THE WEEKLY MERCURY 5
G. .E. Sainsbury, Esq., barrister, has been appointed the Commissioner before whom the evidence shall be taken at Napier in the case Russell v. the Waka Maori, for libel. The Commission was opened on Thursday. Some forty natives are in town with the object of giving their evidence. Dr Buller, C.M.G., and Mr Allen, of Wellington, have been retained for the defence, and arrived at Napier overland on Tuesday. Messrs Bell and J. N. Wilson, are for the plaintiff. The evidence will be heard with closed doors, no reporters being permitted to be present.
In an account given of the special meeting of the Wairoa County Council, it is reported that Mr Parker proposed, and Mr Flint seconded the adoption of the following as one of the bye-laws of that the Council;- “If any person shall permit the surface of any public road or thoroughfare throughout the County to be displaced or destroyed by the pigs, he shall forfeit and pay a sum not exceeding £5 (five pounds).” The clause as reported was adopted. Accordingly, therefore, to this bye-law, should the pigs of the county destroy the surface of any public road or thoroughfare, any person in the County will be liable to forfeit £5. Oh! Wise and sapient legislators?
There was a meeting of the Napier Municipal Council on Monday, the principal business at which was to consider certain bye-laws relating to hawkers, closets, and hackney-carriages. These will be published in the DAILY TELEGRAPH in the course of a day or two. On the recommendation of the Public Works Committee, it was resolved that tenders be called for opening trenches for the water pipes; for carting for the year ending June 30 1878; for the removal of nightsoil, &c. With reference to the Municipal Conference to be held at Wellington at the instigation of the Christchurch Municipality, on the motion of Cr. Lee, it was agreed that a reply be sent stating that, after mature consideration, the Council were of the opinion no beneficial result would follow from sending a delegate to the Conference. In reply to Cr. Swan, His Worship stated that he would suggest to the Engineer the desirability of instructing the contractors for the reclamation works to proceed with the formation of Raffles-street without delay. The Council then adjourned.
On Monday, Mr John Harding gave his promised lecture, in Trinity Church, on “What I saw at Naples, Vesuvius, and Pompeii.” The Rev. J. Berry occupied the chair, and introduced Mr Harding to the audience. Mr Harding then gave a description of Rome and its viaducts; of his journey from the Eternal City, describing as he went along the beauties of the scenery, and the wonders to be seen. When at Naples he visited Mount Vesuvius, ascended the burning mountain, and brought back with him lava and other curiosities from the mouth of the world-renowned crater. The lecturer, after describing the city of Naples, took his listeners with him to the ruins of Pompeii, where he described that ancient city as it is to be seen now after being buried in ashes from the year 79 until it was restored. Mr Harding also gave the audience a peep into Herculaneum, but not having visited these ruins, he was unable to give such a minute description of this old burrowed city as of Pompeii. The lecture was listened to throughout with great interest, and at its conclusion, Mr. Harding exhibited photographs of the ruins of Pompeii which he had purchased at the gate of the old city, and various curiosities, all obtained at Naples, Pompeii, and Mount Vesuvius. Mr. Pulford moved a vote of thanks to the lecturer for the high intellectual treat he had afforded the audience. The motion was duly seconded by Mr. M. R. Miller, and carried with acclamation. Mr Harding stated his willingness to again visit Napier, an offer which was received with cheers. The Rev. Mr. Berry previous to vacating the chair expressed a wish that the beautiful and interesting photographs shown by Mr. Harding, might be so taken as to be exhibited by lime-light after the manner Mr. Severn exhibited his photographs in the Oddfellows’ Hall. Mr. Harding’s account of his travels, were not only highly instructive but amusing, and we only hope he will redeem his promise by giving the public a further account of what he saw during his absence from his adopted home and country.
On Friday night last a shark measuring about eight feet was taken by the fisherman plying their avocation on the Ngaruroro river. The creature made sad havoc of their nets, but was ultimately safely brought to shore, where during Saturday it was visited by a number of persons.
Fredrick Irvine DeLisle has been gazette Honorary Assistant surgeon in the Napier Artillery Volunteers. The Commission is dated March 22, 1877.
The Boiling-down season being close at hand, Mr. R. P. Williams at Clive is adding considerable improvements to his establishment, which when completed will enable him to carry on operations both in wool-washing and boiling-down far more expeditiously than heretofore.
A correspondent writes from the country: – “As showing the mildness of the present winter, notwithstanding the continuous frosts we have experienced of late, in many of our gardens may be seen the wattle-tree in full blossom.”
We have received two letters signed respectively “Napier,” and “Lowton,” but their length prevent our giving them insertion. We suggest to our correspondents the advisability of condensing their communication, as owing to the large amount of telegrams from all parts of the colony, we are daily in receipt of, we are obliged either to refuse insertion to such letters, or greatly curtail their dimensions, This will be more especially the case during the sittings of Parliament, which commenced last Thursday.
The balance-sheet of the Committee of the Taradale Ploughing Match, held last month, shows that there is now a balance in hand, after paying all expenses, to the amount of £16 2s 9d. We are requested by the Committee to express their thanks to Messrs Tuxford and Williams for their kindness in lending them ploughs for the match. It may be mentioned that the ploughs thus lent were used by the ploughmen who were prize-takes on the occasion.
A Hastings correspondent writes under date of Monday: – “Business is somewhat dull, and I am informed that all has been done by the Road Board towards the reclamation of the Swamp, is simply striking the annual rate and collecting the same, so that the filling in or draining of this nuisance is up to the present highly problematical. If it was commenced, it would certainly afford employment to a number of men who are now wandering up and down the country in search of work, and which would prove a benefit to the township. – I am glad to say that the Church is progressing favorably and it is anticipated that it will be ready for Divine Service within a month from this date. Some slight alterations have been made in the original plans, which are held to be a decided improvement. The exertions of the Rev. Mr Marshall are deserving of the highest modicum of praise, and it must be gratifying to him to know that his labors have not been in vain, and are appreciated by the people of Hastings. – The Skating Rink, I fear, is not as great a success as could be desired.- Mr. Somerville having added a bakery to his establishment, has found it to answer so well, that he now supplies not only the inhabitants of Hastings, but also a portion of Clive with eh staff of life.”
An assault of a cowardly character was committed on Monday on a young lad named Frank Parker, a son of Mr William Parker , in Shakespeare road. Parker was coming along the road, when he was met by a – we were nearly writing man – strapping fellow, a shoemaker, who had in his hands a boot or a pair of boots. Some words passed between the youth and the bootmaker, when the latter struck Parker twice, hitting him each time on his forehead. Parker struck out at his assailant most pluckily, and when assistance came to his aide, although beaten and bruised about, he still attempted to get the fellow into his clutched, so as to hand him over to the police, but was prevented by those who came to the scene of the scuffle, as the bootmaker was well known, and could if required be easily identified. We are aware that it is stated in the defence of the fellow who struck the youth that Parker had given his offence in the public streets some time back. Be that as it may, it was cowardly for a person grown up to the stature of manhood to wait until he met a youth in the dark on the road, and there strike him in the cowardly manner it is alleged that this assault took place. More it is to be hoped, will be heard of the matter in another place.
On Tuesday, the steam fire-engine was taken out for practice round the Battery road. On reaching a spot above the first Taradale Bridge, the hose was put under a culvert, and the tide being high there was plenty of water to test the powers of the engine. The practice was in every respect a satisfactory one, the engine throwing jets of water 100 feet high, going clean over the hill. She worked splendidly.
In the case of the Receiver of Land Revenue v. Kinross for fees due on a Crown Grant and which was heard on Saturday morning by Messrs J.A. Smith and T.K. Newton, Esquires, J.P.s, and the decision adjourned until 2 p.m. on Monday, their Worships decided to dismiss the case.
Information was received in town on Monday of the burning of the stable of Mr D.S. Hunter, at Poranagahau [ Porangahau ]. The stables were newly erected, and consisted of five stalls and two loose boxes. A quantity of harness and saddles was also consumed. We have not heard whether the property was insured.
The editor of the Wairoa paper appears to have a great contempt for the opinions uttered by the people at public meetings in that district. In one of his late issues he remarks: – “We do not advise calling any more meetings to consider this or any other subject, because we have not further wish to hear any more of the unmitigated nonsense generally talked at those assemblies.” The wit and wisdom of Wairoa, in this editor’s opinion, is all centred in his own person.
The Herald is greatly exercised over the Te Aute estate. Some days ago it reported a rumor[rumour] to the effect that the Rev. S. Williams had released the estate from the Trustees; on Saturday, our inquisitive contemporary, in a leading article, stated that the existing lease would not expire until 1st February next. In Monday’s issue the Herald says: -“It is really time that we had some utterance from the missionary party with reference to the correctness, or otherwise of the report as to the re-leasing – intended or actual – of the trust estate to the Rev. S. Williams. They may as well say what is to be said on the subject, without further delay.” One would have thought from the contradictory statements of the Herald, that too much had been said already. Our contemporary has worked itself into a state of excitement, and now calls on Mr. Williams to get it out of the mire into which it has floundered. Impertinence could scarcely go further.
The Rev. J. Berry, of Trinity Church, announced during evening service, on Sunday, that he would be happy to meet at the Wesleyan School-room, on Wednesday night, any young men who might feel disposed to form themselves into a literary class. The association need not consist solely of members of the Wesleyan persuasion or of the Trinity Church congregation. The rev gentleman was of opinion that the establishment was of some such class, or club, might be made productive of much good.
Two telegraph stations were opened on Monday, one at Coalgate and the other at Rolleston. Both places are situated in the County of Selwyn, and in the Provincial District of Canterbury.
Sergeant Robinson, the poundkeeper, officiated as auctioneer on Monday, having sold a horse which had been impounded. The animal appeared to be a good one, but the attendance not being numerous, the bidding was not spirited, and, to the chagrin of the poundkeeper, only brought 23s, while the expenses amounted to 30s. The poundkeeper wants the balance.
We notice the names of Mr. and Mrs Josiah Harding among the passengers by the City of New York, from San Francisco to Auckland. Mr. Harding is a son of Mr John Harding, Mount Vernon, and has been many years absent from New Zealand. He has been occupied for some years in Bolivia as civil engineer, having charge of the railway works connecting the valuable silver mines of that country with the coast. We do not know whether Mr Harding intends to remain and follow his profession in his native country.
The promoters of the scheme for merging the Meanee Highway District into the County are not likely to be successful in their movement. Mature reflection has reversed public opinion on the matter, and now a counter-petition to the one presented to the County Council is being numerously signed. Forty settlers who signed the first petition have since put their names to the counter one. One curious feature of the first petition is that it is signed by Mr M. Bazil who is put down as a property holder assessed at £560 value. It so happens that Mr. Bazil is not a ratepayer of the district, holding no landed property there whatever. Father Reignier, the owner of the property of which Mr. Bazil is made to appear the proprietor, has signed the counter petition. There are one or two other small irregularities in the first petition which, if it were necessary to bring to light, would disclose the peculiar method employed to get up the petition to respectable dimensions.
We understand that it is contemplated to petition the Mayor, asking His Worship to convene a public meeting in Napier at an early date to consider the Local Option Bill, which is to be introduced into the House this session of the Assembly.
Some forty ratepayers received billet-doux last week from the Resident Magistrate’s Court, containing polite invitations to meet the Magistrate on Friday morning, and shew cease why they should not pay the water-rates now overdue. Several, wise in their generation, have paid the amount into the hands of the Clerk of the Court, with the additional costs. We recommend the others to follow the same example.
The statement of the receipts and expenditure of the Meanee Road Board from December 16, 1876 to July13, 1877, laid before the ratepayers meeting on Saturday, showed the Board to be in a flourishing financial condition. The receipts had been as follows: – Cash balance at Bank, handed over by Mr. Tuke – £34 9s 1d; General Government grants in aid, 1875-76 £116 3s 3d; Rated collected, 1876-77, less cost of collection, £263 16s 2d. Total £414 9s 9d; due on contracts Nos. 2 and 4, £100 2s. Total £241 11s 9d. Expenditure, – Balance on Meanee stop-bank £5; advertising to December 30, 1876 £3 16s 9d; Bennett and Dolbel for valuation, £16 16s; Timber for culverts, £6 19s 8d; paid on account contracts£182 17s; Survey, £30, Meanee Drain, £18 3s 9d; Miscellaneous £7. Total £270 13s 2d. Assets. Bank balance £143 15s 4d; General Government subsidy 1876-77, say £325;Rates 1875-76 not collected £25; ditto, 1876-77 £80 14s 9d; County Council grant in aid to Meanee drain £10. Total, £584 10s 1d.
A correspondent under the signature of “Sugar” writes; – “I was astonished at the coolness with which Capt. Russell replied to the question put to him by an elector as to the payment of common jurors. Capt., Russell said he would not advocate the payment of working-men for loss of time when doing their duty to the public. Mr Russell drew his honorarium last session, and I have never heard that he refused to be paid as a grand juryman. I only wish that he was a working-man like myself, and was deducted four days’ pay by his master for absence, had a wife and children to support, and no wool money to fall back upon to make up on a Saturday night the deficiency. Then, perhaps, he would learn the difference between a paid grand juryman and an unpaid common juror. His remarks also about subscribing to defray the expenses of a working-man in Parliament were utter bosh, and as he well knows could not be carried out.” Other indignant remarks made by our correspondent we neither care nor dare to print.
Dr De Lisle’s lecture at the Athenaeum, on the development and culture of the brain in men and animals, was a gratifying pecuniary success. The lecture, which embraced a very wide subject, occupied in its delivery two hours and a-half. Next Tuesday, it is proposed to give a more varied entertainment, consisting of vocal and instrumental music, readings, &c.
The Hon. H. R. Russell, and S. Johnston, Esq., were nominated on Tuesday as candidates for the representation of Waipukurau in the Waipawa county Council. The poll will take place on Saturday next, and the declaration will be made on the following Monday.
All leading morning journals in the colony contained a full report of Mr. Stafford’s speech, delivered last Wednesday evening at Timaru, in their next day’s issue. The minor morning journals such as Wanganui Chronicle and Hawke’s Bay Herald, contented themselves with reprinting the abbreviated reports from their evening contemporaries.