4 THE WEEKLY MERCURY
LOCAL AND GENERAL NEWS
We are informed, that owing to the atmospheric storm raging on Friday in several parts of the island, telegraphic communication has been almost suspended between Napier and Wellington. At Porangahau, one of the fiercest gales ever known in that district was being felt on Firday [Friday]. At Ohinemutu, trees were torn from their roots and property being injured, while, strange to say, a perfect calm reigned at Taupo. The earthquake felt in Napier on Thursday at about 8.35 was also experienced in several other parts of the island. The telegraph lines in the north were surcharged with electricity, and communication in that direction was difficult.
The total number of officers in the New Zealand Postal Department increased from 723 in 1875, to 855 in 1877, many of whom are miserably underpaid.
We understand that G. H. Swan has become the purchaser of the West Clive Hotel from Messrs Neal and Close for the sum of £1800. Mr H. O. Caulton, formerly proprietor of the Masonic Hotel, Napier, has, we believe, become landlord of the Hotel, and will take immediate possession.
A man named Henry Morgan, was brought from Waipawa by train last week, and afterwards lodged in the gaol. He has been sentenced by the Waipawa Bench to one month’s imprisonment, for using obscene language, and assaulting the police.
We notice that several journals in the colony – notably the New Zealand Sun – of Christchurch, reprints extracts from the letters of our Wellington Parliamentary correspondent, without the slightest acknowledgement and passes the information off as their own. This kind of journalistic pilfering is extremely unfair, and we hope our calling attention to it will be the means of having it rectified.
It gives us pleasure to state that the New Zealand Government, and the Cable Companies in connection with India have intimated to the Indian Famine Relief Fund Committee that all telegrams in which remittances are forwarded to Madras for the relief of the famine will be sent free of cost. This is a concession on the part of the Government and companies which cannot but be appreciated, as it will enable subscriptions to be forwarded at once, and at a time when most needed.
It will be noticed that Mr H. Monteith Commission Agent, at Waipukurau, has taken out an Auctioneer’s license, and we understand will hold his first sale in about a week. This will make four auctioneers in the Waipawa County.
The Wanganui Chronicle, in a recent issue, in an article on the Indian Famine Relief Fund, makes the following pertinent remarks: – It will scarcely be believed that in Hawke’s Bay the Herald, actually reasons after this manner: – “We observe that the colonists of New Zealand are being requested to lend their aid in alleviating the miseries of the Indian famine. We think this would be going somewhat far afield for the exercise of charity. In India, it seems that nothing but the dread of starvation will keep the population within the limits which the country can sustain, and any efforts which are successful in preventing starvation in the meantime, lead merely to an increase of population which necessarily results in it at some later period.” What an unfeeling, calculating, selfish spirit is herein embodied. We feel that no comment of ours could adequately represent public feeling condemnatory of indulging in abstruse statistical calculations at a time when millions of people are threatened with extinction by starvation.
We are indebted to the Government for a full report of the speeches of the leader of the Opposition and the Premier delivered on Friday on the want-of-confidence debate, and we give it to our readers as fully as our space permits.
The Government have ordered from America a number of steam express engines for the Christchurch and Oamaru line of railway. They are built to travel even as those from Bristol are built to pull, and will drag a passenger train from Oamaru to Christchurch in four hours, including four stoppages.
Mr. George Ellis had a narrow escape from sudden death the other day, when driving from the Hawke’s Bay Brewery towards the White Road. Mr Ellis had just passed the Gas Works, and the horse he was driving had drawn the buggy just sufficiently on the railway to enable Mr Ellis to look up the line, the view of which had previously been hidden by the wall surrounding the Gas Company’s premises. That quick and quite accidental glance up the line which Mr Ellis then gave saved his life, and that of a friend who was with him. A few yards from him there was a train proceeding to the station, steam shut off from the engine, running rapidly down the incline. It was impossible for the engine driver to see the obstruction as it was for Mr Ellis to have seen the train, till the wall of the Gas Works had been passed, and the buggy fairly on the line. There was no time to whistle an alarm; a frightened cry was all that the driver of the engine could make, and the train rushed passed, just as, with a violent effort, Mr Ellis reined back his horse, the carriages passing within a foot of his nose.
On Friday, in the Legislative Council, the debate of the management of the Te Aute estate was resumed. Mr Buckley urged as an amendment to the motion for the adoption of the report of the Committee, that it would be desirable the estate should be let by public tender. This amendment was finally withdrawn, and the report of the Committee, which has already been published in the MERCURY, was adopted.
By the overland mail to Wellington on Monday, there was forwarded to the care of Mr F. Sutton, the member for Napier, a petition to the General Assembly, praying that a sum of money be voted for the erection of the Port Ahuriri bridge. This petition has no less than 900 names attached to it; another petition from the inhabitants of the Western Spit, Petane, and surrounding districts has already 200 signatures, and will be despatched at an early date.
We have been shown by the architect, Mr T. R. Cooper, the plan of a building proposed to be erected by Messrs. Robjohn [Robjohns] and Co., for the accommodation of the Union Club. The building is to be erected at the back of the Masonic Hotel, having frontages to Tennyson-street, and the Marine Parade, and will contain a large billiard room, reading-room, two parlors, bar, lavatory, &c., and bed-rooms, which will be at the option of the Club to include if so desired. The Club-house will be entirely separate from the Hotel, and the rent, we understand, will be extremely moderate.
Our attention has been called to some excellent samples of butter from the dairy of Mr. Collins, of Hastings, who obtained an extra prize for his exhibit at the Agricultural and Pastoral Show. The butter is made up artistically in the shape of fringed pieces of coral, and is on view at Messrs. Manoy and Co’s.
The subject of the Rev. Charles Clark’s lecture, on Friday, was “Westminster Abbey,” which attracted another crowded audience. In dwelling on this grand ecclesiastical pile, Mr. Clark exhibited to the full his great powers as a lecturer, the retentiveness of his memeory [memory] being little short of marvellous. In a rapid and masterly manner, he placed before his audience all that was interesting of the Abbey, and in a most attractive form, sketched its association with the stirring events of England’s history from the time of Edward the Confessor to the burials of Charles Dickens, and the wife of Dean Stanley.
J. Grubb Esq., the Chief Postmaster request us to acknowledge on his behalf the sum of £40 7s from Mr Wright, the station master at Hastings, who has collected this sum for the Indian Famine Relief Fund. The money will be placed in the Union Bank on Monday. Mr Wright’s exertions for such a cause are worthy of commendation.
The Inspector of Post Offices, Mr. Rose, arrived in Napier from Tauranga last week.
The following is the list of Subscriptions received since the meeting on Tuesday evening for the Indian Famine Fund; – Messrs H. Rudman, 10s; H. R. Holder, £2 2s; J. G. Kinross, £20; H. Cable, £10; T. F. Poole, £5; A. St. Hill, £5; Large and Townley, £2 2s; T. Morrison (watchmaker), £1; S. E. Cooper, £1; W. I. Spencer, £3 3s; E. F. Rich, £2 2s; R. Foster, £5; W. Common, £5; T. Foreman, £2 10s; R. Nolan, £1 1s; F. Shanly, 10s; Kelmsley, 10s; H. S. Tiffen, £20; Stuart and Co., £5 5s: T. R. Cooper, £5 5s; James Anderson, £10; K. J. Hill, £3 3s; Mrs L. Williams, £1; Mrs Rochefort, sen., £1; Mrs Wilkinson, £1; A. Child, 2s 6d; J. T. Tylee, £1; C.H. Weber, £1 1s; Mrs H.O. Caulton, 2s 6d; C.B. Hoadley, £1 1s; J. H. Vautier, £2 2s; Robjohn, Irvine and Co., £5 5s; G. Becker, £1; J. Begg, £1; G. Faulknor, £1; G. E. Sainsbury, £1 1s; W. R. Blythe, £2 2s; J. W. Craig, £1 1s; Servants Criterion Hotel, £2 15s; E. W., Knowles, £5; M. R. Miller, £5 5s; G. Close, sen., £1; Employees on Colonel Whitmore’s Grange Estate, £7 10s; H. A. Banner, £5.
At Messrs. Routledge, Kennedy and Co.’s sale of apples on Saturday, Hobart Town apples realised 4 ½ d per lb.
In our Parliamentary telegrams last week, it was stated that Captain Russell had asked the Postmaster-General a question as to the payment of interest for loans obtained from the Government Insurance Department. The question arose in this manner. A settler who resides in the Meanee district borrowed a sum on his policy in Napier, and tendered the amount of interest, about 7s to Mr Grubb. The latter gentleman, however, would not take it, and the borrower found he would have to forward the interest monthly to the head office at Wellington. This necessitated him having to purchase on every occasion he desired to remit money, a Post Office Order and a stamp, costing in all 7d, with out adding on to the amount borrowed. He complained to Captain Russell, who brought the matter before the Government in the House, but the new Postmaster-General, influenced of course by the Government Insurance Office at Wellington, declined to allow the office here to receive the money. It appears a strange course of procedure, and strong evidence of the red-tapeism which distinguishes our Government that an insurer can borrow in Napier from the local office, but must forward the interest on the amount borrowed to Wellington.
In the belief that it might follow rather too closely on the heels of the Rev. Charles Clark’s farewell lectures on Wednesday and Thursday (“Thackeray” and the “Tower of London,”) the promoters of the amateur concert in aid of the Indian Famine Relief Fund have agreed to postpone the entertainment till Tuesday next.
Our readers will remember a paragraph in one of our recent issues, in which we called attention to a lamb born at Rissington with seven legs, &c., and which was afterwards on view at Mr. Hooper’s shop. Mr. Hooper intended to skin the animal and stuff it for show, but one evening, having left it in the back-yard, some canine animals walked off with the curiosity. The person who gave the lamb in Mr. Hooper’s keeping has sued him for £10, the value thereof, and the case is to be heard on Thursday next, when the public will hear the fatal ending of the “seven-legged lamb.”
There was a densely packed congregation on Sunday at Trinity Church, when the Rev. Charles Clark preached a special sermon in aid of the Indian Famine Relief Fund. The text was taken from Isaiah, 33rd chapter, 16 and 17th verses. The rev. gentleman first drew a comparison between the morality of the pagan and that of the Christian, and though he did not dispute that the one might be equal to the other, the cause, the object, and the effect were different. Mr. Clark then gave a forcible lesson in the duties of a Christian, and pointed out that it was not in reading pious works to the neglect of domestic business that piety showed itself, but in doing with one’s might that which it was each man’s duty to perform. The privileges and rewards of a Christian were then eloquently reviewed, and a touching appeal was made on behalf of the inhabitants of Southern India, whose cry for help, wafted across the ocean, addressed itself to every Christian heart. The collection on the conclusion of the sermon amounted to £53 4/.
The Cricket match between the Napier and Taradale Clubs came off on Saturday at Taradale. It was a closely contested match, the Taradale Club winning by one run.
Mr Coward reports that at his produce sale on Wednesday, beacon [bacon] realised 7 ½d, cheese 8 ½d, and maize 5d per bushel. A lot of sundries brought good prices. On Saturday there was a large attendance at the cattle sale. Owing to the bad weather, a large mob of young cattle were not brought down, and as they were running in the bush, it was impossible to get at them. The average prices realized were as follows: – Cows from £5 10 to £8; steers, three year old, £6 15s; hacks and unbroken horses from £5 to £8 10s; draught horses from £12 to £15.
The Wellington Argus says; – “Mr Rees, M.H.R., leaves for Dunedin by the first steamer, to take the defence of Mr Jones, charged with libel against Mr Whitaker.
As, according to the law of Christian Charity, “it is more blessed to give than to receive,” it must be a source of satisfaction to the Rev. Charles Clark, who must be making a fortune by his lectures, to know that in two Sundays by his sermons in Wellington and Napier, he has been the means of over £130 being collected for the Indian Famine Relief Fund.
Our Waipawa correspondent writes under date of Saturday: – “This morning, at 10 a.m., a circumstance occurred that might have resulted in a most serious accident. Messrs. Devery and Sutton, of Te Aute and Kaikora, supply several of the inhabitants with meat, and consequently have to call round on certain days of the week. This morning, whilst delivering meat at Fletcher’s hotel, Devery left his horses. They began to move on quietly, and by degrees got into a gallop, coming down the road at a furious rate. Fortunately, they were brought to a stand at the verandah in front of the premises occupied by Mr. Coward, auctioneer. The corner post of the verandah was carried away. The horses were uninjured, and the cart but slightly damaged.”
The Wananga of Saturday announces that, owing to the demise of the Waka Maori, it is intended by the proprietors to considerably add to the size of their publication.
The cricket match, Star v. Press, which came off on Saturday last at Taradale proved a victory for the Star Club, the Press scoring 100 runs, and their opponents 102 runs, with three wickets to fall.
We are glad to report that the takings at the Relief Fund Committee’s stand on Saturday night amounted to £52 3s 9d. This sum included the following donations: – Mrs Bowman, £3; Miss Gascoigne, £1; Messrs Fletcher, £1; J. W. Carlile, £2 2s; G. Bee, £1; R. C. Harding, £1 1s; A. Scorgie, 10s; T. G. Evans, £1 1s; W. Carnell, £1; J. Ashton, sen., £1; John Ashton, 10s; Corbin, 10s; John Chicken, 10s; G. Chicken, 10s; H. Renouf, 10s; Willis, 10s; Oatley, 10s; E. Cook, £1 1s; T. Fox, 10s, E. Collins, £5 5s; Gribble, 10s; Lennie, 10s; Swan, £3 3s; Gilberd and Co., £2 2s; H. Kraeft, 10s; C. Palmer, £1; H. Taylor, 10s; McMahon, £1; W. W. Carlile, £1; L. L. Margoliouth, £1; Mann, £2 2s; W. H. Flood, 10s; R. Price, £1; R. G. Gibbons, £1; A. Manoy, £1 1s.
Says the N.Z. Times: – “An enterprising country storekeeper, Mr William Smith, of Otaki, has just prepared a piece of ground for a rice plantation, and expects to be able to supply this valuable article of domestic consumption of a good quality and at a cheaper rate than it can be imported. If he is successful others will no doubt follow his example, and a new industry of considerable importance may spring up. Mr Smith has succeeded well in the growth of pea nuts, of which he has now a luxuriant crop growing on this land.”
The offertory at Trinity Church on Sunday on behalf of the Indian Famine Relief Fund, amounted to £53 15s 2d. The following is an analysis of the collection: – Cheques: Mr. Rhodes, £5; H. Williams, £2 2s; J. LeQuesne, £2 2s; W. H. Sturm, £1; Mr. Knight, 10s. Notes and gold, £7; silver, &c., £36 1s 2d. It will be seen from the above that a considerable sum was raised by this means, which it is probable would not have been raised in any other shape.
A London correspondent writes: – I never heard that the Duchess of Edinburgh was “obliged” to leave England. That she did not like England and that the English did not like her, are two facts which help to explain each other. But the trouble in her case was that Russian and English notions of good breeding do not harmonise. The thing that tormented her Royal and Imperial Highness most was the degree of social intimacy – amounting almost to equality – prevailing between the Royal Family of England and the nobility of England. In Russia it is far otherwise; and when the daughter of the Czar found that she could not snub the great country nobles without provoking reprisals, her residence in England ceased to be agreeable to her.
At the public meeting held in the school-house at Hastings last Friday evening, to take into consideration the best means to be adopted to raise subscriptions for the Indian Famine Relief Fund, the following amounts were collected in the room: – Captain Russell, £10; A. and W. Birch, £10; J.N. Williams, £10; R. Wellwood, £5; F.M. Chapman, £5; W. Marshall, £3; W. Vickers, £1; D. Wright, £1; J. Freemantle, 10s; W. O. Davis, 10s; J. Scullion, 10s 6d. A committee, consisting of Captain Russell, Messrs Birch, Wellwood, Wright, and Chapman, was appointed to canvass the district.
It is stated that Sir James Fergusson is to succeed Lord Dufferin as Governor-General of Canada.