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Mail Notice. —The mails for Sydney per Ringarooma close at Auckland on Tuesday, 16th, at 2 p. m. Novelty. —ln another column Messrs. Everett Bros, announce their intention of giving a grand concert in the Town Hall this week, the whole of the proceeds of which are to be given for benevolent purposes in Ashburton. A number of ladies and gentlemen of known talent have been secured from Christchurch with the object of making the entertainment a signal success. Wesleyan. —On Sunday next there ai’e to be thanksgiving services held in all the Wesleyan Methodist Churches in the district of Canterbury. The Rev. Mr. Keall, making the announcement on Sunday last from the pulpit, said it would be a fitting opportunity for the congregation to give some pecuniary aid to the trust or building fund, and hoped the matter would be very liberally responded to, as help was much required to meet demands upon the trustees of the Church. Induction Services. —On Thursday first the presbyterial services in connection with the induction of the Rev. Mr. Westbrooke to the Presbyterian charge at Rakaia will be held. These will be held in the Rakaia Town Hall, commencing at 11 o’clock in the forenoon, and in the evening a tea meeting in celebration of the induction will be held, at which all the clergymen who took part in the ceremony in the forenoon will be present. The excellent choir of the Ashburton church will also be present, and contribute anthems, &c., under the baton of Mr. Savage, conductor of psalmody, and Mr, Stott presiding at the harmonium. Tussock Eire.—A tussock fire of some extent was the cause of considerable alarm in Rakaia on Sunday. It commenced shortly before divine service began, and while the wind continued the fire kept spreading, and for a time the houses known as “ Sod Town ” were in danger. Several of the residents turned out and did what they could to stay the progress of the fire, and as the wind fell towards afternoon they were successful, but not before a considerable extent of the young blue gum plantations had been burned. The Horticultural Society’s Show. —Mr. G. T. Smith writes, pointing out that his name has been omitted from Our prize list of the Horticultural Society’s Show in five different exhibits —viz., Nos. 39, 4G, 104, 113, and 114. In four cases he got fii'st prizes and two cases second in the exhibits he refers to, and he asks the reason why they did not appear. As far as we were able to ascertain the judges awards, we gave them, the hon. Secretary kindly supplying the list. Whether the Secretary or ourselves are to be blamed for the omission we cannot say, but we are very glad to accept Mr. Smith’s rectification of the omission. Inquest. An inquest has been held at Auckland on the body of the late Mr. Thomas Birch, who died on board the Penguin. The evidence showed that deceased had been ailing on the passage up, and after leaving Gisborne got worse. He took a fit and died in five minutes. He had obtained some chlorodyne at Napier, which was the only medicine he took on the voyage. The medical evidence showed that death resulted from aneurism of the heart, and the wonder is that he had lived so long. A verdict of ‘‘Death from naturaf causes” was returned. 2Gs. 6d. were found on the body, and while the inquest was going on the purser discovered L 96 in bank notes in his underclothing.

Thanksgiving Services —On Sunday the services at the Ashburton Presbyterian Church were special ones, and prayers of thanksgiving were offered up for the harvest. Appropriate references to God’s goodness and the richness of His Grace, and man’s duty to God were made during the forenoon service, by the Rev. Mr. Beattie, and in the evening lie took occasion to make use of the lessons of the season in connection with’ the approaching feast of the Lord’s Supper. Harvest hymns were sung by the congregation at the services.

Important Land Sale. —Messrs. Edmiston Bros, and Gundry will sell by public auction, on Thursday next, the 18th inst., a very valuable farm near the Hinds. It is known as Auchindrane, and consists of a block of 768 acres of really first-class grain growing land, and it has the advantage of being within some two miles of the Hinds railway station, and the land will be put up in convenient-sized blocks suitable for small capitalists, varying from 58 up to 500 acres At the same time there will be offered a lot of first-class draught horses, unbroken colts, farming implements, chaff, oats, and furniture. Conveyances will be ready at Winslow to meet the express, and intending purchasers will be enabled to attend the sale at noon, when the auctioneer will commence the slaughter. The Old Men’s Home. —We have received the following note, which, though unsigned, we have no doubt is genuine : —“ Sir, —By inserting the following lines in your valuable paper you will oblige the humble inmates of this institution (the Old Men’s Home). The inmates of this Home beg to express their regret at the resignation of Rev. Mr. Paige ; also their gratitude for the favors they have received from him. The rev. gentleman was at all times both ready and willing to assist them in any way that lay in his power. Mr. Paige was evidently one of those benevolent gentlemen who believe that the way to live happy is to endeavor to make other people happy. Wherever he goes he will carry with him that which is more precious than gold—a good character. May well be with him, and long may he live to administer comfort to his fellow creatures, is the sincere wish of the inmates of this place, who also beg to exprsss their gratitude to other parties who kindly attend to their spiritual wants every Sunday—rain or blow—evidently believing that forsaken old age is a pitiful thing.” Muffs v. Publicans.— ln a match at Christchurch yesterday the muff cricketers were able to make 103 runs against the men of “ spirit.” The Unemployed at Dunedin.—A meeting of about 500 of the unemployed at Dunedin on Saturday resolved not to accept less than seven shillings per day, and decided to forward a petition to the Government expressing their unwillingness to accept the terms offered. New Brick Kiln. —The firm of Austin, Kirk and Co, (Limited), have just completed at their works (we learn from Christchurch) the largest brick kiln, it is believed, in the Southern Hemisphere. It is circular, with fourteen chambers, to hold 24,000 bricks each. The shaft is 130 feet high, circular, and seven feet in the clear at the base. Found Drowned. A man named Hyde or Hines was found drowned off the reclaimed ground, at Auckland, near the dock, on Sunday morning. As his boots and socks were off, it is conjectured that he went down the ladder on the face of the reclamation to wash his feet in the tide, and tumbled in, hitting his face against the woodwork. “There’s Many a Slip, &c. —The correspondent of the “Press” telegraphing from Invercargill, says A wellknown publican from Dunedin was a passenger per Te Anan, for Melbourne, taking with him a lady friend and L9OO, belonging to his creditors. Owing, however, to the accident to the steamer, he is not likely to see Melbourne for some time, as a constable has just left here with a warrant for his arrest.

The New Goldfield. A telegram from Blenheim informs us that there are now about 60 diggers at work upon the newly discovered goldfield at the Upper Wairau, and the creek has almost as many men as it can carry. Owners of land contemplate taking proceedings on the ground of trespass, in which case Government will have to take immediate stops to proclaim the district. A party of four men obtained six and a half ounces in two weeks, and seem favorably impressed with the prospects. Rain is the great thing the diggers have to fear, as a slight rain which fell during the week interfered sadly with the next day’s work. Two or three Blenheim storekeepers have already opened branches on the ground. The Civil Service Commission. —The Civil Service Commission met on Saturday, at Wellington, all the members being present. Mr. Alfred Saunders was unanimously elected chairman. The Colonial Treasurer attended and conferred with the Commissioners. After some preliminary enquiry from the heads of departments in Wellington the Commission will probably proceed South. Mr. W. Gray, Undersecretary of Postal Department, has been confidentially examined. Interesting to Travellers. —The disabled steamer Te Anau left the Bluff at 9.30 on Saturday morning in tow of the Koputai for Dunedin, but before leaving, the greater portion of the passengers and luggage were transferred to the Rotorua, which sailed on Saturday for Melbourne. In consequence of the accident to the Te Anau, the following will be the alterations in the company’s time table : —The Rotorua leaves Melbourne on Thursday, March 18th, for the Bluff direct, in lieu of the Te Anau ; the Rotomahana, which is due at Port Chalmers on Tuesday next, will return to Melbourne direct the same day, and arrive there in time to take up the Rotorua’s trip, as set down on the present time table ; while the Te Anau will tranship the Rotomahana's northern passengers and cargo, and leave Port Chalmers for Northern Ports on Wednesday, thus taking up the voyage set down on the time table for the Rotomahana. A New Overland Route to the West Coast. —-The “ Grey River Argus” says : —“ On Friday morning last Mr. George Walker and Mr. Wilson, surveyor, loft Lake Guyon, Canterbury, and arrived in Reefton in the evening of the same day. They travelled via Cannibal Gorge to Maruia, and thence down the valley of the Inangahua. Mr. William Gardner, engineer to the Inangahua County, formed one of the party, and he says, in connection with the trip ; —‘ The distance between Reefton and Lake Guyonps about 57 miles, and the time taken to travel it by Messrs. Wilson, Walker, and myself was 18 hours. At present there is about six miles of country to pass through, which is totally unfit for horse traffic, and until this portion of the route has had something done to it, I would not recommend any person to attempt the journey to Christchurch on horseback. As to the practicability of the route, there is not the slightest doubt, but until more work has been done in the vicinity of the Spencer Ranges, I would not recommend anyone to make the journey that way.’ Mr. Gardner further informs us (Inangahua Times) that the level country of Canterbury is reached from Reefton under a distance of 50 miles, and thence to Amberley no difficulty stands in the way of traffic. The ascending grade from Reefton to the Cannibal Gorge is almost imperceptible, but the passage of the gorge is in itself somewhat difficult, being rock-bound and precipitous for a distance of between three and four miles.”

Soldiers’ Mournings. —The practice of wearing armlets of crape in the army has orown to such proportions that the Duke of Cambridge’s attention has been called to the fact that these habiliments of mourning can form no recognised part of the soldier’s kit. “ The Soldier’s Tear ” is an old and favourite song, and the Government cannot and will not attempt to repress the soldier’s tear, but a special order has been or is to be issued that the wearing of crape must be abandoned. This practice is to be immediately discontinued, particularly by non-commissioned officers and privates. Her Little Revenge.— A Danbury young man offended one of the lady clerks in a fancy goods store at a party a few evenings ago. A day or two later he went into the store and inquired if she had “gentlemen’s gloves.” She answered, “ Yes.” “I want to get a pair,” he said. “ Who are they for ?” she asked, looking him straight in the eyes. “ Why—for—me,” he gasped, turning scarlet under the insinuation in her inquiry. —“ Danbury News.”

A Hog Scraper.— A recently patented hog scraping machine is thought to have a possible capacity of removing the bristles from GOOO swine in ten hours—work hitherto requiring the help of sixty men. According to the “ Cincinnati Inquirer,” it was tried the other day in Chicago, when seven hogs of various sizes were passed through in Cfiy-aaven seconds, and “ all came out as clean as a whistle.” Christian Charity. —No wonder some of the clergy are perplexed at the terms of the “ prayer in time of war,” when applied, as requested by the Archbishop of Canterbury, to General Roberts and his Army ;—“ We commend to Thy Fatherly Goodness all those who are in any way afflicted or disturbed in mind, body, or estate, especially those (General Roberts and his army) for whom our prayers are desired.” The General does not seem to be much afflicted or distressed, and his hand is always able to guard his head. The really wretched beings are the Afghans, whose sufferings do not disturb the British General’s digestion, far less evoke his prayers.—“ Echo.” A Remarkable Death.— A most singular instance of death from strangulation occurred near Melugin Grove, Mendota, Illinois, ten miles north of Mendota. A young man named Abies was standing in front of his horse w'hile the animal was feeding. The horse coughed and ejected a kernel of corn, which flew into Abies’ windpipe. He ran into the house, and, by signs, endeavoured to make his family understand what had happened. A messenger on horseback was instantly despatched for a physician, but long before he arrived young Abies was a corpse. The Unemployed. —Mr. Austin, District Engineer, has just returned to Christchurch, having made arrangements for the employment of unemployed on the terms mentioned by the late telegram from the seat of Government. Provision has, apparently, been made for married men to take up their wives and families. A Refugee. —With reference to the cablegram on Tuesday which mentioned that the Russian Government had unsuccessfully endeavored to procure the extradition of a Russian named Hartmann, who is charged with being concerned in setting fire to the Forestry College in Moscow, the Dunedin “ Star” says “ Hartmann is the man’s name, and he is a sapper. He is believed to be the prime mover in the attempt on the Czar’s life at Moscow. The Staroveis, who occupied the house adjoining that from where the excavation was dug towards the railway line, identified Hartmann as the skilled engineer who superintended the work, and as the man who bought the house and superintended the excavation of a cellar, as he took care at the time to inform his neighbors. Another fact established by the Russian police is that Hartmann, immediately after the failure of the attempt on the Czar’s life, obtained leave of absence, and crossed the frontier. ” An Offended Deity. —A Japanese paper states that, having attended their lord’s obsequies near Hiogo, the ladies of the household of an official named Hamuro were thrown from their carriages as they were being conveyed homeward. Fortunately, none of them were seriously injured ; but nevertheless the superstitious ascribe the mishap to the intervention of a deity annoyed by a twofold innovation—that women should not only venture to accompany a funeral procession at all, but should even ride in a carriage on the occasion. A Rowing Challenge. —White Bros., Auckland, publish a challenge to pull any four men in New Zealand the following three events at three months’ notice : Four-oar outriggers, with cox.: pair outrigger, without cox.; and single scullers’ race ; each event to be for £SO.

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Ashburton Guardian Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 74, 16 March 1880

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