The Ashburton Guardian. THURSDAY, DECEMBER 16, 1880.
TOWN EDITION. [lssued at 5 p. m. ]
Mr. Edward Wakefield is no common man, nor is he even a common member of the House of Representatives. Whenever he speaks or writes his productions bear the stamp of ability so great as to reveal their author, whether he wishes to be known or not. His occasional articles in the New Zealand Times could all be picked out by any intelligent man acquainted with his style; and the effect they produce is one which no party can afford to despise. Few men make less friends. His own party are never sure how long they will escape his heavy rod, and his opponents can neverforgive his unmerciful lashing when they have once felt it, so that he is far more feared than loved, and it is not the prejudice of affection that assigns him the palm of the ablest speaker in the New Zealand Parliament. Those who have watched his actions and noted his expressions during the last year, will not accuse him of being a blind or even fervent supporter of the present Ministry, and his speech at Geraldine on Monday evening betrayed no great affection nor admiration for at least three of its members; but it was a very clear and unanswerable narrative of the position which any intelligent patriot must find himself compelled to occupy towards a Government that is struggling honestly to meet the financial difficulties of the colony, and to arrest the downward impetus in credit and competency which ten years of increasing recklessness had brought upon us. He does not believe in Major Atkinson’s notion of activity in taxation, nor in the favors he bestows on the “ fortunate Taranaki ”; he condemns Mr, Rolleston’s idea of education ; he admits that Mr. Oliver is driven by his Otago constituents into actions he does not himself approve of; he ridicules Mr. Hall’s propensity for incubating new Bills and even greatly exaggerates his failures in getting them passed. But he puts forward the great fact that this Government is practising, and not merely promising, economy—that they led the House wisely and well in the reduction of salaries—and made this duty easy by giving the House no choice about taking twenty per cent, off the Ministers’ salaries, instead of taking care to get their own proposals in that direction defeated, as the Grey Government had done. He shows how they had taken most earnest and effectual steps to save the colony as far as possible from Mr. Sheehan’s corrupt and ruinous expenditure on mountains and scoria, and from the agents who receive 46. an acre to induce them | to “prefer quantity to quality,” He shows how Mr, Conyers was dismissed, notwithstanding all his Otago influence and friends; and reductions; on railway expenditure “in various shapes and forms were made, so that the railways, from being a dead loss, were now paying as much as 9 per cent, on the .outlay In Canterbury," These and many other substantial benefits to the colony left him no doubf as to his duty to support the men of'deeds, and not. the men who, promising economy, practised only extravagance and unbounded profusion and cormp-
tion. On the question of education, we, think Mr. Wakefield was far from displaying his usual ability. He fails entirely to show in what direction ecdnomy could be effected without a great loss of efficiency, or how he would compass universal education by parents paving fees for their children ; and he appears to wish his audience not to see how much more the poor, and how much less the rich would pay under the system, if system it can be called, which he advocates. But, taken as a whole, the Geraldine speech is one calculated to educate his constituents and the electors of the colony, and is one which we ’ have no doubt will be generally noted by politicians.
The Dunedin Cup. —Mr. W. Walters’ three horses —Piscatorious, Libeller, and Grand Duchess —will not face the st. rter for the Dunedin Cup, having ,ieen scratched yesterday. Christmas Holidays. —lt is announced that single faro tickets issued at any station between Amberley and the Bluff from December 23rd to January 3rd will be available for the return journey until January 5 th.
The Holiday in Christchurch.— To-day is a close holiday in Christchurch, the weather being beautifully fine. The Anniversary Sports at Hagley Park ;.ie a great success, but the results of the various events had not reached us when we went to press. Ministerial Changes. The formal resignations of Mr. Rolleston as Minister of Education and Mr. Oliver as Munster of Mines were placed in the hands or his Excellency the Governor, and the appointments of Mr. Rolleston as Minister of Mines and of Mr. Dick as Minister of Education were duly signed by his Excellency.
The Gazette. —The Gazette is net an immaculate production. Recently it published Mr. John “Griff” as one of the trustees of the Longbeach cemetery, instead of “Mr. John Grigg.” Now we find it publishing the following gentlemen as trustees of the “Ashburton” ceme'-ery: —Messrs. W. T. Chapman, A. Macfarianc, G. Grieve, R. Boulton, and W. Brown. Lakrikisism. —A Timaru contemporary says Some practical jokers have Incely been freely indulgingin a kind of midn ght mischief which is far from creditable. A few days ago a number of newly painted residences and fences, including the Hibernian Hotel, were smeared with a composition of boiled linseed oil and brickdust. Some time between midright on Saturday and daylight on Sunday morning a portion of the fence enclosing Mr. Driscoll’s property in North street was torn down, a number of the palings being deliberately broken. This kind of mischief is strongly suggestive of the utter inadequacy of the police protection which Timaru in common with many other parts of the colony enjoys. To commit the whole town to the charge of a couple of constables at night seems ridiculous. A Terrible Fall, —Further particu lars regarding the lad Leith, who fell over a precipice at Auckland, state that the unfortunate little fellow was the son of a Mr. Leith, second lighthouse keeper. While gathering Christmas flowers on Monday afternoon the boy tumbled over a cliff, 220 feet high. The father of the boy and the head lighthouse keeper tried to reach the spot by sea, but owing to the rough sea the boat was stove in. They signalled to a passing vessel bound for Auckland, and on Tuesday the Customs launch went to Tiri Tiri, but it was blowing a gale, and she failed to affect a search. It is believed that the boy fell on a ledge 200 feet down, and the body bounded foff into the sea below. The lighthouse keeper was lowered down the face of the cliff, but failed io see the body on the ledge. The lad’s mother clings to the belief that he fell in a chasm in the ledge not explored, and will be found alive. The School Treat. —The school treat to-day was a most successful event. A ten o’clock they mustered at the school and marched, headed by the brass band and piper Elder, to the paddock adjoining Messrs. Saunders Bros.’ mill, and which those gentlemen kindly lent. The paddock was a very happy selection, inasmuch as, being sheltered on all sides by high gorse fences and on one side by well grown poplars, the disagreeableness of a strong nor’-wester was reduced to a minimum, and thorough enjoyment of the sports was rendered possible. All sorts of games likely to amuse the children were arranged for, and after some time had been thus spent tea and cake were plentifully served out. The tea was prepared in three large boilers requisitioned from friends for the occasion, and Mr. Potter displayed groat cooking abilities in getting the congou ready. Some of the committee members were present and a large number of parents, all of whom lent such aid as was necessary in distributing the good things and keeping order. We are happy to have to say, however, that their services were not much wanted in the latter x-e----spect. The toys, which Mr. Shury so promptly procured from Dunedin, were distributed in the shape of prizes for races, Ac., and every little one got some /sourenir or other of the treat. All wont off very happily, and the gathering was thoroughly enjoyable. A Lift for Love. —Last night a procession of carriers, Ac., headed by Piper Elder and Drummer Eagle, marched from the post office to the Baring Square reserve. The object of the turnout was to do a kindness to Mr. Charles Hayes, the old man who keeps the railway bookstall. Mr. Hayes occupied a wharo in Baring Square reserve. There wore several other similar erections on the reserve, and for reasons perfectly satisfactory, which need not here be given, the Borough Council decided to order the removal of those buildings. An order to quit was therefore issued. All obeyed it instanter, except Mr. Hayes, who, having only just entered into possession, and having nowhere else to go just then, pleaded for grace. A month’s grace was allowed him, and possibly he might not have been further disturbed, for we hear that there was a tacit agreement amongst the councillors to wink at his remaining. Anyhow, poor old Mr. Hayes was troubled at the idea that he had overstayed his time, and might at any moment be ejected. Some friends, especially the carrier? who congregate at the station at every train, and among whom Mr. Hayes is very popular, resolved to lend him a hand to remove, and the procession of last night was the result. Dozens of willing hands soon put the little building on a dray, and in a few minutes it was transferred to its new site, a section lent by Mr. Orr. While the work was going on, a subscription was raised to put a new floor in the house, and about L2 was collected. After the house was shifted the procession marched through the town. In this there was no harm whatever, but there was no necessity for cheering and making oilier demonstrations at the houses of jth.Q leading residents, a proceeding which was not called for, and which the purpose of tire gathering really was not worth. Those who got qp the gathering never intended that occasion should' be taken to make demonstrations of this kind, and it was a pity that what was meant to be an act of kindness to the old man should have finished up with the cheering, Ac., referred to, and which we understand has given offence to the recipients of the attentions. We desire to correct a statement that has been made to the effect that Mr. Hayes received an offer' f;f permission to use one of the Borough cormg.cjs rent free. He is not aware of any such Joying been made to hin?..
Acknowledgment. —The master of the Old Men’s Home wishes to acknowledge with thanks, the receipt of two boxes of cakes and sandwiches, from Mr. Aiten, confectioner, Ashburton. Being a holiday, the gift was very acceptable to the inmates, and was quite an unlooked for treat.
The Caledonian Sports. —Last night the Directors of the Caledonian Society met in Quill’s Hotel, and made further arrangements for the sports. Mr. Wilkie’s kind offer to aid in clearing off the running walk was accepted, and Mr. James Scott was appointed superintendent of sports. Two prizes—a first of LI and a second of 10s. —were added to the programme for running long jump, and another for a horizontal bar competition. Cole’s Circus.— To-morrow wo will be visited by what the posters call “The greatest show on earth.” We don’t know about that, but if we may judge from what our contemporaries from the first landingplace of the show to Christchurch have said about it, it is the biggest thing that ever visited New Zealand. Wild beasts, wild Indians, wild riding, wild tumbling, sufficient to make one’s face lengthen by a foot with astonishment comprise the great, show, and we mean to see “ the greatest show on earth,” which a descendent of the immortal Cooke is taking round the world.
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