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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 69

[Mayor's speech]

His Worship The Mayor said:—"Your Excellency, this address from the city of Auckland contains no word of welcome to you as Her Majesty's representative, we thought it would be more appropriate perhaps if uttered the words of welcome to your Excellency which express the feelings that animate our minds to day. To utter words of welcome to one whom it all respect so much as we do the Governor of the colony in the formal words of an address would, it was thought, perhaps hardly give a clear enough expression of our feelings, therefore I have to say to you, in the name of the citizens, that we offer to you a hearty welcome to our city, and not only to your Excellency do we offer that welcome, but also to the distinguished guests who accompany you. There are amongst those guests two whom I should like to name. There is the Governor of New South Wales, the Governor of that great colony which is the mother colony of this group; and I desire, on behalf of the citizens, to offer to His Excellency Lord Carrington our warm welcome. Again, there is present amongst us as a guest of yours to-day the Governor of the youngest colony of this group—namely, the colony of Fiji. We have here His Excellency Sir John Thurston, whom we also desire to welcome. Always in Auckland—and I am sure in every part of New Zealand—but I think especially here, we are always glad to welcome the Admiral of the fleet, and therefore I have very much pleasure in also especially stating that I offer, on behalf the citizens, a hearty welcome to Rear-Admiral Lord Charles Scott. (Cheers.) Your page 55 Excellency, with these words of welcome I have also to utter in a minor chord a word of regret. That regret is that Her Excellency Lady Onslow is not able to accompany you. I know, and we all know, that but for duties which it was impossible for her to ignore, she would be standing by your side to-day. (Cheers.) This day has been from the foundation of the colony a holiday in Auckland. I have, as Mayor of Auckland, to thank your Excellency for having proclaimed it a holiday throughout the colony, for having proclaimed what will, I am sure, be the great national holiday of this colony in future. I bid you welcome to the entertainments which have been provided for you, mainly by the energy and foresight of my predecessor, Mr. Devore. (Cheers.) I trust they will give you gratification which I am sure he hoped they would do. Your Excellency, I should like to make one or two remarks on this occasion. The great nations of Europe mark their progress by wars and revolutions. We desire to mark our progress by 50 years' of peaceful progress. This is the first jubilee of this colony. I would like to compare for one moment the condition of things to-day with what they were 50 years' ago. Fifty years ago—in the course of a few minutes from now probably—this colony consisted of a few Englishmen, a few British subjects, who found their way here, and their trade was necessarily very small, the communication with England was very uncertain, and the only means of communication then existing was by sailing vessels, which were very uncertain in their time of arrival and departure. Now, how different it is. To-day we have communication with London by means of the great lines of steamers. By means of the telegraph we have instant and daily communication with our mother country, communication as prompt and as certain as between London and Edinburgh. There is another thing I would like to say. Fifty years ago, when this colony was proclaimed by the first Governor, Captain Hobson, the news of that proclamation reached Her Majesty after probably four or five months of a long sea voyage. Before the expiration of this morning Her Majesty will read an account of the proceedings which are taking place on this terrace. (Cheers.) I would like to look forward for a moment and imagine what it may be fifty years' hence. It is less a flight of fancy to imagine that on an occasion like this at a similar function to this, when my successor may be presenting an address to your successor, that the sovereign of a Great British confederation may not only hear the very words that are uttered, but may by the advance of science be able to witness the scene and be himself seen by us. That, I say, is less a flight of fancy to-day than it would have been fifty years ago to have predicted that Her Majesty would have been able to receive an account of these proceedings on the very morning on which they took place. Your Excellency, I have the honour to present you with this address from the City Council, and to beg your acceptance of it. (Cheers.)