Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Grand Winter Ball At Chiltern, 1860

Star Theatre, Conness St. Chiltern, 1973. J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria.

THE GRAND WINTER BALL AT CHILTERN.-This event, which excited so much emulation among the fair daughters of our community, came off on Thursday evening last in the Star Theatre, Chiltern. The spacious room was tastefully decorated with evergreens and blossoms arranged so that the colours relieved each other admirably, and imparted a most pleasing effect. The stage was tranferred into a refreshment saloon, the entrance to it being up a few steps and under a triumphant arch constructed with evident pains and good taste; immediately over the archway were blended the British and American colours, the floor was covered with rich carpetting, and easy seats were provided ; altogether the saloon looked elegant and inviting. Dancing commenced about ten o'clock;   the orchestra, which was placed at the opposite end of the room from the stage, consisted of Mr. Austin Saqui, piano; Mr. Griffiths, violin; Jenkins, the celebrated drummer, and part of the brass band from Butler's Eagle Hotel, a triangle was also added, and it was admitted that the music was altogether unexceptionable. About 250 ladies and  gentlemen were present and an animating scene it was. Such a brilliant assemblage of the fair never before graced a hall in this part of the district. The supper, which was prepared under the immediate superintendence of Mr. Graff, comprised every delicacy of the season, prepared and served, up in a style which would do credit to Mr. Soyer himself. The Billiard- room was devoted to the supper, about 100 were seated at a time, the tables being replenished plentifully for each relay of guests, and everyone seemed highly delighted with everything and everybody around. The liquids were of excellent quality, none of your spurious brands, but the genuine article in its sparkling purity. The ready attention paid by the waiters to everyone at the table, is also worthy of note. Altogether it was a most successful affair. It is due to the Stewards to add that the evening passed without, a single occurrence to mar the general happiness and enjoyment of the assembly. The only complaint we have heard in reference to the ball is that of a colored gentleman, who was induced to spend £15 on a ball-dress for a lady, and £12 in a dress for himself, before he ascertained  that the stewards had discretionary power and would not admit him. The lady, of course, found another cavalier and sported the dress to advantage. We must add, in conclusion, that   Messrs. Kidd and Werthiem's spirited conduct in getting up the ball on such   a liberal scale well merited the approbation and support accorded them on the occasion. 

LOCAL INTELLIGENCE. (1860, August 18). Ovens and Murray Advertiser (Beechworth, Vic. : 1857 - 1918), p. 2. Retrieved October 10, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article112915423

The Star Theatre still stands in Chiltern.

Austin Saqui was a pianist and band leader, active in Beechworth from 1855, according to Austral Harmony.   He later became a bookmaker and racehorse owner.

Jenkins, the celebrated drummer, may have been the sax-tuba player from an earlier ensemble with which George played.

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