-historic times,” to its present position, and I have been a spectator of all the vicissitudes it has passed through, from extreme dullness to extreme prosperity. I think also that you will all admit that during my whole time of residence I have acted as far as I possibly could for what I thought were the best interests of , the place. I have every confidence in the future of Ashburton, and believe it will prove a happy and good place for those who have made it their home. The progre s made by it has been so rapid as to astonish everybody ; but those who have seen, it from its earliest stages will k agree with me that it has a still grander future be-

fore it, and it will become a 'town that will be a great business centre. It is at such a distance from the capital of the Provincial District, that the inhabitants cannot well go there to make their purchases, and what is more, we have now reached such a stage that we can serve them as well here. There are few towns so young as ours that can show such public works as we can. Our main streets arc already asphalted, arid a stream of living water flows down our concrete channels. Nor will it stop there, for I have no doubt in a short time ’we shall see our side streets in equally good condition, for there is no want of energy and push amongst us. (Applause). Respecting the commencement of the Exhibition, most of you know that it originated with the Industrial Association. This Association was formed with the idea of calling attention to various possible industries, and if possible of starting factories in our midst. It was at first well supported, but there was after a time a falling off in the ; enthusiasm. There were a few’, however; who kept up a regular attendance, and at one of the meetings it was decided to hold an Industrial Exhibition. At first the idea was that it should only be a small affair, to be held in the upper rom of this Town Hall, but it was soon found that more accommodation would be necessary, and it grew at last to be such as you see it, an Exhibition which surprised our neighbors and visitors by its excellence. I have only hoard one man grumble at the Exhibition, and he complained that there were no wild beasts, without which he thought it was not complete. (Laughter.) Most of us, however, are better educated than this man, and know that the Exhibition is not only as expected, but a good deal better. Net only has it been spoken highly of in the local papers, but the Christchurch, Dunedin, and Timavu journals have all mentioned it in the highest praise. (Applause.) Amongst the exhibits are many local manufactures. There are candles shown of such exceedingly good quality (and remember I speak as an expert) that they will compare favorably with the imported article* and will doubtless be well patronised. There is the sugar-beet also. I would call special attention to the potato industry. You have all seen the splendid farina that has been shown, produced from the local potatoes, and certainly we are so well situated here, that this is an industry which must grow, and if it does, the manufacturers will be able to pay a good price to the grower. We can make starch as well here as in Europe, and yet we import it at L4O a ton, and have great difficulty in getting rid of out potatoes at 30a per ton, having to beg people to take them at that price. Why should we go to England for these articles, when, with a little push, we can establish such industries amongst ourselves. (Applause.) We have our potteries, at which cheap and good jars can be made, and we have a country which will grow splendid fruit, so that there is no necessity whatever for us to go to Tasmania and other places for our jam. We have coals for fuel to drive mir machines, and a host of other things too numerous to mention here to-night. If we have the assistance of the public, Ashburton may he made a most important place. It was advertised that the awards of merit would he distributed to-night, but these are so numerous, that 1 1 moat request those who have gained them to procure them from the Secretary. I think the thanks of our community are due to those who have worked so hard to make the affair the great sucress it has proved. I must make special mention of the Hon. Secretary (Mr Poyntss), who has been most indefatigable, and to those whose great exertions the success we have met with Is to a great extent due. (Applause). I thank you for the patient hearing you have accorded me. (Groat applause.). The second part —which included the following items :—Trio, “ There is a Ladie, Sweet and Kind ; ” trio (two pianos and organ), “ Jessie’s Dream ” —Miss Kidd, Master Morris, and Mr Weeks; part song, “ Qod Speed the Plough ; ” song, “ Katie O’Shane ” Miss Kidd ; song and chorus, “ Down Among the. Dead Men ” —Mr Craighead ; violin and piano duet, “ Dicher and Bauer,” Miss and Master Morris, was very satisfretorily carried through ; those portions deserving special mention being the instrumental trio, “ Jessie’s Dream,” and the violin and piano duet, “ Dicher and Bauer,” and the latter of which received an encore. Following this the President declared the Exhibition closed, and the proceedings terminated with the singing of the “ National Anthem ” by the audience, the musical accompaniment being given on three pianos and’ organ. We must not omit to say the entertainment wrs carried out under the able conductorship of Mr Weeks.

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INDUSTRIAL EXHIBITION., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 307, 31 March 1881

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INDUSTRIAL EXHIBITION. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 307, 31 March 1881

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