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PUBLIC MEETING,

A Meeting was held at the Nelson Court House on Friday evening last, in accordance with a requisition advertised the, same day, to take into consideration the decision of the Select Committee with respect to the choice of a Cemetery site, and also to recommend the Superintendent to stay the pending decision; which would be confirmed by the meeting of the Committee on the next day. Shortly after seven o'clock the Court House wa9 so closely crowded, that many persons were unable to reach the interior. H. E. Curtis, Esq., was unanimously voted to the chair, and opened the proceedings by reading the advertisement Imd inviting discussion in .the question before them. Mr. I. M. Hill said it was a subject that concerned them all—both rich and poor. First one cemetery had been abandoned, and then another, and now it was sought to do away with a third without the consent of the public. He knew there were many who objected to have part of their family buried in one cemetery and part in another, and he considered that if removed again, it should be to a spot that would answer pennant1 ntly. He had sen the two sections under offer as a cemetery, and did not hesitate to avow his opinion, that if the cemetery must be on the Wakapuaka Road, Bradshaw's section was the best adapted for the purpose; and besides, was the public constantly to be put to the expense and inconvenience of changing their place of sepulture? With respect to the choice of the ground, he said that he could not understand how any one in their senses, if they had seen both sections that_ had come under the consideration of the committee, could have shut their eyes to the fact of Mr. Bradshaw's being vastly superior to the one that would be decided upon on the next day, according to the majority of one in the committee appointed for the selection. The speaker had walked up both the plots; the section rejected was really available for the purposes contemplated ; the other one was notoriously otherwise, so much so, that it did not. contain more than five or six acres of ground that were available for the purpose of sepulture. It was also unsuitable in consequence of the water courses that traversed the section. It was advisable that a permanent position should be chosen, and not for the public to be obliged to make little plots of burying grounds all over the place; and he thought the feeling of the public ought to be consulted upon a matter.so intimately connected with their convenience and feelings ; at all events, if they took into consideration the acknowledged necessity there was for public interference, with the consequences that would ensue upon the decision of the committee coming into e ff ec t—if they remembered that other and more eligible land might be offered for the acceptance of. the Government, that at all events the question of time was not such a matter of urgent necessity that the selection of this committee should be immediately adopted, especially when it was at variance with the wishes of (he public. He would beg to propose the following resolution : —

" That in the opinion of this meeting, the site chosen by the committee appointed to'examine the question as to where a new public cemetery should be placed, is not in accordance with the feelings of the inhabitants of the city of Nelson and suburban dis tricts ; and they therefore beg his Honor the Superintendent to withhold his assent to that decision until fnrther measures be taken to procure a more appropriate si'e, as the subject is not of such pressing importance as to require an immediate decision."

Mr. Rankin had much pleasure in seconding the resolution just read, and must say that lie was completely surprised by the decision come to by the committee appointed to consider this question. He had no hesitation in calling it a shameful.1 selection, for the public interest had been entirely lost sight of in this matter; he thought from beginning to end there had been something like three cemeteries, and the Council had no right to keep shifting the cemetery sites. He thought, as member for the town, Dr. Renwiclc had acted most incorrectly in voting for his own ground in the manner he had done, and did not think Dr. Monro was over-clean in the affair; there had been some persons going about trying to persuade people that the section chosen from the twe before the public was the best of the two ; but he believed the opinion was influenced, or rather, occasioned, by their having partaken of certain dinners which had been the main cause of such indecent advocacy. He was sorry to see that there appeared to have been two Scotchmen on the Committee; and he was.really almost ashamed to identify himself with the same countrymen after what had transpired. (Much laughter.) He begged to second the resolution. The Chairman then read the resolution, which was carried without one hand on the contrary. Mr. CkompTon proposed the following ... ■• MRMORIttIi. That in the opinion of ■thfs'meeting, the site chosen by the Committee appointed to examine the question as to where a new public Cemetery should be placed is not in accordance with the feelings of the inhabitants of the City of Nelson and Suburban distnets, and they therefore beg his Honor the Superintendbiit to withhold his assent.-to that decision until further measures be taken to procure a more appropriate site, as the'subject now is not of such pressing importance as to require an immediate decision. •

Mr. M'Gan<3on seconded, and said that the decision come to by the committee in this affair was execrable. They did not want to biivy their dead amongst stones or make catacombs. Supposh.g that any one present had just arrived in the country and required farming ground—which of these sections would he prefer? Why, of course, the plot not chosen. Now, the ground that was most suitable for tillage or farming, was also the necessary ground for a cemetery ; and it would be idle to dwell upon the respective merits of the two sections, when it was so evident to all that had seen them, which was the most proper for the purpose. Yet, in opposition to this evident advantage, the decision had been such as would justify the public in interfering in the case; and to remember that Dr. Monro had also figured prominently in the Wairau separation question, identifying himself with it in a way that was entirely inconsistent with his position as member for the town of Nelson. ' There was, after all, only a majority of one in the votes of the committee in favor of Dr. Renwick's section, and that was his own vote. Mr. Sharp's vote might also be well objected to, considering the equivocal position he stood in with respect to some late correspondence on the question. ( Hear, hear.) He would second the adoption of the memorial.

The Chairman then put the memorial, which was unanimously carried. Mr. T. Askew moved, seconded by Mr. Rax* kin— " That the memorial lie afc ouco submitted for tlio signatures of the persons tliun proaent.-and that the memorial to bis Honor the Superintendent be left for j-ignatnre until U o'clock the following day, and then be presented by the chairman of ibis meeting to his Honor Urn Superintendent." Carried unanimously. Mr. Ckojipton then moved, seconded by Mr. G o Takr— " That in the opinion of this meeting, a public meeting should be held on Wednesday, July 20th, to consider the vote of Dr. Renwick in his two positions, viz., that of town member, and that of owner of the property offered as a site for a public cemetery; and that Ibis resolution be advertised in both the provincial journals." Carried unanimously. Many signatures having been attached to the memorial, after a vote of thanks to the Chairman, the meeting broke up, having been occupied but a short time, in consequence of a total absence of opposition to the proposed measures, which were in every case unanimous. .On the following day (Saturday) the memorial was conveyed by those deputed to do so to his Honor the Superintendent, bearing nearly one hundred signatures.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/TC18590719.2.9

Bibliographic details

PUBLIC MEETING,, Colonist, Volume II, Issue 182, 19 July 1859

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1,383

PUBLIC MEETING, Colonist, Volume II, Issue 182, 19 July 1859

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