At the Woolston Oddfellows' Hall, in presence of about a hundred electors, the Eeturning-Officer, Mr W..T. C. Mills, made the official declaration of the poll, which coincided with the numbers already published, giving, however, the additional information that the following informal votes had been given: — Woolston 20, Heathcote Valley and Halswell 4, making a total of 26 informal votes, a rather large proportion. He finally declared Mr John Lewis Coster as duly elected to represent the electoral district of Heathcote. (Loud applause.) Mr Coster, who was loudly cheered, said he had to return the electors his most sincere thanks for the proud position in which they had placed him that day. He could only promise them that he would do his best to serve the electors, and to serve the public without any fear or favour, and that he would do his best for the Colony and for the district which he had the honour te represent. (Applause.) He need not detain them by making a speech (hear) ; but he must ask permission to thank his Committee, and those gentlemen who had supported him, for all they had done. The labour they had bestowed in his interest was almost incredible. They had been good enough to fight for him before he was here, and had taken up his cause, and worked as no body of gentlemen, he believed, had ever worked before, with the result that they had placed him in the proud place he had the honour to occupy that day, without his being present. He hoped he would be allowed to give those friends hia warmest thanks, thanks which he could not make stronger. (Applause.) The Eeturning-Officer said he had received an apology from Mr Williams, who had asked him to read it to the public. It waa as follows :— " In consequence of the very recent news of my brother's sudden and unexpected death, I feel sure you will accept my apology for my non-attendance at the declaration of the poll to-day. While thanking those electors who supported my candidature, I will add that I trust now the contest is over that those little personal animosities which are engendered by electioneering excitement may be at an end — (Hear, and applause) —and that we may all remain friends. If I have said or done anything which may have given offence, I beg to offer my sincere apologies. "Your obedient servant, " W. H. Wynn-Williams." (Loud applause.) Mr Coster moved a vote of thanks to the Eeturning Officer, who had always done his duty fairly and impartially. (Applause.) The Hon E. Eichardson seconded the motion, complimenting Mr Mills on the straightforward and manly way in which he had performed his duty. The vote was carried by acclamation. The Eeturning Officer, in acknowledging the compliment, alluded to the mistake made by several in supposing that because a person paid rates his name must be on the electoral roll. This was not the case, and the ignorance of this fact had prevented som;; from recording their votes at the past election. The omission of the names was no fault of his, but on the contrary he had helped as much as he could to get everyone's name registered, and would always be happy to give every information. (Applause.) The proceedings then closed.
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HEATHCOTE., Star, Issue 5016, 23 July 1884
HEATHCOTE. Star, Issue 5016, 23 July 1884
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