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At the Exchange Hotel on Wednesday evening a valedictory social was tendered Mr. Harding Bickford by the employes of the firm of Messrs A. M. Bickford & Sons. There

was a large attendance. Mr. William Bick-       ford, who presided, said they met together to   wish Mr. Harding Bickford, who had been in   the employ of the firm for six years, a pleasant and safe visit to the old country, whither     he was going to improve his knowledge in pharmacy. Such a knowledge was now in-     dispensable for the firm's growing business.     Mr H. O'Connor, the manager of the firm,     presented Mr. Bickford with a handsome   photoalbum as a token of the respect in which he is held by the employees of the firm.     The album is bound in morocco and   contains photos of the members and the   employees of the firm, together with   a number of views of the establish- ment, and an illuminated address, which   reads thus:—" Presented to Mr. Harding   Bickford on tho occasion of his departure to   England on March 31, I897.(sic) We, your fellow   employees in the firm of Messrs. A. M. Bick- ford & Sons, Currie street and Waymouth street, Adelaide, on the occasion of your leav- ing for London, desire your acceptance of this   album as an expression of the high regard in   which your many sterling qualities and ever     genial disposition are held by ourselves.   We sincerely hope that in the   pursuit of extended knowledge and experience you may meet with such   uniform kindness and goodwill from those   whom you may come in contact with as   has been our invariable custom to receive from   yourself. We wish you a pleasant voyage and the full attainment of those aims which are the purpose of your journey." Mr. O'Connor said they all appreciated the sterling qualities of their guest, and his future career   would be closely watched by them. He   asked them to drink to the health and   prosperity of their departing friend. The toast   was drunk with musical honors, and three   cheers were afterwards given for the guest.   Mr. Harding Bickford thanked the company   for the way in which they had honored     the toast and for the beautiful presentation.   Mr Harry Bickford said that if their guest   did not win honors in the old country it would   not be for the want of trying. (Hear, hear.) It was very pleasing to know that a kindly   feeling had always existed between the     employes and the heads of the firm. Mr. J. H. Young submitted the toast of "Pharmacy"       in a few well-chosen words, and expressed the hope that Mr. Bickford would return to the   colony with F.C.S. attached to his name. (Hear, hear.) Mr. C. Radcliffe responded.   Vocal and instrumental music was con-   tributed by Messrs. Harold Bickford, Fox, S. W. Ranford, Hammond, and O'Connor.   During the evening Mr. William Bickford said   he thought the time opportune to bring before the public a short statement showing the growth of the business. This he read as follows :—   The name of the late William Bickford, the   founder of the business, was green in the memory of many old colonists. He was born at Churchstow, Devonshire, and sailed in the good ship Platina from Plymouth in 1839 for   South Australia. His quiet manner and kindly spirit made him a general favorite   with the little band of pioneers. After spend- ing a few months in the service of the late Dr. Bright be opened a chemist shop near   Rosina street in Hindley street, and in a remarkably short space of time the trade   had increased so much that he removed   into larger premises built by the Rev.   Mr. Playford opposite to Club lane, in Hindley street. It was here in 1850, after a short iliness, that he was called away to join   the great majority. His death was a severe blow to his relatives and numerous friends, who mourned the loss of a man who had en-   deared himself to them by his integrity and his   every ready willingness to do his part towards   alleviating the sufferings of the poor and   needy. For 14 years Mrs. A. M. Bickford,   the widow, carried on the business, ably   supported by the late Mr. Edwin Page and   Mr. Robert Hutton, now of Rundle street. During 1864 Mr. William and Mr. Harry   Bickford were taken into partnership, and the   firm was then known as A. M. Bickford and Sons. Mr. William Bickford for many years   represented the firm on the Murray and River Darling, at the same time taking com- missions from Messrs. D. & W. Murray,   Harrold Brothers, Whyte, Counsell, & Co.,   and W. Milne & Co. The trip was done with   a buggy and pair through Gawler, Truro, Blanchetown, and then the River Murray,   the sheep and cattle stations being visited en   route. Wentworth was reached in due course,   and as the town was flourishing a good trade   was done with the storekeepers and hotel- keepers. From Wentworth the River Darling   was followed, and all stations and townships   between there and Wilcannia were included   in the list. Wilcannia was the last port   of call, where Mr. Bickford disposed of the   turnout, and returned to the city by steamer   or coach. This journey occupied three   months, and was undertaken twice a year regularly for some years. The splendid results of the efforts of William Bickford necessitated the erection of buildings to be devoted solely to the manufacture of cordials and aerated waters. The freehold of half an acre of land in Waymouth-street was pur- chased, and on this were placed the present   structures. In its initial stage this new   industry was worked by comparatively small   machinery, but as the reputation of their   beverages grew Messrs. Bickford, always alive   to satisfying the public demand, added the   latest appliances, until at the present   time their plant was most replete   and extensive. In the meantime the   Hindley-street business grew apace, and the   premises were found altogether unsuitable for   the requirements of the trade, and a site at   the corner of Currie and Leigh streets was   selected, on which a warehouse was built. In   August, 1879, the removal into the new build-   ing took place. Since 1889 a complete   laboratory and an assay plant had   also been added. The firm was     represented by five commercial travellers,   and employed 53 hands. A branch was   established at Perth, Western Australia,   worked upon the same lines as the parent   business. It was the intention of the   firm to add cordials to the other proprietary   articles supplied to the public. The manage- ment of the concern was entrusted to Mr. Robert McClure, who was for about 18 years in the Adelaide house. It had been found necessary from the growing demands to have regular direct shipments from London and America in order to keep pace with the times.