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It may not be generally known that Captain Jackson Barry—the hero of a hundred hairbreadth ’scapes, of moving accidents, by floods and field ; the man who has “ ridden on the backs of whales,” and gloried in it; he who has been under rifle fire in Australia and rotten egg fire in Timaru, and yet survives—is a candidate for Dunedin West. The gallant captain addressed his constituents the other evening, and had an audience of some 500. A gentleman of Irish extraction, named Terrence Dunn, was asked to take the chair, but as it was apparent that Mr Dunn had previously taken something else, and too much of it, the captain objected, and a Mr Green consented to “boss” the proceedings. The captain then informed his hearers that he came forward in the Liberal interest, and in the interest of the working man. He had had a requisition sent to him to stand signed by 300 persons. He was not an educated man but had plenty of brain application. But because he was a poor man, he knew the “penny-a-liners” would not do him justice. He knew the Press would make a target of him, and that if he dropped his “ h’s ” or used bad grammar they would make Mount Cook out of it. He felt as though he were now addressing the Speaker of the House, as he was perfectly sure he would be returned. It was not the “ squeeze” that was taking him into Parliament ; he wanted to see justice done to the working man. He had been Mayor of Cromwell for three years, and when he came to grief his friends sent him Home. When he landed at Home he had only 17a fid in his “ kick,” yet he had done the lah-de-dah for twelve months, and neither Downie Stewart nor Tom Dick could do that. (Loud laughter.) He could say with impunity that he had dined with Beaconsfield at the Lord Mayor’s banquet. It had been said that he was too rough to go into society ; but he considered his personal appearance was enough to entitle him to an audience with Sir George Grey, the Governor, or her Majesty the Queen. He had been a pioneer in this colony, having come here with capital ; but he had lost it in speculations. The captain then complained that he had been misrepresented by a morning contemporary, and challenged the reporter, if he were present, to refute the statement. Why, he had “ biled ” down a d d sight better men. (Roars.) When he went Home he landed in London, and all the money between him and the Twelve Apostles was 17s fid, and yet Sir Julius Vogel, the then Agent-General, refused to sanction his credentials from Sir George Grey, the noblest statesman New Zealand hadeverseen. (Loud cheers.) His book had sold at Home by thousands. He knew every inch of the on the Strath Taieri line. It was splendid agricultural country, but wanted “ arrogating ” (roars of laughter)—well, he would say watering if that pleased them better. As to the Gaming Bill, he was a thorough sport. Government seemed to think that the publicans were making too much money, and therefore wished to shut up their places on Sundays. He had in days gone by kept a sly grog-shop, with a creek close by, where he could water the grog, and by getting 1s a nobbier had made plenty of money. It was the likes of him the country wanted as members of Parliament —men who knew from practical experience the “requisary” requirements of the colony—(laughter)—though he might misplace his “ h’s.” In reply to questions, the Captain said he liked his glass of beer, but although he liked his glass of beer he never got drunk.—(Dissent, and cries of “ What, never ?”) He repeated never, and dared any man in the colony to say that he had seen William Jackson Barry the worse for drink.—(Loud laughter.) If he defeated Mr Dick, he would pledge himself not to accept the Colonial Secretaryship, as he did not consider he was sufficiently educated for that post. The “billet" for him was that of Treasurer, as then he could handle the cash.—(Roars of laughter.) When he was in Parliament—he knew that he was there-—he would find out whether it was’-the Colonial Secretary or Mr Colin Allan who summoned him for L 8 10s, and tried to put him in the gutter after he had been the means of successfully floating the five million loan. He was opposed to the Bible being read in schools; the proper place was a mother’s knees. —[An Elector: “But suppose she has twins ?”] He was a Freethinker, and went to church when it pleased him. His bedroom was his church. Taxation he would touch upon when he was better posted up ; but as for the Beer Tax, heVould like to remove the stamp duty from every cask of beer. He thought pawnshops were very good things. He would keep out a “ flux ”of Chinese, but would not send them to China on the backs of whales. Mr Oliver had not brains enough for the Upper House ; he should have been kept in the Lower. Those who had a finger in the pie in sending frozen meat Home must go “ stone broke.”

Mr j. Harris proposed a vote of confidence in the candidate, which was duly seconded and thirded. On a show of hands being taken, Captain Barry remarked “250 votes in favor of the motion—not one against it. I feel I’m in the House already.” He was then hoisted on the shoulders of a number of enthusiastic supporters, and was borne triumphantly from the room. On getting outside he was followed for some distance by the larger portion of those who had attended the meeting, three cheers being given for “ the captain ” as the proceedings were brought to a close.

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Bibliographic details

CAPTAIN JACKSON BARRY., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 505, 30 November 1881, Supplement

Word Count

CAPTAIN JACKSON BARRY. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 505, 30 November 1881, Supplement

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