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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Nelson, Marlborough & Westland Provincial Districts]

Nelson Licensing Committee

Nelson Licensing Committee.

Although there are twenty-two licensed houses in Nelson, instances of drunkenness are rarely witnessed in the streets. The Licensing Committee exercises authority over the whole of the Nelson electoral district, and at the last election the highest number of votes polled by a Prohibition candidate was 484 below the number obtained by the lowest moderate candidate standing. The Committee consists of the Stipendiary Magistrate of the district, and five other persons who are elected for a period of three years. Meetings are held quarterly for the renewal, the transfer, or the removal of licenses. Hotels in Nelson close at eleven o'clock. The Licensing Committee is composed of Mr. H. Eyre-Kenny, S.M., chairman ex officio, and Messrs H. Atmore, Philip Best, John D. Beuke, William Coleman, and E. E. Trask. Mr. E. C. Kelling, clerk of the Committee, is also clerk of the Magistrate's Court.

Mr. H. Eyre-Kenny , who is exofficio chairman of the Licensing Committee, is referred to in another article as Stipendiary Magistrate of Nelson.

Mr. Harry Atmore , who was elected a member of the Nelson Licensing Committee in 1903, also represents the ratepayers on the Education Board. Six days before the general election in 1902, Mr. Atmore, at the request of a large number of fellowcitizens, offered himself as a candidate for the Nelson seat in the House of Representatives, his opponents being Mr. John Graham, M.H.R. and Mr. Jesse Piper. Although the time was so short, Mr. Atmore rose to the occasion, and travelled over a great portion of the electorate, delivering as many as five speeches in a day; the polling, considering the short time the candidate was before the electors, was most satisfactory, the result being: Mr. Graham, 2156; Mr. Atmore, 1633; and Mr. Piper, 521. Mr. Atmore has decided to again contest the seat at the general election in 1905, and his supporters have already predicted the return of their candidate. Mr. Atmore was born in 1870, in Nelson, and is the son of an old colonist, who arrived by the ship “Creswell.” He was educated at the Nelson public school, and was apprenticed to Mr. A. Lawson, signwriter and decorator, Wellington, with whom he remained for eight years, before returning to Nelson, and started in business on his own account. Mr. Atmore is a member of the Royal Arch Chapter of Freemasons, No. 157, Scottish Constitution, of the Southern Star Lodge, No. 735, English Constitution, Nelson and of the Forest Lodge, New Zealand Constitution, Wakefield. In the past he has been associated with various athletic bodies, and has represented the province in interprovincial football matches. Mr. Atmore has made a deep study of the liquor question; and to his efforts, and those of the Rev. McKee Wright and others, is due the formation of the State Control League of New Zealand.

Mr. Philip Best , J.P., a member of the Licensing Committee, is also a member of the Nelson Harbour Board and of the Waimea County Council.

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Mr. William Coleman , a member of the Licensing Committee, is elsewhere referred to as a member of the Nelson Harbour Board, and as MajorQuarter-Master Coleman of the Nelson volunteers.

Mr. Ernest E. Trask , J.P., was appointed to the Nelson Licensing Committee by the Government in 1904, to fill the seat rendered vacant by the resignation of Mr. William Ackersten. He was born at Nelson in 1864, and educated at the Bishop's School, and Nelson College, Mr. Trask is president of the City Club, and a supporter and office-bearer of many local athletic and social organisations. He was married, in March, 1899, to a daughter of Mr. R. Simpson, and has two sons.