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* The first anniversary of the Safe Retreat Lodge, 1.0.G.T., was celebrated by a'teameeting and entertainment at the Town Hall last evening. The tea took qd&ce between 6 and 7 o’clock, the hall being cleared of the usual benches and chairs to make room for the six tables which, laden with good things, provided by Mr Marsh, of Tancred street, presented a pretty appearance. They were presided over by f the following ladies, viz. Mesdames Cook and Vaughan, and the Misses Smith (2), Raymond (2), Mullaney and Murray. About 100 persons partook of the tea, and everyone agreed that it was an excellent one. Tea over, the hall was cleared arid i the benches and chairs replaced for the ) accommodation of those who patronised r the entertainment; some late arrivals from • Timaru and elsewhere taking tea in the long room adjoining the public halL In the absence of the Rev. Mr Ke*U, who was expected to take the chair, Sir George Andrews presided, who prior to Ihe commencement of the entertainment made a few remarks. He exceedingly regretted the absence of the rev. gentleman, whom they hoped would have been there to preside. This was the first anniversary of the Lodge, which numbering originally only thirteen members, had now as many as forty enrolled. The work they were engaged in was a great and good work, and it would be quite impossible to overestimate its importance. [Applause. JHe therefore trusted that they would all help to foiward it to the best of their ability, They had a long programme to get through, so he would not detain them further, but would merely ask a fair and uninterrupted hearing for the ladies and gentlemen who had so kindly promised to assist that night. He would call upon Miss Andrews for a pianoforte solo, this having been nicely rendered, the following items were given in succession:— Song, Mrs Vaughan, “ Love’s Zitella,” pianoforte solo, Miss Murray; song, “ Barney O’Hea,” Mrs Harrison, encore, “My heart’s my ain;” pianoforte solo, Miss Murray; song, Mra Vaughan; song, “ Sporting in the sunshine,” Miss Murray. A few more words from the Chairman on the benefits arising from temperance brought the first part of the programme to a close, and after a few minutes’ interval a dramatic sketch entitled “ The Vacant Chair” was performed, which was very much appreciated by the aitdience. The story was a very simple one, and was intended to convey a wholesome moral. It showed how Harry Chambers a young mechanic (Mr Elston) was induced, after sore temptation, to abandon drink and quit his chair at the tavern for the chair at his own fireside, to the great jpjr of his wife, Fanny Chambers (MrsTibbetts). The tavern companions, Messrs Sneerwell (Mr Jessop), Tom Doolittle (Mr A. Cook), Alf. Fox (Mr, Hardley), and Fred Hogg (Mr Murray), were, capitally played. Phil Anson (Mr Tibbetts) and Ned Stedfast (Mr Vaughan) were also well played, and Mra Manlike sang very sweetly as the street singer., The piece comprised three ■ scenes,' the best of which was the tavern with the drunkards attending to business and re-' gretting Harry Chambers’ “ vacant chair” at their jovial board. The entertainment concluded about; half-past ten, and the audience diis-' / persed well pleased with their evening’s entertainment. ,

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Bibliographic details

I.O.G.T., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 511, 17 December 1881

Word Count

I.O.G.T. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 511, 17 December 1881