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They stated that the opinion had gained currency that the returned solders were not favourable to such a large expenditure as was proposed to be spent on the dinner for returned soldiers. They consequently wished to know the feeling of the committee before any further steps were taken.
The subsequent discussion showed that the feeling of the returned soldiers as represented by the committee had been correctly interpreted by the deputation, and one member stated that a donation of the amount proposed to be spent on the dinner, estimated at 1000, to the Soldiers' Club Building Fund would be a more satisfactory method of using the money.
After the deputation had retired the following resolution was adopted:
''That this committee viewing the expenses of a dinner as proposed by the Peace Celebrations Committee, desires that a smoke concert be held in lieu of a dinner, and suggests that arrangements be made to enable the soldiers to have a cup of tea and light refreshments at the conclusion of the parade.''
Anzac Day holiday
The decision of some local employers not to observe a half-holiday on Anzac Day was adversely commented on at last night's meeting of the committee of the Returned Soldiers' Association. Members expressed the opinion that the employers concerned had, in view of the unique and memorable occasion which the day commemorates, shown a very poor spirit, and expressed the hope that they would reconsider their decision. The following motion was adopted unanimously:
''That this committee, representing the returned soldiers of Dunedin, is disappointed to learn that certain employers have decided not to observe a half-holiday on Anzac Day, and trusts that the employers concerned will reconsider their decision and shoe a proper appreciation of the great events which the day commemorates. The committee is further strongly of opinion that the whole day should be made a statutory whole holiday.''
It was decided to send a copy of the resolution to the Otago Employers' Association, and to communicate with Sir James Allen regarding the latter part of the motion.
Another draft returns
The Otago portion of the soldiers who reached Wellington by the troopship Willochra arrived in Dunedin by the express train from the north last night. There were 35 men in the draft, 20 of whom were for Dunedin, and the remainder for south of the city. Of the 20 for Dunedin, 13 were originally members of the Band of the 4th (Otago) Regiment, and were members of the 1st Battalion Otago Regiment N.Z.E.F. Band. Among their number was Staff-sergeant Sid George, son of Lieutenant George, conductor of the band of the Fourth (Otago) Regiment, who went out with the Main Body and was bandmaster of the 1st Battalion Otago Regiment N.Z.E.F. Band. When the train drew alongside the platform the soldiers were received with cheers by the large crowd which had assembled. Representatives of the Women's Patriotic Association were present and distributed cigarettes, etc., to the men.
- ODT, 17.4.1919.
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