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|Auckland Star, 3rd August 1945|
FAREWELL DANCE SEQUEL, SEIZED LIQUOR RETURNED
O.C. KAIKOHE, this day.
"This is not the type of public dance aimed at in the Statute," declared Mr. W. C. Harley, S.M., in the Magistrates Court in dismissing informations against William Roy Arnold, charged that, having control or management of a dance in the Waipapa Hall, he permitted liquor to be taken into or consumed in the hall; William Duncan Skipper, charged with having supplied liquor to persons in the hall; and Mrs. Cora Tyree, charged with having liquor in her possession or control in the hall.
The charges arose out of a visit by constables to a farewell dance for a young resident of Waipapa (near Kerikeri), who was about to leave on active service.
Constable J. F. Frain said the police view was that it was a public dance and it was an offence to have liquor at all public dances, with the exception of wedding, birthday and coming-of-age functions.
Asked how these exceptions came to be made, witness said it was a police instruction. Mr. Harley: I cannot take notice of that. The police do not make the laws of this country. Mr. J. D; Gerard, for the defence, said if the police view were taken private parties would go by the board altogether. Mr. Harley said the little halls scattered round the country were the only central gathering places for the people in pursuit of mutual social enjoyment. He understood a public dance to mean a function at which travellers, sports teams and others could put down their money at the door the same as the local people.
The magistrate referred to cases within his own knowledge of contributions having been made towards the cost of the beer and the party was still essentially private. In this case he believed the contributions were made largely for the direct benefit of the soldier being farewelled. In regard to invitations it was reasonable to say that there was a committee of five or six hostesses, each of whom invited people to the function.
In conclusion he held as a fact that this had not been a public dance at which admissions were charged. A confiscated five-gallon keg of beer was restored immediately after the case.
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