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The anniversary dinner of the Ashburton Orange Lodge was given yesterday evening, at Brother Shearman’s Somerset Hotel. In consequence of the large number of members of the Order present there was no dining room in the hotel large enough to contain all the visitors, and accordingly the long sample room outside had been fitted up for the occasion. The room was suitably decorated with flags, &c., all round, and at the further end, immediately behind the Chairman’s seat, was a painting by a local artist of William 111. on horseback. The figure of the great statesman-soldier seemed rather small and juvenile, and the f ace perhaps a trifle over cheerful, but of course after the long interval of time which has elapsed, a little play of the imagination was allowable to the ingenious artist. There were altogether about eighty of the brethren present, among whom were several belonging to other lodges in the provincial district of Canterbury. Bro. Minnis, the Worshipful Master, occupied the chair, and Bro. John Bennett, the Deputy-Master, the vice-chair. A sumptuous banquet, prepared in Bro. Shearman’s best stylo, was done ample justice to. After the cloth had been removed, the Chairman proposed the usual patriotic toast of “ The Queen and the Royal Family,” a toast which, as the Chairman remarked, true Orangemen over all the world considered the first to be honored. The Vice-Chairman Lien proposed the charter toast of the Order, “ The Glorious, Pious, and Immortal Memory of William the Third,” a king whom the speaker eulogised as one who had gained for the people of Great Britain freedom of mind, freedom of conscience, and freedom of laws. (Great applause.) Mr Gates sang, in fine style, “The Midshipmite. ” Bro. Cambridge proposed the next toast, “ Orangemen all round the Globe.” The toast was drunk with enthusiasm and with musical honors. Bro. Samuel Brown then sang “ The Loyal Orange Lily.” P.M. Bro. Robinson gave the toast of “The Grand Master of the Middle Island, David Christie,” This was drunk with musical honors. Bro. Stevenson gave a Scotch comic song, which was greatly applauded. P. M. Bro. St Hill said it was with considerable satisfaction that he proposed the next toast, “ The Worshipful Master and the Vice-Chairman, P.M, Bro. Bennett.” He referred in eulogistic terms to the excellent manner in which the Worshipful Master had discharged his duties. It was, however, only what might have been expected from him, after the efficient manner in which he had acted as Secretary. His industrious habits, and his genial and courteous manner, had suited I him specially for the office. In some measure it was due to hjm the provincial district of Canterbury now contained about 600 of the brethren of the Order. It was quite true that there were only about 80 present to-night. He regretted the fact; but it was doubtless due to the largo number of persons attracted just now by the Dunedin Exhibition. (Cheers.) Bro. Skillin sang a patriotic song, “ Rory, I hardly knew you.” The Chairman, in acknowledging the toast, referred to the kindly remarks of Bro. St Hill, and the enthusiastic reception accorded to him that evening, It was about fire years since ho joined the Ashburton Lodge. He had held office there during the whole of that time, except for about six months. He had

always done what little he could within the scope of his poor ability to promote Orangeism. Their Lodge, he was happy to say, was increasing both numerically and financially. They were now thinking of erecting a building of their own. He trusted every Orangeman would give his hearty assistance to further such an object. They had also, he knew, good friends outside of the Order, and ha believed that they also, if called upon, would subscribe liberally. He trusted that at their next meeting their members would be trebled, and their finances quadrupled. (Applause.) The Chairman then recited, in the stylo of a practiced elocutionist, “The Breaking of the Boom,” a spirited poem on the defence of Londonderry. The Vice-Chairman also responded to the toast. He had only been a short time in office here, though he had joined the Order in 1846, and had been connected with it ever since. He would not say much to them, as he was not a very eloquent speaker, but then people could always see what ha was thinking in his face. (Laughter and cheers.) Bro. Dunn sang with much effect “ Get up and bar the door, oh !” After a brief speech from Bro. Tait, Secretary of the Lodge, the Chairman proposed, “ The Past Masters and officers of the Lodge.” He said they were indebted to them for the progress made during the past live years. Unless there was someone to push the affair along, nothing would have been done. As it was, there were now about fifty members on their books, though there were only four or five when the Lodge first started, so that it had indeed prospered. The toast was drunk with musical honors.

Bro. Foreman than sang a song the title of which our reporter could not catch.

Bro. Kobinson, P.M., said it was his glory to think that he was the first Master of the Lodge in Ashburton. This was now the strongest Lodge anywhere in the island out of Christchurch.

Bro. St. Hill, P.M., also acknowledged the toast. He remarked that it was useless for him to say anything after the eloquent speeches made already. Bro. Greer then sang a strong flavored Orange song, which contained towards its close some lines having a local application to Ashburton. Bro. Sparrow proposed “ The Visiting Brethren,” in connection with the name of Bro. Stevens. Mr Gates sang “ Pull yourselves together.” Visiting Bro. Stevens returned thanks. He said he was a member of the Timaru Lodge, and his brethren there were some of the finest fellows to be found anywhere. Bro. Robinson then said that he rose to propose a toast in honor of some people who were really a great nuisance, and were never present when thev were wanted (a voice, “ the police ?”) No ; he referred to “the Press.” The toast was drunk with musical honors. It was responded to by Mr Dunn, of the Lyttelton Times, and Mr Searle, of the Ashbur-

ion Guardian. The former gentleman, who was in volunteer uniform, said that

there was evidently something rankling in the bosom of the last speaker. For his own part, he did not desire that it should be so; why, he had only just left attending to the defence of his country to come here this evening- After the way in which Bro. Robinson had proposed his health, he would certainly recollect him, the next time he was reporting the Municipal Council. With regard to their gathering this evening, he might say that he sympathised with them, for wherever you had Orangemen, you had also Protestant and free institutions. The Chairman proposed “ The Kindred Societies,” and the Vice-Chairman sang “ A bit of a shtick.” The toaafc was duly acknowledged. Bro. St. Hill proposed “ Our Host, Bro. Shearman.” Ho had proved himself a gentleman always ready and willing to assist them. He was the best bower member they had to hold on by. A more genial and liberal friend they could not have. In his conduct he was always unexceptionable. It was deeds not words with him. (Loud cheers). Mr Gates sang, “ ’Twas on a market day.” Bro. Shearman acknowledged the toast, and said he had only done his best in trying to please everybody. If he retired he trusted his successor would do the same. This concluded the list of the toasts in the programme, but the festivities lasted for a considerable time longer, and those present separated, congratulating themselves that they had spent a very pleasant evening.

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Bibliographic details

ANNIVERSARY DINNER OF THE LOYAL ORANGE LODGE., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 394, 13 July 1881

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ANNIVERSARY DINNER OF THE LOYAL ORANGE LODGE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 394, 13 July 1881

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