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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 69

Second Day: January 30

page 70

Second Day: January 30.

Enormous Attendances.

The great interest which has been aroused in regard to the celebration of the Jubilee of the colony in Auckland was evidenced in a most unmistakable manner by the great crowds of holiday-makers which assembled at the North Shore this afternoon to witness the events of the second day's celebration, which consisted of a swimming carnival at Calliope Dock, Maori canoe races along the shore, and native war dances at Takapuna. From long before noon the ferry steamers were packed with living freight, and it is estimated that there were over 20,000 spectators congregated along the foreshore of Devonport, during the afternoon. At Takapuna, though Mr. Thomas Porter and his contingent of Waikato natives were present and eager to carry out their promised dancing, its execution was sadly marred by the senseless crushing of the crowd, and the absence of a properly protected enclosure was very apparent. It was intended that an address from the Waikatos should be presented to the Governor by Major Te Wheoro at Takapuna, but owing to the great crowding, this pleasing incident had to be omitted altogether.

The Native Canoe Race.

Owing to the great crowd of yachts, cutters, and steamboats, which, during the afternoon, congregated off the foreshore in the vicinity of the dock, it was found impracticable to run the Maori events as originally intended, and by common consent the natives themselves agreed to postpone the war canoe race till next afternoon. Mr. Thos. Porter had his men ready for the races for a long time, and having no means of clearing a course, at last despatched a small canoe to the middle of the harbour as a mark boat. Four whakatiwais, all manned by full crews of half-naked Maoris, all decorated with feathered headgear, etc., then started on a race, and a stirring scene was witnessed as the dusky paddlers, gradually increasing their pace, swayed to and fro in perfect unison, to the wild chants of the excited fuglemen in the centre of each craft. Through a mistake natural enough under the circumstances, two only went for the proper mark, but a splendid race between them took place, and resulted in the Momoni, manned by the Huntly hapu, winning by about half a length from the Pupirikana, whose crew also hailed from Huntly. The Tarai Puruku, with a crew of Rangiriri Maoris, and the Ruahori, manned by Kainara men, went along the foreshore towards the dock, and had a good race to themselves.

The War Dance.

The Maori war dance was looked forward to as a feature of the Jubilee celebrations. At the hour fixed for the dance, four o'clock, there was a large concourse of people gathered on the racecourse. The small grandstand was crowded with persons eager to witness the performance, and even the steps of the stand from top to bottom were closely packed. When the Maoris arrived on the scene they were taken to the centre of the field, inside the racecourse. They were, however, soon surrounded by a crowd of people, and it was found impossible to keep the spectators back, in order that the dance might begin. There were only two or three policemen present, and they were practically useless in the matter of keeping back the public. No provision, indeed, had been made to preserve a clear space for the Maoris. There was no portion of the ground fenced or roped off, as might easily, of course, have been done. The Maoris finding it impossible to dance in the field, moved forward to the racecourse proper in front of the grandstand. Here again the the or three police, aided by a few civilians and some of the Maoris, vainly attempted to keep back the crowd. The native women numbering about 50, all attired in light flowing garments, started one of their dances, and the performance was loudly applauded by the assembled multitude, but they were soon compelled to desist dancing, owing to the crowd crushing in upon them. The men then attempted to give a war dance, but were unable to do so in consequence of the people pressing in on them. The natives who were to have given the war dance numbered about 250, and these were all Waikatos. It appears that there was some disagreement between the Ngapuhis and the Waikatos, and the result was that the former did not put in an appearance. The dusky warriors were gradually forced along the racecourse towards the road, until they at last became disgusted and left the ground, much to the disappointment and annoyance of the spectators. His Excellency the Governor arrived on the ground shortly after four o'clock. He was accompanied by his suite, and Admiral Lord Charles Scott, Sir John and Lady Thurston, and several members of the Reception Committee. No special provision bad been made for the Governor and his party, and they had to crush through the crowd on the steps of the grandstand in order to reach a place where they could get a view. After the Maoris gave up their attempt to dance, the Rarotongan natives performed one of their strange dances on a small space which they managed to secure just below the stand.

Maori Procession.

It was intended that as to-day was to be especially a day for Maori events that a procession of the natives now quartered at the North Shore should take place at ten o'clock, and the Artillery Band was in waiting at that hour to march them off on their arrival at the Queen-street Wharf. It was not, however, until eleven that the natives arrived, in charge of Mr. Porter. There were 150 of them, all Waikato natives, the North-em natives not taking any part in the proceedings. They were soon formed it line, page 71 and a fine stalwart lot they looked as they marched along, evidently proud of the display they made. In the matter of dress there was no attempt at uniformity, for the Maori mat-clothed natives marched with those who were clad in European costumes, and the colours were very varied indeed. The procession followed the band in good order, the greater number marching with shouldered paddles as if they were armed with rifles. A large crowd assembled to witness the procession. The route was through Queen-street to Grey-street and back to the wharf.

Congratulations from Christ-Church.

His Worship the Mayor (Mr. J. H. Upton) received the following telegram from Christchurch to-day:—"The Wesleyan Conference congratulates the citizens of Auckland on this auspicious day, and rejoices with them in their celebration of the Jubilee of the colony." The Mayor has sent the following reply:—"To the Rev. William Lee Secretary Wesleyan Conference, Christchurch. On behalf of citizens of Auckland, I return you sincere thanks for your kind message of congratulation.—J. H. Upton, Mayor."

Band of Hope Jubilee Concert.

A Jubilee gathering of the Band of Hope Union was held this evening, at St. James's Hall. Mr. E. Withy, M.H.R., occupied the chair, and there was a good attendance. The Band of Hope Union children on the stage made a fine display. A very pleasant programme, consisting of songs and recitations, was successfully rendered.

The Maoris and the Jubilee.

The Minister for Native Affairs, the Hon. E. Mitchelson, has received the following communication from Major Kemp, which the latter desired to present to His Excellency the Governor at Wellington, but which he has now forwarded to him and the Jubilee Committee at Auckland:—

Wanganui, January 27th, 1890. The Hon. Edward Mitchelson, Minister for Native Affairs: Sir,—Salutations to you our Minister for Native Affairs. This is a statement of ours to you, and do you make it known to the Governor, Earl Onslow, and to the committee of the Jubilee of New Zealand at Auckland. That is my word with respect to this celebration. Fifty years are now elapsed since Queen Victoria sent her mana and her favour to these two islands, called New Zealand. The proof of which is the Treaty of Waitangi. "In my opinion this is a fitting time to confirm the unity of New Zealand and England under the mana and favour of Queen Victoria and her chieftainship for ever and ever." Sir,—Th s is an urgent word of mine to you, or rather to you and the Governor: Do you cablegraph these words above written, and I will pay for it, although it may cost ten or twenty pounds—"that is, for those words from the words "fitting time" to "ever and ever," as quoted.—From your obedient servant, Meiha Keepa Rangihiwinui.

His Excellency has sent the following reply:—

Sir,—I have received through my Minister for Native Affairs your communication to Her Majesty the Queen, expressing your desire that the union of New Zealand to Britain, as at present existing, should be confirmed for ever and ever. I have, at your desire, conveyed that message to Her Majesty, and have also, as you request, directed that your statement he made known to the Jubilee Committee at Auckland. I am always ready and glad to receive your communications and addresses at any time that you intimate to me your wish to make them. Onslow, Governor.

The Governor and the Rarotongans.

The natives of Rarotonga, who are at present in Auckland on a visit, waited on His Excellency the Governor at Government House to-day, at eleven o'clock. There were present about twelve natives (six women and six men). These were headed by the Premier of Rarotonga, Tepou o te Rangi. His Excellency received the natives in the drawing-room. Most of the natives sat on the floor, as is their custom. There were present with His Excellency Commander Pelley (H.M.s. Lizard), and Captain Savile (A.D.C.). The Premier of Rarotonga and his son were introduced to the Governor by Mr. H. J. Ellis.

Tepou o Te Rangi then read an address to the Governor, of which the following is a translation:—

To the Right Hon. His Excellency Lord Onslow, Governor of New Zealand and representative of that great Queen Victoria of Great Britain.

Salutations! I, Tepou o te Rangi, Premier of Rarotonga, and part of my people who have come with me, wish to say a, few words. We have merely came to New Zealand on a visit; but upon our arrival here we heard of the festivities to be celebrated in honour of the jubilee of this great country of New Zealand. We are all very much pleased to meet you on this festive occasion, as we ourselves are also children of Great Britain, as that great Queen, Victoria, has been pleased to grant us her protection in the year 1888. I would also wish to add, O Governor, that it will be a long period before we in Rarotonga will be enabled to celebrate our jubilee. It is even doubtful whether some of us will see that time. Nevertheless it is my hope that the jubilee of Rarotonga 49 years hence will show as much advance in prosperity and civilisation (in comparison) as New Zealand has done. I can assure you, O Governor, of our loyalty to your great Queen Victoria, and our determination to live under her shelter and protection. That is our wish. In conclusion, we wish long life and prosperity to our great and good Queen Victoria, and also the same good wishes to yourself, Lord Onslow, your lady and family. Sufficient.

Mr. A. H. Brown interpreted the address.

The Earl of Onslow replied to the address as follows:—The Premier and people of Rarotonga,—Your address is an interesting event in the celebration of our Jubilee festivities, and your presence among us yesterday gave additional lustre to the proceedings of the day. New Zealand, and especially this part of the colony, has always had a peculiar interest for the islands of the Pacific, and has watched with interest the spread of British influence among those Islands. I have to offer my condolences with you on the sad loss which your small company has suffered since you have been here by the death of young Ngataitautai, and I fervently hope that the rest of your stay in New Zealand may be marked only by pleasure and happiness. Enjoying as you do the protection of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, you must be aware that you have the protection of one of the most powerful sovereigns of the page 72 world, and one who has deep sympathy for all the varied races under her rule. I am glad to learn that your earnest desire is that Her Majesty should continue to afford you that protection.

His Excellency then handed a copy of his reply to the Premier of Rarotonga. At the request of the Premier of Rarotonga, the Governor withdrew to an adjoining apartment in order that the natives might make some presents to him in true Rarotongan fashion. The natives then brought in the presents, which consisted of mats made from the breadfruit tree; mats made in the old heathen days; a pair of shoes, etc. The Premier then led the way to the Governor, the presents being carried by the women and several of the men. These gifts were laid at His Excellency's feet. The Governor heartily thanked the natives for the valuable and interesting gifts.