The South Australian Register. ADELAIDE: SATURDAY, JANUARY 2, 1841.
PARTING DINNER TO DAVID McLAREN, ESQ.
WE refer our readers to the Report of the Public Dinner given on Thursday to Mr McLaren. The tribute of respect thus paid to a gentleman who has occupied so prominent a
position in the colony during the last four years, is equally honorable to Mr McLaren and to the colonists. The Manager of the South Australian Company, wielding an im- mense influence for good or for evil, was nec- cessarily the object of divided feelings. Re- garded with all possible favor and affection by those whom he obliged, and openly opposed or secretly disliked by those who considered themselves either above his power or treated not according by their own standard of merit or desert, his task was a difficult one, well calculated to try nerve, and judgment, and patience. That Mr McLaren has been in- fallible, or has invariably acted upon right or sound and comprehensive views, may not be maintained. But he has amply satisfied every reasonable and reflecting man in the province that his errors were errors of judgment only— and these but of small import either to the in- terests of the Company he represented or to the welfare of the colony. While we add our own hearty acquiscence in the public expression of respect to Mr McLaren, justice to ourselves, with reference to one important act in his administration of the Company's affairs, obliges us to say that the plan of a New Port, subsequently carried out under Mr McLaren's auspices, was ori- ginally suggested in this journal, on the 1st December, 1838 ; and we have always under- stood that Mr Kingston first pointed out to Mr McLaren the spot where the New Port is now placed. Most unquestionably Messrs Prescott and Handcock deserve all praise for their share in this great undertaking; but the merit of fixing and superintending the forma- tion of the proper line of road, and taking the requisite levels, belongs wholly to Mr Kings- ton. On the occasion of Mr McLaren's taking leave of the scene of his exertions, minor faults may readily be forgotten in the consideration of all the main excellencies of his career—and in the acknowledged honesty and earnestness with which he laboured to promote the interests of the South Australian Company as far as prac- ticable in connection with the interests of South Australia. The consequence was a cordial farewell to a respected public servant—and an earnest wish for his future health and welfare. We confess that on one point we were dis- appointed. It is well known that the triumph and success of the South Australian Company is in no slight measure due to the judicious management of its Banking operations. These have been conducted almost exclusively by Mr Edward Stephens, and to that gentle- man honestly belongs the credit of having carried out those enlarged financial views which have proved so lucrative to his constituents and so beneficial to the colony. We think the meeting might have remembered this fact on such an occasion, and taken so favorable an opportunity of testifying publicly to Mr Stephens those feelings which are everywhere privately entertained.