Old news from Armidale and New England

Local news from newspaper archives

1883: The opening of the railway to Armidale (from Newcastle)

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The Armidale Express and New England General Advertiser, Friday 2 Feb 1883

[Some interesting details about the construction of the rail link between Uralla and Armidale – albeit with some gratuitous editorial comment to begin with, and the stilted language of 135 years ago. GS.]

Ever since the train reached Uralla, and the New England public whetted their demonstrating appetite with the festivities upon that occasion, the interest in the official opening at Armidale has been increasing. People commenced to mark events as to take place before or after “the opening.” The Uralla opening was looked upon as a mere trifle—a sort of pistol shot giving notice of the boom of a cannon. Very many of the visitors to Uralla took the opportunity of making facetious remarks to the inhabitants of that town, twitting them concerning imperfections in the arrangements, and stating as an indisputable fact, in no modulated tone of voice, that that day would be the greatest Uralla would ever see. With regard to the faulty arrangements at Uralla, there was every reason why they should have been excused. It was not known officially until the day before the opening whether there would be any official opening whatever, and if so, when it would take place. A better excuse than that for any mistakes that might have been made could not be offered. As to whether the festivities at Uralla were in reality its death-knell, is a debatable question, but we have no belief in the extinction of Uralla. Being little more than a village, the impetus given to business, and the influx of population consequent upon the progress of the work upon the railway, was particularly noticeable and acceptable, and the depression necessarily attendant upon the withdrawal of the nomad population as marked and disagreeable. But because there is a stagnation of business and an absence of population, that is no reason why Uralla should die. The circumstances that brought Uralla into existence and fostered its growth have not been taken away; and if railway communication is going to kill Uralla then it must be a bad thing. Experience does not say and in all probability Uralla will advance with did without it.

We have thought it well at this time, when Armidale is filled to overflowing with people, and prospects seem most brilliant, to call attention to the position of Uralla, because there is a lesson to be learnt by so doing. The same influences that gave a stimulus to Uralla have been for some time at work in inflating Armidale, and as now Uralla wondering if it can exist, so will the croakers in Armidale soon be pointing to this town’s collapse. In a very few months Armidale will cease to be a terminus, and hundreds of a floating population will have moved further Northward. Temporary stagnation will ensue just as certainly as it has done at Uralla. Even the pessimists may hesitate to proclaim that Armidale will die, but they will allude despondingly to its future. Provided people are prepared for the inevitable period of depression during which Armidale will have to suffer a recovery, the croakers will do very little harm; but if, at the signs of failing strength, the inhabitants allow themselves to become alarmed for the result, harm will be done in the killing of public spirit and business enterprise, and the recovery will be retarded. It is well, therefore, that we should be prepared for coming events, and it will do us no harm to remember as we stand now upon a hill of prosperity that there is a somewhat steep descent in front before we commence ascending again a more gradual incline, leading, however, to a greater height.

“Carpe diem,” wrote Horace, and since, as far as we can judge, he got a fair amount of enjoyment out of life, we may, if we want to enjoy ourselves, pay some attention to what he says. There would be very little enjoyment in life if we were to speculate each day upon the possibilities of our breaking our necks the next. And Armidale at the present time seems very much of Horace’s opinion, and is seizing the opportunity of enjoying itself regardless of the morrow, which may be presumed to be capable of looking after itself. Everybody has been to much trouble for some time past in making preparations for enjoyment, and life is not so overstocked with fun that we can afford to mar joy in esse with alloy in posse. The first of February, the formal day of our rejoicing, is past, but our festival continues, not to be broken up until, some time during next week, we speed the parting guests and settle down to every-day life once more. Nearly every private house in the town is filled with guests, some of the city, civilised, others of the bush, bushy. The former smile with concealed amazement at the latter, who in turn grin with undisguised amusement at the former. Each regards the other as a peculiar development of humanity, congratulate themselves—for it is mutual— that they have got to see very little of each other, and, being in a good humour, pass on amused, and perhaps improved, In this meeting of fellow men of different bringing up—the throwing of them more intimately together, as it were, by railway communication […] much to be gained by each. Honesty, dullness, and a degree of coarseness are intimately associated with the man of the soil; quickness of intellect, shrewdness—sometimes near akin to knavery—and refinement, are the attributes of the man of cities, and it is to be regretted that, while the country folk soon learn to ape or adopt the vices of those of the city, the latter absorb but little of the blunt honesty of the bush. But by moralising we shall not turn the tide of so-called progress, and hoping that both bush and city have found pleasant diversion in the demonstration of Armidale’s rejoicing on the opening of the railway yesterday, we turn to the matter-of-fact narration of the proceedings.

It must be borne in mind that our demonstration of yesterday was not a celebration of the junction of the table-land with the plains. The contract of Messrs. Amos Bros., that terminated at Uralla, completed that task of engineering skill, and the people of Uralla, with justice, insisted upon being allowed a demonstration in honour of the event. Upon the arrival of the railway at Armidale we have demonstrated in celebration of railway communication with the capital of New England, the cathedral city of the North. The contract of Messrs. Amos Bros, was completed at a distance of 245 miles 42 chains from Newcastle, being a point a few chains this side of Uralla. From this point to Glen Innes the line is being constructed by Mr. David Proudfoot, and is now completed to Armidale. The railway station at Armidale is situated at 259 miles 77 chains from Newcastle, which gives the distance from Uralla to Armidale by rail as nearly as possible 14½ miles. There are no cuttings or embankments of any magnitude on the portion of Mr. Proudfoot’s contract now completed. The point at which the contract commenced is 3360 feet above the level of the sea, and the Armidale station 3312, Uralla being at a slightly greater elevation than Armidale. The 14 or 15 miles traversed are very level, and, although the gradients in places are as steep as 1 in 50, the greater portion of the line is comparatively level. The highest gradient in the whole of Mr. Proudfoot’s contract occurs just beyond the goods-shed at Armidale, on the way to Glen Innes, where it reaches 1 in 40. To return, however, to the extension opened yesterday, it is technically divided into 24 embankment and 24 cutting contracts. Embankment No. 1, commencing near Uralla, at 245 miles 2 chains, contains 33,000 cubic yards, and runs out at 245 miles 56 chains, in which occurs the bridge over the Great Northern Road. Cutting No. 1 contained 7000 cubic yards, largely composed of granite boulders. In cutting No. 5, which runs out at 247 miles 44 chains, the Great Northern Road is again crossed, and at this point the usual 15 feet gates are provided. A series of small cuttings and long, low embankments—the latter principally made up from side cuttings—are next traversed. In embankment No. 12, which runs out three 20-feet timber openings over Lambing Gully, and again in embankment No. 14, which runs out at 253 miles 59 chains, occurs a similar bridge, over Saumarez Creek. In embankment No. 15, at about 254 miles 40 chains, there is another bridge of three 10-feet timber openings over Perrott’s Creek. Cutting No. 17, near Roseneath, is the largest in the extension to Armidale, containing 28,000 cubic yards, and in this cutting there are to be seen the pretty, variegated coloured chalks which created some local interest at the time they were first discovered. At about 257 miles 50 chains the Gostwyck road is crossed, and a series of small cuttings and embankments leads to the cutting opposite the railway camp of 18,000 yards, from the centre of which there is a fall of 1 in 50, decreasing to 1 in 440 to the railway station at Armidale. In the whole 15 miles there are about 190,000 cubic yards of cutting, and 180,000 cubic yards of embankment. The cutting in which the station is situated is in reality the largest, as 30,000 cubic yards were removed from it, but, of course, it is of especial breadth. At all road crossings there are 15 feet gates, and to paddocks 10 feet gates. The culverts are principally 5-feet timber openings. The line runs into the town at the back of the Gaol Hill, at the Southern end, and crosses the Great Northern Road once more just before arriving at the station, which is situated, somewhat inconveniently, at the Western extremity of the town, about a mile from the Post Office or business centre.

The railway station buildings are some way from being finished, the goods-shed and engine-shed being in a mere skeleton condition. The main building will be finished in two or three months time, and is already so far complete that an idea can be formed of the handsome appearance the structure will soon present. At the commencement of the building operations the contractors were seriously delayed in consequence of the scarcity of bricks, and when that difficulty was overcome a further obstacle was found in the absolute impossibility of obtaining seasoned timber. The wet weather prevailing during the past few months has also delayed the work considerably. The contractors made every effort in their power to render the reception yesterday at the station successful. Each end of the platform was barred up, with a view of keeping off the crowd and preventing the recurrence of such a scene as was presented on the platform at Uralla on the arrival of the Ministerial train. The contractors further erected an arch at the entrance to the railway station ground, which was very prettily decorated with flags and evergreens. Along the route traversed by the procession triumphal arches were conspicuous by their absence, and we do not know that there is any need to lament over the fact. We understand the Committee had not the funds at their disposal to justify their indulging in any extravagancies of decoration, and they wisely, at an early stage, abandoned all ideas of triumphal arches. But at nearly all the comers of intersecting streets in the route of the procession were erected tall posts, from the tops of which were stretched lines carrying innumerable flags. This display, assisted by the efforts of certain of the more enterprising, or enthusiastic, of the private citizens, who displayed bunting, gave the town that festive appearance which it was only right it should assume. It was not thought right that the visitors to our city should be allowed to escape a glimpse of Beardy street, and the procession was accordingly taken down Jessie-street, and brought along our main business street as far as the Post Office corner, where it turned up the hill once more and round by the Town Hall to the temporary platform erected opposite the Church of England Cathedral.

There was some disappointment felt at the non-arrival of the Governor, and we believe that much is lost to the popularity of a Governor and the encouragement of loyal sentiments by the absence of regal representation on such occasions as that of yesterday. More good can be done in a short time to the cause of loyalty by a happy speech to a crowd predisposed to enjoyment, such as Sir Hercules Robinson knew so well how to deliver, than volumes the most careful logic can accomplish in fifty years. However, we presume the absence of his Excellency was unavoidable. Nor can it be said that we were liberally treated in the way of Ministers, but on that head we can well afford to be forgiving. In the first place, we have not the present Government to thank for our railway, and in the second place, the new Ministers have already earned the title of a Ministry of work, and they may well have hesitated before travelling over 300 miles for a holiday. A fair sprinkling of members of Parliament came up, and very many gentlemen of position from all parts of the country. The town was full last Saturday, but all through the present week visitors have been pouring in. Great difficulty was naturally found in procuring accommodation, and very high prices were demanded and gladly paid merely for a blanket and room to lie down. Up till Wednesday night, however, room was found somewhere for everybody. Hundreds of telegrams were received on Tuesday and Wednesday by private people in the town from friends asking them to procure accommodation for them in the hotels, and in every case a reply had to be sent saying that all hotel accommodation had been secured by Saturday night.

The rain that fell on Wednesday was most unwelcome. There has been abundance of rain of late, and around the railway station there is so much of that yellow clay that puddles into a cloggy bog, that it was feared that the station would have been almost unapproachable yesterday. Fortunately the rain cleared off before midnight, and Thursday morning breaking fine and bright, many anxious fears were dispelled. The town yesterday …ance from an early hour. Hundreds of people congregated in the streets, and old friends and acquaintances were continually dropping across each other, and exchanging mutual congratulations upon the kindness of the clerk of the weather. About noon the crowd commenced to move towards the railway station, and by one o’clock between 3000 and 4000 people were present. The platform at the station was kept exclusively for the use of the Committee, and although some people were very indignant at not being allowed to come on to the platform, it was necessary to be very strict and no exceptions could be made. Over 20 constables under Superintendent Orridge maintained excellent order. The bulk of the people were assembled upon the bank opposite the platform, and for some distance along the line on each ride of the station. Some telegrams received from along the line made those waiting aware that the train would not be far behind time, and at five minutes to two the engine smoke was visible on the top of the cutting. As is usually the case the carriage in which the Ministers were travelling was not brought to a standstill at the place where the Mayor and Aldermen were waiting. It was not very far distant, however, and after a few hasty rushes in the wrong direction, a juncture of the two parties was effected, and general handshaking was the order of the day. The Mayor addressed a few words of Welcome to the Ministers, Mr. Copeland and Mr. Farnell, and requested Mr. Copeland as Minister for Works to formally declared the line open.

Mr. Copeland said he had much pleasure in acceding to the Mayor’s request, and he hoped the line would bring all the benefits the inhabitants expected. He congratulated the district upon the completion of communication with a seaport so near as Newcastle. He declared the line formally open. The ensign was hoisted at the flagstaff, and the band struck up “God Save the Queen.” Three cheers were then given, and some shots were fired from a small piece of ordnance upon the opposite side of the fine. The Ministers and members of Parliament who came up were then taken through to the carriages waiting, and thanks to the exertions of Mr. Matters, the marshal, the procession was soon got into order. Five mounted constables headed the procession, followed by the Lambton Band playing a spirited march. Next came the Mayor’s carriage containing the Ministers, Messrs. Copeland and Farnell, and following that a long string of carriages amongst which were prominent three four-in-hand teams, all drawn by beautiful horses, which behaved with the decorum appurtenant to well-trained thoroughbreds. Following the buggies were the Friendly Societies succeeded by a few horsemen, and a good few on foot. The procession was fully half a mile long and was very successfully conducted. The route taken we have already mentioned, and the platform opposite the Cathedral was reached shortly after 2.30. About 50 ladies had assembled on the platform, and the Societies excellent guard around the structure. Mr. Copeland and Mr. Farnell with other distinguished visitors were conducted on to the platform by the Mayor, who then called upon the Council Clerk to read the address from the Council as follows:—


To the Honorable Henry Copeland, Esq., M.L.A., the Minister for Works.

We, the Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Armidale, desire to express our welcome to you and your colleagues in office on the occasion of this official visit formally to open the Railway Extension from Uralla to Armidale. We feel confident that the opening of the railway to this important point will materially increase the prosperity of the whole of the Northern part of the colony. And we have no doubt that you will agree with us in saying that there is no surer road to the success of every interest than that of Railway Extension. We thank you and the other members of the Legislature for your kindness in, no doubt at some personal sacrifice, thus coming to rejoice with us on the arrival of quite a new era in the history of Armidale. We beg to subscribe ourselves your obedient servants, John Moore, Mayor, A. W. Simpson, Edmund Lonsdale, James Tysoe, John Harper, John Bliss, G. Holmes, William Drew, John Trim, Aldermen.

Mr. Copeland, in reply, said it afforded him the greatest satisfaction to convey to them his appreciation of the honour of his position, and he could scarcely find words to express his thanks for himself, his colleague, and the friends who accompanied him to this city of Armidale, one of the most beautiful in Australia, for the reception accorded them. This was a red letter day for Armidale, and no doubt it would mark an epoch in the history of New England. He congratulated the district and those present that they were now connected with the second best port in the colony by a journey of some 13 or 14 hours. He felt particularly the honour of occupying his present position, because some years ago he had taken an active part in bringing the railway to Armidale, instead of its going some miles to the West. (Hear, hear.) He was glad that it had been one of his first duties as Minister for Works to open the railway to Armidale. He trusted the opening of the railway would bring the amount of prosperity to the city that its best friends could possible imagine, and be hoped that before long they would be connected also with the city of Sydney. (Applause, and three cheers for Armidale.)

Mr. Joseph Scholes, Jun., then read the following address, which was most beautifully engrossed and illuminated, from the Oddfellows:—

The Hon. Henry Copeland, Minister for Works. Sir—We, the Oddfellows of this District, unite in according you a hearty welcome on your present visit for the purpose of opening an important Extension of Railway to this the City of the North.

We desire to express our loyalty to her Majesty the Queen, and confidence in the Government which you have the honour to represent.

The which we are now met, is to us a cause of great rejoicing as it will be the means of connecting this district with other important parts of the colony, and providing an outlet for the many products for which this district is justly celebrated, and places within easy reach, of the inhabitants of the plains a cool summer retreat in this salubrious climate.

We take this occasion to express our congratulations upon the prosperity of the colony, which we hope may continue, and afford means for extending railways in all directions, and thus develop the vast natural resources of the country and open it up for the settlement of a large population.

We are, hon. Sir, your obedient servants—signed on behalf of the Oddfellows of this district,—Joseph Scholes, Jun., Provincial Grand Master.

Mr. Copeland briefly responded. He said he had not the good fortune to be an Oddfellow himself, but many of his best friends were. He hoped the railway would bring prosperity to the Oddfellows and all other fellows.

The Mayor then called for three cheers for the Queen, which were heartily given and succeeded by other rounds of cheering for Mr. Copeland, Mr. Farnell, the other members of Parliament present, and the Mayor and Aldermen.

The Ministers were then escorted to the St. Kilda Hotel by the Mayor and the Police Magistrate, returning in about half an hour to the banquet room.

The banquet was held in the new Town Hall, the walls of which have now been built to their full height. The Committee made an arrangement with the contractor for this building some time back to lay down a pine floor and erect a temporary roof, to be covered with tarpaulins. At the time this contract was entered into it was thought that the opening would take place about the end of December, when the walls would not have been built to any great height. It was after wards found that the line could not be opened as soon as anticipated, but the contractor had then made all arrangements for roofing in, and the fault to be found in the result, if any, was that the roof was too low. By opening the tarpaulins at places in the sides, however, plenty of ventilation was afforded, and there was very little to complain of. The Hall is, for a country town, a very large one, measuring 75 feet by 45, and was very tastefully decorated. The posts which supported the roof were covered with coloured calico, and from the roof hung flags and evergreens in profusion. Chinese lanterns and lamps were hanging from above and fixed to the supports in all directions, but these were not required, it is needless to say, at the banquet. Upon the stage, which is situated at the North end, was the Lambton Band, and immediately below, raised about a foot from the floor, was the cross table, extending across the whole breadth of the Hall, in the centre of which, in the chair, sat the Mayor with the Hon. Henry Copeland, Hon. J. Richardson, Archdeacon Ross, Mr. Buchanan, Mr. John Williams, and Mr. Proctor, M.L.A., on his right, and the Hon. […] Farnell, Rev. Dean Mr.H. C. Dangar, Mr. Fosberry, and Mr. A. A. Dangar on his left. Running down the length of the Hall were ten other tables.

The banquet was served cold in the excellent style for which the City Catering Company have acquired a reputation, and there was abundance of food and wine all of the best description. About 300 gentlemen sat down to the banquet, and as the Hall was arranged to seat 375, there was plenty of room. After doing full justice to the viands, the Chairman proposed the Queen, which was received in the usual loyal manner, the band playing the National Anthem. The toast of the Prince and Princess of Wales and the Royal Family was also welcomed with the usual enthusiasm, the band playing “God bless the Prince of Wales.”

Mr. Jas. Mackenzie then proposed the health of the Governor in a short speech, and this, too, was received with enthusiasm, and hearty cheers were given at the conclusion of the few bars given by band of “The fine old English gentleman.”

The Chairman then proposed the present Ministry. It was his impression that the Ministry would legislate with a view to benefiting the colony generally. He knew Mr. Farnell very well, as one of the Ministers, and he had confidence in Mr. Copeland. He had much pleasure in proposing the toast of the Ministry.

The toast haying been duly honoured, Mr. Copeland, who was received with prolonged cheering, said that although he was a junior representative of the Government to Mr. Farnell, who had been Premier and Minister for Lands in different Ministries for periods of 2 and 3 years, and therefore it might seem a sort of presumption for him to reply to this toast in stead of Mr. Farnell, yet in virtue of the office he how held as Minister for Works, it was his duty to respond on that occasion to that toast (applause), and he thanked them for the hearty manner in which it had been received. He would ask them to refer back for five or six years, and remember the occasion when he first appeared as a budding politician standing for the Northern Gold Fields, and this constituency of New England was the first he had the honour to represent. (Applause.) He would like to refer to his career during the last four or five years. Presumably they read the papers —not only the local papers, but the Sydney papers—and he would ask them had he during his political career, done any thing to disgrace them? (Cries of “No, no.”) He owed his political existence to New England, and he was—politically speaking—the child of New England (applause), until the last few weeks. It was he thought, to his credit, and it was some satisfaction to a man to say that no man in New England could say he had done other than his duty to the constituency and the country. (Applause.) He might have done some things which did not appear pleasing to the idiosyncrasies of all, but, on all occasions, he had considered the interests of the country and of New South Wales, But the object of the present meeting was the celebration of the opening of the railway to Armidale. which he had made for reference, in the train. But he would remind them that about seven years ago some money was voted with no more definite object than to make a railway to New England. About that time the Government, of which Mr. Farnell was a member, came into power, and Mr. Sutherland, the then Minister for Works, advised that the train should come to Armidale. The opposing interest of Inverell then came in, which they had to fight with, and he was not going to deny that Inverell was a most prolific district. But he joined Mr. Terry and fought for the Armidale people, not because he thought Inverell was not a fruitful district—for he knew the wealth of the Inverell district—but still it was not such a settled district as Armidale, and probably would never have been so much settled as it was had it not been for Armidale, and it was to a certain extent dependent upon Armidale. It was Mr. Farnell’s Government that successfully carried the railway to Armidale. But there was another battle that had to be fought. The Government of that day only secured the railway going along the surveyed route which went some miles to the West of Armidale. There was then another battle to be fought, and he, years ago, when up in this district advised the people not to rest content with the line passing some miles to the West of them, and pointed out the numerous disadvantages that would be entailed by such a course. Action was consequently taken, and Mr. Terry and he did their best and got the resolution amended, so as to bring the line to Armidale instead of going to the West of the city. (Applause.) In advocating the line he pointed out the amount of money that had been spent here, and showed that if the railway were not brought here much would be done to destroy Armidale. Where the railway was, there would be business and population, and increase in the value of land. (Applause.) In the days when he supported this railway he could not, of course, have foreseen the day when he should come here as the representative of an able, and, he believed, a strong Government, in an official capacity, and declare the line open for passenger and goods traffic, as he had done that day, but he was proud that such should have been the result. He was glad that he had retained their confidence, and appeared before them that day as Minister for Works. (Applause.) He did not think that any of those present that day fully realised the benefit that railway communication was about to confer upon them. As an illustration of the benefits—to bring it home to them— he was reminded by the Mayor that everything, the glass, Hie crockery, the eatables, and drinkables, which they saw before them, was all brought from Sydney, and that they were actually eating to-day what was cooked yesterday in Sydney. (Applause.) This district was now connected with Newcastle, and there was no longer any necessity for them to send all their produce to Sydney, since they could ship from Newcastle direct to England, and thus save much expense in carriage. And now the Sydney market would lie open to their fruit, their flour, and wheat, and this might fairly be considered as a red letter day for Armidale, and as the brightest day New England had yet seen. (Applause.) Ho could tell them that the Government of to-day would not be behindhand in carrying out the public works of the country, and would extend light railways into the interior as soon as possible. He was in favour of making light railways to such places as Willcannia and Cobar even once a week, and take to the people stores and bring back their produce, even if the line should be worked for a time at a loss. He might state that the railway returns for the year were about £350,000 in excess of the returns for the previous year. Every line in 1882 produced a larger revenue than in 1881. Even where extensions had been made to unsettled country—to mere gum trees—they were paying. (Applause.) He thanked them for the hearty reception given to the toast. (Cries of “What about the tramways?”) The tramways had nothing to do with Armidale, so far as he knew. (Laughter.) He intended to work for the interests of the whole country, and thought he would have the support of the people generally throughout the country. (Applause.)

There were cries for Mr. Farnell, who rose reluctantly after some clamour and said he thought Mr. Copeland had done ample justice to the toast. He rejoiced at the assemblage in the Hall of the largest number of people he had met at a meeting out of Sydney. He had always advocated the railway to Armidale before he represented this constituency, and had done so for the good of the colony. Sir Henry Parkes and some of his Government were the greatest manipulators of men ever born. The country had lately been appealed to and returned the present Ministry to office, saying that they would have a new Land Law, and as Minister for Lands he would do his best for the interests of the country. The speaker proceeded to denounce the former Government saying that their four years in office had been four years of Corruption, at which there was considerable uproar, and the speaker proceeded to propose the toast of the Pastoral, Agricultural, Mining, Mercantile, and Manufacturing interests of New England, which he did in a few appropriate words.

Mr. H. G. Dangar, in replying on behalf of the pastoral interests, said that he saw so many gentlemen around him intimately connected with the pastoral interests that he wondered why he should have been called upon to respond to that portion of the toast, but be supposed that in consequence of his father having been the discoverer of the district and his family having been identified with it so many years, the Committee had called upon him. (Applause.) If such were the case, he thanked the Committee for their courtesy, and for their remembrance of these facts. He was a squatter only in theory, but he would, at any rate, illustrate one of the virtues of dummyism by not saying more than was necessary on this occasion. (Laughter and applause.) But he thought he ought to allude to the discovery of New England, and in doing so would couple it with a name that had perhaps faded from their memories, but which should be chronicled on this occasion—that of “Gostwyck”—a man who was one of those who worked for the good of others, but he could not help thinking how much they were indebted to that man. Had it not been for him indeed he (Mr. Dangar) would not have the privilege of speaking to them that day. No man should regret that the flocks should recede before the wants of the people, and he, for one, did at not all regret it. (Applause.) He wished to express his intense satisfaction at the arrival of the iron horse. (Applause.) His thanks were due to them for the manner in which the toast had been received. The present subjected to a great amount of vituperation. For all that the pastoral interest had been the back bone and spinal marrow of the country—(applause)—and it would be a sorry day when they killed the goose that laid the golden eggs. (Renewed applause.) The present Government had undertaken such a task as they never dreamt of in adjusting the land law, and he did not envy them a task presenting difficulties enough to wreck half a dozen Governments; still he hoped they would make an honest effort, and he wished them God speed. He would like to go on, but the tune was limited, and perhaps he had better stop and not drift into what he wished to avoid—a political speech. (Applause.) He thanked them, especially for the manner in which they had received the toast of the pastoral interests and those joined with it. (Loud applause.)

Mr. George Faint responded for the Agricultural interests. He said he had been trying to make agriculture a success, and so far had succeeded (applause), as he had competed in many plaices and come out at the top of the poll. (Renewed applause.) He did not think the present Land Law was a liberal one for the poor man. (Applause.)

Mr. Cleghorn, in responding for the Mining interests, said that all would admit that Australia stood foremost in the world for mineral wealth, and New England prominent in New South Wales. Even up to the present time they had exported such minerals from N. S. Wales as would pay for the carriage, and now that they had railway communication they would be able to develop the large mineral resources of New South Wales.

At this stage of the proceedings much noise was caused by the removal of the seats and tables that had been vacated, and much that the rest of the speakers said was inaudible.

The Hon. John Richardson returned thanks on behalf of the Mercantile interests. He alluded to the benefits of settlement in New England. He was glad to see so many present, but would have liked to see his old friend Sir John Robertson amongst the number (applause), although he was not a member of the present Ministry.

Mr. Henry Roman proposed the toast of the Parliament of New South Wales, saying that although there might be weak spots in the Ministry, the Government was as a whole worthy of support. He had great pleasure in proposing the toast.

Mr. Goold, M.L.A., claimed their indulgence in responding to the toast, basing his claims as a junior member of the Legislature, He was glad to hear the terms of praise in which the proposer had alluded to the Government, as he was convinced the Government intended to do their duty. He was also glad to hear from Mr. Farnell that the Government intended to do everything which, in the opinion of the Government, would be for the benefit of the colony, and make it progress as it should do. He rejoiced as a Northern member at the completion of the railway here, and was glad that the Northern districts were so well represented in the Ministry. He hoped soon to see the railway completed from Newcastle to Sydney. (Applause.)

[Rest of scanned newsprint mostly unreadable].

Written by macalba

August 7, 2018 at 6:17 pm

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