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CHRISTCHURCH.

Seldom has a looal eleotion produoed the excitement in Ohristohuroh that prevailed yesterday oxer the contest for the position of Mayor of the Oity for 1884. The fact of there being but two candidates, both wellknown oitizena with large ciroles of friends, rendered it oertain that the fight for the honour would be a hard one, and accordingly the respective supporters of Messrs Hulbert and Ayers put forth their best efforts to secure the return of their man. Of oouree cabs and other vehioles were largely employed for the convenience of burgesses, aB they usually are at eleotion times, and an aotive paper warfare was maintaimed between the two parties by means of plaoards and oarteons. In the morning most of the walls and hoardings in the oity were covered with the productions, artistio and otherwise, of the friendß.of the rival candidates. Mr Hulbert's partisans published a oartoon in whioh the contest for the oivio ohair was represented under the guise of a prize fight, Mr Ayen, of course, being oom* pletely " knooked out of time " by the vigorous blows of hie opponent. Ihe sapporters of Mr Ayers retorted with a representation of a scene from "Leah, the Forsaken," in whioh " Miss Ohristohuroh," as the injured damsel, addresses Mr Hulbert in the words 'This to me, H-lb-t, apostate, renegade, betrayer of his people." This last, however, in one instanoo at least, had been altered by some friendly hand co as to make its details as complimentary to Mr Jttulbert as they previously bad been depreciatory. A couple of placards were also issued, one of whioh counselled the eleotors to vote for Mr Hulbort, if they wanted a water-supply scheme at a cost of £280,000, and a drainage soheme to oost £150,000; while the other bore a lis*; of various rates, amounting altogether to 6s 6td in the £, and advised the burgesses, "If you want this, vote for Hulbert." The leaders of the opposing parties were, however, aotive in other ways than merely satirising their antagonists. Baoh party had a committee roam in the vioinity of the Council Ohamber, where the polling was held, that of Mr Hulbert being Carew's stables, while Mr Ayers' head-quarters were in a marquee pitched on a vacant seotion fronting Oxford terraoe. Here the supporters of both mon were busily engaged in examining rolls, issuing orders to their " whips" to hunt up voters, and generally direoting the operations of the day. That the geaeral publio took considerable interest in the contest, was shown by the faot that a continuous stream ot voters was passing in and out of the polling booth during most of the day, while a number of persons were gathered outside the Ohamber, discussing the chanoes of the eleotion. Not until the Post-offioe olook had sounded 6 did the oandidates forsake the vioinity of the polling plaoe, and even then their supporters hung round the spot as if with the hope of learning at any moment something that might guide them to a likely gueßß as to the result. Any suoh hope, however, was doomed to be disappointed, for not until nearly half-past 7 were the numbers announced by being affixed to the outside wall of the Oouncil Ohamber as follows: — Oharles Partridge Hulbert ... 671 Aaron Ayers 496 Majority for O.P.Hulbert... 175 . As there were 14 informal rotes, and each vote represented one burgesß, the number of those who went to the poll was 1181, or more than half the number on the roll, which oontains 2038. The majority in the present instance is said to be larger than that in any previous oontest. At the last eleotion, two. years ago, 1159 voted, and Mr Buddenklau polled 594 to Mr 0. b. Taylor's 565. It is a eomewhat noteworthy faot that 618 peraons signed the requisition to Mr Ayers. The official declaration of the poll will be mado at noon to-day. ' "S either of the candidates were present when the result of the poll was made known, but about 8 p.m. Mr Hulbert, acoompanied by a few of his friends, oame to the front of the Oounoil Ohamber, and, a orowd of over 100 persons quiokly gathering, Mr Hulbert expressed his deep gratitude fer the prond position in whioh the ratepayers had plaoed him. The eleotion had boen fairly oonduoted in a business-like manner on both sides. He apologised for not making any lengthy remarks, as he had had a bard day of it, and be would speak more fully as to the works whioh he intended te endeavour to oarry out as Mayor of Ohriatohuroh at the offioial declaration of the poll. Mr Hulbert was enthusiastically oheered during his remarks. Subsequently, a number of Mr Hulbert's fr'Tads and supporters met at the Al Hotel for the purpoße of oelebrating the event in the customary way. Mr Henry Thomson, M.H.8., oooupied tbe ohair, and was supported on his right by tbe Mayor-elect, and on the left by Mr 0. E. Briggs. In proposing the toast of the evening, the Ohairman trusted that it would be received in a fitting manner. He did not need to make a long speeoh; they were all very well acquainted with Mr Hulbert, and had no doubt that they had elected the proper man. The toait was enthusiastically received, and was drunk with three times three, together with musical honours. Mr 0. P. Hulberfc, in returning thanks, said he could hardly express the • gratitude he felt for the high and honourable position to which he had by a very handsome majority been eleoted. He attributed his sueoess to the admirable way in whioh his personal friends had exerted themselves on his behalf. They had won a big fight, and the victory was one he could have Boarcely hoped to win. From tke commencement of his candioature he had to work against heavy odds, not the least of which was the immense requisition that had been got up for his opponent. Inatead of saying all he oeuld wish to say on an occasion like thie, he would leave it to his future actions to speak for themselves.. Before concluding, he would - propose the health of those gentlemen who formed his Committee, coupled with the namesof Messrs Thomson and Hill. Mr Hill wished, in replying, to bear testimony to the exoellent and systematic way in 'whioh the election had been oarried on. He thought Mr Hulbert had reason to feel proud of tho class of friends who surrounded him. Mr Thomson said they must all feelgrati* fied at the result. He had known Mr Hulbert for years, had worked with him on the City Oounoil, and had had no difficulty in deciding who was the best man to support. Mr Hulbert, through ooming late into the field, had worked at a disadvantage, but lately he never had a doubt as to the reault. Mr F. Guiness proposed —" Suooess to the Press of Christohuroh," and coupled with the toast the name of Mr 0. K. Briggs. Mr Brigga felt much obliged at the hearty way in whioh the toast had been received. The recognised Press of the Oity were unanimous in the support they had aooorded to Mr Hulbert, and he believed assisted to conduce to the result. Mr Hill proposed " The Ladies," and said the way in whioh the lady ratepayers of the City had oomo forward and registered thoir votes was creditable to their judgment. Ih connection with the ladies, he oould not forget the valuable servioes rendered by Mr Briggs in escorting them to the polling booth. Mr 0. M. Gray, who was oalled npon to respond, regretted that tbe toast had not been entrusted to one of the baohelors who were present, and who were more competent to do justice to the subjeot than a Benedict. This concluded the formal bueiness of the evening, and the meeting then broke up.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/TS18831129.2.21.1

Bibliographic details

CHRISTCHURCH., Star, Issue 4862, 29 November 1883

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CHRISTCHURCH. Star, Issue 4862, 29 November 1883

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