VISIT TO BALLARAT.
ART AND NATIONHOOD.
BY OUR SPECIAL REPORTER.)
Ballarat was brilliant under the sunshine of a perfect day yesterday, on the occasion of a visit by His Excellency the Governor-
On arrival at the Ballarat railway station His Excellency was met by the mayor of Ballarat (Councillor Hill) and the mayor of Ballarat East (Councillor McNeill), and driven to the City Oval, where he was en- tertained by them at a luncheon on the oc- casion of the annual band contests of the South-street Society. Among the guests were the Prime Minister (Mr. Deakin), the Premier of South Australia (Mr. Peake), and Sir Langdon Bonython.
The toast of "The Governor-General" was proposed by the Mayor of Ballarat.
His Excellency, in responding, said that he bore a message from Lady Dudley, ex- pressing her great disappointment that ill- health had prevented her being present. On the occasion of his last visit to Bal- larat he had ventured to suggest that no people could achieve their fullest develop- ment who neglected the inspiring influences or art. These influences had been recog- nised in Ballarat, which had many beauti- ful examples of pictures and sculpture. What could be said with regard to art of that description was equally true of music. Ballarat had shown an example to the rest of Australia in developing the love of music among her people. It would be surprising if the Australians were not a music-loving people. Some forms of music were in- tended to denote sorrow and depression, and others produced those feelings uninten- tionally. (Laughter.) At the same time, music was regarded as the expression of happiness, and, if that were so, what people should be more musical than Aus- tralians? (Applause) That was why a movement of the kind had met with such success. It was one thing, however, to have a music-loving people, and another thing to have them educated in music. Music, like anything else which appealed to the feelings and senses, might, in its worst and lowest form, be actually de- teriorating in its effects. What, for in- stance, could be more degrading than the spectacle, sp frequently seen 10 or 13 years ago, of a man reeling on to a stage in simu- lated intoxication, trying to pretend that his song represented the feelings and ex- periences of a drunken man? How could such a thing be tolerated in a community which called itself music-loving? Simply and solely because the community was not sufficiently educated to make such a
spectacle intolerable. The more that was understood of real music the more would be done to wipe out these vulgar exhibitions. This it was that made the Ballarat movement of the greatest value from the national point of view. (Ap- plause. Ballarat had been famed for its gold production-an industry which he would be the last to depreciate-but it was only natural that such an industry should languish somewhat as the quantity and rich-
ness of the gold diminished. Balllarat's re- putation, which had been founded on gold, was being maintained by other means. Sir John Madden had described Ballarat as the Athens of Australia. There could be no finer designation, nor any title of which the city might be prouder. (Applause.) If, therefore, her citizens were able in the future, as the gold industry gradually disap- peared, to maintain Ballarat as a great centre, not onlv for the rich agricultural districts around it-(applause)-but also as a centre of culture and enterprise in all artistic things, the name of the city would live for many years, and be regarded with pride and respect by every Australian, and by many outside Australia. The practice of inviting judges from other dominions brought Australians into touch with wider in- fluences-(applause)-and lessened her geo- graphical misfortune. It was marvellous how close was the real touch between Aus- tralia and the mother country. Here in Ballarat was an instance of one way in which the touch could be maintained and promoted. That was the spirit in which Australians should take there affairs-the spirit of independence and self trust, which recognised, at the same time, that there was no man too old and no country too wise to throw away any chance of rubbing intel- lects with men of other lands. (Applause.)
Councillor McNeill proposed the toast of "The South-street Society," which stood for good citizenship and the encouragement of artistic taste. (Applause.)
The president of the society (Mr. F. J. Williams), in his reply, anticipated the time when the society would initiate and con- duct the first of a series of grand Imperial movable eisteddfods. (Applause.)
Mr Deakin, in proposing the toast of "The Visitors," described Mr. Peake as "an heroic warrior with a majority of one, carry-
ing on an heroic contest." (Laughter and applause.) The pursuit of the arts of peace was inseparable from the maintenance and expansion of national life. One could not flower without its root in the other. The art of Greece had been at its richest on the plains of Marathon and the shores of Sala- mis. When Great Britain first asserted herself in arms through the world, then was the age of Shakespeare and Milton, and the French revolution had been accompanied by the most glorious bursts of modern song. (Applause.)
Mr. Peake, in responding, said that living on a majority of one was not without its excitements (Laughter.) Still, he always remembered Shakespeare's words, "the fewer the men the greater the honour." (Laughter and applause.)
After the luncheon the vice-regal party heard music from the massed bands, and in- spected them in a march past, in which 200 boy scouts took past. The Governor General remained on the ground during the afternoon's programme and after a quick visit to the garden, returned to Melbourne in a special train, leaving Ballarat at half past 0 o clock _