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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 69

The Presentation to Mr. Parnell

The Presentation to Mr. Parnell

took place on the trolly conveying the fishermen's tableau, and was made a the request of a large number of people by Mr. H. W. Potter. As Mr. Parnell was introduced to the assemblage by Mr. F. C. Millar, Chairman of the Demonstration Day Committee, he was greeted with prolonged and ringing cheers Mr. Potter, in making the presentation, was frequently applauded. He said:—

Ladies and Gentlemen,—At the request of a large number of friends of the Eight-hour Movement, I have now to perform a most pleasing as well as [unclear: ones] the most important events of the day, that is, to present to Mr. Samuel Duncan Parnell, the father of the Eight-hour System, with an illuminated address Before making the presentation, however, I feel I must utter a few words to Mr. Parnell, expressing to him the obligations he has bestowed upon the workers not only of this colony, but of the whole civilized world. Mr. Parnell as most of you are no doubt aware, arrived in this colony some 50 years age and has resided continuously in our midst ever since, a credit to the country and a citizen that Wellington may feel proud to own. He had left a land in which the labourers' condition might fitly be summed up in the words, "long hours and small pay," but on his arrival he determined to inaugurate a beta state of things; his large heartedness and foresight enabled him to anticipate by years in the land of his adoption the labour reforms of the Old World. By this one reform he has earned the gratitude not only of the workers of to-day but of future generations. He has erected for himself a monument which will ever stand in the affections of the labouring classes of the colony—a monuments infinitely more enduring than any that could have been erected by the hands labour. The workers of this colony are indebted to Mr. Parnell for a degree of leisure unknown to the workers of the Old World. Thanks to Mr. Parnell, the workers here have more time for self-culture, more time for recreation, and more time for rest. These, ladies and gentlemen, are physical as well as intellectual advantages which cannot be over-estimated—advantages which, if fully utilized, should build up in New Zealand a labour class superior to any the world has yet seen—and it must be borne in mind that the wealth oh country is largely determined by the physical and moral strength of its producers. Owing to Mr. Parnell's noble efforts the New Zealand workman has both physical and intellectual advantages previously unknown. The improvement in the condition of the worker must eventually reflect itself a the lasting and substantial progress of the colony, a progress which, in a large measure will be attributable to the wisdom and forethought of our esteemed fellow-citizen, Mr. S. D. Parnell. It is now my pleasing duty, Mr. Parnell, to hand to you, in the name of the subscribers and the working classes of Wellington, this handsomely illuminated address, which, with your permission. I will read.

The address was as follows:—