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'" The Fire Brigade held what has come how to be looked upon as their -annual, .demonstration last night, viz., a' torch-; light procession, followed by a display of fireworks, the whole ending with a " social" in the Oddfellows' Hall. 1 The Brigade is made up of men who are enthusiastic in the work of the organisation, and it may be here added that the membership is somewhatexclusive'. The members'.are all men of good character, respectable citizens! of Ashburton, and, moreover, not drily are they admitted "to* the^Brigade by ballot of.'thei firemen, but after election their, names have to be submitted for approval to the Borough" Council,- which body has the right of vetoeing. their admission to the Brigade. A -m>ni', then, who is a member jof the Fire Brigade may be looked upon as< being indeed, "a good man and jtrue." In \ ; such circumstances the Borough Council would stand greatly in; their own light, and fail to consider the best interests of the ratepayers and property j owners of the borough, were they'other 1 than liberal, to the Fire' 1 Brigade, constituted as it is. Fortunately Ashburtoh holds a sort of charmed existence so far as fires are concerned, and as yet, notwithstanding the possession of an excellent plant and a Brigade that has given a remarkably good account of itself in many a competition with the best Brigades of the Colony—its 5-man time is the; New; Zealand record of the day—there has been no opportunity given to the Brigade .to fight the fire v demon. May the opportunity be - long withheld ! But [ come when it may, it will no doubt find that Semper paratus is a motto with a mean-. ing so far as the local Fire Brigade -is concerned. ; <' '■ >'


The preparations made for the torchlight procession were many and'extensive, 1 and involved a good deal of hard work, as well as the expenditure of much !time.' It is not always wise to.iindividualise in matters of this sort, but the- members of the Brigade speak in ,one accord ,of the trouble Foreman Nokes has taken, and the work he has done, in connection with the decoratibn of the engines. Tlie Ashburton Brass Band took up its position at the gate of the Fire" Station: about .seven •.o'clock, and \after some .delay, in getting horsed, the steam. fire engine was-driven, out by the" Borough Foreman of Works, Mr. Spicer, behind a team of • ■the. Borough's horses. The engine was gaily decorated with evergreens, and in the torchlight looked remarkably well. ■ The, steamer was taken past the. Band arid down towards the Belt,, being afterwards brought up to form the rear of the procession. Then the manual came out, with the'delicate form of the genial "No. 18" bulking in the front. This engine would certainly have been incomplete without Fireman Hefford driving, and he had his horses arrayed as gaily, as if going to a wedding. Clydesdales with "white, gloves" on their ears, as the ihead trappings were described by aby-stander; bub the Clydesdales looked uncommonly well. On this engine, and just behind "No. 8," a figure representing the horned party with, a tail and cloven feet presided at a caldron of colored fire, and a motley Snigger" helped himjti) &tir)[.Quitting capers ~fof the amusement* of "tne young : sters.. A few relics of Jubilee Day in'the shape of transparencies made their appearance again,^and "God bless our Queen" shone'out I'from a many colored^ floral wreath, while transparency portraits' of Her Majesty appeared at either side. The curricle engine, driven by its;own Foreman. 1 \ J.. )Miles, followed, orna--mented with Chinese lanterns, and, as has already been said, the steamer brought up the rear. The firemen, on foot,! and bearing torches, .formtad lines on either side of the procession.' At a blast of the •whistle, given by Captain Scott, > resplendent in silver helmet and epaulettes, the procession ' moved off. We have already published the route followed 1, andi hav,e only to add,that the negro andthe honied, party kept the blue and red firfei going assiduously all tlie way, lighting up the path with a weird glare. Entering East Street, the v display of fireworks' begW,' and'rbcketsV-staxs, and what not rose and fell in a steady shower all the way up to' the Hall.' The'effect' was very." telling, and notwithstanding that the night, was somewhat drizzly, an immense crowd turned out to witness the display. The pyrotechnist was, of course, Engineer Dolman, a position he has held ever since the first of the many pyrotechnic displays the Brigade has given. .. , ... THE "SOCIAL."

The "sociaj " began immediately kfter the procession arrived at the Hall, Captain Scott taking charge of the floor,, and seldom indeed has the floor room been so taxed to accommodate dancers. The place was crowded, and both stage and antirooms were occupied. Brooke's band supplied the music, and dancing was kepb up to the hour when stern respectability issued its solemn summons for separation, closing a demonstration that must be written down a supreme success. ;

INCIDENTS,,- i . .. , , Videttes had been placed along; the route, so that by the roadside an' incidental blaze of v colored fire should occasionally burst out. But the Ashburton larmkin was there and kept kicking about the fire and destroying the effect. Thanks, however, to the efforts of Trooper Crockott;, of the polico force, single handed, this sort of nonsense was speedily atoppod, not however, beforo a good many big stones had found their way into the, manual engine. The officers of the Brigade dosiro to record their thanks to Lieut. Smith of the Christchurch Brigade foirvaluable aid lent by him to further the demonstration, and desire to express, through our columns, their regret that he was not able to take part in the procession. ] . .

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Bibliographic details

TORCHLIGHT PROFESSION., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2445, 19 June 1890

Word Count

TORCHLIGHT PROFESSION. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2445, 19 June 1890

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