The monthly meeting of the Bathurst P. P. Board on Friday was one of more than ordinary significance by reason of the fact that it was the last meeting at which a number of the present members would be in attendance. This meeting was the last meeting of the Board prior to the annual election of new directors. Several are not seeking re-election including Mr. A. Stevenson who has enjoyed an unbroken record as a Director for forty five years. Other retiring members have had experience on the Board for various terms extending up to thirty years.
At the conclusion of the Board meeting yesterday, Mr. R. C. Webb referred to the lengthy period of service rendered by the retiring directors. Mr. Webb said he could not allow the occasion to pass without referring to the proposed changes in the personnel of the Board. He understood several of the directors were not seeking re election, viz., Messrs. Stevenson, Sullivan, Boyd, and Brownlow. He thought he was voicing the opinion of the whole of the other directors in saying that the loss of those gentlemen to the Board was inestimable, in almost every case the retiring directors were men of wide and lengthy experience, and their experience had been of wonderful value to the Board. Therefore he felt that this occasion should not be allowed to pass without it being recorded on the books the great loss the Board had sustained by their retirement. His active association with the Board had only been of short duration, and he therefore felt he might be a little out of place in bringing the matter before the Board, while there were other older members present. He fell in losing the services of their old chairman they were losing a man of sterling value, one whose advice and conduct of meetings had been of wonderful value to the Board at all times. In many cases the irritation of court proceedings bad been avoided by the wonderful tact and sympathetic dealing with intricate matters by their chairman, Mr. Boyd. He knew Mr. Boyd's place was going to be very hard to fill. In another director, Mr. Brownlow, they were losing one who had a very solid knowledge of matters relating to the Board, and this was made very apparent by the logical arguments be put forward from time to time. Mr. Sullivan also had a very long experience in Board matters, he being a co-director with .Mr. Webb's late father. Mr. Sullivan had always been a fighter for what he thought was right. In Mr. Stevenson retiring, the Board had sustained a very great loss. Mr. Stevenson had been connected with the Board for a far longer period than any of the other members, his associations with the directorate dating back over forty years. He was one of the first members of the old Stock Board, and then joined the P.P. Board. His deliberations had always been characterised by fairness and honesty of purpose and far-seeing ability, which had been of inestimable value to the Board. He (Mr. Webb) felt that those men should not be allowed to retire from the Board without the appreciation of the directors and the ratepayers being recorded. In view of the retirement of any other of the present members of the Board, he would like them included also. He hoped that Mr. Wallace would be able to take his place on the new Board. From the bottom of his heart he could say that the Board would be all the poorer by the retirement of the members he had mentioned.
Mr. J. A. Wallace said he had been between two minds as to whether he would retire in favor of the other candidate from Orange. He had thought perhaps it would be also to do so, because the new candidate was a younger man and had perhaps, more experience with travelling stock. Therefore he would be better able to exercise his influence and knowledge in the interests of the stock owners of the district. However he would, in due time consider what was to be done. He thanked Mr. Webb for his kind remarks. He considered the members who were retiring would be a loss to the Board.
Mr. H. E. Brown supported Mr. Webb's remarks, and said he was sure it was the regret of the remaining members of the Board that they were losing their old associates, who were men of experlence.
Mr. J. H. Kerr (chairman) said he would speak as a ratepayer because be was not, so far, a member of the next Board. Nevertheless he thought he was in a position to speak on behalf of the Board. The retiring directors had done their work very well during the many years they had been on the Board. There was no doubt the ratepayers should be very thankful to them because they had spent a certain amount of time for which they did not get anything, and they always tried to do their best for the graziers and farmers as a whole. He was extremely sorry that so many of the old directors should be retiring, because when the new men came o to the Board there was certain to be some not conversant with Board matters. He did not intend to stand for re-election himself, because he had considerably more business to attend to than he had had for some time, and he could not put the time into his Board duties as he should do. Had he known anyone else wanted to take his place he would gladly have stood down and thus averted an election. But nobody had come forward.
It was considered better if Mr. Webb moved his motion at the meeting of the new Board. Mr. Webb said he would give notice that he would move at the next meeting a motion of appreciation of the valued services the retiring members had given to the Board.
The secretary (Mr. A. Burgess) said his association of fourteen years with the Board had been, with one exception, the most pleasant time of his life. He enjoyed his association with the members, and also enjoyed the meetings. The chairman had been particularly good and considerate. He was sorry that four of the members of the Board were leaving, but of course that could only be expected, as they all grew old in time and had to give way to younger men. However, he trusted that, although they were severing their connection with the Board, the same friendly spirit would continue in the future as was the case in the past. He also hoped that his relations with the incoming Board would be just as pleasant as they were with the retiring directors.
Mr. A. Stevenson thanked the members of the Board for the very kind remarks passed concerning him. One thing he much regretted was that they did not have their chairman, Mr. Boyd, with them that day, so they could say goodbye to him. His (Mr. Stevenson's) association with Mr. Boyd extended over very many years, and he could say that he had never associated with anyone whom he thought more of. He thanked all the members of the Board for their courtesy to him. On many occasions, perhaps, he had been a little refractory —(laughter)— but he was always actuated with the desire to give a fair deal to everybody. He had been associated with the Board for 44 or 45 years. He was elected first on the old Pastoral and Stock Board. At that time there were seven members representing the sheep owners and three directors representing large stock owners. He happened to be one of the three for large stock and Mr. Webb's late father was another member of the large stock section. The late Mr. J. C. Glasson was also a member representing the sheep section. They had many pleasant times, and also warm discussions and he contended that the Board was all the better for the exchanges of views. The Bathurst Board always had a very excellent staff. They always had a good chairman. He could name seven or eight among them being the late Mr. Henry Rotten, the late Mr. J. C. Suttor, the late Mr. Charles McPhillamy, Mr. R. Gilmour, Mr. J. J. Sullivan and Mr. C. Boyd. They had a good secretary in Mr. Burgess, who was most conscientious and methodical. Mr. Stevenson paid a warm tribute to the late Mr. Lynch, who, for a number of years, until the time of his death was the Board's Rabbit Inspector. From the little he had seen of the new inspector (Mr. Windsor) he considered the Board had made a wise choice. Mr. Windsor had started well, gave every indication of thoroughness in his work and he was pleased by his report at that meeting that he would not be severe on defaulters unless they ignored his warnings. In Mr. Gittings, the Stock Inspector, the Board had an excellent official and he was one he had the greatest regard for and placed the greatest confidence in. He thanked the ratepayers for the confidence they had reposed in him by returning him to the Board for such a long period. He thanked them one and all for the courtesy extended to him in the past. He also paid a compliment to the press and amidst some merriment remarked that "they had always given them a fair deal as far as you can expect from the press."
Mr. J. J. Sullivan, who had been a member of the Board for between thirty and forty years also thanked his fellow-directors for their kind remarks and complimented the Board on its staff of officers.
The Chairman (Mr. J. H. Kerr) said he had been requested on behalf of Messrs. C. Boyd and A. J. Brownlow to convey to the directors their appreciation of the great kindness shown them by their fellow directors. Mr. Boyd regretted very much that on account of illness he was unable to be with them and expressed the hope that the same kindly feeling would continue among the members of the Board as had been the case in the past. Mr. Brownlow bad written expressing regret that he was unable to be present, and stating that now he had retired from his long connection with the Board as a Director he wished to express his deepest thanks to the directors and staff for the kindness and courtesy shown him during his long term.