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On Saturday, a party of twentyseven members of the Canterbury Fruitgrowers' Association arrived in Akaroa by Mr Pilkington's car. They were accompanied by Mr Courtier, Government Orchard Inspector, who had practically arranged the visit, and they stayed in Akaroa over Sunday, leaving again on Monday. The party were accommodated at the Metropole. The Mayor, Crs Fjfe, Cantrell and the Town Clerk met the members of the Association on their arrival.

After luncheon the party were taken up te see Narbey's estate, the site of tbe Dr. Watkins orchard. They then visited Mr H. Bell's garden, and from there went on to examine the Government orchard above Aylmer's Reserve. A tonr was made then of the Domain.

Speaking of their ramble round Akaroa, several members of the Asso ciatiou were full of enthusiasm over the fruit growing possibilities of Akarofl. They considered the orchards were clean, and that excellent fruit could be produced. The soil appeared very rich, and gardens could be laid out in warm and sheltered spots. As to the Domain, the visitors remarked on the excellent way in which it is kept, and considered" that it was a wonderful asset to the borough. They also remarked on the b.autiful native trees to be found in the Domain, and said they were the best specimens of their kind they had seen. In tbe evening the Mayor (Mr G. Armstrong) entertained the whole party of fruitgrowers to a dinner at the Hotel Metropole. Messrs Wi derail Bros, had made excellont arrange roents, and are to be complimented upon the manner in which an un usually good dinner was served. The Mayor, who was host, acted as chairman, and presided over a short toastlist. rr , „ The toast of "The King," proposed by the chairman, was drunk with musical honours.

The Mayor (Mr G, Armstrong), said be had much pleasure in ml-

coming tbe Canterbury fruitgrower* to Akdioa. It was to the interest ol Akaroa residents to encourage visitor? as they wanted Akaroa to take a top posHiou as a tourist resort, and tbej were catering for that end. To day Akaroa was known from the north tc che south of the Middle Island as a tourist .resort, and be hoped they would extend its fame evtn farther. He spoke of the excellent I conditions ruling in Akaroa, how tbe people were free and independent, and no person in tbe Borough received charitable aid, They had no strikers here, and very few unions. As the Canterbury fruitgrowers could pee. tht

Akaroa peeple were very proud of their town, Hβ was certain that it was an excellent place for growing fruit, and he believed they could grow the finest stone fruit in the South Island. Though he was only a boy at tbe time, be remembered the lovely or cbards of the early French settlers. these men settled on their few acres, and grew fruit that was hard to beat anywhere. The French were unlike the Britishers, who wanted to "collar" all the land they could get and hold it. Five acres were enough for the French, and in bis mind's eye he could picture some of the vineyards now with their wealth of grapes A« to tbe peach and cbeisy trees, perhaps they would hardly credit'it when be said that in those days a great part of the cherries and peaches dried on the because they did not want the whole crop, and they ate them, later in the year. There were no destructive birds or other vermin in those daya. Ho alluded to Dr Watkins , old garden when boats ran from Akaroa to Dune din. In those days a great deal of fruit was shipped away to the market. O£ late residents had turned their attention to other things, and had set themselves to dairy farming, and to the culture of grass seed. Hβ believed that the day was not far distant when attention would be turned again to • fruitgrowing, He referred to the ' growth of the fruit industry in Nelson. 3 He hoped the members oE the Fruit--growers' Association who there lj would make a tour of the orchards. 3 He was not an expert himself, but t thought their stone fruit was very i fine He was rather surprised to learn 1 that a number of fruitgrowers had not been to Akaroa before, and he hoped r to see them all back in Akaroa at no s late date. He was sorry more Count cillors were not present at tho dinner, 1 but Saturday was an awkward day for P some of. them. In conclusion, he hoped ) their visit to Akaroa would be a thoP roughly enjoyable one. 3 Mr Sisson, in reply to the Mayor, 9 first thanked him for the welcome to s Akaroa. He added that if the Mayor t wished the town to retain that peace- ? ful pleasant tone it now had he way 7 going the wrong way about to ensure 3 it, because in showing them all Aka--0 roa's attractions he was inviting them 3 to turn their eyes towards the land 9 about the town, and the newcomers • would not be content with five acres 3 per man. Speaking of the trip to > Akaroa, he said it could not be ex--1 celled anywhere, and he had seen a h, good deal of beautiful country. He ; spoke in high terms of the way the I fruitgrowers had been treated l and he did not wonder people > came back to Akaroa If this was a sample of the way visitors were entertained he was coming down continually. (Laughter). He considered the Mayor aad residents had treated them right royally, and be asked them one and all to drink tbe health of tbe Mayor and residents of Akaroa. After the health had been drunk with musical honours, Mr Leete was called upon to speak. Hβ said he could reiterate what the Mayor had said in welcoming the fruitgrowers to Akaroa. As a fruitgrower in a small way, he was deeply interested in the reports of the visitors as to Akaroa's possibilities in that direction. He knew Mr Sisson well by repute as the first gentleman to try cold storage for his fruit. There were no big orchards about Akaroa, because, as the Mayor had said, they had other interests, He was sure there was a big scope for fruitgrowing in Akaroa with its sheltered valleys There was an experi mentol orchard here planted by the Government, and Mr Courtier would not have placed it here if be had not thought this was a suitable locality for fruit growing. Hβ himself was pleased to see visitors in Akaroa, They had the Australian bowlers a few days' before; and in a few weeks' time they would have the annual conference of the fire brigades in their little town. In Akaroa they were cut off a great deal by having no railway, but there was no doubt that some day the railway would come. Though isolated, be believed there was not a town in the Dominion so - well advanced for its size, having electric ight, high pressure water supply, and septic tank drainage. He hoped the visiting fruitgrowers would have an enjoyable trip, and that they would want to come back to Akaroa again. Mr Wray, of Ohristchurcb, said that the trip to Akaroa had been a happy inspiration. The members of the Fruitgrowers' Association wanted something besides hard graft, and this excursion was a relaxation frooj their labours. Also they wanted to 2ome into contact with other fruit--n-owers and discuss various matters. LJn!es3 they grew fruit for commercial ise they would not understand the 'alue of co-operation among fruit'rowers. There were many improvements they wanied to urge upon the iovernment. At present they were lattling for through booking of fruit, o that a ,man could get his box or .

boxes delivered in one consignment. This was a matter they wanted to urge upon the Government. A few years ago the Government carried fruit case timber free, but now it was charged for and cost £5 a truck, where it used to be free. All these matters wanted to be laid before the Minister, and if they could go to a Minister and show, him that there were a number of votes behind the fruitgrowers' request, it would make a big difference The old saying, "unity is strength" held with fruitgrowers as well as other people. They should place their requests forcibly before the members of Parliament, and never rest till their end was at* tamed. In conclusion, he thanked the Major and other residents of Akaroa for the kindly welcome extehded to them that day. Mr Pugh said it A was hardly fair to ask him to make a speech about fruitgrowing, as he had not much to do with the actual fruit-growing. Hβ had put in the cool storage for Me Sisson, but it would not be very entertaining for them if ho started talk< ing about cool storage, If they wanted any information, he would be pleased, to give it to anyone. Mr Illingsworth first of all thanke d the Mayor and others for the kindly welcome extended to them. They bad had a good look round Akaroa that day, and he was very much taken with the fruit growing possibilities of the town. Hβ. alluded to the steps taken by the Agricultural Department, and the great benefit to fmifgrowera generally through the Government's help. Hβ had been in" Akarofe before, and would always be pleased to come here again. Mr Courtier said be enjoyed being in Akaroa, as he showed by his frequent visits. Hβ bad always had! a good reception in Akaroa, and the hospitality found there could not be beaten auywhere As to the fruit* growing possibilities of the district — one of the objects of their visit—be did not heeitate to say that in growing stone fruit, particularly peaches, Akaroa could beat most districts. He believed a man with three acres of peaches could make a good living. The land did not want to be too steep. When he first came to Akaroa the orchards were swarming with pests, especially codlin moth, but he we| glad to say the pests had practioally passed out. Hβ thanked the Mayor for the kind treatment extended to them, Mr Archer remarked on the lavish hospitality extended to visitors from all residents of Banks Peninsula. He considered the trip to Akaroa could never tire one, and that the view from the Hill Tpp was one of the. best that could be seen. Hβ said that there

' were commercial fruitgrowers in Ak»- ------' roa, and he referred to Mr Kofclowski. 1 Hβ added that in Nelson they were ' trying experiments with sending peaches to San Francisco, and he be* lieved very profitable prices were obtained. Hβ then epoke in high praise of Akaroa's progress, and said he believed they would have the railway now the.Lake Coleridge scheme had been started and electric power was available. If the Akaroa people came to Ohristchurch, they would make it their business to treat them as they had been treated. In conclusion, would like to say that in the Mayor Akaroa had a king of good feliowa, The Mayor said that this concluded the toast list, He invited the members of the Fruitgrowers' Association to come out in a launch nest morning, and to meet the Chairman of the Lighting Committee in the afternoon to see over the electric light plant and reservoir. A3 to Mr Siseon'3 remarks? about rushing to Akaroa; they could I stand a bit of an invasion, and fag hoped they would come. Hβ said

there were thousands of acres neve touched could b.< uti'.i*d fo fruifc-growin ,'. SUNDAY IN AKAROA. On Tunday morning, the members of the Fruitgrowers' Association ware taken down the harbour by launch as the guests of the Mayor. The morning was a perfeot one, and the visitors were thoroughly delighted with the trip In the afternoon the party made a tour of the town with the idea of examining the small orchard-!. They were very much impressed by the wonderful crop of paacbes, and the excellent quality of the fruit Residents kindly gave them -some speoimens of the best, kinds which they kept to ebow Christcburch people on their return journey Mr 0. W. Leete entertained the party to afternoon v toa at bis residence in Jolie stree\ and they made an in i spection of bis orchard. They also inspected Mr W. Rhodes'* garden, and paid a visit to Mr T. E. Taylor's house, where they admired the fernery very much indeed.

Mr T. Lewitt, Chairman of the Lighting Committee, took the party over the electric light power house and up to the reservoir. In the evening the party attended Divine service at St. Peter's Church, Akaroa. On their departure yesterday morn ing the members of the Association spoke in high terms of the fruit growing possibilities of the district. They also declared that they were astounded at the beautiful soenery in and about Akaroa. Those who were strangers to the district never antici pated anything like the scenery they had seen They were also very grate ful to the Mayor and Councillors for the way in which they had treated them* and said they had enjoyed every hour of their trip. " Mr Sisson said he would be very pleased to show any Akaroa person over bis cool storage plant, and he hoped that they would have an opportunity of giving the Akaroa fruit growers as good a time as they had given them.

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Bibliographic details

VISIT OF CANTERBURY FRUITGROWERS., Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXII, Issue 4372, 17 February 1914

Word Count

VISIT OF CANTERBURY FRUITGROWERS. Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXII, Issue 4372, 17 February 1914

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