The Ashburton Guardian. COUNTY AGRICULTURAL & SPORTING RECORDER TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 1880.
The opening of the water supply for the Borough yesterday was not, taking it all round, an affair of great importance to the colony. Many diggers have undertaken quite as large a work for the purpose of bringing water to fa claim that promised well. But as said by more than one speaker at the ceremony, and the banquet that followed, the value of the works must not be reckoned that way, nor at a money price. The new water supply is the first step to a greater one, when that shall become necessary, and no doubt it will in time —one that shall include a high pressure scheme to provide pure water for drinking purposes. The great value of the works just inaugurated to the township is the power to preserve the people’s health that they give to the Borough Council ; and the means they supply for thoroughly draining off all the impurities that must necessarily accumulate more or less in a town so flat as is our own, and be attended in their accumulation and non-removal with more or less bad effects upon the health of the community. ' In the direction of a purer atmosphere the works will confer one great boon in itself, while their development for fire prevention will be another not much less valuable. But there is a value that these little works have that may perhaps be overlooked, and it is of that value we would more particularly speak. The hard times are the burden of every one’s complaint, and retrenchment is Government’s watchword at this moment. We entered upon a period of adversity after one of prosperity—a prosperity that was not real at battom, as the wealth that caused it was not our own. When we found the bottom of our purse we were brought face to face with the stern necessity for rollingup our sleeves and taking to work in earnest, depending upon ourselves and our own energies for the future that was before us. ' r he advent of these hard times occurred just when Ashburton was struggling into a good position as a Borough, when her hope was high, and when she had assured herself that she was about to become a great centre of wealth and prosperity. She was just about to raise a loan, which for her youth was a great one, and which, had it been raised at the time it was first proposed to do so, would have been to the Borough like a mill stone round its neck. The abandonment of the intention to raise the ,£15,000 loan for a time, and the resolution to rest content with a water supply that .is suited to our requirements as yet, and certainly to our ability, financially, as a community to bear a a burden of heavy taxation is the good sign we would point to, and the lesson that we do not wish to overlook. It is when we find a community doing its best by a course like this to follow the wise old maxim of “ living within its means,” that we begin to feel satisfied the figurative stream of prosperity talked of by the Mayor has begun to flow. A “ penny saved is a penny gained,” and when a people, as well as individuals, begin to practice economy in the sensible way the people have begun over their water supply, they may be admitted to have at least entered in at the gates of the way to wealth. We would be only too glad to see the same principle adopted in the general practice of the whole colony. We have had plenty of theorising in this way, plenty of talk about it, but we would prefer to see more actual progress towards it. Despite the croakers ,who are continually crying down the colony, and the moping drones, who are ever sounding a coronach over its departed glory, there is some chance for New Zealand, blessed as she is with a strong backbone of natural wealth. But we can only enjoy that wealth by husbanding the resources we have at command for bringing it within our reach, and by practising that thrift which knows no waste, and which never loads the worker with a greater burden than he is able to bear. Long New Zealand has sailed under a press of canvas, and there was small wonder that something did occasionally “ carry away.” Now, however, there are indications that she is to carry a low and safe sail, and as such accept we Ashburton’s adoption of a cheap, unassuming, but sufficient water supply instead of one more costly, if more pretentious, but for the most crying necessities of our cirmumstances, not one whit more effective.
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