San Francisco Mail. —The Ashburton portion of the Sah Francisco mail may be expected to-day.
Taylor’s Road. —Tenders are invited by the Mount Somers Road Board for cuttings, etc., on Taylor’s road. Gas Company. —An extraordinary meeting rf the Ashburton Gas Company, called for yesterday afternoon, fell through from want of a quorum. Farewell Dinner. — A meeting is announced to take place at Harris’ Railway Hotel, Winslow, on Friday next, to make arrangements for a farewell dinner to Mr. A. Frisby. Contempt of Court. —Daniel Horrigan, who appeared in Court on Friday in a state of intoxication, was brought before his Worship on Saturday, and fined L2, or forty-eight hours’ imprisonment. Sent Back. —Fanny Williams, who was arrested on Friday evening in Ashburton, on a warrant from Christchurch, being brought before the Bench on Saturday, was remanded to that city for trial.
Waterton Pound. —On reference to our advertising columns it will be seen that the by-laws for the Waterton Pound will come into force on the 21st April, and that Mr. Samuel Holland has been appointed poundkeeper. The Weather. —The dull foggy weather which prevailed during the greater part of last week, culminated in a thunder storm early on Sunday morning, since which time the atmosphere has been of a much purer and bracing character.
Obstructing the Tramway. —A test case of obstructing the tramway was heard yesterday at Christchurch, in which the driver of a break, who got in the way purposely, and caused the tram car to miss the train, was fined Is. and cosi s. Drunk. —Before Mr. Guinness, on Saturday, George Edmonds pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly, bit thire being no previous convictions recorded against the delinquent, he was let off with ffie usual fine of 55., or twenty-four hours in durance vile. A New Start.—Mr. Wilkie announces his intention of giving the public the opportunity of using some of his well-known first-class horses. He is going to open his stables for livery and breaking-in work, and his talent in that direction is so well known, and his stock so good, that his success is certain. Courthouse. —The Minister of Justice passed through Ashburton by yesterday morning’s express, and on the representation of Mr. Alfred Saunders, he telegraphed from here instructions to delay accepting a tender for our local courthouse until alternative tenders for brick or wood can be invited.
Steeplechases. —The steplechase meeting advertised for Saturday evening lapsed on acc uint of insufficient attendance. We understand that a number of sporting gentlemen will meet one evening during the present week and endeavor to make the necessary arrangements for holding the customary May steeplechases. Akt.—We have much pleasure in recording the fact that another celebrity in artistic painting is a resident of the Canterbury Plains. We have been shown some very superior productions in the shape of oil painting by Mr. Clarke, of Kakaia. Several of the pictures are being framed in gold By our local picture frame maker, Mr. Gates, of Saunders’ Buildings. Harrow Escape.-—A party set out on Sunday morning from Chertsey to go rabbit hunting on the Rakaia Island. When fording the river they got out of their depth and drowned the shaft horse. Fortunately they were driving tandem, and the leader being an old coach horse pulled his dead mate and trap out. Two valuable guns were washed away, and an overcoat, and it is fortunate no lives were lost, as the men had to swim, for it.
Local Directory. —Mr. Burton, who compiled and printed a directory for Christchurch, Lyttelton, .and Kaiapoi, is about to compile one also for Aushburton, Timaru, and Oamaru. We can only say that if Mr. Burton is as successful in his efforts in the south as he has been in the north of Canterbury, he will have no reason to regret his visit here. Accident. —During the violence of the gale on Sunday morning the Corcoran windmill opposite Messrs. Jameson and Roberts’ store suffered somewhat, the fan having been twisted all to one side. The accident was remedied yesterday, however, when workmen were put to set matters right. We have heard of no other accidents to any of the Althouses erected on the plains.
The Rakaia Bridge Approaches.— Owing to the nor’-westers there has been a considerable amount of damage done to the approaches at the south side of the Rakaia Bridge. The river had been steadily rising for the three days previons to Saturday last, and on that afternoon it rose to such a height that nearly the whole population of the township were converted for the time being into navvies, and had an opportunity of displaying their skill in that line by filling sand bags, &c., with a view of stopping the encroachment of the flood. The train was got over the breach by the device of pulling over the line, and after a delay of two hours it succeeded in getting through. The river fell considerably afterwards, but it required some effort to be put forth by the pennant way staff to have the line in condition for traffic on Monday. I.O.G.T.—The Star of the East Lodge held its usual meeting on Saturday night, when one new member was initiated. It was intended that three short lectures should have been delivered, but owing to the amount of Lodge business done there was only time for one—that of the Chief Templar on “ the Obligation.” The nature of the templar’s vow was dilated on at some length, and some useful lessons and practical suggestions were given. In the course of the evening the District Deputy urged the members to take advantage of the facilities for registration given by the new Registration of Electors Act, under which any man resident for six months in the district could obtain a vote. He also pointed out that it was vain to trust to the old leasehold and household qualification, but instead tha u application on a residence qualification should be at once made.
The Hospital. —The Hospital Committee of the Council met yesterday to consider tenders for the Hospital furniture, and applications for the positions of master and matron. The tenders sent in were in most cases at per article, without the total sums being filled in, so that a large amount of time was spent in finding the difference between the tenderers’ amounts. It was ultimately decided, after examination of the samples, to accept the lowest tender, and the duty of finding out who was lowest was relegated to the Clerk. The large number of applicants were reduced to a short leet of three, and the committee held over the final appointment till another meeting. The committee on the division of subsidies also met, and apportioned the various proportions to be paid to each Road Board, but another meeting will also require to be held to finish this work. Fatal Accident at Rakaia. —On Saturday afternoon a man named James Clark, a tailor, residing at Temuka, while travelling in the train, fell off the platform near Rakaia. He had been sitting with his legs hanging down between the couplings of the carriages, and when he fell, from what cause it has not been ascertained, the whole of the carriages behind the one he occupied passed over his body, almost cutting him in two, so that death must have been instantaneous. For some time no information as to his identity could be obtained, but ultimately the police discovered, from the articles in his pockets (scissors and a tape measure), that he was a tailor, and, communicating with the police at Temuka, from which station deceased had a second-class ticket, his name and vocation were learned. Sergeant Carlyon passed through yesterday morning to identify the man, and an inquest was held at noon, when a verdict of “ Accidental death ” was returned.
Presentation. —The men employed at Messrs. Saunders Bros.’ Mill met on Saturday evening to present Mr. F. Fletcher, Messrs. Saunders Bros.’ cook, who is leaving their employ, with a memento of their good will and esteem. Mr. Ranger, the chairman, said that, on behalf of his fellow-workmen, it gave him great pleasure in fulfilling the task assigned to him. Mr. Fletcher had, during the twelve months he had been amongst them, always been most attentive and obliging, and had conducted himself in a praiseworthy manner. They wished him all success, and health to enjoy his present. Mr. Fletcher returned thanks for the unexpected gift, stating that during his twenty-seven years’ experience in his calling it was the first time his services had been so rewarded. He had always tried to study the interest of his employers and the comfort of those he had to cater for, and he was happy to think his labors had not been in vain. The presentation consisted of a very handsome meerschaum pipe and tobacco box. Novel Method of Seeking Redress, —Thomas Cook was brought up before Mr. Guinness on Saturday for breaking three panes of glass, the property of Messrs. Orr and Co., valued at L 5. After the arresting constable had given his evidence, Mr. John Orr deponed that Cook had gone into their shop yesterday afternoon, with an order from a man named Russell, upon which witness told the prisoner that, as the firm were not indebted to Russell, he should refuse to pay it. After muttering something, prisoner went outside, and the next thing Mr. Orr heard was the smashing of windows. Cook had been in the night before, and, after pleading poverty, witness had given him a few shillings to get a bed and breakfast, and told the prisoner not to trouble him any more about the order. The two bottom panes had been kicked through, and a stone thrown through the top pane. The estimated damage done was L 5. In reply prisoner, Mr. Orr stated that he had told the men in Russell’s employ that the latter had written for sufficient money to pay the men off, and that the firm had sent him all that he had asked for—namely, LIOO, in three instalments, and that the men would have to look to Russell for payment up to the time possession was taken by Orr and Co. of the farm, but if the men liked to stop on afterwards he would see that they were’ paid. Prisoner, however, did not stop after possession had been taken by the prosecutor. Addressing the Bench, prisoner stated that after following Russell all over the country he could only get half his wages and an order on Orr and Co for the balance, in consequence of the latter having taken possession of the crop. Seeing that he (Cook) could not get the money, he broke the windows, so as to bring the matter into notice, and show how working men, who work hard from year to year, are treated, and do not know who to apply to for the wages which they earn. His Worship said that on his own evidence prisoner had committed the offence. There was no doubt he had a claim on Russell for his earnings, but Mr. Orr was in no way responsible for the amount. The prisoner had taken a most unusual course to make known Ins grievance, and reminded him there was the usual legal process open to him to obtain justice. Prisoner was mulcted in a penalty of L 5, and another sum of L 5 for the damage done, or one month’s imprisonment with hard labor.
The Bracken Libel Case. —The libel case, Bracken v. Darrell, came on for hearing at the Christchurch Supreme Court yesterday. By a mistake a common jury had assembled, whereas a special jury had been applied for, and after a good deal of legal argument, his Honor refused to try the case that day, and the record was withdrawn. Judge Johnston stigmatised the proceedings as a farce, and told the jury he was sorry he could not fix the blame precisely, or he would have made the offending side pay the jurors.
Five Horses Killed by Lightning.— During the storm that raged in this district on Sunday morning, there was a considerable amount of damage done. Amongst the casualties of which information hr a reached us, is the death of five horses by lightning at Sweeney Bros’, faim, near the mouth of the Ashburton river. The horses were in a paddock adjoining the homestead, and had been out all night as usual. In the thunderstorm that was raging in the early morning they must have been struck by lightning, as when their owners went to the paddock at daylight, all five horses were dead. Four of the horses killed were only recently purchased, and were excellent farm workers. The other was a hack. The wind blew with great force in the above locality, and much property has been displaced. The Rev. Mr. Hands. —The services at St. Stephen’s on Sunday were two of the best attended perhaps in the history of the church, every available inch of space being occupied. The Rev. Mr. Hands, who is to take charge of the parish and parochial district for the next six months, conducted divine service, and in the morning preached from the text “Peace be unto you.” In the evening his subject was “The Good Shepherd.” On both occasions the rev. gentleman preached impressive and practical sermons, and in the evening he made special reference to his coming amongst the people of this district, and appealed to his hearers to pray to the Good Shepherd of a l l that He would give strength and grace to him in preaching the Gospel of Peace. The Rev. Mr. Hands is an earnest preacher, and seems thoroughly to understand what is required of him as a minister of the gospel. As a speaker, Mr. Hands is fluent and effective, and uses no notes ■whatever. Altogether, we judge that he has won the hearts of the people, and there is every reason to hope that under his ministrations the spur to true religion that always follows a change of pastors will be a strong one, and that much good will attend his residence in Ashburton. Rakaia Town Hall Company.—A general meeting of shareholders in the above company was held at Rakaia on Thui’sday afternoon. Present —Messrs. E. S. Coster (Chairman), N. M‘Lean and T. A. Winter, directors. Messrs. C. Tucker, G. Shellock, W. H. Partridge, A. Makeig, and E. Clark. The chairman stated that the primary reason for calling the meeting was to appoint a public officer and a place for leaving notices, &c., as required by the provisions of the Property Tax Act. It was resolved .that Mr. T. A. Winter be appointed public officer for the company, and that the office of M'Lean and Winter be the office of the company. It was resolved that the Presbyterians be allowed the use of the hall every Sunday for divine service, for 12 months, at a rental of ss. per Sunday. This arrangement to be terminable by one month’s notice on either side after the first twelve months. It was resolved that Messrs. Winter, Coster, Tucker, Makeig, Partridge, M'Lean, Clark, and Shellock be appointed a committee to revise the present letting tariff of the hall, and to recommend the directors to adopt such charges as may seem advisable ; three of the above to form a quotum. Mr. Hartnell was elected a director in place of Mr. Pitt retired. It was decided to hold another general meeting of shareholders on Thursday, April 15th, at Rakaia. The Injured Ones. — We clip the following from the “Otago Witness ” : “At a special meeting of the officers and committee of the Brigade convened on Thursdry evening Inst, for the purpose of refuting charges made by the ‘ ‘ Ashburton Mail ” re pillage of Mrs. Furness’ shop by members of the Brigade—Captain Goldie occupied the chair the statements enclosed of Corporal Asher, Gunners Gott and Shearer, L Battery, and Gunners Tees and Casey, P.C.N.8., were taken down*; and the meeting adjourned till Monday evening. Captain Goldie and Lieutenant Thomson in the meanwhile proceeded to Ashburton, and there made exhaustive inquiries on the subject. They had an interview with Mrs. Furness, with Mr. Taylor, baker, who occupies the shop next door, and made inquiries of several of the townspeople, who all appeared to be in the dark regarding the affair. They also called on the editor of the “ Ashburton Mail,” who knew nothing about the matter, as the proprietary of the paper had undergone a change since the article complained of appeared, and the late reporter had left the place and gone to Patea.” At the adjourned meeting last night the additional evidence of Corporal Schumacher (L Battery) and Sub-lieutenant Kermode (P.C.N.8.) was taken. The evidence taken has been considered satisfactory by the officers. More could have been obtained had it been deemed necessary. We hear that it is not unlikely that if the official inquiry absolves their company from participation in the affair, an action for libel will be entered against the “ Ashburton Mail ” by the Brigade, unless a full apology be made.”
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