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Rakaia. —The question of getting a medical man for this district has been energetically attended to by those gentlemen appointed at a recent meeting held for that purpose, and we are glad to learn that there is every probability of the necessary guarantee required to secure the services of a medical man resident at Rakaia being obtained. Already the larger part of the sum has been guaranteed, and strenuous efforts are now being made to complete the necessary arrangements, and call a final meeting to decide the matter. It is to be hoped that the residents of such a large district as Rakaia will at once come forward to assist in this very important niatter, and secure the services of the gentlemen now offering. Quite recently a number of cases of sickness have occurred in Rakaia, and in some instances the parties could not afford to get a medical inan from a distance, while others were only able to get but partial attendance. We sincerely hope to be able to report in a very short time that the matter has been fully completed and a medical man resident in the district.

The Mount Somers Railway. —The formation of the first section of the Mount Somers line, about 10i miles in length, is now approaching completion. All the formation is completed, and the platelaying, with the exception of about 2 miles, which has been delayed for want of rails. The ballasting is’finished for over seven miles, and the only siding on this length is completed, so that in the course of about four weeks the line will be ready for traffic. It is expected that tenders will be called at an early date for the other portion of the work, and bur Mount Somers friends may look, within a year, to having a quicker and safer means of transit than the present rough road and the uncertain fords in the Ashburton river famish them with.

Ashburton School Examination. The annual examination of the pupils a'tending the Ashburton school closed yesterday, the Rev. W. E. Paige and A. M. Beattie having kindly undertaken the arduous duties of judging the merits of the different scholars. Those having been diligent enough during the year to gain prizes or certificates of merit will have them presented publicly on Monday next, when all parents and friends are invited to attend. The usual six weeks holidays will commence from that date. A concert in aid of the prize fund will he given at the schoolroom on Monday evening under the leadership of the head master, Mr. Stott, who_has, we understand, brought his pupils to a high state of proficiency in vocal music.

Fieb Brigade. —The Ashburton Fire Brigade turned out in full force on Wednesday night for practice; the new tube well by Mr. Alfred Harrison’s auction room was tested but found unequal to the task required of it and will have to be sunk deeper. The brigade were then put through some ladder and bucket exercise at the station, and acquitted themselves in a satisfactory manner. The open well for the protection 'of.buildings at the railway station and Saunders’ block is now being sunk and will be tested in a few days.

C.Y.C.—The usual weekly parade was held on Thursday afternoon, Trooper Scott acting as drill sergeant in his usual soldierlike manner. Thecontingent then marched to the stables, where Corporal Cookson, on the part of the Ashburton members of the corps, presented Trooper Scott with a handsome cavalry bit and hurdoon bridle, breastplate, crupper and chain ; and in making the gift spoke in high terms of the progress made by the troop under Mr. Scott, whose thorough mastery of cavalry drill, and excellent qualities as an instructor had had an effect upon the appearance and efficiency of the contingent that might be marked by any onlooker. The presentation was made in recognition, not so much of Trooper Scott’s i oisession of these abilities, but of his willingness to give the corps the benefit of them. The contingent was fortunate in enjoying Mr. Scott’s services, and it was to be hoped they would enjoy them for an unlimited time. Mr. Scott modestly replied for the unexpected recognition of his services after which the contingent were dismissed.

A Snake Killer in the Poultry Yard. —The visit of the itinerary showmen who made their appearance here on the race days, will be long remembered by a select few of the citizens. The exhibition of these people consisted of the livingskeleton of a lio.i, two bears suffering from the effects of seasickness and a vigorous young “Indian snake-killer.” The Company lodged at Mr. Garland’s Railway Hotel, and the animals were located in the yard. When the showmen left they regretted the dullness of the times, and left a legacy to Mr. Garland—the snake-killer. Two days ago this useful, if n >t ornamental, quadruped got away and has not since been seen. He has, however, succeeded in making himself felt. Finding no gpakes to feed upon, he has contented himself with poultry, and has killed num. bers of fowls and ducks locoated within a considerable radius of the hotel yard. Ducks have been found torn to shreds, and fowls have been discovered with deep inc sions in their bodies. Hardly a poultry yard in the neighborhood has escaped. Here is an opportunity for the Acclimatisation Society. If they can only secure this “ snake-killer,” and set him at the sparrows, there would be no need to lay poison for their destruction.

Colonial f vnusTRY. — The Auckland Evening “■'•w” says : —“ A local contemporary labouring under a misap prehensiu ; ating that the Union Com - pany got a’i the uniforms f >r its oliicers from Eugl.The company is having the -loth f-r 'he nnifo-im manufactured at the ’■ ! Woolen Factory, Otago, and i.lu made up entirely in the ■ '• .• 'ard material On’y ; -vhich could not bo - - from England

the comp my has thus set a worthy example to others in the encouragement of colonial industry.”

A Kelly Gang Item. —The latest news of the Kelly gang was specially telegraphed on Wednesday night to the “ Sydney Evening News,” to the following etfert : —A gentleman, well known in

the north-eastern district of Victoria, states that while travelling between Benalla and Wangaratta, about a month since, he met four armed men, whom he recognized as the Kelly gang. Seeing that they were recognized, the outlaw's stopped the gentleman, and threatened vengeance if he said a word of the reeontre for a month, and being afraid of the consequences, ho refrained from mentioning the matter until the expiration of the allotted time, a day or two since. At the end of the month he received two L 5 notes of the Bank of New South Wales, Jerilderie, as a present for his silence.

A Ltbeum. County Chairman. — Mr. John Rol erts, of Messrs Munay, Roberts, and Co., was recently unanimously reelected Chairman of the Taieri County Council fir the ensuing 12 months. In returning thanks to the Council, Mr. Roberts, referring to the question of remuneration, said he had no sympathy with the habit which obtained amongst County Chairmen of accepting LIOO or Ll5O for their services. The Taieri Council had as extensive works under its control, and as important business to transact as the average of such bodies, and, having had a year’s experience, he was firmly of opinion that there was nothing to warrant the receipt of such rein meration. There were no calls on the time of the Chairman that justified any demand of the kind. We should judge that Mr. Roberts is well in.

In Advance ob Her Time. The “Loafer” thuses : “There are people who cast their bread upon the water, but who wax impatient over the “ many days ” they have to wait before it comes back to them. A little lady (four years old) foreclosed her mortgage the other day in a very summary manner. She is a unit in the congregation of one of our most thickly populated churches where, like many of her seniors, she been for some time in the habit of contributing threepence in silver every Sunday for some time past. A few Sundays since she astonished her parents by thus addressing the collecting churchwarden—“Youcome here Sunday after Sunday and take mo treppence in your bag and never give ns any. Neck Sunday you bring me turn money.” The abashed churchwarden fled swiftly on his feet, and, I’m afraid, the little girl had a severe caution, unaccompanied by pudding, on her return home.

Clear the Kitchen. —A famous nobleman once called on Abernethy with reference to an inflamed eye. His lordship, after waiting an hour for Abernethy to get through with a number of charity patients, whom he never left to attend to the highest nobleman, began the conversation by saying, “ Doctor, I wish you would examine this eye ; I fear some deadly mischief is at work here.” <; lf you sit there in my patients’ chair, and let me do the talking, I will soon find out what is the matter with you.” A few short questions, and the doctor concluded the interview with the following words : —“ Your difficulty is not where you think it is, in your eye, but” l —pointing his finger at the patient’s ssomach—it is there, in your kitchen. Of course, when the kitchen is out of order, the garret and all the other ro mis in the house arc more or less affected. Now all you have to do is to clear the kitchen, and the garret will require no special purification. Your lordship must do as the famous Duke of Wellington did on a well-known occasion—cut off the supplies, and the enemy will leave the citadel. ”

A New Chum Shot. —He was not long from the old country, and it being his first visit to a squatting mansion, he was much delighted with the chase of the marsupials. At the same time he thought he could teach the natives something. At the next hunting party be carried with him the revolver he bad brought from England, duly loaded. He rode his host’s favourite horse, and as there were ladies present resolved to distinguish himself in their eyes. One of the pouch-bearers having separated from those pursued by the dogs, he kept the spur going, and was soon within short range. Drawing his revolver, he prepared for action, but through some mischance his index finger pressed on the trigger a little too soon. It was also unfortunate that the head of his host’s horse was precisely in the line of fire. No spear from a catapult travelled with more destructive momentum than did he from the saddle ofthesteed he had sped. He walked home, and the horse—did not. He is not sure this day whether the compliments paid him by his corteous host on his riding and shooting were equivocal or sincere. Somehow he inclines to regard them in their less complimentary construction. —.ZEgles. Story of a Sermon. —An excellent opportunity of hearing himself as others heard him was afforded one Sunday to a clergyman in a distant town. The good old man generally preached in the morning occupying nearly forty minutes i.i delivery. One memorable morning the curate who was also his son, was, contrary to the rule, to preach in the morning, and, ip a custom now becoming rare, proceeded to the vestry to robe himself in his academical gown. Hero he discovered to his horror that he had left his sermon at home ! What was to be done ! Time did not permit of going or sending for it, hut a bright idea struck him. Turning to a drawer which stood near, he opened it and discovered a number of his father's min user! pts. Hastily selecting one, he returned into church, ascended the pulpit, and preached his sermon. When at the conclusion of the service father and son met in the vestry, the father was, to his son’s surprise, very angry—a most unusual circumstances. “Really, , you should prepare a proper sermon. I never did hear such rubbish in all the course of may life.” “I am sorry to hear it,” was the quiet reply, “ for there it is,” at the same time presenting to the old gentleman’s astonished gaze his own manuscript!

I “Tails, I Los:;.'’—A correspondent of 1 the Melbourne Herald writes as follows: — 1 “1 was a.follow-prisoner o c this Captain Mooidite iu the Pontridga retreat, hut i regained my liberty before him. 1 well remember his last remark to me on the day I left. ‘.Jack,’ he said, ‘ when 1 get out, the first coin 1 got hold of I’ll spin it up ; if it conies down a head, I’ll turn bookmaker; f tails. I’ll take to bun ranging. ’ That it came tails the events of the last few days will demonstrate. But what a glorious future would have been his Uad it"only come a head. Truly, ‘ there is a divinity that shapes our ends, rough hew them how we may.’ In the present exciremmt this probably may be read with interest if you will publish same.”

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Ashburton Guardian Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 37, 20 December 1879

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