1896 Rain desperately needed, water scarce, crops and grass suffering, cattle dying in large numbers from starvation and cold.
1897 The Queen's Jubilee celebrations 1897. Including unveiling of the memorial tablet on the Town Hall.
THE MAYOR - E. P. MORRIS - UNVEILS A MEMORIAL TABLET ON THE DUNOLLY TOWN HALL
DUNOLLY EN FETE
A LARGE ASSEMBLAGE
THE QUEEN'S DIAMOND JUBILEE
Throughout Her Majesty's wide dominions -- east and west, north and south -- the one note was triumphant on Tuesday, "God Bless our Queen". It is not alone that we revere Her Majesty for her pure and noble life, which has influenced not only her own people but the people of all nationalities, but we recognise how, during her reign, the power of the Empire has been extended; we recognise the enormous developments that have taken place. New nations have been born and are growing up to splendid manhood, under the glorious British flag. And we are rejoiced to belong to such an Empire, because we are free. We have carried on institutions with us and the genius of the nation is seen in its results. In one clear, crisp line it is set down in the Memorial Tablet in front of the Town Hall --
"A FREE PEOPLE -- WE REJOICE"
No other nation on earth can show what Great Britain shows. New' Britains growing up in the grand old lines in every part of the globe, free, independent, loyal, with all the characteristics of the race, and a gallant race it is. Descendants of English, Irish, Scotch, and Welsh, we all unite in one great chorus to do honour to Her Majesty, during whose reign such grand developments have taken place. And this does not include the men of other races who find a happy home under the Union Jack. Our dark-skinned brothers are loyal too, because they find that Great Britain will protect them in all that is good; she secures our freedom against any foreign enemy; and she allows us to "work out our own salvation" in our own laws. Therefore "We rejoice!". And the character of our Queen has done much to develope [sic] the best characteristics of the people she governs.
"Her court is pure, her life serene,
And statesmen at her council met,
Who knew the action when to take,
Occasion by the hand to make
The bounds of freedom wider yet."
Dunolly excelled itself, and that shows what a loyal people we are. It is a certainty that in no town of equal size was such a demonstration seen. The central picture was the procession of the children. It was simply beautiful; five hundred children, and all so nicely dressed. Probably in no country in the world would such a sight be seen. Not a single child but was nicely dressed, and many even beautifully adorned. Rich and poor met there on an equal footing, and every child did credit to its mother. There was a great crowd of people present - nothing attracts like the children, because the parents are so proud of them. And we repeat that such a gathering was never seen here before.
Before noon the children had gathered. Dunolly was en fête. Flags were flying from the Fire Brigade Station, from the Post Office tower, and in front of the Town Hall were the Union Jack and the Australian flag. At a number of private residences the British flag floated proudly, Cr Peters and Cr Hansford being prominent. A prettier sight was never seen in Dunolly than that procession of children. We have to give the chief praise to Cr Gathercole, who went into this thing with heart and soul. Probably if he had not taken the thing up, there would not have been such a sight as was seen in Dunolly. Some doubts were expressed when Cr Gathercole first mentioned that he would like to have a treat for the children. But his wisdom was manifest when they gathered there in front of the Fire Brigade Station. We have said that Cr Gathercole was a happy man, but he was not the king for this occasion. It is a certainty that without Cr Gathercole's enthusiasm this splendid sight would not have been seen.
The school teachers were there, and such a display does them credit. Why? we asked. Because rich and poor joined in, and all so neat and pretty. There were 500 children, carrying flags and banners, and it is a pity that we cannot reproduce it in all its glory. Our clever photographer, Mr Baxter, was there, and took some really excellent pictures, which will be cherished when we are dead and gone.
The children gathered in front of the Fire Brigade station, and we have simply to give Cr Gathercole the credit, which every mother in Dunolly will allow him. The children of the whole district were made happy The procession must have been nearly half-a-mile long. In front Mr R. M'Phee, captain of the Fire Brigade, took his place. He had been busy, with Cr Gathercole, Messrs M'Intyre, Clanchy, Andrew, Watts (from Maryborough, who has a great deal of experience in affairs like these), J.B. Hicks, Legge, and others; Misses Harmer, Morris (Dunolly), and Mawson (Goldsborough), also assisted. We have to give a special word of praise to Mr J. Russell, who, above all, devotes himself to "our town". In front was a beautiful banner, with the words "God Bless our Noble Queen" in letters of white and gold on a red background, and held up aloft were two crowns, made by the Misses Gathercole, symbol of our loyalty to our gracious Queen. But all through the long line were flags and banners flying. The band, under Mr Treganowan. followed the Marshal, and then - with reverence be it spoken - the whole of the Borough Council, with the exception of Cr Tatchell (one of the most enthusiastically loyal of Her Majesty's subjects). Then came the school children from Dunolly, Bromley, Goldsborough, Eddington, and Mt Hooghly, carrying small flags and bannerettes, forming a very pleasing spectacle. A number of Chinese also joined in the procession, headed by a banner bearing the words "God Save our Queen" (which had been prepared by Mr Baxter.) They also had a number of musical instruments on a cart, and a drum, which they played as the procession wend its way along the streets, causing much amusement. As the procession marked [sic] along it presented an imposing sight. At about half-past 12 it left the brigade station, walking down Bull-street into Broadway, thence to Holborn Hill, returning to the front of the Town Hall, where three ringing cheers were given for the Queen and the council, and the children filed into the hall to partake of the good things provided, and where every arrangement had been made for their convenience. As soon as possible they were seated, when a large bevy of young ladies and their assistants were kept busy for some time providing for the wants of the little ones. After full justice had been done to the good things provided, short and appropriate addresses were delivered to the children by the Mayor and other gentlemen.
Before separating cheers were called for the council and Cr Gathercole, and responded lustily to by over 500 children. The National Anthem concluded the proceedings. As the children were leaving the hall each one was given a bag of fruit and a bag of lollies. The catering was in the hands of Mr Davenport, and successfully carried out.
At four o'clock there were a large gathering collected in front of the hall to witness the unveiling of
The Mayor, who was received with cheers, said he had a pleasant duty to perform, but he thought it might have been given in to the hands of a native and not an old pioneer. He then read an apology from Cr Tatchell for unavoidable absence, through continued illness, but wishd the gathering every success. The Mayor then deilivered a most excellent and patriotic address. The tablet having been unveiled and the inscription read (whuch has been previously published), the Mayor then referred to the good that had been accomplished during the Queen's reign, and Australians should be thankful for what had been done for them. Those who came to the colony in the early days did not do so simply to benefit themselves, but looked upon it as a duty. The poet Tennyson had said "Her court was pure," and was it not true. If we went back in history the precept or example of monarchs was not of a standard befitting them. Things are very different now to what they were a century ago, and he believed in a hundred years hence people would be better than at the present time. Referring to the reign of the Queen, he said that the condition of the people commercially, politically, socially, and religiously was far better now than at the beginning of her reign. Commercially, vast strides had been made by Britain, and she stands far ahead of every other nation, and believed she would retain the supremacy. Politiclly even greater strides had been made. If we go back to 1838, when the people's Charter as it was called, was [indistinct]..... points of which were universal suffrage, equal electoral districts, vote by ballot, annual parliaments, no other qualifications but the will of the people, payment of members - and these exist with us today, so that the politcial reformers of '38 must have been farseeing, and men in days gone by were as vigorous for reform as we are today. Religiously we are a more liberal people than we were at the beginning of our beloved Queen's reign. It might be asked, "What is the cause of this greater liberality towards one another?" He (the speaker) thought it arose from a better social condition of the people, shorter hours of labor, and freer education.. It had been said and said truly, that Britain's greatness had been founded on the Bible. In concluding, the Mayor expressed the hope that if another tablet were erected it would be a memorial to the old pioneers, appealing to the young men not to forget that they were sons of a race of men who never forgot their duty. (Loud and enthusiastic applause.)
The Hon. T. Comrie, M.L.C., had a most cordial reception. He said he was very much pleased at being present at this Jubilee celebration. It was the first time since his return to the Upper House that he had an opportunity of speaking to the people of Dunolly. He referred to the size of the Province, which embraced about one sixth of the whole colony, and the difficulty a candidate had in visiting every town. He had resided in this part for 43 years, and had found on going through the Province that there was a desire for local representation. He spoke of the late Hon. D. Coutts in the highest terms of praise. He said Dunolly had not troubled him for a donation, but he would give two pairs of blankets to the Ladies' Benevolent Society. They must excuse him for not making a lengthy speech, but he had attended two other gatherings that day, and had to catch the train for Melbourne. (Applause.)
Mr Duggan, M.L.A., said he endorsed the remarks of the previoous speakers, and felt it a pleasure to be present to assist to do honor to the Diamond Jubilee of the Queen. He considered he was as loyal as anyone present. He had not been asked for much by Dunolly people. When he stood for Parliament he had told them that he did not intend giving his £240 away, but was aways willing to assist charity. He could not, like his friend, give two pair of blankets, but he would give a pair. (Hear, hear.) Referring to the reign of the Queen, he said it had been as pure as the flower on his coat. He thought that the suggestion of the Mayor to erect a tablet in commemoration of the old pioneers was a good one, and would remain always, and was willing to contribute his mite. (Applause.)
Cr Hansford then called for three cheers for the Mayor, members,, workers, and Cr Tatchell, which was enthusiastically responded to.
Shortly after six o'clock the town again presented an animated appearance, large numbers of people parading the streets, waiting for the firemen to fall in for the torchlight procession. At seven o'clock all were ready and the dong of the fire bell was the signal for a start. The procession was headed by a number of bicyclists in costume, with coloured lanterns fixed to the handles, followed by the Dunolly Brass Band and a long line of firemen and youths carrying torches. As the procession marched through the streets and up Broadway en route for Holborn Hill, performing different revolutions, it was greeted with cheers and other marks of approval by the onlookers. The sight as the procession proceeded up the hill was one never to be forgotten by both old and young, the whole thing being one mass of dazzling light of different hues - a magnificent display. At the top of the hill a halt was made, and a large colored balloon was sent up by Mr B. Moore amid great applause. Mr Moor also had charge of the colored lights, and at times the procession presented a most unique appearance as different colored lights were thrown on the moving throng. When the Town-hall was reached a circle was formed by the firemen, and the band in the centre struck up the National Anthem, at the conclusion of which three hearty cheers were given for the Mayor and councillors, and also for Cr. Gathercole. The procession then reformed and marched back to the brigade station, where three hearty cheers were given for the Queen and also for Captain M'Phee.
A large number of the business places in Broadway were illuminated, those of Messrs Walter Skelton and John Russell being especially noticeable. The former had a large "Coat of Arms" beautifully lit up with colored lights, which looked very pretty; while Mr Russell displayed a beautiful row of fairy lamps/ Ray's Royal Hotel was also lit up with large Chinese lanterns.
By eight o'clock the hall was well filled, all the available sitting room being occupied. The chair was occupied by his Worship the Mayor (Mr. E. Morris, J.P.) who announced the different items on the programme. The first was a quintette by the G'Nayba Club, "The United Band", which was given with good effect and was well received. Then followed "Rule Britannia", the chorus being taken up by the G'Nayba Club. Mr J. Peart recited "Charge of the Light Brigade" in good style, but the introduction was rather lengthy. "The British Lion" was rendered by Mr W. Peters. This gentleman has a good voice, and we hope to hear him again on some future occasion. Mr Jos. Millane made a hit with the song "Her Majesty" ; also in the comic song "For Me", for which an encore was demanded and responded to. Mr Fraser's rendering of "Scots' Wha Hae", was well rendered, and the Misses Stafford were very successful with "Excelsior". The rendering of an English, Irish, Scotch, and Australian song by Miss B NIcholls was well received by the audience, and in demand to an encore repeated the last verse. A glee, "The Fisherman's Invitation", was pleasingly given by the company, and was received with approval. Mrs Whyte sang "The Dear Little Shamrock" in her usual well known style, "The Sleighing Song" by the company was nicely rendered and highly appreciated. Mr G. Legge gave "The Relief of Lucknow" in excellent style, and was loudly applauded. Mr Clay sang "The Englishman" in a very pleasant manner, and it was received with loud applause. Mr Jos. Millane then gave a fine exhibition of club swinging, at the close of which he was applauded to the echo. Mr Fraser's rendering of "Oh! Erin my Country" was a treat, and he met with well deserved applause. The programme was brought to a close by the G'Nayba Club singing "The March of the Men of Harlech" in capital style. The Chairman then asked the audience to stand and join in singing the first verse of the "Old Hundredth" and the National Anthem, which was sung with great vigor. The accompanists during the evening were Mrs Cosstick, Mrs W. Peters, Miss Freame, and Miss Nicholls.
This terminated the day's proceedings and all returned home perfectly satisfied with the whole affair. There was no hitch or accident to mar the celebration, and old and young will long remember the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in Dunolly.
On Tuesday evening, after the torchlight presentation, a number of the firemen and others met at the brigade club room, and a very pleasant time was spent. A number of toasts were gven, and heartily responded to. During the evening several songs were rendered in capital style. The proceedings were terminated by all joining in singing the National Anthem.
In connection with Jubilee celebrations on Tuesday, the Chinese caused some amusement. The young men of the town knowing there were a number of poor Chinamen in the vicinity decided to give them a treat, and collected sufficient funds to carry it out most successfully. They had a dinner prepared for them, and afterwards , provided each Celestial with about 4lb of rice and 2lb of pork, and a drop of the "cup that cheers" to take home with him. The Chinese expressed their thanks for the kindness extended to them, and hoped the Queen would live a long time. In the procession they had a banner suitably worded, and then followed a small cart containing a number of Chinese instruments and another with a bag of rice and a pig dressed for cooking. The Chinese appeared to thoroughly enjoy themselves.
All the above items were published in the Dunolly and Betbetshire Exress of 25th June 1897.