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OBITUARY.

THE LATE MR. F. U. GLEDHILL. Onb by one those who took an active part in the colonisation of this settlement are passing from amongst us ; whilst old age has set its visible impress on many others who are still spared. In a very few years the number will be small of those who took part in the first settlement of the Colony, who bore the heat and burden of the day, and of whose brave deeds and steady perseverance all later comers have reaped nnd are reaping 1 tho benefit. Already they belong to si past generation, and a new generation as their successors are springing up to replace them. In the death of the late Mr. F. U. Gledhill, which took place on Monday night, another old colonist has passed from the already lessening band. The deceased gentleman has for some three or four years been an invalid, and, although his death has for a long time been expected, when the news of his demise became known yesterday, it was received with unaffected regret by those who had known him in the past. Francis UiiLATHOBNE Gledhill was born at Halifax, Yorkshire, in the year 1803 ; and, as a young man, took an active part in the reform agitations which were going on in England during the early part of the present century. On the 27th May, 1844, Mr. Gledhill arrived in the ship Bella Marina at New Plymouth, where he set up in business as a storekeeper. He also started the first tanning works in the place, the tan pits being where the Criterion Hotel now stands. In 1848, ho paid a visit to England, where he delivered several lectures on New Zealand; and, having been married, he left again for the Colonies, coming out in 1851 in the ship Woodstock, bound for Melbourne. He visited Sydney, and then came on to New Plymouth, where he resumed his business as auctioneer and merchant. Mr. Gledhill was always foremost in public matters, and when in 1854 the New Zealand Constitution Act came into force he was elected the first representative for the Town of New Plymouth in the General Assembly, and was again re-elected for the House in 1865. He was a member of the Provincial Council from the day it was inaugurated until within a year of the Provinces being abolished, resigning then merely through ill-health. Ho was a Justice of the Peace, and member of most of the local Boards, being one of the original memberß of the Harbour Board when it was first created. When, in 18G1, there was a disturbance with the natives he served as a volunteer in a Mounted Corps. He was the first to encourage local industries, and he was unsparing of neither time or money to further their interest. He was a warm-hearted and thoroughly straightforward man, and many there are in the place who owe their present position to the assistance he rendered them in the first start, or to the helping hand he was always ready to hold out to those who required it. Mr. Gledhill was a staunch Nonconformist, and a teetotaller. He leaves a widow, and a daughter who is married to Mr. G. D. Hamerton, solicitor, at Patea. His funeral will take place to-morrow (Thursday), at 2 o'clock, at which hour it will leave his late residence for the cemetery. We are informed by the Telegraph Department that the Palmerston office (County of Waikouaiti) will be closed on Sundays and public holidays. The Hon. Mr. Dick, Colonial Secretary, arrived by the steamer Hawea this morning from Auckland, haying some departmental details to attend to here. He will, on his departure, proceed overland to Wanganui, and then on to Wellington. Mr. Angelo Forrest, the most accomplished musician in new Zealand, is on a visit to New Plymouth, and will, on Monday next, give one of his recitals, which will be sure to be well attended. A public meeting will be held at the Court-house this evening, at 8 o'clock, for the purpose of discussing matters in connection with tho new Public Hall. His Worship the Mayor will take the chair. The B.s. Hawea, Captain Kennedy, arrived at 6 a.m. to-day, having left Manu kau yesterday, at 11.45 a.m. She encountered heavy south-west wind, with considerable head sea throughout. In our report of the Borough Council yesterday, the name of Mr. Bellringer, as the proposer of the grant to the Recreation Ground, was inserted instead of Mr. Cock. Captain Barry has returned to New Plymouth after a tour round Mount Egmont. He has visited and lectured at the chief settlements, and now announces that he will lecture at Waitara on Friday evening. We have been requested to state that Volunteers intending to attend the New Zealand Rifle Association Meeting at Dunedin, and requiring free railway passages, must send in their names to tho Secretary of the Association before Friday, the 20th October. The Juvenile Fancy Dress Ball was held last night, at the Masonic Hall, and was a great success. About 250 persons were present, and the dresses of the children were exceptionally well got up and attractive. We are compelled to hold over our report until to-morrow ; and, as we purpose publishing a list of all the children present, we would request parents to furnish us, not later than 11 a.m. to-morrow, with the names of the children who were present, and the coslumes worn by them. At the meeting of the Borough Council on Monday evening, the Town Clerk read a list of subscriptions received in New Plymouth in aid of the Timaru disaster, amounting to £6 Bs. ; and also an acknowledgment with thanks from the Committee at Timaru. This amount does not appear very large, but it compares very favourably with the amount subscribed in Auckland, which was only £7 7s. The Committee of the Benevolent Society held their monthly meeting last evening. Present: Archdeacon Govett (Chairman), Messrs. Richmond, George, C. W. Govett, and Mis. Crompton. The business trimsacted was of the ordinary nature. The Secretary reported that since the last meeting arrangements had been made for the adoption of two children hitherto maintained at the public expense. The Gomniittee find the demand for old clothing much greater than tho supply, and trust that the public will send some of their discarded winter clothes to tho depOt at Ml 1 . J. 0. Goorgo'B.

THE RACECOUESE RESEEVE. | A deputation from the Jockey Club, tho Cricket Club, and the Agricultural Society i waited on the Borough Council on Monday I evening, and asked the Council to reconsider its decision re the draft submitted to it by tho Government for approval, granting the Racecourse Reserve to the Borough for recreative purposes. Mr. Standisii said that the deputation had met to confer with the Council on the subject of the reserve known as the racecourse. The deputation desired that tho Council'should reconsider the matter, and he hoped to lay before the Council facts in connection with the reserve that probably were not known to the Council previously, but before entering into the main question he desired to guard the deputation from any wrong impression which might be inferred from their present action. It must be distinctly understood that the deputation did not admit any right or power in the Council to repudiate their rights, and the object of the deputation in appearing before them was to endeavour to induce the Council to f acilitate- the issuing of the grant for the reserve known as the racecourse, in the form of the grant as submitted to them by Government for approval. The reserve had been enjoyed for thirty years by the people as a racecourse, cricket ground; &c. By an Act of the Provincial Council in 1867, the right of the people to use the reserve for horse-racing and cricket was recognised, and it was changed by that Act from an education endowment to a borough endowment, subject to the right of the people to use it as a racecourse and cricLet ground. He would remind the Council that it was under this Ordinance that the Council claimed its title to the reserve, and the same Ordinance distinctly recognises the right of the public to use the ground for the purposes mentioned. If the Act were invalid, then the Borough had no right to the reserve; but if it Wiis valid, then the public clearly had a right to use the reserve for horse-racing and cricket. There was no dividing the two things: if the right of the Jockey Club and Cricket Clubs was not valid, then the right of the Council was also invalid. The two must stand or fall together. Tho next Act dealing with the reserve was an Ordinance passed by the Provincial Council in 1871, which repealed the act of 18G7, but re-enacts the clauses which secured the endowment for the Borough and the right to the public to use the reserve for cricketing apd horseracing. In 1875 the Abolition Act was passed, which vests this reserve in Her Majesty, subject to the same purposes and objects, and under the same conditions, as it was previously held. The next Act which affects this reserve is " The Municipal Corporations Act, 187(5," which expressly provides that lands which have become vested in the Governor under the Abolition Act may be granted by him to tho Corporation of the Borough, but not contrary to any Act or Ordinance affecting such lands, thus providing for the protection of the rights of the public in this reserve as recognised by the Provincal Ordinance, as it also provides in like manner for and guards their endowment rights therein. That was the legal position of the endowment, and it was evident that the Jockey Club and Cricket Club had a right to use the reserve as mentioned in the trust. It was true that the Council had received a legal opinion from Mr. Traveri?, of Wellington, ndversc to the rights of the public to use the reserve for horse-racing and cricket, but he thought that Mr. Travers had lost sight of the main point, no doubt from the manner in which the case had been stated to him. The case had been stated in connection with the leasing powers of the Borough, and the rights of the Jockey Club and the Cricket Club had not been brought specially under his notice as permanent rights, as recognised by the Provincial Act. It was certain that if the Jockey Club had no right to the reserve on account of the Act being invalid, then the lease granted under the Provincial Ordinance was also invalid ; but, strange and inconsistent as it may appear, Mr. Travers while deeming the lease given under the Ordinance valid, and the endowment to the Borough under the Ordinance valid, yet the other rights given under the same Act were invalid. But setting aside the legal aspect of the case, he would urge upon them the advisability of dedicating this ground to the purposes of recreation. It was generally thought that the ground was required for one purpose only — horse racing — and that the Jockey Club were trying to get possession of the reserve for themselves ; but that was not the case. The ground was also required for the use of the Agricultural Society and the Cricket Clubs. It would be an invaluable ground for purposes of recreation for the young men and youths of this place. On that ground alone he considered it was desirable that the land should be set apart for the use and enjoyment of the public. But there was also another reason of great importance, viz., that the Agricultural Society might use it for the purpose of holding its different Shows and Exhibitions. It was a great advantage to New Plymouth to encourage Agricultural Shows, as by that means it induced the country settlers 1 to come to New Plymouth and transact their business. If on the contrary the Council discouraged such Societies the y e were other towns to which the Societies could go and.hold their annual shows, and New Plymouth would consequently lose ground in the march of progress. If, therefore, New Plymouth is to keep its position among the towns, agricultural and kindred societies should be encouraged, to meet there. He hoped, therefore, that the Council would approve of the draft grant as recommended and submitted by the Government. Mr. Paul said he had read over the correspondence with reference to the proposed grant, and he found that Mr. Rolleston was quite in accord with tho Crown grant as proposed to be issued. He also read extracts from Truth showing the advantage of grounds being set aside for recreation purposes, and that in England in towns where there had not been sufficient reserves for public domains, several towns had expended large sums in purchasing land for public resort and recreation. Mr. Roc.ERS said that several years ago cricket in New Plymouth had died a natural death, owing to the want of: a suitable cricket ground. The Cricket Club which had been formed recently had gone to considerable expense in making a good ground on the racecourse reserve, and they would do more, only they were not satislied with the tenure of the ground. Some peoplo had stated that Poverty l'lat was suitable for a cricket ground, but such persons had a very limited knowledge of the game, or they would not hazard such a statement. Why, if the Australian team were to play on Poverty Flat they would

send the ball spinning along the Devon Line. The only suitable site at an easy distance from town was the racecourse reserve, and if they were prevented from using that ground they might as well give up cricket altogether. Mr. Humphries moved, " That with regard to the Racecourse Reserve, this Council, after further consideration, approves of the grant to be issued, as drafted." Mr. Davis seconded the motion. Mr. Bellringer moved an amendment, " That as the present lease of the Borough reserve known as the racecourse does not expire for some 3'ears to come, this Council declines under any circumstances to interfere with the above reserve until the expiration of the present lease or until such lease is unconditionally surrendered, and that the reserve be Crown granted to the Bornugh free from all encumbrances." Mr. Nicoll seconded the motion. Mr. Humphries said that the Council had nothing to do with the question of the legality of the draft grant ; the AttorneyGeneral was responsible for that. The Council should only consider whether or not it was desirable to devote the reserve to the use of the public for recreation. Mr. Bellringer complained that the matter had not been fairly placed before the Council by Mr. Standish and Mr. Paul. Neither of those gentlemen had told them that the Jockey Club had gone to the Government in the first instance, and brought pressure to bear on the Government to draft the proposed grant. The draft had been drawn up from the dictation of those gentlemen. He was strongly of opinion that the reserve should be kept free of all encumbrances for the benefit of the streets of the Borough. Mr. Standish had laid great stress on the ground being used by the Cricket Club and Agricultural Society, but he (Mr. B.) was con%*inced that those bodies would have no voice in the matter I if the Jockey Club once got hold of the I reserve. He contended the reserve was very unsuitable for horse-racing, as it was too exposed to the public streets, and accidents were liable to happen. The amendment proposed by Mr. Bellringer was then put, and carried on the following division : — Ayes (6) : Messrs. Nicoll, King, Cock, Sheppec, Bellringer, and B.iyl}'. Noes (2) : Messrs. Davis and Humphries. Mr. Humphries gave notice that ho would resign his seat at the Council.

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Bibliographic details

OBITUARY., Taranaki Herald, Volume XXX, Issue 4154, 4 October 1882

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2,656

OBITUARY. Taranaki Herald, Volume XXX, Issue 4154, 4 October 1882

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