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The Jubilee History of Nelson: From 1842 to 1892.

Chapter XII

page 177

Chapter XII.

The Provincial Government 1853 to 1875.—Abolition of the Board of Works. —Establishment of the Municipal Corporation.—The first, and successive Mayors of Nelson—Waterworks and Gasworks.—Municipal Statistics.—Nelson Fire Brigade.—Progress of the Port.—Freemasonry. —Odd-Fellowship.—Ancient Order of Foresters.—Rechabites. —Good Templars.-—Further Particulars of the Nelson Bank.—How Foxhill was named.—Death of Sir David Monro.—The Supreme Court.—The County and District Courts.—Resignation of Mr. John Sharp, R.M.—The Nelson Resident Magistrates.—Amateur Musical Society's First Concert.—The Harmonic Society.—Death of Mr. J S. Cross.

The Province of Nelson was established in 1853, and was abolished by"The Abolition of Provinces Act, 1875." During that period of over 22 years, there were four Superintendents, viz.: Sir Edward Stafford, G.C.M.G., Mr J. P. Robinson, Mr. Alfred Saunders, and Mr. Oswald Curtis. The Provincial Executive at first was constituted upon partially responsible lines, and a certain number of the members had to present themselves for re-election upon accepting executive office. The Executive became later the mere organs of the Chief Executive Officer, and were responsible only to him, and not to the Provincial Council. This led to difficulties with the Council, and efforts were made from time to time to effect a change.

As the gold-fields progressed, the number of members of Provincial Council was increased. In 1867 the Council increased the number of its members to twenty-six, of whom three represented the Grey, and two the Buller districts. In 1869, however, the numbers were reduced to nineteen; the Buller returning two, the Grey two and Charleston one. The proportion of gold-fields members to the whole Council was thus materially increased.

The gold-fields members, as a body, were strongly in favour of responsible executive government.

In 1870, an Executive Government Act was passed, which provided that the Executive Council should consist of five members, and that the Superintendent should, with the advice of such Council, conduct the administration of the Government of the Province. The Council was to consist of a Provincial Secretary, a Provincial Treasurer, and Provincial Solicitor (any two of which offices might be held by the same person), and two other persons, one of whom was to represent the interests of the Goldfields in the Executive. Not more than four nor less than three members of the Executive Council might have seats in the Provincial Council; and those who were members of the page 178Provincial Council were—with the exception of the Provincial Secretary—to be removable on the passing of a vote to that effect by the Council.

The Executive appointed under this Act were:—Mr. Alfred Greenfield, Provincial Secretary; Mr. Henry Adams, Provincial Solicitor; Mr. Sharp, Provincial Treasurer pro. tern.; and Mr. Joseph Shephard and Mr. Alexander Reid, members of the Executive.

It was felt by some that this Act removed from the Superintendent the Executive responsibility which was attached to him by the Constitution Act, and that the Provincial Council was altogether too small a body for the efficient working of the machinery of responsible Government. From this, and from other causes, there was soon a demand for a repeal of the Act, which was a curious compromise, the principle of Executive responsibility being only partially conceded. The Provincial Secretary, for instance, could not be removed by a vote of want-of-confidence passed by the Provincial Council, but the other members of the Executive could be if they were members of the Provincial Council. Another anomaly was that if the irremovable Provincial Secretary held also the office of Provincial Treasurer, a hostile vote of the Council would compel him to resign the latter office, whilst as Provincial Secretary he continued to pursue the even tenor of his way. The Act also made it apparently compulsory on the Superintendent to appoint the two non-official members of the Executive.

In 1871, this Act, after a short existence of twelve months, was repealed, and"The Executive Government Act, 1871," was passed. This provided for the appointment of a Provincial Secretary, a Provincial Treasurer, and a Provincial Solicitor, any two of which offices might be held together, and—at the discretion of the Superintendent—of two other members, but not more than four members of the Executive were to have seats in the Provincial Council.

Under this Act. Mr. Alfred Greenfield was appointed Provincial Secretary; Mr. Henry Adams, Provincial Solicitor; and Mr. Joseph Shephard, Provincial Treasurer. In December, 1872, Mr. Shephard resigned the Treasureship, and Mr. Greenfield took the appointment, in addition to that of Provincial Secretary.

In December, 1873, there was a further re-construction of the Executive, Mr. Henry Adams becoming Deputy-Superintendent; Mr. Joseph Shephard, Provincial Treasurer; Mr. Pitt, Provincial Solicitor; and Mr. Shapter, member of Executive; Mr. Greenfield continuing to hold the office of Provincial Secretary.

"The Executive Act, 1871," continued in operation until 1874, when the advocates of responsible government, having page 179gained sufficient strength, secured its repeal, and the passing in its stead of"The Executive Act, 1874." This Act introduced the principle of entire responsibility by the Executive to the Provincial Council.

The Executive appointed were:—Mr. O'Conor, Provincial Secretary and Treasurer; Mr. Pitt, Provincial Solicitor; Mr. Shapter, Gold-fields Secretary; and Mr. Rout, Member of Executive.

The Act provided that the Executive was to consist of not less than two, and not more than four, and that all must be members of the Provincial Council.

Mr. Shapter very shortly resigned. The Hon. N. Edwards, M.L.C., was appointed in 1875 a non-official member of the Executive; and Mr. Rout relieved Mr. O'Conor of the Provincial Treasury.

This was the first, and last responsible government, pure and simple.

The City is indebted to the Provincial Government for its Water and Gas Works; the country districts for the pushing on of road making, and the construction of bridges so far as funds would allow. Provincial Government was hailed as a great boon by the old settlers, who had lived so long without any real voice in the making of the laws by which the social order of the settlement was regulated; and who resented the payment of taxes without any adequate representation in the body entrusted with the expenditure of the public revenues. Under Provincialism the people of the province were invested with the power of making most of the laws required for the good government of the province; and they had also the spending of all local revenues (excepting a portion of the Customs revenue), including that arising from the sale of Crown lands.

There were many who regarded the abolition of the provinces with deep regret; and there are some who hold that the signs of the times point to a return to Provincialism in some modified form.

There were only two Speakers of the Nelson Provincial Council —Mr.Donald Sinclair, who resigned in 1857; and the Hon. J. W. Barnicoat, M.L.C., who succeeded him, who was continuously re-elected from that time until the abolition of the Provinces; and was shortly after called to the Legislative Council. The Hon. Mr. Barnicoat is one of the few survivors of the Wairau Massacre. Of those who held executive office, we have Mr. Alfred Saunders, M.H.R.; the Hon. Joseph Shephard, M.L.C.; and Mr. E. J. 0 Conor, M.H.R.; still active members of the New Zealand Parliament; whilst Mr. Sharp and Mr. Pitt have both, since the abolition of the provinces, been members of the House of Representatives. Mr. Alfred Greenfield, whose connection with the Provincial Government page 180extended over so many years, was for some years Commissioner of Crown Lands in succession to Mr. H. C. Daniell, and is now Resident Magistrate and Warden for the Buller District. Mr. Oswald Curtis, the latest Superintendent of Nelson, and for several years member for the City in the House of Representatives, and also for a time a member of the Executive Government of the Colony, still resides in Nelson, but has retired for the last few years from active political life. His term of office as Superintendent was, owing to the rapid development of the goldfields, a busy and anxious one, but his consummate tact and genial disposition, enabled him to overcome, apparently with ease, all the difficulties that so frequently presented themselves.

The Board of Works, constituted under"The Town of Nelson Improvement Act," was superseded, on the 30th March, 1874, by the establishment of a Municipal government. The old Board, with limited powers and modest means, had done good work in forming and improving the streets, and in framing bylaws calculated to promote the comfort and health of the inhabitants.

The first Mayor of Nelson was Mr. Joseph Reid Dodson, who was elected on 1st May, 1874, and continued to hold the office until his resignation on 8th January, 1875. He was succeeded by Mr. Joseph Henry Levien, who retained the position until his death on the 7th June, 1876. The next Mayor was Mr. Edward Everett, who was elected on 21st June, 1876, reelected on 20th December, 1876, and resigned on 31st August, 1877. Mr. William Ridd Waters was then elected Mayor, and held the office up to 21st November, 1877, when Mr. Joseph Reid Dodson was again returned, and continued to occupy the Civic chair, having been three times re-elected, up to 22nd November, 1881. Mr. Edward Everett became once more Mayor of Nelson for twelve months, and on 23rd November, 1882, was succeeded by Mr. Charles Yates Fell, who held the office for five successive years, viz, from 23rd November, 1882, to 29th November, 1887. On 30th November, 1887, Mr. John Sharp was elected Mayor, and was twice re-elected, viz., on 20th November, 1888, and 20th November, 1889. On the 26th November, 1890, Mr. Francis Trask became Mayor and was reelected on 16th November, 1891, for the ensuing Jubilee year of the settlement.

The present City Councillors are Messrs. William Akersten, Wm. Bethwaite, Edward Everett, Joseph A. Harley, Charles J. Harley, Jesse Piper, George M. Rout, John Scott, and Malcolm M. Webster. The Town Clerk is Mr. Harry Vincent Gully, Solicitor; and the City Surveyor is Mr. Samuel Jickell, Assoc. M. Inst. C.E.

The City of Nelson contains an area of 48.00 acres. There are about 43 miles of made streets, and 65 miles of footpaths page break
H. V. Gully, T.C. Cr. C. J. Harley. Cr. Rout. Cr. Webster. Cr. Piper. S. Jickell, C.S. Cr. Scott. Cr. Akersten. Cr. J. A. Harley. Mayor Trask. Cr. Everett. Cr. Bethwaite.Nelson Corporation.

H. V. Gully, T.C. Cr. C. J. Harley. Cr. Rout. Cr. Webster. Cr. Piper. S. Jickell, C.S. Cr. Scott. Cr. Akersten. Cr. J. A. Harley. Mayor Trask. Cr. Everett. Cr. Bethwaite.
Nelson Corporation.

page 181The number of dwellings is 1362, of hotels 20, and the population is 6626. The Municipal revenue for 1891 was £13,739, and the annual rateable value of property £69,411.

The Waterworks and Gasworks were originally constructed by the Provincial Government, and were acquired by the Corporation under"The Nelson Gas and Waterworks Sale Act, 1877." They have been since then considerably enlarged and extended. The debt for gas and water supply is £35,900. The profits are applied in extension of works, and in reduction of the price of gas and water. The supply of water is equal to 110 gallons per head per day.

When the Corporation first undertook the management, the price of gas was 12/6 per 1000 feet, and the water rate was six per cent. Now the price of gas is 8/4 for lighting, and 5/10 for cooking, per 1000 feet; and the water rate is 3½ per cent, on dwellings, and 2½ per cent, on stores. Up to the end of the last financial year, 31st March, 1891, the profits on gas amounted to £10,715, and on water to £4667, and the whole has been spent in extending the works, and in effecting extensive modern improvements.

The public reserves under the control of the Corporation are the Botanical Gardens, 21 acres; Trafalgar Park, 14 acres; Victory Square, 6 acres; the Queen's Gardens, 3¼ acres; and Trafalgar Square.

The Marine Swimming Baths at the Port were erected by, and are the property of the Corporation.

It is proposed to construct a road 60 feet wide round the Rocks, to join the main trunk line of road at Stoke. A sea-wall of concrete blocks is to be built about 15 feet high, and filled in with the parings of the cliffs. It is believed that the railway will ultimately come round this way to avoid the hills. This important public work will cost a little over £10,000, which will be divided between the Government, the City of Nelson, the Waimea County, and the Richmond Borough Councils.

The Nelson Volunteer Fire Brigade was formed in 1866, after the disastrous fire that occurred at Mr. C. M'Gee's hotel, whereby the whole four corners of Collingwood and Bridge street were consumed, including various other buildings. The Provincial Council seeing its necessity at that time, liberally contributed towards its formation.

The first captain was John Thomas Knight, who had had some experience in such matters, and who materially assisted in its formation. He was followed, in succession, by Messrs. W. G. Mirfin, Manson Sinclair, Henry Wimsett, and Wm. Lightfoot, and the Brigade is now commanded by Captain Charles Bird.

The Nelson Fire Brigade is recognised, not only by the citizens but also by the brigades of the Colony, as being one of page 182most efficient and best equipped. For many years support was obtained by annual subscriptions from the public, which were supplemented by the gift of £100 per annum from the Insurance agents. This amount was afterwards increased by a donation from the City Council of £40 per annum. About two years ago the Insurance Companies declined to continue their subscriptions, and, consequently, the burden was cast upon the City Council of supplying the necessary funds. Within the last year the Council have levied a fire rate for that purpose. The annual cost of the up-keep, including all expenses allowed by them, is £200, but this amount is insufficient, and it will be necessary to augment it in some way in future to prevent the collapse of a most efficient and excellent brigade, which would be a serious public misfortune, as nothing could be more complete or cheaper than the present arrangements. To give some idea of the amount of plant accumulated, it may be stated that the brigade own one twenty-four manual engine (but which is rarely used on account of the splendid water supply), one hook and ladder carriage, with over 50ft. of ladders, and all necessary appliances connected therewith. They have seven hose stations disposed of at various places about the town, and in which are kept all appliances necessary for fire extinguishing, consisting ot 200ft. hose, branches, hydrants, &c. Upon the seven reels possessed by them there is constantly ready for use very nearly one mile of canvas hose, this brigade using nothing else; principally on account of its lightness and cleanliness. They have also in stock another half-mile ready for use, besides having a large quantity of spare brass-work ready for the same purpose. Altogether the plant accumulated by them cannot be worth far short of £1000. There is one thing that is unique in the history of this brigade, and that is the long service of some of the members, three of whom have been connected with it for the last 25 years, viz., Messrs. Cooksey, Truman, and H. Wimsett, who joined at either its formation, or immediately afterwards. The officers at present are—Captain, Charles Bird (who has been a member of the brigade for 24 years); Lieutenant, Charles King; Foremen, Henry Wimsett, Thomas Wimsett, J. H. Eichards, and Truman; Mr. William Cooksey, Hon. Sec. The brigade, which numbers 21 members, possesses a band of 16 performers, which is under the conductorship of Mr. James Bashford.

The Nelson Salvage Cobps has 22 members, the officers being—Captain, vacant; First Lieutenant, E. Price; Second Lieutenant, S. Young; Foreman, J. Clark; Secretary, L. Pitts; Treasurer, R. Burn.

In 1855 Nelson had no wharf where vessels even of the smallest tonnage could lie afloat at low water springs. The wharves were: Messrs. Morrison & Sclanders', at Auckland Point, which could only be reached at high water on a flat-bottomed page break
Nelson, 1892

Nelson, 1892

page 183lighter; Captain Nicholson's wharf, about 8 feet wide, nearly opposite the Gas Works site; and the Custom House wharf, where the Commercial wharf now stands, the outer piles of which were dry on a low spring tide. In 1856, and previous thereto, vessels of considerable tonnage—in fact quite as large as those now in the London trade—came in safely under canvas, or by towing with boats ahead. In that year the"Rock City," a large American vessel drawing about 20 feet, ran up the Waimea, and was discharged into the barque"Admiral Napier," Captain Akersten; and for some years after the Waimea was open, Captain Johnson's vessels, the large barques"Kate Waters,""Island City," and others, used to run cattle up to a wharf designed and built by Captain Akersten. This channel is now barely sufficient for a 5 ton boat. The first attempt in advance in wharf improvement was made in 1856 by Captain Nicholson, who determined to build a wharf where the Naval Brigade Boat-shed now stands. The sale being agreed upon by Mr. Cross and him, it was arranged that the"Admiral Napier" was to form the end, and serve also as a hulk with a deck warehouse. Mr. Akersten was entrusted to prepare plans and construct it, and the vessel was duly moored by the Harbour Master; but while the lists for the timber were being prepared, a heavy spring tide and south-west gale proved the unsuitableness of the site by causing the"Admiral Napier" to find a place of rest on the flat opposite the present cemetery. A much better site was then decided upon, and new plans were made out for the present site of the Albion Wharf. The new wharf was finished in about six months, and had about 8 feet water low water springs. This first deep water wharf was named the"Napier Wharf." After a while the wharf changed hands and received considerable repairs and enlargements at the cost of Mr. J. Livick; the plans and alterations being made by Mr. Akersten, and 9 feet depth was obtained. The Provincial Government, urged by the Port residents, determined to build a new wharf, the cost of which was to be about 4 to £5000. Competitive plans were called for, and resulted in the premium being divided between Mr. Akersten and Mr. Jacobsen; the former for the general plan, and the latter for detail plan. Plans and specifications were drawn out, and tenders were invited, which ranged from £6800 to £3488, at which latter price the work was taken by Akersten and Turner, to be completed in 12 months. Mr. Symons having bought out Mr. Livick, the services of Mr. Akersten were again called into requisition to prepare plans for a new Albion Wharf, which was duly tendered for, the successful tenderer being Mr. Akersten. This wharf was duly completed, giving about 10 to 11 feet low water, and has since then been improved from time to time. But the spirit of wharf improvement had seized a very energetic Provincial Council, and a Bill was passed authorizing the borrowing of £25,000 for a new page 184wharf. After two plans had been rejected as too costly, the Executive determined to place the preparation in the hands of Mr. Akersten, with instructions not to exceed the amount of £25,000. Plans were prepared, a tender let, and the wharf was duly completed. The cost was altogether about £24,500. The depth of water now obtained was from 25 to 30 feet on the outside, and abut 20 on the inside berths. The work done now at the Nelson wharves as to rapidity of discharge or loading, convenience, and freedom from accident or error, will compare favorably with any port in New Zealand. As regards the harbour, it is well known that not unfrequently we have 22 feet water over the bar; but an impediment in the entrance has some 2 or 3 feet less water; this the Government intend shortly to remove, when 1000-ton ships can safely reach the Port.

Although so early as May, 1842 (see page 36), a meeting of Freemasons was held for the purpose of forming a lodge, it was not until October, 1853, that practical steps were taken to establish it in Nelson. Meetings were held chiefly at the old Wakatu Hotel, at the corner of Trafalgar and Bridge streets, the present site of the Bank of New South Wales, and formal leave for working being obtained from the nearest Masonic authority (Sydney) in November, 1857, was followed by that of the Grand Lodge of England in February, 1858. The"Southern Star" Lodge, the seventh in the Colony, was thus established. In the interim, a building fund had been raised amongst the members and a hall erected in Trafalgar street, adjoining the Commercial hotel; this passed out of their hands after a few years. A member had devised them an acre of land in the Waimea road, near the College, which was alienated for 99 years, terminable in 1955, the proceeds of which, having been specially reserved for the purpose by trustees, enabled the present members to erect a new hall in Collingwood street in 1885.

The"Victory" Lodge was founded in 1881 under the English Constitution, but in 1890 elected to work under the Grand Lodge of New Zealand.

The country lodges are the"Forest" at Wakefield, and the"Golden Bay" at Takaka; the former founded in 1874, the latter in 1887, both under the English Constitution.

The following incidents conneected with Oddfellowship in Nelson have been arranged for insertion in this history:—

"Among the acts of the early settlers, there is none which redound so much to their credit and foresight, than the determination displayed by them to transplant to the land of their adoption one of the elements of social progress and self-help, which, according to their experience, had been found to work so successfully in the land of their birth. Friendly Societies at that time in Great Britain were in ignorance as regards the page 185financial laws which are so necessary to ensure success, but though they then lacked the stability afterwards imparted to them through the exertions of the Secretary of the Order (the late Bro. H. Ratcliff), they had no lack of warm and sympathetic hearts, and men strong and capable to push and extend the Order to the furthest limits. Among those who sailed from England for these shores in 1841, no one was better fitted to carry the olive branch of Oddfellowship, and plant it in New Zealand, than the veteran Thomas Sullivan, who, during his fifteen years experience in England, had presided at the opening of thirteen new lodges, and who, in addition to having served the various lodge offices, had held all the District offices, and had also represented his District at the Annual Parliament of the Order.

"On the voyage out, in the ' Martha Eidgway,' Bro. Sullivan associated himself with eight other Oddfellows, viz:—Bros. C. P. Kearns, A. M'Gee, E. Nicol, E. Cropper, J. Sigley, J. Hanley, G. Greathead, and A. Patterson, and they held several meetings on shipboard, at which it was decided to establish a lodge on arriving at their destination.

"The first meeting in Nelson was held on Thursday, 7th April, 1842, at 4 p.m, in the fern, about 200 yards below the present Saltwater bridge, and adjourned till the following Monday evening, when it was held in a tent lower down the beach, belonging to Mr. A. G. Jenkins. It was then resolved to apply through the Sydney District (as being the nearest) for a dispensation to open a lodge in connection with the Manchester Unity, to be called the 'Stranger's Refuge' Lodge; but as it is a rule of the Order that no two lodges in the District can bear the same name, and as the pioneer lodge of the Sydney District was named the ' Stranger's Refuge,' they decided to name the lodge the ' Nelson' Lodge.

"Until the arrival of the dispensation, which was the first granted to. a lodge in New Zealand, the meetings were irregular, but with the arrival of the proper books, &c., matters were at once placed on a proper footing, the lodge meetings being held fortnightly. With P.P.G.M. Sullivan acting as first Grand Master, good progress was made in the introduction of members; a great many of those who either then or in after years occupied prominent positions as public men, becoming members of the lodge.

"The Wairau massacre occurring on 17th June, 1843, caused a break in the ranks of the founders, Brother Eli Cropper being one of those who lost their lives on that occasion; and as a result of this sad occurrence, the present District Widow and Orphans Fund was originated. The money received from the Sydney District in aid of the Brothers who suffered at the Wairau massacre was partly devoted to assist the widow and child of Eli Cropper. page 186The Widow and Orphans Fund was started in 1845, as a voluntary society, and continued as such till 1874, when it was incorporated with the other benefit funds to which all members had to contribute.

"Owing to the absence of any banking institution in the early days, the system was adopted of lending the money to the members in small loans on personal security, and also in the purchase of cattle; but the experience of the Society showed that the plan was not a good one, and, on the introduction of banks, the rules prohibited any more investments of that character.

"Dissatisfaction having been expressed at the lodge meetings being held in a public house, as having a tendency to lead the members into the habit of drinking, it was decided to build a lodge-room. The foundation stone was laid with great ceremony on the 6th June, 1854, by his Honor the Superintendent, Mr. E. W. Stafford (now Sir E. W. Stafford). The first meeting was held in the new Hall on 3rd December, 1855. The cost of the Hall complete amounted to about £640, and from the above date till September, 1891, the lodge meetings were held there; but having served its purpose it has now been removed in order to make room for a new lodge-room in honor of the Jubilee.

"In 1846 it was decided to constitute Nelson a District, it being considered impracticable to continue the connection with the Sydney District. The first District officers chosen being:— Bro. R. Lloyd, Provincial Grand Master; Bro. D. Richardson, Provincial Deputy Grand Master; Bro. T. Sullivan, Provincial Corresponding Secretary. The first meeting recorded, being held at the Freemasons' Tavern on the 5th January, 1847.

"It having been found from practical experience that Friendly Societies required the assistance of the law in carrying on their operations, it was decided to petition Parliament to bring into force a Friendly Societies Act, and steps were at once taken to get the necessary legal enactment carried; with the result that in a short time the Government succeeded in passing a Friendly Societies Act, under which the members can obtain proper security for their invested funds, besides other important privileges.

"In the Manchester Unity it is considered to be one of the highest honors (next to being elected a Grand Master of the Order) to have a portrait and biography inserted in the Unity Magazine. This honor was accorded to Nelson, in April, 1865; when the portrait and biography of Thomas Sullivan were inserted. Nelson was also represented at the annual Parliament of the Order, held in England, on two occasions, the first being held at Cheltenham, in 1868; and the second at Nottingham, in 1883. The representative on both occasions being P.P.G.M. Acton Adams.

"Unlike most other Colonial Districts, the Nelson District of Oddfellows has been unable to retain the lodges from time to page 187time established within her boundary; the absence of roads, coupled with the expense of travelling, rendering it impossible for the lodges, when started, to send Delegates to the District Meetings; while it also rendered it difficult for the District to exercise an efficient control over the distant lodges. Consequently the Marlborough, Motueka, and North Westland Districts were each allowed to control their own management as soon as they desired it.

"It must be conceded, on looking at the work done by the lodges of the Nelson District during the period dating from April, 1842, up to the date of the last furnished returns at June, 1891, that the most sanguine expectations of the nine men who started the Society cannot but have been realised to the fullest extent. Starting with only a few shillings cash in hand, the amounts paid for benefits during that period have been—for sick pay, £19,209; funerals, £3,415; widows and orphans, £4,991; making a total of £27,615. A very large amount has also been expended as medical benefits in addition to the above. The capital in hand amounts to £18,212. The adult membership is 783, and the junior membership 118.

"The progress thus depicted, as it is only a portion of the Friendly Society system existing in the Nelson locality, shows that the inhabitants are strongly imbued with habits of thrift, and are providing for the day of adversity."

The Ancient Order Of Foresters Commemorated the 25th anniversary of the annual meetings of the Nelson District in February, 1890. The date of the first annual meeting was the 18th January, 1865, which month was continued for a few years, but afterwards altered to February, for the convenience of a number of Courts in the District, who, at that time, found it an impossibility, owing to the irregular means of communication, to get their returns forwarded in the first-named month.

The Courts in existence at the time of the formation of the Nelson District were four in number, the names and dates of opening being as follows:—Court Robin Hood, 3930, March 5th, 1863; Court Perserverance, 3977, September 24th, 1863; Court Pride of the Forest, 3122, March 2nd, 1864; Court Concord, 4155, August 24th, 1864. The last named Court (Concord) is not the same as that at present in existence at Greymouth. It was started in Nelson, and had a brief life of not quite two years.

The first meeting for the formation of a district was held on 11th June, 1864, the officers present on that memorable occasion being: D C.R., Bro. R. Burn; D.S.C.R., Bro. James Avery and Bro. E. F. Jones, D.S. Court Robin Hood was represented at the meeting by Bros. R. Tibbie and Wm. Elvy; Court Pride of the Forest, by Bros. Win. Westley; Court Perser-page 188verance sent no delegate. Of those present at that date, Bros. E. F. Jones and James Avery have joined the great brother hood; the then D.C.R. and the two representatives of Court Robin Hood are yet alive, and still members of that Court; the representative of Court Pride of the Forest, William Westley, is still alive, but has ceased to be connected with the Order.

On 18th August of the same year, the first General Laws for the government of the Nelson District were finally passed, and at the same meeting Bro. R. Tibbie was elected first District Treasurer.

At the first annual District Court meeting there were only three delegates present, the only one alive now connected with the Nelson District being Bro. J. W. Hall (who represented Court Robin Hood), who at the present time fills the position of Permanent Secretary of Court Concord, Greymouth. At the same meeting Bro. Hall and the late Bro. H. A. Levestam were elected first auditors of the District accounts. Owing to there being so few brothers eligible for the position of District Officers, those first elected held office for two years.

The District continued to grow, and in. 1882 included three of the Courts in what is now known as the Taranaki District, as well as those on the West Coast. In that year Taranaki applied for secession, which was granted, and that offshoot from this District so steadily progressed, that at the end of 1888 they had seven Courts with 400 members. The Nelson District naturally looks with pride on the advancement made by the Taranaki District, two of the present District Officers and several of the delegates having been present when secession was granted.

The Nelson District, although of late years it has not increased its number of Courts, is steadily progressing, and the latest returns show the fact that, after allowing tor all who have ceased to be members, from various causes, there was a clear gain to the District for the year 1889 of some fifty-two members.

During the past twenty-five years (to the end of 1889) the sum of £4000 had been paid away by the District in funeral benefits alone, on account of the deaths of members and their wives; being an average of £160 a year. When the amounts that have been paid by the various Courts for sick pay and medical attendance are added to these it may be confidently stated, at a very low estimate, that not less than £900 a year has been distributed by the Foresters alone in the Nelson District during that period.

The following are the statistics for the Nelson District for the year ending 31st December, 1889:—Number of members (adults) 612; juveniles, 90; initiated during the year (adults), 80; left during the year (adults), 28. The financial position page 189may be summarised as follows:—Sick funds of Courts, £8,342 18s. 2d.; Management funds of Courts, £465 13s. 3d.; Funeral fund of District. £476 8s. 3d.; Management fund of District, £28 3s. 6d; Stock account, £100; Juvenile Court funds, £100; total, £9513 3s. 2d. The payments made during the year have been:—Sick benefits, £528 15s. 8d.; medical benefits, £609 17s. 8½d.; funeral allowances by District, £220; total, £1,358 13s. 4½d.

In 1891 a Female Branch of the Order was opened in Nelson, under the name of Court"Star of Nelson." This is the first Female Branch of Forestry in the Australasian Colonies, and bids fair to have a successful career.

The history of the Independent Order Of Rechabites is this: On the 20th October, 1874, a meeting was held at the Baptist Schoolroom, Nelson, for the purpose of forming a branch of this Order in connection with the New Zealand Central District, No. 86. The Rev. Mr. Sheriffs, the initiating officer, presided, and the following were the officers elected:—Chief Euler, J. T. Smith; Deputy Ruler, F. Coles; Secretary, J. S. Jones; Treasurer, A. Wilkie; Cash Steward, F. Brooker; Book Steward, W. T. Sherwood; Levite, C. Spring; Guard, T. B. Coburn; Supporters, T. R. Shone and J. Smith. It was resolved that the Tent be called the"Bud of Promise Tent, No. 17." It opened with 13 members at the end of the year 1875. The membership was 22, and the funds amounted to £50 8s. 1d. Since then the Tent has been progressing gradually, so that it is now the second largest in the District, which extends from Invercargill, in the South Island, to Napier and Taranaki in the North Island; the present membership being 93 benefit and 5 honorary members, with funds amounting to £994 3s. 11d. The present officers are:—C.R., D. Scott; D.R., T. Brough; Treasurer, J. Piper; Secretary, W. Hunter; Stewards, R. A. S. Ward and M. S. Smith; Levite, T. Ward; Guard, W. Henry; Trustees, T. H. Stringer, R. A. S. Ward, W. H. Berry, and R. Watson.

In February, 1880, a Juvenile Branch was successfully formed, and is still in a flourishing condition.

In 1883 a branch of the Order was established at Wakefield, and now has a membership of over fifty members with Juvenile Tents connected at Wakefield and Brightwater, numbering over seventy members. Secretary, E. W. Hodgson.

In 1886 a Tent was started at Takaka, and a Female Branch was also established in Nelson the same year, which at present has funds amounting to £43. The District of which these form a part has accumulated funds amounting to £3500, of which the Funeral Fund amounts to £2600.

The Order instituted at Salford, England, in 1835, now claims to be the oldest, largest, and wealthiest Temperance page 190Society, haying in 1890 a membership of 140,000, with accumulated funds of over half a million pounds sterling.

The first Rechabite"Tent" was formed (page 36) in Nelson, in 1842, Mr. Alfred Saunders being the Principal. This"Tent," which was called the"Nelson Reformer," has been struck, and its place taken by the"Bud of Promise."

The Order Of Good Templars was first established in Nelson on January 15th, 1874, when the Loyal Nelson Lodge was started with twenty members. Whilst the novelty of the new institution lasted, members were rapidly made, and two additional lodges (Loyal Marine and Normanby) were instituted in the City, which were soon followed by one at Stoke, Richmond, Brightwater, Wakefield, Tadmor, Upper Moutere, Motueka, Takaka, and Collingwood. Of these lodges there now remain two in Nelson (Loyal Nelson and Loyal Marine), and the Hope of Wakefield. There are also three Juvenile Temples—one in the City, one at the Port, and one at Foxhill. The prime movers in starting the Order in Nelson were—Messrs. Alexander Wilkie (dead), W. L. Salter, J. T. Smith, Frank Coles, W. T. Bond, and John Glover. The instituting officer was the Eev. R. W. Morley, who died in England about a couple of years ago. The Order in Nelson received a great blow by the death of Mr. Alexander Wilkie, youngest son of the late Mr. William Wilkie (a pioneer citizen), who died at Dunedin, on January 11th, 1876, of typhoid fever. Mr. Wilkie, who was a promising and rising young man, had proceeded to Dunedin along with Mr. W. T. Bond, to represent the Nelson District in the Grand Lodge session of the Order, when he was struck down by the fell disease. The membership in the Nelson District is now about 200 adults and 150 juveniles. The District Deputies have been Messrs. J. T. Smith, J. S. Jones, W. T. Bond, Israel Pickard, R. Watson, John Glover, and G. R. Simpson (the present one).

Reference has been made at page 109 to the issue of bank notes by a private firm in Nelson during the years 1847 to 1853 inclusive. Some more detailed information has reached the writer since, and as the matter is one of local historical interest, it is desirable, although out of chronological order, to narrate further particulars.

The New Zealand Government passed an Act in 1847 to create a"Colonial Bank of Issue," and made their notes a legal tender.

This bank was only a bank of issue; there was no provision for effecting remittances, nor for receiving deposits.

The Act prohibited the issue of any other notes payable on demand. This of course compelled the Union Bank of Australia —the only bank in the place—to withdraw, as speedily as page 191possible, every note they had in circulation, and it was not worth their while to continue their branch in Nelson.

Business men were thrown into a most difficult position: there were no means in the place for making remittances, and nothing to constitute a medium of circulation but a very moderate and uncertain supply of Government notes and gold. The Government paid all salaries, wages, &c, in their own notes, and all Customs' duties, &c, were paid by importers in Government notes or gold. It was a sort of scramble to get enough notes and gold for Customs' purposes, for these were being continually carried away from the place in the absence of any other way of making remittances.

In this position of affairs Messrs. Morrison & Sclanders started the"Nelson Bank;" but they were not the only persons who commenced issuing "notes;" Mr. Beit did so in Nelson, and later, the late Mr. Macandrew in Otago.

"The Bank of Issue Act" prohibited the issue of notes payable on demand; these private notes were, therefore, made payable twelve months after date. Although not nominally, the"Nelson Bank" notes were practically payable on demand, in cash, or notes, or drafts on the Union Bank of Australia, the notes referred to, being understood by everyone to mean the Government legal tender notes.

For nearly eight years these Nelson Bank notes, and the much more limited number issued by Mr. Beit, answered all the purposes of a circulating medium within the Province of Nelson, and little, if any, other money was ever to be seen; indeed, without them, it would scarcely have been possible to carry on business. At first only £1 notes were issued, but afterwards £5 notes also. When silver became scarce £5 notes were issued, by special request, by the"Nelson Bank,' and were much appreciated. The amount of notes in use, issued by this bank of Morrison & Sclanders' was never large, in fact it never exceeded £12,000. Although the notes of the Nelson Bank were not negotiable in the regular way outside of Nelson, they found their way to, and were accepted in many places, especially in the Wairau. Numbers of them eventually reached Wellington, from whence they were sent over to Nelson, and the senders had a cheque for the amount, by return of post, on the Union Bank of Australia, Wellington. Traders coming to the port with cargoes had to take in payment many Nelson Bank notes; these they wonld take to the bank, and get a cheque on the Union Bank of Australia, Wellington.

Thus Messrs. Morrison & Sclanders' Nelson Bank: proved a great convenience to the public.

"The Bank of Issue Act" being repealed, the Union Bank was able to issue its own notes; and the Nelson Bank notes page 192were cancelled as they came in, there being no further occasion for them.

As illustrating the way in which the Nelson Bank notes were accepted in various places, within the last few years one of them was presented from Otago, and promptly paid, although the bank had long been closed.

The origin of the names of the various country settlements is of historical interest.

We have seen (pp. 8 and 16) how Stoke acquired its name, and at pp. 85 and 88 the origin of Ranzau and Sarau. Foxhill is generally, but erroneously, supposed to be named after Sir William Fox. Years ago, when the place was a dense bush, some of the first settlers, including Messrs. Badman, C. Gaukrodger, J. Harford, Tunnicliff, and Sparks, were sitting one night round a camp fire, when the conversation turned upon what name to give the place. Various names were suggested and rejected; but a proposal by Mr. Badman, that it should be called"Foxhill," after a small farm near Bristol, England, where he had lived as a boy, was carried unanimously.

Frequent mention has been made in this work of Dr., afterwards Sir David Monro. His name will always be associated with Nelson, as one of the most distinguished early settlers, who, having once settled here, continued to make Nelson his home until his death on the 15th February, 1877; and who in every movement for the political or social advantage of the people, took from the first a leading part. It was owing to Dr. Monro that a considerable portion of the burden of debt bequeathed to the taxpayers by the New Zealand Company, was lifted from the shoulders of the Nelson colonists. Sir David was a courtly, highly cultivated gentleman of the old school; and as such, he was much esteemed by the group of able and illustrious men, who in the early days lived in Nelson; and who have since, in various ways, risen to distinction in the public life of the colony. In politics he was a steady Conservative, and if he had little sympathy with the views of advanced reformers, and could not readily change his opinions with changing times, he never ceased to enjoy the respect even of those who differed most from him. He was a genuine, earnest, high-minded man; courteous and affable to all with whom he came into contact; and Nelson honors his memory as one, who with some others, forsaking the prospect of social position in the old country, was content to come here and cast in his lot with the early emigrants; assisting them loyally in all that he thought tended to the general prosperity.

The first Supreme Court in Nelson was presided over by his Honor Mr. Justice Chapman. There has only been one resident Supreme Court Judge—Mr. Justice Richmond—who resided in page 193Nelson from 1867 to 1875. Since then the Circuit Court has usually been taken by the Chief Justice or Mr. Justice Richmond.

The first County Court Judge was Mr. F. A. Thompson, who never sat, however, his untimely death at the Wairau occurring soon after his appointment. County Courts were abolished and Courts of Request established, Mr. C. B. Brewer being appointed Commissioner for Nelson. These Courts were swept away by"The District Courts Act, 1858," and Mr. W. T. L. Travers was made District Judge. He resigned, and the Court was for a time abolished. It was re-constituted in 1875, and Mr. Lowther Broad was appointed, and still is, the Judge of the Nelson District Court.

Mr. John Sharp, who had held several public offices for many years, and who was appointed. Resident Magistrate on the retirement of Mr. Poynter in 1867, resigned that office in 1871, and was succeeded by Mr. Lowther Broad, who had been acting since September, 1870, as Resident Magistrate and Warden for Wangapeka.

The successive Resident Magistrates of Nelson since its foundation to the present time, have been—Mr. F. A. Thompson, Mr. White, Mr. Donald Sinclair, Major Richmond, Mr. John Poynter, Mr. John Sharp, Mr. Lowther Broad, Mr. Oswald Curtis, and Mr Andrew Turnbull. The office is at present amalgamated with the District Judgeship.

On Tuesday, 13th September, 1853, the Nelson Amateur Musical Society gave its first concert. The Society had been formed only four months previously, and the majority of its members were then entirely unacquainted with music. Mr. Charles Bonnington was the Conductor. Mr. Alfred Fell the Treasurer, and Mr. W. M. Stanton the Secretary of this young Musical Society— the predecessor of the present Harmonic Society. The first concert consisted of a varied programme of miscellaneous music, and appears to have been a great success. The attendance was so numerous that many could not gain admittance, and the concert was repeated shortly after. The names of the lady amateurs are not mentioned, but the newspaper records that amongst the gentlemen who assisted on the occasion, were some whose presence the people of Nelson had been accustomed to associate with meetings of a different description—the political—for example, Messrs. Saxton, Monro, Travers, and Greenwood. The surplus available from concerts, after paying expenses, was to be set apart towards the raising of a fund for a music hall, or public room, or for some other public and useful purpose.

The Nelson Amateur Musical Society collapsed after the departure from Nelson of its able conductor, Mr. Charles Bonnington.

page 194

In 1860 a new Society—the Nelson Harmonic Society— was formed. The first President was Sir David Monro; the present President is the Bishop of Nelson. This Society has a convenient practising Hall, its own property, in Trafalgar Square. Its concerts, of which four are given annually, are held in the Provincial Hall.

There is also an Orchestral Society, which, although a separate Society, works with, and assists, the Harmonic Society.

On the 19th January, 1882, Mr. James Smith Cross, who came out with the first expedition in 1841, and was coxswain in charge of the first European boat which entered Nelson harbour, died at his residence at the Port. Mr. Cross had been almost from the very first the Pilot and Harbour Master of Nelson, and only gave up active work some few months before his death, owing to failing health. He was a man of sterling worth, and enjoyed the confidence of his old chief, Captain Wakefield—a confidence which his subsequent career proved to have been well placed.