Captain Dolman said the main object of the gathering that evening was to make a presentation to Sergeant John W. Baker, who had decided to sever his connection j ■with the company owing to pressure of business. Sergeant Baker had been identified with the company for 18 years, and he regretted that he (Sergeant Baker) could not find it possible to remain m the company a few more years, which would enable him to gain the Imperial Long Service medal. As a private and more particularly as a non-commissioned officer, Sergeant Baker had been indefatigable m his endeavours to promote the best interests of the corps. At encampments Sergeant Baker had always been recognised by the officers as a most reliable non com., and the men of the Ashburton Eiflos had to ; thank him for many acts of kindness. Non-commissioned officers were the backi [ bime of a Volunteer company, and it was absolutely necessary to choose the very best men for the position. On behalf of the company he had much pleasure m presenting Sergeant Baker with a silver mounted umbrella, suitably inscribed. The gift was oertainly not a costly one, but he trusted Sergeant Baker would acoept it not for its mere intrinsic! value but for the kindly sentiments that had prompted the recipient's comrades m arms to make the presentation. Lieuts. Hefford and Hayes and Corporal Geo. Parsons also spoke iv eulogy of Sergt. Baker, referring more particularly to the great impetus given shooting matters by that officer. Speaking m response, Sergeant Baker said the presentation had taken him completely by surprise. It had caused him a good deal of pain to send m his resignation, but, nevertheless, business matters must be attended to, and if a non-commissioned officer could not give his undivided atfcentionto his men, he should resign. Since joining the company some 18 years ago, he had noted many changes m the modes of drill. He remembered the time when the men were expected to move with mechanical precision, while personality of unit was now being taught. Years ago the men practically speaking, were dependent on the offioers, but now the men were expected to think and act, to a certain degree, for themselves. His association with the Ashburton Eifles afforded him many pleasant recollections, and he was especially pleased to say that for discipline and general good behaviour the company had earned a wide and favourable reputation, and his only hope was that this enviable reputation would be always strictly maintained. (Applause.) He trusted the corp3 would continue to; prosper, and it was superfluous for him to say chat the gift tendered him that evening would be appreciated at its full worth. (Applause, followed by the singing of " For he's a jolly good fellow, etc.") During the evening songs were rendered by Captain Dolman, Sergeants Dee, Geo. Willers,and T. Leitch, Privates W. Childs, W. Hodgson, Hepburn; whistling soloPrivate Stock. The proceedings terminated with the singing of " Auld Lang Syne " and the National Anthem.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6572, 17 May 1905
PRESENTATION. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6572, 17 May 1905
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