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The friends and neighbours of Me and Mrs T. Taylor, of Flemington, assembled in the Flemington schoolhouse last evening to (rive them a " send off," on the occasion of Mr Taylor's taking a trip to the Old Country for the benefit of his health. It will be remembaied that some months ago Mr Taylor passed through a serious illness, from the eff»ots of which he has not yet entirely recovered. Amongst those present last evening were Messrs J. McLachlan, M.H.R, H. Friedlander, D. Thomas, W. Stoddart, S. S. Chapman, J. Tucker, R. Bird, and the Rev. J. Paterson, and the majority of the leading residents of the Flemington district. The schoolhouee was crowded, the large attendance speaking well for Mr and Mrs Taylor's popularity in the district. Mr H. Friedlander was Toted to the' Chair, and briefly explained the objects of the meeting. After a short musical programme had been gone through, the chairman addressed the meeting. He said he was at first somewhat reluctant to take the chair that evening, thinking that some older friend of Mr and Mrs Taylor'B might be selected. On second thoughts he reflected that he had known Mr and Mrs Taylor for the past thirty years, his acquaintance dating from a period at which most of his audience were "sleeping under the gooseberry bushes." It was men like Mr Taylor who had converted Flemington from swamp land info the splendid country it was to-day. In those days it was not possible to come from Ashburton to Flemington in a motor car in 22£ minutes (as Mr D. Thomas all«ged he had done that evening.) Mr Thomas: " You had to take a boat in fcho3e days." The Chairman, continuing, said that Mr Taylor had been a useful member of the County Council for many years, a Road Board member, and chairman of a School Committee. When it was known that Mr Taylor was fco leave the district, many men in the district had expressed to the speaker their honest regret at the prospect of his departure. As a church member, Mr Taylor was especially valued. However, Mr Taylor had well earned a temporary respite from bis labours, and their prospective holiday was one which he hoped would result in improved health and strength for both Mr and Mrs Taylor. He had amoh pleasure in presenting to Mr and Mrs Taylor a handsome illuminated address (the work of Mr J. L. Higgs). In doing so, he said that this form of presentation had been chosen after much consideration, as being the best expression which Mr and Mrs Taylor's friends could devise, of the regret felt at his departure. The Chairman j then called for three cheers for Mr and Mrs Taylor and family, which were very heartily given. Mr McLachlan said that he thought he was Mr Taylor's oldest acquaintance in the room. He was an old neighbour of Mr Taylor's, in another part of Canterbury. Now after many years of pioneer work in this district, Mr Taylor and his wife were about to rest from their labours and take a trip to the Old Country. He endorsed Mr Friedlander's remarks about Mr Taylor's usefulness to the ,' district; and to the county, but that was not to be wondered at, as Mr Taylor had been brought on under his tutelage. (Applause.) Many years ago Mr Taylor belonged to a Mutual Improvement Soojety of which the speaker was a shining light. Every member of that Society had risen in position and status since that time, and he could mention many prominent men in the county who were members of that Society. He urged the guests of the evening not to stay too long in the Old Country, but to hasten back to New Zealand, where the majority of then friends lived. , Mr S. S. Chapman said he had known Mr and Mrs Taylor for many years, making Mr Taylor's acquaintance when he first came to the district. The early settlers in the district had attained their present prosperity by solid hard work. Sometimes the pioneer settler had to work 17 or 18 hours a day. With all his hard work on his own farm, Mr Taylor had found time to serve his district and the country in a public capacity. The speaker highly eulogised both Mr and Mrs Taylor, characterising them as good neighbours, and stating that in the words of the Scripture, Mr Taylor had been "diligent in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord." Mr Taylor had conferred a- benefit on the district by the improvement in the breed of cattle carried out by him. He wished Mr and Mrs Taylor " God speed and a sure and safe return." The Rev. J. Paterson said that he had not known Mr and Mrs Taylor for many years, and it would be an impertinence for him to discuss them. He could say, however, that he knew Mr Taylor as a man and a citizen in the truest and ba3t sense of the word. Ab members of his churoh he would greatly miss Mr and Mrs Taylor. He had always found them willing and ready to help in any good cause, not only in Flemington, but in any part of his district. He hoped that on their return Mr and Mrs Taylor would continue for many years to reside at Flemington. Mr Wm. Anderson said that with the exception perhaps of Mr McLachlan, he had known Mr Taylor longer than anyone else in the rootn^ before any of his numerous family had made their appearance. He and Mr Taylor had been good friends and neighbours ever since, Mr Taylor lending him a team whenever he required it in the harvest season. Mr Taylor's son had seen fit to decoy his daughter away from home (laughter), but one of his sons had retaliated by marrying one of Mr Taylor's daughters. He hoped that Mr and Mrs Taylor would have a pleasant voyage and would soon return. Mr Thomas Taylor, (who was received with great applause^, eaid that the kindness shown to him that evening had almost unmanned him, and he hardly knew how to reply. He would always cherish the address given him that evening. He regretted that he had done so little with all his opportunities. He bad the best of parents. On his departure from Home his father said to him " Tom, keep a little of everything, and dou't tell all you know j don't smoke, or drink whiskey, and read your Bible every day." He could not Bay he had kept that advice to the letter, but it had been a guide to him through life. It was a wrench for himself and Mrs Taylor to leave the district even temporarily, bat they hoped Boon to return to tht district. He thanked everyone concerned in the presentation very heartily, on behalf of himself and Mrs Taylor. Mr R. Gilmour snid he desired to thank those friends who had in any way assisted with the Bocial held that evening, inoluding the ladies who had provided the refreshments, A hearty vote of thanks was carried unanimously. , The Chairman then presented to Mrs Taylor, for her little daughter, who accompanies her parents to England, a handsome gold brooch, regretting at the same time that the young lady was unable to be present. After a vote of thanks to the Chairman, the meeting adjourned for refreshments. During the evening spngs were rendered by Misses Watson. Davidson, and Shearer,' and Messrs D. Thomas, D.Qilmour and H; McConnell.

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Valedictory., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6575, 20 May 1905

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Valedictory. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6575, 20 May 1905

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