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Empire Day Celebrations.


Empire Day m Aehourfcon was not observed as a close holiday, the banks and schools alone being closed. Flags wore flown from the business places and public offices throughout tha town, while a number of the public schools throughout the county went through the ceremony of saluting the flag. The scholars of the Borough School, with a number from the Allenton and Hampsfcesd schools assembled under the shadow of the Jubilee Oak planted m the school playground m commemoration of the record reign of Queen Victoria m 1897. The scholars, with the cadets at the rear, were arranged facing the flag m half square formation. In addition to the Mayor, who presided, there were preseDt :—Messrs W. J. f-'ilcock, (Chairman of the school Committee) Keys. W. L. Saiter and E. Whifcehonso, Dr and Mrs Clark, the Mayoress, Mrs W. J. Silcock, and the teaching staff of the main and side schools. Mr W. J. Silcock said that he was pleased to see such a large gathering of children, present to do honour to the memory of our latejbeloved Queen Victoria. He felt sure that all assembled had the deepest regard for the memory of one, who, while she lived, commanded the love and highest respect of her subjects all the world over, (applause). During the past few days a great deal had been said m favour of that great religious reformer—John Knox—but the memory of such illustrious men as John Knox faded into insignificance when compared to the memory of our lafee revered and noblo Queen, and he thought that it was only fitting and proper that it should do so. (Applause.) It was not his intention to make a lengthy spepch, as His Worship the Mayor (representing the Stato), the Rev. E. Whitehouse (the Church), and the Rev. W. L. Saiter (the Borough School Committee), all had a few remarks to make. His Worship the Mayor said that he was exceedingly pleased to be present to witness the scholars salute the flag m memory of our Lite Queen. The eldest of the girls and boys assembled w.>uld, no doubt, remember that day, five years ngo, when the news of the death of Queen Victoria the Good reached the colony, and with what regret tha news wa3 "received by the people of New Zealand* He whs pleased that the Government of the colony had set apart the'anniversary of the day as a public holiday. In Queen Victoria England had one of her greatest and most illustrious Queens. He trusted that the anniversary would always be commemorated m the manner m which it had boen that day. (Applause.)

The Rev E. Whitehouse at some length impressed on the children the greatness of the day. Queen Victoria was the noblest and the best of motiarchs that bad sat on England's throne. Associated with the anniversary of tho birth of Queen Victoria was the anniversary of Empire Day held m honour of the Empire which our late beloved Queen had contributed so much to build up. It was a great privilege for U3 te belong to such a great Empire, the greatness of which did not consist altogether m its geographical extent, but m the fact of the importance of its individuality, The subjects of the British Empire had lofty ideals and a high sense of what was right and just. This, he contended, had been brought about to a great measure by the influence of our late Queen. (Applause). The Rev. W. L. Salter; m a brief and appropriate speech, recounted a number of incidents associated with the Hfo of Quean Victoria which depicted her great-ness of character and her determination to do what was right and proper, nofc only m the sight of her subiests, hut m the sight of her God. In conclusion, Mr Salter said that he regretted that the cqmmittee had not advertised the hoMin? of the function, for had they done so, he felt sure thtre would have been a large gathering of parents and others present. The flag was then saluted, and suhsequontly cheers wera given for Hi=i Worship the Mayor and the committee. The gathering dispersed after siuging tho National Anthem.

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Bibliographic details

Empire Day Celebrations., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6578, 24 May 1905

Word Count

Empire Day Celebrations. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6578, 24 May 1905

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