Country: New Zealand
Issued on: Return
Date of presentation: 09/08/1901
Number issued: 1
Gold locket & albert, suitably inscribed, to:
Presentation made by Mr James Loudon, at the Walton Schoolhouse.
Trooper Miller also received a silver watch.
PRESENTATION AT FAIRFIELD.
An enjoyable social was recently held in the Walton School, the guest of the evening being Trooper Alex. MILLAR, who has just returned from South Africa. The schoolroom was well filled with Fairfield and Saddle Hill people, and there were also present several returned Taieri troopers. Mr Loudon occupied the chair, and in opening the proceedings remarked that it was usual on such occasions to commence with prayer. This, he thought, was most fitting, for in sending our boys to the war we sent them, with prayer, followed them with our prayers while they were away, and it was but right that on their safe return we should give thanks to God, who had guarded them. Mr D.S. Mason then offered prayer. Then came the musical items. 'Brothers; or the Colonies will fight at England's side', by Miss M. Loudon; 'Sons of the Empire', by Mr A. Gray; and a recitation, 'The pride of Battery B', by Miss H. Westfield. Mr Loudon followed, and in a brief speech observed that the purpose of the gathering was to do honor to their young friend Mr Alexander MILLAR. Mr MILLAR had not left them as a member of any contingent, but had undertaken the task of assisting to take horses to South Africa. Shortly after his arrival there he joined Kitchener's Horse, which company he believed was similar to our Fourth and Fifth Contingents, that is, a number of young Britons ready to do anything for their country's honor. We all remember that when those contingents left our shores the outlook in South Africa was not very bright. There were Ladysmith and Mafeking to be relieved, and fresh in our thoughts were the disasters at Magersfontein, Spion Kop, Colenso, and the Tugela. Great interest was taken in these contingents, and in his opinion the young men who left our shores were in no way inferior to the men who fought under Wellington at Waterloo. He concluded by asking Trooper MILLAR, in the name of the people of Fairfield and Saddle Hill, to accept a silver watch and gold albert and locket in recognition of his services to the Empire. Trooper MILLAR briefly responded, thanking the people for their extreme kindness, which he fully appreciated, and also for their handsome present. Cheers were then given for Trooper MILLAR, the Taieri boys present, and for Lord Kitchener. Miss Jessie Loudon gave 'Afton Water' (Hume), Miss Hately recited 'The Dandy Fifth', and Mr J. McLean sang 'The song that will live for ever'. Mr McCallum, chairman of the Reception Committee, proposed a hearty vote of thanks to the performers and all who had assisted in the reception. Misses J. Loudon and A. McLean acted as accompanists. Trooper G. WILLIAMS returned thanks on behalf of the Taieri boys. The concert closed by singing the National Anthem. A dance followed, forty couples being present. Mr J. Kenyon, jun., acted as M.C., the music being supplied by Messrs Marshall and Millar.