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THE LANDING.

We are all standing in suspense, when suddenly the boom oftheGalatea'sgun ia heard, asthe salute is given when the Duke leaves the Royal vessel. All is now expectation. The Maori band who face the edge of the wharf begin to move their arms and limbs ; the rest of us press forward to get good places. Then there is a lull for a little, and at this point Captain M'JBarnct steps between the lines of troops, and says in a clear stentorian voice that three cheers are to bo given when his Royal Highness lands. Only a few moments elapse and then the galley rounds the outer Tof the wharf. Nearer and nearer comes the boat bearing the sailor Prince. The excitement of the Maoris becomes uncontrollable. They gesticulate ; they dance ; they throw their arms and weapons wildly in the air, while they yell like fiends let loose from Pandemonium. But all this fierce yelling is of the most friendly character. They are bidding the Duke welcome. Haere mai ! Haeremai! they yell with stentorian power, and the boats crew seem profoundly puzzled to know what on earth they mean. Still there is no doubt aboutwhat thosehearty ßritish cheers mean, which pealed forth from thousands of throats — make the welkin ring with their melody. And now the Puke has landed, accompanied by the Hon. Elliot Yorke — a procession is formed, and all proceed down the wharf, at the end of whioh his Royal Highness is met by his Honor Dr Featherston, who presents him ' t with the following address of welcome : — «'To His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinbttbgh. " May it please your Royal Highness, " We, the inhabitants of the Province of Wellington, unite in offering to your Royal Highness a sincere and hearty welcome to the shores of New Zealand. "We hail your speedy return to these seas as j a proof of the interest taken by our beloved Sovereign and your Royal Highness in these the remotest dependencies of the British Crown, and the confidence which her Majesty reposes in the -loyalty and devotion of her colonial subjects, unabated by an occurrence which must have caused her great anxiety, and which postponed for a year the honour and pleasure which we now enjoy in your presence among us. " The general financial depression which has taken place during that period, and the sad tragedies which have recently been enacted at our very doors, have necessarily cast a temporary gloom over the colony, and your Royal Highness will hardly expect or desire that at such a time we should endeavour«to rival the other colonies of the Australian group in the extent or completeness of the preparations for your reception. "We shall, however, hope to vie with them in earnestness and cordiality. " We also believe that on your travels through the Islands, your Royal Highness will discover the certain indications of great natural resources, destined to reward in the future, the industry and enterprise of a great population. " You will likewise see an interesting aboriginal race, many members o£ whom have long been, and still are, faithful subjects of the Crown : and

in the European colonists you will recognise a body of British people not to be surpassed elsewhere in fidelity to the Throne, in love and admiration of tlio Sovereign who, they pray, may for many years occupy it, aud in respect for the memory of the illustrions Prince who so long shared her cares and counsels. " It is a source of extreme satisfaction to us to see you in health among us, and we humbly pray that Almighty God, whose Providence lias so signally shielded you in your hour of danger, will be pleased to preserve you during a long life of health, happiness, and usefulness, to be an ornament of that noble profession which you have adopted, and with which the greatness and glory of England must for ever be associated." His Koyal Highness repliod as follows : — Mr Superintendent and Gentlemen. — I thank you sincerely fov the address which you bave jusfc presented to me, and I avail myself of this occasion to request you to express to the inhabitants of tli^ province of Wellington my warm acknowledgements for the hearty welcome with which they have greeted me to-day. Tho impression made upon me this day by the kind and cordial reception which has been accorded to me on this my first visit to Now Zealand, can never bo obliterated from my mind, and deeply will the Queen, my mother, be gratified by the proof which it affords, that tho great interest which she takes in the welfare of this dis- | tant portion of her empire, and which she has been anxious to mark by my presence amongst you, is met on their part by feelings of affectionate devotion to Herself, Throne, and Family. It is my most earnest prayer gentlemen, that in the portions of this island now bo unhappily disturbed by the savage hostility (characterised by the greatest cruelties) of certdin hostile natives, the blessings of peace may speedily be restored, through the energy which already has been displayed by the colonists and the guidance of Almighty God. Your expressions of affectionate interest in all that concerns ray future welfare and usefulness in the career that I have chosen, are such as to demand ano less cordial response on my part. I assure you they will never be forgotten. Ai/fred. To the Superintendent on behalf of the inhabitants of the province of Wellington. His Honor then read an address from the Maoris, to which his Eoyai Highness ruudo a suitable reply.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/WI18690413.2.11.1

Bibliographic details

THE LANDING., Wellington Independent, Volume XXIV, Issue 2822, 13 April 1869

Word Count
935

THE LANDING. Wellington Independent, Volume XXIV, Issue 2822, 13 April 1869

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