[November 23, 1912 – Auckland Star] The new King George’s Hall, a building of handsome exterior and replete internal appointments, was opened at Mount Albert this afternoon by his Excellency Lord Islington. There was a large and representative gathering, including Parliamentary representatives and several prominent citizen. Lady Islington accompanied the Governor. The ceremony passed off with much eclat.
Adjoining as it does the site of the proposed new Post Office, the new hall occupies a commanding position, and is in every way well fitted for meetings, concerts, dances, etc. Further, it is an architectural ornament to the main road of this progressive borough.
A RED LETTER EVENT.
In welcoming Lord Islington, the Mayor of Mount Albert (Mr. M. J. Coyle) said that the official opening of the building, which had been erected as a Coronation memorial, and was to be known henceforth as King George’s Hall, was certainly a red letter day in the history of the borough. (Applause.) The people of Mount Albert appreciated the Governor’s kindness in attending to open the hall and it was the united and heartfelt wish of all present that in the new sphere of life to which he was being called he would have every possible success. (Applause.)
“The erection of King George’s Hall,” continued the Mayor, “arose in the first place through the action of the late Ward Government, which granted to local bodies complying with certain conditions a £ for £ subsidy up to £250 for Coronation memorials. They had also,” he said, “to acknowledge the help given by Mr. A. M. Myers, M.P., who as Minister of Finance arranged an extension of time for securing the subsidy.
The building committee included Mr. Tonson Garlick (the enthusiastic hon. secretary), Messrs. Brookes, Bollard, Caughey, and others, while the architect was Mr. A. H. White. The contract for erection of the hall was let to Mr. H. C. Small, of Rocky Nook, the amount of his tender being £1235. The trustees were the Ho. Geo. Fowlds, Messrs. A. C. Caughey, Wm. Winstone, A. W. Page, John Astley and the Mayor and Councillor T. B. Clay. The Management Committee consist of: Messrs. B. Bollard (chairman) A. T. Garlick (hon. secretary), J. W. Brookes, (treasurer), G. M. Fowlds, and A. E. Wilcox.
For financial reasons, the Mayor said, the original proposals had to be modified, but when funds permitted it was hoped to make an extension in the direction indicated. At present a debt of about £400 remained on the Hall, but the Trustees expected that this would be considerably reduced in the near future, and with a view to helping in this direction intend to circulate subscription cards, which would provide for the spreading of donations over a definite period, thus enabling those who have already given to supplement their donations at their convenience.
The site was leasehold, having been secured from the Railway Department at a peppercorn rental, Messrs Nicholson and Gribbin has acted as honorary solicitors. Thanks were due to them and also to Mr. John Bollard, M.P. for Eden, and to the Hon. George Fowlds. In conclusion, the Mayor thanked the many kind helpers who had so ably assisted the project.
THE OPENING CEREMONY.
Lord Islington thanked the Mayor for the expression of good wishes for his future welfare. He was pleased to have been able to go to Mount Albert, prior to his departure, for the purpose of declaring the fine new hall open, and he hoped that it would serve a purpose of extensive usefulness. His Excellency was very warmly received, and at the conclusion of his speech was heartily applauded.
A LITERARY HOME.
In proposing a vote of thanks to his Excellency, the Hon. George Fowlds remarked that the ceremony meant the realisation of an ideal which he had entertained for many years, namely, the securing of a home for the Young People’s Literary and Debating Society of Mt.Albert. This society had the longest uninterrupted record of successful work in the Auckland district, and its influence was evidenced by the large number of men now occupying public positions who had derived benefit from it in years gone by. He felt sure that as a result of the facilities which the new hall would offer to the society that body would do increasingly useful work.