Never has the Provincial Council Chamber witnessed a prettier scene than that presented last night by the ball tendered by the citizens of Christchurch to Mr and Mrs C. P. Hulbert, in recognition of the services of Mr Hulbert during his two years' tenure of the office of Mayer of this city. The fine interior of the chamber would not be improved by extensive decorations, but those of last night were of such a character as to add to the appearance of the room rather than detract from it. Ferns, pot plants and graceful festoons of greenery were disposed so tastefully as to produce an admirable effect. A well filled ballroom, even without the aid of decorations, is always a pretty sight. The gay toilettes of the ladies, contrasting with the black coats of their partners, the brilliant lights and the ever - moving crowd of dancers, all bent on enjoyment, and all having their wish, form a picture upon which the eye cannot but dwell with pleasure. The scene in the Council Chamber last night was certainly no exception to this rule. The number of guests had been wisely limited, so as to prevent the discomfort of overcrowding, and the limit must have been very nearly reached. In order to still further lessen any possible discomfort from crowding, the apartments adjoining the Chamber were turned into the most charming of retreats for those weary of dancing. The room used ordinarily for meetings of the Land Board appeared in the unwonted guise of a handsomely finished drawing room ; two offices adjacent were fitted up with exquisite taste as ladies' rooms ; the passages and lobbies were carpeted and i decorated with foliage and fl«wers ; but the I apartment reflecting the greatest credit I on its decorator was that known in old i days as the Speaker's room, which was re- •! served as a private room for His Exoelj lency the Governor, and was decorated i with such profusion of floral adornment 'as almost to resemble a lower. The plants used in the decoiations were, I it may be mentioned, provided by Mr :P. Cunningham and Messrs Duncan j and Son. The furniture and upholstery : were supplied by Mr A. «T. White, and the . decorations were carried out under the imj mediate supervision of a Committee conI sisting of Me6sra Cunningham and Ehind, j assisted by the Hon E. C. J. Stevens and Mr Tenfold. Mr Fleming's quadrille band furnished music of great excellence. The guests of the evening arrived early and were met by the Eeception Committee, the Hon E. C. .7. Stevens, Messrs Murray-Ayneley, and H.
A. Watt. These gentlemen also received his Excellency the Governor, who arrived at a quarter past 9. About midnight, an adjournment was made to the supper room — the Bellamy's of old Provincial days — where Mr Buggey had provided an excellent repaßt. After justice had been done to the viands Mr H. A. Watt, Chairman of the Committee, proposed the health of Her Majesty the Queen, which was loyally honoured. He then proposed the health of His Excellency the Governor, who, in responding, said that he had very much pleasure in being present, and in doing honour to Mr Hulbert, who, he understood, had gained the respect of all classes of the citizens during his Mayoralty. The duties of a Mayor were, he knew, not all of an easy character, and Mayors were sometimes thwarted and rendered uncomfortable by obstreperous Councils. He understood, however, that this had not been the case with Mr Hulbert, with whom the Council had worked harmoniously in the carrying out of many important works. His Excellency thanked the company for the honour done him in drinking his health. Mr Watt, in proposing the health of Mr and Mrs Hulbert, referred in laudatory terms to the good work done by Mr Hulbert while occupying the Mayoral chair, and assured him of the esteem with which both himself and Mrs Hulbert would'always be regarded in Christchurch. On behalf of a number of the citizens, he requested Mrs Hulbert to accept a memento of her husband's Mayoralty and of the present occasion. The gift was a gold bracelet of plain but tasteful design, set with five large brilliants. Tho toast of the evening having been drunk with enthusiasm, Mr Hulbert expressed, on behalf of Mrs Hulbert and himself, the warmest gratitude for the honour done to them that evening, especially thanking His Excellency the Governor for attending. An occasion like the present was, he felt, a recompense for all he had done, and all the trouble he might have undergone while carrying out his duties. He begged to return his most sincere thanks for the handsome present to Mrs Hulbert, to whom he was indebted, in no small degree, for having been able to perform the duties of his office, particularly those of a social nature, satisfactorily.
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Complimentary Ball., Star, Issue 5499, 23 December 1885
Complimentary Ball. Star, Issue 5499, 23 December 1885
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