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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 69

The Illuminations

The Illuminations.

Most of these were in Queen-street. The Waverley Hotel had a star in each window, on tinted paper, and lights placed in the windows, which had a pleasing effect. The Waitemata and Thames Hotels were tastefully decorated with Chinese lanterns, and at the latter hotel a carbonate light was displayed, which illuminated the locality and attracted a large crowd to witness it. In Custom-street East, the Britomart Hotel was brilliantly lighted with Chinese lanterns in fanciful designs. The New Zealand Insurance Co. made a fine display in their offices known as the Exchange Buildings. The whole of the windows in the façade, twenty-one in number, were blocked with tinted paper (red and blue) cut diagonally and illuminated with 800 candles. The outer bay windows on the first floor were occupied by two tasteful designs, as was the Queen-street face of the Exchange clock. The Victoria Arcade, also the company's property, had a row of Chinese lanterns along page 58 the verandah of the block, extending from Mr. Wildman's shop in Shortland street to the back of the block in Fort-street. At the corner of Shortland and Queen streets the South British Insurance Company's premises were nicely decorated. The windows were blocked with variegated paper, suitably illuminated; while at the corner was a transparency, having a beehive representing industry; a view of Auckland harbour, with shipping and North Shore; also the legend, "Industry and Prosperity, 1890." Mr. J. B. Killian decorated the transparency, which was executed by Mr. Backhouse. On the opposite side of the street the Bank of New Zealand made an excellent display. There were three transparencies, the one on the left being a grouping of the flags of all nations. A portion of the centre one represented the corner of a New Zealand bank note—namely. Maori man and woman on the margin of Lake Tarawera, with the mountain in eruption. The other section represented Britannia, one of the direct steamers, and lighthouse. As representative of the agricultural and pastoral industries was a plough and bale of wool. There were also telegraph and railway signal posts, as indicating the improved means of communication in the country. The transparency on the right was the horn of plenty, pouring out all varieties of fruit. The architect seems to have devised the windows to illustrate the Jubilee, for the four centre windows of the first floor each contained a numeral making the date "1890," while the seven windows of the third storey each contained a letter making the word "Jubilee." The whole facade was well illuminated, and the general effect was excellent in showing up the contrast of the foliage, bannerets, and toi grass, The gas arrangements were carried out by Messrs. McCarthny and Griffiths, of Albert-street (late Branston and Foster). At the Herald publishing office there was a design in gas jets containing the names of the journals "Herald and Weekly News," which was enclosed in a bordering of gas jets, and brilliantly lit up Lower Queen-street. In Shortland street the Evening Star was tastefully illuminated, the design illustrating the name of the journal. There was also a transparency, with the dates "1840-1890." The Commercial Hotel was decorated with Chinese lanterns, and the Imperial Hotel was decorated at its approaches with nikau. In Vulcan Lane a string of Chinese lanterns was placed across the street, and the Queen's Ferry Hotel was similarly decorated. There was a fine transparency at Mr. T. Harle Giles' Educational Chambers and Training College, Queen-street. It represented two pictures divided by a tree fern; one picture showed a New Zealand lake landscape with a "whare," on the front of which a sign, "Private School" is painted; on the other side is seen Mr. Giles' Educational Chambers and Training College, Queen-street. A shield bearing a suggestion for a flag for a federated colonies, surrounded by the rose, shamrock, and thistle, on a marble pedestal, occupied the base of a really handsome picture. It bears the legend, "May Auckland Prosper." In the centre of the façade is the word "Welcome" in white on a red ground. The whole verandah was artistically and profusely adorned with native foliage. Mr. White, tailor, adjacent, had a design pointed on a frame 12 by 9. The same idea is carried out of the two epochs in the history of the colony. A very handsome framing surrounded the picture, which had a representation of the North Shore in the background. A Maori chief in ancient costume occupied a pedestal on one side, and another chief in modern style occupied the other. A cabbage tree, springing from a shield surrounded by flax plants bearing divers devices occupied the centre. The legend was, "Kia nui haere Akarana." Messrs. Garrett Brothers had a large picture, which illustrated the progress of the tannery industry. One section of it showed their old tannery at Avondale in the early days of the colony, and the other the present tannery. The contrast was a marked one. It bore the motto "Colonial Labour for All" in black and red, and was decorated with ferns. At Messrs. J. H. Upton and Co.'s was a transparency with the words "Auckland Jubilee. Auckland Advance, 1890." In a shield were the emblems of shipping and commerce, and the implements of agriculture and goldmining. The Union Bank had a transparency—bee hive, "1890"—illustrative of industry; while on the right was a representation of clasped hands (shaking hands across the sea), with Union Jack above. Over the transparency was "Auckland Jubilee," with anchor underneath. The transparency was very much admired, not only for it excellency but the patriotic sentiment which it embalmed. Mr. Killian decorated it, and Mr. Backhouse executed the artistic work. The Auckland Working Men's Club had a very excellent transparency at their premises at the corner of Darby street. On the left was Britannia with trident. In the centre was a view of Auckland as approached from the Queen-street Wharf, showing view of blocks of buildings in lower Queen-street; also, showing the "old intake" with embankment, as illustrative of old Auckland before the present harbour reclamations were built on. In the next division was a portrait of Her Majesty the Queen in a bordering of laurel, as also the Royal coat of arms, surrounded by laurel garlands, and bearing the motto "United We Stand." The Albert Hotel was decorated with over 100 Chinese lanterns in elegant designs, and the rows of lanterns on its spacious facade, three page 59 storeys high, had an excellent effect and were much admired. At the corner of Queen and Wellesley-streets the United Service Hotel was tastefully decorated with two rows of Chinese lanterns on both fronts, Hewin Brothers, grocers, had a crown with "V.R." in gas jets, which, with a star in gas jets, at Milne and Choyce's, brilliantly lit up the junction of the streets. The Clarendon Hotel had also a transparency. It was a representation of the sun rising out of the sea. Underneath was a crown and the Irish welcome, "Cead Mille Failthe." The façade was also decorated with Chinese lanterns. In Wakefield street, Mr. Metcalfe, fancy goods emporium, had an illumination to exhibit the motto, "Peace and Prosperity to New Zealand, 1890." In Grey-street, Mr. Tyndall, dentist, had a transparency showing Auckland as it was 50 years ago, and as it is to-day. It was festooned with Chinese lanterns, and was arranged by Messrs. Killian and Backhouse. At the Royal Mail Hotel, Victoria-street, there was a transparency of an unique character, also illustrative of 1840 and 1890. On the left was depicted a pa crowning a hill, a company of soldiers advancing on it, piled arms, and a field gun with pile of cannon shot; on the right was a settler's home, with green crops, and a reaping machine. Below, in the centre, was shown an hour-glass with sand running out, flanked by wings, to represent the flight of time,—also pen and crayon pencil crossed. This transparency attracted a great deal of attention, as bringing back the old scenes of the Waikato campaign. Mr. W. Parkinson, confectioner, Albert and Victoria-streets, had a capital transparency representing the Royal Coat of Arms, and special by appointment to Lord Onslow. There was a picture of Doncaster Church by night, which is the trademark of Mr. Parkinson's Doncaster Butterscotch. The legend was "Our Jubilee." The transparency was decorated with bannerettes, flags, and festooned evergreens, in which were suspended Chinese lanterns in various devices. At the Shakespere Hotel, Wyndham-street, there was a transparency by Mr. J. Backhouse. 1840 is illustrated left of the picture by depicting the Maoris in their original condition, with paka or storehouse, canoe on the lake with its crew of paddlers, the background being filled up with a range of mountains. On the right is 1890, represented by a church and village, railway train, the telegraph line, and racehorse with jockey up. The two historical epochs are divided by a nikau. The legend on the transparency is "God Save Our Native Land." This is the motto of the proprietor of the hotel, Mr. Thomas Foley, a young colonial. A neat device was shown over the main entrance to Mr. M. Dervan's Freeman's Hotel, Freeman's Bay, comprising the letters "V.R.," flanked by stars; and when the jets were lighted the effect was beautiful. The design was by McCarthny and Griffiths.

Among the miscellaneous illuminations F. Williams, fruiterer, on the wharf, had a row of gas jets extended along his premises, and Messrs. Foss and Co., butchers, Victoria Luncheon Rooms, Young and Graham, confectioners; W. E. Mears, bookseller; D. Movally, fruiterer; and Messrs. Campbell, fruiterers, had decorations with Chinese lanterns.

Newmarket decorations on Jubilee night were very neat and appropriate. The fire-bell tower, with its four transparencies, was a very noticeable feature, but the main feature was the display of fireworks by the Fire Brigade. Considerable attention had been devoted to this feature by Mr. Wilson, superintendent, and the members of the Brigade, and frame works for see-saw fireworks, and other displays of a striking character were erected. A large crowd witnessed the pyrotechnic display. The Parnell Borough was certainly the most effectively perfect in the way of ornamentation. The arch across Manukau Road is a splendid feature. The evergreens and the lettering commemorative of the event are well displayed, but a very prominent figure in the centre of the arch is that of a well-dressed Maori woman. Beneath the arch a line of Chinese lanterns set off the view to advantage. Mr. Davis' toy shop and Mr. Bagley's fruit shop were also beautifully decorated with evergreens, transparencies, flags, and Chinese lanterns.