Tumut, The Imperial Bushmen Contingent
Adelong and Tumut Express and Tumbarumba Post
20 April 1900
Send-off to the Tumut Members.
On Saturday last there arrived at Tumut five of the local representatives in the Imperial Bushmen's Contingent which sails for South Africa on Monday next. There were Messrs. H. H. and W. Shelley, E. B. Byrne, W. J. Hoad, and H. Reardon.
They were visiting Tumut for the purpose of bidding good-bye to their parents, relatives, and friends prior to their departure from Sydney.
Though their intended visit was not very widely known prior to the arrival of the Gundagai coach, the rattle of that vehicle as it was driven to the Post-office was a signal for a general welcome by the residents.
On Monday morning the formal leave-taking took place. It was one of the greatest events that has ever occurred in Tumut.
The brass band, driven in a 6-horse coach, paraded the town about 10 o'clock, playing suitable airs, and about 11 o'clock the assembled crowd made its way to the hall their to glorify our "Soldiers of the Queen." There were fully 300 persons present, including a large number of ladies. The greatest enthusiasm prevailed.
Dr. Mason occupied the chair. The following comprised the toast list; “The Queen,” proposed by the chair man; "Our Boys", by Mr. E. Madden; "The Boys already at the Front," by Mr. R. A. Newman; "The Parents of our Departing Boys," by Mr. Emanuel, responded to by Messrs. R. M. Shelly and G. S. Byrne, and Mr. J. H. Hoad for Mrs. Hoad. During the proceedings Mr. J. McLean sang "Soldiers of the Queen," Mr. W. Howitt. "Sons of the Sea," and Mr. W. Hoad' ''When the Sun Goes Down."
After the honouring of the toasts the company left the hall, and the "Departing Boys" (Messrs. Hector and Walter Shelley, Frederick Byrne and William Hoad) were carried shoulder high around the town until the time for the coach to leave, when, after numerous hand shakings, the assemblage lustily cheered the men as the coach moved off.
On Tuesday morning the friends of Mr. Harry Reardon, the fifth Tumut representative in the Imperial Bushman’s Contingent, who missed the Coach on the previous day, he having to ride from Batlow, met at the Royal Hotel and bade him farewell over a glass of wine.
He also took his departure amidst cheers.