MR H. J. GREENSLADE INSTALLED AS MAYOR.
I i i i ■\ Pursuant to the provisions of the ' Municipal Corporations Aot, Mr H. J. < Greenslade was installed as Mayor, at noon to-day, atthe Borough Council ; Chambers. " ■ • i The retiring Mayor W. Scott) presided and there were also present Grs Badford, Wood, Menzies, Trembath, Poulgrain and Foy, while apologies were received for the unavoidable absence of Orsßurch, Clark and Davey.« The retiring Mayor said he was glad he had had twelve months in which to gain that experience of men and things which he could not have acquired had he not occupied a place as tha head of a local body. During his term of office he had received the most courteous treatment and the heartiest support from the Councillors. As his term had expired he would introduce the new Mayor. On the motion of Cr Poulgrain seconded by Cr Foy, Cr Badford was elected as installing officer. The retiring Mayor then introduced Mr Greenslade (who was received with hearty applause), saying: I present to you the new Mayor who has been elected to act as Chiei Magistrate of the Thames for the ensuing twelve months. Mr Greenslade th9n took the customary. oaths, and afterwards assumed the Mayoral Chair. Cr Badford addressing the Mayor said: Mr Mayor-: It gives me great pleasure indeed to most heartily congratulate you upon the high honor which has been conferred upon you to«day by the burgesses of the Thames. The honor to which they have seen fit to elect you is the highest that is in their power^o give, and the knowledge of this must be a great pleasure to yourself and the Mayoress, and more especially when it is taken into consideration that in contesting this election against the Mayor, you were opposing a gentleman who has been for years connected with this Council, and who is one of the most populai tradesmen on the Thames. The victory you achieved "by such s substantial majority must be exceed ingly gratifying to you, but there if one word here which I would like U give to you, which Mr Benshaw gav< me when I first entered the Counci nearly 14 years ago, when I wai returned with a large majority, and i was this : that perhaps I would nevei have such a majority again, as . would be sure to make some enemie
if I were determined to do my duty. This I hare found to be the case. It must also be exceedingly gratifying to you when you recall the fact, that you are the first one, cradled at the Thames, upon whom your fellow citizens have conferred such a marked, distinction as electing you as the Chief Magistrate of the Thames, and I believe I am also correct in saying that you are the youngest gentleman who will be in* stalled into such an honorable position throughout New Zealand today, so that you should feel doubly proud of the honor conferred upon you. lv conclusion I would say: be true to the tiust which the burgesses have placed in your hands, so that at tbe expiration of your term you will be able to say, as the Hon. Mr Oadman said on Monday night, that there was nothing left undone that he had promised, and no pledge left unfulfilled. May you live long to enjoy the honors conferred on you, and let your motto be : "Be just and fear not,' and thea all will be i well with you. Again I congratulate you on the high honors which have been paid to you to-day by the burgesses of the Thames. Cr. Treuabath offered his congratulations to and welcomed the incoming Mayor, and stated that he could be assured of his hearty support in any matter that he might bring forward in the interests of the Borough generally. Or Foy said he congratulated the exMayor upon being relieved from the duties of his office, and sympathised witii the incoming Mayor for the work he had to undertake. He would support the new Mayor in any proposals which he felt would be for the good of the Borough generally and the South Ward in particular. Cr Wood said that although he voted against the n9w Mayor, still he was prepared to support him if his proposals were in his (Cr Wood's) opinion, for the best interests of the ratepayers. If he did not think they
were, then he should use his own judgment as to how he voted. He ex-
tended a hearty welcome to Mr Greenslade as the Chief Magistrate of the Thames. He pointed out that the incoming Mayor had an advantage over the retiring Mayor, as he had a Lady Mayoress. The present Mayor would have someone who would be of great assistance to him, and who, he hoped, would guide him in the right track. (Laughter and applause-; Crs Poulgrain and Menziea also congratulated the Mayor upon his election to the office, and hoped the Council and Mayor would all work together for the best interests of the burgesses. The Mayor (Mrri. J. Greenslade) said: You will pardon me if I at once express to you the great pleasure I feel in being installed into the very honorable office of Mayor of this Borough, and my thanks to you for attending to administer the necessary declaration. And I would like to take advantage of this oppartunity to return my most sincere thanks to the burgesses of the Thames for the confidence they have placed in me in electing me to the Chief Magistracy of the Thames, more especially when it is taken into consideration, as pointed out by Cr Radford, that I have never previously held any public position, though I think I can fairly claim that I have always taken a keen interest in all matter? pertaining to the welfare of this goldheld, The honour conferred , upon me is still more gratifying because I have been cradled at the Thames and have grown up amongst you, and ' though therefore being thoroughly acquainted with my shortcomings the burgesses have thought fit to thus honour me- I can, however, con scientiously say that I am thoroughly acquainted with the history and requirements of the district, and it shall be my aim to profit by the experience of the past and to labour earnestly and zealously in doing everything possible to assist in the progress of the Borough and the goldfield generally. But after all it is not without a certain amount of timidity that I enter upon the duties of the office, becAUM I
■ecognise that if the Thames is to ncrease in importance and become a great centre, which we hope it will be low that it is connected by railway with the Waikato and Auckland, there is a large amount of work to be ione. That timidity, however, almost vanishes when I remember how desirous every member of this Council Is to see the place prosper, and I feel Bure that although we may soine'.imes differ in our opinions, yet I shall always receive a loyal support in anything I may bring forward with the object of advancing the public in» terests. And I can assure you, gentlemen, that I shall most heartily co-operate with you in anything you may consider will tend to promote the welfare of the district. For we must bear in mind that the declaration 1 have just made —a similar one to that ' which each Councillor subscribed— calls upon each one present faithfully to administer the duties devolving upon him under the Municipal Cor* porations Act. While lam of opinion that we should most zealously guard the best interests of the Borough and administer the finances to the best possible advantage, yet I also think that we should take up a broader and more liberal stand, and whenever opportunity offers promote, or co» operate with, any proposal put forward that may assist in benefiting any portion of the goldfield. For after all, though we may be divided by street boundaries, there is a community of interests between the various local bodies, and whatever detrimentally affects one portion of the district, to a proportionate extent affects the whole goldfield. This being so, I intend to leave no stone unturned so far as I am concerned in promoting an amalgamation of the Thames Borough and County. I am well aware of the arguments which can and will doubtleßS be brought forward against this proposal, and of the difficulties to be encountered in having an amalgamation brought to a successful issue. But I think that if a friendly conference were held on this subject with, the County Council, many of these objections could be overcome and some recommendations of a practical nature made which could be embodied in the Government's new Local Government Bill. I am also of opinion that it i 3 necessary we should practice the strictest economy in our expenditure, but I do not intend saying any more upon this subject at present, until I have gone most carefully into the matter of finance and ascertain precisely how we stand, for I notice that within the last couple of weeks the Council has committed itself to a considerable expenditure.
There is a sum of £400 lying to the credit of the recreation reserve account which cannot be utilised for any other purpose than the purchase of a recreation ground. I think that a town of such importance as the Thames should possess a park or pleasure ground of some kind, and I have already instituted inquiries regarding the price ot the few suitable areas now available, the details of which 1 will in due course place before you as soon as I receive definite replies. Another matter which is of the greatest importance to the district and in which this Borough is deeply interested, is the erection of a new hospital upon a more suitable site.andlfeel sure the project will have your heartiest sympathy, and that like myself you will do everything possible to assist in bringing it to a successful issue with as little delay as possible. Then again, though the recent deputation to the Premier met with such an unfavourable reception thac there would seem to be no immediate prospect of the work bring commenced, I think we should go thoroughly into the subject of the extension of the railway line to Tararu and the erection of a wharf at that place. Wo should not be discouraged because success is nob attained at the initial stage, but every refusal and rebuff should rather have the effect of causing us to enter into the matter with renewed vigour and a determination to achieve success-, no matter how great the obstacles that are raised, The project is one of the greatest importance to this goldfield and I would goeveafurtherandurgetheocntinuaccQ of the line to Ooromandel, which must inevitably follow in due course. In the meantime it would be of material benefit to this Borough if we had daily coach communication with Ooromandel, and I would urge that we should cooperate with the Thames and Ooroman* del County Councils in insisting that the Government should at once give a subst<m ial grant, in order to enable a
work of such vital importance to be immediately proceeded with. The
settlement of our mining populatio upon suitable blocks of land is also subject in which I feel deeply ii terested, and I chink we should mak a further endeavor to induce th Government to acquire one or tw blocks; of private land in our neighboi hood, and also in having the Piak block thrown open for settlement wit as little delay as possible. There ar many other matters which will clair our attention during the coming yeai and I am convinced they will receiv most careful consideration, and tha each and every one of us will worl pleasantly and harmoniously togethe: for the public weal. The cloud o: depression which has lately [hoverec over us shows some slight signs o breaking, and now that the Thames Eauraki pumps have been started ant the railway completed, we may reason ably look forward to better times. Ii conclusion I would like to add that ] shall be in attendance daily at th< Borough Chambers between 10 o'clocl and 10.30 a.m., when I will cheerfully see ratepayers upon any matter they may desire to bring under my notice in connection with the Borough. Mr S. Alexander Jjhen came forward and read the following address:— " To H J. Gbrknblade, Esq., J.P., Mayor of the Borough of Thames. Dear Sir,—On behalf of my elf ami several friends who are gratified at your elevation to the office and dignity of Chief Magistrate of the Borough of Thames, not only from the fact of your having been cradled at the Thames, but on account of your personal merit, I have great pleasure in presenting you with a piece of the first sod turned by the Jate Sir George Grey, who at the time was Superintendent of the Provincial District of Auckland. Being desirous of presenting this memento of a now historical event on this the twentieth anniversary of the day—the first sod having been turned on the 21st day of December, 1878—1 take the opportunity of doing so at this your installation ceremony, the only regret being that it was not also the day of the formal opening of the railway, which it seems circumstances prevented. Wishing you every happiness and success in your future career, I am, Dear Sir, On behalf of self and friends, Yours very sincerely, Samttel Alexa deb, ( Pionter, 1967,
The Mayor thanked Mr Alexandei for the memento, which was contained in a very handsome silver casket and covered with a glass globe, and expressed the pleasure he felt at being the fortunate person selected to receive such a handsome and valuable historical present. He said he was deeply grateful to Mr Alexander and the kind friends who had so thoughtfully attended and made the presentation. He need scarcely say that he thoroughly appreciated the feelings which had prompted the gift, and be would treasure it as amongst the most valued of his possessions, not only because of its great intrinsic value, tut because it formed a connecting link with- that Grand Old Man whose 1 memory they su deeply revered: —he referred ot course to Sir George Grey—and who had unfortunately not lived to see the " iron horse " running over the railway line, the first bod of •which he had turned precisely 20 years ago to-day. And there was just one other matter he would like to mention, viz. : that it was exceedingly appropriate that the presentation should have been made by Mr Samuel Alexander, because he was the pioneer of the Thames,' and it was only recently that he had received recognition from the Parliament of New Zealand as the discoverer 6f the Thames goldfield. He thanked them all very sincerely for their valuable and appropriate present. The Mayor then resumed his seat -amidst' rhflprs.