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The new public buildings at Port Chalmers, designed for the joint use of the municipal body, the Resident Magistrate’s Court, the Customs, the police and fire brigade stations, were formally opened yesterday afternoon. The Mayor having handed over the keys of the several offices to the heads of the departments, Mr J. Mills, M.H.R., said he was much gratified at being present at so pleasing a ceremony. The citizens of Port Chalmers were to be congratulated on possessing so fine a block of buildings, which were as commodious and handsome as any in the colony. While they would prove of great use, they would decidedly prove an ornament to the town. The mayor and Council were to be congratulated on the completion of the work, but there was one person whose name must not be forgotten in connection with the buildings. He alluded to the late Mr James Macandrew, to whose efforts they were mainly indebted for the erection of this very handsome pile of buildings.— (Cheers.) As for himself, his efforts had been mainly directed to seeing the arrangements made between Mr Macandrew and the Government carried into effect. He again congratulated them on the completion of the buildings, and had much pleasure in declaring them open.—(Cheers.) The Mayor said he was much obliged to Mr Mills for his kind remarks. He thought there could be no doubt about the great benefit the town would derive from the possession of the public buildings, and he felt considerable pride in having the privilege of doing something towards securing them. The object had been contemplated for a long time, and the fact of there being so many interests to serve made the preliminaries difficult to settle ; but, as usual, “ patience and perseverance ” overcame them, and that day he had the honor of handing to the various heads of the Government and municipal departments the keys of their respective offices. He was sorry that the Harbor Board had not yet decided to take offices in the buildings, so that possession could have been given that body on the present occasion. He looked upon the completion of the buildings as an important incident in the history of Port Chalmers. He was glad also to state that the utmost unanimity existed among the ratepayers with regard to the question, so much so that when the necessary poll was taken for authority to raise the loan there were 364 votes recorded in favor and only four against. The building had cost altogether about L 4.150, including preparing plans, supervision, and cost of raising loan, L 3,500 of which were borrowed at 6 per cent. The loan was subscribed fivefold, and accepted at about 2 per cent, premium. The building contained twenty-one rooms, exclusive of a town hall and five anterooms attached, the hall being capable of seating every ratepayer in the town at one time. The principle of amalgamating all the public departments under one roof was a good one : apart from the question of convenience, it was economical, There were in the block accommodation for H.M. Customs, R.M. and Police Court, police sergeant’s residence, fire brigade station, municipal offices, town hall and all accessories, to have erected which separately would have cost about L 6,000. This co-operative idea was first suggested by that far-seeing statesman the late Mr Macandrew, whoso memory would ever bo cherished in Otago, and the Stout Government recognised the force of it, and gave its assistance in initiating the scheme, which was promptly carried to completion by the present Administration, backed up by the efforts of their worthy member, Mr James Mills. In conclusion, he expressed the entire satisfaction of the Council in the manner the contractors, Messrs Bauchop and Co., had carried out their work, and also of the professional service of Mr Leonard, the architect and superintendent of the building.

A ball was given in the evening, thus bringing the ceremonies to a conclusion in an agreeable manner. Robertshaw’s quadrille hand played an excellent selection of music; Messrs Innes, Gardner, Pullar, and Schumacher acted as masters of ceremonies, and Mr Dunsmuir catered to the entire satisfaction of everyone present.

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NEW PUBLIC BUILDINGS., Issue 8022, 26 September 1889

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NEW PUBLIC BUILDINGS. Issue 8022, 26 September 1889

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