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The New Zealand Spectator and Cook’s Strait Guardian, Wednesday, May 7, 1862

Wednesday, May 7, 1862.

At length, after an absence of eight years, the inhabitants of Wellington have again the opportunity of welcoming their old friend Sir George Grey on his arrival amongst them. On Sunday evening the signal was hoisted at the flagstaff at the heads for a man-of-war, and it was generally concluded that his Excellency was on board. The news soon spread and created a general excitement; the next day public curiosity was further stimulated, by the delay that occurred, in the expected man-of-war making her appearance. In the afternoon the Storm Bird got up her steam and went to the heads, with Mr. Hickson, Mr. Carkeek, the Collector-of Customs; and other gentlemen on board, and returned with the gratifying intelligence that H.M.S. Harrier, under the command of Sir Malcolm MacGregor, was entering the harbour, and that His Excellency Sir George Grey was on board, and soon afterwards the Harrier slowly steamed into port. Great crowds speedily collected round the landing place, every one feeling anxious to witness the landing of Sir George Grey, and to give him a hearty welcome. His Honor the Superintendent, the Bishop of Wellington, and Major Dwyer, commanding the Garrison, and other gentlemen, proceeded to the Harrier, to pay their respects to His Excellency, and shortly afterwards the Superintendent returned with information that Sir George Grey would land in half an hour. It was now getting late, but every preparation had been made that time permitted, a guard of honor, consisting of a company of the 14th regiment, stationed at Wellington, under the command of Capt. Russell, was drawn up at the landing place to receive His Excellency, and a carriage and four was in readiness to convey him to Government-House. An unavoidable delay occurred before the Governor left the Harrier and it was dark when at length Sir George reached the landing place at the reclaimed land, and having entered the carriage in company with Mr. Layard, his Private Secretary, and Mr. Willis, his Assistant-Secretary, drove off to Government-House amid the loud cheers of the assembled multitude. At Sir George’s request the customary salute from the man-of-war and from the shore were on this occasion dispensed with. We regret to learn that His Excellency is suffering from an attack of rheumatism, and trust that he may speedily recover from the effects. We understand that it is Sir G. Grey’s intention to remain here for nine or ten days, and that he will probably take an opportunity of paying a visit to Otaki during his stay. An undess Levee will be held at Government-House tomorrow (Thursday) at two o’clock, to allow the settlers an opportunity of paying their respects to His Excellency. It is said to be Sir G. Grey’s intention afterwards to visit the other Southern Provinces, and to return to Wellington previous to the opening of the Session of the General Assembly.

Yesterday a meeting was held at the Exchange of the General Committee appointed at the Public Meeting to welcome Sir George Grey on his arrival, when it was unanimously resolved that the arrangements which were then proposed should be carried out so far as they should be agreeable to Sir G. Grey’s convenience, so that the settlers will shortly have an opportunity of shewing their respect and admiration for His Excellency in these demonstrations to his honor.