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OUR SYDNEY LETTER, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 354, 26 May 1881
OUR SYDNEY LETTER
(from our own correspondent.) Sydney, May 7. The recess, so far, appears to have been, so far as the political world is concerned, something more than a name. Not one of the Ministers has had occasion to make a political speech in public, and the two or three members who have appeared on the platform, have only spoken on questions that were burning rather more fiercely a fortnight ago than they are now. Sir Henry Parkes has, of late, had his hands full ; the onus of. acting on the Chinese question that has been coming to a head, rested very much with him, and there are grounds for supposing the whole matter has been carefully considered. Sir Henry does not think that the Chinese invasion is likely to be as severe as it has been, or that it is necessary to call Parliament together to resort to special legislation. -That august body is now'further postponed till June 9th, and, and as it is not invited to meet at that date for the despatch of business, the recess will probably continue till July. The Government "has consented to a reduction of. railway fares for persons living within a reasonable distance of the City, who, whilst they must toil at their places of business, prefer their families to live in the country. This is a step, but I believe only one step—and it not a very long one - in the right direction. The result of the census in this colony and Victoria is another example of the oldfsaw that one can never tell “ till the numbers are up.” The population of the City of Sydney lias been ascertained to be 102,803, whilst the suburbs within the metropolitan area bring the total up to 222,100. This is a striking increase upon the returns of the previous census, when the total was little more than 100,000. One of the features in the returns is the falling off in the crowded portion of the City. This, of course, points to the fact that people who Jived in town have joined the masses now congregated in the huge suburbs, and inhabit dwellings which extend the City almost to Parramatta. Of course a great deal of this is due to the better means of communication which now exists between the City and suburbs. The Victorian metropolis shows a total of 260,000, including Williamatown _ and Brighton, although these municipalities are as distant from the City as is Parramatta, the population of which is not included in our returns. The Victorian census has been as great a disappointment as ours has been a pleasant surprise. The Government statist expected 026,000, whilst Mr Berry vaunted at the prospects of seeing seven figures. The Premier’s chagrin can well be imagined when he found the actual total to bo ,854,000. [Frpm a cablegram ia another column, ' it will be seen that the total for Victoria is stated at 964,080. — Ed. - (?.] Outlie other hand, in New South Wales, the Registrar-General had made the modest estimate of 775,000, but now that he has the returns, he looks for an advance, quite 100,000. This is pretty sure to be maintained, and if it is, the Victorians will have to bid farewell for ever to their dominance in population much sooner than they expected. An ugly. circumstance disclosed by the enumerators of the southern colony is that the metropolis isr growing in population, whilst many.of the country districts show.. a falling off. Sydney has made strides, but the country districts' are also gaining in population in greater 1 proportion. The returns, so far as they have been disclosed, are eminefitly satisfactory for'the ,*/ Cornstalks.” The opposite' characters ’ of the two colonies are strangely reflected by the census, ,for the .Victorians,,expected top ih’iicli, tea' ttifr Nbtf * South Welshtneh 1
hazarded nothing but kept well within mark. Surely the fusion of peoplb' actuated by such extreme impulses should be fraught with great results i. _ Tlie Industrial and Live Stock Exhibition, at the Prince Alfred' Park, on the 20th ultimo, under the-auspices of the New South Wales Agricultural Society, closed this week. Taken altogether, the Exhibition was not so great 'ju sncpessv aA those of former years. The live stock exhibits have decreased greatly in numbers, and somewhat in quality, but the industrial exhibits did not partake so much of the “shoppy ” character—a feature in previous exhibitions that was greatly disapproved of. . Some facts in connection with the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation - Company that are not generally known, will, I am sure, be read with interest by many, although not immediately concerned in the shipping trade of Port Jackson. The officers and seamen of the company are paid higher wages than those of any other company whose vessels sails from London. Tho men are never discharged at the termination of a voyage, except for gross misconduct. The result of this policy has been that men have been known to join a vessel immediately after leaving the stocks, and have’only terminated their connection with her when she has gone to the bottom, and several of the men on board the R.M.S. Rosetta, which was in our harbor a few days ago, had been in the company’s service over thirteen years. Here the people are going mad on the subject of bicycle riding; everyone has an “ iron tyorse,” ; ajic| of 'an ■ afternoon, hundreds are to be seen exercising themselves round the gravel walks of our Domain. The'Postmaster-General took it into his head a short time ago to do away with the horse flesh used by the telegraph messengers, and to substitute the velocipede, but it has not altogether been a success, because as soon as the novelty had worn off, the Australian youth found tho work too hard —Australian boys, as a rule, do not like work that is at all laborious. The opening of the Sydney Bicycle Club took place on Monday last. About fourteen members of the Club made a start for Botany, witnessed by a large concourse of people, who had gathered to see the first run of the season.
The Athenaeum Club, which was formed recently in Sydney, was formally opened during the week. About fifty members of the Club attended at the rooms in Castlereagh street on the occasion, arid,, judging from the hejitiy anxLsociable spirit that prevailed, there is every hope of the Club having a prosperous' and satisfactory cp.reer. The Club’s rooms are beautifully arranged, the ventilation being perfect. As soon as the necessary preliminaries are adjusted, dining rooms and a billiard room are to be erected, and the Athenaeum, which already has on its roll of membership a large number of gentlemen connected with literature .and the liberal professions, will then oc«*py no inconsiderable position in our city, and it. is satisfactory to note that a reproach that had too long existed on Sydney, through the want of such an institution,_ has at length, been, removed. " "
Mr George Richard Dibbs, who has been incarcerated in Darlinghurst gaol for twelve months, for contempt of Court arising out., of the, noa-paiyment of L 3,500 damages and boats awarded by the jury in a slander action instituted by Mr John ex JSJ.Ij. A.j was released from custody last week. Mr Dibbs has not found his detention very irksome, for his quarters were well furnished and his visitors numerous. Then again, in the complication of his insolvent estate, it has been nepessary that he. should put in an appearance at the Law Ootirts 'at least once a, week. These outings kept him before the public, and now he once more enjoys unrestricted association' with his friends. Of the latter he has many, and his plucky action, in going into gaol; rather than allow the sum to be paid, has his popularity instead of diminishing it. The loss of the • Tararua has been keenly.felt in this city, where the .officers had many friends. Already the press has been advocating the inauguration of a relief fund. The people of Sydney have on many occasions responded cheerfully to the cry for succour, and it will not be in vain that the necessities of the widows and children of those lost in the Tararua are pleaded. The fact is thoroughly recognised that there has been no loss of life s'o thoroughly representative of Australian as. that which befel the old favorite| of the Union Company's fleet at Waipapa. s The weather has turned suddenly colder, and a good downpour of rain has been experienced by the metropolitan and surrounding districts within the past week, but it is a long time since the : colony has had such a general rainfall. The want of rain.is being.seriously felt in •some of the'pastoral districts in* the west, where the grass is. insufficient for the sustenance of the cattle and sheep. In thesfe localities the continued dry weather fearfully depresses the meat market, thousands of cattle and sheep being sold and slaughtered to save their dying from want of grass and water. [The foregoing has been delayed in transit, as in the ordinary course it should have reached us last week— Ed. G.]
OUR SYDNEY LETTER, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 354, 26 May 1881
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