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2 corrections, most recently by diverman - Show corrections

PRESENTATION TO R. M. JOHN- STON, ESQ. Last evening about fifty gentlemen assembled in the Billiard-room of the Brisbane Hotel to take part in the presentation of a testimonial to R. M. Johnston, Esq., who is about to reside in Hobart Town, having been appointed chief clerk in the Audit Department. Mr Johnston has been accountant to the Launceston and Western Railway ever since the line has been open, and his thorough familiarity with the work, the re- sult of intense application and experience, made his services invaluable, and pointed him out as well fitted for the important office which Parliament has just been asked to con firm. Unobtrusive, yet ever ready to assist in public or private amusements, and of a genial disposition, he was a general favourite at most of the social reunions of our town; while from his scientific attainments, especially as regards boteny and geology, he was justly regarded as an authority in those departments, and we know that the enthusiasm he has manifested in their pursuit has awakened a similar taste in many young men of Launceston. As soon as it was ascertained that Mr. Johnston was likely to leave us, a feeling arose as if by instinct that he must not be permitted to depart without some expression of esteem, which feeling cul minated in last evening's gathering. George Smith, Esq., was deputed to make the presentation, which he did in a few well chosen words setting forth the sincere regard in which Mr Johnston was held and the re gret that his numerous friends felt. at his departure. The watch, he said, was an emblem of well spent time, and the appen dage (a small compass) by ever pointing to the north, might serve to remind him of the friends he had left behind. Mr Smith then handed the watch to Mr Johnston, saying that he hoped he would live long to wear it, and that pros perity and happiness would ever attend him (loud applause). Mr Johnston (who could scarcely restrain his emotion) said he was a bad hand at speaking at any time, but on that occasion he felt it to be impossible. He had been taken quite by sur prise : the warm sentiments that had been expressed completely overwhelmed him, and he could only very sincerely thank his friends for their great kindness. After a few minutes, R. W. Lord, Esq., manager of the Launceston and Western Rail way, said he had been requested by Mr and Mrs Simmons to ask the gentlemen present to join in drinking Mr Johnston's health in a glass of champagne. Glasses having been charged, Mr   Lord formally proposed the toast, which was received enthusiastically. Mr Johnston, in responding, said he was then better able to speak than he had been a few minutes previously. He knew he had many warm-hearted friends in Launceston, but he was unprepared for such an exhibition of kindly feeling towards himself as had taken place that evening. It was ten years that day since he came to Tasmania, and his experience enabled him to say that in no other part of the world that he had visited had he received so many marks of kindness. He came here a stranger, but he soon formed acquaintanceships, and these grew into friendships. He assured those present that he would not need the compass to remind him of his northern friends: they were too deeply engraved upon his heart to be for gotten. He again thanked them for their ele gant present, and for the very cordial and gratifying way in which they had been good enough to speak of him (applause). At the invitation of AMr and Mrs Simmons the company then retired to the Commercial room, which had been tastefully decorated for the occasion, and where refreshments of recherche description were spread out in pro fusion. Ample justice having been done to the good things provided, the company separated, after shaking hands with Mr Johnston and wish ing him good-by.

We may remark that the watch is a very handsome one, made by the celebrated firm of Thomas Russell and Sons, and is what is known as a centre seconds stop three-quarter plate, with chronometer balance. On the outer case Mr Johnston's monogram is beautifully en graved, while the inside bears the following in scription:-" Presented to ROBERT MACKENZIE JOHNSTON by personal friends, on the occasion of his going from amongst them, in recognition not merely of his scientific attainments, but also of his social worth, and as a token of the high esteem and great regard in which he has been ever hold. Launceston, Tasmania, August, 1880. Invitum sequitur honos." Accompanying the watch is ia handsome hair Albert chain with pold mountings, to which is attached a calendar compass" of exquisite workmanship. The whole were enclosed in a morocco case lined with blue velvet.      

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