THE MUNICIPAL COUNCIL NOMINATIONS.
The long anticipated meeting for the election of members for, the firslf Municipal ' Council in Hokitika, came off yesterday uftemoon, at the Prince of Wales Opera House. The initiatory proceedings were honored by a very acan't attendance, but as the busiuess of the day advanced the lower part of the house gradually filled, until a perfect sea of faces were turned in the^direction of the platform. The meeting throughout may be characterised as orderly, although certain stages of the proceedings were marked by a considerable amount of b'andinage and rough witticisms, -which, however, are anything but uncommon upon such occasions. Punctually to the advertised hour (4 p nj.), Mr ' Commissioner Sale took the chai r, and opened the meeting by stating the purpose for which it was convened. On the 18th instant he had received an official letter, appointing him chairman of the meeting, and of any adjourned meeting arising out of it. The first business would be to elect two assessors, to assist him in taking votes, and in this he (the chairman) could take no part, but would read the clause in the Ordiname immediately bearing on the election of assessors, as by so doing the proceedings might be He.*- read the clnuse, after which, from a large number of gentlemen proposed and seconded, Messrs. Binney and Archibald Bonar \yere elected, and -took their seats on each side the chair. The Chairman said the next business would be the election of councillor. He believed that all understood
the qualification necessary to be possessed 'by candidates and their proposers and seconders, but as there might be some .misapprehension on this point, he would state that no person was qualified unless he could prove a six months' residence in the town as the • holder of a business' license,- and also a six months' qualification to vote at the election of member* for the Provincial Council. Mr Watt proposed Mr James Bonar, as one well qualified to sit in the Municipal Council. The Chairman asked whether the 'proposer had held a business license for twelve months. Mr Watt— Since November last. The Chairman did not think he could receive a nomination from any gentleman who' was not possessed of a business licence, bearing date either of, or prior to, the '25th September, 1h65. Air Shaw then proposed Mr Bonar, which was seconded by Mr Casaius. Mr Cross proposed, and Mr Potter seconded* Mr William Shaw. Mr Horn proposed, and Mr Klein .seconded, Mr B. Osborue. Mr North proposed, and Mr Myers seconded, Mr T. Munro. Mr Banks proposed, and Mr M'Guire | seconded, Mr J. It. Anderson. ' Mr J. R. Anderson proposed, and Mr C. Williams seconded, Mr Brown. Mr Mimro proposed, and Mr, Munchausen secpnded, Mr (Jassius. Mr C. Williams proposed, and Mr Hinchcliffe seconded, Mr T. Howartu. .Mr Hull proposed, and Mr M'Guire seconded, MrC Williams. Mr Hinchcliffe proposed, and Mr* R. Wright seconded, Mr A. G. Huugeiford. Mr Shaw proposed, and Mi- Meyers seconded, Mr F. L Clurke. Mr Horn proposed, and Mr Haft seconded, Mr Binney. Mr Munro proposed, and Mr Potter seconded, Mr Ecclesfield. Mr Fitzsimmons proposed, and Mr Klein seconded, Mr D. Lynch. Mr Upjohn proposed, and Mr Munro seconded, Mr J. B. Clark. Mr Edwards proposed, and Mr M'Guire seconded, Mr J. Hall. Mr ILill proposed, aud Mr Upjohn seconded, Mr A. Cumming. Mr Lynch proposed, and Mr Kebble seconded, Mr James Fitzsimmons. '
Mr Robinson proposed, *nd Mr Cross seconded, Mr J. J. Bartlett. n Mr Bankp proposed, and Mr Klein seconded, Mr Edmund Taylor. Mr C. Williams proposed, and Mr Munchausen seconded, Mr Eicke.
Mr Wright proposed, and Mr H. Craig seconded, Mr C. J. Fitzsinimons.
Mr Munchausen proposed, and Mr Pot ter seconded, Mr Hansen. -
Mr M'Guire proposed, and Mr Myers seconded, Mr J, P. Klein. '
This being the last nomination, the Chairman gave notice that before calling for a show of hands he should require to see the business license of each candidate, in order to test hia qualification, and as it was possible tljat some of the candidates might have left their licenses at home, he should delay proceedings for fifteen minutes, to allow time for their production.
During the pause which ensued, Mr Upjohn challenged the qualification of Mr Archibald Bonar as assessor, as he presumed in that respect an assessor was placed on the same footing as an electcjr. Mr Robinson would like to ask a question of very grava importance to a section of the Hokitika community. He alluded to the 300 freeholders, who having purchased their allotments at the first land sale, had, of course, no further necessity for a business license, and therefore, when their old ones expired, neglected to nenew therm. Were these men to be excluded from the present election.
TheChairraau in reply to Mr Upjohn, stated that he understood Mr Bonar was a resident of six month's standing, and possessed a business licen.se bearing tho required date, and therefore considered him quiilified v (Slight contusion — several voices objecting to this, as licenses were issued to individuals and not to firms). - This was over-ruled by the Chairman, on the plea that a business license issued .in the name of a firm could be used by one member of that firm. He also decided that the freeholders alluded to by Mr x Robinson were disqualified. Mr Robinson* wished to know whether it was Mr A. or Mr James Bonar who was a member of the firm, as both were present ; therefore one must be disqualified unless he held another business license. He held that the election of Mr Bonar was of no effect. (Confusion.) ' The Chairman remarked that the meeting had eltcted'Mr Bonar by a large majority, and he felt some surprise that such a question should be then raised. If, however, it was considered advisable, by all means appoint another assessor in his room. (Cries of " No, no 1 .") Mr Hobinson, amidst great uproar, proposed that Mr Bright, M:P.C, shouldfill the office ; but that gentleman declined, as he lacked the necessary qualification. (Applause.)
The Chairman wished to tako the sense of the meeting on this point. Was the resignation of Mr A. Bonar desired ?
lliis questiou drew forth a perfect babel of voices tittcriug the contradictory assertions of "No"-" Yei"— "Turn him out" — " He'll dc, &c," in the midst of which Mr ' Robinson, in stentorian tones, formally moved, ttiat Mr A- Bonar do resign. He had not the slightest individual objection to that gentleman, but went in on principle, as the chairman bad distinctly asserted that no one could take part in the meeting unless he was qualified. (Groans, hisses, and applause.) |
A gentleman in the body of the meeting thought that the last speaker had a great deal to say on the subject of qualification, and requested the chairman to ascertain whether his right to interfere in the proceedings was without flaw. There was a sudden hush whilst the chairman ' put the question, succeeded, however, by a perfect storm of satirical laughter, groans, hisses, and cat-calls, when an answer in the negative was given. Mr Robinson subsided for a time, but the question raised by him was not so easily settled, as Mr Potter took it up, affirming that if Mr Bonar was not qualified he must resign, otherwise the election would be illegal. He therefore moved that another assessor should be appointed. (Confusion.)
Mr Mimro remarked there was nothing in the Municipal Act immediately relating to the qualification of assessors, and therefore he saw no reason why Mr Bonar should not continue to act. ' The Chuirmancorrectedthe last speaker, by reading a clause in the Ordinance which provided for the qualification of assessors. (Applause.) Mr A. Bonar said he was sorry* «uoh confusion had arisen, and should at once j resign, as' ho had no desire to prove an hinclerance to the day's business. Mr Myers proposed— 1 ' That JMr J. R. Anderson should fill the vacated chair ;" but the chairman interposed by saying th*t another election was qnnetotsary, $s '
Mr C. Williams, who stood next on the list of nominated asgessore, was clearly the proper person to be appointed. ' Mr Williams having responded to the call,
The Chairman proceeded to examine the business licenses of the different candidates. Messrs Brown, Taylor, Campbell, and Bartleit were not qualified — we may" mention that the latter gentleman had previously withdrawn ; whilst Messrs Osborne, Binney, and Eicke withdrew from the contest, pleading business in excuse.
Mr T. Prosser, brother to Mr Evan Prosser, stated that the latter had authorised him to decline on his behalf the undeserved honor which the meeting sought to pay him. In this instance, pressing business engagements, which would prevent Mr E. Prosser from attending to the onerous duties of his new office, were also advanced. ' This announcement caused much dissatisfaction, which found vent in exclamations of " Great pity, 1 ' " Best man proposed," "Has already worked well for the qjfitrict," &c. The Chairman considered that the re* signation cf Mr Prosser could not be accepted through a deputy, and that unless his _ proposer,, Mr Cassius, withdrew his motion, his name must remain' on the list.
Mr Cassius declared that such a proceeding on his part was not to be thought of, and the name of Mr Prosser was accordingly retained.
, The Chairman said he should take the show of hands. With the consent of the assessors, he appointed Wednesday, the 3rd proximo as the polling day ; and as by that time the electoral roll would be in force, those who had registered their, names,upon it would be emitted to vote. He could thiis answer satisfactorily the question raised by Mr Robinson, ,as he presumed those parties who held freeholds had enrolled themselves.
A show of hands was then taken, which resulted as follows \ —
Mr Bonar, 66 ; Mr Shaw, 48 ; Mr Prosser, 65; Mr Munro, 28; Mr J. it. Anderson, 64 ;Mr Cas&ius, 44 ; Mr T. Howartb, 14 ; Mr C. Williams, 58 ; Mr Hungerford, 44: Mr F>L. Clark, 22 ; Mr J. B. Ciark,33; Mr Ecclesfield, 52 ; Mr Lynch, 40 ; Sir J. Hall, • 40, Mr Cumming, 6,1 j Mr J. Fitzsimmons. 44 ; Mr C. Fitzsimmons, 26 ; Mr Hansen, 27 ; Mr Klein, 40 ; Mr Mowatj 66.
The following gentlemen were therefore declared duly elected :— Messrs J. Bonar, Shaw, Prosser, J. R. Audersop, Cassius, C. Williams, Hungerford, R. Ecclesfield, A. Mowat. N
A poll was demanded by the proposers • of the rejected candidates, which was appointed to be held at the Warden's Conrt, between the hours of 1,0 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Wednesday, the 3rd proximo. This announcement wa9 succeeded by a call upon several of the successful candidates to address the' meeting. Mr Shaw first -responded. He thanked the meeting for the honor he had received; at the same time "it was evident to him that > only^a very small minority of the community would be found qualified to record their votes on the"' polling ' day. This would be exceedingly unsatisfactory to the .gentlemen elected, as he felt confident -they would' much pre x fer being returned by the great voice of the people. The first movement of the ~ - new Council w6uld be the formation of a ratepayers' roll, which would establish a totally different' qualification to the present one, extending the Municipal franchise very considerably. In the event of his election he should — after the formation of the roll — move the resignation of the first v elected Council, in order that another might be elected .pn a broader basis. He again thanked the*meeting, end retired amidst a storm of mingled applause and ' disapprobation. Mr J. R. Anderson thanked the meeting for the show of hands in his favor, and promised jthat, should he be elected, no effort should be wanting on his part to advance the interests of the town. (Immense applause and laughter;) Mr C. Williams also returned thanks in the same strain, and retired amidst decided approbation. v , Mr Cassius, was truly- , obliged to the meeting for the position he found himself in that day, and if elected should not, he trusted, be found wanting in efforts to advance -the best interests of Hokitika. - Fortunately for himself, he possessed property in nearly every part of the towr f and might, therefore, be depended up n • as one not li£ely to strive for the advancement of any one locality. He should be impartial, as hia interests were divided. (Cheers, groans, and hisses.) Mr J. Bonar returned thanks in a few modest and well-chosen sentences.
Mr Munro wished to return thanks ' to his proposer and % seconder, aud the minority ' who supported his claim?. There was no " tel'ing what- -^ the . polling day might bring forth — perhaps /his election to the Council. He had ever be6n foremost in promoting the interests of tne town since it was first founded, and promised unflagging zeal if the confidence of the people was still accorded him. (Great confusion, laughter, and groans.) Mr Klein, in the midst of great uproar T attempted to return thanks, but for spme time could not be heard as the meeting by this time had reached a decidedly frisky humor. He was obliged to., the gentlemen who had so supported him, ' and as he possessed some '• stakes" in the town — (shrieks of laughter, groans, cheers and cries of " Where is Charley "Williams' gridiron ?" " Where did get them ? from off the' runin?'' followed this truly unfortunate remark, but Mr Klein stood his ground manfully, and when the in- / tense row somewhat subsided, concluded his remarks by declaring that, if elected, he should strive to do good for himself, and as a natural consequence, for the town •'- also.
This humorous episode in the afterJJ noon's proceedings, evidently increased the desire of the meeting for a little further excitement, and a torrent of cries called upon Mr Binney to come forward. He, however, declined, and a vote of thanks having been very heartily accorded to Mr Sale for the able and impartial manner in which he had filled the chair, the meeting gradually dispersed.
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West Coast Times, West Coast Times, Issue 315, 26 September 1866
THE MUNICIPAL COUNCIL NOMINATIONS. West Coast Times, Issue 315, 26 September 1866
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