The end of the Vice regal trip to Blanchetown in 1916: A splendid trip all round

F W Coneybeer, a wonderful host on the trip!

F W Coneybeer, a wonderful host on the trip!

continued from the Register 30 May 1916:
—The Social Side.—
The viceregal tourists dashed off in a whirl of dust, and we shoved our twin noses towards Murray Bridge. The afternoon was a lazy delight. As we splashed through the stream Nature seemed to be at rest on a luxurious lounge, and Mr. Holman, Mr. Vaughan, and Sir Elliott Lewis dreamed away the problems of State rights and railway rates and live-stock regulations in a sunny siesta on the decks. A merry hour passed away, with profit to the Red Cross Fund, by a boot cleaning competition, in which Ministers, Speaker Coneybeer (who, as a host, is worth a Government subsidy), and interstate officials against the clock, undertook to remove quantities of Blanchetown dust and mud from ladies’ footwear. Their energy was expressed in a two-guinea donation to Mrs. Vaughan for the fund in whose interest she has given so much of her time and enthusiasm. Mrs. Holman, in handing the money over, said it had been ‘extorted’ from the company, but as every cheer cost the recipient 6d. there was some prestige about the experience. The social entertainment of the journey was Mr. Blundell’s responsibility, and his art of stage management was fitted to more imposing circumstances. There were two very good concerts— one on Saturday and the other on Sunday night. The latter, of course, was thoroughly in the spirit of the day. It had to be, because the Chief Secretary threatened to stop the whole proceedings unless the programme were first submitted to him. We had the services of Mr. Robert Jones, the cultured Adelaide tenor, the elocutionary talent of the Hon. E. Lucas, the unforgettable pathos of Speaker Coneybeer’s “Lucky Jim” and heard Mr Holman’s dramatic tragedy of “Nancy bell”, Mrs Cox’s graceful vocalism and Mr E Chaplin’s vigorous selections-to say nothing at all of the pleasure he gave us in other directions, Messrs W Hobbs and P Rodda were artistic accompanists.
—Home Again.—
With the prospect of getting up in the cold dawn for breakfast, and catching the special from Murray Bridge at 7 o’clock, most of the tourists were early in their bunks on Sunday night. The morning came in a wash of pink, and a few hours later we were back in the sunshine of the city. The Marion and the Ruby kept splendidly to schedule time; in fact, they sometimes raced it. Although there was a heavy fog on the river early on Monday morning, the skippers brought the boats alongside the Murray Bridge Wharf with hours to spare. To the delights of the trip, the able and thoughtful organization of the Director of the Tourist Bureau (Mr. Victor Ryan) contributed in substantial measure. His Excellency the Governor gave a message to the Premier about him. It was to say that Mr. Ryan’s arrangements had made them all very happy, and that he had put himself out for everybody. Mr. Ryan did more than that. He put his wrist out, unfortunately, and for a time suffered considerable pain. The hospitality of the Government was in keeping with the fine scale and dignity of the social festivities throughout conference week — nothing more complimentary could be written.