The past week has been one full of stirring incidents at Christchurcb. On Monday, Mr. Sewell met his constituents at the " Golden Fleece," when a discussion arose, as we have already stated, of 6 hours' duration. On Tuesday the Council re-assembled sifter our own brief political crisis to receive an announcement from the new leader of the Executive; on the evening of the same day the Colonists' Society held its usual fortnightly meeting, when a lengthened correspondence between the Chairman, Mr. Tancretl, and Mr. E. J. Wakefield was read, occasioned by a mistake on the part of the Sectetary, in having forwarded to Mr. Wakefield an erroneous version of a resolution which the Society had passed, in which his conduct at Auckland was severely censured ; —for this mistake an ample apology had been tendered by the Chuirmm and accepted by Mr. Wakefield. Mr. Wakefield however had the bad taste tore-open the subject by repeated direct allusions to the inadvertent words contained in the first resolution, and this was felt by several members of the Society to be a very grave offence, and a very animated discussion ensued. Mr. J. Brittau commented very severely on Mr. Wakefield's allusions. Mr. Wakefield declined to give any answers to the resolution, until certain documents upon which he proposed to rest his cause were in the hands of his constituents.
Freemason's Hall,—On Wednesday there was a very large gathering of the Freemasons, to witness the ceremony of layiug the first stone of their new Hall. A large number attended Divine Service, when aii eloquent Sermon was preached by Brother the llev. O. Mathias from the text, I<l was glad when they said unto me, We will go i 111< > the house of the Lord." The brethren adjourned to the site of (heir building, when the lirst stone was hud
by W. AI. Brother Gundry; the ceremony was rendered very imposing by the introduction of several appropriate odes and chants peculiar to the craft, which were very effectively sung by an efficient choir. The members subsequently dined together at a temporary building which had been erected on the Cricket ground, where a very recherche banquet was provided for them under the directions of Brother Gee. Cattle Show,—On Thursday, the town became the rendezvous of a large number of the inhabitants of the Province, and the Cattle Show, the occasion of the gathering, nor was it the least interesting feature in connection with the history of the colony, that during the three or four years of the existence of the Province, its agriculture has advanced with a rapidity probably unexampled, and if we may judge of the prospects of the future by the evidences of the past, we may indeed say that it will be ■ without a parallel. Although the quantity of stock exhibited to-day fell short of the expectations which had been anticipated, it was nevertheless of a sufficient character to justify the expectations .which hadbeen formed of our capabilities. It unfortunately happens that the Show occurs at a season when most of our stockowners are so fully engaged iv their personal occupations as to render attention to exhibitions a matter of serious inconvenience and ioss to them, and when we consider also the great cost of labour and the sacrifice which must necessarily attend upon the loss of time and cost of transit from distant stations, we can hardly wonder at the result. Notwithstanding these difficulties there was a considerable degree of interest felt by the exhibitors and the public. There was a marked improvement visible in the character of a greater portion of the stock, and this will particularly apply to the Horses. The following prizes were awarded by the Judges:— Stallions —Ist prize, " The Wanderer," the property of Mr. Cracroft Wilson. 2nd prize, " Joe Miller," Mr. Packard. Cart Stallions—lst prize, " Canterbury," J. W. Russell, Esq. 2nd prize, " Hector," late Mr. J. Deans. Hackney Mares—lst prize, " Countess,1' Mr. Lee. 2nd prize, Chestnut Mare, Mr. Fitz GeraW. Cart Mares—No competition, Mr. Norman. 2-Year Old Colts" and Fillies—lst prize to Messrs. Wood and Chisnell. 2nd prize, to Mr. Knight. Extra do., to Mr. Read. Yearlings—lst prize, to Mr. Beard. 2nd prize, to Mr. Norman. The Judges in this department were Messrs. J. D. Brittin, J. T. Parkinson, and Robert Chapman. Bulls—there was no competition—the prize was awarded to Mr. Lee. Cows—lst prize to Mr. Murray. 2nd prize, to Mr. Dudley. Heifers—lst prize, to Mr. Dudley. 2nd prize, to Mr. Duncan. Sheep—No competition. Two rams exhibited by Mr. Knight were highly commended. The Judges were Messrs. Caverhill and R. Chapman. Pigs—lst prize, to Mr. W. G. Brittan. 2nd prize, to Mr. Cox. Sows—lst prize, to Mr. Ashby. 2nd prize, to Mr. Parish. Barrow Pigs—lst prize, to Mr. Austin. 2nd prize, to Mr. W. G. Brittau. An extra prize for a pen of 5 pigs was awarded to Mr. J. Brittau ; and also to Mr. Turner, for a sow. The Judges w ere Messrs. J. T. Parkinson, M. Cryer, and w. Packard. Poultry—Dorkins, to Mr. Brittan. " Cochin China, to Mr. Austin. Extra prizes were also awarded to Mr. Allen, for Cochin fowls, and to Mr. Cracroft Wilson, for Indian and Guinea fowls. The judges in this department were Messrs. C. B. Fooks, J. Brosvn, and Rev. 0. Mathias. At 3 o'clock a large number of the members of the Society and visitors sat down to a very substantial dinner which had been provided at (he Golden Fleece. The chair was occupied l>y the President of the Society, W. G. Brittan, Esq., who was supported by His Honor J. E. Fitz Gerald, and the Rev. O. Matliia.s. After the cloth was removed— The Chaibmax proposed in appropriate terms the health of Her Majesty the Queen, which was received with loud applause. This toast was followed by the health of
Prince Albeit, the Prince ot Wales, and the rest of the Royal Family, the chairman briefly alluding to the great interest which his Royal Highness had always felt in the proceedings of similar societies in England, which had shewn itself in his desire to enter the lists in competition with all classes in the production of stock —a competition >vhich he believed had resulted in the greatest good to the country. The Chairman then rose to propose the health of His Excellency the Officer administering the Government, and he called upon the company present to do honour to the toast, not on political grounds, for he desired t,o exclude the consideration, of such subjects upon an occasion such as that which had called them together. He felt, however, that his Excellency's private character stood too high for any one to question, and he had no hesitation in expressing ah opinion that during the brief peiiod he had held his high office, he had studiously endeavoured to the best of his ability to promote the'highest and best iutevests of the colony. The, toast was cordially drunk. The next toast proposed by the Chairman, was thehea,lth of His Honor the Superintendent, Following out his intention to exclude political topics, he was sure that every one present would cordially unite iv doing honor to the toast he had to propose, the health of Mr. Fitz Gerald ; his career had been marked with a studious desire to prqmote their interests, while in his private life, he had the happiness to possess the highest respect and regard of all who came in contact, with him. The toast was drunk with loud cheers.
His Honor briefly returned thanks, and alluded in a humorous speech to his early efforts in agricultural pursuits. He hoped, however, that he might grow in knowledge and experience, and having had the good fortune to become a prizeholder upon the present occasion, he should make a point of endeavouring to improve upon it at the next show.
The Chairman rose and said that it was with no feeling of disrespect that he felt compelled to pass over the toasts usually proposed at meetings of this kind—such as the Army and Navy, the Bishop and Clergy of the Diocese—but there were Jinany who had come from a great distance, and who. were anxious to get away. He expressed great regret that the stockowners had not better responded to their invitation to send down stock for exhibition. Much benefit he was sure would ensue from co-operation upon sucli occasions as those they were assembled to celebrate. He had been informed that the causes were the great difficulty of obtaining labour on the one hand, and the peculiar claims of the season on the other. In order to prevent this for the future, the Committee had it in contemplation to propose"another show in the autumn, and he would therefore be glad to hear the opinions of gentlemen present on the subject —first of all lie would call upon them to do honour to the toast he had proposed.
Mr. Fooks rose to return thanks—he had only recently been called upon to fill the office of their Hon. Sec.: he felt that the object they had in view was a most praiseworthy one, and he would only instance the great benefit which had resulted from the extension of such Societies in England: he hoped that on the next occasion of their Show, they should have the happiness of seeing a greater amount of cordiality and co-operation on the part of the stockowners.
The Chairman then invited gentlemen present to express their opinions on the proposition to alter the period for holding their meeting. If the meeting concurred, the Committee proposed to hold another meeting in March, when prizes would be again offered. Mr. Cokdy stated that it would be desirable to hold a meeting at the time mentioned rather than at the present season, and he would pledge himself to exhibit stock if the time was altered.
Mr. CAVERHiLii said that in the present state of the colony it might possibly be true that March would be the most convenient period, but he Avas of opinion that there was no season of the year equal.to the present for the production of fine stock. This was particularly the case with horses, which were not likely to be in so good condition in the autumn as now.
Dr. Moore concurred in this opinion, when the Chairman called for a show of hands, which was in favour of a meeting in March. The Chairman then proposed the health of the successful candidates and coupled with this toast Jthe health of Mr. Cracroft Wilson, who had done much to promote the production of
first-class stock in the colony. He had gone to great expense in the importation of various kinds of stock from India, and he feared that he must also say at great personal loss. Among the most attractive of these importations was the beautiful Arab they had seen to-day. He had great satisfaction in saying that although Mr. Wilson was about to return to India, he nevertheless intended to become a resident among them.
Mr. Wilson rose to return thanks. He was happy to be among them, and although family engagements required his return to India in the course of a few days, he hoped soon to return to take up his abode; meanwhile he would leave behind a friend to whom he was deeply attached, and one from whom he should for ever regret separating, and he would by permission of the chair, introduce him to the company. Mr. Wilson then brought his Arab horse into the room, amidst the loudest cheers. Much amusement was created by the fears of some of the. company lest the animal would become restive; but amidst all the noise, he stood perfectly passive and quiet, and excited the admiration of every one present.
The Chairman rose to give the health of the Judges; he would connect with this toast the name of Mr. Caverhill. It was a rare instance when gentlemen appointed to the discharge of duties which fall to the lot] of judges were found to give satisfaction to all parties ; he believed they had done so to-day, and that there was not a difference of opinion on the subject, among them. The toast having been duly honoured,
Mr. Oaverhilt, rose to return thanks, and expressed his great pleasure at the unanimity which existed among them ; he regretted that the amount of stock was not larger, but ie could be only accounted for in the way which they had. heard. He thought that the rams they had seen were most creditable to the colony^ and he congratulated the owner upon possessing them.
His Honor, J. E. Fitz Gerald, then rose to propose the health of the_ President of the Society ; he was sure that every one would adr mit, that it was impossible for any gentleman U> labour more zealously than he had done in the, promotion of the interest of agriculture. The Society owed its rise and its progress entirely to Mr. Brittan's indefatigable exertionsj and "lie hoped that his health would long be spared to preside over them.
Mr. Brixtan returned thanks, and said that it would give him the greatest pleasure to aid in the furtherance of every object that would conduce to the interest of his fellow colonists. His energies could not be better used than in the promotion of the objects of the Society. The company then separated, well pleased with the entertainment which had been provided by the proprietors of the Golden Fleece, of whom it is but due to say that every exertion was made conducive to. the comfort of their visitors. In concluding our brief report of this interesting meeting, we cannot refrain from adding that it would tend greatly to enhance the value of these annual gatherings, as well as to give a more practical usefulness to the Society, if its Committee of Management could persuade some practical and experienced person to give a brief lecture upon some leading feature of Colonial agriculture.. We have among us many ' who have gone upon the land'and who far from being practical farmers,to them the consideration of almost any subject based'upon'practical acquaintance and Colonial experience, would be of vital interest, while it would have a tendency to enhance the importance of the Society. Akaroa.—We have to announce the lame D.-* table suicide of Joseph Zillwood, formerly Constable of Akaroa, and lately occupying the ferry house. On Friday the 13th inst., the unfortunate man escaped the vigilance of some persons watching him, and deliberately shot himself, discharging a small pistol, loaded with ball, in his mouth. He lingered in great agony, although sensible, till Thursday last, about 11 o'clock in the morning. An inquest will be held on the body this day.
Akaroa Bridle Road.—We learn from a correspondent, that the track which is now being cut along the line of the Akaroa Bridle Road is opened throughout as a foot-road, although there are many places which will be impassable for horsemen until the obstructions have been removed by blasting.
Permanent link to this item
CHRISTCHURCH., Lyttelton Times, Volume IV, Issue 206, 21 October 1854
CHRISTCHURCH. Lyttelton Times, Volume IV, Issue 206, 21 October 1854
Using This Item
See our copyright guide for information on how you may use this title.