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- DUKE OF WESTMINSTER'S HOME-COMING.

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DUKE OF WESTMINSTER'S HOME- COMING. ♦ THE CITY'S WELCOME. In response to a request by the Mayor, a number of representative citizens assembled in the Council Chamber of the Town Hall on Thursday afternoon. The Mayor presided, and the attendance included the High Sheriff of the county (Mr. B. C. Roberts), the Sheriff (Mr. R. lt »mb), the Dean, Archdeacon Barber, Canon hooper Scott, Canon Lynch, the Precentor (the Rev. H. H. Wright), the Rev. J. Cairns Mitchell, Rev. F. Barnes, His Honour Judge Wynne Ffoulkes, Colonel Sheringham, Drs. Taylor, Roberts, Duff, and King, Aldermen Thos. Smith, J. J. Cunnah, H. Stolterfoth, G. A. Dickson, W. H. Churton, and G. Dutton, Dr. J. C. Bridge, Messrs. John Thompson, F. Bullin, P. B. Iron- side Bax, F E. Roberts, Johnson Dickson, R. L. Barker,#. R. Thomson, H. Enfield Taylor, T. Wood, J. L. Kemp, T. Gibbons Frost, James G. Frost, John M. Frost, Amos, J. G. Holmes, F. W. Skipwith, R. B. L. Johnston, C. Cooper, E. S. Giles, F. F. Brown, R. Cecil Davies, W. Vernon, J. R. Rae, J. F. Lowe, W. Ferguses, J. Jones (Boughton), C. Greenhouse, J- W. Huke, W. F. J. Shepheard, W. Walley, J. Parry, G. Parker, G. R. Griffith, R. P. Bradbury, H. B. Dutton, H. G. Little, J. Sheriff Roberts, F. Bolland, Meacock, Mowle, A. tamont, jun., G. B. Baker, S. Clemence, A. W. Butt, Richards, T. Hart Davies, R. E. Dodd, Barber, James Williams, W. Coventry, T. Wil- liamson, A. W. Jones, the Town Clerk (Mr. S. Smith), the Chief Constable (Mr. J. H. Lay- bourne), the Clerk of Committees (Mr. W. Peers), &c. Apologies for absence were received from the Bishop, Dr. Dobie, and Colonel Evans-Lloyd. The Mayor, at the outset, tendered his thanks to the meeting for the hearty response they had made by their attendance that afternoon to the invitation he had issued, at the request of the Council, that they would kindly meet him and the members of the Council to consider how best to mark the auspicious occasion, which would be within the next few days, of the return of the Duke of Westminster to this country from South Africa. The circumstances of the Duke's accession to his title and estates were of some considerable interest to the people of Chester. The close association which the House of Eaton had always had with Chester, and the many acts of kindness which they, as a city, had always received at their hands, had endeared to them very much the House of Eaton, and more especially the head of that House for the time being. On the present occasion there was an exceedingly interesting fact. When the Duke succeeded to his title as a very young man under 21 years of age, he was serving his country in South Africa. He did return formally, but only for a few days on his succession to his title, immediately returning to his duties in South Africa. That was a very interesting fact which was of interest to all ages as a part of the history of the city. He felt, and the Council felt, that it would be the sincere wish on the part of the citizens of Chester to mark that interesting occasion by some signal mark of sympathy with the Duke on his accession to the title. This was the first opportunity they had of doing that. When his Grace came of age he was absent; he was performing his duties in South Africa and, in addition, his coming-of-age followed very closely upon the lamented death of his grandfather. That was really the first opportunity they had, first of all, of marking their congratulations upon his attaining his majority also their congratulations to him on his succession to the title and estates. He thought in the Council they had rightly gauged the feeling of the public, as was evinced by their attendance that day. Among others they were glad to welcome there was the Dean, whose duties would take him elsewhere in a few minutes. He begged to formally pro- pose the following resolution, which he would a.ik the Dean to second:—" That this meeting of citizens cordially approves the resolution of the Council forming a committee to make suit- able arrangements for giving a hearty welcome to his Grace the Duke of Westminster, on his return from South Africa, and celebrating his majority and his accession to the title and estates; and that the names of those persons to be mentioned be added to the committee, with power to add to their number." The Dean, in seconding, said the House of Eaton had for generations laid the city under deep obligation. The memory of the late Duke was fresh in their minds, and it would never fade from the recollection of those who had had the privilege of knowing him and transacting business with him, for in addition to his courtesy and kindness they all had experience of the very keen, practical interest he betrayed in all the subjects he took up, and not only that, but the sound, practical advice he could give them. In passing that resolution they ought to pledge themselves to do their utmost according to their ability to enable the committee to fulfil their duty of offering the Duke a hearty welcome. He did not know what they would call upon the Cathedral to do, but what the Mayor called upon them to do they would do. If it was their desire their church bells would ring and add to the hearty welcome, as he had no doubt other church bells would. (Hear, hear.) The proposition was carried. The High Sheriff next moved that an executive committee be formed to carry out the arrangements, and that it be empowered to add to its numbers and appoint a sub-committee. Archdeacon Barber, in seconding, asked whether it was yet known on what day the Duke would come to the city. The Mayor: It is still a matter of doubt, but so far as I can see it will be on Tuesday, November 6th. Archdeacon Barber said he asked that question because it had occurred to him that the Diocesan Conference was on the 7th and 8th, and he knew that that would necessitate the absence from Chester of the Bishop and others who would like to be present on such an occasion as the home-coming of the Duke of Westminster. Since his grand- father's death, the Duke had been in the Cathedral; his Grace was there at that very touching service when a farewell was given to the Yeomanry, and he (the Archdeacon) recalled the way in which the Duke came over with the Eaton party and joined in that service. They shewed their appreciation of those who loyally and bravely came forward to fight for their country in South Africa. The Mayor said at present everything was undecided, but so far as he could gather the Duke was expected to land in England on November 2nd. He would be in Cheshire on the following Monday, and they hoped to be able to make arrangements so as to. hold the celebration on Tuesday, November 6th. November 7th and 8th were dates which had been mentioned, but they were not found convenient, as the archdeacon had said, and the 9th was a day in which they were generally engaged in that room. (Laughter.) The proposition was carried, and the follow- ing were appointed on the Executive Com- mittee :-The Mayor, the Deputy Mayor, the Sheriff, the High Sheriff, the Dean, the Arch- deacon, Sir Horatio Lloyd, Canon Cooper Scott, Canon Lynch, Colonel Smith, Colonel Sheriff Roberts, Drs. Roberts, Taylor, Duff, Messrs. J. G. Holmes, Thomas Smith, J. J. Cunnah, G. R. Griffith, A. Lamont, junr., J. L. Kemp, George Parker, James Frost, John Frost, R. B. L. Johnston, R. L. Barker, T. Gibbons Frost, J. M. B. Mowle, H. Enfield Taylor, F. F. Brown, W. H. Churton, E. S. Giles, Geo. Dickson, John Thompson, W. F. J. Shepheard, James Parry, H. B. Dutton, F. W. Skipwith, F. Bullin, T. B. Meacock, P. B. Iron- side Bax, and R. Cecil Davies. On the proposition of the Mayor, seconded by Mr. Cunnah, the Town Clerk and Mr. J. R. Thomson were respectively appointed hon. secretary and hon. treasurer. The Mayor pointed out that there were one or two things which would have to be considered in discussing what form the celebration should take. In the first place they must not forget that it was not twelve months since the late Duke's death, and he had some reason to believe that it would not be in accordance with the wishes of the family that there should be any great demonstration in the way of festivities within so recent a period of the Duke's death. The ceremony, whatever it was, should be of a comparatively formal character, and there should be nothing in the shape of a public banquet or a public luncheon. They should also re- member that the Duke was coming back from active service in South Africa at a time when all their minds were very much exercised, of course, about the events of the war, and more especially with regard to the return of the troops. The Duke was a very, very junior officer, and therefore, he believed, it would Tlot be considered etiquette to give him any- thing in the shape of a military welcome. They would all understand that point, he was sure, when he reminded them of the troops and officers in high position who were about to return, and would receive at the hands of England a most hearty welcome. It would rather detract from that if so junior an officer as the Duke of Westminster received any great military demonstration upon his return to this country. Therefore it seemed to him that the celebration would have to a cer- tain extent to be of a very formal character under the circumstances, and he asked them to bear that in mind when they came to consider what should be the actual celebration. The Town Clerk suggested that the children of the town should have some entertainment. On the last occasion they had anything of the kind the children were entertained in their several schoolrooms. He moved that part of the celebration took the form of giving the school children a treat in their own schools. Mr. W. Ferguson seconded, and the motion was carried. The Mayor took it as a matter of course that an address of welcome would be presented to the Duke. Mr. J. R. Thomson In this room I suppose ? The Mayor was afraid that room was hardly sufficiently capacious for the purpose. He suggested that the Duke should be met formally somewhere; either at the station, or if he came from Saighton or Eaton at the boundary of the city, and that he should be brought to that building, or the Market Hall one, and the address presented to him in the presence of as many citi- zens as could be accommodated in the space. It seemed to him that the Market Hall was the only place where a large number of citizens could be accommodated, and it could be decor- ated for the ceremony. The Sheriff was very glad to hear the Town Clerk suggest that they should rocognise the children in the matter, and be should also like to propose that they recognise the aged poor. Mr. J. R. Thomson seconded, and it was carried. Mr. J. L. Kemp suggested that some blankets should be given to the poor. They could be given away with good justice at the present moment. The Mayor proposed that an address from the Mayor, Corporation, and citizens be presented to his Grace, and that the ceremony take place in the Market Hall. Mr. Thomas Smith seconded, and it was carried. Mr. Holmes thought some decoration of the city should be adopted, not only by private residents, but also by the committee. Mr. Cunnah added a suggestion to the effect that the school children should have a holiday on that day. The Mayor was afraid that that was out of their province, and that it was a matter for the managers. Mr. Vernon suggested that the people in the Union should be remembered at the same time. On the proposition of the Sheriff, seconded by Dr. Stolterfoth, it was decided that a sub- scription list be opened, and that the several Chester banks be asked to kindly receive sub- scriptions. In reply to a query as to the probable amount of money that would be required, The Town Clerk said basing the figures on the recent cost of entertaining the children and old folks, and taking into consideration the cost of advertising, printing, postages and so on, he thought the resolutions of that meeting would commit them to an expenditure of from 9700 to X800. The meeting concluded with a vote of thanks to the Mayor for presiding, which was accorded on the proposition of Canon Cooper Scott, seconded by Mr. Johnston. POSTPONEMENT OF THE TREATS. It was officially announced on Monday morning that it had been decided that the treats to the school children and aged poor, suggested at Thursday's meeting, shall, in deference to the wishes of the Duke's family, be postponed for the present. An illuminated address will be presented in the Market Hall on Tuesday, the 6th November, at an hour to suit the convenience of the Duke, and which has yet to be fixed. Admission to the Market Hall will be afforded to members of the Town Council, city magistrates, officials of public institutions, and a certain number, as far as can be, of the general public. It is not contem- plated to do much in the way of public decoration except that the Eastgate will be decorated and the interior of the Market Hall will be made as comfortable as can be for the occasion. In addition to this, no doubt the citizens will put out banners at their respective business premises.

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