St Kilda for a greater Dunedin

Spectators at the western end of the showgrounds on People's Day at the Otago A and P Society's...
Spectators at the western end of the showgrounds on People's Day at the Otago A and P Society's 36th metropolitan show. Otago Witness, 4.12.1912
It was indeed flattering to the advocates of the proposal to amalgamate St Kilda with the city of Dunedin that they should be greeted by such a large audience in the Coronation Hall last night.

Almost every seat in the building was occupied, and in addition there was a large number of the audience who stood at the rear of the hall.

Mr J.J. Marlow occupied the chair, and in opening the meeting he said he wanted it to be understood that the meeting was to be conducted independent of personalities.

A certain amount of the personal element had been allowed to creep into this question, but he trusted that for the remainder of the campaign it would determine solely upon its merits and on the arguments for and against the proposal. (Applause).

What appealed to him as a public man on this question of amalgamation was the huge advantages that would come to St Kilda if it became amalgamated with the city.

As they were no doubt aware, the Drainage Board when constituted embraced the City of Dunedin and seven separate districts, each of which was represented on it.

Four of the seven had since joined the city, and if St Kilda amalgamated, as he firmly believed it would, there would only be two outside bodies.

As showing what could be done if they had a greater Dunedin, he had only to remind them of the possibilities there were for improving their own Ocean Beach.

He thought they would be standing in their own light if they withheld from amalgamation.

He asked that each of the speakers be given a fair and impartial hearing. (Applause).

A number of questions having been answered, Mr Fothergill rose from the body of the hall, and said that he had been a ratepayer in St Kilda for over 20 years.

He hoped it would be another 20 years before he would attend another meeting such as this one.

He moved - ''That the principle of amalgamation with the city be affirmed by the meeting, and that the electors take the necessary steps to further the same.''

Mr Gabriel Hodges seconded the motion.

Mr Cohen moved an amendment as follows:- ''Being firmly convinced that the rating on unimproved values will make for the material prosperity of the borough, this meeting is determined that it shall have a fair trial, and to that end pledges itself to use every constitutional means to defeat that present agitation for amalgamation with the city.''

Mr Newman seconded the amendment after Mr Cohen had spoken for close on 20 minutes.

On being put to the vote the amendment was carried by a fairly large majority by a show of hands.

A number in the body of the hall refrained from voting.

 - ODT, 6.12.1912


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