Country: New Zealand
Issued on: Return
Dates of presentations: 19/03/1901, 09/05/1901, 29/05/1902, 08/07/1902, 09/09/1902
Number issued: 9


Gold medals, to:

19/03/1901 presentation

2nd New Zealand Mounted Rifles –

389 Trooper A.E. LOACH

Presentation made by Captain K. McKenzie, in the Volunteer Hall, Geraldine.

09/05/1901 presentation

2nd New Zealand Mounted Rifles –

395 Trooper W. CLOUSTON

3rd New Zealand (Rough Riders) Contingent –
629 Trooper J.W. CANAVAN

646 Trooper J. HENDERSON

Presentation made by Colonel Moore, on behalf of the Geraldine Rifles, during a military ball.

29/05/1902 presentation

6th New Zealand Mounted Rifles –

3594 Trooper John COOLING

Presentation made by Colonel Moore, on behalf of the Geraldine Rifles, in the Drill Hall.

Trooper Cooling received a second medal from the people of Woodbury.

08/07/1902 presentation

7th New Zealand Mounted Rifles –

4421 Sergeant G.N. LANGFORD

Presentation made by Captain K. McKenzie, in the Oddfellows' Hall, Geraldine.

09/09/1902 presentation

9th New Zealand Mounted Rifles –
7776 Trooper George Richard HAMMOND
7832 Trooper Frederick Arthur THOMPSON (not listed, but reported to be a member of the Geraldine Rifles on departure)

7842 Trooper Henry James WATTS

Presentation made in the Oddfellows' Hall, Geraldine.

Inscribed: "Presented to Sergt. Langford, No. 4121[sic], N.Z. Mounted Rifles".
"The medal presented bore the inscription “Presented to Sergt. Langford, No. 4121, N.Z. Mounted Rifles”, and on the back is the figure of a soldier firing in a kneeling position".



South Canterbury Times, 21st March 1901


Trooper A.E. LOACH, of the Second New Zealand Contingent who has just returned from South Africa, was given an enthusiastic reception at the Volunteer Hall, Geraldine, on Tuesday night by his comrades of the local infantry corps and the public.

The chair was taken by Captain McKenzie, of the Geraldine Rifles, and the vice-chair by Mr J.J. McCaskey, chairman of the Geraldine Town Board.

The health of King Edward VII was drunk for the first time at a public function in Geraldine, and “God Save the King” was sung with great enthusiasm.

Captain McKenzie proposed “The Navy, Army and Volunteers”, and made passing reference to the fact that Trooper LOACH was now a soldier in every sense of the word, having been about 15 months away on the campaign. The toast was coupled with the names of Trooper Sugden, S.C. Mounted Rifles, and B.R. Macdonald, ex-lieutenant of the Geraldine Rifles. Both of these gentlemen spoke highly of the Geraldine Rifles as a corps, and wished it every success.

Mr Jos. Loach replied for the Navy, having been an old Jack Tar in bis day.

Captain McKenzie, in presenting Trooper LOACH with a handsome gold medal from the members of the Geraldine Rifles, referred in praiseworthy terms to the way in which he had upheld the honour and reputation of the Geraldine Rifles in South Africa. Troopers LOACH and CLOUSTON were the first two to leave Geraldine for the front, and since then the Geraldine corps had parted with several of its members, all good men, who were still some of them on the field bearing the dangers of war, and others on their way to the front. He had watched the doings of the New Zealanders in South Africa all the more keenly because of the members of his company who were serving there.

Speeches of welcome to Trooper LOACH were also made by Mr J.J. McCaskey, on behalf of the town, Captain McIlroy for the Geraldine Fire Brigade, Mr J. Martin for the Football Club, and Mr A. McLean for the Rifles.

Trooper LOACH feelingly responded, thanking his comrades for their handsome gift. He also briefly referred to his comrades at the front and his experiences on the field, but was very guarded in his statements owing to instructions from the commanding officer. He was in the Rhenoster Kop engagement, where he had most of the Geraldine boys close to him. They had a warm time of it in the firing line, from 5.30 a.m. till 10 o’clock at night, without tucker, but they returned cheerfully to the trenches as if it was all in the day’s work.

Lieut. Montgomery and Mr E. Logan also welcomed the returned trooper.

During the evening a number of toasts were honoured, and songs and recitations given by members of the corps and friends.

Captain McKenzie also took occasion to give out the prizes won at recent shooting matches to Private Henderson (Dr Teevan’s trophy), Private A. Boughton (Berry and Company’s trophy), Private W. Fyfe (Captain McKenzie’s trophy). The proceedings terminated at 11 p.m. There was a large attendance of volunteers and the public.
Lyttelton Times, 21st March 1901


Trooper A.E. LOACH, of the second New Zealand Contingent, who has just returned from South Africa, was given an enthusiastic reception at the Volunteer Hall, an Tuesday night, by his comrades of the local infantry corps and the public. The chair was taken by Captain McKenzie, of the Geraldine Rifles, and the vice-chair by Mr J.J. McCaskey, chairman pf the Geraldine Town Board. Several toasts were honoured, Captain McKenzie. presented Trooper LOACH with a handsome gold medal from the members of the Geraldine Rifles. In replying, Trooper LOACH briefly referred to his comrades at the front and his experiences on the field, but was very guarded in his statements, owing to instructions from the ….. [text missing]
Temuka Times, 16th May 1901

Reception of Troopers.


The military ball given by the Geraldine Rifles in honour of the return of Troopers W. CLOUSTON, J. HENDERSON, and J.W. CANAVAN, went off with immense success at the Volunteer Hall, on Tuesday night, there being a very large and representative attendance from all parts of the district, while many visitors were present from a distance. The hall was most appropriately decorated with bunting; the New Zealand Flag and the good old Union Jack finding prominent places, and there were other decorations in the shape of evergreens, etc. All volunteers appeared in uniform, the Geraldine Rifles and Mounted Rifles being well represented, while several members of the Temuka Rifles and Mackenzie Mounted Rifles were also present. Music for the dances was supplied by Messrs J. Burke and R. Stonehouse, and Mr Green made a good M.C. The catering was done in first-class style by the ladies, to whom the corps is much indebted for assistance in getting up the ball As a military ball, the function without a doubt was one of the most successful of its kind held in Geraldine, but there seems to be a difference of opinion as to whether the reception accorded to the troopers was as enthusiastic as it might have been had there been something in the shape of a toast list and a few speeches from citizens and the men themselves to start with, and the ball to follow, as was the order of the programme at Woodbury, Pleasant Point, and Pareora. As it was, the speechifying and presentation did not come off till nearly 11 p.m., and by that time dancing had taken up the attention of those present, and enthusiasm seemed to have died a natural death. Perhaps the Volunteers were hardly to blame, as they were simply tendering a ball to the troopers, but the citizens might have joined hands with the volunteers and got up a brief reception of an enthusiastic character to start the ball rolling.

At the time appointed the volunteers were drawn up in line under Lieutenant Tasker, with returned troopers in the foreground, viz. Troopers W. CLOUSTON, J. HENDERSON, J.W. CANAVAN, C.P. VERNALL, MOSS, and EVANS.

Captain Mackenzie then came on to the platform, and in the name of his corps extended a hearty welcome to the returned troopers, after which he read an apology for absence from Mr J.W. Pye, who wrote to welcome the three troopers CLOUSTON, HENDERSON, and CANAVAN, on behalf of the Geraldine Football Club, of which they were members. Captain Mackenzie also stated that he had received a telegram from the Dunlop family, Wellington, congratulating Trooper CLOUSTON and others on their safe return. Before calling upon Mr J. McCaskey to speak, he said he trusted that the three returned troopers who were members of the Geraldine corps would long remain members of same, as with their experience in South Africa, they would be of great assistance to the other members. He trusted that the other troopers present who had returned would also now become members of the corps and help it along (Applause).

An apology for absence was also received from Lieutenant Maling, of Geraldine Mounted Rifles, and Lieutenant Hislop was present to welcome the returned troopers on behalf of the mounted men.

Mr J.J. McCaskey, on behalf of the Town, had great pleasure in welcoming the returned troopers, and congratulated them upon their safe home-coming. He spoke in high terms of the good work done by volunteers in South Africa, and said that they had acted like soldiers and Britons. But while they extended a hearty welcome to the troopers they should not forget that there were some who left our shores who found a soldier’s grave on the veldt. We would always revere the memory of those who died for their Queen and Country. A short time ago it was considered the right and proper thing to do to speak lightly of volunteers, but to-day opinions had changed in that respect, and volunteers were now looked upon as a strong arm of the service. Before retiring Mr McCaskey again extended a hearty welcome to the troopers on behalf of the citizens.

Mr F.R. Flatman, M.H.R., said he was very pleased to be present to welcome home the troopers. He felt proud of our volunteers, for they had done splendid work in South Africa and now that they were returning, he thought by the smiling faces of the ladies there that night that they were as pleased as anyone to see the boys home safe and well. (Laughter). He was present at the departure of Troopers CLOUSTON and LOACH, and he was very glad that he had an opportunity to be present at the welcome to which they were justly entitled. All he could say to them was that the colony and the empire were very much indebted to them for the valuable services they had rendered and the bravery they had shown against the enemy, and for the fair manner in which they had fought to keep the old flag on top. He felt that we had men in this colony who would willingly follow the old flag to death or glory without being pressed, and if men were wanted to spike the guns, as they did at Balaklava in the old days, it would be done to-day just as well as ever it was done. He felt that we had the same pluck and indomitable spirit as our forefathers had, and he believed that if the bodies of the fallen in South Africa were turned over it would be found that all had died with their faces to the foe, and not as it was in the Franco-Prussian war, where 50 per cent of one body of Frenchmen were found with wounds in their backs, where the bullets had overtaken them in their flight. (Laughter). He trusted that the experience gained by the New Zealanders in South Africa would be of great service to their fellow volunteers, and in conclusion again gave the troopers a hearty welcome.

Colonel Moore said he had a pleasing duty to perform on behalf of the volunteers which was to make a presentation of a gold medal to each of the three members of the local corps who had returned from the war. In doing so he took occasion to give the troopers a hearty welcome on behalf of the officers and men of the whole of the South Canterbury Battalion, and to congratulate them upon a safe return to the colony. He felt he would like to do the same thing in other centres where troopers had returned, but he had not the opportunity. It was a great pleasure to know that such a large proportion of officers and men of his battalion had gone to service in the Transvaal, and that most of them had returned safely. He quite agreed with the remarks of Mr McCaskey, that the work done by the volunteers in the present war quite justified their existence. (Applause). We had all watched the doings of our men in South Africa, and for his part he closely watched the career of Trooper CLOUSTON, who had just returned from a dance after De Wet, but that night had been dancing on perhaps a better floor and with better partners than he had done for some time. (Laughter). In conclusion he added a word of praise to those men who had volunteered for South Africa from the ranks of the civilians, and who had done splendid work when put to the test. As one connected with volunteering, of course he felt that they would have done even better had they been members of some corps before they went to the front, but there was no doubt we had a fine stamp of recruit to work upon in this colony –  men who would fall into the work with very little training. (Applause).

On behalf of the company Colonel Moore here handed the medals out to Troopers CLOUSTON, HENDERSON, and CANAVAN, who were each cheered individually as they came down from the stage. Lieutenant J.R. Montgomery led three cheers for the returned troopers as a body, and for Colonel Moore, after which this part of the proceedings terminated.

Dancing was kept up till an early hour on Wednesday morning, and a very enjoyable time was had.
Lyttelton Times, 16th May 1901


The Geraldine Rifles tendered a military ball on Thursday night to returned Troopers W. CLOUSTON, J. HRNDERSON, and J.W. CANAVAN, members of the local corps, when there was a very large and representative gathering from all parts of the district, and a good many from a distance. Volunteers appeared in uniform, the local infantry and mounted corps being well represented. There were also members of Temuka Rifles and Mackenzie Country Mounted Rifles present. The music was supplied by Messrs. Burke and Stonehouse, and the catering was done by the ladies. Dancing was kept up till nearly 11 p.m., when the volunteers were drawn up in line with returned Troopers CLOUSTON, HENDERSON and CANAVAN in the foreground, supported by returned Troopers MOSS (Winchester), VERNALL (Orari), and EVANS (Woodbury), who are not members of the corps, but were invited to be present. Captain McKenzie welcomed the troopers on behalf of the Geraldine Rifles and read an apology from Sir J.W. Pye, who was unable to be present, but wrote welcoming the three troopers on behalf of the local football club, of which they were members. He also read a telegram from the Dunlop family, Wellington, congratulating the returned troopers. An apology for absence was received from Lieutenant Maling, Geraldine Mounted Rifles, and Lieutenant Hislop was present to welcome the troopers on behalf of the mounted men. Sir J.J. McCaskey welcomed the troopers on behalf of the town, in his official capacity as Chairman of the Town Board, and spoke highly of the good work done by volunteers in South Africa. Sir F.R. Flatman, M.H.R., also extended a hearty welcome to the troopers. He was present when Troopers CLOUSTON and LOACH went away and was pleased to be present at the welcome home. Colonel Moore offered congratulations on behalf of the officers and men of the whole of the South Canterbury Battalion, and gave great praise to the volunteers who had served in South Africa, and also to civilians who had gone to the front from this district, who had done excellent work even though they were not volunteers. At the request of the Geraldine Rifle Corps he handed each of the three troopers a gold medal as a mark of esteem from their comrades. Three cheers, led by Lieutenant Montgomery, for the returned troopers were given, after which the dancing was continued till Friday morning, the ball being a great success.
Lyttelton Times, 31st May 1902
The annual “social” in connection with the Geraldine Rifles in the Drill Hall on Thursday night was the most successful one ever held under the auspices of the corps. There was an exceptionally large number of couples present, and the hall was very tastefully decorated with small flags, etc., suspended from the ceiling, the general arrangements and decorations reflecting much credit on the committee of management. Mr R. Storey acted as M.C., and Mr Kearsley’s band supplied excellent music for the dances. At 10.50 p.m. Colonel Moore, on behalf of the Geraldine Rifles, handed Trooper COOLING a gold medal, on his return from serving with the Sixth Contingent in South Africa. The Colonel spoke highly of the good work done by colonial boys in the war, and trusted that an honourable peace would soon be declared. Mr W.S. Martin extended a hearty welcome to Trooper COOLING on behalf of the Town District, and Captain McKenzie welcomed him on behalf of the Geraldine Rifles, of which body he was a member when he left for the front. The captain said he felt proud to think that so many members of his corps had found places in the various Contingents, and had done good work for their country. Dancing was kept up till an early hour on Friday morning.
Temuka Leader, 10th July 1902

Home-Returning Troopers.


Sergeant G.N. LANGFORD of “The gallant Seventh” was welcomed home in a most enthusiastic manner on Tuesday night in the Oddfellows’ Hall, Geraldine, by members of the local infantry corps and the Fire Brigade and public. Captain K. McKenzie presided with the guests on his right and next to him Captain McIlroy of the Fire Brigade. Mr W.S. Maslin (acting-chairman of the Town Board) occupied a chair on Captain McKenzie’s left. The vice chairs were taken by Lieutenant Montgomery and Color Sergeant Gresham. The tables wore well laid out and the catering by Mr Budd of Timaru left nothing to be desired.

After the health of the King had been duly drunk, Lieutenant Montgomery set the ball rolling with a song.

Captain McKenzie then said it had fallen to his lot to propose the toast of the guest of the evening "Sergeant G.N. LANGFORD”, and he did so with great pleasure. Sergeant LANGFORD left Geraldine about fifteen months ago as a trooper in the Seventh and at that time he was a private in the Geraldine Rifles. Now he had returned from the war with the Sergeants stripes (loud applause). This was a very great credit to the guest and his comrades at Geraldine were all delighted to hear of his success. On his way to South Africa the trooper wrote to him (Captain McKenzie) saying that he was going to try to make a name for himself and he had succeeded to a very great extent. Sergeant LANGFORD like all the other men who left this district — had acquitted himself like a man — and although he returned with two bullet scars as the result of the Bothasberg fight he was in good health and did not appear any the worse for his exciting experience (applause). He was sure that the New Zealanders as a whole did splendid work in South Africa. Their record from the first contingent to the last that saw action had been unprecedented. When the first contingent left many people said, “the Imperial authorities will stick them on garrison duty or something of that kind and they will have very little fighting to do”. They were no sooner there, however, when the British Generals recognised their worth and they were at once sent to the firing line and had been kept there ever since. Such episodes as those connected with New Zealand Hill, Rhenoster Kop, and Bothasherg would long live in history and the memory of New Zealanders. In the Bothasberg fight Sergeant LANGFORD was in command of an outpost of six men when the enemy charged. They had a very hot time but every man stuck to bis guns and out of the seven of them only one man escaped “not killed or wounded”, Sergeant LANGFORD himself was hit in two places. The great secret of the success of the New Zealanders was no doubt their steadiness and their willingness to turn out at all hours and trek away into the darkness without a growl. The British Generals soon came to see that if they wanted reliable men the New Zealanders were the lads for them (Loud applause).

The toast was coupled with the names of the guest, and Captain McIlroy, and Mr W.S. Maslin, and was drunk with musical honours.

Captain McKenzie apologised for the absence of Lieutenant Tasker, who was unable to be present. Fireman Willoughby contributed a song.

Mr W.S. Maslin welcomed the guest on behalf of the town and said that the Geraldine Fire Brigade had been a splendid training institution for young men, seeing that two of its members had gained their stripes in South Africa, viz. Sergeants LANGFORD and CLOUSTON. If it had not been for the training Sergeant LANGFORD got under Captain McIlroy he might never of thought of going to the war. It was the same spirit that led their guest to excel in the brigade that led him to excel in fighting for his country. He liked to see young men rise — especially young men born in this district — and he had much pleasure in welcoming Sergeant LANGFORD on behalf of the citizens. (Applause).

Captain McIlroy welcomed Sergeant LANGFORD ……. [missing text]

While in the brigade their guest had always proved a worthy member, and he would like to see him back again. (Applause).

Private Trengrove: a song.

Sergeant LANGFORD thanked the Volunteers, Fire Brigade, and citizens for their very hearty welcome, which he failed to see that he really deserved, for he had only done his duty as every other New Zealander bad done in South Africa. (Applause). With regard to volunteering he might say that the work they had on active service was very different from that winch they did in volunteer corps in New Zealand. Mr Maslin had complimented him about his fat. (Mr Maslin: “Muscle Sir”). It was not good feeding and feather beds that did that for him. He was now heavier than he had ever been in South Africa, but it was the same with most of the men, hard feed and roughing it seemed to agree with them. He might tell them something about the taking of the two pom-poms and the 15 pounder which had not been given much publicity in the papers. On February 15th, they left camp at 9 o’clock at night and travelled north with Colonel Bing on their left with the South African Light Horse. At 12.50 a.m. they got a rest at a drift, and while they were asleep they were awakened at daylight by the Corporal saying there was a convoy about a mile off. They could just distinguish it in the distance when they started out, and they got within a thousand yards of it before the Boers knew that there were any British about. They went at the Boers with a yell, and when they got up to the convoy they captured 3 guns and four waggons. Two of the guns were guns taken from the Yeomanry and one was the first pom-pom used to shell Buller in Natal, and it was the same gun that had been used by Viljoen against the Seventh Contingent when the latter nearly captured it before.

He could not understand why the two pom-poms were not brought to New Zealand, so that one might be stationed at Christchurch, and the other at Dunedin, seeing that they were mostly South Island men who captured them and they had two pom-poms in Wellington. With regard to the fight at Botbasberg, they had a very good account of it in the papers. In that fight Sergeant Minifie, of Temuka, showed himself to be as good a man as ever faced a bullet. (Hear, hear). In the thick of the fight his voice could be heard above the din ordering his men. The other Temuka men, and Watty Stevens, of Timaru, were also as fine a lot of fellows as they had out there. In again thanking his friends. Sergeant LANGFORD remarked that he did not think he was likely to settle in Geraldine again, and he would probably be leaving in about six weeks time. When he was in Auckland, strange to say, someone told him that the Geraldine Rifles was the crack corps of South Canterbury. (Loud applause). He hoped they would maintain that reputation. In conclusion, Sergeant LANGFORD proposed a silent toast to the men of this district who fell in the Bothasberg fight.

The toast was then drunk in silence, after which Bugler Pye contributed a song.

Lieutenant Montgomery proposed “The Geraldine Fire Brigade”, and in doing so he spoke in high terms of the good work done by “our boys” in South Africa, and said the lads of the gallant Seventh must have had stout hearts and steadfast courage in their trying experience at Bothasberg, for it took men of grit to face a night attack such as the Boors made that night in their desperation. All honour, he would say, to the men who went on outpost duty that night. There was no doubt the Fire Brigade had helped to put some spirit in the men they sent to the front, and it was a very worthy institution, in that it was ever ready to organise demonstrations, etc., and take part in any patriotic movement. In fact the Fire Brigade was such an energetic body that at one time evil-minded persons suggested that some of the members of that body made their own opportunities. (Loud laughter). The toast was coupled with the names of Captain McIlroy, Lieutenant O’Malley and Fireman Groves.

Color-Sergeant Gresham: a song.

Captain McIlroy, in responding, said that when the Geraldine High Pressure Water System was completed we would have one of the most up-to-date towns of its size in the colony. He hoped too that it would not be long before they saw the electric light installed at Geraldine. We had a very generous Town Board, who would shortly place at the brigade’s command up to date reels and hose, etc., to be used for fire prevention.

Lieutenant O’Malley said the brigade was one of the best institutions that a young fellow could belong to.

Fireman Groves said that Sergeant LANGFORD could thank the brigade for teaching him to turn out in a hurry at night, and this doubtless served him in good stead when he had to, keep a cool head in a night attack. Captain McKenzie proposed “TheVisitors”, coupled with the names, of Lieutenant Thomas (Ellesmere Rifles) and Corporal Harding (of the South African Horse). He had known Corporal Harding for a number of years, and joined the Geraldine Rifles with him sixteen years ago. Corporal Harding had been fighting without a break for about two years, and had good luck and excellent health all the time till just, before he returned, when he took enteric, but was now none the worse for his long campaign. He had great pleasure in extending a hearty welcome to Corporal Harding. The Geraldine Rifles had sent away fourteen men to South Africa, eight of whom were earning capitation when they left and earned it while away.

Firemen Willoughby and White sang a duet.

Lieutenant Thomas complimented the captain on the general appearance and physique of his men, and trusted they would meet the North Canterbury men in camp someday. Trooper Harding gave a lengthy account of the experiences of the South African Light Horse in the war. He was seven, months with Buller, who was one of the finest generals that ever set foot in South Africa, despite what had been said about a few mistakes under his command. In his experience of war the speaker said he had no fear of rifle fire, but he had an honest fear of shells. The I.Y.’s were not as bad as they were painted, but they were badly officered. If the men had been allowed as much “leg-rope” as the New Zealanders they might have done just as well. Captain McIlroy proposed “The Geraldine Town Board”, coupled with the name of Mr Maslin.

Color-Sergeant Gresham: a song.

Mr Maslin briefly responded, and gave the Fire Brigade credit for having indirectly brought about the high-pressure water scheme. If they had not pressed the board for a new engine the idea of high-pressure might not have been thought of.

Captain McKenzie here took occasion to make a presentation to Sergeant LANGFORD on behalf of the Geraldine Rifles. The medal presented bore the inscription “Presented to Sergt. Langford, No. 4121[sic], N.Z. Mounted Rifles”, and on the back is the figure of a soldier firing in a kneeling position. It gave him (Captain McKenzie) great pleasure in making the presentation and he was sure every member of the corps wished their comrade every honour for the part he had played in keeping of the Old Flag.

Sergeant LANGFORD suitably responded.

Mr Maslin proposed “The Geraliine Rifles”, and eulogised Captain McKenzie and the officers for the excellent command they had of the corps ……. [missing text]

……. that he was sending presentation medals, etc., to Geraldine for returned troopers as follows: – Medals for COOLING Bros., clasps for CLOUSTON, BENNETT, TINDALL, CANAVAN, EVANS, HENDERSON, TAYLOR, and BARKER. It was impossible to get all these men together that night, as they were all over the district, and some had gone hack to South Africa. He thought a suitable time for the presentation might be on Coronation Day. (Applause).

Captain McKenzie responded saying that during the three years the new Geraldine corps had been in existence they had maintained its full strength of 63 most of the time. He had wired to Colonel Bailey asking that medals he sent to Geraldine for presentation as he thought it more convenient for the men and their friends to have the presentation here than in Temuka or Timaru.

Col.-Sergt. Gresham also responded.

Private Martin proposed “The Ladies”, with the names of Fireman J. Joe, Private Brown and Col.-Sergt. Gresham.

In responding Col.-Sergt. Gresham said the thanks of the Volunteers and Firemen were due to Mrs Sergt. Pye and Mrs Bennington and other ladies who laid out the tables so nicely that night.

Sergt. Fyfe proposed “The Press” and Sergt. LANGFORD proposed “The Chairman”, when the gathering dispersed.
Temuka Leader, 11th September 1902


The Geraldine Rifles tendered a smoke concert to all returned troopers of the Geraldine district on Tuesday evening in the Oddfellows’ Hall. Captain K. McKenzie presided; at his right sat Captain Maling, and on his left Lieutenant Hislop, both of the Geraldine Mounted Rifles. Sergeant-Major Jones was also present. The vice-chairs were taken by Lieutenants Montgomery and Tasker. The tables were nicely laid out, and the catering by Hostess Mulhern left nothing to be desired.

After the health of “The King” had been drunk Color-Sergeant Gresham favored the company with a song.

Returned troopers present were Captain MALING, A. McQUILLAN, H. WATTS, E. DEAN, G. HAMMOND, M. MULHERN, W. CLOUSTON, and GRIMSEY. Captain McKenzie in proposing the toast “Hammond and Watts” and other returned troopers, said they all knew the reason for their meeting that evening, and that it had given him very great pleasure to preside at seven or eight similar gatherings. They were present more particularly that evening to welcome hack Troopers HAMMOND and WATTA, of the Geraldine Rifles, and Captain MALING, representing the Geraldine Mounted Rifles. He was very pleased to say that most of the troopers that went away as privates returned either corporals or sergeants, and he thought this a very creditable record. He spoke of the lessons to be learnt from the recent war, and dwelt on the value of discipline and the necessity for every man to make himself a good rifle shot. Before sitting down he was pleased to hand to Troopers HAMMOND and WATTS a small memento in the shape of a gold medal each. These had been given to members of the corps who had served in South Africa, and he trusted all the returned men would keep up their connection with the corps, and give them the benefit of the experiences they had gained. He had great pleasure in proposing the toast “Hammond and Watts, and other returned troopers”. (Applause).

Lieutenant Montgomery: a song.

Trooper HAMMOND thanked them very warmly for their fine reception and said he was very glad to be back amongst them all again.

Trooper WATTS also suitably responded.

Corporal Gimson: a song.

Lieutenant Montgomery proposed the toast “The Geraldine Mounted Rifles”, and mentioned the fact of a large number of mounted corps having sprung into existence since the outbreak of the war. He thought there was plenty of room for both Infantry and Mounted Corps in Geraldine, and said they all cherished the feeling of profound interest in the Geraldine Mounted Rifles. (Applause). The toast was coupled with the names of Captain MALING and Lieutenant Hislop.

Mr Thos. Mulhern gave a song, and a recitation as an “encore”.

 Captain MALING thanked Lieutenant Montgomery for his kind words, and said it gave him great pleasure to be back in Geraldine again. He said that the men who proved themselves the most efficient at the front had all been trained in Volunteer Corps.

Lieutenant Hislop also thanked the company, and extended a very hearty invitation to all returned troopers to be present at the Mounted Rifles’ ball on Friday evening.

Captain McKenzie proposed the toast “The Permanent Staff”, and emphasised the good work done by Colonel Bailey and Sergeant-Major Jones.

Private T. Bowkett then gave a song.

Sergeant-Major Jones said it gave him very great pleasure to be present, and he took the opportunity to address a few useful words to all members, and recorded some of the experiences he had in South Africa when joined to the old 94th. (Applause).

Private Bentley gave a recitation.

Sergeant-Major Jones then favored the company with a Hornpipe, and fairly brought down the house.

Color-Sergeant Gresham proposed “The Ladies”, and coupled with the toast Corporal McLean and Sergeant Fyfe, who responded.

Mr Weatherby gave a song.

Sergeant Fifield proposed the toast “The Geraldine Morris Tube Club”, and coupled the names of Corporal Turner and Sergeant Pye.

Lieutenant Tasker gave a song.

Private Martin was entrusted with the toast of “The Host”.

Lieutenant Hislop proposed the “Health of the Chairman”, and Captain McKenzie suitably responded.

 Sergeant-Major Jones proposed the toast “The Worthy Lieutenants of the Geraldine Rifles”, and also favoured the company with a song.

Lieutenants Montgomery and Tasker having suitably responded the company joined in singing “Auld Lang Syne”, after which the gathering dispersed.