The excitement attendant upon the election of a Mayor for Christohurch was by no means ao great as its importance might have led any one to expect, and had it not been for the paper warfare during the past week, still less interest would have been taken in it. Many burgesses were indifferent as to the actual result, and the whole of the party feeling hinged upon really minor points. The polling commenced at 8 ajn. and concluded at 4 p.m., during which time 1195 votes were recorded. (There were several traps in. use for the conveyance of electors, bathe practice was not indulged in to a very large extent. During the afternoon a notice was posted by Mr G. L. Lee, Returning Officer, to the effect that the result of the election would be officially declared at 7 p.m , and shortly before that time about one hundred burgesses assembled in front of the Oity Council Chamber. Throughout the day there had been a strong opinion thai Mr Gapes would be the victorious candidate, and subse-
■■■--—. I- I in quont events provod this to havo beon based on good grounds, T Immediately aftor the Governmonfc slock had struok seven, tho Returning Oflloor mado his nppearanoo at tho door of tho Council Chamber, and this at onco excited a commo- • tion among the bystanders. The Returning Offloer said, Gontlomon— The result of tho polling today, is as follows : — Jamos Gapes— (Loud cheers). I fchink you had better woifc to hoar fcho roßulfc boforo you oommenoe oheoring. (Laughtor.) Tho roßult of fcho polling is— James Gapes 680 Charles Thomas lok 515 Majority for Mr Gapos ... 165 This was tho signal for loud oheoring, ono of the mosfc prominonfc in the demonstration being a well-known Ohoap John. The Returning Oflloor next said, I therefore doolaro the said Jamoa Gapes duly elected as Mayor of the City of Ohristohuroh, for tho ensuing year. (Loud ohoors.) The Mayor oleofc on rising was reoeivod with loud ohoors. Ho said ho felt vory proud indeed of the position in whioh tho burgesses had plaoed him that day, and ho also felt —(Oh) — thafc his position rather put tho eleotion of previous Mayors into tho shado (hear, hear), by the very faofc of his boing elected by the groat body of tho peoplo. (Hoar, hear, and choors.) Ifc convinood him that ho must havo woll earned thoir oonfldenoo— (hoar, hear)— ond good wishes, and ho assured them it would be his honest endeavour to retain that oonfldenoo in the future. (Cheers.) He fully bolievod thore would bo rather heavy work for tho City Counoil to do during tho ensuing year, on aooount of what ho might term tho oonfliction of politioal maohinory of tho Colony. ! The City Counoil had powers now whioh : it did not hitherto possess and, at ! the same timo, tho powor was divided in suoh a way that ho felt strongly inolined fco think somo part of ifc must necessarily olash. There was the Municipal Corporations Aot, the Drainage Board Aofc, and tho Publio Health Aot, in which there wero clauses conferring similar powers upon the throo different bodies, and ho failed fco see how thoy oould be worked without one or other of them dashing. The only question it oould come to was who should rule in tho mofcfcors ooming under thoso particular olauses. (Hear, hear.) No doubt, however, the gontlomon now composing the Oity Oounoil would be able to cope with the diffioulty. (Hear, hear.) Ho had full oonfldenoo that they would assist him in oarrying out tho works of the City to a satisfactory issue. (Hear, hear.) There was another work devolving on the City Oounoil, whioh would very possibly cause somo serious consideration. He alluded to tho administration of Charitable Aid. Tho Oity Counoil would now have to deal with ifc, and tho question, in his mind, was, how thiß could be bost done. It would, of course, bo a serious consideration how to prevent tho rates from being infringed on by peoplo who had nover dono, and nevor would if they oould help it, do any work. (Hear, hoar, and laughter.) Tho diffioulty would bo to givo relief whero ifc was really neoossary, and to withhold it whoro it was not neoessary. (Hoar, hear.) Ifc was vory likely thafc attempts would bo mado to imposo upon them in this matter j therefore ifc appeared to him to be a subjeot whioh would require a great deal of serious consideration. (Hoar, hear.) He was scarcely prepared with a successful candidate's speeoh, and folt at a loss how to entertain them for a few moments. (Laughter.) Ho begged, howevor, to roturn his sinoere thanks for the honour they had done him that day. (Hear, hear, and ohoers.) Mr lok then stepped forward and waa greeted with ohoers, hoar-hoars, and a voioe, " Hurrah for Choap Jaok." Ho said the battle had been fought and ho stood thoro as a defeated candidate. It was always muoh less diffioult to speak aftor a successful oon tost than ono whioh ended in dofeat, but though defeated on this oooasion, he was not vanquished, (Hear, hear, and cheers.) Tho timo would still oomo whon perhaps ho would stand in tho samo position as thafc now oooupiod by Mr Gapes. (Hoar, hear, and no, no.) He was deeply grateful to those gontlo mon who had taken the troublo to vote for him, and he owed more gratitudo than ho could express to thoso friends who had oonduoted his eleotion. It was his earnest wish, and ho strongly impressed it upon all thoso frionds who aotod in his bohalf, that no personalities whatovor should be indulged in. (Hear, hear.) Ho hoped they would soo thore had been none on his part or on the Sarfc of his frionds, (Hear, hoar,) Thoro woro ofeafcs and viotorios, and defeats whioh in thoir ultimata issues turned out viotorios. It might bo, fchorofore, thafc ho would have the opportunifcy of thanking tho burgosses for a victory some day. (Hear, hoar,) Ho would not dolay those presont any longor. Ho had only to say thafc ho hoped the new Mayor would oarry oufc the dutios of his offioe in the same way that fcho last Mayor had done— (Hoar, hear, and a voioo, "Will you holp him to do so P " Another voioe, No.)— and that whon ho rotirod from offioe tho Oounoil would bo able to say tho samo of him as they hod dono of Mr Hobbs that morning. (Hoar, hoar,) Tho now Mayor ontered on bis duties with ovory ohanoo of suooess ; indood, suoh as no othor Mayor had had. Provious Mayors had generally oommenoed with tho Oounoil heavily in debt. Last year thoro was a debit balanoe of £1000, bufc this yoar tho Oounoil would start with £4000 to thoir credit. (Choors). He had very great hopo thafc this year matters would go well, and ho certainly hoped thoir now Mayor would ho successful in the disohargo of his dutios. (Hear, hear.) Ho again wished to thank those who had oome forward to support him, and was sorry fchat he had not beon returnod at the head of the poll, (Oheors.) The Mayor elect proposed a voto of thanks to tho Roturning Officer, whioh was sooonded by Mr lok, and carried by acclamation. Tho Roturning Officer, in acknowledging tho vote, said ho would probably havo to oonduct a great many olootions in tho late Provinoo, and ho hoped that every eleotion would bo conducted in as ordorly and pleasant a manner as the ono thafc day. (Cheers). Loud calls wore made for fcho Ex- Mayor to nddssssitlinnn pmnnnt Mr m»TiWH»i itHwh^-t-ppfld fflrwnwytnd was rooeived with loud oheors. HqsaTa* ho did nofc know what business ho had fco address them, as ho made his last dying spoooh that morning. (Laughtor, and a Voioo : Wo did not hear ifc.) The speeoh had boen duly reported in an evening papor. (A Voioo : We have not read it.) Ho hoped some day that ho would riso Phcenix-liko, from tho ashes, and when he oould afford to retire from business, oomo forward again to ask for thoir suffragos as Mayor. (Hear, hear, and oheors.) Mr Tefcley called for three cheers for the retiring Mayor, whioh was heartily responded te. The proceedings thon terminated.
Permanent link to this item
CHRISTCHURCH., Star, Issue 2724, 21 December 1876
CHRISTCHURCH. Star, Issue 2724, 21 December 1876
Using This Item
See our copyright guide for information on how you may use this title.
This newspaper was digitised in partnership with Christchurch City Libraries (1910-1920).