Pars ABOUT PEOPLE
Observer, Volume XXV, Issue 14, 17 December 1904, Page 4
Pars ABOUT PEOPLE
JAMES SHERLEY, who died at Hamilton a few days ago, was
another of those conspicuous links that bound the past with the present, in this' province. For a number of years, he had been residing at Pataruru, on the Rotoruarailway,the spot where, the branch line to Lichfield once junctioned. At this place he had run successively the hotel and store, and his features and. voice, and his genial personality in general, must be known tp a large number of people .from various parts of the world. Before going to Putaruru Mr Sherley was the landlord- of the Okoroire Hot Springs Hotel, not far away, and did a great deal to increase the popularity of that delightful sanatorium. ■ <
But it was not to these days or these manners thai James Sherley really belonged, and there must have been much in the modishness and conventionality of modern life that was thoroughly distasteful to a man who had lived and flourished in the good, old-fashioned, shirt-sleeve colonial times. It was at Kangiriri, between thirty and forty years ago, that James Sherley was at home, and he kept a hostelry there of the right down genuine sort, which the weary, dusty traveller or drover was glad to reach in the gloaming, and where he found not only good entertainment for man and beast, bub a hearty welcome and plenty of honest fun. For the landlord could crack a joke and tell a story with the same facility that he could draw a foaming tankard.
There is a joke told against Sberley that has become classical. It concerns roast pork, and is worth mentioning once again. Thirty years ago pork was more plentiful at Rangiriri than beef or mutton, and wild pork of the Captain Cook variety was more plentiful than the dairy-fed sort, but the hundreds of wayfarers who passed through from Auckland and Waikato didn't know this, and it was Sherley's custom to take his seat at the head of the dining table, and, lifting the cover, exclaim, with admirably feigned delight, " What, roast pork ! Well, well, this is a treat. Gentlemen, you have struck a fortunate day," and so on. The scheme worked well for a long time, but it broke down at last of course, and then " pork " became a sort of password.
Sherley used to shy at all mention of it afterwards. Not long ago, somebody meeting Sherley at Hamilton began to praise the quality of the meat pies he had got at Putaruru. "Yes," assented Sherley, with a little conscious pride, " we have got quite a name for our pies." "No wonder," agreed the person who had paid, him the compliment ; "by the way, what do you put in them — pork ?" Sherley looked hard at his questioner, and said : " Ah, and so that old story is not dead yet, isn't it ?" Apart from this little fiction, there was bountifnl fare at Kangiriri, and no one who remembers the old place and the old days will pass through the one and recall the other without a sigh for them both. Rangiriri long since fell out of the grand route, and. lies, in a manner of speaking, stranded on the banks of the deserted river; It is now known chiefly as a centre in the duckshooting season, but when the river once again claims its natural commerce, as it no doubt will, R&ngiriri may become a place for pilgrimages. It occupies the site of one of the moßt interesting battlefields in the Island. W. H. Jude, composer of the songs, * 'Home, Boys, Home," and "The Better Land —to mention only two ' of his most popular works — and of heaps ot sacred . music, was at latest «dncea suffering from a breakdown in I.: SogUnd, the result of overwork.
"Brain collapse " is assigned as the reason for cancelling a number of engagements. Some ten years ago, Mr Jude was in vNeTfr "Zealand; and left, behind him the repojlebtion of many eccentricities. His lectures were the queerest farrago of music and semireligiona emotionalism. Sometimes he would address his aadjence as though they were so many schoolchildren, and put them through a rehearsal of the chorus of, say, " Home, Boys, Home," then a comparatively new song, telling. them, with the air of one conferring a privilege, " I want you to be my advertisers to morrow." His platform work was odd rather than impressive, but when he got on an organ stoo) Jude showed himself at his best. With the organ he was a magician.
The chief engineer at the Western Springs asks the City Council for an increase of salary, and Waterworks Engineer Catlaw says. he deserves it because he is saving £37 per million gallons for the pumping of water. This may be so, but in that case, does not Mr Carlaw prove too much ? If all this economy can be effected, ought not he or somebody else have detected the waste of coal long ago, and seen that it was checked '!
At 'last the Grey statue has been opened up, and we have yet to find anyone who is satisfied with it. Sir George Grey as he was in his later J rears, was familiar to every Auckander. But the Grey represented by the statue is another person altogether. Probably it was wise to endeavour to represent Sir George in his prime, rather thao in his old age. But the status has some obvious defects. The features have, but a small resemblance to the great statesman on whose eloquent words New Zealanders used to hang. There is nothing characteristic of the man about the pose, and the figure is of a burly build that no one associates with Sir George as Auckland knew him. Seeing that the statue will possibly, in ages to come, be taken as the standard likeness of the pro-consul, the city that he loved ought to insist upon having a memorial worthy of the man, or none at all.
Cambridge is losing old' and popular resident in A. R. Hine,*who has been for many years, identified with pastoral pursuits and sport, and specially the sport of hunting. Mr Hine was originally, so far as this Province is concerned, a cadet on the famous Patetere Estate, which was managed at one time, and largely owned, by the late F. D. Rich, and he married one of Mr Rich's daughters. Subsequently, he engaged in extensive sheep dealings, and he and his drovers have been for the past decade or so familiar figures on the Taupo-Napier road. Between whiles he kept up an ardent interest in the hunt, and at one time, when the sport threatened to fall through, he undertook the management of the hounds. It is largely owing ito
him that the pack is now flourishing. Mr Hine is one of the most genial of men, and is bound to do well in his new home, Gisborne, where he will act as agent and auctioneer for Murray Roberts and Co.
George George was one of the distinguished individuals at the floral fete on Saturday. His air of discontent made him distinguished. Truth to tell, George George was dissatisfied with the millinery, which didn't come up to what he has seen at Parisjand Berlin and Margate, and he has conceived a new sphere of usefulness for his technical schools. At present, it is provided that plumbers shall not lay drains until they have passed a technical school course and secured one of his certificates of proficiency. Why not a technical course for millinery, with certificates of proficiency from George George?
Why not, indeed ? The idea is excellent. Some of the hats and costumes at Ellerslie were anything but artis* tic, and it is the plaia duty of George George to educate the colonial ladies up to a higher standard of taste, and if millinery classes are started at' the technical schools he has the whole matter in his own hand. Even the breakfast loaf has improved in quality since George George found fault with it, so there is hope for the female fashions of Auckland even yet.
There is gloom in the inner circle of the V.M.C.A. and Little Bethel brotherhood and sisterhood because the management of the A.M.P* Society has translated C. W. Heraery from Auckland to another sphere of labour in Tasmania. - However, most people will regard Mx Hemery as an individual who never will be missed. He did not possess the faculty/ of making friends or creating kindly relations with the customers of the Society, while in commercial life or as an everyday Citizen he was practically unknown. If he made any mark in Auckland, it was chiefly as an amateur preacher, in which line of business he was by no means brilliant.
Andrew Rutherford, member for Hurunui, is being taken to task for making to himself friends in his elec • torate by means of the mammon of his honorarium. . Mr Rutherford is one of the few wealthy men on the Liberalßtdeof tlieHouße. Asoneof the Amuri Wool Kings/ his honorarium is to him a matter of indifference, and this year he is said to be distributing a large part of it among the schools; dubs and churches of the district. Of course, that may be only local patriotism and kindness of heart, but the smaller fry among members, and especially the possible candidates for Hurunui, strongly object: -!• it as setting a standard which they cannot be expected to lira up to.
J tl» spiers to,: 'Sw^Jp**^ tooSfptty on -a Jon* j-tawpfewifian who seemed, to have knows '- gettw. days, and offered -jbo % bis . fish. The lone fisherman gallantly presented her with his piscatorial treasures, as the daily papers' would phrase it, and she was horrified alter*, wards upon discovering that the - lone fisherman was an Auckland doctor -on a holiday. No names are , given, but the only doctor known to have been fishing in the neighbourhood lately is Dr CoJJins. Surely, the description cannot fit him ? ••• *+> •*• The worthy citizens who run a monthly journal in the cold tea in. terestß under the title of the Joyful News* have been anonymously yen* tilating Jtheir opinion of Mr Arthur Myers and the social claims made up* on him by the trade. Needless to - say, the srtetch is highly coloured, as all teetotal literature' circulated by these worthy citizens . necessarily is. " Uneasy lies the head that runs a brewery, says the writer of this precious production, find then he proceedsi—"A brewer's life is certainly not a happy one. He sees the end of the day getting very near, and he is on the rack all the time. •••*«•••» the necessity^, bf ing president of as many football clubs^s he has fingers, and to have to attend the intellectual feasts known as ••smoke concerts," and drink unreservedly of the beer his own firm freely supplies j to have nothing loftier on hand" on the Lord's Day than a visit to the chief cricket ground, there to mingle, with Absaloiuic demeanour, with the lads and young men loafing around; to have to become all things to all men if by any means- the absorption of beer can be promoted, would be to anybody else a burden too grievous and too humiliating to be borne." . Very sad, is it not? Evidently, Arthur Myers will have to mend his ways on the Lord's Day if he is to win the approbation of the worthy citizens who run the Joyfiil News. Why not a course of Sunday training on the stool of repentance at the Helping Hand mission? - ,
'-^y^^^^^^^o&sj^^C^a "&*tsu#. quarters iffu^ waW4"in» other jiwht, Hi & Edminalotrs - ae* count of Ms trip Home, and -Ws meeting with the Misses Bill in London, In sonierespeots the public have short memories, but there are still many people- who have not forgotten the Rev. J, & Hill, an'Angliean clergyman of the evangelical type, who wa« eonspicuousin this city some twenty years ago, and was foV some time President ■of the V. M. C. A. Eventually; Mr Hill was appointed to a missionary bishop.ricin Lagos, West Africa, where he and his wife died of fever in about twelve ■ months. Now their two daughters, Misses Edie and Susie Hill, whom Mr Edminston met at Home, have been trained for the work oi medical missionaries." «..«..«. Whispered that Joseph Howard Witheford's trip abroad may not extend further than Chicago, and that he has no thought- at the present moment of London or the flotation oi gold mines. It seems that he has other fish to fry. Nothing has been heard for some time of Sir Alfrec Cadman's company to work the irot ore deponits, though the works oughl to have been in operation by thh time, and the suspicion has beer "?» k "ft 8 gjj *" h fr g V£Th2E ! l*t °S English people left off. However l « e f^at the next few_ weeks mil bnog forth ' **" *** *** "Have you seen the jewelled pendan 1 * on Paul Hansen'a watch-chain ? He i 8 very pioud of it, and probably he has good- reason to be, because it was a spontaneous gift, from the Ponsonby tramway staff on his return from abroad. It is of phaste design, one of Adolph Kohn's masterpieces, and prominent upon it are certain foreign words which Paul proudly interprets as meaning: "I came, I saw, I conquered." A more appropriate inscription for the pendant could not have been chosen; because, in three words, it records the . history of Paul Hansen's connection with the electric tramway movement.
W. H. J. Kingston, now in Mount Eden for two yean, bad ; a great fling among the Bay of Islands Maoris until the authorities stepped in and spoiled" his g&me. Kingston went among the natives at Waitangi early in the year, telling them that he was a first-clans doctor, and talking at large about his hospital of forty beds at Whangarei, and the wonderful cures he. had effected there and elsewhere. With brazen effrontery he invited all and sundry to submit themselves bo his treatment, and undertook the examination of either men or women who responded. For' the examination and also for the medicine supplied . he changed fees. In one case lie used some kind of instrument, and, like a genuine medical man, charged a stiller fee than usual. At least he showed some of the instincts of the_p.rofesston. So far from being a qualified medical practitioner,. Kingston is quite an illiterate person. He can hardly write his own name, and when anything more in Jthe literary way was requiredj had to get outside assistance. The natives, however, had such faith in the hew, ".doctor" that eveir a Maori clergyman, who knew of his illiteracy and once acted temporarily as hie private secretary, failed to see through his -impostures. It turns out that Kingston's principal medicine was a cure-all mixture of water, Epsom salts and oascara, and that this was made up in bulk at his home and sent after him for distribution. . No doubt the credulity of the Maoris in the matter is very deplorable. But after all, are Maoris the only people who are taken in by quacks! . •*•••• ••• The possibilities of Mount Eden gaol as a place for reforming character have never been greater than at the present m6ment, surely. The fine old Puritan spirit dominates the. whole ' edifice. , pne of the warders is named " Gideon"— the sword of Gideon 1— another is "Ironsides," the very name of the great Protectors chosen troops, while the gate-keeper is. a nephew of the Cromwellian, w. J. Speight. •«• *• «•* Fred W. Mansfield, Registrar oi Electors at Wellington, to whom the Government have given a roving com* mission as a general instructor to other registrars, is an officer who has in the Jast year or two been repeatedly complimented in Parliament by members on lioth sides upon his advanced methods of roll-keeping. Mr Mans* field has, in fact, specialised. in elec* toral registration, and so remodelled the rolls of his districts that he could at anytime place them itt the han<J« of the printers for the purposes of *q
election at a day's notice. The reason is. that, by means of a card system, he has done away with the necessity for preparing manuscript for , the printing office, tind simply sends along as "copy" his piles of cards, which are altered and brought up to. date week by w,eek. Last (session's Electoral Bill proposed to create an office of super* vising registrar for the colony, "and rumour pointed to Mr Mansfield as the man for the billet. Seeing that the' Bill was blocked in the ruah at the finish, the Government have evidently decided that he Bhall still do the work, ' even if he has not got the titla There is a big task ahead of him, if he is to initiate all the other registrars into his system in time for nest year's general election. :,#."■■.♦. .«. In electing John McLeod as .their Chairman, the Hospital and Chaat. able Aid Board have acted wisely. , Mr McLeod has shown himself one of i our most businesslike public men. ; On the City Council, he has given ex* , cellent service to the citizens, and in > other kinds of public work,- notably i his connection with' the -Oddfellows* i his levelheadedness has raised him to • positions of even colonial distinction, i In hospital matters Mr McLeod takes office at a critical time. It is inevitf able after the report of the Royal . Commission that there shall be new i departures, and the institution of the i altered system will make heavy, calls. • upon his - administrative powers, i Whatever the outcome, Mr MeLeod • was the best man- eligible for the i post. i .«••*••••" Sir Joseph Ward's refusal to accept a presentation from the combined l railway s£aff Of the colony ought to ■ do a great deal of "good. In the first i place, it affords an example of a tnan 1 who is apparently satisfied to perform > his duty for the regular pay alone, and L plus merely the honour that accrues ■ from the applause of hisfellow citizens, r But we may hope Sir Joseph's refusal , will signify more than that— thai) it : wilr do -something to put out of fashion the absurd habit oi making presentations to every Tom, Dick ana f Harry who leaves one part of the i colony to go to anotfier. The system ■ has been kept up much for the same > reason that an old lack-Wock|L«»ttler ICYI'AttF .h » BMi^frißlW^hL J^WBMMdMfeiTBQHKMHHBBBBJI^B^BII^^BH