Big recruiting meeting: Speeches by Messrs Waddell and Hickey, Ms.L.A.: An enthusiastic reception [7 August 1915]

[Editor: This article was published in the Cowra Free Press, 7 August 1915 (during the First World War).]

Big recruiting meeting.

Speeches by Messrs Waddell and Hickey, Ms.L.A.

An enthusiastic reception

The Centennial Hall was crowded to the doors on Thursday evening when Messrs Waddell and Mickey, Ms.L.A., delivered vigorous and moderate addresses under the auspices of the local Recruiting Assn.

The Mayor occupied the chair, and a number of members of the Recruiting Assn also occupied seats on the platform.

The proceedings opened with the singing of the National Anthem.

A march, “Napoleon’s Last Charge,” was then played by the Majestic Orchestra.

Miss Andrews followed with a much appreciated recitation.

The Mayor then introduced Mr. Hickey, Member for Alexandria, who delivered an interesting address, bristling with wit and anecdote. He referred to the fact that, out of 122 men sent from Cowra by the police only 7 had been rejected. Still Lord Kitchener said they wanted more and still more men, and Australia would have to give her quota. He said he felt a diffidence in asking men to go and risk their lives, but in doing so he was only acting as the mouthpiece of the State, and someone had to do it. He hoped they would all rally round the standard, and that there would after this be no need for wars for hundreds of years (applause).

The Majestic Orchestra here played another acceptable selection, “The Ultimatum.”

Mr. Hubie Byrnes so pleased the assemblage with “Australia’s Bonnie Boys in Navy Blue,” that he had to give an encore, which was equally well received.

Mr. Toose next rendered a violin solo, “Patriotic Airs.”

Mr. Waddell then delivered the finest recruiting address yet heard in Cowra, during which he was frequently loudly applauded. He first took his hearers back to the Napoleonic wars and likened that great man, whose pride was his downfall, to the present Kaiser, who was sure to overreach himself in his lust for power. In referring to the way those who fought would be treated by their country in after years, he mentioned that Mr. F. S. Flint, of this town, who fought in the American War of Independence, still drew a pension. He referred to the honorable part played by Italy in the present conflict in comparison with Germany’s action. In asking the young men in his constituency to go and help to keep off the German tyrant he did so in the firm belief that they would keep Australia’s name untarnished, and that the majority of them would come back and spend the remainder of their lives in peace.

Cheers for the speakers, the Mayor, and the brave boys at the front, and the playing of the National Anthem closed a most enthusiastic meeting.

Cowra Free Press (Cowra, NSW), 7 August 1915, p. 2

Editor’s notes:
Whilst this article mentions a man living in Cowra who had fought in the American War of Independence (1775-1783), presumably the war referred to should have been the American Civil War (1861-1865).

Assn. = an abbreviation of “Association”

diffidence = a state of being bashful, modest, shy, unassertive (especially relating to a lack of self-confidence)

Kaiser = Kaiser (Emperor) Wilhelm II (William II) was the head of the German Empire, from 15 June 1888 up until his abdication on 9 November 1918, two days prior to the armistice which ended World War One (however, his official “Statement of Abdication” was dated 28 November 1918)

Kitchener = Herbert Kitchener (1850-1916), a British Army officer who served in the Mahdist War (the Anglo-Sudan War), the Boer War, and the First World War; he was promoted to the rank of Field Marshal in 1909

Messrs. = an abbreviation of “messieurs” (French), being the plural of “monsieur”; used in English as the plural of “Mister” (which is abbreviated as “Mr.”); the title is used in English prior to the names of two or more men (often used regarding a company, e.g. “the firm of Messrs. Bagot, Shakes, & Lewis”, “the firm of Messrs. Hogue, Davidson, & Co.”)

Ms.L.A. = Members of the Legislative Assembly (parliamentarians elected to the lower house of state parliament)

Napoleonic = relating to, characteristic of, or regarding the era of the French emperor Napoleon I (Napoleon Bonaparte, 1769-1821, emperor 1804-1814,1815); the term may also, although rarely, refer to the French emperor Napoleon III (Charles Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, 1808-1873, emperor 1852-1870, a nephew of Napoleon I), or to the combined reigns of both Napoleonic emperors (note: Napoleon II, Napoleon François Charles Joseph Bonaparte, 1811-1832, son of Napoleon I, never held political office; when Napoleon I abdicated in 1814, he did so on behalf of himself and his son)

National Anthem = in colonial Australia, and federated Australia up until 1984, the national anthem was “God Save the King”, or “God Save the Queen” (depending on whether the reigning monarch was a king or queen at the time)

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