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Government have now under consideration the question of District Courts, and there is every probability that changes of some importance will take place in this branch of the colony’s judicature very shortly. Returns showing the business done in the various District Courts throughout New Zealand have been procured by Government, and from these it is ascertained that in comparison with the cost of maintaining the Courts, the advantage taken of them for ligitation by the public is not commensurate. It is assigned as a reason for this that since the procedure of the Supreme Courts has been made less costly, the District Courts have been neglected for the higher institutions. Government, we understand, have no intention of abolishing District Courts, but the direction reform is likely to take is said to be their abolition in large towns where the Supreme Courts are easily accessible, and their retention in groups of smaller towns where their usefulness is recognised and appreciated. It is further hinted that the number of the Courts will be reduced to five or six—half in the South Island, and half in the North—the spare services of some of the Native Court Judges in the North Island being utilised. No one will gainsay the usefulness of the District Court to the Ashburton district, which is likely to be rather a litigious locality for some years to .come. We infer, if the, surmises as to the probable changes are correct, that, with perhaps Christchurch cut off from Judge Ward’s jurisdiction, our district will remain the same as now, so that Ashburton will not be very greatly affected by the retrenchment that is indicated as about to take place, and the public will still be saved the trouble and expense that would be entailed upon them were it found to be necessary to revert to the old arrangement under which every civil case of any importance had to be heard in Christchurch. While Government are thus considering the remodelling of District Courts, we think they might just as well consider whether it would ' not be better to retain all the J udges and extend their usefulness, dispensing with the Resident Magistrates altogether. Cheap law is all very well for Government and the lawyers, but it is not by any means cheap to the clients. Mott of our Resident Magistrates are gentlemen who have not had a legal graining, and their decisions are in many instances of a somewhat rule-of-rthumh.character, while their business is not always discharged in the most expeditious manner possible—at least were their benches occupied by Judges of acknowledged standing the character of their courts would be wonderfully changed. Would it not be better to abolish the very numerous Resident Magistrates altogether, giving the District Court Judges the same jurisdiction of cases they have now, and leaving all cases in which amounts under are involved to be undertaken by the Justices. It would not be difficult, we take it, to simplify District Court procedure to admit of such an arrangement, and with the host of Justices of the Peace the colony possesses there ought to be little dificulty in getting the minor work done. A Mayor’s Court in Boroughs could easily undertake the criminal business—at least could do it nearly as well as it is done at present, for every case that looks at all formidable is committed to the Supreme Court for trial. If the plan we have suggested could be carried out, there would be a far greater saving by dispensing with the array of Resident Magistrates than by reducing the Judges.

Unregistered Dogs. —The only police cases heard at the R.M. Court yesterday, were two informations which had been laid against Robert M'Oonnell and Samuel Anderson, for respectively having in their possession unregistered dogs. Both these negligent dog owners were fined LI.

The Camera Obscura. —Yesterday the -pavilion of Mr. Diraaht was literally besieged with the children from both the public and private schools, those of the borough school visiting the place in detachments. The young folks were highly pleased with the exhibition, which certainly combines the elements of amusement and instruction. The exhibition will close to-night.. The New “ Hammer. ” To-day. we would remind our readers Messrs. Quill and Co. open their auction room in Saunders’ Building with a full sale list, comprising a general assortment of furniture, &q.f as per advertisement. A luncheon will be provided, and a great roll up of the public will no doubt grace the opening day. Mr. Thomas Quill will bo auctioneer.

Shoddy, —We are informed that not a little “ shoddy ” cloth is being hawked about the country just now, and several purchasers have been taken in. It would be wise on the part of country people to be careful with whom they deal, and bestow their patronage only on pedlars of established repute. Wenoticefrora Southern, exchanges that shoddy is being energetically hawked about in Otago, and settlers have been victimised with the worthless stuff. ’ I

Half-Holiday.—ln compliance with the request of a number of ratepayers, his Worship the Mayor’ ha 4 declared next Monday afternoon a half-holiday, in honor of the ceremony of letting in the water into the township, to take place at noon of that day. This being the first demonstration over any local event since the Borough was established, it is to be hoped there will be a numerous attendance of citizens present to witness the inauguration of what is undoubtedly a work of the highest benefit to the township.

“The Art of Memory.” —Mr F. P. O’Reilly, who displayed such a power of memory on the occasion of his recent lecture on Pitt, is to deliver a lecture in the Town Hall on Tuesday evening next for the benefit of the Library. It is not perhaps generally known that Mr O’Reilly has one of the most extraordinary memories agoing, and some wonderful feats of memory have been done by him. His excellence, however, is as much due to cultivation of the talent as to natural gift, and therefore his lecture on the “ Art of Memory” ought to be very interesting.

The Waterworks Demonstration. Councillor Weymouth Roberts is very busy superintending the erection : o: a triumphal arch across the corner of the Domain. The triumphal “ business ” seems to be a specialty all Mr. Roberts’ own, and every arch of evergreens built in the township has been his handiwork, and all have been creditable to him. Doubtless he will be no less successful with-the one he is now at work on. At the deir.onr stration on Monday, which' has every appearance of being a grand affair, the Fire Brigade will attend in uniform, with their engine and appliances, and the day being a half holiday there will be a great turnout.

1 Cricket. —A committee meeting of the Ashburton Cricket Club was held on Thursday Mr. Poyntz in the chair. A letter was read from the Ashburton Dramatic Club, wishing to arrange a match on Boxing Day, the members to play in costume. It was resolved to leave the matter in the hands of the Match Committee—Messrs. Andrews, Marsh, and Price were elected a ground committee. After several small accounts had been passed, and other business of a routine nature, the meeting adjourned. A meeting of members is called for Saturday, for the purpose of electing a vice-captain, for the reconsideration of colors, and for other important business. The Lawyers. —The South Canterbury Times, a Timaru evening paper, of which Mr. A. W, Hogg, late of Ashburton, is the editor, has a leading article on our R.M. Court, in which the following occurs ; —As a fact, Ashburton is lawyerridden ; it has an army of professional gentlemen quite out of proportion to the surrounding population, and as they do not care about eating one another, they must either be allowed the privilege of carefully skinning and picking the bones of their clients, or they must eat the magistrate. Wesleyan. —The usual quarterly meeting of office-bearers of the Wesleyan Church in Ashburton and neighborhood was held on Wednesday, in the vestry of the Cameron street Church, there being only, a moderate attendance. The pastor, Rev. W. Keall, intimated that the number of members on the roll stood about the same as at last quarterly meeting—namely, thirty-seven. Mr. H. M. Jones read the balance-sheet for the quarter, and the very favorable financial statement was a source of much thankfulness to the members present. The total receipts for the quarter amounted to L 137 75., which included a grant of L 45 from the Home Mission Fund : the sura of L 92 7s. thus being the contributions of the circuit for the quarter. The envelope system has been adopted in the circuit, and by this means L6O 6s. 3d. had been raised, Ll 4 Ga Gd. being the amount realised from the ordinary collections. Last quarter the circuit started with a debt of L 36 19s. 9c1., and after clearing off this undesirable liability, meeting current expenses, and handing over L2O Bs. lid. to the Trust Fund, the circuit start the ensuing quarter with a clean sheet. Of course this satisfactory condition of the finances only refers to the fund from which the working expenses are derivable. There is still a burdensome debt hanging over the church properties, but with assistance from other parts of the colony, which has been generously rendered, and with other help yet to come, the meeting thought there was every reason to take encouragement, and hoped ere long that even the Trust Fund would show a more satisfactory state. The Rev. W. Keall was unanimously requested to remain a second year in the circuit, which the rev. gentleman expressed his willingness to do, subject to the approval of the Conference. The Wakanui School Committee wrote, intimating that in future a sum of three shillings would be charged for all services held in the school. It was decided to reply that the meeting had heard- with pleasure that the Committee had rescinded its motion on the subject, and the meeting assumed that henceforth the school would be open for religious services. It was decided to submit the following recommendations to the District Meeting, to be held in November next ;—l. “ That the term for which ministers may remain in a circuit be extended from three to five years.” 2. “That the removal expenses of ministers be taken from the contingent fund.” After other minor matters in connection with the affairs of the church had been discussed, the proceedings terminated. An Election Mistake.— At the Resident Magistrate’s Court, Oamaru, the returning officer for one of the Borough wards was sued on Thursday, for not accepting the nomination of a candidate at the recent election of councillors. The grounds of the objection were that the qualification of the candidate was not of the usual value of L 25. Since then it has been discovered that this qualification had been withdrawn by Act of Parliament, and the defendant was fined Is. and ss. costs.

“Captain” Jackson Barry. —Poor “ Captain ” Jack Barry attempted to deliver his most marvellous lecture in Timaru on. Wednesday evening. About 100 people attended, but the rotten eggs they threw at the captain were too much for him, and after he had delivered a terrible defiance to the,best man amongst the crowd Jackson had to clear out, stating that he would rather have lost LSO than gone to Timaru.,

Civil Oases. —There were only two civil cases heard by the R.M.- at the Court’s sitting yesterday, in both of which judgment was given by default. The cases were Mitchell and Turner v. Smith, claim L 5 10s., and Hawkins y. M’cLoughlin, claim, L4l9s. 6d. v;r SJ » j ', ' 5 Postal. —A. petition to tthe .chief, .postmaster of the district is hl'.course of signature at Kyle, Newlands, and other places in that direction. The prayer of the petition is for a tri-weekly postal service between Kyle and Ashburton, to include Newlands or Cambridge, Elgin, Seafield, and Wakanui, the runner leaving Ashburton immediately after the arrival of the express train on three days in the week, and returning from Kyle to Ashburton on the alternate days, arriving in time for his mails to catch th,e afternoon trains. Wo are given to .understand that this petition, has been prepared oh the strength of a hope and belief that the authorities are favorable to such a service as the petitioners desire. The present service to Kyle is from Rakaia, and is only once a week, whereas throwing the two into one would be more satisfactory to the Kyle people, cheaper to Government, and would suit all parties far better than the, present arrangements.

Cheap Pavements. —We would recommend the following paragraph to the members of the Ashburton Borough Council. It is from the Wellington Times :—Many residents in the city have no doubt noticed that a considerable area of footpaths has recently been laid with black flagging in place of the light grey concrete flags which were formerly used, and the majority have probably concluded that they consist of the old flags,, with the addition of a coat of tar On visiting the Corporation yards it is found that these flags are made there in large numbers, and that the materials used consist of nothing but fine gravel or coarse sand, mixed with a sufficient quantity of hot tar to “ moisten ” it. This is put into a mould and compressed by means of a screw, after‘which it is put aside to set, which it does within twentyfour hours, while concrete requires three months. It has the additional advantage that the cost is only half that of concrete flagging, while broken pieces may also be made use of by re-melting the tar. The invention was made by Mr. Baird, the City Engineer, who has already demonstrated that it is superior to all the other kinds of pavement which have been tried in this city. The Pantasoope. —We have no hesitation whatever in saying that the “Colossean pantasoope ” is the best entertainment of the kind it has been bur fortune to enjoy in Ashburton. The splendid pictures, excellently managed are illustrative of a journey from New York to San Francisco, across to New Zealand, and thenco to Sydney, and the lecturer, M. Chalet, is just about a,s racy as could be wished. . His descriptions are. plentifully; but judiciously sprinkled with jokes and American stories, and he displays the ability (rare amongst panorama “lecturers”) of keeping his audience highly amused with jokes that are not stale, and chat that is lively without being ofl'ensive or vulgar. M. Chalet is a first-class; ventriloquist as well, and his changes of voice on Thursday were perfectly wonderful. There is all the difference in the world between his ventriloquism and that of any who have passed through Ashburton before him, and he exhibition is really worth seeing. Another item of the entertainment are two automaton trapezists, which keep the audience well amused for a time. The figures execute all the tricks of living tumblers to the life. The usual distribution of gifts, • now fashionable with panoramas, was made on Thursday, and a silver watch fell to a lady, the lucky holder of No. 4 ticket. Last night the entertainment was repeated to a good audience.

A Stowaway.— Adam Young, a person who stole a passage by the Rotoraahana, from Sydney to this colony, has been fined L 5, with the alternative of a months’ imprisonment for his theft. A Profitable Cow. —The Live Stock Journal mentions a cow in Yorkshire which has dropped three calves, all alive and well. This cow has had five within twelve months.

The University. —The following appointments appear in the Gazette ;—The Right Rev. William Garden Cowie, D.D.; ;Sir George Maurice O’Rorke, Knight, 8.A., and Charles Christopher Bowen to fbe Felllows of the University of New Zealand, vice Hugh Carleton, Esq., His Honor Mr. Justice Richmond and the Rev. Thos. Buddie. Maori Witchcraft. —The trial of a native named Pukeroa for supposed witchcraft, by a council of the tribes of Auckland district, - resulted in accused being allowed his liberty without molestation in future. The publicans were ordered to close their bars during the sitting of the Council. It was anticipated that he would be killed, being accused of causing the death of the great chief Te Moananui some years ago.

TooMugh Married. —Geo. Henry Shepperson, the Auckland man lately before the magistrate for having three wives, went on Thursday night to Onehunga, where his third wife lives. He demanded admittance and was refused. She fled out of the back door as he burst the front one in, and informed the police. On their arrival they found thej doors fastened up, but on gaining an entrance they found Shepperson on the floor with his throat partly out. The wounds were stitched up by a doctor, and Shepperson was sent to the hospital. He sayp that he is weary of life, and does riot wifnt to live. He kept a diary, which is in the hands of the pslice. In it he states that his two first wives were spiritual, and the third veiled in the flesh but faulty.

Natural Dilution of Milk.— lt is told of a French padre, hearing the confession of a groom, that he incredulously asked, “Do -you not grease the horses’ teeth i ” “ No;” said Petit Jean, but, ever after, that was part of his confession. He found that with greased teeth there were larger manger perquisites in unconsumed bats. Apropos of this, “ Angles ” imparts a wrinkle about blue milk. A friend of mine who has cows of his own, was talking about the diluted article to a prosperous, milkman,, who spurned the . idea of: watering the milk, “ Because,” said he, “it is so much easier to water the cows and act honestly.” His system was to give the cows a bucket of slightly warm water, with a little oatmeal thrown in, shortly before milking. He increased the yield at the cost of the quality, satisfied his conscience, lived in the odour of sancity, and made just as much money as the vulgar fellows who barefacedly carried their pails to the pump.

111-treating a Prisoner.— Serious charges of ill-treating a prisoner have been, made against two Wellington constables. A sailmaker named Edmunds states that bn Saturday night in stepping off the footpath he fell and broke his leg. The constables complained ofjcame up and ordered him to move on. He informed them of his condition, but they did not heed it. They seized him and proceeded to drag him to the depot. - Edmunds alleges that he was dragged the whole distance to the lock-up, for he could not use his leg, and was placed in a cell and given a rug to sleep upon. ' He was left there till between seven and eight next morning, when he was sent in a vehicle to the hospital. He says that no explanation was given as to the conduct of the constables on the previous night, nor as to what led them to ultimately convey him to the hospital. He says that he was perfectly sober at the time. The constables state that Edmunds was very drunk when locked up, and that on his complaining of his leg being broken they examined the limb but saw no traces of injury. A strict enquiry will be held.

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Bibliographic details

The Ashburton Guardian. COUNTY AGRICULTURAL & SPORTING RECORDER SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 1880., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 157, 25 September 1880

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The Ashburton Guardian. COUNTY AGRICULTURAL & SPORTING RECORDER SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 1880. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 157, 25 September 1880

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