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A tea meeting and concert in con. nection with St Stephen’s church were held at the Town Hall last eveningTea was on the tables at half-past five o’clock, every available chair being occupied. The following lady members of the congregation of St Stephen’s acted as waitresses, and were assiduous in their efforts to promote the comfort of the numerous guests : —Mesdames Trevor, C. C. Fonks, C. L. fooks, Felton, Poyntz, Gates, Permain, Johnston, J. Curtis, W. Saunders, Truckle, Moore, and Lane, and the Misses Compton, Hogg, Powrie, Tulley, Gates, Fowler, Hunt, Shury, Rogers, Seager, and Begg. The bachelors had a special table all to themselves, and were fortunate in having the Misses Sinclair and Green to wait upon them. There was a fancy stall upstairs, under the care of Mrs Curtis and Miss Hurrell. Mr Thiele was the caterer for the bachelors, the other viands being provided by the ladies. The tea was a most excellent one, and the good things disappeared with a rapidity truly astonishing. Over 600 persons partook of the meal, new arrivals filling up the chairs as quickly as they were vacated. The tables were not cleared until nearly eight o’clock, when the concert commenced with an overture, which was exceedingly well rendered, Mr Horace Gates acting, as he did throughout the evening, as conductor. A number of songs and instrumental selections followed, Mesdames Nixon and Crisp and Miss Kidd contributing several excellent solos, as did Mr G. D. Branson, Mr W. Simpson, and Mr H. Gates, the choir of St Stephen’s rendering three of Mendelsohn’s part-songs at intervals during the evening. Miss Gates and Miss Permain presided alternately at the piano, and we must not omit to mention a couple of violin and piano duets by Mr Harry Permain and Miss Permain. Mr Permain is to be complimented on his handling of the king of instruments. The Rev. Mr Scott, incumbent of St. Stephen’s, brought the first part of the programme to a close by addressing a few words to the large audience. He touched upon the financial condition of the Church, stating that the Church debt was at the present time about L9OO, which would be paid off by means of a sinking fund. By next Easter he trusted the debt would be reduced to L 60 0; beyond the L9OO there were various small debts amounting in the aggregate to L 230, but these it was hoped svould be liquidated during the present year. The establishmen of a Temperance Society in connection with the Church was contemplated, to be upon the same lines as the Church Temperance Societies already in existence. He thought that it would be well if the Templars of all denominations were to unite together, and work for the common good of the cause. It was intended to build a Sunday School as soon as possible in connection with St. Stephen’s, the cost would be about L2OO, and some part of the proceeds of that entertainment would go towards the object. He regretted the absence of Messrs Nixon and Standage, who were prevented by other engagements from being present that night. The choir was deserving of hearty thanks for their services in connection with the church, and he thought that if other churches possessed so efficient a choir, they would have no reason to feel ashamed of them. The gift auction would follow, and he only hoped that they would bid just double the value of the goods. (Laughter and applause.) Mr Thomas Bullock then stepped upon the stage, and kept the house in roars of laughter for over half an hour by his funny wav of submitting the various “ lots,” which were of a rather miscellaneous description, to the hammer. The auction over, more songs and pianoforte selections were given, and the audience dispersed shortly before 11 o’clock, having heartily enjoyed themselves.

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Bibliographic details

TEA MEETING AND CONCERT., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 676, 30 June 1882

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TEA MEETING AND CONCERT. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 676, 30 June 1882

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