The Ashburton Guardian. agna Est Veritas et Prevalebit. THURSDAY, APRIL 14, 1881. Small Bird Pest.
TOWN EDITION. [issued at 435 p.m.]
The small bird pest is increasing alarmingly throughout the colony, and Ashburton is equally as unfortunate as its neighboring districts in this respect. The only remedy in cases such as these is the declaration of a war of extermination on the part of the farmers, and we notice that steps in this direction have already been taken, in the form of the convention of a meeting to consider the formation of a Sparrow Club, which will take place this evening. From a Southern exchange we extract the following recipe, recommended by an agricultural gentleman, who vouches for its efficacy, and we commend it to the notice of the gentlemen in question: —Dissolve a lady’s thimbleful of strychnine in a small portion of spirits of salts, mix with rolbs of wheat and oats and sprinkle over the fields.
The Rangitata Bridge Difficulty. The wriggles in which the Geraldine County Council have been indulging, in the form of deputations, conferences, resolutions, communications from their chairman, &c., in their endeavor to escape their liability in the Rangitata Bridge extension, are certainly laughable in the extreme. Their unflagging zeal in the matter of pointing out to the Ashburton Council the error of their ways is equally amusing, but at the same time greatly deteriorates from the future market value of these gentlemen’s word, either individually or collectively. By the answer, which was yesterday prepared in committee, and afterwards approved of in Council, they will not only have convincing proof of their liability in this direction but will also have pointed out to them the fact that the Ashburton County Council is composed of men of shrewd business capacities, and they cannot therefore feel greatly surprised, however deeply mortified they may be, at the entire failure in the attempt they made to catch their neighbors asleep. Tempting as was the offer of the deputation to hand out L 6,000, provided the Council indemnified their Geraldine neighbors for all further sums which might be incurrable in the execution of this work, we are glad to see that our Council had sufficient foresight to decline the favor extended. What, however, is the most ridiculous portion of the whole affair is the emphatic refusal to spend a sixpence of the ratepayers’ money made by the chairman of the Geraldine County Council. We fear all the efforts on the part of the Ashburton County Council to prove to their southern neighbors that they are legally responsible in the half share of the expense, without an appeal to a court of equity, will prove futile. We hope not, yet, nevertheless, think so. We should regret that the amicable relations between the two bodies should suffer; yet we cannot see that the Ashburton County Council are doing other than creating an unnecessary delay by thus giving ear to the excuses of the Geraldine Council. Our representatives appear fully satisfied of the stability of the project, and of the justice of their claim, notwithstanding the breakage of 50 per cent, of the piles yet driven, attributable to faulty workmanship, not material. Therefore, why this dilly-dallying ? It is for the Ashburton County Council to call on the Geraldine gentlemen to give a decided answer as to whether they will or will not comply with the agreement made by them some months back. If they accede to the demands of the Council and hand over the half of the expense, well and good; if not, the Ashburton County Council can seek their remedy before a civil tribunal. We have no desire to advocate hasty action in the matter, but are certainly of opinion too great a delay has already occurred in a case where all that is necessary is a direct yea or nay.
Telegraphic. —The Western Australian line is restored. No Business. —There was nothing done at the Police Court to-day. Sporting.— The following are the acceptances for the Free Handicap :■ —The Poet, Billingsgate, Frailty, Nautilus, and Romeo. Christchurch Races. - Sir Modred still remains first favorite for the Great Autumn Handicap, at 2 to 1 against. Natator at a point longer odds, is his immediate attendant, with The Governor and Lady Emma next in order. Ashburton Rifles, —The contingent of this Corps which will participate in the Raster review proceedings at Oamaru will leave here by the express train to-morrow for that place. Cricket. —The final match of the season will be played to-morrow in the Domain, between the County and Borough clubs, sides to be chosen from members present upon the ground. Play to commence at 10 sharp. The Natator Scratching Case. The following resolution was passed at the enquiry held by the Dunedin Jockey Club (n this matter Having received a letter from the Hon W. Robinson, together with the explanation of Mr H. P. Lance, with regard to the scratching of Natator for the Forbury Handicap, on Feb 26, the Committee consider the same highly unsatisfactory, and express strong disapproval of the course pursued in allowing the horse to remain in the betting for nearly four hours after he had left Dunedin, and for a long time after Mr Lance had decided to send the horse away." A resolution proposing the disqualification of the horse and Mr Lance, was negatived
Post and Telegraph Holidays. —All branches of the Post Office will be closed to-morrow (Good Friday), and Sunday hours will be observed at telegraph stations. Sunday hours will also be observed at all telegraph stations on Easter Monday. Midnight and other stations required for press purposes will, however, re-open from 7 to 8 o’clock in the evening, and again at midnight for the tranmission of cable news. Rakaia Masonic Lodge. —The installation of officers of this Lodge took place last evening, at the Town Hall, Rakaia, in the presence of a large assemblage of brethren. The ceremony was conducted by the D.D.G.M., Bro. H. Thomson, in his usual impressive manner, assisted by Bro. Dr. Deamer, P.G.S. W., who delivered the addresses. On the dais were visiting Bros. James Bradley, W.M. (Somerset, 1811, E.C.) ; W. H. Gundry, W.M. (St. John’s, 1858, E!C.) ; W. Sparrow, W.M. (Thistle, S.O); Rutledge, W.M. (Corinthian, 1.0.) ; H. Stephenson, P.M., and R. W. Shearman, P.M. The following officers were installed for the ensuing year : —Bro. C. A. C. Hardy, P.M. as W.M. ; Bro. G. A. Winter, I.P.M. ; Bro. A. Makeig, S.W. ; Bro. Clark, I.W. ; Bro. Gordon Holmes, Treasurer; Bro. W. U. Lyttelton, Secretary ; Bro. Manghan, S.D. ; Bro. G. Robertson, I.D. ; Bro. W. Hussey, LG. After the ceremony', Bro. G. A. Winter, 1.P.M., on behalf of the Lodge, presented Bro. C. A. C. Hardy, P.M. and newly re-installed Master, with a handsome P.M. jewel. In doing so, he alluded to the great services rendered to the Lodge by Bro. Hardy during the year he bad hold the chair, and during his year as I. P.M., and congratulated the Lodge on Bro. Hardy again taking the chair. The jewel was manufactured by Messrs Coates and. Co., and bore a suitable inscription. The musical portion of the ceremony was conducted by Bro. H. J. Weeks, assisted by a choir. After closing the Lodge, the visitors were entertained at a banquet given by members of the Lodge at which fifty sat down, the chair being occupied by the W.M. (Bro. Hardy) supported by theD.D.G, VI., 1.P.M., aud Bro. Deamer. The usual loyal and Masonic toasts were given, interspersed with some excellent music and singing by Bros. Lanibie, Sharp, Mann, Allan, Stephenson, Jackson, Clelland, Willowby, and Weeks, the latter brother playing the accompaniments.
The trustee In the estate of C. R. Harold summons a meeting of creditors for eleven o’clock on Wednesday next, at Mr Crisp s office. A. O. Aitken, baker, East street, advises the public to look out for his carts to-morrow morning, with hot cross buns.
Mr Alpheus Hayes advertises a reduction in the price of firewood. __