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The Evening Herald. TUESDAY, FEB. 6, 1872.

The interest taken by the cits in matters municipal is evidenced by the wellattended aud enthusiastic meeting held last night to nominate candidates for the ofiice of Mayor. A more orderly meeting could not be convened in any part of the world, and it implants the hope not only that the Municipal Council in time will be a faithful reflex of the intelligence of the community, but that the government of the town will be faithfully administered. As we anticipated, there was a merry humour at the. meeting which displayed itself in nominating candidates who neither desired to stand nor were eligible for the office. This was soon remedied, however, by some declining to be nominated, and the names of others being withdrawn. The candidates were finally reduced to four— Mr Francis Williamson, Mr W. H. Watt, Mr John Garner, and Mr William Hutchison. The qualifications of these gentlemen are of the most diverse character. We think we may at the outset eliminate Mr Garner from the list. Mr Garner is the oldest settler and one of the most respected in this community, und does not seek to be saddled with the cares of an office that cannot enhance his position among his fellow townsmen. We think we are almost justified in saying that he will retire before it comes to voting in favour of his old friend Mr Williamson. Mr Watt has similar claims to Mr Garner, but as he is not in Wanganui we are not yet certain that he will stand. Of Mr Williamson there is no doubt; he has proclaimed his colours from the beginning—which, we understand, are the red white and blue—and will seek to preside over his old friends, Messrs Duthie and West, to the end of the term. Mr Williamson declared himself and his principles in honest and straightforward language last night, but gave himself a recommendation which struck us as peculiar in coming from a public platform. He •was perhaps naively giving some of his fellow candidates a hit under the small ribs when he said he was of "good imoral character/ We cannot help thinking that the recommendation was one that ought to be more taken into account than it is, though a candidate for the highest municipal office should

possess other qualities. The last! speaker, always excepting the inevitable i Mr Brown, was Mr Hutchison, who] spoke with his accustomed fluency,! which has been acquired by frequent] practice in the pulpit, the style being j eminently pulpity. His topics can bej easilj summarised, if we say his speech \ was a re-hash of the after-dinner: speeches at Cap bain Peters's banquet He had the extreme modesty to tell the ratepayers that the dignity of the office ought to be upheld by appointing the right person in the first instance. The right person, of course, was himself; and he assumed, what was absurd enough, that the Mayor would have a good deal to do with the navigation of the river. The Mayor's influence, he ought to have known, is confined within the limits of the town belt, and tho weak point of the port is outside this boundary. But clap-trap answered the immediate purpose. A sketch of all that ought to be done in Wanganui is very interesting though very old, but would have been more interesting and very new if Mr Hutchison had applied his logic and told the meeting how the Mayor would proceed to accomplish even one of the good purposes named. Whatever reforms may be carried out in Wanganui, their inception and com- j pletion rest alone with the Council. The Mayor every place else is supposed to be a kindly, homely person, who dispenses hospitality with the magnificence of a Warwick, but has very little to do with conceiving and carrying out schemes of municipal policy. As it ia not very delicate for this fluent exponent of the duties of Mayor to praise himself m the columns under his control, we shall do him the justice of saying that if platitudes can clear out the drains, and procure a liberal supply of fresh water, Mr Hutchison will make an admirable Mayor. He ought to have told the truth, however, and, instead of saying that he knew nothing of his intended nomination, candidly confessed that he was quite aware his amiable friend" Brown" had had him in tow for several weeks. Without prevarication, could Mr Hutchison truthfully answer he had never heard he was going to be nominated, until it was actually done ? The rumour of his nomination has been current for two or three months, and the chances are a million to one but it was whispered to him more than once. His speech was one carefully prepared for the occasion, and we cannot help our belief that ministers and preachers and the like are not a bit better than other people, but very often think they have the privilege of occasionally reducing to a secondary place the truth. We still think Mr Williamson is entitled to the office of Mayor for the first term, and that if elected he will discharge his duties satisfactorily fco the public. He has been most indefatigable in attending to his duties as Chairman of the Board, and we think his well-known taste and skill in his profession would be beneficially employed on behalf of the public it his miserable opponents in Council could be reduced to their proper position by an infusion of new blood. We recommend the e]ectors to abstain from playing into the hands of a clique that has existed for some time on the Board, and vote for the man who they believe will honestly ancl faithfully fill the office of Mayor.

Irritability.—-Ic is always unfortunate for a person of some ambition to find himself frustrated in his plans and projects and the man is happy who can preserve his equanimity in the midst of disappointment. Mr Duthie is a young man of energy and business capacity, which would carry him through successfully, if he could only change an irritable nature which cannot brook opposition. When he proposed last night that absurd resolution, which looked very like a dodge, to have the election on tlie day following the nomination, and found the meeting opposed to him, he got up and in a rambling disjointed speech, barked ancl snapped at the meeting like his canine friend. The consequence was that when he found himself ignominiously defeated, he collapsed, to rise again no more during the evening. He was evidently not born to be a ruler of men, and if he had taken things in good part, he might have participated in tbe business that followed. He appears to be very angry with ourselves, and lias been saying- bis hard things in a communication which we felt bound to reject from our columns ; but really if he does come out j in public he must bear a little criticism. We have no intention of misrepresenting him, and in our animadversions upon him for his conduct with respect to the Chairman of the Town Board, wo have been justified in what we have said by his public actions. Mr Duthie requires to mend his manners as the occupant of a public office and to get out of Lis head the idea that he has a kind of prescription to ride roughshod over his fellow townsmen.

Journalism in Loudon and.the Provinces.—Concerning the position o: the metropolitan Press, the Economist says : —" Unless we are greatly mistaken— and we have watched the process for many years, and have no interests to blind our judgment—a great charge is passing over the position of the metropolitan Press. It is decidedly and visibly losing influence, vigour, and circulation. The number of daily papers published in London declines, their proprietors are less energetic, and the regard of the mass of the people for their opinions daily tends to diminish. We are inclined to believe that, apart from accident, the fall of the London Press, and the rise of the Provincial Press, will continue till we see something like the state of things in America, where each journal, however good, finds geographical limits to its cir culation, and the journals of the greatest city have no universal influence, and only a nominal precedence in the newspaper world. In what way that change will affect the profession, we must leave for' future discussion ; but one of its main results must, we conceive, be to increase the power of journalism in the aggregate while diminishing the power of an individual journal, a change which in England will be a very great one indeed; —and another to make provincial opinion the opinion of the great trading cities, much more influential than that somewhat overcautious and'feeble, but acute, set of ideas usually described as 'London opinion. ' There is crudity very often in the opinion of the province, but it is masculine and broad, which opinion at present, in London certainly is not."

Pedestrianism. — W. Edwards, the celebrated walker, attended at the Cricket ground yesterday, to perform his feat of walking seven miles within the hour. Other sports were advertised, but owing to the lack of entries they all fell through. Shortly after four o'clock the " ped " stripped for his task. He is a tall, slim built young fellow, weighing about 9st 6d, and appeared to be in excellent condition. At the word "go " he started off at a slashing pace, favourably impressing the spectators with his power of travelling. He walks with his head, well back, both arms working from the shoulder and with a peculiar springing step that covers a deal of. ground. Nothing could be fairer, there being not the slightest suspicion of a run. The first mile was done in 8 mm. 20 sec. ; 2nd mile, 9 mm. 2 sec. ; 3rd mile, 7 mm. 58 sec. ; 4th mile, 8 mm. 20 sec. ; sth mile, 9 mm. 15 sec.: 6th mile, 9 mm. 5 sec. ; 7th mile 8 mm. 42 sec, 60 mm. 42 sec. He thus lost by 42 seconds. It was however stated by many present that a mistake was made in counting the laps in the second mile, and that 10 laps were done instead of 9. If this is the case, and we have good authority for it, the 7 miles were done under the hour. A novel match has been arranged for Saturday next at Walker's, Aramoho. Edwards undertakes to walk 75 yards while a well-known amateur runs 100 yards. Several other matches are in progress of which due notice will be given.

Corporation Gazetted.—lnformation was received by Mr Robinson yesterday, that Wanganui has been gazetted a Borough under the Municipal Corporations Act, 1867.

Dr Samuels of this town is at present

engaged in collecting New Zealand plants and shrubs for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, ancl the Medical Reform Association of England, and will be extremely thankful to any person who will favor him with information and individual experience, respecting the medicinal virtues of any of the plants, shrubs, &c, indigenous to New Zealand.

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Permanent link to this item

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Bibliographic details

The Evening Herald. TUESDAY, FEB. 6, 1872., Wanganui Herald, Volume V, Issue 1387, 6 February 1872

Word Count
1,856

The Evening Herald. TUESDAY, FEB. 6, 1872. Wanganui Herald, Volume V, Issue 1387, 6 February 1872

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