THE KING'S BIRTHDAY.
TO DAY'S CEREMONIES
THE TiROOPEiRS' MEMORIAL.-.
LAYING TEE FOUNDATION. S-TIOLNIE.. • •
OPENING OP VICTORIA RESERVE IAINID BA'NiD ROTUNDA.
VOLUNTEERS AND- CAiDEirS PARADE.
the' public -.sohoo'Ls :" stPOßiii
A, RIEPRESEiNTATIVE GArTHEMNIG.
It mxy be said that to-dJay the town of Thames was en fete, for the -while the morningl was devoted' to carrying oiit ith/ei ceremfflinies of; laying the •foundation stone of the Troopers' Memorial and opening" the Victoria Reserve and Band Rotunda, the afternoon was given over'to the Public Schools, sport, where the youngsters rlieldl highi ■carnival, and where a. lengthy, tout varied programme oE sports was gone: throughl. It was a good idtea for those ■responsible far the several ceremonies to co-operate—it ensured the suocessi of it-he three functions 1 and provided! the residents of Thames with an interesting! and pleasant day. YI!CTO>RI!A ttfISSERiVE. '
There is little occasion, here to. refer to the .incidents i.hat have, led up to the carrying mit to-day of ceremonies, of considerable public interest. In connection with' the Victoria Reserve and band rotunda the Borough Connoil some time batik set to work to provide the residents with same little pleasant; spot, where mat sirs and children might-pleasantly pass a few hours, during the day and: "with this object changed whaih was formerly-a eyesore iiia;tici a shaped! reserve! — small certainly, 'but one that will suit the purpose and bo a 'lung oif the town th'ati will become more andi more popular as time passes,,,, for experience has sWotwn- that public iparks or reserves improve upon; acquaintance and become popular places of resort.._, The ground was well prepared 'and soon down in grass, and' the result in. this connection, 1 has been' more than sal'is--factory. Tli© grass has grown sp'lendiidly, and on "the smooth green- sward it may be expected' that during the summer - THOUSANDS Wil'LiL, VISIT THE ; • ;. RESERVE and enjoy themselves. A broad path follows the shape ('triangular) of the Reserve., whlich. adjoins the railway, station at Graliainstown, . and will therefore be calculated'" to give visitors 1 a good impression of the district. 'Be.ween! the paths and the substathtial fence that surrounds the Reserve •trees, shrubs, and flowers have been, pl-aoatedl and 1 these have made a won-, derful difference to the appearance of] [ the triangle. ;
In the centre of it he Reserve stands; i a. handsome band stand' (wlnicli, was also formally, declared! opera to-day), i-and.-as this has been substantially and 'neatly 'builti, it will' thus be seen that the 'Borough: Council have now an asset that yeaill-ibyi yea.r mil increaise in value, while the residents of Thames have now, available ai breathing sptot, a health adjunct, that is sure to ba highly appreciated!. It isi sincerely to be hoped! that the .good; work commenced! -will be continued, that the vacant spot'on th"c southern side will also be improved', and asi funds> permiitt, the woi'k of filling in the foresihio|rel be prlocleded with, and thie ■plantation continuedi fromi Shortland to Graihlaimstown.. There may be difficulties to be contended with, tout we believe it hat thiese difficulties cam be oivercocne and that this almost necessary work can be carried wit. THE! BAND RiOTUINDA: The Band) Rotunda, a true octagon in shape . about twentyone feeifa mi dianneiteri, was erected from, a designi by Mr 'Hl. Simmon ds, wlva also supervised the work. The foundation, is of concrete rising, two* feet six inches above the ground, to the fkxow level. There a>re eight concrete pillars eighteen inches square, into whlicfa. the columns a.re 'bedded. Between these pillars jit is filled in 'panelsformed 1 with redkpressed briciksi with white joints. The floor* is ofoonca'ete eight inches! thick, and finished 1 all round, with, a, three inch noseing with a scoria underneath, all of concrete. The approach is at the back and consists of four circular concrete steps withl twelve inch' treads and six inch risers. The eight columns are of wood', te.ii feeb high, six inches square at the fottoimi -and! turned to taper towards a carved capital. These columns carry | the whole rotf the super structure. .
The roof projects eighteen' inches over the plates', a.nd these rise to a' .height of .twelve feet. It is 'ogee in shape-, and is covered 1 with-pla.in galvanized iron '-seamed together into one piece and 'covered at intersections withi a lead) roll. There is fret work six inches deep between each column under the t^ni' K'-v'-e, .a.ndl wit hi fretwirk brackets' uihd&r- the sub-plate. From the floor to a height off two- feet six inches is- filled in. 'between, thie column?, with a •■handrail and banisters, with; the accept ion of the adit, which is three feet six inches, wide. The whole building is paintedl and 1 picked: out in mioslti OT<talble tints. 'The oo;n| Lradt»r for the whole wolrk was Mr- O. W. Adams, a.nd thie .plumping 1 and painting work was executed! by Mr F. Battson, andl Rae Bros respectively. The j contractor and 1 others are to be complimented upon the excellence of their work amd) the Borough is to be congratulated in possessing sucth a splendid rotunda. TEE TROOPEiRS 1' MEMORIAL. THE FIRST. CEREMONY of the day was the saying of the foundation stoine of (the."Memorial to thie ■troopers who h-acli fallen in ATfriea, a,nd in honor of the troopers who left our district for the front.. This provides a "list of honor" of which the district might, well be 'proud. Foritunately the hand of death bias not pressed on the contingenterS' whbwent to South Africa, toi do battle for the Mother •Country, amd. buiti lihree— Troopers Donkin, Ftorbes, and Farquhar—laid' down their lives. But the district contributed more than its fair quota, and to- the credit of the men 1 be it saidthey 'proved themselves to ibe true.sons o:f the 'bull-dog bred 1 colonial's,' who on> tWe. -field of battle
conducted themselves as soldiers and partrioits. It was deemed 'advisable to take action so that some permanent record could «ba macte of the part that the troopers' of the district had played in connection "with the war— Thames was practically the recruiting centre for the whole of the llauraki Peninsula—and after a few preliminary meetings had .been held, in which His Worship the Mayor ('Mr F. Tremr bath, chairman) whio. presided at today's ceremonies, the Rev. A. D. Thomson, secretary, and Dr. Lapraik, treasurer TOOK A PROMINENT PART, it was decided to appeal to the public for subscriptions towards a, suii'ablo memorial. These were readily fort-b----ooming and though'the committee have not yet got thej necessary amount (£100) in hand for the purchase of^ it he (memorial, it is certaim that this sum. will soon be raised. After a design had 'been submitted and approved ' of am order was placed with Messrs Me Nab a.nd Mason, of Auckland, and from what we have seen of the design we thlink that the 'people o<f Thame9 will ibe well satisfied with the selection made. After some difficulty as to site—which was fortunately satisfactorily settled in time to allow the ceremony to be carried out to-day—Li. was decided to erect the memorial at the corner of Pollen and Mury streets—a central, site in. accordance with ilho wishes of a very large number of the subscribers. The presence in the district oif the Hon. J. MoGowan was taken advantage of, and that gentlemaw was reK]ui<)llioinedl to lay Ithe foundation stone. At some little inconvenience the hen. gentleman, who had | commenced his- e^tion campaign, returned to Thames andl took a prominient part in fo-daiy's ceremonies and pleasures. Before ten o'clock the crowd began to< assemib'e, and by ten there 'must have been one 'of
THE 1 LARGEST GATHERINGS seen at Thames ifor some time. The violuitnesrsi andj <lidjetsi were formled up in the form,. OB a hollow square, facing -it-he "i platforms' on which the speakers and: principals were aiOtfomod!a'te"d! with' seats. The platforms were | draped with flags* and the whole presented! a pleasing appearance. The bands were aiccommiodiai'ed with a. nil -the; cetitre-! oifPollen; ,aaid Mary streets, and were massed for the occasion. The conductor, Bnndinaster 'J. Gord'oni, of the Battalion Ba.ndl, was mounted on a pedestal, so '(that he wa-'i visible to all the players. The Hon. J. McGoiwan, who was received! withi app'-ause, and the mem.bera of the Borough, drove from the Council; Chiamibers to the site chosen [ and 1 vr&#& then,received >by the Rev.- A. D. Thomsoini on behalf of the Troopers Memorial committee; The Mayoi* presided, and! •amiongaS-'those present we not'ioedi 'Grs Radford;: Burns 1, LoughlinBurton, "Wioodl, Muir. Heitherington, a,nd Potulgrain. The: Mayor expressed his pleasure, at being called upon to preaiide ait that lunotion-, and paid a tribute tottfoe bravery of th©; ladfe who had gone forthl to 'battle and to tb'e memory 01, thoset who; -had given up their lives "for King a.hd Country. He asked'that 1, out of respect to the dead all should uncojver •while the bands played) the "Deadl March in Saul." The bands 'played this miarch while the ■volunteers came to the present. After this thoughtful aa l. the' Secretary (the* Rev. A. D. Thomson) was called upon to give A! BRIEF RERiUME of the details leading up to the erection of the stateue. He said as the three lads vrbo represented our district, .Donkin, Farquhar, and Forbes, were al'H identified with St. James' Church, the movemeivi originated .there I and subscriptions wei c being received with the vieiwl of erecting a suitable tablet to their memory. Meanwhile a general desire was expressed to merge it into a public"", scheme, and the result of ai public meeting was, that a strong committee -was formed', 'consisting of volunteer officers, bandmasters, all local ministers of religion, and head) masters. The 'dlk'trict was eventually canvassed and) the public* responded'heartily. , •
The next ceremony was-the presentation to the Hoi*. J. McGowan of a silver trowel, whiich thati genit'lemani acknowledged. It is a. handsome present, and was handed to Mr MeGowan asi a souvenir of the ceremonies' of i&disuy. Thei 'hon.; gentleman.* waisi then asked 1 to lay the sfone, aridl itM® parb of the programme was carried out satisfactorily. As the stone was being laid on its concrete foundation, the band's 1 .played! an appropriate selection, "The Fallen Heroes," while at the comolusion. of the ceremony the 'Naitona'li 'Anthemi was played.
iHOGMt MR MciGOWAiN"SI SPEECH. The 'Hon. Jas. MeGowan. then addressedl ithie gathering. He said the ■occasion was amost unique one, inasniucih as. it was the day appointed for celebrating the 'birthday of His Majesty the King of Great Britain and alii its dependencies. It was also unique in being .the. day cho?en for laying the foundation of the memorial for those sMn in the South African war. who had done all 1 that mortals ■could d!o> mi giving, their labour andl lives in the service of.their .country. There were many who thought that the fighting spirit of the present genera.£iom was devoid of the grit and pluck o? (former generations, but their sons had shown in. the warl just passed'; that they were possessedl of true grit and determination' in then- love, for their country, and had upheld-the power aindi prestige of the. British Empire .like-, true soldiers. On behalf of the N.Z. Government he was pleased it'o be able to help in the laying of the foundation, stone, and he was' sure the Premier would' a;] so* have much liked totoe present. He thought there were not enough' momentoes' and tablets erect cdi to th'a memory of the fallen in: 'New Zealand, and that we couldl well afford' to take patterni of what was dotie in that respect in, a country like America, where such mementoes were more numerous. He was very gladi .to see so many cadets present. They were a splendid lot of yo'unnr fellows. In his opinion the proper British soldier was a better gentleman as the result of his initiationinto the army. It was a proper feeling to want to perpetuate the memr oiy of those who shed their -blood for their country, aoid he hoipedi that the monument, the foundation stone of which he had' just laid, would serve ai? such a memory 'by all who 1 saw it. On the stone was inscribed': "T"hiis stone was laid by Hon. J. MoGowan. MjH.'E., November 1902.'" The speot-a-
tors presemb displayed a good deal of interest in the proceedings, which Ipas^ed off mpsfc sucfcessifully. From, the platform the scene presented* was an animated cme —the crowds thronging the street, the attentive up-turned faces, the khaki cloithed volunteers and sprightly cadets, the largo circle of bandsmen—over 60 were present— ith'e gaily waving flags, the handsome crown that was suspendedl over the centre of the staging, and 1 the streamers—all made up ai picture that will serve to impress to-day's ceremony on. all those present. DESCRIPTION OF THE MEMORIAL.
The memorial stands oa a base of Maljneiiiburyi .bluestone 7ib •slquare. From this rise three stepsl of the same <m!a.tfe)ria% each & inches) high and diminishing' in size. On ithe 1 top step near the corners are square pillars 3ft 4in high, endkwingi panels of white Sicilian marble. From one of these springs the fountain and ornamental bowl. iSurmounting this is a further marble base carrying the die of the monument with ornamental 1 moulding projecting on the faces, on which tho names of the fallen troopers are to bs inscribed. Rising from the summit of thfe \die are four .panelist d'ecotraited with shields, on which are in bold relief tho Englishl lion and a 'bunchl of the Imperial roses; the Scotch' lion rampant and a. spray of thistle; the Irish harp and a. ■cluster of Shamrock ; the 'Southern Cross and a bunch of fern. The arms and emblems' of England, S'cjbtittoindtlrerand and tMsi colony respectively. On the faces of the next block are wreaths of laurel. From the cube so adorned! risesl a tapering shaft terminating at the tog. with a floral devicie. The es'reme heighti of the memorial 1 will be 16ft. The work ia being carried out by Messrs MoNab and Mason, of Sj-monds street, Auckland. AT VICTORIA RESERVE. After the ceremoiuy of laying the foundation stone of the Troopers' Memorial had concluded a procession was formed and a move was made ta the Victoria Reserve, which was to,.be formally de-dared open, also the band rotunda, which' was: also open for useby the bands for the first time. This ceremotny wasi allotted to the Mayor, who, when the spectators had arranged themselves, the ■ba.ndsmen forming an. hJa'ff .circle, the volunteers' and cadets -the pother ■■half, addressed tho*e present. 'He congratulated the residents of the district at having ai Reserve and a 'band rotunda. He admitted tfiiat iit was nob a<si large as* they .would perhaps have, liked it, but it, showed that the ■Council ware anxious toi dk> I their,'"best, in this direction, and having miad© a commencement they would perhaps he able -to continue the work.
The Hon.,Mir McGowam called for tlhree, -cheerst for EGs: Majestjy King Edward VII.'It is needless to say the people joined enthusiastically in the clheers.. The ©altitalion Bland) -pkyedl "God fSave the King." After some further remarks, he called upoini theß-a.ttaili'O'nrßarid, a®'being the senior bandl. presenty to play, and under the coriducitorshiip of Bandmaster Gordon the, band) pLayed a stirring march. SPEECH BY THE, HON-.-JIAMES-MoGOWAN. ■ The Han. Mr M'cGowa-n then spoko. He congratulated the town cm having .this pairk, small as it was. Every town now-a-day had parks, breathing places, for the people In tjfiis respect; the Borough 'Council hadl 'done well, and he hoped wotildl go further and fill up the 'portion, tlie other side of 1 the road. 'Ho did not say the Government would assist, but an effort should be made to get such' assistance. Should he be returned, afi a representative and be a member of the Government he would do all in. his power to get ai grant. In Auckland there were many large- parks' and reserves, and all the gift of the colony, andl he did: not see why smaller towns should not iba helped tor get reserves and parks. He felt sure the Harbour Board, who held the i foreshore in triisti: for the people, i/wpuld > ao* stand in ■ the way, and ■ perhaps in. a short time there would be an addition to the present reserve. He was very gratified to see such ai large assembly of people, asd' alll well dressed! and "happy looking. He concluded by congratulating the people on the "-possession of the Victoria. Park. The OETaurafci Band, under Conductor T. <B. Booth, then: payed their opening selection—another enjoyable march, after whichi the people began toi flock over the reserve, criticising the design of rthe rotunda, the appearance of the' reserve, and other details. We are 'pieasedi to say that the verdict, was distinctly faivorab 1© and the general impression is that the CounciL hadi done splendid wonk, tor which it de-served commendation.. VOiLUNrPE.ERiS AM> CADETS PAiRIAfDE.
Th© volunteers and cadets, with the bandlsi, took part in, the next ceremony, firing a feu de joie in. honor of His Majesty the King. The INfo. 1 Thames Rifles were under.the command! of Cap* Shands thVH&uraki Rifles under Lieut. Swindley, the B'attalioin Band under 'Conductor Gordon,' Hauraki Band under 'Conductor Booth,, the Ka.uaeranga. (Baillie Street) under Captain JBammond, the Sandes,. Street ; unde rCiaptaia Finah,Jthe Waio-Karaka ,' Cadets under Capt. Fergusson, tli« Tantni' Cadets under Capfc. Newton, and the Pa.iia.wai Cadets under Capt. May. Ait'i noon the volunteers and cadets werei drawn; up< in line and a feui de joie was fired. After the shots hwdl rippled up. and down the lines tthree times, ihte ''band's playing the National Antheimi mieain'white, a,Royal salute was. given, •arid after this'three rousing «heers we're giren for His Majesty the King. The oroiws then dispersed, th<e morning^'si ceremonies having concluded. THE SCHOOL BPORTS. Ait 1.15 p.m,;a general praoession.' wasi formied andl' a, march to Parawai, (to the Publio.Schpols sports, wasi made. Here a varied programime of running a.nd walking championships for, sch'o-lai's from--the various, schools:, was gone through. ...-..,.:•■ The spirts were proceeding as we went to press.
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