Valedictory DEPARTURE OF MR. SYMONDS. A SOCIAL EVENING AND PRESENTATIONS. On Monday evening the large upstairs hall of Perring's Cafe was crowded with town and district people to do honor to Mr. G. S. Symonds, manager of the Hor sham branch of the Bank of Victoria, on the eve of his departure for Mel bourne, where he has to report at head quarters, it being asserted that his transference means promotion in the service of the bank. The catering was done in Mr. Perring's best style, and with a fine musical programme and a variety of speakers, the evening passed pleasantly and showed the esteem in which Mr. Symonds was held. The old musical favorites—Messrs C. Frencham, A. Stanistreet, and J. Garland—sang to an appreciative audience, and novelty was given to the programme by the in troduction of new talent, Mr. H. McWhinney singing sweetly and Mr. C. Mutten giving recitations that were new in a finished manner, while Mr. S. C. Tonge (relieving manager at the Union Bank) capably filled the posi tion of accompanist. The Mayor (Cr. D. Anderson) said it was gratifying to see such a large gath ering to meet Mr. Symonds. It was pleasing to see all sections of the com munity represented—the clients of the Bank of Victoria, Mr. Symonds' own friends, the sporting community, the social element, and his brother bankers —to give him a send-off. He read several apologies for absence. After the loyal toast had been honored, Mr. J. Bennett (on behalf of the town) proposed the toast of the Guest. He said he had been rather honored in being asked to propose the toast of a gentleman, who, during the past 11 years; had taken such a keen interest in the affairs of the town as Mr. Symonds had done. He was quite pleased to propose the toast, as Mr. Symonds and his family had been per sonal friends ever since they came to Horsham. They had only to look at what their guest had taken on and they would realise that he was thorough. No matter what institution he was con nected with he went into it with the whole of his heart, and he was told that if their overdraft were getting a little too high he had a nice way of bring ing that fact under their notice. One did feel regret when good friends were leaving, but he was quite satisfied that Mr. Symonds' removal from Horsham meant substantial promotion, and he was sure that he would make good in the future. When Mr. Symonds came to Horsham his bank was not in the state it was to-day, and the improve ment was due to the sterling qualities of him as a bank manager and a good citizen. He would like to express, on behalf of the townspeople, their very
good wishes for the future welfare of himself, Mrs. Symonds and Ted. He trusted they would see him here at in tervals, and he trusted that he would get on to some billet that would bring him here occasionally. On behalf of the townspeople, himself and his wife he wished him God-speed. (Hear, hear.) Mr. Harold Smith, on behalf of the country people, said he could endorse everything that Mr. Bennett had said. Speaking on behalf of the coun try clients of the bank—and he could see many of them here, from Peppers Plains and Gymbowen—he did not think there was ever a manager who had won the esteem and respect that Mr. Sy monds had done. As a banker he had been courteous and kind, and to a great extent a very solid adviser indeed. A gathering like this only expressed the respect in which he was held by the country people. He was delayed com ing here that evening answering tele phone calls expresing the regrets of people who could not come. He could assure Mr. Symonds that they felt his loss very keenly, and they could only feel that it was promotion for him, and that tempered the parting very much. He joined with Mr. Bennett in wishing Mr. Symonds and his family continued success. (Applause.) Mr. F. J. Millar, speaking on behalf of the hospital, said it was with mingled feelings of pleasure and regret that he rose as president for the time being of Horsham Hospital to support this toast—a pleasure because he was privileged to do honor to such a de serving citizen as Mr. Symonds, a pleasure also to hear that this transfer meant promotion to him in the service of the bank he represented. The regrets were that they were losing the services of such a valued committee-man and ex-president as Mr. Symonds. If was about seven years ago that he became a committee-man, and it was only after three years' service that they decided to elect him as president, and this office he had filled with credit for over three years. Looking through the records of the hospital he found that, with the ex ception of Mr Cathcart, who filled the office of president for four years, there was no one who had filled it so long as Mr. Symonds. To those who did not know what the office of president meant, he could tell them it was no sinecure. It meant attendance at the hospital every Thursday afternoon, at tendance at every committee meeting, attendance at every general meeting, and attendance at every meeting to sup port the efforts for getting funds for the institution, including stump speeches in the open air—a thing he considered the hardest thing to do—to him at anyrate. Mr. Symonds had filled the office with credit and conspicuous ability throughout his terms of presi dent, and it was with feelings of re gret that they lost his services. He joined with them all in wishing Mr. Sy monds and his fanmily success. (Hear, hear.) Mr. P. Learmonth, president of the
Bowling Club, in supprting the toast, said that not the least important part was the sporting part of the commun ity. Nowhere would Mr. Symonds be so much missed as he would be on the bowling green. Not only was he their leading bowler, but he also took a keen interest in the game. They were not dis heartened at their loss, for they had a lot of colts coming on. Not only was Mr. Symonds a good man on the bowling green, but Mrs. Symonds was not only a good golfer but also a jolly good sport. He was sorry indeed to lose them; they would be a big loss. He hoped that wherever he went he would find a good bowling green for himself and a good golf links for Mrs Symonds. (Applause.) Mr. G. W. Cochrane, president of the Returned Soldiers' Association, said he had been deputed by the Horsham branch to mention to Mr. Symonds a little of the appreciation the branch had felt for the services he had rendered the league since its inception in the town. Away back when their league was formed by three men in the street they approached Mr. Symonds. He gave them an interested hearing, and later when it was the public desire of the citizens to erect a suitable memorial in the town it was then that Mr. Sy - monds came to help. At a big public meeting the citizens saw fit to appoint Mr. Symonds president, and he, as secretary, could tell them there was not one stone left unturned to make it a success. Whenever they required ad vice about finance they had gone to him and got what they were looking for. They hoped that his successor would tender to them the same feelings as Mr Symonds had done. He had a pleasing duty to perform on behalf of the sol diers—the presentation of a small token—and he asked him to accept this fountain pen as small gift from the diggers of Horsham. (Hear, hear.) Mr. Thomas Porker, Peppers Plains, said he was very pleased to be present to endorse the remarks that had been made. Up in the Mallee people spoke well of Mr. Symonds for his good judg ment, good nature and his treatment of them in banking affairs. (Cheers.) Mr. J. McRae, Jung, said they were aware that, he was not a resident of Horsham. He was a resident of a much more important place—(laughter and hear, hear)—but he had come in con tact with the guest of the evening more praticularly in connection with the hos pital. He had the honor to be one of the country members of the committee, and he could say with all sincerity that Mr. Symonds had carried out the duties of president in a way that would be hard to follow. Mr. F. Millar would be a worthy successor, and he had re marked about the difliculty of making stump speeches. Well, he had heard Mr. Millar make one at Jung, and the result was very gratifying to the hos pital. The success of the hospital was due to the good work that Mr. Symonds had put in. They regretted this part ing, especially as he had taken such an interest in the district but when pro motion came with it there was somc thing that lessened the regret. (Ap plause.) Mr. C. Davies said that as the oldest resident banker here he thought it in cumbent oil him to pay his tribute to their guest. Mr. Symonds was the president of the associated banks here, and that stamped him as being a man of ability. The occasion when he made a speech at the presentation to Mrs. Anderson showed that he had the whole future of the hospital at heart. They saw little of Mr. Symonds on the street, and it was evident that he gave most of his time to his clients. In losing Mr. Symonds he felt that they were losing a good friend. (Hear, hear.) Mr. J. R. Kelly, Murra Warra, said that as a bank manager, Mr. Symonds was second to none. They might get a man who was as good, but they could not get a better one. Listening to the speakers he learnt that Mr. Symonds had been put in everything, but what pleased him most was his association with the hospital. They would just have to put up with it, for what would be their loss would be another place's gain. (Cheers.) Mr. Henry Byrne, Dooen, said he was here as one of the oldest clients of the bank. The bank had had many mana gers here, but his favorite had been Mr Symonds. He was the man who carted the slates for the roof of the bank, and when the bank opened he joined it and had never left it. Mr. Symonds had been a friend to him in everything, and he was sorry to lose him. (Hear, hear.) Rev. Father Howell said that since he had come in he had heard enough to understandl the estimation in which Mr. Symonds was held. There was no citizen here could honestly say that he held him in higher estimation than he did. It was not so much for his own qualities as for what he knew of his father and mother. He had lived in
Inglewood where Mr. Symonds' father lived. He lived there for 11 years, and had a church account which was considerable, and he found no one bet ter than Mr. Symonds, sen., to advise him—a man who could give sound ad vice in the spending of money. As a business man and a banker he respected his father, and he was quite satisfied that his son here was doing the same. He had heard reference made to his association with the institutions here. He thought these clubs had very live members and were quite capable of looking after themselves. The one thing that sometimes lacked was public charity, and the thing was to get live members of the committee who would work on that committee and get the money out of the pockets of the people. One man who could do that was Mr. Sy monds. He had been president of the Stawell Hospital, and he remembered the working of it, but no institution could be better worked than the one here, and he thought a great deal of the credit for that reflected upon the president. (Hear, hear.) As a social man he thought Mr. Symonds would hold his own with any man. He was not very demonstrative, but he had those quiet social qualities that held a man, and he was sure that when peo ple heard of his further promotion they would rejoice. He rejoiced at his pre sent promotion. (Hear, hear.) Mr. J. F. Curran complimented Mr. Symonds for his work as treasurer of the Horsham Race Club, the Football Club and the Trotting Club. He spoke highly of what he had done for the Rac ing Club. Mr. James Anderson, on behalf of the president of the Trotting Club (Mr. Shearwood), thanked Mr. Symonds for what he had done for the club. On rising to make the presentation to Mr. Symonds, the Mayor said that on behalf of the clients of the bank and friends in Horsham he had been asked to perform that pleasing duty. It was an old saying that when the heart was full the mind was empty, and he was sure their hearts were full at Mr. Symonds going away, but they did not forget the happy times they had to gether. A banker's position was one of great trust and one of great restric tions as he could not enter into the com mercial activities that his customers were engaged on, and therefore it was very fitting when he was leaving them that they should make up to him what he might have lost. Mr. Symonds had earned a very honored place. He would receive promotion from his bank. There was no doubt about that. (Hear, hear.) After he had finished his work to his customers and to his head office, he had given his time to the charitable institutions and the sporting clubs of the town. What he had done for the hospital would stand, as a monument, and as he had done all that so well his friends thought they would not like him to go away without presenting him with something tangible to remind him of the happy times they had spent with him. He had always worn the white flower of a blameless life, and he went away with their best good will and their heartiest wishes that the future might hold for him and his family. Therefore, on behalf of the clients and friends he asked him to accept this lit tle token—a wallet of notes—hoping that it would remind him of the pleas ant days he had spent in Horsham. (Cheers.) When Mr. Symonds rose to respond he was loudly cheered. He said that one could not be human if he did not feel honored and proud to see the gath ering of friends here to wish him good luck and Godspeed in his new province. He felt that it was very hard indeed to express the inward feelings he had that evening. He could assure them it was not an easy matter to break with the friends he had made in the town and district of this prosperous Wim mera. He had been here 11 years, and it was gratifying to hear from his old friends and clients of the bank the ex pressions of goodwill that had been made. He had not done anything since he had been here any more than any ordinary citizen who had the welfare of the town at heart. He had done his little bit—being a bird of passage—to help on the clubs and tried to give a lit tle vim to the place. His many friends had put him in important positions in their clubs and institutions, and it was very gratifying for him to hear what they had said. He thought their re marks were genuine, for there seemed to be a true ring about this meeting. and that was more to him than any gift. He had had a pleasant time here ; he had made many friends; his clients had been very loyal to him. This had made his task in banking a very easy one, and he would like to express his thanks to all those gentlemen, his deep appreciation of their goodwill and friendship to him during his stay here. When he looked round and saw the faces of men who had come miles to say goodbye to him he considered it a very great honor and an honor that he much appreciated. He sincerely hoped that at some future time, if it be his good fortune to come back to this great and prosperous town, to reunite the friendships he had made during his stay here. He must thank the presi dent of the hospital for what he said. H'is services had been nothing—abso lutely nothing. He had been favored with the good fortune of having one woman in this town who knew what the word charity meant, and that woman had helped him out of all his difficul ties—(hear, hear)—and it was to her alone that stood the credit of the hos pital's sound financial position to-day. He took none of it himself, for he knew only too well what it would have meant without that assistance. There was no need to mention that lady's name, for she was known throughout for her good works. He thanked Messrs Learmonth, Cochrane, Davies, Anderson, the Rev. Father Howell and those men from the country who had spoken so kindly on his behalf. He could assure them that he would never forget this gathering, and he hoped to have the privilege of coming back on some future date so renew the friendships he had made. (Cheers). Mr. F. Langlands proposed the toast of Mr. J. E. Williams, Mr. Symonds' successor. He congratulated him on his promotion to such an important po sition in Horsham, and extended to him a warm welcome. This sentiment was endorsed by the Mayor, who extended him a warm welcome on behalf of the citizens. In responding, Mr. Williams made a vigorous speech, in the course of which he said that 11 years ago he was the ac countant at the Horsham branch under Mr. Symonds. The toasts of the performers (pro posed by Mr. James Anderson and re sponded to by Mr Stanistreet) and the Chairman terminated the proceedings.