Parish Meeting. —The annual parish meeting of St. Stephen’s will be held on Monday evening in the Library Hall, at 7.30.
Tenders. —The County Engineer calls for tenders for 10 miles of flood water drainage between Winchmore and Methveu, the work to be let in six different lots.
Gift Auction. —The Financial Committee of the Presbyterian Church have arranged for a gift auction in aid of the funds" of the church, to take place in the Town Hall on the 6th of May next, St. Stephen’s Church. —The Rev. Mr. Hands has arrived in Ashburton, and visited the choir at its practice last night. He will conduct service in the chinch tomorrow.
The Waimate Bush Fire Cases.— The whole of the Studholme cases, in which damages are claimed for compensation arising out of the great Waimate bush fire, have been withdrawn. Mount Somers Railway—Upper Section.— The surveyors have completed their survey of the upper section of the Mount Somers line, and the next we ought to hoar in connection with it should be that tenders are called for.
Town Hall Company.— At its meeting on Wednesday the Town Hall Company decided to carryout the improvements decided upon some time ago—namely, the boarding up of the gallery and the erection of a verandah, &c. A Dear Smoke. —The man who was lugged out of the train and dropped at Rakaia, for smoking in a second-class carriage which was not a smoking carriage, was on Thursday fined L2 for the enjoyment of his illicit pipe, and also for obstructing the guards. Fire. —Early on Thursday morning six stacks of oats the property of Mr. John O’Shea were destroyed by fire, at the Ashburton Forks. The loss is estimated at about Ll5O, which is partially covered by insurance with the London and Lancashire Insurance Co.
Scholarships. Ten scholarships of the annual value of L4O each, and tenable for two years, will be awarded in June next, after an examination in accordance with the conditions advertised in another column by J. Colbcrn Veel, Esq., Secretary to the Board of Education. Neck and Neck. —lwo applications having been made on the same day at the Crown Land Office for five acres of land at Tinwald, the two applicants will have an auction all to themselves of the land applied for, the auction coming off at the Land Office, Christchurch, on the 3rd May.
A Divorce Case.— The divorce case of Herbert Fergusson v. Jane Fergusson and John Pradialle is set down for hearing on Monday, at Dunedin.
The Ivess Libel Case. —The tail of this case got a shake in Court yesterday again, when Mr. H. Friedlander sued Mr.
Ivess for the solicitors’ fees in connection with the apology published in the three Ashburton papers. Mr. Ivess had to pay.
The Canterbury Co-operative Land Company. —Government have granted free passages to Messrs. Barsley and Cook, the Canterbury Co-operative Land Company, to inspect the land open for Selection in the North Island under the deferred payment system, and they have left Wellington for Taranaki.
A Warning. — Dog owners who have neglected to register their canine favorites had better hurry up and interview the Registrar of Dogs, or they may have to experience a more expensive interview with Mr-. Guinness, who fined John Hicks, of Tinwald, LI yesterday morning for neglecting to register his dog.
Death to the Small Birds. —The small birds are likely to have a war of extermination waged against them very shortly. Yesterday afternoon the Christchurch Agricultural and Pastoral Association resolved to invite the attendance of representatives from farmers’ clubs and sparrow clubs, to consider what steps should be taken for the abatement of the small birds nuisance.
Wesleyan Church.— The congregation of the Cameron street Church, who have hitherto worshipped on Sunday evenings in a veritable “dim, religious light,” afforded by kerosene lamps, will be glad to know that gas has been laid on, and next Sunday evening the church will be illuminated in a somewhat more satisfactory manner than has hitherto been the case.
Mount Somers Railway. —The firsi, traffic train ran up the Mount Somers line Thursday, making a cut into_the grain that is stacked along the route. No arrangements exist for passenger traffic, and there is little chance of any being made for a long time as the work done would not look at the cost. We would not be surprised to learn that after the grain rush the hue will he idle.
Defaulting Ratepayers —His Worship gave j ndgment yesterday morning against the following ratepayers in the Longbeach Road District, who had failed to pay up arrears:—R. Colloway, 10s.; John George, LI 9s. Bd., and costs, 55.; J. R. Steele, L2 Bs., and costs, ss. A claim by the Board against Risely Bros, was dismissed on account of an informality in the summons, and Messrs. A Jackson and Hayman paid the amounts sued for into Court.
South Rakaia School Committee The usual monthly meeting of the South Rakaia School Committee was held on Tuesday evening. Present Messrs. Tucker (Chairman), Hartnell, Cox, Shellock, and Walsh. It was resolved that, Mr. A. Makeig having failed to attend three consecutive meetings of the Committee without leave, his seat be declared vacant. Several accounts were passed for payment, and the Committee adjourned. A Smash. —Yesterday afternoon an individual armed with an order on Messrs. Orr and Co., which they did not choose to honor, fancied, according to his own statement, that he might as well work six months for Government for nothing, as to a cockatoo for the same sum, and therefore proceeded to smash in three of the large panes in the shop window. He succeeded in accomplishing his self-set task, and having done so was walked of to the police station. We understand that his wrath was kindled because his cockatoo employer had given him an order on the Messrs. Orr in payment for harvesting work, which order Messrs. Orr would not honor, inasmuch as they had already forwarded to the cockatoo the money needful to pay the wages for harvesting the crop, over which they held a lien. The man hails from Waimate.
St. Stephen’s Vestry. —On Wednesday the vestry of St. Stephen’s Church held a meeting, at which were present Messrs. Bullock and Books (churchwardens) and Messrs. Ward, G undry, and Boyle. It was resolved to recommend the new vestry to hold a gift auction on the first Tuesday nearest full moon in June next, and that the annual parish meeting be held on Monday next, in the library, to elect officers and receive the balance-sheet. Regarding the new pastor, Rev. Mr. Hands, it was decided to ask for information from the Bishop. Rev. Mr. Paige was informed that he was welcome to the use of the parsonage until his successor required it. The vestry expressed their regret that their finances would not permit them to purchase certain improvements that had been made upon the parsonage during Rev. Mr. Paige’s occupancy. A report was ordered to be drawn up, and the acounts printed and distributed. St. Mark’s Church, Rakaia. —The annual meeting of parishioners was held in the Public Library, Rakaia, on Wednesday evening. There was not a large attendance. The Chairman, the Rev. W. H. Elton, Incumbent, opened the meeting with prayer. The Chairman made some remarks on the work of the parish during the ten months he has had the incumbency. The parish has now three churches in good centres St. Mark’s, Rakaia ; St. John’s, Barrhill and All Saints, Sherwood that of St. Mark’s having been erected entirely at the expense of the people, excepting a grant of L9O. The debt upon the church is now Ll4O, which will be reduced by about L7O, the proceeds of the tea meeting and gift auction held last week. The new vestry will therefore start with the comparatively small deficit of L7O on the building account. The incumbent congratulated the parish on the erection of All Saint’s Church at Sherwood, which, through the untiring energy of Mr. Passmore, has been opened free of debt, except a loan of L2OO from the Church Property Trustees. Two grants of LIOO each have been received for the erection of two school churches—one at Methven, the other at Chertsey. During the last three months a grant has been received of LIOO for the completion of the parsonage, which is now large and comfortable. Besides three services held by the incumbent every Sunday, there are four lay services, making together seven services every Sunday, and it is hoped soon to have two more. He was glad to say that there are three Sunday schools in the parish—one at St. Mark’s, one at Barrhill, and the third at Kyle, the attendance at each being very good. He begged to thank the churchwardens, vestry, lay readers, Sunday school teachers, the organist, and the choir for the zeal displayed by them in carrying out their respective very arduous duties. The balance sheet, audited by Mr. 0. Maclean, was received and adopted. It was resolved that the parish take over the liability of the L2OO loan from the Diocesan Treasurer for the bunding of Sherwood Church. It was resolved that the matter of letting the seats in St. Mark’s Church be left to the incoming vestry to decide. The incumbent stated that he had appointed Mr. Mackie to be clergyman’s churchwarden for the current year On the motion of Mr. E. S. Coster, seconded by Mr. C. S. Mackie, Mr. Edwd. Chapman was elected parishioner’s churchwarden. The following ten gentlemen were then elected as vestrymen ;—For Kyle, Mr. Dearden and Mr. Thompson ; Chertsey, Mr. L. Maugham, and Mr. Francis ; Methven, Mr. G. Alington ; Barr Hill, Mr. 0. S. Mackie ; Sherwood, Mr. F. B. Passmore ; Rakaia, Messrs. Coster, Maclean and Hardy. A vote of thanks to the chairman terminated the proceedings. i
A Drunken Litigant. —ln the R.M. Court yesterday, Mr. O’Reilly asked for the adjournment of a case in which he appeared for the defendant, on the plea that his client was not “ physically capable ” of appea ring. The adjournment was granted in payment of the usual costs, but some one pointed out to the opposite side that defendant was sitting in Court “ with his head bowed down.” His Worship ordered the alcoholically soporfic defendant off to the lock-up. A Scene in Court. —The relations between Bench and Bar at the Ashburton R.M. Court do not seem to be of the most amicable character, and now and again little ebullitions of temper are manifested. Yesterday, during the hearing of a case, a little scene occurred in which the love that exists was shown. In the case of Weeks and Dixon v. Harris and Ireland, Mr. Branson, who was not engaged in the case, interposed some remarks, whereupon Mr. O’Reilly asked him what right he had to interfere where he was not concerned. Mr. Branson making some further remarks, the R.M., with the front of Jove, came down upon the luckless Mr. Branson, and observed that he was always conducting himself in an outrageous manner in that Court, and so for a time discord reigned supreme in our classic Hall of Justice. Ultimately the R.M. said if he had said anything rashly he was willing to apologise to the bar, but the bar wasn’t on, and the Bench has not yet been apologised to.
Melbourne Exhibition. —The Royal Commission for the Melbourne Exhibition has been appointed, consisting of his Excellency the Governor, Dr. Hector, his Worship the Mayor, and Messrs. Dransfield, Lemon, Levin, Mclntyre, Krull, Thomson, and Tolhurst. The Case of Longhurst. —The charge of rape on a child of tender years, against George Longhurst, heard at Wellington, has been heard, and after a two days’ trial, the prisoner has been found guilty, and sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment with hard labor, and also to receive fifty lashes
A Tonga Islander on the Police Bench.— At Auckland on Thursday, S. Tunehoka, the Minister of Police for Tonga, accompanied by the Rev. S. W. Baker, the Tonga missionary, paid a visit to the Police Court, to witness the manner in which the business is conducted. Both gentlemen were accommodated with seats on the Bench, and both appeared to take considerable interest in the cases which came before the Court.
Friendly Natives. —A New Plymouth telegram says : —A meeting o Natives was held on Wednesday, when Motu addressed his people. The speech was characterised by warm expressions of friendliness towards the pakeha, and was more than ever opposed to To Whiti. About 150 were present at the meeting, including some Europeans. The Natives of the settlements evince friendliness towards the Armed Constabulary by constantly presenting food. The roads at Punho are being rapidly pushed on by the efforts of the men sent from Wellington and the Armed constabulary. Gatling Guns for Infantry. —The opinion which finds expression in a suggestion made by the “Army and Navy Gazette,” that three Gatling guns should he attached to every battalion of infantry, is ■well worth consideration. Of late it has frequently happened, as on several occasions in South Africa and Afghanistan for instance, that a comparatively small British force has found itself attacked by an enemy of an enormous numerical superiority ; and there can be no doubt that machine guns would be found most serviceable weapons for repulsing such onslaughts. A weapon from which 600 to 1000 bullets can, if necessary, be discharged per minute could be used with deadly and decisive effect against an assailant closing in dense masses round a defensive force or post. The weapon is light, easily transported, and can be worked by very few men. If two or three of these machine guns were given to every battalion they could be worked by men of the battalion itself, and if necessary they could be easily moved by them from point to point, and taken wherever the battalion went. Had the handful of troops who so gallantly defended the Residency in Cabnl on Sept. 3, or had the 24th Regiment when attacked at Isandala had a few machine guns ready for action, the issues of those two days might, there can be no doubt, have been other than they -were.
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