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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 39

Nineteenth Annual Report of the Committee of Management of the Otago Benevolent institution

Nineteenth Annual Report of the Committee of Management of the Otago Benevolent institution.

The Committee in submitting their 19th Annual Report and Balance-Sheet cannot congratulate the subscribers on any decrease on the demands of the funds of the Institution for the past year.

It is with regret they have to report that a large amount of distress existed amongst a number of people from pure misfortune—through illness, want of employment, and other causes. Deserted wives, as usual, occupying a prominent position amongst the recipients of the funds.

It will be gratifying to the subscribers to know that through the liberality of the public the Committee were in a position to relieve all deserving cases brought before them, not only in Dunedin, but extending to various parts of the Provincial District, and this in the face of malicious and unfounded charges made against the management and committee of the Institution.

The Committee are thankful to say the subscriptions have not been diminished from this cause.

As the subscribers are aware, a Committee of Enquiry was appointed, consisting of Messrs. John Bathgate, and John Logan, who declared the charges to be unfounded. Pending the result of the enquiry, subscriptions were not collected by the Secretary.

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In proof of confidence in your Committee, one generous citizen contributed the sum of £6300 as a nucleus towards forming an Orphan Asylum for the admission of children of all nations and persuasions, and to whom the Committee express their gratitude. At present there are several orphans in the Institution, which is now open to receive deserving cases.

The total amount received was £4,764 16s 7d, of which £1,844 19s was in subscriptions and donations; a corresponding subsidy being received from the Government.

The total amount expended was £5,788 8s 2d, of which £3,413 3s 9d was expended in Outdoor Relief for food, clothing, rents, fuel, &c., £2,375 4s 5d being expended on the support of the inmates in the Asylum at Caversham, including £130 for erection of a play shed for children. For fuller particulars see Revenue Account.

The total number relieved was 1685, viz.: 171 men, 405 women, and 1,109 children, made up as follows:—Families in which the men were incapacitated through age, chronic disease, accident, or temporary illness, 61 men, 61 women, 214 children; widows, 131, with 381 children; deserted wives, 62, with 224 children; single men, 38; single women, 16; single women, 18, with 23 illegitimate children; 7 women with 21 children, whose husbands are or were in gaol; 4 women with 12 children, whose husbands are or were in hospital; 4 women with 11 children, whose husbands are or were in Lunatic Asylum. Families which were destitute through want of employment on the part of the men, 45 men, 45 women, 176 children; the remainder being cases of a casual nature.

The number received into the Institution was 51; 18 men, 18 women, and 15 children. The number discharged was, 56, 18 men, 17 women, and 24 children, leaving the number remaining in the Institution 1st January, 1882, 47 men, 13 women, and 30 children—total 90. The number of deaths was 6—see Dr. Hocken's report—both male and female adults are nearly all permanent invalids or otherwise disabled. The weekly average of inmates was 93, at a cost of 8s 4 ¾ d each per week; this includes food, furnishing, fuel, page 5 clothing, medicine, salaries of Doctor, Religious Instructor, Master, Matron, Servants, education of children, &c.

It is with regret that your Committee have to record the death of one of their colleagues, Mr. R. A. Low; in him the Institution has sustained a loss and the poor a kind and generous friend.

In view of an increase in the number of children, a new play-shed and water-closets have been added to the buildings.

The men's quarters are much overcrowded, and provision will have to be made at once for further accommodation, many deserving cases having to be refused admission. This matter the Committee commend to the consideration of their successors.

The subject of illegitimacy having been so prominently referred to in last year's report, your Committee, finding it an evil on the increase, would again commend the matter to a committee of ladies so that this Institution may be relieved of a burden not fairly within its functions.

In conclusion, the Committee tender their hearty thanks to the subscribers generally, to the clergy, and the various Protestant congregations, to the proprietors of the following publications:—"Otago Witness," "Saturday Advertiser," "Evening Star," "Morning Herald," "New Zealand Church-man," "Illustrated New Zealand Herald," "Temperance Herald," and "New Zealand Presbyterian," which are supplied gratuitously.

Attached to this report are the Balance-sheet, the Medical Officer's Report, and the usual tables, as also the report of the Commissioners, Messrs. Bathgate and Logan.

Finally, the Committee would record its appreciation of religious services rendered by Mr. Macfie—the attention of Miss Wilson to the education of the children under her charge, the care of Dr. Hocken towards those requiring medical treatment, and its continued confidence in the management generally of the Institution.

The following resolution was passed in reference to the resignation of the late President, Mr. A. Chetham Strode.

Resolved—"That the Committee of the Otago Benevolent Institution at their first meeting after taking office, page 6 cannot allow the resignation of the late President, Mr. A. Chethem Strode, to pass without placing on record their appreciation of his lone; continued and valued services."

The Committee now resign their trust, but are eligible for re-election.


R. B. Martin

, President.