The Ashburton Guardian, COUNTY AGRCULTURAL & SPORTING RECORDER. TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 1879.
On the 27th of August there was severed one more Jink between the present and past of England’s later history, by the death of Sir Rowland Hill, the mention of whose name calls up at once the whole panorama of the penny postage system of Great Briatain and its unparalleled success. Sir Rowland had reached the advanced ago of 83, and his death came on after a warning of several months, during which time he had been unable to leave his room. The old man died, not from any disease that could bo fairly specified, but from the decay ox vital energy which inevitably occurs as old age draws on. The postal reformer was born in 1795 at Kidderminster, and was liras one of the now few public celebrities in the old country, whose memories could connect the last century with the present. Up till tlm ago of 33 the now deceased gentleman occupied no very prominent position in toe. out plodded on as a mathematical teacher U' a Birmingham school under the sopor.ntendency of his father. 11l health compelled him to relinquish scholastic duties, and shortly .after he became Secretary to the Royal Commission for the Colonization of South Australia. For some time after this he devoted himself to many useful works, and while in connection with the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, his attention was turned to the great question of postal reform, with the solution of which his name has been so closely associated, and which has immortalised him in the history of his country’s progress. Like all reformers, Mr Hill had to meet a strong opposition in his endeavours to introduce a cheaper and more extensive system of postal communication in the country, and for daring to find fault with the English Post Office' he was unhesitatingly set down as a meddler in other people’s matters, and a man whose meddling could not arise out of anything but crass ignorance and overweening selfconceit. But this condemnation came from those who were connected with the postal department, and not from the great body of the people whose interests the reforms aimed at were calculated to servo. When Sir Rowland set himself the task of bringing about what has resulted in the present penny postal system, the cost of letter communication was something formidable. The postage on a letter from England to Scotland was the now fashionable patent medicine figure Is l|d, and every separate sheet, or part of a sheet, no matter what its nature, had to pay another thirteenpence halfpenny. The high price of postage, however, was not so much the evil Sir Rowland, then Mr, Hill aimed at removing. During two decades the revenue from the Post Office had not risen, and Rowland Hill was quite satisfied that ho knew a plan not only for increasing the revenue from the legitimate business of the Post Office, but also for drawing revenue from a class of people who had never hitherto used the Post Office at all, simply because of the exorbitant chaiges made. Perhaps the most objectionable because grossly unjust feature of the old postal regime was the system of franking a privilege enjoyed by the members of | Parliament and the Government officers, ! ami tills* privilege was greatly abused and i not uufruquonMy traded on, with a view j to making profit. Those of our readers | who are acquainted with the writings ofj Sir Walter Scott will remember one in- j stance at least in which the greatest romancer of his time —and in fact of any | time —makes one of his characters remind I
a correspondent of the v-i-dom of “saving the frank” with a vie.v to its doing duty another time, p.nd this system of petty fraud was in full swing when Mr Rowland Hill begun his form. Regarding .Sir Walter (Pcott’s writing, two, wo may mouth *n by the way that he attributes his terribly small manuscript to the necessity that existed for crowding as much matter as possible upon a single sheet; to sve the high postage that would accrue upon a “ double letter.” Letters were 'dre.i scut, too, in parcels by the hands ul travellers, and by merchants' conveyances, so that seldom indeed could the poor man, unable to aiibrd the postal charge, have an opportunity of communicating with a distant relative.
What wo have above roughly outlined was the state of allairs when Mr Howland Hill initiated the successful movement which lias made him famous. Looking into the working of the then postal system, he found the smallest cost in the whole working was in the transit of the mail bags from place to place—and that, too, i the days of mail coaches. It was the collection and delivery of letters that piled up the excessive costs. The reformer had great difficulty in inducing Government to take his schemes into consideration but when they did so they found that this was what ho meant to do. He would discard altogether the idea of payment enclosures, and substitute the system oow in use- charging for weight only, ■ad irrespective of distance carried, thus •diving a uniform fee for letters of a uniform weight. Prepayment was enforced, so that it was no longer possible for a correspondent to post a letter with a few hieroglyphics written outside, understood only by the person to whom the letter was addressed, have the letter forwarded, the hieroglyphics read by the proper person, and then the letter rejected by the latter and thrown back upon the hands of the Post Office officials. This was a very common occurrence while the deliverers continued to collect the postal tees. Franking was abolished, except on Government service.
The first reduction effected was from the high sums charged to a uniform price of fourpence. With the fourpenny postage came in also the adhesive stamp, relieving the officers of the duty of collecting fees. This great reduction took place in 1839, and so marked was the success attending it, so wide the increase of of business done during the short time the fee was at fourpence, that in 1840 the final fall to a penny was accomplished, and one of the grandest institutions of modern times was for ever established. Almost throughout the civilised and corresponding world, Sir ilowland Hill’s cheap system of inland postage has been adopted, but the figures before us show the real change it brought about in England. In 1838, 70,000,000 letters upon which a price could be charged were delivered in Great Britain. In 1878 the number was 1,028,000,000. The difference tells its own tale. The revenue fell somewhat after Sir Rowland’s first reduo-: tion, but it rapidly rose, and in 1878 it is double what was obtained in 1838. But the benefits secured are far more than a money value. These are of a social and moral nature, and the whole world has hared in them.
Sir Rowland Hill, we have said, had opposition to contend ’fWHttiut he triumphed over it all, and he is mie of the few public benefactors who have reaped a well-earned reward for labors done in the public interest. We quote from an article now going the round of the papers the following account of how he fared at the hands of his country : —“ To overlook the working of the new arrangements he had received the appointment of Postal Superintendent from the Liberal Government. In 1841 Sir Robert Peel and the Tories came into power, and in the following year Mr Hill was informed that his; services would no longer be required. The public, however, resolved that the author of the penny postage should not suffer from official ingratitude, and presented him in 1846 with a magnificent testimonial of the value of £13,360. In the same year he was appointed Secretary to the Postmaster-General. In 1854 he was promoted to the Secretaryship of the Post Office, which he retained until 1864, when ho retired, having been decorated four years previously with the order of Knight Commander of the Bath. On his retirement he was awarded for life £2OOO per annum, a Parliamentary grant of £20,000, and various honors of a high class.”
Prince of Wales’ Birthday. —The Prince of Wales’ Birthday this year falls on a Sunday. It is intimated, therefore, by a notice in the Government “ Gazette,” that the usual holiday will be observed at the post offices within the colony on the 10th inst.
Ashburton Racing Club. —We direct the attention of our readers to an adverment in another column requesting members of the Ashburton Racing Club to pay their subscriptions. Those not paying will forfeit the privileges attaching to membership.
The Unity of Man and Wife.—During the hearing of a libel action in the Supreme Court, Wellington, Mr Travers quoted a case in which the defendant sent a defamatory letter respecting the plaintiff to the wife of the latter, and it was held to be publication of the libel. His Honor Mr Justice Richmond drily remarked that there were some things which a man might wish should come to anybody’s ears rather than his wife’s although man and wife were said to be one.
Special Settlement. Fitzgibbon Louch, Esq., has applied for 25,000 acres of the lands of Ranguira and Pahika, Bay of Plenty district, with a view to planting a special settlement thereon after the Vesey-Ste wart plan. Should Government grant Mr L inch's request, he will at once proceed to the United Kingdom to bring out families, with capital, sufficient to settle the lauds, and he is also prepared to pay the sum that may be agreed on by himself and Government. He proposes to apportion one-fifth of the land so granted for settlement by colonists.
' Bank Holidays. —The Banks are to have a merry time of it this month as they have no less than six holidays or parts of days set apart by proclamation as bank half-holidays, viz., November 10, for the Prince of Wales’ Birthday ; November 11, 13, and 14, for the Christchurch Spring Race Meeting; and the 12th, for the Show. The latter is a full day, and the Race days half holidays, and December Ist a whole day. In addition to the above, which are applicable to the whole of Canterbury, we understand that the County Council have been applied to to declare the 18th, 19th, and 20th halfholidays to enable the bank officials to attend the local Show and Races ; this will no doubt be done, and the overworked officials will consequently obtain a little harmless recreation.
Okicket. —A match will be played on Tuesday, November 11, between an eleven of Ashburton Borough Cricket Club and an eleven of the Avonside Cricket Club in the Ashburton Domain. The names of the Borough eleven are Messrs A. Andrews, G. Andrews, T. Buchanan, T. Hodder, D. Amos, H. Whitley, F. Shury, D. Leitch, F. Wright, J. Ashwood. Emergency men : S. Poyntz, Hoskyns, and T. Groves. —Members selected in the following matches are requested to be in attendance punctually at the time stated, viz., for the Association match at 1 p.m. punctually on the ground; for the match, Ashburton Borough Cricket Club v. Avonside, the team are requested to meet the Avonside team at the railway station on arrival of express train at 10.45 a. m. on Nov. 11.— An Association match, 15 World v. 15 New Zealand, will be played in the Domain on Saturday next. The following gentlemen have been selected to do battle for their respective sides, viz., The World —Messrs Mainwarmg, Whitley, E. G. Crisp, R. H. Pratt, D. Amos, A Curtis, J. Ashwood, Hoskyns, S. Poyntz (captain), St. G. Douglass, D. Leitch Denshire, Grant, Field, and T. Buchanan ; emergency—C. Broadbelt, Hoskyns, J. L. Crawley. New Zealand —Messrs Hodder, S. Saunders, (captain), E. Saunders, Fooks, G. Andrews, A. Andrews, Bruce, Lusk, Wright, Westenra, H. Fowler, Wilkie, Groves, J. Leitch; emergency —Shury, J. E. H. Harris, May. k. The following gentlemen have been selected to play against the Ashburton County Cricket Club in the match on Monday next to take place at Mount Somers; Bailey, Burden, Chapman, Ccokson Corsbie, Gifkins, Honor, Hood, Lovell, Mitchell, Polhill, Potts, and Tomlinson. We have been requested to call attention to the alteration of date from Saturday, Bth November, to Monday, 11th November.
I.O.G.T.—The usual weekly meeting of the Star of East Lodge, No. 62, was held on Saturday. About 70 members were present, and the following quarterly reports were read and adopted, Secretary’s, which showed that during the early part of the quarter the depression gating in the country had militated somewhat against the attendance, hut the last month had shown a decided increase in numbers present at Lodge, and altogether the Lodge was again progressing favorably. The Financial Secretary’s report showed the total receipts of the quarter to be £8 13s. The Finance Committee’s report was considered favorable, as also the W. Marshal’s, to whom a hearty vote of thanks was accorded for his untiring energy in connection with his office. Two new members were proposed for initiation, and new 'members having been duly initiated took their seats as members of the Lodge. The office of Lodge Deputy havin" been declared vacant, Brother T. Scott was recommended to the Grand Lodge for the office without opposition. The ballot was sent round for a candidate from one of those nominated for the office of DD., viz., Brothers Sando, R. Elston, and Galloway. Brother Galloway objected to his name appearing as candidate, and questioned the present D.D.’s authority to place his name on the nomination paper. Brother Elston addressed the Lodge, refuting certain charges made against his ability to attend to the duties of the office if elected. The ballot papers were also sent round for the office of Grand Lodge representative, the candidates being Brothers Sando, G. Andrews, and R. Elston, The installation of officers was then proceeded with, and the following officers were installed by Brother T. Scott, acting for G. W.C.T., assisted by Brother Galloway, as G.W.S., and Brother Williams, as G. W.M., viz., Brother G. St. Hill, W.C.T.; Brother Smith, W.V.T. ; Brother J. Bradley, . W.S. ; Brother T. Scott, W.F.S. ;
Brdther H. R. Johnston, W.T. ; Brother G. .Tutty, W.M. ; Brother G. Henry,
W.C. ; Brother T. Muir, W.I.G. ; Brother T. Smith, W. O. G. ; Brother T. Lib ell. W.D.M. ; Brother Charlton, A.S. ; Brother H. Bickford, W.R.H.S ; Brother S. Sargeant, W.L.H.S. ; The Lodge then closed in the usual form.
Ashburton Gas Company. —A meeting of the Ashburton Gas Company was held yesterday afternoon at the Secretary’s office, Burnett street, Th os. Bullock, Esq., in the chair. The annual accounts were submitted to the meeting, and the subject of appointing auditors was discussed, and eventually postponed to an extraordinary meeting to be held on the first Monday in December. It was resolved that the Manager be instructed to collect all amounts due, and any persons not paying their arrears after the prescribed time should have notice that the gas would be cut off their premises forthwith. A vote of thanks to the Chairman terminaated the meeting.
Typhoid in Christchurch. —Dr. Nedwill, who has been appointed permanent health officer of Christchurch, made his report to the Board of Health yesterday. Dr. Nedwill succeeds Dr. Powell. The report presented yesterday gave two cases of typhoid fever in one family. These were of children who had been employed in sweeping out one of the public schools, where the drainage was in a terribly bad state. Dr. Nedwill was inclined to attribute the origin of the disease to this fact, but happened to think of visiting the dairy from which the family obtained their milk. There lie found that there was no artesian wells within forty yards of the place, but that a stinking creek ran through the ground. He said in his report it was quite possible infected milk was the cause of the outbreak. His remarks on the state of the schools were particularly strong, and he advised the Board to have the school shut up till proper arrangements were made, but the school authorities have in the meantime had the evil complained of remedied. The Board of Health having no power over dairies, simply regretted they could do nothing in the matter. The Rabbit. —The Premier stated in the House last week that Government intended to establish a phosphorous manufactory for the colony, with a view to the extermination of bunny. Divorce. —Mr Turnbull, M.H.R., wants Government to simplify and render less costly the proceedings in the divorce courts of the colony, so that it shall not be necessary in all cases for suitors to appear before the Appeal Court. In America, we have heard it said, a divorce can be procured by a couple during the time a railway engine takes to water.
Wesleyan Home Mission Meeting. —The annual public meeting of the Ashburton auxiliary branch of the Wesleyan Home Mission was held in the Cameron Stieet Church last evening, and was well attended. The Rev. W. Keall presided, and stated that the money obtained for the fund was not, as some thought, devoted to the assistance of Church work outside the colony. The designation “Home” mission did not apply in this instance to England, but solely to the colony. Mr Keall then introduced the Rev. Alex. Reid, who spoke to a considerable length on the objects of the Association. To help forward Christian work amongst the Maori and Scandinavian population ; to provide college training for ministerial students ; to help weak, and struggling circuits ; and to provide occasional services tc sparsely-populated localities ; were the objects for which the money was obtained and spent. During Mr Reid’s address, which was listened to by an attentive and appreciative audience, he related some very interesting reminiscences of his work among the North Island Maoris in the early days of the colony’s history. Mr Reid paid a passing tribute to the interest which the Government and people of New Zealand had always taken in educating the native race, and thought that by so doing it was a feather in the colony’s cap. The amount taken up last evening amounted to £3 odd, and t.e total sum which the Ashburton circuit contributes this year will amount to nearly £7.
An Old Beginner.— An old woman of 70 made her appearance before a Magistrate last week in Wellington. She had never been in Court in her life before, and this appearance was for having been found helplessly drunk in the public street. She was fined 5s and costs, but she “ took on ” so, that no fewer than four kindhearted gentlemen offered to pay her fine, she having no money.
His Excellency. —Sir Hercules Robinson will probably visit Chrischurch for the Metropolitan Meeting.
The Lighting op the French Pass.— The French Pass, between D’Urville Island and the mainland of Nelson, one of the most picturesque places on the New Zealand coast, is to be lighted in rather a novel way. One fixed light will do the duty of two, and will appear, as a red light on one aide of the channel, and as a white one on the other. This is managed by a very simple and ingenious contrivance. The actual lighthouse will be fixed on the mainland, which is high and precipitous, with a deep channel close in shore. It will show red to vessels approaching the Pass from either dirretion, but will project a brilliant white beam directly across the narrow part of the channel. This beam will fall on a powerful double reflector pfaced on the opposite side, where the beacon now stands, and set at suitable angles. The reflector will catch the beam and throw it in both directions, so that it will appear to approaching vessels a bright white light on the side of the passage opposite to the red light. A steamer will have no difficulty in discovering the channel between the two lights, even in comparatively thick weather, and this will save much of the detention or necessity for making the stormy passage round the island now experienced by steamers in bad weather.
Petty Thefts. —Small thefts are becom very common in the Empire City. The last development is systematic robbery of gardens, and many valuable plants have disappeared. One gentleman offers a reward of £5 for the discovery of the robber. In Nelson, too, we observe a reward of £2 offered for the discovery of the thief who stole flower roots from a grave.
Suicides in London. —In August 51 suicide occurred, the average of the same month during the previous ten years being but 22. Sixteen occurred during the last week—six by hanging, three by drowning, two by gunshot, two by poison, one by cut throat, and two by other means. The new Title. —We heard the Ilall Government called the detective Ministry. The “ Chronicle ” now call them the ratcatching Ministry.
The Mayoralty. —Our readers will notice by an advertisement in another column that there is one candidate less for the Mayoralty. Our respected fellowcitizen Mr Knud Sando having, through business engagements, found it impossible to give the time and attention to the affair's of the Municipality—which would be required were ho successful in his candidature, and from the number of prominent burgesses who signed his requisition it is evident that Mr Sando’s election was one which could have been looked upon as a “ moral,” arid we must say that ho possesses qualifications which no other candidate before the public can lay claim to. He is fully as fluent as Mr Joseph Ivess, and he possesses far greater business foresight than Mr Hugo Friedlander, and one point about Mr‘'Sando, if it can be called a point, is that graceful rotundity of figure and the supreme good nature, which is considered so necessary in the old country before a citizen can qualify for Lord Mayor. We sincerely regret Mr Sando’s retirement, as we consider his candidature would have opened the eyes of more aspiring officeseekers.
1.0 G.T.—A meeting of the Sunbeam Juvenile Temple was held last night, under superintendent Bro. J. Ashwood, S. J.T. Sixty members wore present, 113 members being on the roll ; throe new members were initiated. In the Secretary’s report for the quarter, Sister C. Andrews had introduced eight new candidates ; Bro. G. Kidd being second with five proposals. The installation of officers was proceeded with, the following being the result: —Bro. E. Felton, C.T.; Sister A. Andrews, V.T.; Bro. D. Leitoh, R. S.; Bro. G. Savage, F. S.; Bro. D. Ross, T.; Sister E. Savage, C. ; Bro. G. Kidd, I. G. ; Bro. 0. Wood, S.; Bro. W. Pickford, M.; Sister Constance Andrews, D.M.; Sister M. Hepburn, R.H.S.; Bro. Lewis Macdonald, L.H.S.; Bro. Weymouth Roberts, AS. The Temperance Service of Song was rendered, under the able guidance of Sister Taylor, assisted by Sister Hardly, whose teaching had evidently improved the vocal powers of the juveniles. Several adult brothers amused the children with songs and recitations, and the Temple closed in the usual form.—The weekly meeting of the Dawn of Peace Lodge was held in the Templar Hall last night, and the Lodge opened in the uaual form. Two new members were proposed, and Bro. Albert Andrews was recommended to the Grand Lodge as Lodge Deputy. Bros. K. Sando, G. Andrews, and S. Poymz were elected as Trustees. The installation of officers for the ensuing quarter was then proceeded with, and the following were installed by D.D.G.W.C.T. K. Sando, assisted by Bro. Bradley as G. W. M., and Bro. Isaac Scott as G.W.S.: —W.C.T., Bro. Ashwood; W.V.T., Bro Jessop ; W. S., Bro. J. Hardley ;W. A. S., Bro. J. Leitch; W.F.S., Bro. S. Poyntz; W. T., Bro. T. Andrews ; W. C. Bro. Quarterman ; W. M., Bro. Bowling ; W.D.M., Mayo ; W.1.G., Bro. J. Baylis ; W. O. G., Bro. J. Knight ; W. R. H. S., Bro. Sims; W.L.H.S., Sister E. James. The appointment of Standing Committees was postponed till next Lodge night. The Lodge closed in usual form. The Rotomahana. This splendid vessel made the run down from Welington to Lyttelton in 12 hours—considerably below the best time 4 made by any steamer that ever sailed on the coast.
A. A. and P. Show. —We beg to call the attention of our readers to the extra private prizes offered on Show day at Tinwald, and as they are extra to the prizes given by the Association, the owners of anything in the agricultural line possessed of stock or produce worth showing have good inducements offered them this year.
The Church Loan. —The £50,000 loan for the Church of England has been floated by the Union Bank at an average of £lO5 Bs.
Embezzlement. The pseudo reporter Robertson, who recently figured before our R. M. Court, and ultimately got run to earth by the Christchurch Magistrates for passing valueless cheques, has just finished his six weeks imprisonment, was arrested at the prison gate yesterday on seven or eight different charges of wholesale swindling. The man Valpy was also remanded yesterday by the Christchurch R. M. Valpy has been hiding in the bush a few miles from Christchurch for some months, and was arrested on Saturday.
Fat Cattle. — "We noticed to-day some prize beef on its way by train to Christchurch. There were fifteen head in the trucks, three being for the show, and the balance tor the sale yards ; they are from the Longbeach estate, and a dozen head are now sent down to Christchurch weekly and, by the auctioneer’s reports, Mr Grigg generally topsthe market. The cattle are mostly bred on the estate, from pure bred shorthorn stock, Mr Grigg having paid great attention to this line.
Drunk in Charge of a Team.—M. Wilson was fined 20s yesterday morning for being inebriated whilst being in charge of a team on Saturday. He was not difficult to capture as he drove his horses up to the lock-up gates and constable Rouse at once assisted him to free lodgings for the night. Vagaries of Councillors. The usually quiet proceedings at the Borough Council meetings were last night diversified when the consideration of tenders for valuing the Municipality came to be considered, and as there was a considerable range in the opinions of the would-be valuers as to the value of the work, the tenders being from £ls to £55, a somewhat lively discussion took place ; Mr St Hill constituting himself champion of low prices and the Mayor of efficient work. For an hour or so there was a perfect deluge of resolutions and amendments, and during theproceedinga Mr StHill rode his hobby horse against the Town Clerk in his usual artistic style, the discussion culminating when one of the four, reporters present handed to the councillor the following as a joke. < “ Propose that the Town Clerk perform the valuator’s duties in his spare time.” The sapient legislator at once saw an opening to make himself famous, and fired the motion off at the Mayor as his sixth resolution on the valuation tenders and lost it; he then proposed that Mr Friedlander’s tender at £lO be accepted, and, to bis dismay, the motion was carried, tills being the very point he had endeavored to oppose all through the debate. The Council have, wo think, made a good selection, as the valuer appointed by the Council is well acquainted with the work ho has to do.
Lunar Rainbow. —The sky this morning between 1 and 2 a. m. had a peculiar appearance. The moon was encircled with a series of rings, showing the prismatic colors, similar to a rainbow, wh Ist on the opposiie side of the heavens was the rare phenomenon <’f a lunar rainbow, very bright at first, but gradually growing more dim. The night was clear and mild, and the sky slightly f ggy.
An Awkward Yawn. —The Rev. C Dallaston, we learn from Christchurch, while dressing himself on Sunday morning, indulged himself in a yawn, and immediately thereafter discovered that his lower jaw was a fixture. Medical assistance was procured, and it was found that the case was one of mild lockjaw. Though no permanent inconvenience need bo feared, the result for the day was that the rev. gentlemen was unable to preach on Sunday, and will probably be incapacitated from delivering lectures.