The Ashburton Guardian. WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 20, 1880. Parcels by Post to England.
TOWN EDITION. [lssued at 5
In the heat of the Parliamentary session small matters are apt to be overlooked, the time of the representatives of the people and of the people themselves being occupied with attention to the hurly-burly of politics. The press, too, devotes most of its attention to the doings in Wellington, while the chosen of the people are there congregated, and as a consequence it is in the recess that little matters are raked up and attended to. One of those little matters —but to many people a very important one—has once again come to the surface, now that journalists have lime to look it up, and think over it. This matter is the institution of a parcel post between this colony and England. Such a post has already been established within the colony by the relaxation of the postal regulations so as to admit of small articles being sent by pattern post in New Zealand. The only restriction on the inland parcel post is that the article sent be not more than slbs. in weight, 2 feet in length, and 1 foot deep or wide. For all practical purposes this arrangement is quite sufficient within the colony, and the only thing to be desired is that it be extended to include the Old County. There are hundreds of people out here who would be only too glad to avail themselves of such a convenience as a parcel post to England, and were it instituted, mail day would mean to twothirds of the population a sort of monthly celebration of a birthday, or a Christmas that was to be looked for every four weeks, so great would be the interchange of little things between the colonists and the friends at Home. But the restrictions laid upon the sending of small parcels Home are so great that before they can reach their destination a sum equivalent to or even greater than their value has been paid upon them by the sender. Neither steam nor sailing vessels to England care to cultivate this sort of trade, because of the trouble it would entail in the delivery, and letter rates are so high as to preclude the thought of making use of the Post Office in this way frequently, and only bona fide trade samples can be sent by pattern post to England. In connection with this matter, the following illustration is given by a Wellington contemporary, th a Post :—A Wellington gentleman the other day wanted to send Home a small article, weighing about a pound and a quarter, as a specimen of Colonial industry. Not being in trade, he could not conscientiously say it was a trade sample, and therefore it could not be sent through the post except on paying the letter rate, which in this instance would have come to a sovereign—more than the value of the article. Application at a steamboat office revealed the interesting but hardly consoling fact that the parcel could be sent Home through their agency for the sum of one guinea and a half. Weighed down by the incubus of his unlucky purchase—which was rapidly assuming more and more the nature of a white elephant, seeing that it was of no use to him unless he could get it to his correspondent in England—the unfortunate Wellingtonian next inquired whether he could send it to England by sailing vessel, and found that he could do so at a cost of ten shillings and sixpence. In considering the feasibility of sending it by steamer or sailing vessel he had to bear in mind the fact that unless the source of all his anxieties were packed in a hermetically-sealed zinc case, it would in all probability be ruined by the damp, while except the box was made impregnably strong into the bargain, it would most likely be smashed to a mummy on the voyage. Moreover, after all these precautions, there was no guarantee that the article, being so small, would not be lost in in the vast heterogeneous jumble usually comprised in a vessel’s cargo.” Now, this could all be avoided by the institution of a parcel post, which we are sure, as we have already said, would be largely taken advantage of. There are a great many little things that people would like to send Home, and there are a great many little things that their friends would like to send out, and the interchange would unquestionably take place, but for the trouble that is now entailed upon the senders. It would be as bright a feather in the Postmaster-General’s cap as was the penny post in Rowland Hill’s, if the Hon. John Hall were able to institute this mode of communication with friends at Home; and we cannot for a moment doubt that a largely increased postal revenue would follow its adoption.
Unregistered Dogs.—As the absence of a stamped collar from a dog’s neck is taken to mean that the animal has not paid his quota of taxation, owners of dogs who have paid their fee should be careful to see that the animals wear their badges, as trouble may result therefrom. Notwithstanding the recent poisoning, when so many dogs became carrion, there are still a fair number left, and a fair number, too, that have put in the nine months of the current year that hare already gone without having been licensed. There is to be a field day shortly, and defaulters had better beware.
The Fire Brigade.—The new helmets, officers’ badges, whistles, hatchets, &c., for the Fire Brigade have arrived, and are now on view in Mr. J. Dolman’s window. When the corps turn out in their new fixings they will have quite an imposing appearance. Amongst the new fixings is a set of the new patent controlling nozzles, the possession of which enables the branchman to vary at will the volume of water he throws from his hose, and, if he wishes, to discharge the jet in spray upon a burning building. The meeting flag has been flying at the fire station to-day, in intimation of a meeting to-night for practice. There is every likelihood that the Brigade’s request for a pump at the fire station will be granted by the Council.
Overhanging Boughs.—We wonder if the Inspector of Nuisances meant to unearth a joke at the expense of the residents in the Borough, when he asked the Council for instructions as to how he should act in regard to burgesses, whose greenery is so luxuriant as to overhang the fences and trench upon the footpaths. We should fancy the man would be a painstaking student who could discover a dozen boughs in this almost treeless Borough, that were luxuriant enough to spread themselves over a garden fence. We reckon it will be a long time before the Council finds it necessary to use the force of the by-laws to compel the purchase of a pruning knife for the protection of footpaths from encroachments of this kind, and the only offensive overgrowth we saw last year in any of the footpaths was a line of some six feet high thistles, which the owner of the section. said was a very good fence as well as an excellent shelter for his goat.
Town Hall Company.—The requisite number'of shareholders of the Town Hall Company to form a quorum attended the extraordinary meeting in the upper room of the hall last night. Mr. Bullock was Chairman, and read the advertisement calling the meeting. The first item of business was to consider the advisableness or otherwise of increasing the nominal value of shares, and the Chairman stated that this course was suggested with a view to offering a better security to the v lender of LI,COO which the directors considered it advisable to raise, for the purpose of taking up some urgent bills and for other purposes. The loan at present on the building absorbed interest at the rate of 10 per cent., and this they all knew was far more than money was worth at the the present time. The hall now brought in an income that ought to pay a dividend if the interest paid on borrowed money were lessened, and there was nothing standing in the way of a dividend with good management. Recent alterations in the hall would obviate the necessity of any great outlay for a considerable length of time. After some discussion, a resolution was passed to increase the nominal value of the shares to L 4 each, the Chairman assuring the meeting that there would bo no necessity to increase the Company’s paid up capital. The next item of business was consideration of the advisableness or otherwise of reducing the quorum of shareholders necessary to be present at meetings before business can be transacted. At present, the articles of association made no provision for any special number to form a quorum, and therefore the Company had to fall back upon the Act to supply a number. The ratio provided by the Act found fourteen to be the number of the Ashburton Town Hall Company’s quorum, but this was too large a number to he conveniently rounded up in Ashburton, hence the decision of the Directors to reduce it. The subject was well canvassed by the meeting, not a few shareholders thinking that with the increased powers of calling up capital given to the Directors by the resolution just passed, it was injudicious to reduce the quorum, and enable a general meeting to be got with a small number of shareholders. An amendment to allow the matter to stand as at present was lost by 7 to 5, but as that was not a majority of two-thirds of those present no action could be taken, and the quorum remains at fourteen. Several additional and amended clauses to regulate the election and retirement of Directors of the Company, &c., were then passed as amendments on the articles of association, and the meeting adjourned.
Entertainment at Sk afield. —The want of a harmonium for use at the church services held in the Seafield school-room has been long felt, and several friends in the district decided to make an effort to supply the deficiency. To help raise the necessary funds an entertainment was arranged for, for which an attractive programme was compiled, and the date of performance was fixed for last night. The weather was certainly not of the driest, and the dampness prevented many friends from Ashburton, who would have been present, from putting, in an appearance. It was, perhaps, as well they stayed away, as the sckool-room was taxed to its very utmost to hold all the people from the surrounding district who attended, and whoso contributions for tickets put the harmonium fund L 7 or L 8 to the good. The performance opened at eight o’clock precisely with a piano duet played most admirably by Mrs. Denshire and Mr. Kearne, a gentleman only newly arrived from England. This was followed by a song by Mrs. Wix, “Alas, those chimes,” to which Mrs. Denshire played the piano accompaniment, and the singer was loudly applauded. Then Mrs. Denshire, who possesses a sweet soprano voice, and highly cultivated, favored the audience with the divine song “Alice,” which she had to repeat in response to a vociferous encore. The glee “ Where art thou beam of light,” was the next item, in which Mr. and Mrs. Denshire and Mr, and Mrs. Wix took part, with Mr. Kearne accompanying. “ Look at the Clock,” was the subject of a recitation given by Mr. Wix, which drew forth applause that lasted for a long time. A cornet solo, by Mr. Foster, was well received indeed, as it deserved to be, and was followed by a Pickwick reading by Mr. Parsons. Mr. A. Parsons then gave the lively Scotch song “ Green grow the rashes, 0,” and was encored. An instrumental quartette of flute, cornet, euphonium, and piano followed, very effectively played by Messrs. H and A. Parsons, Foster and Kearne, closed the musical portion of the entertainment. After an interval of twenty minutes, the farce of “ the Whitebait at Greenwich ” was given, in which Messrs. Wix, Denshire, and Field, and Mrs Denshire and Miss Saunders sustained the characters. The stage was of course somewhat contracted, but the piece went off with great success, and the fun it caused was a sight to see. Sapper provided by Mesdames Richardson, Hardwick, and Jones, was partaken of by the visitors, and then a dance took place in the schoolroom. The promoters of the entertainment deserve the thanks of the district for providing a night’s amusement of a superior class, and we hear so highly was the performance appreciated that it is desired to be repeated, •
Te White—The Maori prophet has been bitten by a dog, and is very ill.
Suicide. —A well known farmer at Oamaru, named M‘Mill an, hanged himself yesterday, but the act cannot as yet be accounted for. A Condition.—Strauss’s band at the Exhibition is short of twenty men. The conductor is prepared to engage English speaking players, if they are any good, and will fit his spare uniforms !
The Palmerston Illicit Distillation Cases. —The three men and one woman who have been convicted of distilling spirits at Palmerston on the 28th September last, have been sentenced, with one exception, to a fine of L2OO each or twelve months in prison. The exception was the man Power who pleaded guilty, and gave evidence against his colleagues. He was discharged. The convicts have appealed. Cartain Jackson Barry.—This worthy has at last succeeded in' delivering his lecture in Christchurch without being rotten-egged, but the audience had some rare sport notwithstanding, and they wound up by singing in chorus “ For he’s a-jolly good fellow,” and giving Barry three cheers ! The old fellow is to deliver an open air address in Cathedral Square, to tell the working men how New Zealand is misrepresented at Home.
The Channels.—We understand that the Borough Works Committee have made special arrangements for seeing to the state of the street channels. Mr. Smith, one of the working staff, has had the care
of the channels handed over to him, and it will be his duty three times a week to go over them with a broom, removing all gravel and other accumulations, s» that the flow may be kept sweet and uninterrupted. The channelling contracts in the upper part of the town are progresssing favorably.
Mushrooms.—A San Fraheisco newspaper, envious of the statement that a British mushroom forced its way through about twelve inches of concrete and a layer of asphalte in the London Post Office, says :—“ Yes, mushrooms are kinder piercing ; and that reminds us that one time we built a house in Monterey on a flat were the boys and girls used to get whole baskets of mushrooms. The first rainy weather that came just lifted that house eight feet off the ground in one night, and the next morning there it stood propped up on mushrooms, and the grocer and the butcher had to hand their orders in with a ten foot pole.” Hard Lines.—Judge Harvey took his farewell of the Bench at Invercargill yesterday. He said:—“l retire with great regret from the Bench. 1 may say that it is a blow to me, as I shall have to take up the cudgels once more and start again in the practice of my profession. Whether I may succeed in it or not is entirely in the womb of time, but after being away from practice for so many years I will necessarily start again under great disadvantage. In this matter I cannot help feeling that I have not been treated with that consideration with which an officer of my standing ought to bo treated and is entitled to receive. It may be that some other arrangements may yet be made. I hope I may again appear among you, but 1 do not at present see much probability of that.”
Frozen Meat.—The measure of success which attended the shipment of frozen meat from Sydney and Melbourne to London, by the Strathleven has induced another venture of a similar character, but on a larger scale, to be made from Melbourne alone. The present undertaking is under the auspices of the Australian Frozen Meat Export Company, who are losing no time in endeavoring to push their enterprise to a successful issue. The Frozen Meat Company has secured the services of the German steamer ifrotos, which is owned by the Flenshourg Steam Navigation Company, a corporation formed at that port in 1869, and which now has eleven steamships afloat. The Protos is well adapted for carrying a trade, and having water ballast tanks conveniently arranged, she can suit her trim to rivers like the Yarra, or to bar harbors. The refrigerating machinery is being got ready, and will he fitted into the steamer as speedily as possible. The carcases will be frozen at the company’s works at Footscray, before they are placed in the chamber on boerd the steamer. The Company ship 250 tons of frozen meat per Protos on the 31st. The meat consists of seven thousand carcasses of sheep, and a quantity of beef. 'a'
Holloway’s Pills. —At the change of seasons many persons feel oppressed without knowing why they are so—-they are aware something within them is wrong, though they cannot detect the defected organ. A few doses of these powerfully purifying and eminently cooling Pills will restore regularity to every part of the system —will cast out all impurities lurking in the frame, and will throroughly expel the last traces of disorder, however obscure its cause. With Holloway’s medicine belief is insured without risk : erroneous action is rectified without disturbing natural regularity, health is re-mstated, and with it return the cheerful feelings which unmistakably tell the invalid that all within is right again.