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ROYAL COLONIAL INSTITUTE, Issue 15627, 19 October 1914
ROYAL COLONIAL INSTITUTE
THE UNION JACK PERSONIFIED. VISIT BY THESECRETARY. To meet Mr James R. Boose, secretary ' of the Roval Colonial Institute, a meeting : was called v 'br Saturday evening, at the Dresden Pianoforte Company’s concert hall, the conveners being the Hon. Jas. Allen (corresponding secretary of the In- . stituta), Mr O. W. Gibson (president Chamber of Commerce), Mr T. T. Ritchie (president Otago A, and P. Society), Mr J. A. . Johnstone (vice-president Navy League), Mrs P. R. Sargood (president Victoria League), and Mr John Roberts (president Overseas Club). The attendance numbered between 40 and 50. A few flags gave the appropriate national touch to the elegant ball. Whilst the people assembled Mr W. Paget Gale and Mr Andrew Martin played Mendelssohn’s ‘ Son and Stranger’ on organ and piano, and well deserved the hearty round of applause with which the performance was acknowledged. Mr. John Roberts, C.M.G., took the chair, explaining that he did so at the request of the promoters, in the absence of Mr Shaddock, the Mayor, who was indisposed, and the Hon. Jas. Allen, who was ■ not in town. Ho was, however, glad to do anything that he could to further the mission of Mr Boose. That gentleman had many things to do in New Zealand, one of these being to make the acquaintance of people in the Dominion with tho view of extending the membership of the institute. The membership was now- about 10,500, and it was hoped to increase it tenfold. Those of tho members who had been Home knew the uses that the institute was put to. It was a sort of home to go to, where one found a hearty welcome, and, amongst other things, could get a file of newspapers from whatever locality he belonged to. Mr Boose had attended to give an account of what the institute was doing, and the information he was prepared to supply the people would be very pleased to have. (Applause.) Mr Boose spoke for half an hour nr more. In tho course of his speech he said that during tho past three years it had been a pleasure to him to visit all parts , of the British Dominions. These visits had enabled him to become acquainted with the people and their institutions, and ’ to get a very graphic idea of the finances, the resources, and also the wealth of the Empire generally, and the experience had taught him to believe and know that when ' we used the word “ Britain ” we were not referring merely to a little island in tho Western Seas, but to a Britain that extended over the whole surface of the world. (Applause.) He had been in New Zealand long enough to see tho patriotism and the loyalty of the people in this part of the Empire, and to see also what they were doing at this rather critical time in the history of the Empire. It had been remarked that his visit was at a somewhat unfortunate time. Well, when halfway he had the idea that he would not proceed farther, but on thinking the matter over he came to tho conclusion that the present was the time for considering Imperial questions, and that if he came on and ‘saw for himself this country under Stress by reason of the war at the heart of the Empire he might learn more than ho could by returning. Ho had not been in any way disappointed. Ho had had an experience which would remain with him *» long as he _ lived. He had seen the people gladly giving of their best to Die ' Mother Country in the hour of her need, 1 and ho felt sure that when he reported to ' his counci} fully as to what he had seen in studying the people and the institutions ' of New Zealand they would endorse the : decision he had come to to proceed in his : mission. It was his duty to convey to the • people here, some account of the work of • the Royal Colonial Institute. It was un- • doubtedly the greatest Imperial institution ■ in the whole Empire. It was founded in ■ 1868, a period of grave anxiety in the ■ minds of many as regards the future of the Empire—a time when as to all parts - of tho Empire with the exception of India t men were saying: “What good are tho colonies? Let us sever the connection.” "The object of the institute was to coun- . teract that dangerous feeling, and it had folly fulfilled its purpose. It commenced . in a modest way, with one room, and it had gone on from that to the freehold possession, absolutely clear of debt, of a building of the value of £IOO,OOO, situated , »t the heart of the Empire, in one of . the busiest thoroughfares in London. It was ?' the centre for and the home of residents 6f all the Overseas Dominions, created and used as a club. The fellowship at the time he referred to numbered 279. At the pretent day there were over 10,000 members, and it waa the wish of Earl Grey, the president—a wish that he (Mr Boose) thought would he fulfilled at an early date—to add another “0” and make it 100,000. . This was not much, to ask for, considering the magnitude of the Empire, and what the institute was now doing fully justified ; Earl Grey’s desire. The building was one of the most convenient that could bo wished for. It contained all the rooms necessary for carrying on a work of such Imperial magnitude. There were meeting rooms, reception rooms, and, best of all, the finest Imperial library in the world, comprising 110,000 volumes. Attached to that were several separate libraries, of which, he might mention the law library, this being available for members of the legal profession. Any lawyer visiting England, aa many did, on Privy Council business, could there find all that he required in the way of books dealing with the law in every part of the Empire. The newspaper room was one of the attractions of the institute. Over 900 newspapers were filed and kept for 12 months on the frames, and if previous issues were wanted they could be seen in the British Museum, where they were kept and bound. It was the finest "collection of newspapers in the world, and the thanks of the institute were due to the proprietors of the various journals for regularly supplying them. Everyone who became a fellow of the institute was thereby contributing his mite towards , Imperial unity, for the object that the institute was continually working for was the promotion of closer Imperial union. Closer federal union had become necessary. The Overseas Dominions andi the Mother Land should, when this terrible war was over, take advantage of the opportunity jwhich would then offer of bringing about closer union. The institute was now tak- ■ ing steps to carry out that idea—taking Sin various ways to ascertain from ag statesmen in all parts of the Em- , pire what their views were. The Imperial Conference met every fourth year, and many • thought that moro frequent meetings should take place. Tho work of the institute was of a very varied kind. Trade was dealt with by a special committee, : and he had received information since he left England that they wore getting the , views of commercial men generally as to ■ the manner ia which they could assist in - extending the trade between the MotherCountry and the Overseas Dominions, in view of the closing of the German markets. For those visiting the Mother Country there were many ways of making use of a very powerful organisation. Tho trader and commercial man could use it to obtain information in regard to commercial matters. By the establishment of mi information bureau it could be used from , a social point of view. People coming to the United Kingdom could apply to the information bureau and they could obtain . any information, because its sources were very numerous. Tho Education Com- . mittee had done their beat to impress the rising generation with the importance of . the Overseas Dominions. Another committee connected with the institute waa the Emigration Committee. This committee in no way actually promoted emiaration to any part of the Empire, but Simply acted as a centra where tie whole ■ at Hie migration societies of the United Kingdom assembled and discussed question* affecting the general policy and principles of emigration. There were 49 societies in London alone dealing with emigration from various points o| view, and It was with the object of consolidating the purposes of all these societies that a united committee had been formed, which unified their work In his concluding remarks Mr |tooss said he had beeu told that there -vezo too many societies dealing with Imperial work, and this matter had been ■given attention. With the Victoria , Xfaguo, for instance, the institute had a ; -committee discussing the work of two* hadio«.
This led to a short discussion. The Chairman suggested that members of the Victoria League might ask Mr Boose how incorporation of the institute and the league could take place. Mr Boose said he had come to hear from the people here what they coiild suggest on the matter. * Mr P. R. Sargood said it seemed to him that the local branch of the league could not approach the institute, seeing that there was no committee of the institute in New Zealand which could be approached. It appeared to him that any movement must come from the official cud. Mr W r . Downie Stewart said it seemed impossible for anything to be done in New Zealand. Any movement as regards cooperation between the institute, tne league, and the club would have to originate at headquarters. Mr G. Fenwick said ho thought the views expressed by Messrs Sargood and Stewart must commend themselves to those present. To suggest otherwise would be on the principle of the “tail wagging the dog.” Mr R. S. Black said he thought the lecturer was doing the right thing in desiring to get ideas from the outside branches on the point of co-ope'ration. Mr Boose said that on his return to England he would suggest that communications bo opened up with the branches of the Victoria League. A vote of thanks was accorded to Mr Boose.
ROYAL COLONIAL INSTITUTE, Issue 15627, 19 October 1914
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