IMPERIAL PRESS CONFERENCE.
FAREWELL PRESENTATION TO MB, H. BRETT. A very pleasing incident in connection "with the "Auckland.Star" picnic on Saturday afternoon was the presentation of a farewell address to Mr. H. Brett, who is leaving for London to attend the Imperial Press Conference, to be held there . early in June. Mr. ©rett, accompanied iby Mrs. Brett, is a passenger iby the Marama this evening to Sydney, where the whole of the Australian and New Zealand representatives will join the steamer and travel, via "Vancouver, to England. Great preparations for the reception and entertainment of the journalistic party, en route,, have heen made by various public bodies in Canada. The picnic on Saturday was attended by the staffs from the various depart- | ments, although those engaged in the immediate production of the day's newspaper were prevented from attending. In making the presentation, Mr T. W. Leys, editor of .the "Auckland Star," said it was a particularly happy circumstance which had enabled so many fellow-workers to meet Mr. Brett in a social way on the eve of his departure for London. Speaking with an experience. of nearly 40 years, he could say that no man could .take a deeper interest in the affairs of 'the industrial establishment over which he presided than Mr. Brett did. Every branch of the Business received his constant attention, and he had the welfare of those engaged in the service sincerely at heart. The universal feeling in the office with regard to Mr. Brett had found expression in the address which he 'would now read:— Auckland, March 27tli. 1909. To HENRY BRETT, Esq., Managing Director of the Brett Printing and Publishing Co., Auckland. Dear Sir,—On the eve of your departure for London, as the delegate appointed to represent Auckland at the Imperial Press Conference, we desire to express our heartfelt feelings of respect and esteem, and to wish youraelf and Mrs Brett a pleasant and prosperous journey to England, and a aafe return to Xew Zealand. As joint workers in the great Industrial establishment which you successfully founded nearly forty years ago, we have had many proofs of your business enterprise. your public and private liberality, and your unvarying consideration for the large body of men and women who are engaged In the many departments of the Star Printing Works. We realise that this splendid achievement of your life's labours must be a source of worthy pride and pleasure, a feeling in which, as members of the "Star" establishment, we participate; and we desire to assure you of the respect and regard for •yourself, and the loyal enthusiasm for the interests of your firm, which pervades all branches of the service. In paying a visit to your Native Land, after the lapse of twenty years, you will doubtless see many changes, and miss many of the companions of your early life; but, while regretting the loss of these, you will have the happiness of knowing that you have gained a very much wider circle of friends who await your return to the land of your adoption. We earnestly trust that you will be spared for very many years to continue the good work in which you have been so long engaged. Signed on behalf of the various departments of the Brett Printing aud Publishing Co., Ltd. Tlie address was signed by the manager, the editors of the "Auckland Star," "New Zealand Graphic*" and "New Zealand Farmer," the accountant, the manager of the mechanical departments, the overseers of the news departments, the managers of the jobbing, lithographic, bookbinding, and process departments, ■the publisher, and the stationer. Its presentation ■was followed by prolonged cheering for Mr. Brett, the singing of "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow," and "Auld iLang Syne." Mr. W. Beaumont, manager, bore warm testimony to £he cordial relations which had always existed between Mr. Brett and the staff. He gave some interesting and humorous reminiscences of incidents connected with the early days of the "Star." Mr. Bakewell also spoke on behalf of the printing department, mentioning in the course of his remarks that 38 years had elapsed since he was engaged in getting the "Star" printing office, then a very small affair, in order. Mr. Brett feelingly responded. He said that, as a rule, he was strongly opposed to testimonials and presentations, which in many commercial institutions had become a severe tax upon people who could ill afford it. He had been asked some time ago whether he would accept a banquet or presentation, but Tiad positively declined. He could not, however, feel otherwise than deeply moved by this spontaneous expression of feeling from those who were associated together with Him in the many branches of the company's business. He had always upheld the principle of good pay for good work, and believed that the Arbitration Act had 'been of very great advantage to the men and women employed in the printing trade. It was impossible for one employer to pay very much higher wages than others in the same trade without going to the wall under the stress of competition, and. tho enforcement of a standard wage prevented under-cutting. But they must bear in mind that there was a limit .to which the oost of production could go -without destroying the business altogether, He had been informed that one traveller for an JJngliah house recently took away';6rder9 from New Zealand for £20,000 "worth of lithofraphio work. This was to be regretted, ut very probably this lithographic work \vpuld not have been done at all if the price had been higher, because every trade depended upon others, and it was alwaya a question with a business man whether he ceuld embark with profit upon any expenditure in connection w-ith Ivla commercial operations, In trade, £S in private life, there was wasteful and unreproductive expenditure, and every employer had to take this into account when considering what is possible as a .business proposition. He could assure them that e'uch considerations were a source pf constant anxiety to everyone who was responsible for the management of a large business] in which n,ot only l\is. own capital was invested, but upon which the livelihoods, pf many men and women were dependent; With regard to his present visit to England, he knew that many would think he was fortunate in being able to go; but fle could honestly say tha;t he did not desire it—he was only going as a master of duty, and would always look for\vard with pleasure to lus return, when he hoped to meet those gathered round h.im pnee more. Three cJieecs far Mr. and Mrs. Brett ■were repdered with the utiaosj; enthusiasm, and the sports, which had been interrupted by the presentation, were then resumed.
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