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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 36


decorative feature

The fifteenth annual meeting of the subscribers was held in Farley's Building, on Thursday, March 7th, at 4 o'clock. Mr. A. Chetham Strode (President) occupied the chair.

The Secretary read the minutes of the previous meeting.

The President stated that he had just received a letter from the Rev. Dr. Stuart asking to be excused from attending, as he had another pressing engagement. He sincerely trusted the people would give the Benevolent Institution the support it deserved.

The President: Gentlemen—This is the fifteenth annual meeting of the Benevolent Institution, and the Committee elected last year render to-day an account of their steward ship. In the report which will be presented to you nothing very striking occurs. Immediately prior to last winter setting in, the Committee were under the impression that a severe tug on their funds was at hand, expecting a rather page 4 excessive number of applicants for out-door relief. In this we were most agreeably disappointed, finding from several favourable circumstances, particularly the mildness of the winter, the number of applications did not come up to what we supposed would be the case. It will be seen by the Medical Officer's Report we have had three deaths at the Institution during the year, and that the health of the inmates of the Institution, at Caversham, has been extremely good. We have tided over the scarlet fever epidemic, and altogether things are very satisfactory. I am happy to be able to state that matters connected with the Institution are in a thoroughly good and sound condition. With regard to funds, we have at one period of the year that is passed, been indeed in a dull condition, but I am happy to say we have made up lee-way, and can now show a balance—a small balance it is true, but one on the right side of the ledger—which is always satisfactory to begin a new year with. During the year we have had a correspondence with the Government about an increase to our Institution, the old men especially being packed much too closely. We asked the Government to provide us with £1,200 to increase the accommodation in various directions, but I am sorry to say we have had something like a refusal. Still I hope, from a conversation with Mr Macandrew, who has always been a good friend to the Institution, and always helped it in every possible way, that the sum will be got, or something like it. I told him we would take half if we could get it. There is another matter I should like to mention—the Charitable Institutions Bill. That, you are all aware, has been before Parliament during last session, but unfortunately, from various political causes, was shelved; and here we are another year without any proper constitution. I hope by this time next year that we shall have a proper constitution for this and other charitable institutions. I trust the House of Representatives will see their way to the passing of a Bill, so that we will be properly constituted. I do not know that I have any more to bring before you to-day, gentlemen, and I therefore call upon the Secretary to read the report.