2 months ago

Fitzgerald's Town

in the Community Centre,

in the Community Centre, and of these nine, three, J.H. Hurford, L. O’Callaghan and J. Thomas did not return. Patriotic Funds to support the boys overseas were set up and the Springs Road Board was asked to encourage subscriptions for this purpose. The slow response forced Board members to canvass their districts in order to solicit donations for the cause, and one hopes that they were successful. Shortly after the war began, several towns were laid under siege, the most famous being the siege of Mafeking. The British troops, under the command of Colonel Baden-Powell, later Lord Baden-Powell and founder of the Boy Scout movement, withstood the siege for 217 days and when relieved, celebrations were held throughout the empire. Lincoln was no exception and I quote in full The Star account of the celebrations here 2 . The relief was celebrated in Lincoln in an enthusiastic manner. The church, school, fire and other bells were rung, the township meanwhile being decorated with bunting. In the evening the fun commenced properly. A couple of “Short Toms”, the very existence of which had been kept a close secret, were brought out. At seven o’clock they belched forth, and for two hours, under the supervision of Gunners Restall and Bartram, their roar was continuous. Volleys were fired by a squad of infantry [of the Defence Rifle Club, perhaps] under Corporal Doherty. Coloured fires, manipulated by Mr. Walton, and a display of fireworks, illuminated the scene. A huge bonfire was lighted, and as the spectators closed round, patriotic songs were sung with vigour. Mr. Cookson read the congratulatory telegram from the Acting-Premier and three hearty cheers having been given for Lord Roberts, Colonel Baden-Powell and Our Boys at the front, the assemblage dispersed, after spiritedly singing the National Anthem. On January 22 1901 Queen Victoria died. The country was plunged into mourning, a sharp contrast to the jubilation of the previous year. Her death was the end of an era and marked the beginning of the twilight years of the British Empire which was to experience the trauma of two world wars in the first half of the 20th century. At the turn of the century Lincoln was a small country village, and although its citizens played their part in national life, the village retained its rural character until the last three decades of the 20 th century when sections east of the L1 began to fill up and development of surrounding farmland began to gain momentum. Lincoln in the 21 st century is no longer a quiet rural village. Today it has a population of about 3000, an expanding commercial presence, and is a major centre for 172

agricultural and biological research. However, this account deals with the foundation years from 1862 to 1900, and it is left to others to take the story forward into the 20 th and 21 st centuries. 57. Aerial view of Lincoln in 1946. Courtesy of V. C. Browne. Postscript Since this account was written Canterbury, and Christchurch in particular, have been rocked by many devastating earthquakes. The first, of magnitude 7.1 magnitude, and centred on Darfield, struck at 4.35 am on Saturday 4 September, 2010, and the second on Tuesday 22 February 2011 at 12.51 pm. The first caused widespread damage, but took no lives, the second centred on Lyttelton wrecked that town, the eastern suburbs of Christchurch, the central business district of that city, and took nearly 200 lives. Lincoln was much more fortunate. The first shake damaged several buildings including the Famous Grouse Hotel and St. Stephen’s and St. Patrick’s churches, buildings at Lincoln University as well as some homes and many chimneys. The hotel was so badly damaged 173

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