MR. JOHN MCMASTER. |
BRISBANE'S "GRAND OLD MAN."
PRESENTATION BY CITIZENS.
Brislaue's grand old man—Mr. John McMaster—was presented yesterday with a cheque for £500 in recognition if his indefatigable efforts on behalf of the citizens of Brisbane and of the State. Tile piesentation nag made by Sir Robert Philp, in tile Town Hall, befoio a large aud i-epie8entnti\e gathering.
The Mayor (Alderman 11 J. Diddams), who presided, exiire^scd pleasuie at seeing snob a large gathering present to do honour to the grand old man of municipal 'history in the life of the city. John M'Maeter, he saul, was now 91 years of age, and lind lived in Queensland for 07 years. He first entered pubic life in 1S71, when ho was elected as an alderman o! th'e City of Brisbane. He was again elected m 1873, but was defeated in 1875 by the late J. D. Heal. Shortly after- wards he was again elected alderman, and -was then re-eleoted continuously until 1899, when he resigned hi- office. In 1903 he again entered the City Council, and was re-elected continuously until the current year. Mr. M'Master was first elected mayor in 18S4, nnd again in 1890, 1803, 1897, 1918, and 1919. In 18S5 he was elected to the Legislativo Assembly for the Valley electorate, which he continned to represent for 14 years. In 1899 he was defeated, but his public servicca wera
MS. JOHN M'MASTER,
signalised at that time by his appoint- ment to a seat in the Legislative Council, Which, however, he resigned three years later to again contest t-lie Valley elector- ate, but failed to/secure the seat. Durring his Parliamentary career ho put forward a most determined effort to scours rail- way facilities for the Valley, and the awilding of the Valley railway was, in a lange degree, due to his advocacy. An individual who had such a record of public service had reason to. be justifiably proud. (AoTjln.use.)
Sir Robert Philp, in asking Mr. iM'Master to accept a cheque for £«30 from the oitizens of Brisbane, pointed out that Mr. M'Mastcr had entered Parliament a year before he had. The late Mr. Graham and Mr. M'Mastcr vero re- garded as the "two invincibles" of the
House, lr was through the casting vole , of the Chairman that the vote for the
build'ng of the Valley railway was passed, I
but Mr. M'Master was (instrumental in hav- ing the 'lune built, lie also figured promi- nently in tho building of t-hc Bulimba railway. Mr. M'Mastcr had given his vote for the extension of the pastoral leases, and for industrial legislation, such as the Shops and Factories Act, for which the Caucus party now took the credit, but which was passed by a Liberal Govern- ment. When Mr. M'Master was a member of the Upper House it was a good Upper House, but ho waa sorry lo say it waa not much now. He bad done his duty fear- lessly and well. If they had 35 men of the calibre of Mr. M'Master in Parliament to-day there-would be a change of Gov- ernment-tiley would- make It so hot that the Government coidd not face the House nt nil. lie had great pleasure in proposing the toast of the health of Mr. M'Jlaatcr. (Applause.)
Mr. M'Master, who was received with prolonged applause, said he could not find words to express his heartfelt thnnks to those who had contributed to this magni- ficent bonus. He felt a certain amount of pride that at the end of such a long life he, retained the good wishes of the prominent citizens nf Brisbane and the Press. (Applause.) He owed a great deal to'the Press, particularly to the "Courier." The "Courier" bad acted in a practical form, and had put its hand into its pocket; hence caine this magnificent testimony. He felt proud lo know that some of the work he had assisted to have carried out had proved so successful. It had been said that he was mad to udvocate ; the erection of the Bulimba railwuy, but at the iprcsent time > there was no more / prosperous part of Bris- bane along the river than the Bulimba Peach. Ile was to a certain ex- tent forced into the p.ublio positions he had occupied. The hilo Mr. James Isles and Mr. Samuel Maxwell had forced him into municipal life, although lie did not particularly wish to do so. Similarly, Sir Samuel Griffith lind forced him into politics, When he entered Parliament he did so to try to remedy n grave injury to the Valley people by taking the Sandgate lîiiilway through Victoria Park. His first connection with public life was when he
assisted in the return of the late Mr. A. M. Francis, a farmer, for. Fast Moreton. Ile had taken an interest in the return of good mon to Pniliament. There were giniits in Parliament in those days, but there were also a few "rnts," and one of them sold the Valley électorale, nnd took the Sandgate Railwny through Victoria Park. (Laughter.) The presentation, lie added, would bo very acceptable to 'him, for ho had not retired from -public life with a fortune.