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I -TO THE RATEPAYERS. |

UNITED AUSTRALIA.-I ...-.…

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UNITED AUSTRALIA. I ? I The first and most striking landmark in the new century has been the inauguration, on New Year's Day, of the newly-made Common- wealth of Australia, an event which was celebrated with a pomp and magnificence in keeping with the historic occasion. The cere- mony of swearing in Lord Hopetoun as Governor-General was accompanied by signal manifestations of popular rejoicings through- out all the Colonies in that quarter of the globe. The whole city of Sydney, which had the honour of being the theatre of action, was superbly decorated, while a gigantic procession two miles long passed through the streets. The composition of the procession was in itself a lesson in Imperial unity, the picked troops representing Imperial, Indian, and Colonial Armies making a brave show, and eliciting from the immense throng of spectators demonstra- tions of admiration and affection. The lavish decorations in and around the city spoke of the divers rich industries with which our Australasian Colonies have for so long been identified, the mines, the wool and wheat- growing industries, commerce and shipping. One of the happiest accompaniments of the rejoicings took the form of floral arches erected by the French and American citizens of Sydney, and bearing the cordial greetings France's Welcome to Australian Federation and The United States of America greets United Australia." The formal portion of the pro- ceedings having been duly completed, two messages were read from Mr. Chamberlain, who as Colonial Secretary will long be remembered for the honourable and onerous part he has borne in the consummation of the wish for the federation of the Colonies. The first message came from the Queen, and expressed the earnest wish that, under divine Providence, the inauguration of the Common- wealth might ensure the increased prosperity and well-being of her Majesty's loyal and devoted subjects in Australia. The wish of the Sovereign awoke a cordial echo in the hearts of all present, for the attachment of her Majesty's Colonial subjects to the throne has ever been one of their strongest characteristics. If proof were required, the South African war has I furnished it in abundance. The second greeting to the new Commonwealth was from the British Government, who welcomed the Common- wealth of Australia to her place among the nations united under her Majesty's sovereignty and confidently anticipated for the new federation a future of ever- increasing prosperity and influence." The message concluded with the conviction that the federation would prove a further step in the direction of the permanent unity of the British Empire, and that the wider powers and responsibilities henceforth secured to Australia would give fresh opportunity for the display of that generous loyalty and that devotion to the throne and Empire which have always characterised the past actions of its several States. New Zealand, it is true, has not yet seen its way to join the great federation, but its absorption in the Commonwealth is, we believe, only a question of time. The presence at the State Banquet at Sydney of Mr. Seddon, the Premier of New Zealand, was an auspicious augury, and in acknowledging the sentiment that New Zealand would soon see its way clear to join the federation he spoke as if the holding 1 aloof was only of a temporary nature.

LOCAL AND GENERAL NOTES.I

MAIDEN SESSIONS AT CHESTER.

TRADES EXHIBITION AT I CHESTER.

I THE TRAMS. I -I

[No title]

ICHESTER TRAMWAYS BILL. I

LIGHTING-UP TABLE.

CHESTER CATHEDRAL.

Family Notices

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