The Marlborough Express. PUBLISHED EVERY EVENING. Monday, March 22, 1897. VALEDICTORY.
♦ Thb announcement of the departure of Mr Charles Bedwood, late of Biverlande, to Queensland will not oome as a surprise to many of his immediate frieeds, as it has been known for some time past that he contemplated joining his sona m the malting business m that colony. Mr Bedwood leaves the Wairau m the course of the next fortnight under engagement to organise, supervise, and carry on a large malting businesp, about to be entered upon by an influential syndioate m Queensland. As a rule we do not devote our leading column? to personal matter, but m this instance it would ill become us, as the mouthpieoe of the district, to allow a gentleman who has spent tbirty-Bix years of the best of his life amongst us, and who has gratuitously rendered more services m many publio capaoi« ties throughout that period than any living resident m the place, to depart without at least plaoing on record our Bppreoiation of his publia services rendered willingly and disinterestedly for the benefit of the district. It is only those who have for a long period been intimately associated with him m the carrying oat of local works who know how anxiously and painstakingly he has worked, and the harassment he has had to contend with m overcoming the conflicting intereßtß met with m connection with our rivers conservation alone, Space does not admit of our entering at any great length into the merits of the subjoot under notioe, and we can only epitomise the more prominent publio undertakings m whioh Mr Bedwood baß been conspicuously engaged. He was eleoted, and sat for two years as a member of the Provincial Council of Marlborough, and retired from that position when the abolition of provinces took plaoe m 1874. Closely watching the threatened encroaohment of the Wairau Biver m the Opawa overflow, and the abortive attempt to close the " breaoh" at an immense looal expense to the distriot, Mr Bedwood saw the absolute neoeeßity for farther legislation m connection with the conservation of larger river?, and was mainly instrumental m getting the Elvers Board Aot of 1874 passed into law, Upon its introduction he was eleoted as a member of the Board, and has oooupied that position for 16 years; 10 yeare of whioh he presided as chairman. The many and various schemes presented for dealing with the rapdiy increasing inundations having praotioally proved failures, Mr Bedwood at length introduced the wire dam system, and Burrounded by almost overwhelming opposition, with juat a narrow majority of the Board, succeeded m turning the Omaka Biver water, whioh on a Blight rainfall flooded the town of Blen« heim, into the Opawa. Other important works speedily followed, notably the oonservation of Leary'a Breaoh, the breach at MoCallum'e, the conservation of the Opawa from the railway bridge to Leary's, and laßt, but not least, the bold attempt to divert the main breaoh ol the Opawa back into the Wairau Biver, its legitimate channel. This last diversion, had it been carried out, would have freed the town of Blenheim from floods for all time. The Spring Creek Board, however, obtained an injunction from the Supreme Court, and the work as a conßequenoe was disaon* tinued, Then again m 1882, when the entire navigation of the Opawa was subpended for week?, and the looal river steamer s.s. Napier was taken out of the Blenheim and Wellington trade, which was praotioally abandoned owing to the formation of a larger bank of silt, known bb " The Flats," at the oonfluenoe of the Wairan and Opawa riverß, Mr Bedwood, with well-grounded experience, and having a high and responsible sense of his duty as chairman of the Biver Board, at his own personal expense, proceeded to Wellington and interviewed Sir Harry Atkinson, then Premier, on the matter. That gentlemen stated that the Government had already obtained the opinion of two of their most practical engineer?, who, after having made elaborate plans, bad assured the Government that the position of the Opawa stood side by Bide with a like trouble m the Wanganui river, and that it would take Borne thousands of pounds to improve " the flats " so as to again render the river navigable ; a sum so large that the Government determined not to reoommend the outlay, and the trade must go to Pioton. Mr Bedwood urged his wire dam soheme, whiob he undertook to complete at a oost not exceeding £300. It was not until Mr Bedwood had agreed to oonatruofc the work at his own personal expense, and to its undergoing inspection and approval at the hands of the Government engineers who had already reported on a very expensive undertaking being neoessary to overcome the diffioulty, that the Premier promised to provide £400 for the work. Had the work proved a non-
uocess, the whole of the oost of conatiuoion would necessarily have falen on Mr ledwood. The work was completed within wo months at a oost of £296, and the lalanoe of the grant was expended m emoving dangerous snags from the river. Che cutting of Foster's Channel, too, as an mtcome of Mr Redwood's farseeing enterprise, ie an undertaking worthy of more ban paßßing notioe, and bad that soheme jeen as vigorously prosecuted as it ough', Blenheim would have been largely benefited without at that time injuring anyone on lue and just compensation being paid m return for th 3 land taken. As member for [.he Omaka Road Board, and for very many fears its Chairman, Mr Redwood has displayed more than ordinary ability and enterprise, and we think it will be readily sonoedod that to him almost solely is due Ihe oredit of having, as Chairman of that body, obtained grants and oarried success- j fully through the opening of the Redwood Pasß Road. The demands on Mr Redwood's lime did not end there. In addition to the duties enumerated, he aoted as J.P., President of the Baoiog Olnb, President of the Agricultural Society, and is now a member of the Domain and Hospital Boards. On his departure it is not too muoh to say that at many a publio board, as well as m many private oirolee, his genial presenoe will be mißsed. With Mr Redwood'B private life we have little to do, except to say that as one of our most prominent agriculturists he was for many years a large and liberal employer of labor, and spent over £35,000 m reclaiming and beautifying the large estate of Biverlande, where all his numerous family were born. The ravages of the rabbit pest, the fall m wool, the high and ever-inoreasing rate of interest, aooompanied by the finanoial blizzard that swept over the Colony some five or six years ago. oiippled Mr Redwood, together with many similar enterprising Bottlers, and Riverlands farm and run fell a prey to •' money-bags." Of late years Mr Redwood has devoted his time chiefly to malting, a business he has oarried on m conjunction with his agtioultural pursuits for very many years. In racing circles Mr Redwood is by no means unknown, be having for many years maintained a stud for racing purposes within the Colony, and m the New Zealand Stud Book oan be traoed the names of many excellent horeeß bred, and trained at Riverlands. Marlborougb, m losing Mr Redwood, contributes largely towards the distriot he has chosen to reside m m the oolony of Queensland. No matter where he oaßts his lot, the experience he has acquired as a colonist, his intimate knowledge of local government affaire, and, if settled m a distriot subjeot to the ravages of mountain torrents and inundation?, his praotioal and lengthened experience of river conservation, must stand him m good Btead. It is an open seoret that Mr Redwood was earnestly solioited by a large number of his friends to contest the Wairau seat for the House of Representatives at the last oleotion, and, bad he not already deoided upon leaving the Colony, he would m all probability be the member elect for Wairau at the present time. We are exoeedingly glad to notice that an influential committee has taken m hand and circulated lists of subscribers to a fond for the purpose of presenting Mr Eedwood with a testimonial prior to his departure, "m consideration of his long, arduous, useful, and gratuitous servioes to Marl* borough and to the Wairau m many publio capacities dnring a period extending over thirty-six years," It iB not too much to a6k that, m generous consideration, the distriot will rise to the ocoasion, and recognise his devotion during his best years and energies of bis life to publio institutions, whioh must have woefully interfered with his pecuniary prospeota and advancement. No one but be upon whom the duty has already devolved knowa the toil and sacrifice of leading the vanguard of 'progressive ideas. Already a substantial sum has been cheerfully subscribed, whioh we hope to see considerably augmented during the current week. As a worthy member of a renowned pioneer family, inoluding Mr Henry Redwood ("the Father of the New Zealand Turf"), Mr Thomas Redwood, and tho Right Reverend Arohbishop Redwood, Charles Redwood haß, by muoh painstaking earnestness m the proseoution of looal publio works, deserved well at the hands of the people ot Marlborough.
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The Marlborough Express. PUBLISHED EVERY EVENING. Monday, March 22, 1897. VALEDICTORY., Marlborough Express, Volume XXXII, Issue 68, 22 March 1897
The Marlborough Express. PUBLISHED EVERY EVENING. Monday, March 22, 1897. VALEDICTORY. Marlborough Express, Volume XXXII, Issue 68, 22 March 1897
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