SOUTH BRISBANE MUNICIPALITY.
ALDERMAN BLOCKSIDGE ELECTED
Members of the South Brisbane Municipal Council met yesterday for the purpose of electing a Mayor for the current year, the meeting having been adjourned from Satur- day last, when they had failed to arrive at a decision in the matter. About a score of ratepayers were in attendance at the meeting, which was called for 2 p.m., but it was 2.20 before the aldermen filed into the chamber. There was a full attendance —namely, Aldermen Currie, Garsden, Fish, J. Lang, Jones, W. Stephens, A. S. Lang, McDougall, Blocksidge, Bouchard, Schofield, and Davies. The town clerk (Mr. J. W. Hill) resumed the chair and announced the business. He said that Aldermen Davies, Fish, and Blocksidge had been nominated, but without securing a ma- jority.
Alderman Davies proposed that Alderman Schofield be Mayor for 1903. That gentle- man had been a successful business man, and devoted a lot of time and ability to municipal matters.
Alderman McDougall combated the idea of sending the seat round to each ward irrespective of the ability of the repre- sentative. He considered that neither Aldermen Davies nor Schofield could claim the sympathy of the council, as they had not faced the electors.
On the question being put, Aldermen Davies, Bouchard, J. Lang, and Fish were the only ones in favour, and the motion
Alderman Currie again nominated Alder- man Blocksidge. That gentleman, he said, had all the ability and experience, and he had passed the ordeal of facing the elec- tors, and received their endorsement with
no uncertain sound.
Alderman A. S. Lang seconded the nomi- nation cordially, and hoped any little per- sonal idiosyncrasies of Alderman Block- sidge would not be permitted to stand in his way. He was of opinion that a tight hand would need to be kept on the finances, and whoever was elected would be less popular at the end than the beginning of the year.
Aldermen McDougall, Stephens, Currie, A. S. Lang, and Garsden voted for the
motion, which was defeated.
Alderman Bouchard nominated Alderman Fish, and on being put to the vote Alder- men Davies, Bouchard, J. Lang, and Gars- den voted in favour, this nomination being also declared lost accordingly.
Alderman J. Lang nominated Alderman Jones.
Alderman Jones said he did not know whether he should allow himself to be nominated. They knew his services were always at the disposal of the council, but he thought those who had already passed through the chair should not be put up simply to be knocked down.
Alderman Currie suggested an adjourn- ment for twenty minutes, and this was agreed to.
After twenty minutes' absence the alder- men returned.
Alderman Jones asked that his nomina- tion be withdrawn. He wished to nominate an alderman who had been with them for many years. He referred to Alderman Blocksidge, who had done his duty well. In submitting this nomination he said he would like to see the Mayor for 1903 elected unanimously, and not by a bare majority, for there were many difficulties before them. It was certain that every expense must be kept down to the uttermost, or else the rates must he increased, and to do the work they wanted a man whom all could support and respect.
Alderman Fish supported the nomination, and agreed that the Mayor should be elected by something more than a majority. He had always opposed Alderman Block- sidge for the chair, though not on any per- sonal grounds. Where they had six alder- men unanimous in support of one man, however, and the other six split up amongst themselves, it was no use wasting time and making themselves ridiculous in the eyes of the people. He would wish Alder-
man Blocksidge every success, and said. he did not envy him the job all the same. He would not deny that he would have per- sonally liked the honour, but its loss would not cause him any sleepless nights, and he would give the Mayor-elect every pos- sible support.
Alderman Davies said he had now much pleasure in supporting Alderman Block- sidge.
The question was then put, and Alderman Blocksidge was declared elected Mayor by a unanimous vote of the council.
Mayor Blocksidge was conducted to the chair by his proposer and seconder. He
said that he appreciated highly the honour which had been conferred upon him, though he had not sought it. He recognised that a firm hand was needed this year. Hitherto he thought he had boen looked on as some- what of a spendthrift, but unfortunately there would be no money for him to spend. The overdraft this year would be about £7000. He hoped they would get at least a large proportion of the expected loan, or they would not be able to carry out any
works, so that his Mayoral year did not promise to be as popular as he might wish. Having been intrusted with the office of Mayor in the important borough which they hoped soon to see a city, he hoped, with the assistance of the aldermen, to do his duty.
Congratulations were expressed by each of the aldermen, and promises of support given, after which adjournment was moved to the Mayor's room, where the health of the new Mayor was loyally honoured.