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CALL TO ARMS

BECERUITING COMMITTEE'S CAMPAIGN. . goo© mecting"at KAIKORAI. Although the recruiting meeting which was held iu the Wakari Drill Hall last evening under the auspices of the Recruiting Committee o£ the Otago Patriotic Association did not provide very heavy work for "the man in khaki." its success was undoubted, and it may safely be assumed that its effect will scarcely be confined to within the four walls of the hall. It is seldom that such an eloquent appeal as shat made by Mr H. D. Bedford, whose apeech ia given attention elsewhere, has been <&aivered, and it may also be asserted that the remarks of the other speakers were all to the point. They did. not hesitate to express keen disappointment at the fact that they did not face a full house, nor did they conceal their regret that young men of the type wanted rather urgently for New Zealand's army vrere more conspicuous by their absence than otherwise. But they promised a vigorous campaign once the holiday season was at an end, and spoke hopefully of good results, making it clear that they would do everything possible to remove obstacles in the way of successful lecruiting. —An Urgent Need.— Lieutenant-colonel Skmeham said at the outset that he regretted very much that they had not a much larger audience, for the meetings which had been held previously had been "packed out." He nad quite expectod to see the same thing happen again. He did not know whether the smaller attendance was due to the approach of the holiday season or not, but at any Tate the Recruiting Committee had to go ahead. Perhaps the young men—he did not know—were afraid to come to the meeting owing to a fear that, after iiearing the remarks of the speakers, they would feel morally compelled to come forward and enroll. It was a peculiar thing that the young men of the Dominion did not appear to properly realise the seriousness of the situation. Jf we' had had what the English people had experienced "a few shells dropped in the cities of New Zealand —(applause and " Hear, hear") —there would be no need for meetings such ae were now being held. Wo had no idea of the seriousness of the situation as it was nt Home. We felt wcure, especially now that the German Pacific squadron had been "put out of time," but yet ho did not know why the young men should not fully realise the seriousness of the situation. Mothers might not like to paTt with their sons with the idea, to a certain extent, that (hey might not return. But some mothers' ions had to go, and we were all mothers' sons. We would have to sacrifice everything if the representatives of the German nation came to control us; therefore it was necessary to sacrifice something. If the young men did not go it simply meant that if the authorities in Wellington did not bring in a necessary law to .-ornpel them to go—if they did not go otherwise—then probably the older men would have to go. We* did not want to think that in a young country like this we had not sufficient young men to go. lie wished to make it clear that the com mittee would endeavor to pave the way for intending Tecruits. If young men thought there were difficulties'in the way the committee would make all inquirie's and, if possible, arrange for them to go. —Honor and Liberty.— Dr Marshall declared that it was most regrettable that a recruiting meeting of the kind should not be attended by larger numbers of the main population of the Kaikoral Valley. They understood that a considerable number of young men from the valley had gone, but thoy also knew that many more of the young men ought to go and many would have to go before we achieved our result—be fore victory was gained for the Allies. Perhaps the people did not realise that the greatest fight of all history was in progress and that they had an opportunity of taking part in this greatest event The happenings of the present day were uoing to be handed down from generation to generation for hundreds of years Possibly the people had not got the imagination to realise that that was the case and he thought that was a fact that required remedy. In our schools at the present day education—a mistaken and erroneous education—did not d?al so much with the great wars and great victories as with the social advances. * Our advances were entirely due to the successes in arms of our fathers and grandfathers, and if we were to maintain our advances we must fight. It had been suggested that our young men had not tot courage (dissent). Voice: "Rats!" Dr Marshall: "If that young man will come forward at the end of the meeting we will be able to believe "iim." (Applause). Continuing, the speaker ask-d if the young men in New Zealurd did not realise that their King and country demanded them to fight. After dealing with the real causes of the war and the poisonous education of the German pecpin he pointed out that it was not Belgium, not merely England, but these colonies of England in particular, that Germany required, and everybody who fou,?ht :n this war was fighting for New Zealand us much as they were fighting for France, Belgium, or England. Six per cent, of the population of England was already under arms, and going to the continent to fight, and one per cent, onlv . uf. the population of New Z. nland—a miserable one per cent.— had enrolled Were we not going to do something better than that. (Applause.) Was it true that our young men only had one-sixth if u e pluck of the young men of Em hnd We fought for honor, proof of which was given by the final conversation between the British Ambassador and the Imperial Jhanoelkxr of Germany over the " scrap of paper." (Applause.) "Ho maintained, and it. was perfectly clear, that Britain wi-s fighting in this war for liberty, for freedom, and for honor, and any man who went from thiß country to tight in the war was fighting for the three noblest things that philosophy could possibly give in this world. The enemy were fighting f OT autocracy and tyranny. He wanted to impress upon the people that ttas war was a defence—a. defence of New Zealand, and we were fighting for truth, liberty, and honor. It was a fight for the homes of the people of our own land, lor too honor of our women, for the lives of our children, and could man Ko forward to fight for nobler things than these. Finally we had won this Empire on the great battlefields of the fsrefathers at Waterloo, and cur ancestors at Trafalgar—and we must maintain that lighting spirit that had come down to «« There were some who would !iko to go to the front, but were prevented from goins but there must be many more who shoufd go and were not prevented. Was it that they did not realise what the war meant to us. —Always "My Country."— Mra J. F. M'Fie, who was warmly applauded on rising to speak, said that the hour of danger brought out tho latent loyalty in every one. It had alwavs been bo in Britain's history. (Applause.) For all true aons of Empiro the call to arms against such treacherous foea as Germany and her ally rang out to the farthest conliliee of Britain's Dominions. Europe was rocking and awayimr in the convulsions of a temble war. Sacrifice and suffering must be made, but tiey would not flinch or count the cost. They hoped and believed the men would answer the call, and thus tic their share to keep flying the flag which stood for Freedom, Liberty, and Justice. Twas not a time for words, but action. It was the numbers put into the field that would decide this mighty struggle. —Enrolling the Men.— At the conclusion of the speeches recruits were invited to come forward, and while half a dozen responded the band played inspiriting music, and the audienco cheered the candidates for khaki to the echo. Those who came forward were Stanley Gregory, Albert Sinclair, Charlee Frame, William Hill. Alick Glenn, and George Godby. Others in various parts of t£» hall were "naked to consider their position, and, if deciding favorably/ to enrol without delay. During the evening a npiendid musical ' and. akwutJanaty uxoaramme was "rendered,,

items being contributed by Mrs R. A. Power, Mies Yuill, Messrs Norman French, E. V. Slyfield, T. W. Bobbie, Colin Gray, and Mr J. A. Haggitt and party (Orphans' Club), who rendered the part song ' Comrades in Arms' very effectively. The 4th. Regimental Band. under Lieutenant George, rendered selections at intervale, and undoubtedly their presence- Tielped "to make" the meeting

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141219.2.65

Bibliographic details

CALL TO ARMS, Evening Star, Issue 15680, 19 December 1914

Word Count
1,491

CALL TO ARMS Evening Star, Issue 15680, 19 December 1914

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