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Presentation of Trophies Samuel AUSTIN & Major Kepa RANGIHIWINUI - 1877

Journal by ngairedith

the original was taken from Papers Past

WANGANUI CHRONICLE
16 March 1877


PRESENTATION OF TROPHIES

The lawn in front of the Grand Stand was selected as the most suitable locality for the presentation of the Colonial Crosses to
Major Kepa RANGIHIWINUI, N.Z.M., and Sergeant Samuel AUSTIN, late W.N.C.

Besides the Cavalry, there were present about a dozen each of the Rifle corps and the Cadets.

In the clear space on the lawn were
* His Worship the Mayor with the Lady Mayoress
* Mrs DURIE
* Mrs R. W. WOON
* the Misses LOMAX
and a number of other ladies, besides the staff officers and attendant gentlemen.

Major NOAKE having introduced Mrs WATT to the two recipients of the honors about to be conferred, the third, Thomas ADAMSON, being unavoidably absent, read over the services for which this trophy was awarded to Major KEMP (aka Rangihiwinui)

For devoted and chivalrous conduct at Moturoa, on the 7th November, 1868, when assisting the removal of the wounded when exposed to a heavy fire. or personal gallantry shown in conducting the pursuit of TITIKOWARU, (1823-1888) after their defeat at Otauto, on March 13, 1859, besides other brave actions.

Mr R. W. WOON was called upon to enumerate the following other services rendered by Major KEMP when fighting for the Queen:- The Opotiki campaign, 1865; engagement at Te Taratara, West COast, under Colonels McDONALD and WHITMORE [(1829-1903); Ngatiotemanu and Keteonetea, 1868; at Otutuku, specially distinguished himself after Colonel WHITMORE's retreat, &c., &c.

Mrs WATT in presenting the Cross said:-
MAJOR KEMP, - Having known you for many years, I have had frequent opportunities of witnessing your unwavering attachment and friendship for the Europueans of this settlement, during the many visits of war parties from the interior, who, not having much intercourse with the Europeans, created very great alarm to the unprotected inhabitants in the early days of Wanganui's colonization. But more especially during the last war have the settlers of the North Island had the benefit of your continued devotion, and most reliable assistance at the head of our Native Allies, to maintain peace and order.
It affords me very great pleasure, and I am sure it does to those around me, who have assembled here to-day to witness your decoration with this high mark of esteem and honor, which the Colonial Government has bestowed on you to mark its appreciation of the faithful and valuable services you have rendered us. I have now much pleasure in decorating you with this Colonial Cross, and I trust you will be long spared to wear this mark of distintion, and that your past services may have in a great measure secured for us peace and prosperity or the future

Major NOAKE briefly referred to the history of past troublous times, when Westmere was the outpost of our colonial army, a fact which he anticipated a good many among those around him scarcely credit. He felt he could safely judge amy future contingency by the experiences of the past, and he could confidently rely uupon Major KEMP should his services ever be required again.

Major KEMP then advanced, and Mrs WATT pinned the decoration on the left breast of his uniform, at the same time cordially shaking hands with the proud recipient of the trophy.

Major NOAKE then called for three cheers or Major KEMP, ehich were heartily given, the Volunteer Band giving a few bars of the National Anthem, and of another popular air.

SERGEANT AUSTIN was next called forward, and the record of his services read over, which showed that the Colonial Cross was awarded for gallant and distinguished conduct on January 7, 1866 (eleven years ago), when at the capture of the Putahi pa, Lieut-Colonel McDONNELL was severely wounded, and Sergeant AUSTIN carried him off the field, under a raking fire.
His fearless and heroic conduct on that occasion was witnessed by General CHUTE, (1816-1886) who bore record to other gallant services rendered during the campaign on the West Coast. Also on the 17th October, 1866, at the capture of Keteonetea, when he assisted to rescue Capain William McDONNELL, who was severely wounded, and on the point of being tomahawked by the native assailants. This service having also been performed at serious personal risk.

Mrs WATT thus addressed Sergeant AUSTIN:-
I have very great pleasure in presenting you with this Cross as a reward for your bravery in the field of battle, more especially as the services you rendered in rescuing your wounded officers from falling into the hands of the rebel natives, are at all times to be most highly commended. The fact of your doing so showed a most noble and praiseworthy regard for the lives of your comrades, and that you were more anxious to rescue them than careful for your own personal safety. Services of this kind have at all times been highly praised by those who regard aright acts of self-sacrificing gallantry.

Mrs WATT then affixed the decoration in the same manner to Sergt. AUSTIN's clothing, and impressively shook hands with the recipient of the honor, with the mark of which she had just decorated him

Three cheers were them lustily given for Sergt. AUSTIN, the Band assisting to enhance the effect of the demonstration.

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on 2011-07-19 23:24:54

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