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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 228, 29 December 1880
Winslow Sports.—" Telephone's" tips on the Winslow races will appear in our Friday evening's issue. The Late Fatal Accident to a Jockey.—At the inquest on the body of the late jockey, Nolan, the jury returned a verdict of " accidental death." The unfortunate man leaves a widow and two children in Melbourne, on whose behalf a subscription list was opened by Mr. Percival, Secretary to the A.R.C., and the sum of LIOO was raised in a few hours. Nolan's remains will be forwarded to Melbourne. Another Trophy to Ashburton.—We had the pleasure to-day of inspecting a medal won by Corporal E. Cookson of the Canterbury Yeomanry Cavalry (Ashburton contingent) at Temuka, on the 9th November last. It is an ornament for any man to be proud of, but more especially when it was gained in a competition against the eight cavalrymen who attended on the occasion specially to take away the coveted prize to " other climes." The medal is a Maltese cross, having the design of the usual crossed sabres, and the name of the prize winner, and the place and date of the victory. The medal is extremely handsome, and can be seen at Trooper Chambers' shop, in East street, and the sword with which the victory was gained. We have no doubt but that the Cookaons of the next generation will look upon this medal as a family heirloom. Ashburton ought to feel proud of the part their contingent have taken in regard to cavalry matters. At the Christchurch Easter review, Sergeant Scott distanced the field in all competitions and scored No. 1 in every event. At Temuka he was consequently appointed judge ; when, to the surprise ana dismay of the other contingents, another Ashburton man came into the contest, and thanks to the manner in which the said sergeant had drilled his men, Corporal Cookson came off with flying colours.
The Weathek.— The weather to-d .y has been of a very mixed charact< v. "Thunder, lightning, and rain" hn.e divided honors with an occasional Simshiny hour. Our Seafield reporter informs us that a terrific hailstorm tov •!< place about 8 a.m. this morning, whi h came from a S. W. direction, and took a course from the beach near Kyle towards Southbridge. Several paddocks which it took in its course will give a poor retr .'n to the bagmen.
The Wheel of Life.—We have received from the Register-General's office the New Zealand statistics for the year 1879. The volume contains a very lar : ,'e amount of matter of the description usually found in similar publications, but much of it is of little interest tc the general reader. From a hurried peru.ial we glean the following facts : —The estimated population of New Zealand on ;he 31st December, 1879, was 403,729— being an increase during the year of 31,210 r rsons, or at the rate of 7 2 per cent. The total arrivals in New Zealand during the year amounted to 23,957 persons ; end 5,234 persons left the colony during Oie same period. The births amounted to 18,070 ; the marriages to 3,352 ; he deaths to 5,583. Of the births, 9,. D 5 were males, and 8,775 were females. Of the marriages, 2,792 were between bachelors and spinsters ; and 342 widows and 319 widowers married a second tii.e. Of the deaths, 2,605, or 4773 per cent. were undei five years of age. A Bolt.—The Longbeach con.ch took an unusual and erratic trip this morniog. Tommy Cotton, the regular handier of ;he ribbons, had delegated his office to a p.'-.rty not quite so reliable as the lenowned whip himself ; and the delegate evidently •as of opinion that a sixteen mile drive <as sufficient to cool the horses' ardor so ar- to stand at Mr. Cotton, senr's., reside ce while he went in to deliver a parcel ;>.n& have a yarn. But as it hapj. us that the said horses are stal-'ed at Baldwin's Hotel, and got ti ur provender at that hostelry, they made tracks (without a pilot) in the direction of the oats. Naturally they they went favoer for having no check upon them, and usual six-mile an hour pace shortly developed into a bolt, and the old coach went at a rattling pace towards Wakanui, and turned at Mr. Hunt's residence—two jockeys giving chase, but not successfi: ly. The horses turned at Mr. Hunt's, and returned towards the Central, making a very good dart from the gate to the stables. But they were successful in catching the gatepost with one of the hind wheels, wj ich was dislocated, and the pole will also hive to go into hospital for repairs. Tommy had better stick to his seat in future 1: imself. A Monkey Race. —Visitors to the sports ground during the past two days will remember having seen a man superintending n. wreel-of-fortune of somewhat novel arrangement. He had i\ number of tickets numbered, which he sold at a shilling each, or a shilling for two —we don't remember which. Having got rid of a number to suit him, ho asked a monkey he had with him to take a bailout of a lot,ery box, after the box had been spun round, and the balls in it well mixed. The balls were numbered up to so many, according to the number of tickets sold, and whoever held the ticket corresponding to the number of the ball drawn by the monkey earned the sweepstake, less the engineer's commission. The monkey worked hard, all day, and at evening yesterday, when one of the brothers Hodder was gyrating on the horizontal bar, Sambo saw- an opportunity and took it. All eyes were upon the supple Hod ler, when suddenly the monkey man was seen making a bee line and excel ent time for the horse yards. Public interest was at once changed from gymnastics to the monkey man, and it was soon seen that in the distance there was makine a good record for the yards something "very like a big rat. This was the monkey seizing his opportunity. In a few minutes two to one had been taken and offered on the monkey, and in a few minutes also man and monkey were doing a very interesting act on the higher fences, while the crowd, including competitors and judges, joined in the pursuit. Sambo's race was soon over, for after a few "sights" at his master he came to terms, and his master's arms, and capitulated, sadly disappointing his backers. During the clay several bets were taken and two to one was freely offered on vagrant hats that travolled over the enclosure on their own feet, pursued by their bare-headed owners, and several fat parties, both male and female, vere forced to enter for impromptu running events, who had been a long time out of training, and in not a few cases the backers of the vagrant potai won. " A Moral Agriculturist. " —Most of our readers will recollect that a few weeks ago Mr. George Wilcocks," the ex-pro-prietor of the Wheatstone Hotel and the Longbeach Coach, disposed of hi 3 property, with a view to starting business in " fresh fields and pastures new." George is what Mark Twain would call a " gay and festive cuss," and he endeavored to negotiate the purchase of several properties in Christchurch. George appears not to have been able to meet with anybody there who had sufficient confidence in him to give him a start, but an opening showed up in the swell house of the West Coast, viz., the Melbourne Hotel, at Greymouth, a building of about the same size and appearance as Quill's here. The cash necessary for taking possession was LBOO. George didn't have 'it but by some inscrutable means, only known to the lawyers and the manager of the Bank of New Zealand at Greymouth, our old coaching friend got into the house by giving a cheque for LIOO, (which was not cashed), and a bill of sale for L7OO. It was a nice thing for George, but there was an item that seemed to have been forgotten, and that was the ground rent for the land on which the hotel stood. The lawyer for the Bank and for the owner of the ground was one and the same individual, and before our late Wheatstone landlord had been boss of the house a month, a bailiff walked in to get LSO for ground rent During the month George had not been idle. The maimer in which the butchers and bakers, et hoc genus omnc, suffered will be a caution to Greymouth tradesmen if they ever got an Ashburton speculator over there again. The thing collapsed by another purchaser being found who bought and paid cash for the hotel and fixings, and George's creditors are now engaged in studying their profit and loss account.
Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 228, 29 December 1880
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