NEW ZEALAND MOUNTED CONTINGENT.
The remaining portion of the Otego members of the New Zealand mounted contingent arrived in town by the express from Christchurch last night. These were Corporals W. T. Ha2lett. A. Grioye r and F. Freeman (of the Otago Hussars) and Sergeant J. Jopp (of the Southland Mounted Rifles). They were met at the station by the Otago Hussars I m.- uniform, and also by a number of | other "volunteers'' and a' large gathering | of, the general public; As the members of the contingent stepped from the train they were greeted with hearty cheers andthen carrietfshoulder'high to the carriage which was in waiting and driven to the Grand Hotel, where a formal welcome had been arranged. Amongst those present at this ceremony, in addition to a full muster of - Hussars, were Colonel Webb, Captains Chalmer, Milne, and Smith, Lieutenant Barron; His Worship the Mayor, Messrs J. Hozlett, J. T. Mackerras, and J. Robin. An' apology for .'absence was received from Surgeon-major Coughtrey. Sergeant-major Pabk, who occupied the chair, said he wished on behalf of the troopers of the Otago Hussars to welcome back the members of their troop, Corporals Hazlett, Freeman, and Grieve, and also. Sergeant Jopp, of Invercargill.—(Applause.) He was sure they were all pleased to see these gentlemen return in such light spirits and good health.—(Applause.) He was sorry they had not ■ returned last week, because when in camp at Tahuna Park a little smoke' concert had been arranged for their benefit, and it;,.was intended to treat them right! royally.' Before calling upon those present to drink the health of their returned comrades he would like Colonel Webb to make a few remarks..
Colonel Webb expressed his pleasure at being -present to join in the reception accorded to the returned J members of the colonial contingent. Their visit to England had done them good in every way, and it would also do good to the colony. It would be good for volunteers as a whole, and good for the members of the contingent indivU dually. They had taken part in the greatest pageant that had taken place during the reign of the present Sovereign, they had mixed with soldiere from every part of the Empire, and they must have gained a good deal of knowledge which they would now be able to impart to their comrades when they returned to their various homes. (Applause.) He would join with Sergeantmajor Purk and the others present in saying how pleased they were to welcome them back. While at Home they had been most highly spoken of in every way, and with Captain Robin the New Zealand Contingent had done their work well and nobly, and with credit to the colony.—(Loud applause.) ■ The toast was drunk with musical honors, and three hearty cheers were given. . Captain Smith said that when it was proposed to send a contingent Home he was not one of .those who were specially warm on the question, a3 he did not think such an undertaking was called for, but he must "'say now, looking at things from the present standpoint, that he thought it would have been a national calamity had the colony not been represented at Home.—(Applause.) He also referred to the creditable manner .in which the men had conducted themselves, and looked upon it as or e of the fioest advertisements the colony had ever had. He had been at Home himself some time ago, and was surprised to find the ignorance existing, especially hi England, with regard to the colony. He was pleased to b& one to welcome the contingent back.—(Applause.) Captaiu Chalkier was proud to be present to welcome them back, more especially as he had been associated with the officer in command in volunteering for many years.. He thoiight that one outcome of the visit Home would be a renewed interest in volunteering; infaot, there had been a marked change in it since the Jubilee time. There had been a considerable accession to the ranks of his. Gompmy, and ho thought that referred to companies generally, • Not only that, but the interest of tho public had been awakenedi He thought it would jjiye an impstua to the colony it men who oould vieit' the Old Country were a?sißted to do bo, and went through o, course of -training there, and on their return imparted the information go gained to their comrades. Corporal Hazlett, who was-received with cheers, expressed the great pleasure it gave him to be accorded the hearty-welcome he and his comrades had received. A3 regarded the creditable position they had taken at Home, for which they received so much commendation, he would like to say that ihey only did what they should, and he regretted that his comrades had not all been there" to see the feelings of the people of Great Britain towards the colonies.—(Applause.) It was impossible to describe the manner in which theyjwere received —it | must be seen to Be ttsflfrstood. They had no idea of the feelingXiWEngland— yes, and Scotland and Ireland—all through Britain, in fact—towards'-the colonies. People from hospitals, infirmaries, and of all descriptions I vied;with each other in showing the extent of the warmth of their feelings towards the i colonies, and it was the least the members of the contingent could do to strive to do credit to tho colony they represented—(loud applause)—and they did try.—(Hear, hear.) He must say a few words with regard to I their captain—(hear, hear) —even though it j might not be military to do so. The cap- | tain of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles pulled them out of many a hole in Great Britain, and added to their personal comfort across the ocean and in barracks in England.— (Applause.) He must also tell them that amongst military men Captain Robin was recognised as an officer of ability—even amongst such men as Lord Roberts and Colonel £M'lvor Herbert. (Hear, hear.) Whether he took them to a parade, a review, or as escort before the military authorities of England, they had every confidence with him in command, and had' no fear of anything going wrong.—(Loud applause.) He (the speaker) must leave any little funny experiences to another time—(laughter)— and would simply thank them very heartily for the kind, homely reception they had given him and his comrades. (Load applause.) Corporals Freeman and Gbieve and Sergeant Jopp also returned thanks. Captain Milne proposed the toast of " The Absent Members of the Contingent." He said he felt no surprise at the colonials doiog so well at Home.—(Applause.) He knew what the men from New Zealand could do if properly led, and when he heard that Captain Robin was going Home with them he felt that that demand would be efficiently met.—(Hear, hear.) They had every reason to be proud of the contingent that went Home.—(Hear, hear.) They had been Home and had seen a great deal, and it was now reasonable to expect .-to see an increased interest in volunteering and an improvement generally, and those who had been Home would, after their experience, discipline, and hard work,be the centre of enthusiasm in volunteering. The toast, coupled with the name of Captain Robin, was drunk with musical honors and three cheers.
The Mayob (Mr H. Gourley) eongratuI lated £he contingent on their safe return to the colony and on the highly creditable manner in which they had conducted themselves while in England. He was expressing his own sentiment and, he believed, the sentiments of tbe citizens.in Dunedin in saying »this. Colonel Webb. had spoken of the great good their visit had done the colony, and he might _ have tedded to .Great Britain, for by the visit her colonial resources had been Been. _ He thought foreign Powers
would af£er"'thcr display think twice before they interfered with ihe Old Country, He would again express ;hiß admiration at the way the; contingent had conducted themselves.—(Applaud,) . . .-, Qaptoin^Roipr,whowas/received with, applause/Eaid/the members".br the. cohtingenfc would be .centres for others to round and profit" by ' their information. ' ,He thought there was.no reason'why the volunteers as a should in-twelve months' time/be in asefficienta; state as the members •of the contingent.—(Applause.) He also referred to the recent encampment, and stated that'ihe officer! inxommand had said that the early.daya of the Crimea had he experienced such-weather. It was, thevßgea"ker saidi.the intention of those who went' iloihe to communicate with each other every .22nd of He returned . ; thanks oh behalf of the absentees. Corporal HAZLETTJ.aIsb,, returned thao'xs, and some of the contingent leaving to oatich a train the meeting
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NEW ZEALAND MOUNTED CONTINGENT., Evening Star, Issue 10449, 20 October 1897