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The Volunteers.

The Canterbury Mounted Eifles and the Christchurch Engineers have made arrangements for the erection of orderly rooms on the Drillshed ground. A meeting of Volunteer officers was held in the College Eifles' orderly room last night for the purpose of considering the advisability of establishing a reading-room and library for the use of officers of the various corps. There was a large attendance, and Lieutenant-Colonel Lean occupied the chair. After some discussion it was decided to form a library as suggested, and the annual subscription was fixed at 10s, payable in advance. It was also agreed to appoint a Provisional Committee, of which the officer commanding the district is to be Chairman ex ojjicio, to make arrangements for a place of meeting, and to draw up rules, to report within 14 days. Captain . Wolf e, Dr Brittin, and Lieutenants Mellish and Adams were elected members of the Committee, which concluded the business of the meeting. It is, doubtless, supposed by some that the Drillshed has been granted for the use of the Volunteers by a considerate Government, and that all that our citizen soldiers have to do with it is to gratefully accept the privilege of exercising therein. They have in addition, however, the duty of keeping it in repair ; and in the carrying out of this duty the building has been saddled with a debt of .£3OO. This was incurred some few years ago, when Volunteering in Chriatchurch was at the very lowest ebb, and when the shed was in danger of tumbling to pieces for want of a little attention. The money was borrowed, and the much-needed repairs carried out. Up to about a year ago, the Drillshed Commissioners managed to pay the interest, but since then the receipts from letting the shed, the only source.of income, have been so small that about .£3O of interest has accrued. The officers of the Volunteers, at their meeting last night, came to the conclusion that it was time a special effort shculd be made not only to pay up the arrears of interest, but to extinguish the debt altogether. What form that effort will take is to be decided at a general meeting of officers next "Wednesday night. It is probable, however, that a bazaar or fancy fair will be the means adopted. It will be remembered that, about four years ago, the large debt resulting from the Easter Eeview of 1880 was paid off by means of a fancy fair, one of the best, by the way, ever held in Christchurch. The Volunteers of that time did not stand by any means so high in public estimation as those of to-day, and they numbered, moreover, only about a sixth of their present strength. Nevertheless the fair was a brilliant success, thanks iv no small degree, to the action of a, largo and energetic committee of ladies. That the ladii-s will withhold their powerful assistance on this occasion must not be supposed for a moment, anil then- should bo no reason, therefore, why the forthcoming bazaar, or whatever other means of

raising the necessary funds is adopted, should not be at least as successful as that of four years ago. Since the recent war scare, not yet, apparently, altogether over, a goodly number of gentlemen whose age or occupations prevent them from becoming active members of the Volunteer Companies, have joined either the Ashburton Rifles or the honorary corps of Guards as honorary members. Some have also become life members. The subscriptions of these gentlemen will be a great help to the corps' funds, which will by-and-bye have to sustain a heavy strain in consequence of the building of a drillshed. Government has subscribed handsomely towards the building, but the .£250 will not, of course, anything like meet the expenditure that will have to be incurred, so that all the aid given by both active and honorary members will be required. Should any of the | country gentlemen or town merchants in the County, who have not yet become honorary members think of doing so, they will confer a favour on the citizen soldiers by making up their minds quickly, and so help to keep together two of the finest companies of men in Canterbury.

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The Volunteers. Star, Issue 5363, 16 July 1885

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