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KING EDWARD BARRACKS.

LAYING THE FOUNDATION

STONE.

SPEECH BY THE PREMIER

Under somewhat inauspioiotw condition* —the day being the nnlucky thirteenth of the month, and v«t to boot—the foundation stone of the new Drill* bed, now known as the King Edward Barracks, was laid yesterday afternoon by the Right Hon. the Premier' and Minister of Defence, who had made a special and hurried trip from Wellington for the purpose. The new structure i* to be of a somewhat novel design, and resembles < a short length of a huge tunnel, super- , imposed upon the flat instead of being driren through a mountain. It is composed of large iron arch girders, each sweeping from one side ot the ground to the other, some framework of heavy scantling, and an external shell of corrugated iron. The building is therefore of the simplest possible construction and is designed witn the obji-ct of covering the maximum of superficial area with the minimum of expense, but withal n of a nature eminently suitable for the purpose for which it is to be used. It is absolutely fireproof, aiid whatever may happen to it by whirlwind lifting the roof, or earthquake jolting the girders, it will certainly never be.consumed by fire, as was the fate of its predecessor. Shortly before three oclock those volunteer* who were able to get away for tho afternoon, and who fedt inclined to parade, did so, but the mueter of the adult corps with one exception— the Lyttelton Navals—was of the poorest character, and one searched in vain for representatives of some of the companies. The Christ College and High School Cadets paraded in large numbers, the muater of the former beSug 72 and of tho latter 78. Twenty-two, members of t'he Lyttekon Naval* wero present, together with 13 Navnl Cadet*. The parade states of the other corps were not taken, and it was certainly not worth while doing so. In explanation of the meagre attendance it may bo mentioned that the large majority of the volunteers ore Saturday men who would be unable to parade on a Thursday afternoon. „ - The Premier, accompanied by Mrs Seddon, two of his daughters, and Mr F. D. Thomson, private secretary, ar- / rived shortly after three o'clock, and was met by the trustees of the Barracks and conducted to the platform from which he was to speak. A fairly large crowd had assembled m the vietnity, and, despite the thick ram falling all the while, followed tho proceedings good humouredly from start to finish. Colonel Bauchop, the officer commanding the district, in asking Mr Seddon to lay the foundation stone, said that the stono commemorated over fifty years of volunteering and soldiering in the Canterbury district, and the trustees hoped that the enthusiasm of the carly\ volunteers had not in any way abated, and that , the movement wae prospering. The trustees thought of no moro fitting way ot6elebra4ing the occasion than by asfinfe, the head of the Government and the Defence Minister to carry out the work of laying the stone. (Hear, hear.) Mr S. Luttrcll, on behalf of the architects and contractors, Messrs S. and A. Luttrell, then presented the Premier with a very valuable and hand-eomely-deeigned silver trowel, with which to lay the stone- The trowel bore the inscription:—"Presented by the architects, S. and A. Luttrell. With this trowel the Right Hon. R. J. Seddon laid the foundation stone of the King Edward Barracks, Christchurcb, July 13th, 1905." ..,.•■ Mr ttoojdon said that be had been delighted to receive tho invitation to be present and lay cho foundation stone ot the new building, and be complimented the trustees and those by whose ettorte the amount required haa been provided. He was delighted to hear from Colonel .Hβucbop a- kindly reference to the volunteering' ment of the past. I'he volunteer movement of Canterbury naa indeed a bright and'a glorious past, and he was very much imiebted to Colonel Slater, who had provided hum with information which ho would shortry refer to. The information which had been plaoed at his command in respect to volunteering in Canterbury would be read with delight, he was sure, by nil those who were eutbusiastio in the movement, and would recall a past which waa indeed to the credit of tl»e volunteers in Canterbury. The first company of the Canterbury Kiflo Corp* was formed* on May 3rd, 1860, when on a cold, dull, wintry day in Hagtey Park, w) members were sworn m by Captain H. A. BcottJ who had been appointed captain in the. militia. On the lollowing day, Captain Scott swore in Vα members at Lyttelton, and on Thursday, June 4th, Captain Scott attended at Kniapoi and enrolled (id persons to form a corps. By the Bth August that corps had increased to 80, and tlm first commander of tho company wee Captain Fuller, 'jibe Lytteiton men numbered over 100, and were formed into two companies. JNos. 3 and 4. The officers of No. 3 outnpany were Captain if. J. Moss, Lieu.tenant H. P. Murrey-Aynsley, and ifinaign W. "Bowler, tnose of No. 4 Company being Captain Crosbie Ward, Lieutenant J. M. Hey wood, and Ensign, Mark I. Stoddart. In 1861 fifty rifles wero reoeived for uso in the district, or ten for each company, that being all tbat could be spared, .owing to the .native troubles. On July 17th, 1861, too first aoa of the Lyttelton and Christchurch Raihviy wm turned by the .superintendent. Ale W. S. Moorhouse. The volunteer*, turned out in strength, armed and unarmed. . The' 50 nwo who were auned ft" red a feu de joie, and presented arms " inv'a style tnat would havo gained them credit even on Woolwich' Ccramon"~~«o/ said the reporter of the day. On February 22nd, 1802, a public meeting was held in the okl Town. Hail, to consider thev< defenceless state of the province, and the fact that 24 iitfurs might bftng notice of a rupturo with the Federal States of America. There wa* thu usual big talk by the big men of the period, but tho war cloud passed away and we bad no troude with America. (Laughter.) On August Ist, an order was received to forward to Wellington, without delay, 1 arms, and ammuniuon in store, and in the the, hands of volunteers. The case waa described as urgent—war in ihe Waikato. On September 15th, 1864, tho total numbed of enrolled men in the 1 province was upwards of 860. At a meeting held on October 12th, it was decided to form the Canterbury Yeomanry Cavalry, nnd tho following officers were elected:—Captain Commandant, Captain Reader; Captains, J. Cracroft Wilson, W. Thomson, and E. J. Wakefield; Lieutenant*, W. 8. Moor- , house, C. C. Aikman, and M. W. Anderson; Cornets, L. P. Treberne, J. C. 'Aikman, and H. J. Tancred. About the same date the Christchurch Engineers were formed by Captain W. F. Moore, and on the 24th October, 1864, it was decided to form No. 6 Company, of which Captain Steward, now. Sir W. J. Steward, was the first cennmaadant. At the end of the year, in North; , Canterbury alone, there were 16 officers and 700 men, and when the population of that date was compared with the present population, it must be admitted that we are behind the people of that period. The Maoris, in 1866, desired to raise a corps at Kaiapoi, and the suggested uniform was scarlet Garibaldi, trousers and cap, with abort leggings and blue vests. (Laughter.) Iα connection with the visit to Christchurch of Sir George Grey in 1867 a renew was held in the South Park on February Bth, at which 518 men were. inspected by Sir George, only 70 less than the number who paraded at the Queen's Jubilee in 1897. On April 22nd, 1869,

on tbe odvaaion of tb# visit of tbe Duke of Edinburgh, o?«r 400 volunteers turned out. The papers were pleased to say then tbat the despised volunteers showed a wry creditable state of dtscipHne, and that the display was a ! most satisfactory one. On April 38th, ; a district order waa issued thanking the volunteers, and also publishing a letter from tho Superintendent, in which he thanked all ranks on behalf of the province for th« dutke performed, and the personal sacrifice made by them in giv- j tng tbeir services. The capitation at that time amounted to 12s 6d per annum. On September Ist, 1875, the numbers of volunteers in Canterbury were:—-Cavalry 55, three artillery corps 123, on© engineer corps 60, three rifle corps 103, and two cadet corps 78. mak- I ing a totnl of 407. The staff who commanded the 407 men and boy* drew annually the sum of £838 7s 6d for pay and allowance*; Mr Soddon said that the following was a return showing how the volunteer i movement had improved during recent years in Canterbury. In 1895 thy© were 26 corps with a total of 1478 officers and men. In 1900 there were 42 corps with a total of 2389, and in 1905* there were 49 corps with a total | of 3002, an increase from 1895 to 1905 of 23 corps and 1129 men. In addition to the volunteers there were in the district nine rifle clubs with a membership of 197 men. The approximate numbers on July Ist, 1905, wore: 2700 volunteers, 215 members of rifle clubs. 400 defence cadets, 900 public school cadetg, and 1700 public school cadets in the whole of Canterbury. It was well that ho should give shortly the position us far as the colony itself was concerned. Tho Field Artillery comprised 6 corps with 486 men, Garrison Artillery 9 corps with 876 men, Engineers, 6 corps with 443 men, mounted rifles, 73 corps with 4150 men, infantry, 128 corps with 6705 men, active list unattached officer* 65, bearers corps, 6 corps with 183 men, defence cadets, 57 corps with 3006 men, and five garrison bands with 134 men, making a total of 284 corps and 15,998 officers and men. In addition there were 107 rifle clubs with a membership of 2919, the permanent force including headquarters and district staffs of 382 men, making a grand total of 19,299. (Applause.) He must not forget to mention tho school cadets. At the time of the Duke of York's visit in 1902 there were 2932. In 1905 North Canterbury had 16 sohool oadet corps with 1000 cadets, and Otago 37 with 2170, while the total strength in New Zealand to-day was 13,000. In that respect New Zealand was fnr in advance of any other part of the Empire—(Hear, hear)—and as one of the greatest military authorities of the day had said, if only the New Zealand school cadet system were followed conscription would never be required in the United Kingdom. (Hear, hear.) Lastly, he would deal with the matter more particularly before him. The proposed expenditure on the new drill shed, as far as the Government was concerned, was £4085, made up as follows:—Shed £2500, mobilisation store £1800, lavatories £150, engineer's store £100, fenco rounH ground £85. The now building replaced the old shed which was burned down on February 21st, 1903. That shed was then thirtynine years old, and was worth about £1500. He wished to point out that the people of Canterbury, through the (rum tees, were finding » large sum of money, and tto those who had assisted in .promoting theuereotion of the new building he tendered his sincere thanks. Re felt satisfied if ever the necessity arose that Canterbury, in th* future would do as she had done in the past, provide that which was uocessary for upholding the Empire, and preserving the honour of the flag. (Loud applause.) The stone, a heary block of Aberdeen granite, was thfcn lowered into position, and the Premier, after tapping its copn£rs with the..trowel presented to him, declared the stone to be well and truly kid. "I am sure," ho concluded, ""that those assembled/will look forward with pleasure : to the'time when the building is completed, aad I hope on that occasion to have .tbe pleasure of being once more among you." • Mr Seddon then called for ; threa cheers for the volunteer officers of tho past, for the trustees and officers of to-day, and for "the boys." . The cheera. led by the Premier, were heartily given. Three cheers were then given for Mr Seddon, aad the .gathering commenced to break up. The Premier then inspected the High School and Christ's jOollege Cadets, after which be was entertained at afternoon tea in une of tbe orderly rooms, and left the grounds shortly after 'four o'clock.

v-ffrHE n«w Building. The new drjll be 300 ft long, 120 ft wido, end 40ft high. It will bo lighted by ceiling %hte running the length of the roof on each side, andi large eiid lights as veil. At night the «hed win b> illuminated by a system of gas lighting gyring.* total of 9000 candle power,, roof will be constructed ofiSorrugited iron, and the floor will be-ootnpoi&L'of asphalt. A brick trill, • 14ft hjgh, wjjfcbp built outside the girder*, and the roof'will elope.off the .girders on. to the top of the wall, ea,tßjJit there trill be a head room, of at lefl&f 12ft Vat the lowest position of the «hed, lathe mobiliiation More to be built at the'f net «md <jf'the shed, provision will hejn*da foe tf'gun room, a ,M»xhn-*< jriiri- Xptßoßn' rooms, library, et? 4 ■, In fronfPbf the stole, looking west. U»to the. drill-ehedi? ihere will l .|» balcony, to. whjch the which upeteirt, will open. The "entrance to the will.be through' two large brick:. ftSid . itohe arches.' The stone laid /eeterdeyeftemoon' was the one supporting the, jpillar between the two &tshoH. BpaMm£to & "Prees" reporter i»l4rjjight/rWfcjs. Ltittreli,' the architect ,# tVlniiWhi|{,»tat«d that the type of biiildinjg «*« aTVery iinoioiiimon one, and he beliered -that, there*'we're only two buildings in Englftiid constructed'upon' <the it*me The cost of conetruction of.sueil a building was very low, afed worked out than lid per oubb loot, which, >io a practical builder, w«b wonderfully cheap. Threepence per etibicß foot wee what was usually allowed for ordinary grain •tore*. The buildings would be of a permanent nature, and no 'more suitable design could hare been adopted "There is x no other drill-shed in the Australasian colonies," added Mr Lottreil. "to oome up to it, and the span of the girders is the largest ever attempted in New Zealand."

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/CHP19050714.2.23

Bibliographic details

KING EDWARD BARRACKS., Press, Volume LXII, Issue 12245, 14 July 1905

Word Count
2,392

KING EDWARD BARRACKS. Press, Volume LXII, Issue 12245, 14 July 1905

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