Council chamber and institute for Mintaro

A meeting of the ratepayers of the District of Stanley was held in the large room of Bayfield’s Hotel on Saturday evening March 3, to authorize the District Council to raise a loan to build a Council Chamber. About 60 persons were present. Mr. T. Priest, J.P., Chairman of the Council, presided, who said he was of opinion that if they built a place it should be made large enough to accommodate the ratepayers at all their meetings. He informed them that the Council had received notice, to quit the premises occupied by them. They had been greatly shifted about during the last few years. The hotelkeepers had obliged them in times past, but the increasing demands of their business rendered them unable to do so now, hence the necessity of building. Mr. James Brown expressed himself as quite in favour of building, and asked if the Government would supplement the money expended for that purpose. The Chairman thought not. Mr. Brown then suggested that the people should bestir themselves and try and get an Institute and Council Chamber built together, and he thought the Government would assist that way. Mr. Dowd said, although as a ratepayer he did not object to a Council Chamber being built, as one living some distance from Mintaro he objected to be taxed for building an Institute) in Mintaro that he would have little or no interest in. He should therefore protest against the amalgamation, but would at once propose that the Council be authorized to borrow £500 for the purpose of building a chamber and offices. This was seconded by Mr. Larkey. Mr. J. Brown thought the amount larger than was necessary, and proposed as an amendment that the sum be £300. Mr. McLeish seconded and Mr. Thomas Miller supported the smaller amount, saying that if necessary a further sum could be added afterwards. Mr. Dowd said when he proposed the £500 he did so thinking he was thereby benefiting Mintaro. It was only in its infancy now, and he hoped yet to see it a large and flourishing place; but as the feeling of the meeting seemed to be for the £300 he would withdraw his proposition. It was then agreed that Mr. Brown’s amendment should stand as the substantive motion, which was carried. The meeting then resolved itself into one to consider the best means to adopt to establish an Institute in the township. Mr. Brown remarked that an Institute was a place very much needed in Mintaro, and he thought that one could be built for about £250, one-half of which would be given by the Government if the public would contribute the other half, about which he saw no difficulty. He therefore suggested that steps be at once taken to collect the money, and as a commencement he would give £10. Messrs. G. Faulkner and Jolly supported this idea, and the latter proposed that Messrs. J. Brown, T. Priest, James Torr, T. Miller, R. Dale, and W. Giles be appointed a Committee to collect subscriptions and carry out the object of the meeting. This was carried unanimously. Before the meeting closed £50 was subscribed. A vote of thanks to the Chairman for presiding, and to Mr. Giles for offering to do the clerical work, was accorded and acknowledged.