THE VETERANS' HOME.
OPENING CEREMONY TO-DAY.
Lord Ranfurly visited the Veterans' Home this morning in the company of Lord Northland and other members of the Governing' Board. His Excellency appeared particularly pleased with the brightness of the Home. Lord Ranfurly and his party were interested this morning in the hanging of pictures and the placing out of other articles presented to the Home. One of the finest of these is afn old-fashioned grandfather's clock, which stands just inside the hall. This is the gift of Mrs. Dickinson, and is "Presented to the Veterans' Home in memory of Harold Lissaman Dickinson, trooper in the New Zealand First Contingent, and captain in the 7th Regiment, who fell at Bothasberg, February 24th, 1902." On one side of this hangs a prettily painted framed notice, which announces to visitors that "This Home has been founded by the people of New Zealand as a national memorial to their fellow colonists who lost their lives in South Africa. The Home is at present dependent for its comforts on voluntary contributions. Let it not be said" (continues the notice) — "When war ami danger Is drawing nigh, Both God and soldier is all the cryWhen war Is over, and all things righted, God Is forgotten, and the soldier slighted," In pursuance of this announcement a capacious money-box stands conspicuously beneath it. At the other side of the clock is another notice of similar design and by the same artist (Mr Harry Rigg, New Zealand Cross) worded as follows: —"Roll of honour compiled by the Earl of Ranfurly. Revised and enlarged edition, price z/. All the proceeds go to the Veterans' Home. Contains the names and services of old soldiers and sailors residing in New Zealand. Lists of all New Zealand Contingents that went to South AfricaHonours gazetted." On the wall opposite is the interesting memorial to fallen troopers which Mr Seddon is to unveil this evening. It consists of a huge slab of beautiful New 'Zealand wood, the gift of the builder of the Home (Mr W. E- Hutchison, of Auckland), on which are lettered in gold the names of all who fell in the war from the First to the Tenth Contingent. The lettering is by an Auckland artist. Some beautiful carving in walnut, the work of a Wellington lady, is laid on the i centre of the tablet, in which are shap- j ed the letters V.R., E.R., a crown, the dates of the Boer War, the motto "Pro Patria Indivisa," crossed flags, a clever representation of an oak branch, and the rose, shamrock and thlistle emblems.
In the library, a cosy, well appointed room, the most interesting piece of furniture is the mantelpiece clock, which was purchased by Lady Ranfurly with the £35 cheque presented to her by the Auckland Veterans' Association. The inscription on this clock will be engraved on a silvery plate, and will be as follows: —"Presented by Auckland Veterans to the home as a token of their esteem and regard for Lord and Lady E|an)furly." The library ihearthrug is the gift of Mrs. Malcolmson, who had a son in tthe Bth contingent
Other gifts to the library are two battle prints illustrating incidens of the Boer war, from Mr. John Leech; a -pair of large framed photographs of Lord and Lady Ranfurly, given by Mr. Schmidt; of the Humus studio; and a collection of standard novels given by Mrs. Rattray. There is a liberal supply of plain but very comfortable armchairs of the "Canadian" pattern in the library and other rooms. The nucleus of a library was given from Government House, and gradually extending. There are also the remains of thet King's colours carried by the 58 regiment in the Egyptian campaign under Sir Ralph Abercromby in 1802, presented by Lady Douglas. This is given by Mr. Tom Scott, A.R.S.A. In the smoking room nearby hangs a framed group of photographs "presented to Adam Cairns, president of the Crimean Veterans' Association by his shipmates and comrades as a mark of respect and esteem, November, 1886. On the mantelpiece is a clock presented by Mr. Prince. Along one side a row runs a row of lockers enabling each veteran to have his own locker and keep the key.
The programme for the opening ceremony was as follows, commencing at 4 o'clock: Presentation of South African war medals to members of the Bth, 9th and 10th Contingents by Lord, Ranfurly. Opening of the Home by Lord Ranfurly, with speeches by the Mayor of Auckland (the Hon. E. Mitchelson), Sir William Russell and Sir J. G. Ward. The speeches were to be delivered from the,verandah at the top of the steps. After the opening of the doors, the Premier (the Right hon. R. J. Seddon) was to deliver a speech and unveil the memorial to fallen troopers, assisted by Major-General Babington, Commandant of the New Zealand Forces. After the opening an interval was arranged for looking over the buildings and grounds, and tea was provided in the dining-room. This evening a smoke concert will be given by the members of the Orphans' Club at the Home, starting at half-past seven, and concluding at nine o'clock.
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