Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

25 articles on this Page

Overwhelms His Critics.







Lord Tredegar Honoured





PRESENTATION OF THE FREEDOM. Scene in the Central Hall. SPEECH BY LORD TREDEGAR. Meanwhile a huge audience had gathered in the spacious hall, which was gaily decorated in an effective colour scheme of blue. white, and yellow. The amphitheatre behind the platform was filled with Monmouthshire notabilities, while at the back and sides of the' platform the Newport City Fathers took up their positions. The vast audience rose as one man as Viscount Tredegar, accompanied by the Mayor and town clerk, was escorted up the centre of the hall to the platform, and the cheering continued until the Mayor had taken his seat with Lord Tre- degar on his right and the town clerk on his left. The proceedings were enlivened by the playing of an excellent string band, which led the audience in singing the National Anthem as Lord Tredegar ascended the platform. Miss Olive Mackay then sang Land of Hope and Glory," and following this the Mayor called upon the I town clerk to read the resolution of the Coun- cil, which emphasised the fact that Lord Tredegar was a person of distinction under the Act. Then Lord Tredegar rose, and the Town Clerk administered to him the ancient oath, the references in which to being obedient to the Mavor" and civil to the aldermen" were punctuated with much laughter. As the town clerk's voice ceased Lord Tredegar kissed the book and solemnly exclaimed, So help me God." This over, his Lordship, in a clear, firm hand, signed the bur- gess roll, and the Town Clerk made the formal c announcement that his Lordship had been ad- mitted an honorary freeman of the county borough. The Presentation Ceremony. The Mayor then rose and asked Lord Tre- degar's acceptance of the casket contaning the script, and in so doing said he regarded it as a high honour that during his year of office as chief magistrate he had the privilege of taking part in that important and interesting cere- mony-a ceremony unique in the memory of the oldest inhabitant of the town—{cheers)— and he felt sore that no public function at which it might be his duty to pre- side would meet with more hearty approval from the citizens of New- port than the one they,, had met that day to consummate by presenting the honorary freedom of the borough of Newport to his Lordship. (Loud cheers.) It was the highest honour which lay in their power to confer, and in honouring his Lordship they were honouring themselves. (Cheers.) Proceeding, the Mayor outlined the long and close connection which had existed for many years past between the house of Morgan and the municipal life of Newport. The first of these records was in the reign of James 1. But quite apaxt from these past connections his Lordship s qualifications- for this distinction were undoubted. (Cheers.) He had honourably served his country when as Captain Godfrey Morgan he passed through that memorable campaign in the Crimea- (cheers)—and Newport was proud to remember him as one of that gallant and devoted 600— the Death or Glory Boys—who on the 25th October. 1854, with a fiery determination which nothing could stop, made that heroic charge against the Russian guns at Balaclava. (Loud cheers.) Lord Tredegar was one who went through that valley of death against over- whelming odds, and had survived to prove the truth of the poet's words :— Not once nor twice in our rough island's story The path of duty was the way to glory." Returning home Lord Tredegar had found another way of honourable service, sitting from 1858 to 1875 in the House of Commons, and in the latter year he succeeded his father in the title. As a country gentleman and landowner Lord Tredegar had lived to earn the respect and esteem of all sorts and conditions of men. (Cheers.) He had given splendid encourage- ment to agriculture, and his show was famous throughout the country, paying a tribute to Lord Tredegar's work in connection with the Newport Docks, the speaker said that the position of the Usk- side town that day was largely due to his enterprise and to those whom he. had gathered around him in that huge business concern. (Cheers.) His Lordship had also given very substantial public benefactions. (Cheers.) They gratefully recalled his gift of the sites of the Bellevue Park, the Newport and County Hospital, and the Stow Hill Alms Houses. (Cheers.) Only such a man as Lord Tredegar could really appreciate how great were the demands upon one generously disposed, but whether they went to Mm for the South Wales and Monmouthshire University College or whether it was a humble Sunday school scholar appealing to him on behalf of a Sunday school treat they found him equally thoughtful and considerate. (Cheers.) .At the age of 7& they found his Lordship noted for a rare gift of rich humour—(cheers)—the effect partly no doubt of looking on the bright side of things, for hopefulness and that generous sympathy so characteristic of youth, and to these virtues were added the ripe judgment which years of experience brought. (Cheers.) It must be to him the greatest satisfaction that his relations with Newport had brought his Lord- ship universal regard, esteem, and affection, and it was a fact that those who knew him best esteemed him the most. (Cheers.) He asked his Lordship to accept the honorary freedom and that casket, and they all trusted that under the blessing of Almighty God he would long live tG bear without reproach the grand old name of gentleman." (Loud cheers.) Lord Tredegar's Reply. Viscount Tredegar said he must fall back upon the old remark that he really could not find words to express the gratitude he felt. Lord Rosebery in that recent speech of his had said he felt he could best say all he had to say in two words, and he (Lord Tredegar) felt that all he had to say he could saY in the words, Thanks, Mr Mayor." Be felt, however, after becoming the recipient of that beautiful casket it would ill become him to be so brief. To be presented with the freedom of a borough was the greatest honour that a citizen could receive, and in this case it was intensified con- siderably by his being the first upon whom it had been conferred. He had one advantage from that, and it was that they could not com- pare him to his disadvantage with other people. (Laughter.) The* could not say, Look at Lord This, or Mr That, or Admiral So-and-so—what a splendid fellow he was, and how do you compare with "him f (Loud laughter.) He did not sunpase it was possible for anyone to make a more charming speech on the character and occupation of the recipient than their Mayor had made that afternoon. The only painful part about it was that he (Lord Tredegar) was present to listen to it. (Laughter.) Their kind- ness that day had proved that there was a mis- take even in Scripture, which said, A pro- phet hath no honour in his own country." (Laughter.) There was an historical fact which he recalled-he was not strong on history, though he studied it a good deal-in which a lady went to a great personage to ask a favour. She was asked what she had done to merit it, and her reply was, I have dwelt among my own people." (Cheers.) That, in fact, was really the only claim that he could lay to the honour they had conferred upon him. (No, no.) He liked living amongst his own people. (Cheers.) Lord Beaconsfield—if they didn't mind his alluding to him-said that self is the only person that you know nothing about. A man was supposed to have three characters— the one he gave himself, the one his friends gave him, and thirdly what he really was. He the (speaker) was going to add another, and that was the opinion of the man in the street. (Laughter.) The man in. the street was a sort of myth, but he was always supposed to be the bald-headed man at the back of an omnibus. (Loud laughter.) What his opinion of him was he did not know, but he thought he could judge pretty well from that gathering and the compliments that thJ Mayor had paid to him. He was afraid he had thrown a lot of work on their Mayor during the past few weeks. There was no subject in the world that a Mayor was not expected to know all about, he was supposed to know all about very distinct form pf religion and science, every game, every sport from pitch and toss to golf—(laughter)—and was supposed to be able to make a speech about anything, and he thought that in this respect their present Mayor could do as well as anybody. (Cheers.) The Chancellor of the Exchequer-" Oh don't be afraid," remarked his Lordship-had recently been saying that he had been the recipient of many freedoms, but that he did not know what good they would be to him. He (Lord Tredegar) could not help thinking that the freedom of Newport was something that should make him go straight on in the course which he had pursued and which they seemed to think was right. (Loud cheers.) He was told sometimes by those who thought a lot about him that he was doing too much, and that at his time of life he should not be going about making speeches, such as they were. It al- ways comes to me," added his Lordship with just a ring of pathos in his voice, work while there is time, for the day cometh when no man can work." It was difficult to say how soon the time would come. South Wales Coal Crisis. Proceeding, he said that Lord Rosebery, in his recent speech, had said there was a hush in the whole of Europe. He (Lord Tredegar) had in his own mind a hush also within the past two days. Sitting under his owti im- memorial elms, it seemed to him as if there were a hush, the kush of an impending strike. Was it not possible that there might be some way out, some way to avoi? (Loud cheers.) There was no one single individual in that great hall that would not be affected, there was no living soul in Newport who would not, in one way or other, feel it. He was not given to lecture, but he thought that that was an occasion when he might appeal to all those interested to do all that they could to try and avert that great danger which was pending over all that neighbourhood just now. (Loud cheers.) Hedid not think it was necessary to detain them longer, but he thanked them as well as he could for the high honour they had done him. It would be curious indeed if he did not take an interest in all that concerntd. them. If he had done any- thing in his small way to help anybody he only hoped that he would have many oppor- tunities to do it again. (Loud and prolonged cheers.) Miss Olive MaKay then Stng The Boys of the Old Brigade." Councillor T. Parry,, the ex-Mayor, in pro- posing thanks to the Mayor, expressed the view, amidst hearty cheering, that future generations would remember Lord Tredegar as Godfrey the Good," Alderman J. Moses seconded, and the Mayor having replied, a memorable event in the history of Newport 'closed with the singing of the National Anthem.



Pageant and Drink. .



Welsh Episode.1 .

Abersychan Murder. .



-£50,000 Turnover. --