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E. S. A.


The annual meeting of the Aehburton branch of the Returned Soldiers' Association was held in the Soldiers' Club last evening, the president (Lieutenant Blathwayt) presiding over a good attendance. , The annual report stated that the

association was now in good working order, although early in the year the branch had experienced certain difficulties owing to the small membership. There had also been difficulty in affiliatine with New Zealand Headquarters, but after the necessary documents had been filed supplies of badges were made available, and had gone out very well. At the close of the year there were 87 members. Owing to the delay in affiliation very little had been done as an association, but for some time past monthly meetings had been held, and sometimes at shorter intervals. ; The epidemic had caused a break in the work, but at. the meetings-the various business discussions had been useful in • imparting information to the members. The association had representatives on the .Repatriation, 'Canterbury Progress League, and Peace Celebrations Committees. Members had been brought together in various, social gatherings, such as the annual ball, picnics, and motor runs, for which the association thanked the citizens of Ashburton. The annual meeting of the club had been marked by a dinner given by Mr and Mrs James Cow to returned soldiers. The retiring officers wished to , thank members for their support, especially during the epidemic, when the calls made upon members at* short notice to attend military funerals were always answered, and honour was thus paid ; to all soldier victims. The loss through death-of Messrs A. Cunningham. H. Stock, and D. Harrison was reported with/regret. Thanks were due to those who represented the association on the various public committees, and to all friends who had assisted at different functions, and to Lieutenant Blathwavt for the efficient manner in which he had controlled all the meet- < incs of the association. Given a continuance of past support, there was " eood promise for the coming year. i The balance-sheet showed a credit ( balance of £41 Is 3d. Receipts in- i eluded: Balance from 1918, £16 17s 6d; ! subscriptions, renewals, etc., £41 18s 1 9d: and interest, £1 Os sd. Expendi- < ture amounted to £18 15s sd.—The 1 annual report and balance-sheet were < adopted. . l The chairman spoke of the excellent i I work done by the secretary throughout < I the year, and mentioned the happy j state of affairs in which the association found itself. •

The election of officers resulted: — President, Mr E. H. Orr; vice-presi-dent, Mr F. B: Lloyd; secretary and treasurer. Mr D. Moore (subject to the approval ::of:the War Relief Association) ; .'committee, Lieutenant Blathwavt. > Messrs L.. Hopkins, AY. Berry, .W.-.J. Anderson, and T. Lumley. ' »

Mr Lumley made an appeal'that the standard o£ the association should be kept high, becaxise at the present time there were a certain number of soldiers objected to joining it owing to an element of Bolshevism or " red-raggism " that was abroad among a few soldiers of other centres. The Division had been a great organisation of which all were justly proud, and the same should be able to bo said of the association. The standard of conduct particularly should be kept high, and so have public symipathy behind us, not alienate it, as was done in some places by the soldiers on Anzac Day.

The chairman concurred in these remarks, and E^aid that all would be well if the association hung together and used judgment. It must not be foreotten that soberness of Judgment was worfch more than frankness 6f speech. Soldiers should not wash their dirty linen in the public eye through the Press, but appeal to their association first to have wrongs righted.^ He meaM, by this the domestic affairs of the association. The Press was the right medium, and a very valuable asset, when it came to matters of soldiers' land policy, etc. It was. reported that Messrs James Cow and R. S. Forsyth had consented to become members of an Advisory Committee for soldiers in land deals. li was decided to ask Mr H. A. Lloyd to ioin the committee, as Captain R. B. Neal had not been able to become a member. A remit from the Waikato R.S.A, was passed for endorsement, which ureed on the.Government the necessity for substantial increased in pensions to totally disabled soldiers, to whom the minimum • payable should be £3 15s per week. ■ ■... ,

Messrs F. B. Lloyd, T. Lumley, and D. Moore were appointed the association's delegates to the Dominion Conference to be held at Christchurch on May 28, Mr Lloyd to be the voting delegate. Lieutenant ,Blathwayt called attention to the fact that the Government advertised an advance to soldiers of £2750 on land, whereas the Act provided for £4000.

Colonel Austin, official historian of the Rifle Brigade, wrote asking for any helnful information.—Received.

Lieutenant Blathwayt moved _ that this association record its appreciation of the work of the association's deleeatc (Mr Watersan) on the Repatriation Board. a.nd ask him to convey the thanks of the association to the board for its efforts on their behalf.—Carried.

Mr Waterson thanked the association in reply, and said that he was satisfied that, although the local Repatriation Committee had no powers, it was doing eood work, as all the business now sent forward to Christchurch was receiving prompt attention. The board was meant to start men hr business or< on the land, not to provide free gift's, which was the function rather of the War Relief Association. .

. Lieutenant Blathwayt moved a vote; of thanks and appreciation to the Club Committee for its efforts on their behalf daring the year.—Carried. Mr D. Moore reported that the total for Anzac Dfiv would be about £96. — It was decided to write letters of thanks to Mr Ferriman for his efforts on their behalf, to the Borough Council for the errant of* £10. and to the management of His Majesty's Theatre for the benefit nierht on Anzac Day.

Mr Waterson announced that a legacy to tho association of £100 had been made by the late Miss Hilda Kidd, and it was proposed to xise this money for some permanent addition to the club.

The matter of the annual ball was referred to the Social Committee.

Lieutenant Blathwayt suggested that the, secretary in future be paid, and moved that it be a recommendation to the committee to investigate and decide this proposal.—Carried.

Mr R. T. Moore .advocated the accmirement of the Surrey Hills estate for returned soldiers.

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Bibliographic details

E. S. A., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9608, 13 May 1919

Word Count

E. S. A. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9608, 13 May 1919

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