ENFIELD MUNICIPAL ELECTION as reported in the Ashfield Advertiser Saturday 30 March 1899.
Saturday last was the first red letter day in the history of Enfield, the youngest of our suburban municipalities. On that day a concourse of 150 of the residents assembled at Enfield Hall, to witness the nominations of alderman to serve in the council of the new municipality. Among those present were Mr J T Wilshire MLA, the Mayor of Burwood [Ald. J Wright] and the council clerks of Concord and Burwood.
The Governor’s proclamation and the appointment of Mr Wilkinson as returning officer were read in accordance with the Municipalities Act. The nominations were as follows:
WEST WARD H. Cadden, G. Whiteman, H. G. Lipscomb, T. Hodson, Albert Allen
CENTRAL WARD James Eve G. Rutherford W. Foy J. C. Hickson J. T. Lawler Luke West
EAST WARD T. S. Richardson H. H. Groth G. Westbrook. The latter three were duly elected, being the number required.
Messrs Bartlett and Mackinson’s nominations were declared informal, in consequence of the signatures being all in one handwriting.
AUDITORS: R. Batchelor, J. Collins, W. Nash, T. Warren.
At the invitation of Mr Wilkinson, Mr James Eve addressed those present. In the course of his remarks he said he would be an advocate for borrowing a sum of money to be expended upon improvement of the roads of the Municipality. By improving the roads, they would improve the drainage of the streets. At present, it only required a day’s rain and the streets and roads were impassable. Their rates would be insufficient for some time, and quite inadequate for their current requirements. He would also advocate steps being taken to acquire a recreation ground for the borough; and for this purpose he would do his best to secure the block known as the ‘Tannery Ground’. [Cheers].
It was too early to make promises; but, if elected, he would do all that was possible to advance Enfield, and bring it from an unknown place to the foremost of the suburban municipalities. The other candidates also addressed the meeting advocating good roads, drainage, lighting, and other improvements.
Mr J T Wilshire MLA, in addressing the meeting, advised the aldermen when elected to first have the streets and roads surveyed and aligned, and instead of posts, use what are known as Wilshire’s alignment pins. They were of iron and much cheaper, and were not destroyable by white ants and would cause accidents to passing vehicles, as was the case with the wooden posts in many instances. He promised to do all he could for them in his capacity as one of the members for the electorate, and spoke in eulogistic terms of the present Government, stating it was his intention to create a third party – of good behaviour – in the House. [Laughter and cheers].
Cheers for the new municipality and the Queen ended the meeting, after which a number of the candidates and friends were entertained at luncheon by Mrs Eve, at which the usual toasts were given and speeches made, a vote of thanks being accorded to Mr Wilshire as chairman, and Mr Eve as host.
The election of aldermen and auditors for the newly created borough of Enfield took place on Wednesday last. Considerable interest was manifested in the event, but, strange to say, only a moderate number of votes were recorded. The contests were marked with extremely close voting in the West Ward, Messrs Lipscombe and Whiteman tieing for the third position, but ultimately Mr Lipscombe was declared elected, the returning officer, Mr T Wilkison JP, showing that he was not biased in favour of either of the candidates, did not use his privilege of naming either of them, but let the result rest with a coin which he tossed, fortune favoring Mr Lipscombe.
A controversy occurred in the earlier part of the day, as to what time the polling booth should close, a number of candidates maintaining that 5 o’clock was the proper hour. Eventually the Premier was telegraphed to, soliciting his opinion, and he replied they would be in accord with the law if the voting closed at 3 pm, which was done amid a little dissent.
The old and the amended Municipal Acts were brought into requisition, but neither of them could be found to bear out the opinion of Sir Henry Parkes.
After the result of the elections had been declared, as the invitation of Mr Eve, one of the successful candidates, about thirty gentlemen adjourned to his residence ‘La Hogue’, where refreshments were partaken of. Speeches were then the order of the evening.
The following are the results of the polling:
East Ward: Messrs Herman Henry Groth, Thomas Smith Richardson, and George Westbrook, unopposed.
Central Ward: James Eve 79, William Foy 59, Luke West 52 [elected]; John C Hickson 40, John T Lawler 46, G Rutherford 22; informal 0.
West Ward: Thomas Hodson 38, Hugh C R Cadden 33, Henry G Lipscombe 32 [elected]; George Whiteman 31, Albert Allen 28; informal 0.
Auditors: R W Bachelor 128, J Collins 68 [elected]; T Warren 54, W C Nash