THE STATE CONVENTION.
The Sixth Annual Convention of the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York was held at Canandaigua August 19, 20 and 21. It was the most numerously attended Convention of any held by the Association, there being 104 delegates present, the membership having increased to include nearly 200 companies belonging to Fire Departments. There were also present many visiting Firemen, who came to attend the Convention and participate in the parade of the Canandaigua Department that occurred on the last day of the Convention. From first to last, the proceedings were conducted in a most orderly manner, and were characterized by intelligence and ability. Indeed, it was remarked by strangers that a finer or more intelligent appearing body of delegates was seldom assembled in the State.
We present in another column of THE JOURNAL a full report of the Convention. It will be seen that a great variety of topics was presented for consideration, and that the general business was of an interesting character. The reports of the several committees on the topics assigned to them are generally quite brief. While it is to be regretted that che reports were not fuller and the debates upon the topics more general, it is one of the difficulties that are presented by the character of the organization. Owing to the fact that it is never possible to tell in advance who are to constitute the delegations from the different Departments, the assignment of topics cannot be made until the Convention has assembled. As the regular business must 1 hen be attended to, and the social requirements of such gatherings observed, the committees find little time to prepare their reports. If some way could be devised for assigning the topics some weeks previous to the assembling of the Convention, more elaborate reports would, undoubtedly, be obtained. It will be noted that an attempt was made to overcome this difficulty, by assigning five topics to as many representatives, to be reported upon at the Convention next year. * As the gentlemen designated expressed a willingness to prepare essays upon the subjects, the prospect is that at least five topics will be treated with care and deliberation. This is a plan that can be followed to advantage in the future and so enlarged upon that each Department, through its representative, will have an opportunity to fully present some topic, the discussion of which in their quarters has interested them.
In its selection of officers for the ensuing year the Convention was fortunate. W. S. Newman, of Avon, a prominent young lawyer of that place, who is actively identified with the Fire Service, succeeds to the Presidency, the Vice-Presidents are gentlemen and active Firemen, who are devoted to the welfare of the Association, the Executive Committee consists of live, active men, while the Recording and Corresponding Secretaries and Treasurer are the same gentlemen who have performed the duties of these several positions during the past few years. We were among those who thought that Chief Crane, of Canandaigua, First Vice-President of the Association, should have been elevated to the Presidency, for which position he is eminently well qualified, both by experience and ability. He has labored faithfully for the welfare of the Association, and is deserving of any honors that body has it in its power to bestow. But Chief Crane declined the position last year at Ithaca, and there were many delegates who did not know that he was to be a candidate, especially as his natural modesty prevented his alluding to the possibility of his candidacy. This being the situation, Mr. Newman’s friends proposed his name, and he was elected. We have confidence that the new President will be an active, zealous and efficient officer, and will devote his acknowledged ability to promoting the success of the Association. We are also confident that had he known Chief Crane was to be a candidate he would have withdrawn from the field. While our preferences, as were those of many others, wenfor Chief Crane, it was not because of any feeling against Mr. Newman, but simply that we believed his contestant fairly entitled to the position. In making this explanation, we express the sentiments of a number of delegates who desired that wc should do so. But, the Convention having made its choice, we congratula’e it upon having elected so worthy a presiding officer, and beg to assure him, and the members of the Association, that THE JOURNAL, as its official paper, will in the future, as it has in the past, devote itself earnestly to the objects for the promotion of which the Association was formed, and will heartily co-operate with the officers in their efforts to secure its success.
The parade of the Canandaigua Department on the last day of the Convention, in which numerous companies participated, was one of the most imposing pageants the Firemen of the western part of the State ever engaged in. Twenty thousand or more people from the adjacent country and neighboring towns filled the streets of the little village from morning till night, and gazed with admiration upon the long column of Firemen and their apparatus as they filed past in excellent order. As to the Firemen themselves, it was a pleasure to behold the improvement effected in their appearance by the attention paid in the last few years to “dress, drill and discipline.” The best of order prevailed in the ranks throughout the entire march, notwithstanding the extreme heat of the day, and the dust that pervaded some of the streets. The marching of the men was excellent, and some of the companies executed some evolutions which drew forth abundant appl ,usc from the spectators who lined the streets. If the citizens of Canandaigua had exerted themselves to do honor to the Firemen, (he Firemen certainly showed that they were worthy of the best efforts of the citizens.
As to the welcome bestowed upon the delegates and visiting Firemen by the citizens of Canandaigua and the Fire Department, nothing could exceed its heartiness and cordiality. The city was profusely decorated, arches of evergreens and flowers spanning the streets at frequent intervals, mottoes of welcome greeting the eye at every turn, while residences and business houses were decorated with evergreens, flowers, flags, emblems and mottoes. As the procession passed along the streets ladies and gentlemen thronged the front of their residences, and waved their greetings with flags and handkerchiefs. During the three days that Canandaigua was occupied by invading Firemen they were the recipients of every courtesy at the hands of its citizens. Taken altogether, the occasion of the sixth annual convention of the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York was one long to be remembered by those who were present, and augurs well for the future prosperity of the Association.
—The Minneapolis, Minn., Common Council has empowered the Foreman of each Fire Company with police power at fires. Chief Brackett has been granted two weeks’ leave of absence, so that he can attend the National Convention of Fire Engineers at Washington, September 9,