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THE MAYORALTY ELECTION.

The polling for the election of Mayor for the Municipality of Oamaru for the year ending 1st August, 1877, took place yesterday, and from 9 a.m., the hour of opening the poll, until 4 p.m., the time of closing, cabs, buggies, and expresses bearing placard! exhorting the electors to "Vote for Steward" or to "Vote for Falconer," according to the respective proclivities of the burgesses, were busy rolling about the streets in quest of laggards, and for the convenience of the electors generally. Both sides appeared pretty confident of success, and while many of Mr Steward's supporters worked quietly and steadily there was decidedly more bustle and generally harder work on Mr Falconer's side, the supporters of that gentleman straining every nerve to place him at the head of the poll. Tow ards 4 o'clock they were confident of assured success, and those sportingly inclined freely offered odds on their man up to 3, and even 4 to 1. But as the event proved they had reckoned without their host, for the final result of the poll placed Mr Steward 35 votes ahead. Throughout the contest, though thero was not a little excitement, the utmost good humor prevailed, and we have never seen a similar occasion where there was a more complete absence of anything like personalities. Shortly after 4 o'clock a large crowd had assembled outside the Council Chambers, but it was more than an hour before the result could be made known, the expectant public Ailing up the interval with chaffing and joking, guessing, speculating, and giving or taking odds. At A". 20 the Returning Officer declared the result of the poll to be as follows :— W. J. Steward 263 J. Falconer 228 Majority for Steward ... 35 He therefore declared Mr William Jukes Steward duly elected Mayor of Oamaru for the year ending 1st August, 1877. The announcement was received with loud and continued cheering. Mr Steward said : Fellow eitizens, you have this day elected me to the highest position which it is in your power as citizens of Oamaru to confer, and you have my heartiest thanks for the honor you have done mo, as you shall have during the term of my office my heartiest endeavors to promote the progress and well-being of the town. It shall be my aim to preserve and keep the confidence which you have shown in mo this day — a confidence whioh my predecessor possessed from the beginning to the end of his Mayoral year, and which I trust I, also, shall iu like manner enjoy until the end of the term for which you have eleoted me. When I last addressed you on a somewhat similar ocoason I occupied the position of a defeated candidate, but I was persuaded then, nay, I knew, that your difference with me was merely a difference in political opinion ; and that I had not lost, as I had not forfeited your esteem and confidence as a man and a oitizen. You have proved this to-day, and I reiterate that it shall be my endeavor to show that that confidence is not misplaced. Turn and turn about is fair play; and as I was beaten the last time I sought your suffrages, it was only fair that I should win this time. (Laughter and oheers.) So far as I have seen, this contest has been fairly fought ; my opponent, as & gentleman who had represented you in the Council for six years, had every right to aspire to the position of your Mayor, and the large number of votes he polled leaves him in a very honorable position. Those gentlemen who have recorded their votes in my favor I thank for their support, and those who have conscientiously voted against me I also thank, for doing their duty as oitizens according to the best of their judgment. But as, when I and those who supported me were beaten in a recent contest, we took our defeat with a good grace, with a like good grace must the minority submit to their defeat of to-day. (Cheers.) There were loud cries of " Falconer." Mr Falconer then oame forward, and said : Gentlemen. — I appear before you now as a defeated candidate, nevertheless things have always a beginning, and 12 months hence I may again appear before you in the reverse position, vis., that of a successful candidate. Although defeated, I am not altogether beaten, and I can assure you, gentlemen, that I can take my beating with a good grace, for it affords me a great amount of satisfaction to be beaten by a man like Mr Steward, a trained and tried man in politics. Having polled within 35 votes of my opponent. I consider that I am not disgracefully beaten. The contest has been conducted honestly, and with good feeling on both sides, and now that Mr Steward has been eleoted, I can tell you, gentlemen, that I believe he will do his duty to the town and neighborhood. Since I have been beaten by a gentleman of such well known ability, I take the beating with a good grace. I have now to thank all those of you who recorded their votes in my favor, and as the result rested with

youmelTes, I sincerely hope you will all b« satUBed. (Chests.) On the motion of Mr Falconer. seconded by Mr Steward, a vote of thanks wm passed to the Returning OfSoer, and the proceedings terminated. The great interest that was taken in the event is sufficiently shown by the fact that out of 767 votes on the roll, from which deduct 49 for known absentees, leaving 718 possible votes, no less thin 091, or adding 9 informal votes, 600 votes were recorded, being 85 per cent, of the whole roll.

Jetty Ward Severn Ward Thames Ward High Ward Steward 78 77 53 61 1 Falconer, 85 81 70 42 268 228 Majority, 85.

The following was the result of the Dolling by Wards: —

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NOT18760722.2.9

Bibliographic details

THE MAYORALTY ELECTION., North Otago Times, Volume XXIV, Issue 1334, 22 July 1876

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999

THE MAYORALTY ELECTION. North Otago Times, Volume XXIV, Issue 1334, 22 July 1876

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