Postponiment OP Sale. —The sale of farm implements, etc., in the estate of Edwin Watkins, has been postponed till the 4th May. Ashburton Steeplechases. —The programme of events at the Ashburton Steeplechase meeting, which is to take place on the 29th May, appears in another column. Lunacy from Brink. — A man named James Downie was yesterday remanded by Mr. 0. P. Cox, J.P., to Lyttelton for seven days to suffer a recovery from excessive drinking.
Tenders. —Both the Mount Somers and Wakanui Road Boards arc advertising various works for which they invite fenders. Full particulars will be found in the advertising columns.
Storting.— We understand that the race between Messrs Groves and Montgomery, reference to which was made in our columns last week, has been arranged, and will be run next Saturday week on the racecourse. The distance is to be one mile, and the stakes L 5.
The Railway Commission. —The Railway Commissioners arrived in Ashburton per special train on Saturday afternoon at half-past two. After luncheon in the Somerset they sat for two hours in the County Chambers, hearing evidence on railway matters in the district, and then proceeded to Christchurch in the evening.
The Elgin School.— Owing to severe and dangerous illness in the family of Mr. South, recently appointed to the Elgin schoolmastership, the school will not be opened for perhaps a fortnight. The opening day was fixed for Monday, 26th imiant, but the unfortunate illness of Mr, South’s family will necessitate delay.
The Recent Accident at the Rakaia— Dr. Trevor has received from the Commissioner of Railways, a letter stating that the jury’s recommendations, added as a rider to their verdict, in the case of Clarke, who was recently killed near Rakaia, have been submitted to the Minister for Justice.
The Property Tax. —ln another column Mr. Sperrey, Property Tax Commissioner, gives notice that all persons require to furnish statements according to the Property Assessment Act, of their real and "personal property by the 30th of June. Forms -will be sent as far as practicable to every person, but as the duty of procuring such forms rests with the public, no excuse will be accepted for any one neglecting to supply himself. These forms can bo obtained from the various district assessors, and Mr. James Wilkie is the assessor for this district.
As Others See Us.—A member of the Malvern Independent staff has been on a holiday down South. Under the heading of ec Rambling Notes” he gives a description of his journey, and thus speaks of the Ashburton printing establishments : “ Finding myself in front of the Guardian office I entered, and found the commercial, composing, editorial, and machine departments to be in the best possible order, while plenty of room and ventilation is afforded to each. Externally, the building has a far more respectable appearance th in the Christchurch newspaper offices. The Mail claims the same share of notice.”
The JN ew Court House. —From a telegram from our Wellington correspondent, we learn that the Government have accepted tenders for a wooden building for the • Com t House, they having been strongly urged not to incur the delay which would be incurred by calling for alternate tenders.
"Bottling Up. —Owing to the difficulty the folks who prefer taking their tot at home have experienced in procuring a bottle of genuine liquor, except through the medium of the “bar,” which-is to many an objection, Mr. Quill has introduced a new feature into his business, viz., that of a bottle and wholesale department. Mr. Quill has always had a name for keeping good wines and spirits, and he evidently means to improve his reputation.
The Chektsbv Sale. —A most important sale takes place this morning at Chertsey. Mr. W. A. Brown’s farm and plant will be sold by Messrs. Matson and Co. to-day. Being adjoining the railway, and one of the first sections, in the dis trict, a good round price should bo bid for it. Mr. Brown being one of those men who have had an eye to the future, has laid out the extensive property in question in a most artistic style, having made plantations of forest trees in those parts of the estate whore most required, and the homestead is one of the most comfortable and best laid out in the county.
Criminal Returns. —During the half year ended 31st March there were 178 persons guilty of offences reported to the police at Ashourton. Of these there were 168 arrested, seven committed for trial, 145 summarily dealt with, and sixteen discharged. There were only two females included in the above numbers. There was an increase of forty-eight during the last quarter, the increase being principally in drunkenness. The number of arrests for that offence during the quarter ended 31st December was twenty-seven, while there were fifty-five arrested during the last quarter. A Blow-up. —Yesterday afternoon a peculiar accident happened at Methven. A couple of sportsmen, who had been out shooting, were returning from an onslaught on ducks, and not having had much luck in the direction of birds, went in for sporting of another kind, that is to say, they tried the paces of their horses, one rider being handicapped with a doublebarrelled gun as ballast and the other with a half-pound cannister of gunpowder. The man with the powder lost his hat in the race, and on returning to pick it up was considerably astonished at an explosion taking place in his ulster pocket. Whatever the cause, the result was palpable. One side of the great coat, and one leg of the trowsers were absent. The horse lost his winter coat, and the whole of the rising township of Methven were in a state of alarm, as they were under the impression that tbe last day had arrived. I.O.G.T.—At the weekly meeting of the Star of the East Lodge, on Saturday evening, Bro. St. Hill presided. There was one initiation, and after the usual routine business, the question of the anniversary celebration was discussed. It was finally resolved to celebrate the sixth anniversary of the Lodge on the 24th of May next, by a tea meeting and concert, in the Town Hall. The following officers were then elected for the quarter ensuing : W. C. T., Bro. Henry ; W. V. T., Sister St. Hill ; W.S., Bro. J. Bradley ; W.T., Bro. Craighead ; W.F.S., Bro. B. C. Smith ; W.C., Bro. Trigg; W.M., Bro. Cook; W.D.M., Sister Cook; W.1.G., Bro. Tutty;, W.0.G.,8r0. St.Hill; W.R-.H.5., Bro. I. Scott; W. L.H. S., Bro. Elston. —There was a fair attendance at the Dawn of Peace Lodge last evening, Bro. S. E. Poyntz presiding. One candidate was initiated. The Lodge Deputy read a co'iimun’eation from the Grand Lodge in reference to tbe registration of subordinate Lodges, and Bros. Poyntz, G. W. Andrews, and Williams were appointed a committee to investigate the by-laws. The election of officers for the ensuing quarter resulted as follows ; —W. C. T., Bro. S. E. Poyntz ; W.V.T., Bro. Quarterman ; W.S., Bro. Richard Murray ; W.G., Bro. Geo. Mason; W.M., Bro. Williams; LG, Bro. Brooks; O. G., Bro. Leitch ; R. H. S., Bro. S. Hardley ; L.H.S., Sister Poyntz. The appointment of D.M. and A. S. were left over till next sessio '.
Ashburton Gas Company.— A special general mooting of the Ashburton Gas Company shareholders was held in the Library Hall on Monday. The business for which the shareholders were called together was to adopt or otherwise the articles of association of the company. There was delay in commencing business, owing to the dilatorinoss of the shareholders in attending, but ultimately the requisite 15 shareholders provided for by the Act were scraped together, and the business proceeded. Mr. Bullock presided, and after twitting the shareholders about the apathy displayed, ho stated that a number of the outside shareholders were out of the province, while others had difficulty in attending. There were some sixty-nine shareholders altogether, some sixteen of whom were local shareholders. The articles of association having been held as read, Rule 28 altered to read “ that no business be transacted at any general meeting unless a quorum of eight or more shareholders be present at the commencement of the business.” Rule 33'|was also amended, reducing the number of share-
holders who can demand a poll at a general meeting from five to four. With these amendments the articles were adopted. The election of auditors was then proceeded with, and Messrs. Zouch and Jamieson were elected, at a renin iteration of two guineas per annum.
Entertainment. An entertainment was given last night in the Primitive Methodist Church, to a very attentive and appreciative audience. The programme opened with a series of views, given through the medium of a sciopticon, illustrative of ‘‘ Heroes of the Christian Era,” Mr. Bevan accompanying the same with some interesting narratives in connection with the people and times of early and English history. A number of views were then brought before the audience, which were described as a “ Trip to Syria and Palestine,’ 1 in which Mr. Bevan again led his audience along with him ini o that deeply interesting part of the world. “ The Drunkard’s Progress” was next put on the canvas, and in this an opportunity was given to Mr. Piiddicomoe, and one he took advantage of, to display a certain amount of wit and humor, accompanied with some very sound advice. This gentleman is evidently not now to the work, and we would throw out the hint to our total abstinence friends that when they anticipate giving an entertainment in the interests of their causa they secure the services of Messrs. Bevan and Puddicomba. A number of views, illustrative of certain remarkable phenomena, were then exhibited, in which the Rev. A. J. Smith contributed some instructive items in connection therewith. The ooncluping part of the programme resulted in a series of views of places of interest in Waimate. Oamaru, and Dunedin, Mr. Puddicombe again acting as guide in these interesting localities. We should imagine the audience would feel somewhat dissatisfied with the paltry buildings of Ashburton, after taking stock of the finished and elegant structures of our but little older sister township, Waimate. During the evening a number of pieces of music were rendered qery effectively, a little girl of nine years old contributing not a little to fits interest. It is needless to add that Miss Jowsey presided with her usual ,ability at the harmonium, and received an encore to the “ Write me a letter from home.”
Inquest. —At the inquest on the old man Duffey, who was killed at Addington station on Friday, the jury returned a verdict of “ Accidental death.” Tbe Taranaki Iron Sand. —Ten tons of Taranaki iron sand are to he sent to Eskbank Iron Works, New South Wales, where the sand will be tested. The moving spirit in the matter is Mr. Williams, the Eskbank proprietor who is at present on a visit to New Zealand.
Tee Civil Service Commission. —The Civil Service Commissioners have arrived in Wellington. Messrs. Kelly and Douglas go to Auckland via Taranaki, and Messrs. Saunders and Pharazyn via Napier. They stop at Napier and Taranaki, and after a visit to Auckland they proceed to Nelson and Blenheim.
The Hind Legs. —Scene : Printing office. Boy applying for a situation. Boy —“Are you needin’ a boy?” Manager —“ Yes ; what have you been accustomed to work at!” Boy—“Amin the Gaiety at niclits.” Manager—“ Are you one of the fairies ?” Boy—“ No ;am the hin‘ legs o’ Ali Baba’s donkey !” (The donkey is at once sot to work.) —The Glasgow Bailie.
Fire in Christchurch. —By a fire, which occurred on Sunday in Christchurch, the premises of Mr. Richard Walker, bootmaker, Tuam street, were destroyed, as also several other buildings belonging to him, but rented by tenants, of whom his sister-in-law was one. By the energy of the fire brigade the fire was confined to Mr. Walker’s own property, ard the tenants’ furniture was saved, but, the houses wore destroyed. Mr. Walker was from homo when the fire started, and his wife was in- her sister’s house, so that it has not been found out how the fire originated. There was an insurance of L 270 on the property destroyed. Drinking at Bars. —The social habß of drinking at bars, whore each member of a party, having been “ treated ” by another, considers it necessary to treat every other member, has at last attracted the attention of the law-makers. The lowa Legislature has a bill before it to abolish the custom, and make it a punishable offence ; and, although such a proposition can never become a law, it is significant as showing public dislike of a custom which no drinking man wants to be the first to disregard. This habit of standing treat is the cause of more phj'sical and mental discomfort than every other convivial custom combined. A respectable man who feels the need of a glass of wine or spirits—and there are hundreds and thousands of such men, in spite of all that the temperance people say to the contrary —approaches a bar, and finds, perhaps, several acquaintances who are drinking and who invite him to join them. When he has done so, and drank all he came for, his spirit of independence prompts him to return the invitation, which is accepted by the others because it would seem discourteous to refuse ; then those who have been treated make haste to return the compliment for fear of seeming mean, and the end is that four or five men, each of whom came for a single "lass of liquor, retire with several times as much as they needed or wanted.— Boston Traveller. A Physician’s Mistake. —Dr. Cleraenceau, the eminent Parisian physician, is also a member of the French Legislature. Es is a brisk and busy man, keenly cognizant of the fact that “time is money,” and the other day, while he was in attendance at the Montmarte consulting-room, two men simultaneously solicited an interview with him for the purpose of tailing his advise. One of them was admitted to hia presence, and when asked ‘ ‘ what was the matter with him,” complained of a pain in his chest; whereupon ho was ordered to take off his shirt, and Dr. Olemenceau subjected him to a careful examination. Before the Doctor, however, sat down to write his prescription, lie rang his bell and ordered his servant to show the other patient into the consulting room. As the baiter entered the doorway, Dr. Olemenceau, without looking up from the desk at which he was writing, said to him, “ Just undress yourself, too, if you will be so good. Wo shall save time by your doing so.” Without a moment’s hesitation the second visitor proceeded to take off his clothes, and by the time the Doctor had finished writing his receipt, taken his fee and dismissed the preceding patient, was stripped to the waist ready for inspection. Turning to', yard him the Doctor observed, “ You are also suffering from pain in the chest, are you not 1” “ Well, no, Doctor,” the man replied, “I have called upon you to beg that you will rccoinrasnu, me to the Government for a place in the Post Office.” —London Telegraph. _________
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