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GIFTS TO CITY., Press, Volume LXV, Issue 19735, 27 September 1929
GIFTS TO CITY.
CLOCK TOWER, BAND ROTUNDA AND RADIANT HALL.
UNVEILING CEREMONIES. '•I think it was a happy tnought on the part of Mr Edmonds that ho should make these gifts to the City m honour of fifty years ot lite and business in the immunity. It is not only a generous thing on the part of a successful man, but a proper thing, for. however much brains and enterprise a man mav have, he cannot succeed without the support of the community,"' said the Mayor (Mr JK Archer) yesterday, when calling on the donor of the clock tower and various other gifts to the City 111 loplar avenue (Mr T. J. Edmonds) to perform the ceremony of unveiling the inscription tablet of the tower. 'J here was a fairly large attendance when the ceremony was performed, including several Cjtv Councillors and other prominent citizens. The Mayo,- said that the occasion was an historic one for the Cicy. It had been hoped that the clock tower would be ready for use that day, but owing to an unavoidable delay it was possible onlv to unveil the tablet. Mr Edmonds's name was a household one, not only throughout the Dominion, bat also in other places, and his generosity was a splendid example to others in the community. ''This being the -50 th anniversary of our arrival in Christchureh." said Mr Edmonds, "it is my duty to _ perform the very pleasant task of unveiling tie foundation stone of this clock tower, telephone cabinet, and letter box, which Mrs Edmonds and myself desire to present to the citizens of Christchurch, as a memento of the many years of happiness we have spent in your City, and to mark the anniversary of our arrival I desire to express my best thanks to the architect, for his artistic design, and to the builders, for their good work, and also the sculptor." Mr Edmonds then introduced Mrs Edmonds and his brother, Mr Edwin G. Edmonds, to the gathering. The Deputy-Mayor (Cr. H. T. J. Thacker), in proposing a vote of thanks on behalf of the citizens to Mr and Mrs Edmonds, said that the locality in which the tower and the band rotunda stood was named Poplar avenue, because Mr Edmonds had been born at Poplar, London, and also because there were rows of poplars beside the Avon, adjoining Mr Edmonds's gifts to the City. He mentioned that the donor was the thirteenth member of his family, and that it ■ might be observed that the date of the ceremony was the 26th—just double the number 13. It was a pleasing feature of Mr Edmonds's generosity that he had made the gifts during his lifetime. - Cheers were given for Mr and Mrs Edmonds, and at the request of the former those present walked by way of the new boulevard on Cambridge terrace to the Band Rotunda, between the Manchester and Colombo street bridges. The clock tower, which stands at the corner of Chester and Madras streets, is a structure 32 feet in height constructed of stone brought from Halswell, the Rakaia Gorge, Glenmore, Otira Gorge, Lake Kanieri, Heathcote Valley, the Buller Gorge, Nelson, Alforcl Forest, Gore Bay, Peninsula Bays, from Connemara (Ireland), and from the Vatican, Rome. It is faced with Oaraaru stone and the style of architecture is described as modern Gothic. It has two clock dials, one facing east and the other west, and on the north i and south sides there are figures of Father Time. At the four corners oif the tower gargoyles stretch their heads outwards, while below are carved trusses. Two marble inscription tablets facing north and south contain the names of the donor and of the builders, architect, and sculptor. The first bears the following inscription: "This clock tower, telephone cabinet, and all standards in Poplar avenue were presented by T. J. Edmonds to celebrate fifty years' residence in Christchureh. September 26th, 1929."' The other tablet notifies that the architect was H. Francis Willis, the builders Rennell Bros., and the sculptor W. T. Tretheway. It is expected that the tower will be completed, together with the installation of the clock, in about a fortnight's time. The telephone cabinet adjoining, which also includes a letter box and drinking fountain, is also expected to be ready by that time. The Band Rotunda. A considerably larger crowd was present at the Band Rotunda when Mr Edmonds unveiled the tablet. The -Mayor said that, without wishing to draw comparisons, he could say that the structure was the largest of its kind in the Dominion and probably south of the Line. It was a beautiful building, and when lighted would provide a source of delight to the thousands who would to hear the concerts which would be given on summer evenings by City bands. The gift would be appreciated not only by the present generation, but also by generations yet to come. "This being the anniversary of our arrival in Christchureh, our memory goes back to that day when we emerged from the Lyttelton Tunnel and gazed upon the Southern Alps clad in their mantle of snow," said Mr Edmonds. "Christchureh seemed to us a very small village, and • the prospects did not appear to be at all bright. There whs a soup kitchen in Victoria square. The Barracks were full, and there was also a great deal of unemployment. "We have watched that village grow into a garden city, of which we should all be justly proud. "The function of to-day is the unveiling of the foundation stone, but the official onening of the rotunda has been unavoidably delaved, and hopes are entertained "that it will be completed in sufficient time to enable the opening ceremony to take place on November Bth, at which function the whole of our City bands have generously consented to be present and render a programme of music." Mr Edmonds then unveiled the tablet, which bore an inscription similar to that of the clock tower, cheers being given for the donor and Mrs Edmonds. A rote of thanks was acorded Mr and Mrs Edmonds, o.i the motion of Cr. J. A. Flesher, seconded by Cr. F. R. Cooke, the latter mentioning Mrs Edmonds especially because, as he expressed it, "unless a woman agrees, a man can do nothing." The Mayor subsequently stated that it might just be possible to open the band rotunda during Carnival Week. Afternoon tea was served in the Caledonian Hall, where a large number of guests were entertained The Ma yor proposed the toast of 'Mr and Mrs Edmonds. All would be del ght d to honour it, he said. The number thirteen had not been an unlucky one in their experience. Both were born on the thirteenth, the month being the same for each he was not going to say who was the older. Mrs Edmonds had had her fortune told by a gi psv on one of the public commons in England, and she had been told that she would hare a husband who would travel to a distant place and his name would become a household word. "It has," said the Mayor, "and the prophecy has come true." The toast was drunk with musical honours, and Dr. Thacker gave a Maori war cry. In returning thanks Mr Edmonds said the birthday cake of which they J had just partaken was mad* from self- 1
raising flour. The motto, "Sure to Rise," was suitable to Christehurch. Radiant Hall. The party then adjourned to Radiant Hall, where Mr Edmonds unveiled a marble tablet bearing the inscription: "Dedicated to God tor the promotion of h4alth and the arts in the service of humanity." Mr Edmonds said sis months ago the executive committee of the Radiant Health Club met to consider the proposal to build a home for its members, and at the same time erect a building which would also provide a long-felt want in supplying accommodation for numerous societies which at present were finding difficulties in that direction. The money for its erection had been contributed by the club's own members. The interior decoration would be set out in old ivory, and the chairs had been specially designed for comfort. "It affords me very great pleasure in unveiling this foundation stone, and to think you for your attendance and patient hearing," concluded Mr Edmonds. Mr-E. Vincent Smith, president of the Radiant Health who presided at the function, said the best wine was always kept to the last, and this was by no means the least of the ceremonies. He briefly sketched the history of the club. It had been formed, to cater for the art of living and the joy of life. They had done themselves "great credit when they elected Mr Edmonds their patron and Mrs Edmonds their vice-president. The hall had been built by Radiant Hall Ltd., of which he was chairman of directors, and Mr Edmonds was the largest shareholder. Their chief desire was the construction of the hall, and they wanted it to be the home of music and drama. No effort had been saved in preparing for the comfort of patrons and performers. He moved a vote of thanks to Mr Edmonds. The Mayor seconded the vote. He said he had pleasure in welcoming the new structure. Mr Smith said the flub hoped the hall would be opened within six weeks. Three- cheers were given for Mr Edmonds, and a vote of thanks was passed to the Dresident. Most of the share capital of Radiant Hall, Ltd.. which amounts to £7OOO, was subscribed by the members of the club. The hall, when completed, will seat 850 people. The staee is 57 feet by 46 feet arid ia one of the largest in Dominion
GIFTS TO CITY., Press, Volume LXV, Issue 19735, 27 September 1929
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