Lessons from the Halifax Exhibition

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Lessons from the Halifax Exhibition
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LESSONS FROM THE HALIFAX EXHIBITION. We are not yet in a position to say how the Dominion Exhibition, now about to close at Halifax, will turn out financially. We trust that the results will be satisfactory in that important particular, at least. In other respects, while the Exhibition presents many gratifying features, to which we shall refer more fully on another occasion, and which are being daily noticed by our correspondent on the spot, it does not come up to what a Dominion Exhibit should be. In horses and cattle, if not in sheep and pigs, there is a grand display. In fruit and flowers the exhibits are magnificent, as in farm produce they are good. But in the mechanical, manufacturing and general industrial exhibits, and in Art, which is almost ignored, the great show is not what it ought to be. There has not been enough of co-operation or enterprise, nor has it been sufficiently worked up. It requires long and persistent preparation to make such an Exhibition a complete success. It requires the early appointment of committees of practical, energetic and enthusiastic men, and the hearty assistance of the press. Naturally recalling the Exhibition which we expect will be held here in 1883, and be of a Dominion character, we feel that preparations for it cannot begin a moment too soon. We have only a period of two years in which to prepare, and a great part of that time will have to be spent in organization before any work is done. The preparations should be so complete and so perfect that the Exhibition could be formally opened on Tuesday and closed on Friday night; and everyone should be made to understand that the Exhibition could only be visited within the period embraced in those days. That announcement would bring all who would ever be likely to come. But our Exhibition of 1883 is intended to be a Loyalist Demonstration and Exhibition, as well as an industrial Exhibition. That is a vast undertaking. It involves historical and antiquarian researches and collections of a most extensive character; it requires a great deal of co-operation; it involves the writing of historical monographs, and the delivery of suitable orations and sketches, to say nothing of the fact that we propose to raise a Loyalist Trophy of some kind. There is not a day to spare for such a work as this; it cannot be started a day too soon. If we are to have this Exhibition of 1883, we ought to ask ourselves what city features we shall be able to bring under the notice of our visitors. We cannot expect to create Horticultural Gardens, like those which are now in bloom in Halifax, and which would do honor to any city. We have not the parks and vast civic territories consecrated to pleasant drives and amusements of various kinds, nor have we anything corresponding to the naval and military defences of Halifax to boast of. But St. John and its environs are picturesque; they stand near the mouth of a great river, with some sublime features. It is not out of our power to improve and extend the pleasant drives near the city, to find something, in the way of parks and pleasure grounds; we can add to our city some of the usual accompaniments of civilization, as we extend its commerce and enlarge its industries. The matter deserves the prompt and serious consideration of all public spirited citizens, and not of them only, but of the people of the whole Province, who may enter into the spirit of the Celebration and the Exposition of 1883. If we want to be successful on that occasion, we must labor to deserve success. To do so, we must begin at once; and work on with system and with energy until the work is done.