ELECTION OF MAYOR.
Yesterday an adjourned meeting of the .Borough Council was held for^he purpose of electing a succe^or to C.E. Button, Esq., resigned, in the Mayoralty of Hokitika. The retiring Mayor occupied the chair, and conducted the proceedings, and I'rs Clarke, Hawkins, Higgin, Cosgrave, White, Macfarlane, Boyle, and Jack ; the whole Council, in fact, were also present. The minutes of the last meeting were read and confirmed The Chairman then rose and said that the only business before the meeting -was the election of the Mayor and that the las*; meeting of the Council had been specially adjourned for this purpose. He called on the Councillors present to proceed, therefore, with the election. Cr Cosgrave said that he had great pleasure in proposing Councillor Boyle, and he considered that that gentleman, as the oldest Councillor, had a right to expect , such an appointment at their hands. ' Hokitika had bpen particularly f rtunate in its selection of Mayors, and no town had possessed men of greater talents than Hokitika had been favored with. He was aware that Councillor Boyle did not posses-s the brilliant ability with which his predecessor had been gifted, but he felt sure that in integrity and impartiality he was in every respect equal. He ho]*ed that all, in case of Mr Boyle's election, would support the chair, and that it would not be ne'. < eß^a^y for him to rule them with a rojj.of-iron. . • - — 7~^~*~ Cr Macfarlane seconded the resolution, remarking, at the same time, that during the remainder of the year, two months', if Councillor Boyle did not conic >spto their expectation, they would have r chance of signifying tbe same by vote at 1 sat time. The Chairman asked if auy «>ther councillor had any gentleman to , i-opose, but his inquiry elicited no respon. ■. lie proceeded to sfly that he felt gn ily gratified that Mr Boj'le had been nominated to the office of Mayor, and had no doubt that in that position he would give every satisfaction ; if he did not, he felt sure that he would spare no pains to do his duty. Though the Council had an aversion to the iron rod, he hoped that they would appreciate its good eflects. In his rule he mi^ht sometimes have appe.u-ed harsh, and he perhaps might have been so, but they would yet appreciate its importance. His only fear was that Mr Boyle would be far too' good natured to all. He, perhaps, might have been too much the other way, but had only acted as he had through having s&n the importance of conducting public business with decorum. The motion was then put, . and cariied unanimously. The Chairman said that he had great pleasure in vacating his seat in Councillor Boyle's favor, and he trusted always that the* same forbearance that he had experienced at the hands of the Council would L>e extended to his successor. During his term of «ffice he had always been met in. • the best spirit, and their deliberations had been conducted with pleasure to themselves and good to the public generally. Cr Boyle was then conducted to the chair, Mr Button vacating it. He begged to thank the Council for their unanimous vote in his favor, and he assured the members that he would endeavor to conduct the business to the best of his ability. He could not discharge the duties in the same able manner that bis predeces«or had done for the last nine months. They had had the aulest man in Hokitika to preside over them, and when he (the late Mayor) went away, the ablest man in the community had gone from them. During his (the speaker's) time of office he had not taken up much ot the public time in speaking, he had left that to others more anxious to distinguish themselves than he was in this respect. When he took his first seat in the Council with Messrs Button and Higgin, the back streets of the town were in a i;eplorable condition, and petitions without number were being constantly received from ) ersons who were not really- able to attend . their various places of worship. At that' time the Corporation had great difficulties to encounter, for they had literally to make streets out of the bush. They had, however, succeeded in conquering these obstacles, and people had now access to their own houses in comfort. A great sum of money had been spent on river bank proteciion, and he regretted to say that he thought far more would he required, and he trusted that taking into consideration their financial . condition, members would be careful in proposing- any new work not absolutely needed. He was sorry to say that he thought it would be imperatively necessary to impose a shilling rate, for even that would leave but a very >mall sum for public works after paying expenses. He begged to thank them for the honor they had done him, and Crs Cosgrave and Macfarlane especially, for the very flattering terms they had spoken of him in proposing him to the office of Mayor. , , , Cr J. 8.. Clarke said that Cr Boyle had tow elwted p % higher flftw dw* w
Council could bestow, and he trusted that he would discharge its duties with honor to himself and credit to his fellow citizens. The ex-Mayor had certainly sometimes ruled them with a rod of iron, and, what was more, sometimes it was red hot. Since his taking otiiee, however, they bad greatly improved, and he trusted that the new Mayor's experience would show that they were still capable of improvement. He hoped that the Council, under its new head, would work harmoniously together for the good of tbe place they had made their ad pted home. He trusted that they would uphold the authority of the Mayor, and keep up the dignity of the Council as far as every one possibly could 4
Cr £liggin congratulated the new Mayor On the position he had attained tos and cordially wished him well. A' the saraeti -c, he rose specially to testify to the very satisfactory manner in which the ex-Mayor had performed his duties. It would have, in his opinion, been better if some one vrho had sat with him longer had proposed the motion he was about to bring forward; but at the same time, through having been in the Council before with Mr Button, he could testify to his business ability and industry, in fact he (Mr Button) had been a member during trying times, and had always been foremost in getting them through their difficulties The whole Council would bear testimony, he felt sure, to the able and efficient raanuer in ■which Mr Button had discharged his duties, and had never, in the slighttst degree shown favor or partiality. On leaving, he (Mr Higgin) felt sure that Mr Button would bear with him the best wishes of all with whom he had come in contract with on the West Coast, and he was sure that there were very few who were able to take the same part in public matters that he had done. Not alone the Borough Council would sustain a loss through Mr Button leaving, but others too, and be hoped to see the present ex -Mayor resume the position in Hokitika that he i had hitha-to held. He proposed the best thanks of the Council should be tendered to Mr Button, and concluded by moving the following resolution: — "That this Council, in accepting the resignation of Mr Button as Mayor, take the opportunity of expressing their appreciation of his valuable services during the term of his Mayoralty: and that Councillors Macfarlane, Cos^rave, Jack, and the -mover, be a committee to prepare an address to be presented to Mr Button prior to his leaving the West Coast, and that a copy of the same be placed, as a record, on the minutes of this Council "
Cr Jack had great pleasure in seconding the resolution, arid remarked that Air Button had held no less than six different public positions, in all of which he had ably distinguished himself, and had sacrificed hig own business and comfort in doing so. T He thiught more than a bare vote of thanks should be given to Mr Button, and that they should mark their sense of his services in a more substantial manner.
Cr J. B. < larke regretted that instead of the comparatively private farewell supper which they were about to tender Mr Button 'hey had not made arrangements for a public dinner, which he felt assured would have been largely attended. He spoke of the great services Mr Button had rendered to the Literary S <ciety, and in eulogising that gentleman generally, said that he was a re#l •' Jerusalem blade." The motion was put and carried nem. con.
Mr Button returned thanks, expressing the gratification he felt at the remarks that had fallen fiom his brother Councillors on his conduct during his connection with them. He confessed to the weakness of liking to bear himself well spoken of, but though he had discharged the duties devolving on him to the best of his ability, still the praise that had been bestowed on him was greater than he expected or anticipated. He had, however, the satisfaction— the greatest satisfaction, in his opinion — to know that he had done his best, and he had the satisfaction of giving" satisfaction to his own mind. He had done bis duty as far as possible, and he could have done no more, and though many things should have been done that ■were not, ail was done that time would admit of. He thauked them heartily for their approval of bis conduct, though he could not help thinking that in thanking him they had laid it on rather thick. At the same time, he felt that the tribute they had paid him was genuine, and he accepted it as their genuine opinion, which could not be other thau gratifying. Although he was leading, it "was not by any mi ans impos ible that he would not return. There was a possibility of return, for he was visiting his native laud, with the idea of testing the value of the alleged gold discoveries there, which, if proved, would revive trade and commerce, and start it into a new existence. It was not surprising if he preferred to live in his native land. He intended to make a personal inspection of the island, and engage men to prospect it thoroughly in every likely '-pot, and, if he succeeded, he should settle there. If, on the contrary, it proved that the reports which had re.ched here had been exaggerated, and were not borne out by facts, he would imme liately return to the West Coast. He would deeply regret leaving so many friends a 9 he had found here, friends that he had ne\ er met with but in Invercargill, where all were like one family. He repeated his sorrow at leaving 60 many that he esteemed, and the regret with Avhich he parted from them. In conclusion he bore noble testimony to the highly-efficient officers that the Council possessed, speaking most highly of the Town Clerk, Town Surveyor, Mr Clayton, and the messenger, and said that wi b such men the woik of the Couucil went on smoothly and well, and he hoped the same gentlemen would long fill their respective offices. Finally he again thanked the councillors for their expressions of good will, remarking that though all had not spoken, he accepted their votes as testimony to the good feeling expressed in the resolution.
Cr White moved— "That the Council adjourn," and in doing so would like to be understood that, though he did not speak, he thought quite as strongly as those who did in reference to Mr Button. He did not speak because, as Mr Button had remarked, he thought the speaktr. had been laying it on thick, and he did not think that it was becoming to sit there in the middle of the day lavishing prais-. ou the gentleman referred to.
Mr Button seconded the adjournment, and quite understood Mr White s motives. If he had been afflicted with modesty he must have been overwhelmed with blushes at the praise he had been loaded with. As it was he accepted it as showing the good will that he believed the Council Dore him.
This concluded the proceedings, after an informal adjournment to the Empire Hotel, where certain long-necked bottles were emptied in honor of the newly-elected and the raring Mayors, h«4 tyk.en plape .
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ELECTION OF MAYOR., West Coast Times, Issue 1271, 19 October 1869
ELECTION OF MAYOR. West Coast Times, Issue 1271, 19 October 1869
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