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New Telegraph Station. —A telegraph station has been opened at Dargaville, County of Hobson. Mail Notices. —The outward Suez mail will close at the Ashburton Post Office at 10 a. ru. to-day (Thursday). Mails for the United Kindom and Australia, per Arawata, will close at the Bluff on the 13th inst. Libel. —The “ Timaru Herald ” is threatened with an action for libel, at the instance of Captain Norris, of the barque Glimpse, for statements made regarding the vessel’s condition. Sergeant Felton. —Our old friend Sergeant Felton arrived in Ashburton on Tuesday. The sergeant has almost completely recovered from his recent serious illness, and will probably resume duty about the end of the mouth. A Vacancy. —Owing to the lamented death of Mr. Peed, it has become necessary to elect a successor for his seat in the County Council, and it is notified that the nomination for a member for the Upper Ashburton riding will take place on Friday, the 20th inst., at noon, at the Westerfield schoolhouse, and the poll, if necessary, on-Tuesday, March 2nd, at the same place. Three names are mentioned as probable candidates. C. Y. C.—District corps orders announce that Troopers James Wilkin and E. W. Millett and Scrgt. J. Stanley Bruce, having been elected lieutenant and sublieutenants respectively, will act as such pending their examination for commissions. Sergt. Bruce was nominated on 24th October by the Ashburton contingent. The New Court-house. —Plans of the new Court-house for Ashburton now lie for inspection by contractors at the Ashburton Post Office, where they will be seen up to the 2nd March The plans show a very handsome building, that promises to afford at least a fair amount of accommodation. The Court room will be in the centre of the building, and will provide special accommodation for Bench, Clerk, jury, lawyers, witnesses, and the press, with the usual dock and witness box, while a space of 22ft. by 10ft. will be allowed for the general public. Rooms are also provided, as we stated some time ago, when we gave their dimensions, for the Judge, j ury, Magistrate, Registrar of the District Court, lawyers, clerk, bailiff, and witnesses. The police have also a special room, adjoining which are two cells. Contractors will be required by the general conditions to complete the work within three months from the date of the acceptance of the tender, under a penalty of LlO per week, and the “period of maintenance ” shall be for one month from and after the date of passing by the Engineer. Tenderers must deposit a cheque for LBO with their tenders, and give a bond for L2OO. Progress payments of 90 per cent for work actually done, and 50 par cent on value of materials, &c., will be made as the Engineer may approve. We regret to notice that tenders are called for a wooden building, and not as we hoped for one of brick.

Grain Buying. —Mr. 0. Percy Cox lias been appointed the local agent for Messrs. Roy so, Stead, and Co. in the purchase of, and advance of moneys on, grain for this season. Another Objection. The South Rakaia Road Board are as averse to their rate roll as all the other Boards, and notify their intention of objecting to the whole thing. The County Council’s first experiment at assuming Road Board’s work is nut gratifying in the result. Rust. —We have received from several quarters most unfavorable accounts of the ravages this pest is affecting amongst the wheat crops. Some parts of the Seafield and Wakanui districts have suffered largely, and the average yield will be considerably affected. The crop on the Education Reserve, Seafield, about 1000 acres of wheat, the property of Messrs. Saunders Bros., and which several of our correspondents have referred to us as the best in the district, has suffered to such an extent that we are informed by the proprietors that they do not anticipate the yield will exceed 15 bushels per acre, or a reduction of fully one half on its appearance two weeks ago. No Followers. A correspondent sends us an indignant letter. He has been accused of following a servant girl through the town on several occasions, and he denies the impeachment in strong terms, adding that things have come to a sorry pass when a man cannot take a walk without being accused of following some “fairnymph,” desirous of attaining “ wliat a certain class mistake for fa me—notoriety. ” He also asks “ Is there really a woman so conceited as to imagine that every man who walks in the same direction must necessarily be following her?” We are exceedingly sorry for our correspondent. Perhaps he is handsome and a lady killer, and like to admire a pretty face. Let us remind him of a proverb made use of extensively in Scotland, which we dare say he will be able to remember as a caution in the future when he gets too near a girl’s track to be safe —“ There’s always some water where the calf is drowned.” We have heard very many complaints recentlyahout the conduct of certain well educated larrikins, and we do not wonder much at “even a servant girl” being afraid of “ followers. ” Public Building Architecture.—A correspondent who had seen the new Court-house plans looked in upon us last night, and left a fierce article, from which we extract the following :—“ The architecture is of the usual New Zealand public buildings’ type, and I oan find no bettor term to apply to it than the 1 ‘ flattened extinguisher style.” It has the merit of being uglier than the lonic, not so ornamental as the Corinthian, dearer than the Doric and perhaps equal to the sod hut era in point of beauty. The material of which it is to be built is—wood—notwithstanding that it was pointed out that bricks could be utilised here for such buildings at almost as cheap a rate as timber. But as the Government architects have a lot of stock plans of wooden buildings on hand, and very few brick ones, it is easier to take tracings off old plans than to make new ones, and brick is a material of which colonial Government architects seem to have an abhorrence, as new plans would have had to bo made out. I think a protest should he forwarded on this matter. Moreover, I decidedly object to the “squat” looking appearance of the building. Our County Council offices are bad enough, but the abortion proposed to be built to dispense justice in, will, if a stranger wishes to find it, require the erection of a tower or flag station to enable him to discover the habitat on court days of the Bench and Bar.” A Practical Sympathiser- —At the meeting held at the Town Hall last night one of our most respected residents was absent. If not present in the flesh, he ■ was in the spirit, as the following letter which was read by the Mayor will testify : —“Feb. 11th, 1860. —To the Mayor of Ashburton. Dear Sir, —I am very sorry that I cannot attend the meeting at the Hall to night, the time is most awkward for farmers. With regard to any produce contributed by farmers, I will receive it in store and forward to destination free of charge, also, I am trying to persuade the men at each threshing machine to thresh 1000 bushels gratuitously, if farmers will contribute that amount of grain. I shall not venture an opinion whether it would be advisable to sell here or ship. But in all cases be guided by head Committee. I think if something of this kind were well organised there would be a liberal sum to send homo. Hoping your meeting will be successful — I am, Ac., Joseph Clark.” We do not wish to hold Mr. Clark’s offer up as being something extraordinary, for the reason that whenever any charitable object is being canvassed for, ho is usually one of the first who has the subscription list placed before him, with a request to “head the list,” which he never fails to do when the cause is a good 0:10. In this case we can only remark that Mr. Clark has excelled himself, and his example is one which is worth the while of other machine owners taking a note of As the late Mayor truly observed, “ cash might be scarce, but grain is plentiful,” and wo may add that there are plenty of idle Irishmen about just now who would do well to give a day’s work or its equivalent for their unfortunate fellow-countrymen. The Florence Entertainment.— The complimentary entertainment given by several vocal and dramatic amateurs in Ashburton to Mr. and Mrs. Florence came o(T on Tuesday night in the Town Hall. Wc had hoped to see a larger audience than that assembled, the hall being only about half full, but the chairs were nearly all filled, the thinness being especially remarkable in the back benches, which were almost unoccupied. After the usual instrumental piece, played by Mrs. Paige, with her customary taste, the vocal work was initiated by a, trio, “ Through the world,” in wliich the abilities of Mr. and Mrs. Florence were well displayed, but to no greater advantage certainly than were those of Mr. Branson, who also took part in it, and rendered invaluable service. Mr. Pratt followed, singing “The sexton.” Mr. Pratt has a very useful voice, but scarcely enough of it, we should say, for a song like “ The sexton ” in such a wretched hall as ours. Mr. Harrison was as happy as usual in “Nothing else to do,” and in response to an encore he gave “The bell-ringer,” Mr. Branson and Mr. Florence then delighted the audience with the lively duet, “The moon has raised her lamp,” and had to repeat it in acknowledgement of hearty compliments. ‘ ’The mountebank” afforded Mrs Florence an opportunity of pleasing the audience greatly, and when they signified their approval by an encore, she sang in response “ Norah O’Neil,” an effort that made her more popular than ever. Mr. Branson is always acceptable, as his very effective singing of “Twilight is darkening” proved. After a duet “Flow Gently, Dova ” had been sung by Mr. and Mrs. Florence, and a song by Mr. Jacobson, which bad to be repeated, the vocal part concluded with the prison scone from “ Maritana,” Mr. Branson being 'particularly successful in his exposition of “In Happy Moments,” and Mr. Florence very telling in “ Let me like a Soldier Full. ” The entertainment concluded with the comedietta entitled “Jack’s Delight,” in which much amusement was caused by the lively personification of Mrs. Brush by a lady amateur, and the drolleries of “Titus” and his father. The piece, wliich was well put on, and put through without any hitch and with much spirit, kept the audience in good humor to the close. Wo must not omit to mention how much the success of the vocal part of the entertainment was owing to Mrs. Paige’s admirable aid at the piano.

The Honorarium.— Mr J. B. Bain, M.H.R. for Invercargill, has divided one half of his honorarium between the Hospital and the Benevolent Institution — L 52 10s, to each. Smuggling Tobacco. —Two men were fined L 25 each with L 3 10s. costs, at the Auckland Police Court on Tuesday, for smuggling tobacco from the City of New York mail steamer. Cambridge School. —Wo learn that this school will commence work on the first Monday in March. Prior to opening there w r ill be a public tea meeting and entertainment, due notice of which will be given. The County Council Vacancy. —Mr. Bullock has consented to stand for the seat vacated by the late Mr. Charles Reed, in the County Council for the Upper Ashburton riding. Mr. Bullock was a member of the first County Council. Pastor Ghiniquy. —Pastor Chiniquy is advertised to preach in Ashburton on Sunday-—in the morning in the Presbyterian Church, and in the evening in the Wesleyan. He will also give one of his lectures in the Town Hall on the Monday following. Doubtless both churches will be crowded on Sunday, as well as the hall on Monday. Sad Case of Drowning. —A most melancholy accident happened at Waikari on Sunday last. About 10 a.ra. William Acliffo, a young man in the employ of Mr. John M'Lcan, went to have a bath in one of the pools formed by the Waikari Creek. He was accompanied by a lad of 12 or 13 years. Acliffo undressed and jumped into the water (there about 12 feet deep), and though professedly a good swimmer, after once rising to the surface of the w r ater, he, without making any attempt to swim, sank and was drowned. The lad raised an alarm which brought a party of eight or ten men to the scene, two of whom immediately undressed and dived to try and raise the body, but though they both wrought most untiringly they were not successful, the body not being found till Mr. M‘Lean brought an iron drag, for which he had to go a mile and a half. Deceased came to the colony only six months ago, but during that time he had gained the good will of both his employer and his neighbors. “Black” Fishing.— A case of wliat poachers in the Old Country call “ black” fishing—that is, fishing during close time, has been heard at the Port Chalmers Magistrate’s Court, whore Louis F. Drew, master of the schooner Awaroa, was charged on the information of the police with killing 319 seals between Dec. 1, 1879, and Feb. 4, 1880, during the time the animals were protected by statute. The offence took place at the Campbell Islands. The evidence having been heard, defendant urged that it had not been proved that he had killed even one seal. His Worship then committed defendant to take his trial at the next sitting of the Supremo Court. Defendant stated that he had left seven men on the island who by the time this case w'as decided might be dead. There was no person but himself who know whore to look for them, and he therefore asked for bail to be allowed. Bail was fixed, himself in L2OO, and two sureties in LIOO each. A Hint to the Farmers.— “ An Old Farmer,” writing to the “ Timaru Herald, ’ says:—-“Last year I was offered by the representative of a large firm here 3s. 4d. per bushel for my wheat. I shipped it Home, and find from my account sales, recently received, that upon a produce of some 230 acres 1 have made a clear profit of over L 450 over the price offered me on the spot. I find, upon taking out a calculation, (hat my wheat cost mo last year about Is. Bid. per bushel to ship Home, including .all charges. Taking the freight this year at 595. (which, although very high as compared with last year, is really not exorbitant, comparing the relative value of wheat in England), the outside charges will not exceed 2s. to 2s. Id. This means that New Zealand wheat at 5Gs. to 5Ss. per quarter will leave a margin of 4s. lid. to the New Zealand' shipper, so that if the merchants mean offering 3s. Gd. to 3s. 9d. as opening prices, it means that they intend making a similar 1 ring’ to the one already started in Christchurch, and to fleece the grower by making enormous profits out of him. There is one thing I can assure the merchant of, wo are not nearly so hard-up as they imagine, and the monopolies of buying they are now creating will work their own cure.” Revival of Trade in England. — The “Argus” correspondent writes by the Suez mail:—We arc now in the midst of the fourth month of the revival of trade. Although there had not been wanting hopeful signs of the re-awakening of our dormant industries before that date, it was not till September that the great improvement in the iron trade, and the decided advances in the prices of iron mannfatures took place, which have since been followed by a rise in the value of almost every article of produce, an increase of demand at the manufacturing centres, the more active employment of capital and labor throughout the country, and a buoyancy of Stock Exchange business which lias not keen witnessed for many years. Among the evidences of this gratifying improvement in trade which at once strike us are —the magnitude of the rise of prices, the great increase in the transactions at the bankers’ clearing house, amounting in the month of November to 2-5 per cent in excess of the previous year, and an increase in the railway goods traffic, which is at the rate of 5 per cent on the leading linos on the traffic of the corresponding period of last year. The branch in which the improvement lias bean -most conspicuous, as has been before remarked, is the iron trade. There have been large indents on this country for consumers in the United States, as well as purchases on speculation and for stock, and those have been supplemented by larger orders at home in the shipbuilding trades. There have also been some increased shipments of cotton manufactures to the East, and of various manufactures to the United States ; but the evidences of revival pu these departments are neither so pronounced nor reliable. Another remarkable feature of the revival, lately noticed by tbe “Times,” is the great stimulus given to speculative demand on the part of merchants, retailors, and others, who have acted in the firm belief that better times are at band.

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Ashburton Guardian Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 60, 12 February 1880

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