The Ashburton Guardian. MONDAY, DECEMBER 27, 1880. Voting Facilities.
TOWN EDITION. [.lssued at 5.30 p. m. ]
The late elections to the Waimakariri River Roard have brought out in a strong light one of the worst features connected with our New Zealand elections, and perhaps we must admit that it is one for which Canterbury has earned even more than an average colonial notoriety. The name “ Liberal” is now claimed by a variety of politicians, and always most vociferously by those who have the least title to it; but one idea of a liberal politician is that he should seek the “ greatest good for the greatest number,” that he should avoid and denounce any attempt to monopolise power or privilege to any one party or class by improper means, that he should protect the weak from the strong, and that he should especially watch the constant tendency of wealth to obtain more than its due share of consideration, either in the legislation or administration of the country he wishes to serve. With this view of a liberal politician, we cannot imagine anything more thoroughly illiberal, or more directly calculated to undermine the tights of the mass of the people as secured by genuine representation, than the open, unblushing manner in which Canterbury candidates lavishly spend money to secure their own election, even on a River Board. We write of this with no personal views, and in no party spirit—we regret to say that it is a vice confined to no party in Canterbury, but one so wildely spread that no party appears ashamed of it, or even to consider it necessary to conceal the amounts they have spent in trying to secure an election to the most wealthy instead of to the most worthy candidate. The most paraded, if not the most gigantic expenditures of this kind have been made by the very associations whose chief business should have been to point out to the poorer classes of the electors how obviously unfair to them all attempts to gain seats by the expenditure of money must necessarily be, and how entirely regardless of their true and highest rights any man proves himself to be who seeks to secure their support by offering facilities of conveyance, or incurring any kind of expenditure, which more worthy men of their own class, or others with smaller means, would be unable to undertake. Such devices to place their poorer or more honorable rival at a disadvantage should be understood by every working man as an attempt to subvert the rights of his class, and to give to wealth an undue share of representation in the elective bodies throughout the colony. Let this matter be once fairly and fully understood by the great body of the electors in New Zealand, and the force of public opinion would soon put a stop to the present abuses. Working men would refuse to vote for any candidate who sought to purchase a seat by such means, and would rather reach the polling-booth on foot to vote for a candidate who would not tamper with their independence or surrender his own, than be driven in the carriage of one who expects such a provision to influence his vote. It is worthy of notice that the Canterbury Reform Association not only leaves this practice without condemnation, but its leading officers seem even proud of the extent to which they and their favorite candidates have influenced the elections by its means. This is only one of the many strong proofs we have of how little those officers understand the business they profess, and how entirely they are seeking the interests of a few selfish men, and not the protection of the weak, the education of the ignorant, or the elevation of the degraded. But New Zealand Liberal Associations will, we would fain hope, not always be a bye-word and a shame. We hope to see associations of men with great principles to guide their actions, and with great public objects to achieve, led by officers seeking the welfare of the State and the happiness and contentment of its people ; not by those who seek their own ends at the cost of needless discontent and destruction of mutual confidence.
St. Mark’s Church, Rakaia. — Messrs. Baker and Brown have almost completed their contract for the enlargement of this church, and on the IGth of January it will be re-oponed and consecrated by the Bishop of the Diocese. Christmas at Hakaia. —The service at St. Mark’s Church on Christmas Day, conducted by the Incumbent, Rev. W. H. Elton, was very well attended. The customary decorations had to be dispensed with, owing to the church being in the hands of the builders for enlargement. Boat Accident. —A fatal boat accident occui’red at Wanganui on Saturday. Pour young men were sailing on the river when a sudden gust of wind upset the boat and two occupants, named Farnie and Wilkinson, were drowned. The others were saved, one swimming ashore and the other being picked up by a boat. Police Cases.— At the R. M. Court this morning, Mr. Nugent Wood interviewed several individuals who had made too merry during the festivities of Christ-mas-tide. For being drunk, smashing windows, and other similar delinquencies, two men from Rakaia were respectively fined Is., and L2, cost of replacing the damaged glass. One of the men who had endeavored to rescue his mate from the man in blue, was mulct in an extra fine of ss. James Smith, charged with being drunk, disorderly, and resisting the police, asked the leniency of the Court, as he intended to “put in the peg/’ Mr. Wood was merciful, and let the offender off, but warned him if the peg was again taken out, ho would get fourteen days if brought before the Bench. Michael Wheeler, for similar misconduct, was dismissed with a caution. David James, who had been arrested by Constable Neill, was brought up, charged with stealing a pair of boots, the property of Mr. Ncalas. The charge being fully proved, prisoner was sentenced to four days’ imprisonment, >
Rakaia Sports.— VVehad made arrangements for the conveyance of particulars jf these sports to our office to-day by earner pigeon, but although our ariel messenger arrived in good time, he had lost his despatch, probably owing to the high wind and insufficient care in fastening. A full account of the sports will appear in tomorrow's issue. The Fire Brigade Carnival. —The Ashburton Fire Brigade were busy at an early hour this morning making preparations for their concert, &c. The fireworks, from their appearance, ought to be a grand display, and the music at the concert will be of a much superior nature to that usually given at amateur entertainments.
A Tent Destroyed. —Two men named John Cousins and Fred. Goodrich, liv ng in a tent on the river bed, had their frail habitation destroyed by fire yesterday. It appears that having lit a fire for the purpose of making tea, the sparks flew to the adjoining tussocks, which, igniring, the flames speedily spread to the tent, wh oh with a quantity of articles it contained, was entirely destroyed.
Pushing Business.— The Welling!on correspondent of a contemporary says : “ I hear that the Government Insurance Department intend to take advantage- of the steamship to the Chatham Islands to send a doctor and an officer of the department, with a view cf pushing a Hide business if possible and taking some 1R ;s. Dr. Johnston, of this city, is going as medical officer.”
A Female Shylock. One of the passengers tells “ Atticus ” that on the night when the Sorata struck, all was c-in-fusion, women fainting, men runn ng hither and thither, and seamen swear ng with true British energy. At this critical moment, when the cry on all sides was for the boats, and when tiunks were being eagerly opened, by owners anxious to save something of their valuables, the under-stewardess went the rounds and presented the wine bills for settlement.
Apple Blight. —A correspondent of the Australasian sends the following as an infallible cure for apple blight “ Lay bare the roots of the tree most affected ; scrape the parts most affected, let them lie open to the weather a few days and nights ; then sprinkle a good dusting of sulphur over them, and cover them up again, painting the whole of the stem cud branches with castor oil. This I have proved effectual, and do not know one who has tried it but with success.”
Sickness and Accident Assurance Wc have received from the local ageno a copy of the rules of the Sickness and Accident Mutual Assurance Association of New Zealand, which clearly define the objects and management of the Association. The trustees are gentlemen of unimpeachable stability, and the committee is composed of others well qualified for the duties they have assumed. Any person wishing to make provision for sickness or accident should join this Association, for which Mr. 0. Braddell is local agent.
A Row.—On Christmas Day, a sort of free fight occurred in the vicinity of the gasworks, the result, we understand, of some petty grievances between neighboring families. Brickbats, small boulders, tomahawks, a rifle and revolver were in requisition during the affair, but as the Uvo latter weapons were unloaded, no serious wounds were inflicted. A youth named Ibcll seems to have been the principal victim, and he certainly has had some rough usage. A Court case is likely to be the outcome of the affair, when more particulars will doubtless be elicited.
A Novel Life-Saving Apparatus.— Messrs Thornton and Co., exhibited before the Leith Dock Commissioners a new life-saving dress. The apparatus c< msists of a waterproof dress, with a float attached, which is fitted with airproof chambers, so constructed that they are protected by means of cork bulwarks against any chance of damage through collision with wreckage, rocks, &c. The dress can be put on in a minute, and the operator, being in a perpendicular position, and floating waist high in perfect security, can rescue four or five persons from drowning. Propellers are fitted to the lower part of the dress in the form of web feet, and by an easy action of the latter, similar to walking, the dress is propelled through the water at a considerable speed. A pair of revolving screws fitted to the back of the float propel the dress at a speed equal to five miles an hour without much exertion by the operator. • The apparatus is recommended by the in venters for naval, military, and exploring purposes, and also for wild duck shooting. The Dock Commissioners expressed themselves highly satisfied with the working of the apparatus.
Attempted Murder at' Templeton.— On Saturday evening a man named Gibson went to the house of one Kerrison, and enquired for a female acquaintance who was residing there, between Whom and Gibson there is said to have been an intimacy some time ago. The girl did not come out, and Gibson (who appeared to be troubled in mind and agitated) asked Kerrison to go with him and have some liquor. This offer being refused, he produced a bottle of brandy, out of which Kerrison took a glass, as also did a woman named Mrs. Kinley, residing with Kerrison. Gibson then went away from the house, but only proceeded about 400 yards when he returned, and standing opposite the building took his coat off and threw it on the ground. It was then noticed that he had a pistol in his hand, and the woman Kinley approached him, with the object of warning him not to be rash. Gibson told her to stand off, and pointed the pistol at her,’ seeing which, Kerrison rushed from the house, and Gibson then turned the pistol towards him (Kerrison), aiming at his heart, and fired. The bullet entered Kerrison’s loft breast and passed along the collarbone, piercing, it is supposed, the lungs. He did not fall, but ran inside the house, and Gibson fired another shot from the revolver at him as he ran, but fortunately without effect. Gibson then fired a third shot over Mrs. Kinley’s head and went away. Kerrison was brought to town yesterday and conveyed to the Hospital. Gibson was arrested and brought to town yesterday evening. Chalmers in the Pulpit. —Dr. Chalmers was then Professor of the University, and had no parish of his own, but occasionally held forth at a small church at Liberton, I think it was called, in the suburbs of Edinburgh, and here I was one of the largo crowd which thronged in and about the contracted building. Not very familiar with the Scotch brogue which Chalmers spoke, of the rudest Glasgow kind, and, finding it not only difficult to understand, but painful to listen to, I was little disposed at first to give much heed to his sermon. His appearance and manner in the pulpit, moreover, were by no means attractive. His face and. features were course and large ; his lank grey hair fell carelessly about a narrow forehead, and he kept his head bent and his blinking eyes close to his manuscript, while his only action was an up and down or sawing movement with his right arm from the elbow. In spite of all these personal disadvantages, which at the beginning was very repulsive to me, I was so soon interested in his fervid utterances and absorbed by the quick alternations of emotion with which my feelings responded to his earnest appeals, that I unresistingly yielded to the torrent of his eloquence. The man in the meantime seemed transfigured, and ray tearful eyes saw, as ii, were, through a sacred halo, the prophet or apostle. —Robert Tomes’ “My College Pays" . I
Nomination. —The Rev. W. H. Elton, the Incumbent of St. Mark’s, Rakaia, having been appointed minor canon and precentor to the Canterbury Cathedral, the Rev. E. E. Chambers, curate of Ross, Westland, has been nominated to the vacancy, which will occur at Easter. Flattering. —Mr. Henry Labouchere, M.P., the editor and proprietor of Truth, one of the brightest of the London weeklies, is described by Mr. George Agustus Sala as “a scholar of well-digested reading, a travelled linguist, a diplomatist of nearly twenty years’ training, a shrewd financier, a brilliant conversationalist, a ready, incisive public speaker, a man of wit, a man of sense, and a man of business, and has made a palpable hit. in the. House of Commons.”
A Compliment.— An honest- farmer receives a visit from a dealer in live stock who-.wishes to-purchase his pork crop. After chaffering over the price, they rise to.go out to the farm-yard to inspect the animals. On the threshold they meet the farmer’s daughter, a handsome, strapping lass of nineteen, whose plumpness, and colour would have delighted Reubens. “By Jove!” says the admiring and gallant dealer, feeing that some compliment is demanded of him ; “I say, if your pigs are anything like your daughter, we will have no difficulty in making a bargain.” Equal to the Occasion. — Michael Bates, who is without arms, has been indicted at the Liverpool assizes on a charge of bigamy. Counsel for the defence contended that if the marriage purported to be according to the rites of the Church of England it could not have been valid, inasmuch us the prisoner could not have given the woman his hand, nor could he have put the ring on her finger. Evidence was given that at the first marriage the prisoner put on the ring by means of his teeth. As it was shown that the prisoner had, at the time of his second marriage, not heard from his wife -for seven years, he was acquitted.
Death of an Aged Lady. —Mrs. Sarah Baird, who died a few days since in Troy, Wisconsin, at the great age of 108, had never suffered a day of illness, and up to the very day of her death it.vvas her custom to make almost daily’ trips to her neighbors, traversing distances of half and three-quarters of a mile with perfect ease. Excepting a growing childishness, she showed no infirmities of age. She was the mother of six children, all now living, and she had one sister who lived to the age of 105. Her mother died at 102. On the day of her death she sat up the entire day, combing her own hair, and otherwise helping herself as was ordinary.
A New Tax. — A new scheme of taxation has been suggested by a writer in one of the Home magazines, as a substitute for the income tax in the mother country. He proposes the imposition of a stamp duty on rent and interest on all real estate and invested capital ; upon every change of ownership in all materials of trade, commerce, and manufactures ; upon all exchanges of labor and goods into money ; upon payment of the wages; of all labor ; and upon the contract notes of all speculations. From these various sources he estimates that a revenue of eight millions would be raised, at a merely nominal cost of collection, and the hicidenco of the tax would’be nicely adjusted to the circumstances of the contributors.
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