The Ashburton Guardian, COUNTY AGRICULTURAL & SPORTING RECORDER THURSDAY, OCTOBER 30, 1879.
Ihe many channels in which it divert the proposed || epe which wo consider to be public funds. That is Bture of a sum of £(100,000 on wment of the Grey river. At t*imo, and for somo six years s have been in progress in this a view to rendering it at all gablfe for vessels, and judging Sfrfl? le freqijfcncy of news to the effect Ifchaluhe. unworkable, the success ’ *of thl*' eMjeerinK efforts to control this uncivmseagi strain cannot be deemed a kiccesK ' ’ llir golm CBtpb ' inspected and reported all< l works in accordance fwra| thwnßce given by him were comjnencA flm|are still in progress, but they to have been more de,:j interfiled, and at a public meeting 'in rfreymouth a few weeks ago resoindro'ere passed condemning the works las hpng the cause of rendering the bar unworkable. The river is a tidal one, the swerage tide at high-water springs being about seven feet, and when in good working order vessels drawing 12 feet of water can enter the river, but as a rule the traders to the port have about 8 to 9 feet I draught. It was contemplated that the construction of these improvements would have the effect of so deepening the channel that a very much larger class of slopping would be able to trade to the port, but the result as yet has been to cause the bar to silt up and become unnavigable on more frequent occasions than previously. This work was initiated, and the expense incurred by Government, because the question of utilising the port for the [conveyance of coal from the mines on the S&rey River to the ocean was looked upon as a work of a 'national character, and the
secution of the protective works was believed to be the one thing needful to enable the West Coast to supply all the coal required for the colony and to export largely to other countries. With this object in view a lenth of seven miles of the most expensive railway yet constructed in New Zealand was laid down, but there has been very little increase in the export since the days when boats were the means of conveyance from the mines to the port. The West Coast people themselves are now beginning to find out that Greymouth is never likely to become a port, and are clamouring for a railway to connect them with this side of the mountains at an estimated cost of a million of money.
Now, although it is desirable that we should burn native coal, and that better communication should bo established between the East and West Coasts, there is just such a thing as paying too dear for our whistle. We know and regret that for many years the gold-mining industry has not paid those engaged in the prosecution of it ; wages which our “ unemployed ” would scorn to take their coats off for now rule; the report of Mr McKerx-ow just to hand shows that the average earnings of miners for the past twelve months have been 5s per day. It must be evident that such wages, combined with the high cost of living on the West Coast will never make it become a popular field for investment, unless some new discoveries of gold are made, and although we occasionally hear of small “patches” being struck, it is a melancholy fact that no successful “rush” of any magnitude has happened for many years. Nor can we see how the expenditure of a million of money can help tlxe West Coast much, since the necessarily heavy grades on any of the proposed routes will render the cost of transport on timber and coal so expensive as almost to shut those articles out of competition with countries more accessible to conveyance by sea. There is one method by which we believe the Grey coal mines could be made useful and profitable to the colony. Some thirteen years ago Lieutenant Woods, then engaged ini making a national survey in the Government steamer “ St Hilda ” visited Point Elizabeth with a view of reporting on the practicability of making a harbor there, and his report was very favorable on the question. Point Elizabeth is situated about 4 miles north of the Grey River, and is a steep bluff partially enclosing a semi natural harbor, a few hundred yards father out to sea a rocky island affords still protection, and from this latter rock seaward, a reef runs out for a distance of about three quarters of a mile. Now, all that is required to make a perfectly safe harbor here, is to connect these rocks with the bluff on the main land, and a harbor will be found capable of finding shelter and wharfage accommodation for large sea going ships. This report however never seems to have got beyond the incipient period of its existence, but we feel convinced, from our knowledge of the locality, that it is tlxe only method by which the coal measures of the Grey will ever be utilised, and the expense would be tx-ifiing in comparison with the immense benefits to be gained, as no more suitable site for a penal settlement exists in the colony, and the cost of the work would not be felt to any extent when done by prison labor. We do not suppose for one moment that the inhabitants of Gxeymouth would like the idea of the coni trade ocing un ti’ted from tlxe river, but if ever that indiiotry ee coaxes an important one, Point Elizabeth is bound to become the Newcastle of New Zealand.
Tin? Mayoralty.—A strong requisition is to be presented to Mr Hugo Friodlander to stand for the Mayoralty of Ashburton. He will have the support of all the members of the Borough Council save one.
Service of Song. —-We understand that the Service of Song, entitled “ The World’s Redeemer,” is to be given at the Wakanui school on Friday evening, by the Presbyterian Sunday school teachers. The proceeds will be devoted to the school funds.
The Municipal Association. —We observe that the Rangiora Town Council has deemed it wise to withhold its co-oper-ation in the scheme suggested by the Ashburton Corporation regarding the formation of a Municipal Association for the provincial district of Canterbury. New Business. —Mr S. Steele has just commenced business as a livery stable keeper, and has opened the Western Horse Repository, lately occupied by Mr J. C. Bell, in Tancred street. Parties wishing a drive out can lie accommodated, if they choose, with any kind of conveyance, and can have a choice of any kind of steed from a donkey to a high stepper. Tea Meetings. —The tickets are issued for a tea meeting and entertainment to be held on Wednesday, 20th November, in the Town Hall, in aid of the building fund of St Stephen’s Church. An excellent programme has always been provided when any entertainment has been given under the auspices of St Stephen’s Church, and we have no doubt, the meeting now referred to, will not belie the good name of those having charge of it. To-morrow the Presbyterian tea meeting, presided over by the Rev. B. J. Westbrooke, will be held in the Rakaia Town Hall, and from what we can gather it will be a great success.
Volunteer Officers. —For tlio vacant commissions in the Rifle Corps there are several nominations. Last night a meeting of the Corps was hold after parade, at which a fair number of the Volunteers wei’e present. The following gentlemen were nominated for the election, which takes place on Thursday evening : —Messrs Edward Saunders, Samuel Saunders, T. Bullock, J. Ivess, W. St. George Douglas, C. P. Cox, H. T. Winter, R. S. Shearman. The names of several other gentlemen would have been brought forward, but it was understood they wer-e not prepared to undertake the duties. The Corps is daily increasing in numbers and efficiency, and the members’ regular attendance at drill shows there is no lack of enthusiasm. Postal Contracts. —Tenders are called for in the Government “ Gazette” for the following mail services in the Christchurch postal district. Sealed tenders must be lodged at the Chief Post Officce, Christchurch, by the 15th November, and the contracts extend from the Ist January, 1880, to the 31st December inclusively : 11.) Ashburton and Longbeach, daily. (2.) Springfield and Kowai Bush, thrice weekly. (3.) Barr Hill Post Office and nearest railway station, daily. (4) Methven Railway Station and Post Office, Alford Forest, daily. (5.) Chief Post Office and Railway Station, also clearing pillar and receiving boxes within city boundaries as required. 1.0.G.T. —The usual weekly meeting of the Dawn of Peace Lodge was held on Monday evening. There was a very large attendance of members and visitors. Two new members were initiated. The nomination for officers for the ensuing quarter was then proceeded with, with the following result: —W. C.T., Bro. Ashwood ; W.V.T., Bro. Jessop; W.S., Bro. Hardley; W.F.S., Bro. Poyntz; W.T., Bro T. Andrews ; W.C., Sister Timms: W.M., Bro. Bowling ; W.1.G., Bro. J. Bayliss ; W. O. G., Bro. Knight. Sister Hardley was appointed organist. Bro. Ashwood reported an interview with the Star of the East Lodge re forming a Committee for The Old Sion’s Home entertainment. The date fixed for the entertainment was Thursday, November 13th. Members wore requested by the W.C.T. to visit two sick members, whose state of health was reported on by the Visiting Committee. We would remind the members that the election of Lodge Deputy, and the polling for Grand Lodge representative and District Deputy takes place next Monday evening, and a full lodge is expected.
The Railway Line. —A case heard in Court on Tuesday, shows how much a fence along the line of railway is wanted. A Mr Little had tried to get on to the train after it had reached the points some distance down the line, and of course was prosecuted for a breach of the railway regulations. It is excusable for a maxx to attempt to catch a train that is just leaving the platform, but it seems to be rather foolhardy to try the experiment when the platform has been cleared and a spiting has to be taken from the dead ground to the carriage foot board, especially too, when speed has been pretty well got up. But such attempt could not be made at a distance from the statioxx wei'e the line properly fenced. Stray Cattle. —The police, aided by Mr. Price, the new lessee of the pound, are making raids upon animals straying on roads, and sevex-al cases of “ ss. and costs ” were recorded on Tuesday, and one case of an entire horse at large got off very cheap indeed at a pound. A lady appeared to defend in one case, and stated that as she had already parted with four shillings to the poundkeeper, which she considered ought to be seen about, she thought she might be let off any further chai'ge ; but the inexorable dispenser of justice meted out tlxe same sentence, and the defendant tendered Mr. Purnell a pound note. That learned gentleman, although not averse to a fee at any time, shook his head, and pointed to the Clerk, who was asked by the fined one, “ How much do you want ? ” “ Twelve shillings, ma’am,” replied the urbane clerk. The note xvas again tendered. “ I must have law court stamps,” said Mr. Hurrell. This last hardship was too much for the good lady’s temper, and after - having been publicly informed that the only medium of exchange recognised in Courts of law could be obtained at the Post Office, she departed, stating her intention not to take any more trouble about paying, if they wouldn’t take good money, and lei t the Couxt, her voice being heard until it gradually died away in the distance.
Government Telegrams.— lt v.dll jhc remembered that the aeneral election occurred during the Scj Member quarter, oid heari .g this iu 111. u the following ruim-ns of the cost of < ■ ocorimicnt telegrams are interesting :— Sept, quarter,
1878, £5,850 10s 3d ; quarter, 1870, £7,057 2s. The incrt-ase r £1,797 11s 9J. On the whole — of all kinds—forwarded by the department during the quarter just past, there is an increase over those of the corresponding quarter last year of 1,802 — the numbers being, September, 1878, 334,799 ; September, 1879, 330,062. But it is suggestive that the cash revenue has fallen off to just about the same extent as the cost of Government telegrams has increased, namely, £1,839 9s 3d. The whole telegraphic cash revenue for the quarter past was £17.700 4s 3J. The same quarter last year brought in £19,539 13s Bd.
Ashburton Courthouse. —The following is the “ Hansard” report of what transpired in Parliament regarding the Ashburton Courthouse. Mr Wright is to be complimented on the way he put the matter before the House, and we have every reason to congratulate ourselves on the accession to power of a Government who is willing to acknowledge the claims of the district, and the importance of the work. It would have been a long time before Mr Wright or any one else could have obtained from Mr Macandrow or any other member of the Grey Ministry such an acknowledgment as that made by Mr Rollesfon ; —Mr Wright asked the Minister of Justice, Tf he will cause a sum of money to bo placed on the estimates for building a Courthouse at Ashburton i In 1878, £3OO was put on the estimates for building a Courthouse at Ashburton, or, rather, for fitting up au old building worth about half that sum. The residents protested against this course being taken, and last session the Government promised to sanction the expenditure of £SOO, but up to this time nothing had been done. Ashburton was the centre of a large and increasing population. There were no fewer than six lawyers practising in the borough, and the accommodation was altogether inadequate for the business. He hoped the Minister would see his way to put a substantial sum on the estimates for a suitable building. Mr Rolleston replied that he had looked into this question, and he was personally aware of the circumstances stated by the honourable member. The Government recognised the importance of the work, and would place a sum of money on the estimates for the purpose.
A Lecture which was not Delivered. —We wonder what poor Wakanui has done that it should have to bear the blame of being the hailing place of Mr Philip M'Guire. It is only quite recently that Mr M'Guire became known to fame and then it was a fame of a very questionable character. Some three months ago he essayed a lecture at Wakanui, and succeeded is causing much amusement to the crowd of villagers who assembled to hear him, and no end of a newspaper correspondence followed the exploit. We could only gather from that correspondence what Mr M'Guire’s peculiar line is in the lecture business, and we were prepared certainly to hear something very extraordinary when we saw; the Town Hall lit up last night and learned who was to be the orator. On going down to the hall we had the honor of making the acquaintance of the unique individual. He informed us that ho intended to lecture on “Damnation and Religion genera«af(HHV' , yet the gentleman who was .’been chairman had not put in an appearance, and the “ lecturer” was beginning to get “ fidgetty,” and well he might, as this was three quarters of an hour after the advertised time for beginning. Up to this time only five persons had attended to form an audience, and after waiting for another half hour, Mr M'Guiro resolved not to “ waste his wind upon four walls.” Seizing a huge stick he took a inarch across the platform. He then laid down the “ twig,” and picked up from behind the stage flies a big black bottle. With the air of a conjurer lie filled a tumbler from this black bottle, and advancing to the front of the stage announced with a flourish that as there would be no “speech” that evening he would propose a toast. He did so. It was of too blasphemous a nature for us to quote, so that it will neither edify nor otherwise our readers. After delivering himself of the toast Mr M'Guire took his dram and strode away. If the “ lecturer ” has any friends in Wakanui or elsewhere we would commend him to their care, and would express a hope that the Town Hall will not again be opened to lecturers like Mr M'Guire.