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THE HISTORY OF THE CANTERBURY HALL.

THE INCEPTION" OF THE EXHIBITION.

"Tho proper epic of this world if" no loncer * "Arms and the man," much less "Shirt fri'ls and the man": no. rt is now "Tools and the j . men"; that henceforth to all time is now our < epic."—Carlyle. ] The celebratwn of a, jubilee of a nation 1 is a solemn, as -well as a joyous thing. To j xis who lire in a province founded under, : perhaps, the most peculiar and unique cir- j i cumstances ever known in the history of | \ colonisation, the completion of our fiftieth i year is fraught ■with more than ordinary i importance. The original scheme of the j Canterbury Association was to reproduce in 1 these Southern Seas, under brighter auspices and larger conditions, the England ( which was the motlier home of the pilgrims j who were setting forth on this modern cru- « sade. The Church of England was to be i the dominant power ecclesiastically, but t there was never lost sight of by the sturdy ' men and women who colonised the olains of Canterbury, and converted the brown, j arid-looking tussock into the smiling fields | j and orchards, that political independence | ( was also a sine qua non. The battle of r the rights of the people to go- j \ vern the people was early fought - in the infant which were che * outcome of the disirs of the Canterbury settlers, and thus it fulls about that to-day there still remains about Canterbury a distinetiveness from her sister province.";. That we should have attained our Jubilee, there- j fore, and that in place of the stretch of j v waste land which met the eyes of the P;l- . i Fathers, there now ris«s the spires o: j j. the churches, the stately homes, the cbim- j r ney.s of the factories, the imposinp public j . building, is cause for the widest and most j n extensive rejoicings. It is ]kt- \ f haj>s. most fit tin,? that on the eve of our j n Jubilee, and as one of the first actw m tlint i v \ great celebration, we should ! .; by the erection of a Pa-lacy of Ind'jst-ry. *he j v ! eriumphs which fifty year? of peace and plenty have enabled v-? to yam. How it 1 came to be erected, and the history of it* , { inception, deta-iVed below. Though the j Jubilee proper is vet some time from the J , >;reat pageant which, by the repre- lj scrrta.tive" of Royalty, will t*>day ushvr | w in the conrmem-ement of the Industrial Ex- j "" hibkion. forms what may t>erhap.s fitly be \ %x termed the overture, or introduction, to tbe ; '' Hymn of Praise which -s-ill find a fuller and j *' more eompreheneive oxDOsition in the j Jubilee proceedings fhemselves. j "* HOW THE HALL CAATE TO BE BUILT. I J^ There is an axiomatic saying that trreat j T events from triflinvr causes spriivg. and thL<j j a was mort pecuharlv illustrated In connec- j > tion with tJie Ha!l and buildings which • £ form as it were the c*-ntrjl fijure in the jf Exhibition picture. The Duniedin people j had made an. effoi-t with reir\rd to the erec- I o] tion of tlieir Atrricultural Hall, and sp?ak- j .: in? to a Cnrl't-chiirch on the ! 21st September. 1898. Mr Secretin, ti* pre- j sent Secretary of the Hall Company, j the first sniagestion on the subject, of our i t> : emulating the example of our Southern : 7 neighbours. j b> '•Wby should not we m Gbxistchureb," | "w

said Mr Secretan "have a ha.ll like that in Dunedin. It is much wanted." The gentleman to whom lie spok?, at one* said he would be willing to assist with a sum of money in so good an object. Three othei equally patriotic individuals were approached, and they also consented to do then share. Just at this period the Canterbury A. and P. Association were considering the acquiring of some μ-ace wherein to hold their winter show, and the Industrial Association also were discussing the establishment of something like a permanent Industrial Museum. The original idea, which, like the grain, of mustard: seed, began tc grow and multiply, spread to these twc bodies, and ultimately the matter was brought before each Association and the idea started to erect a. hall and permanent buildings conjointly. The Indus-trial Association possessed some £5000. the proceeds of theii Exhibition, which had been carried out in the Drill Shed, and it was resolved to form . a joint stock company and to invest this ir j proprietary shares. A number of the mdi- ' vidual members of the Agricultural and Pastoral Association took up a similar number of shares, thus providing a proprietary capital of £6000. On the 16th November, 1898. the company was formed, by resolution of the delegates of both Associations, and the following Board of Provisional Directors, representing both Association*, was ther formed: —Messrs R. Allan, J. Anderson, R. W. England, senior, J. A. Frostick, G. Gould, A. H. Hancock, T. N. Horsley. H. B. Kirk, H. P. Murray-Aynsley, W. Recce, G. E. Rhodes, R. H. Rhodes, K. G. Staveley, J. L. Scott. Mr W. Recce was appointed as Chairman, and the energetic and zealous manner in which he has worked throughout the history of the company shows that a most judicious choice was made. Ihe next question, of course, was the selection of a suitable site, and at a meeting of the provisional directors, on the 6th December. 1893, the Chairman reported that he had received an offer of "The Pines." the residence of the late Dr. Prins, containing about acres, for £6500. and that, subject to the approval of the directors, he had accepted the offer provisional!}-. The action of the chairman was approved, and Mr Frostick and himself were appointed to conclude the purchase. The prospectus was issued on January 19th, 1899, the capital of the company being £25,000, in 5000 shares of £5 each. The company was registered on March 3rd. 18d9. and each Association then appointed its three permanent directors, as follows:—A. and P. Association, Messrs W. Recce, E. G. Staveley. and G. E. Rhodes: Industrial Association, Messrs R. Allan, J. A. Frostick. and J. L. Scott. The brunt of the work of floating the company, and getting it into work, fell upon these gentlemen. The proprietary shares having I all been taken up. the preference shares were ■ then floated, and when sufficient had been ! soli!, three directors were appointed, reprei senting the preference (shareholders, viz., I Messrs Gilbert Anderson, H. F. Wigraiu. ! and F. A. Archer. These gentlemen, with j Uie exception of the replacing of Mr G. E. I Rhodes by Mr Geo. Jameson, the present j President of the A. and P. j have been the directors of the Hill Com- ' panv ever since. j Competitive designs were invited for the ! building in July, 1893, and resulted in ten j sets of plans being sent in, out of which I those of Messrs Clarkson and Bullantyne ! were selected. On the 9th of January. the I contract with Messrs Ronnie and Pearce, for ; the erection of the building, was signed, and ! on the 22nd January, the old uui'.dings havi ing b?en removed, the contractors commenced to excavate the foundations. On the 19th of March, the foundation stone wns lttid dv the Mayor, Mr W. Recce. and on thp j 26th October the buildings were handed i over by the Hall Company to the Exhibition j Committee, to whom the building and I grounds had been lea.sed oy the directors for three months. The time for the actual completion of the bui'dings expires to-day. and ! it is due to Messrs Rennie and Pearce to say, I that not only have they carried tlreir eoni tra-ct out in the most satisfactory manner, but they have all through mauifes+ed th? greatest desire to complete fh-eir contract in time. Favoured by excellent weither in th* winter, thp work was enabled to be pushed on rapidly, with the rmilt which has be?n lecorded. It is satisfactory to be able to reeoid, that though nver 200 men have been employed in thework. no accident of i any serious nature Tins occurred. Ovrr a million of bricks has been used in the work. The bf.ses, window sills, and mullions, am of "iuount Scmers stone, and the stone nn front elevations wns obtained from the Tot am Tree a«d Mimi-ies ounrries, at Oamaru. Th? tf'tnl cost of the buildings, including st9<rp, fitting, chairs. etj\. is about £20.000. The capital of the company is over £15.000. and there are 200 shareholders, holding from one share to n la.rge number. On TFuno 9th of lhi« year. a contract -was let to Messrs A\ J. White and Cα. for the supply of Ilu> latest style of opera chiirs. up-hok-tercd in Utrecht velvet, for the dress circle of Ihe Hall. THE INCEPTION OF THE EXHIBITION It is a matter of history, that when the late Mr John Ollivier was Provincial Treasurer, in tire year when the Eyttelton and Christchurch railway was first projected, he concluded his Financial Statement with a remarkable statement. "Sir," said lie, "we have a surplus, and wliat shn.ll we do with it? I will fce'l honourable members, wa will make a railway." Sr> one of the most momentous epochs in the history of Canterbury was inaugurated. The incrption of the Jubilee Exhibition was snmewhat on Iho sn.niß lines. Fol'owintr upon the Tndust.rbl Exhibition held in the Driil Shod, in 1895. the Committee of the Industrial Association found themselves with a substantial balance. They then rFs-olved that t!ii* amount shou'd hp drvofp-i towards tie !m\' ing of the Jub : lee Exhibition . f 19C0—:\s lias h'T-n detailed el«owh-pr?. WVn t'i • t:nn> arrived t-o join with the A. and P. Association in erecting the hall, the Committee did sn. liavinz in view the < b'.'ining of the us? of the site for the Exhibit ion. It was felt that the site would be an ideal one, and accordingly the Industrial Ar-sociation invested its sar-ngs in shares of :1p Hull Company. At a meeting of the v* nmiUee of the .Association. • on October loth. 1838. it was decided to held th> Exhibition, ard that it should be confined to New Zealand manufactures and produce. On ihe 12th August 3 899. it was resolvrd tlwt Mr Robert- Allan should be-eltv.t-eti president for j.he Jubilee year. Thp appointment, from th.3 fact that Mr Allan possessed all the qualifications for th? important post. v.-ris a most f-alicvtous one. inasmuch as Mr Allan was the nVal President of the Industrial Association, just twenty-one years «jro, so that, in addition t-o the Jubilee, the Prcsiditij is ct>li4)ra.fin.7 a.lso his majority in the s?rv:ce of ihe Association. APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEES. At this meeting, also, the virion- Cumirvtwes were formed, iirvnn the M--N!iir of whose labrvrr? thp sikjcpw of the Evhibiti'-n <■<; much depended. Th«T,e indn-W. the P-;:i'din;r, Exhibits .and S;>.-ce. 7,ij ! inn_-. Finance. Printing and Ent>-v----rui.nment. Working Kxhlbit*. Hnnso Iriliist.'jr=. and Arts Com-m-.tfees. Tue Excaitivp Caum-il w:i» formed of th<? di urw:i ff these different Comm?!:pf.--. witi; Mitvors of Ohristrhureh sxd -".in-ciinding h;nu?h=, and otlir-r men mit?i(l? thf ("nmtnittpe. :.• course whii-h was found to woilc exopJUntly a: t!i? Dr ; li yfaed Ilrchibition. as briiisfiDg tb* various CVmnuttees Lit/, touch v.it/i the E.vp'-utive. 'flip Sr*t ir.eef-inc of ihp Executive C'uinoil w:..s lis-'j' <:n J.uiuan- V?rh. 1900. at which Lord R-:tnfi:riv tra? elecwd P nron. «■" T1 ••-•>! i" Kvm! old '•..loners, % t-?, o . ; with tne p:-ht R.-n. R. J. SrO-i.-.-r. Prp.mi-r. wf'!-<? e>rtsd ns vkre-TJ.itror.p. TLpse H-L-1-dde.i .Sir .T.-.hn ITxil. H.n:;. Wm. Rollwton. and C. C. Bower*. Tli" various Committep« vrrv soon get. into working order, ar.d th? Eni'-rlinsr ar-d Rmc» CommittPe, in conjnncticn with the Executfvp. nrrujgpd iir the ere'.-tlcn r,f anm'xes. rhs> biulflins of_these was cctnißted to the sonrriptors fr.r tTie psrmjne' i biii!dinjr. M>?>-:rs Renois and Pearce. nr.d i h« cost was £3693. Wb>fct on tli? subjwt of fimmee, it may He the. Government, or. ' kid'S ar>n!ied to, renerousiv tbp sum A £1000 on the Estimates for the Exhibition. SOME SPECIAL FEATUKES. Tn the scheme of tb? Exhibition, the fir«t Doint decided wa« uiat nothing, but Xrw and prcdur.-e should ; x: admitted, and this has been carried out, ' ivith the small exceptions in favoar of :

n pianos, typewritesß, etc. Then, another important principle was laid down, viz., that • except in the home industries' and young n workers' sections, no medals or awards •x shou.d be made. But as the occasion was a, L- unique one. the Executive resolved that ,x- each, exhibitor should receive a memeiito v in the shapa of a certificate. "c The three principal distinctive features d were the arrangements for th« formation of ;. an Art station, incJude4 in which was to [. be ;i loan collection, and of home industries ;. and youiijj w*jrkere' competitions. All of {> these have more than realissxl the especta--0 tioas of the Executive. 0 THE PERMANENT BUILDING. s The want oi v large hali in ChristchurcL a has iocg been keenly felt, and oim of tilt [• objc-eUs of the H;iil Company was to pron vide for this and to erect one whkh would r b>; suitable spt-ciaily for niusiad perform nances. The haii, which is calculated U n so.w 2500 t-tople <.m Uie ground floor, ii n spitnd:dly proportioued. The drcass circit i- is borsoshoe suape, acd. is seatfd lor 50J, :. being tiued watih very handsomely uphol r stered iron dims oi th-e latest design. The v sttuije is a latye une, being 86ft x 40ft. ana ~ t the roof was raised some 10rt higiiex than n criginally proposed, on the advice of .Messrs j Bland Holt aiki Brough. This, it may bt ._ nottd. is th« alteration made in the pl-an of the architects. Every conu venignce has been provided in connection with th-e stage and hail. It was d-ecided [' to have the ceiling fitted under the patent of the Wundierlicti Ccuupany, with onva- [[ mental st-eeJ, iost-ead of the usual plaster. ( _ The result is a perfect success. Board , rooms for the two Associations interested, , oth'ces, smaller hails for dances, meetings, etc., supper room, kitchen, etc.. were all s provided. The tender of Messrs Turnbull and Jones, of Wellington, was aeoeptt-d foi c the lighting of the Exhibition by electricity. S The system, of arc lighting was decided upon, though for dramatic work on the c stags and for private exhibit lighting, ine caiidescent lighting was arranged for. 1 'lh.T Exccutire at fii-st intended to have t a much smaller area of annexes, but the - inexorable demands for space compelled the n Building Committee u> very much enlarge - their ide<is. Annexes were erected facing c upon Worcester and Glouce&ter streets, i provision being made for ero«*s avenues b connecting the two. Then in view of ever f incresising demands for space, tho lease of a i quarte-r acre section belonging to Mr Viis--1 sidy facing on Gloucester street, adjoining s that on "which the Hall stands, was g acquired. Here th-e<re i.s annthei- vei-y commodious annexe, in which the working exhibits and the electric light and power \ plant aro housed. The arrangements for 11 io building were pushed on rapidly, und ' the Space Committee were enabled to coin- • m-ence their dut,ifs in the allotment to the ' various exhibi'tnrs at an early date. The arduous work of the Space Committee 1 havinir been concluded, the Decorative Committee took charge and carried out the decoration of the buildings. As will have bfen seen, the work of the Executive ' Council and the different committees has exteiwie-d over ten months, and the result ; is the very fine collection of industrial products, etc., which constitute the Jubilee Exhibition, extending over a mile and a quarter, t-o be opened this afternoon. ! TLo comparison as between the Exhiliii tion held in 1895 by the Industrial Associai tion. and the one to be opened to-day, shows ■ the following result: —Cost of building • £1000. including materials, which were sub- • seqtHiitly sold for £600. The space oc- [ cupied was 35.333 ft. divided as follows: — • Offices 1040 square feet, concert hall 4000 do. refreshment stalls 676. Exhibition annexes 13,388. exhibitors'spuce 16.329. The ; fees for space received amounted to £612. ! The figures of the Jubilee Exhibition of 1900 are as follows : —Total space in Ex- , hibition about 140.000 square feet, do alI lofted to exlubitors 33.000, cash received for space £1700, cost of sanexes, gross, £3000.

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THE HISTORY OF THE CANTERBURY HALL., Press, Volume LVII, Issue 10802, 1 November 1900

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THE HISTORY OF THE CANTERBURY HALL. Press, Volume LVII, Issue 10802, 1 November 1900

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