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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 69

Thompson's Dinner

Thompson's Dinner.

A party of gentlemen were entertained at dinner by Henry Thompson, Esq., at his residence, Kororareka, and the editor gives away himself and the staff by stating "for the particulars of which we are indebted to a gentleman who was present." They forgot the Press in those days when the dinner was on, but availed themselves of its services for their puffs when the fun was over. Why these early settlers might have lived in 1890 instead of 1840, or thereabouts The party, it is stated, consisted of Mr. Thompson's own friends, "yet it was a purely public dinner, and it was given by him in honour of His Excellency's appointment, to be Governor-in-Chief of New Zealand." Mr. Thompson's "own friends at the purely public dinner" appear to have been Captain Beckham (Police Magistrate), Robert Fitzgerald (newly-appointed Police Magistrate), Fred. Whitaker, Esq., Captain Amenyl, John Scott, Esq., Captain Peil, Alexander Kennedy, Esq., Eugene Cafler, Esq., Daniel Pollen, Esq., M.D., and John Hoggard, Esq. Mr. Thompson acted as chairman, and Mr. Grahame as vice-chairman. The various loyal and patriotic toasts were proposed and honoured, one of them being "The Queen and the Infant Princess," the "infant princess" being the Princess Royal, now the widowed Empress Frederick of Germany. The toast of the day was proposed in a fervid speech by the chairman, "The Health of His Excellency Captain Hobson, our Governor and Commander-in-Chief." The toast was drunk with honours, and received with applause. Captain Beckham replied. Then followed the toast of "The Colonial Secretary and Other Public Officers in New Zealand," to which Mr. Fitzgerald replied. The Chairman proposed the toast of "Mrs. Hobson and the Ladies of the Colony," to which the irrepressible Fitzgerald again responded, stating that as an Irishman "He was not likely to lack enthusiasm when dear, lovely women was the theme." Among the other toasts was the health of Lady Franklin. Several songs enlivened the evening, and the party separated at midnight, highly delighted with the harmony which had prevailed.