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OUR SYDNEY LETTER, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 319, 14 April 1881
OUR SYDNEY LETTER
(from our own correspondent.) April 2, 1881. Parliament has been very busy this week clearing up the work of the session. The loan estimate for Railways and Public Works having been agreed to, the resolution authorising the Government to raise L 7,800,000 to cover the votes was submitted, and developed some discussion, in the course of which Sir Henry Parkes said that the Government was deeply sensible of the necessity for constructing a fresh line from the now Northern railway to the North Shore. It has also transpired that the Government intend to remove the Pyrmont bridge, which now impedes the navigation of Darling Harbor. This step is to be commended, because some thousands of pounds are lying locked up in splendid iron wharves, to which ships have no access owing to the old bridge, which has served as a means of communication between the city and the western suburbs of Pyrmont and Ultimo for years. Parliament has now voted LG,OOO for the extension of the Darling Harbor pier, so that in a few' months the Government will have at least one wharf at which large ships may take in cargo direct from the railway trucks. It has been asserted that there is not sufficient labor in the colony to carry out the 1,000 miles of railway now authorised, and some hon. members have commented on the want of judgment the Ministry showed in permitting the reduction of the immigration vote when they had such large pubic works in view. There seems to be a steady influx of labor from the other colonies, and 13-day the arrival of 2n4 men from New Zealand, per Wakatipu and Rotomahana, is announced.
The revenue is still advancing with “ leaps and bounds.” The returns for the last quarter have just been issued from the Treasury. They show that the State income during that time has been L465,7G0, or L 446,000 in excess of the returns for the corresponding period of last year. Under circumstances like these, it is no wonder that the people are becoming more liberal in their ideas, and talk of most wonderful undertakings and results. Private enterprise seems to have thoroughly awakened, and all through the city the music of the trowel and the windlass may be heard. It would be difficult to compute the number of men at work in the city on new buildings, but such contracts as the Post Office, Infirmary, Arcade, St Mary's Cathedral, and the new theatre must be employing thousands. A want that has long been felt in Sydney by respectable young ladies following the avocation of governesses will, lam glad to say, soon bo supplied. Mrs Marie P. Mead, a highly accomplished lady, who has for a short time past superintended a governess agency, has taken actively in hand the founding of an institute for the reception of governesses from the country, seeking situations, etc. Her object in the formation of the above Institute is simply to save a number of those young ladies, who have no settled abode, from utter destruction, through coming in contact with people of an inferior class. Mrs Mead states that it is astonishing the number of cases of wretchedness that have come under her notice during the few months she has had an agency. This lady’s idea is to obtain a large-sized house, furnishing the same comfortably, where young ladies desiring employment can live at a much cheaper rate than in the ordinary boarding-houses. None but those of undoubted respectability and talent will bo allowed to enter on the books, all denominations being admitted. The papers have taken the matter up with interest, and I have no doubt it will be a success, despite the cold water thrown on the undertaking by Lady Manning, and other grandees, who do not think all denominations should be admitted. Yet we live in a Christian era. The Town Hall foundations have nowformed the subject of some unpleasant proceedings. Yesterday the Mayor had a consultation with the City Solicitor and Mr Darley, Q.C., and the result has been that steps have been taken to bring those responsible to book. In addition to bad work, the Corporation officers have discovered that L 2,392 has been paid for work never done. This the late City Architect (Mcßeath) offers to reimburse the Council, but the offer has been justly refused. Proceedings will in a similar manner be instituted against the contractors When thoroughly gone into, this will be one of the grossest swindles perpetrated for some time past in Sydney. The Chinese are noc generally liked, especifdly as colonists; so it may be pleasing to my readers to learn that at Wagga Wagga 17 Chinamen have been poisoned by a fellow-countryman, a cook near Narandera, and 8 are dead. It is said that the cook made tea in a bucket which had contained a specific for foot-rot in sheep. During the past week Mr Charles Thurlow, one of our oldest and most valued Government officials, has passed from our midst. The deceased gentleman was connected with the Lands Department for a period of 20 years, during which time, by his faithfulness and general deportment as an officer, he won for himself the love and esteem of all those under him.
The Sydneyites will not forget their old acquatic champion, Ned Trickett. At a general meeting of the subscribers to the fund for the purpose of defraying Trickett’s expenses to England to compete against Hanlan, held last evening, the treasurer reported that a total amount of LI,OOO was received, and after paying all expenses a balance would be left of L 250. This is to be handed over to the exchampion. Whenever you come to Sydney you may be expected to be asked —“ Oh, is not our harbor lovely, eh !” But nothing is ever mooted about the streets. For bad roadways Sydney ranks foremost. Oxford street, prior to the tramline being put down, was narrow enough, but now there is scarcely room for the omnibuses and other vehicles to pass, the motor whizzing past so close as to endanger hundreds of lives —provided the animals dragging the vehicles were to take fright. The Sydney Permanent Building Society have made a bold proposal to the Government, viz., that it is imperatively necessary to widen Oxford street, the Government requiring the greater part of the road for tramway purposes. It is the only outlet from the City to the eastern suburbs, and as the City and its environs increase, so the traffic through this street will become enormous, and then unqestionably a second line of rails must soon bo constructed. The carrying business of our tramways is very large at present, but when the twenty-three motors, now afloat on their way to the colony, are set in work this business will be much increased. The tramways will soon be carried to Coogee and Bondi, and not merely hundreds, but thousands of people will travel through Oxford street at all hours of the day in quest of fresh air and health.
Farm Cove at present has a very warlike appearance, there being no less than seven men-of-war lying there, five English, one French, and one Japanese. Today being a Japanese general holiday, it has been a grand gala day on board the last named vessel. She has been thrown open to the public all day, and to-night the celebration will close by a grand display of fireworks. The Hon. John Lackey, Secretary for Public Works, has been dangerously ill during the past few days ; it is pleasing to note that his medical advisers expect him to be soon in possession of his usual good health.
Op Tuesday morning at Darlinghurst
Gaol Henry Brown paid the last penalty of the law. The execution was witnessed by a great many, most of whom had got admittance through idle curiosity. The criminal almost fainted on the scaffold he tried to speak but could not. And ho. wonder that the power of speech was taken from the man who had, after driving his wife from his doors, carnally abused his three daughters, the youngest being of the tender age of twelve years. The Austrian Band concerts are still drawing well at the Garden Palace, assisted by Mde. Boema, Signora Agnes Palma, and distinguished pianist, M. H. Kowalski. Kowalski’s new lyric work Yercingetonsc has become a general favorite. Ten thousand were present at the concert last night. The fancy dress ball by the Austrian Band, at the Garden Palace on Tuesday next, will be one of the most brilliant events ot the kind ever given in Sydney. The tickets are going off rapidly, and most of the big houses are busy with orders for historical and other dresses. The galleries will on this occasion be open, so that people not wishing to attend at the ball, can, however, witness the festivities. The decision of the primary judge in equity in the suit of Smith v. Kearney, declared the infant - defendant, Miss Wilhelmina Eve Linden, to be the lawful issue of the testator, J. H. Linden, so that the young lady now comes into L 50,000 worth of property. His Honor in delivering judgment spoke of the safeguards wherewith law hedged about the fraternity of the individual so as to prevent his or her birth being idly questioned. The case occupied a great deal of attention and the disclosures were anything but edifying. It was admitted that Mrs Linden was separated from her husband for years and had been living with a man named Baldwin, for some months before the infant defendant was born. They subsequently went together to New Zealand and resided there for some time. The learned judge laid the law down very clearly that it was incumbent upon the plaintiffs to prove that the husband had not had opportunities of meeting his wife before she went to live with Baldwin. The verdict has given great satisfaction.
OUR SYDNEY LETTER, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 319, 14 April 1881
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