Volume 1, No. 5

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Vol. 1 ] Tuesday, February 1, 1898 Pepuere 1, 1898. [No. 5



Aramoho, near Whanganui, New Zealand

As I first saw the light in Bedford, a stray

thought has prompted me that some of your

numerous readers might be interested to know

the manner in which the Queen's Jubilee was

kept in this far-away land. Holding a posi-

tion under the New Zealand Government, my

lot is cast in an up-country place. This

district is called the home of the Maoris. We

are now in mid-winter, and it is a beautiful

morning with just a tinge of frost. The birds

are singing, and, Io! the mighty snow-clad

volcano (Ruapehu) mountain is in sight; the

sun is beaming on us kindly, and doubtless

as the day advances it may throw out of our

dormant natures a sudden burst of enthusism.

The Maoris are to be the prevailing spirits.

When they take anything in hand it has to go,

and with a great noise, too. They are gather-

ing their strength from their up-river settle-

ments for some weeks past. They are now

camping alongside of the great river here,

and great excitement is in their camp.

Numbers of them are coming down the river

in their quaint canoes, hewn out of the largest

trees. Wending my way down to the small

seaport town of Wanganui, where the festivities

are to be held, a wondrous sight meets the eye.

Hark! the procession is just starting. First,

the advance guard of the Alexandra Cavalry;

at their heels come three Highland pipers.

The garrison band lead the volunteers; then

the boys' college tableaux, with a large ever-

green Crown, mounted on a decorated dray,

drawn by a team of ten bullocks. Truly

Colonial! Next come the school children,

and very bright and happy they look, each

carrying a flag of various colours. The Sal-

vation Army's band plays a most stirring

march; behind them the bravest and the best

come along—56 veterans, all of whom hold

the New Zealand war medals, and some the

Victoria Cross. These were the men to burst

a road through all difficulties. The railway

station is reached, a halt is made to receive

the Wairoa mounted infantry, who arrive

just in time to join the procession. The fire

brigade look smart in their scarlet uniforms,

as do the Friendly Societes, especially the

Druids. The Arch and his Officers are seated

on a dais, with a large tree overspreading

them, and the members who follow in their

long white beards make a most impressive

sight. The boating clubs represent the land-

ing of Captain Cook. Now comes the

principal sight—the Maori contingent, with

their great war canoe, mounted on old gun

carriages. The Waitotara Maori band of 26

! performers, followed by 300 Maoris, all in

their wild war dress, carry their various

weapons. There is Major Kemp (a Maori),

dressed in full regimentals, and wearing the

sword presented to him by Queen Victoria.

i Seated in the canoe are the oldest warrior

chiefs, all beautifully tatooed, and holding

their war flags. The butchers' and freezing

companies' display, the bakers, brewers,

laundry, sash and door factory hands, and the

cycle clubs swell the ranks. In the avenue

leading to the New Hospital oak trees are

planted by the Mayoress. They move on,

pass the principal streets, reach the Green,

where a halt is made, and the school children

and bands join in the National Anthem.

Then we give three cheers, very thin staccato

ones, like streaks of lightning. Then, sir,

the Maoris had the magic signal from their

chief to give three royal cheers for Queen

Victoria. Good heavens! what a terrible

I noise. I can only liken it to a tremendous

burst of thunder. The ground (being pumice

and sand) shook like an earthquake. The

shout from these 16 and 17 stone-weight

people seemed to pierce the sky. One Maori

woman, whom I noticed, took in a deep

breath, and from her magnificent chest burst

forth such a grand round, sustained note that

it is doubtful if the highly trained singers of

Europe could eclipse it. In the afternoon we

i were to be treated to a grand war dance from

the Maoris on the racecourse, and a sham

fight by the Volunteers. The war dance is

now only given on very rare occasions, and

this was witnessed by 1, 500 people, which

means in this thinly populated district a great

crowd, About 2 o'clock the various bands,

with the Volunteers and Maoris, arrived on

the racecourse. First on the programme was

the famous war dance. Ah me! how shall I