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OUR SYDNEY LETTER, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 392, 11 July 1881
OUR SYDNEY LETTER
(from our own correspondent.) Sydney, June 24. The scare caused by the appearance of “ lapetite varole ” in Sydney has not yet in any way abated, although no fresh cases of the dreaded malady have up to date of writing, presented themselves. Rumors of fresh outbreaks from several portions of the city have naturally been numerous, and have spread with electric rapidity. The smallest pimple is now quite sufficient to give rise to no small amount of uneasiness on the part of those living with the person so “ afflicted,” and smallpox being the bete noir of the period, nervous people are in constant dread of a visit from the enemy. The vaccination law is not compulsory here as in England and Victoria, but vaccination has been generally adopted, however. Two hundred members of the police force were yesterday vaccinated by Dr Modson, who will continue this work until he has performed the operation bn the whole of the force. The Chinese race have a great aversion to the process of vaccination, and much prefer being inoculated with the germs of the disease to the introduction of lymph into their systems. Their objections, however, at the present juncture, will not be heeded. The latest
information from the Quarantine Station 'is that the patients, numbering twenty-five, are progressing favorably. The outbreak of small-pox in the city lias and is causing a considerable amount of inconvenience to the shipping trade of this aind other ports. On arrival of the R.M.S. City of New York at Auckland her New Zealand passen-
gers were quarantined, only for a few hours certainly, but they nevertheless
had to go. through the ordeah w «Xhfi steamer Ocean from Hong-Kong for Sydney was at last advices in Mbreton Bay awaiting orders. She has on board. 450 Chinese for South Australian ports* and was admitted to pratique to landher Brisbane cargo. The Union Company’s steamer Rotoinahana arrived from your ports early this week, and instead of coming alongside the wharf, as usual anchored in Neutral Bay, and landed her passengers by a small harbor steamer.
The unfortunate Chinese are having a bad time of it just now; wherever they go they are shunned. The ferryboat, proprietors will not allow them to travel with , the Europeans; they are compelled to class themselves with the “ cattle," in order to get across the bar- ; bor to transact business or see their friends. The retail vegetable trade carried on by Chinese has greatly fallenoff, and they say “ Euloupean alee too muchee frighten j” nevertheless they will now have to confine their business entirely to the wholesale trade with European dealers. The streets, police offices, and other public places and surroundings have been deodorised with Kayser’s disinfectant, and it is intended to use the specific in connection with the drains of the city. The smell of carbolic acid is very strong in the carriages of the railway, and when completely closed, is at times quite obnoxious. lam convinced there is no cause for alarm. The precautions already taken, it is expected, will arrest any further distribution of the contagion, but, at the same time, the authorities have so arranged that there will be no relaxation of official or in--dividual effort in the direction of safety. The steamer Ocean, with the Chinese cargo, has not yet been sighted, but the water police are on the alert for her *■ arrival. The fact that small-pox will linger in large towns sometimes for years, has caused some uneasiness, and it has been decided by bur citizens that two Acts are and must be legalised immediately on the meeting of Parliament—one to prevent the crowding Of individuals in shanties -and other places where there is an insuffi- s. cient amount of pure air and healthy f room • the other, the Vaccination Act . Had this dire disease been allowed to obtain a firm hold in Sydney, where there is much to favor its development, ! it would Have been, a terrible scourge. : until it had swept away hundreds > of people most likely to be affected. In the future, less facility will be given dis- ' ease to visit our shores. Well might it.. be said “we have escaped by the skin ; of our teeth.” \ The recent outrages in the South ! Seas, which at the time caused cpn--1 siderable excitement in Sydney, owing ! chiefly to the fact that the officers and | men so brutally murdered by the savages were well known here, have at last been avenged. The Sydney Press ' at the time strongly condemned the 1 dilatoriness displayed by Commodore j ; Wilson, who commands the fleet oh the ' : Australian station, and judging from latest reports, good results have been wrought therefrom. H.M. schooner gunboat Renard has arrived, bringing despatches from Captain Bruce, of 1 H.M.S. Cormorant, to the effect that retributive justice had ovetaken the ; murderers of Lieutenant Bower and : the crew of H.M. schooner gunboat | Sandfly, who were ruthlessly murdered [ in cold blood by the natives of Guadalcanur Island, one of the Sol- , man Group, while bn a surveying ex- ; pedition. The punishment has been - inflicted by Captain Bruce and the men of the Cormorant. The leader of the natives was secured, and executed in the sight of a large number of natives. Four others concerned in the murder escaped, but the son of-the chief of the island has been captured, and is now being held by Captain Bruce as a hostage for their capture. The officers of the Cormorant have obtained a number of articles taken from the
murdered crew of the Sandfly, in-
cluding Lieutenant Bowers’ watch, and most of the arms taken from the men, and, with the late lieutenant’s skull, is now on the way to Sydney. lam sure it is satisfactory to all to know that the perpetrators of this cold-blooded murder have been visited with condign punishment Mr William Fairfax, a gentleman
well known and highly esteemed by all
old pressmen in the colonies, and by a large circle of friends, died at his residence, North Shore, last week. The deceased gentleman, some 28 years ago, arrived in Victoria, and soon afterwards became managing partner in the firm of Wilson, Mackinnon, and Fairfax. Mr Fairfax pursued his profession in Queensland, again in Victoria, and more recently in Sydney. The deceased gentleman was a cousin of the Messrs Fairfax, proprietors of the Sydney Morning Herald, A mania lately has taken place in Sydney for prize fighting. It is scarcely a week ago since two boys, employed as ombnibus conductors, had a fight, and one was killed after a few rounds had been fought. Last Saturday morning two men, named Booth and Killen, I met at Rand wick racecourse for the purpose of seeing who was the best man. Every preparation was made beforehand ; seconds and timekeepers being on the spot at the appointed hour. The fight, according to evidence, lasted 40 minutes. In the lasi round Killen received a heavy blow, knocking him down. On getting to his feet again to renew the battle, blood com- ; menced to flow copiously from his nostrils and mouth, and before assistance came, he fell to the ground and died almost immediately. The police being observed in ; the 1 several of the spectators* took to their heels; but four men, including Booth, picked up the dead man, and ran f away through the neighboring pad-, docks. ■ Finding that to escape with thfc : body was a useless thing to attempt; they threw the corpse into a ditch and adopted Napoleon’s motto, “ Sauvequi pent” After a hot chase of nearly an
hour, the police managed to, ; arrest' Booth and three seconds of "tiiOT- J keepers, who took part in the affair. The inquest on the body of James
Killen was' finished on Wednesday , -.morning, the jury bringing in a verdict -.of murder against Booth, and against rthe three other men arrested guilty of aiding and abetting in the commission of the unlawful act. Mr George B. Dibbshas been check- : mated, and there are many who - -sympathise with him under the present ■chargrin- He went to gaol for twelve 'months to avoid paying the 1*3,500 verdict recovered against him by Mr - John Shepherd for defamation of character, and now he finds that his high-spirited action has availed him nothing. He occupied himself in gaol in many useful ways, but it is hardly to be credited that he would have submitted himself to the sheriff if he knew at much last year as he does now. Their Honors of the Supreme Court decided yesterday that the imprisonment he had undergone did not wipe out his liability to Shepherd, and,
moreover, that failure to sequestrate his
estate would have meant incarceration at the will of his creditor. The Court therefore ruled that Mr Shepherd had a right to prove his debt in the insolvent estate of the champion litigant of New South Wales. Mr Thomas Craig, wool-broker, well known in Sydney, killed himself last Wednesday by jumping from the upper window of the Great Northern Hotel, while suffering from a long drinking “ bout.* fAccording to the evidence, the deceased gentleman had spent LSOO in drink alone in a few months. So many similar sad cases having occurred in Sydney during the past few months, it is to be hoped that a law will be found to punish publicans who ply men with liquor until they lose their senses, and the ultimate result is suicide.
The Tramway question is still an engrossing topic The Oxford street people finding that the Government would not widen the thoroughfare, exerted all their strength in opposition to the double line. There had been midnight meetings, and mid-day deputations, but the only result was official equivocation. On’ Tuesday morning the shopkeepers awakened to the tune which the pick and shovel gang were making on the metal, and very soon the Colonial Secretary was interviewed once more. Sir Henry Parkes was ad- , dressing his own constituents, therefore He had to be very careful. His words were chosen with masterly diplomacy, but they meant nothing, and before the result of further consideration was made known, another gang of men reinforced those at work in the roadway, and the street was in a few hours ripped from end to end. The work has proceeded with extraordinary rapidity, and this morning the trams are running upon a line which yesterday evening was upon the other side of the street The duplications of the metals will certainly afford a great convenience to those who live in the eastern suburbs.
The Marine Board’s enquiry into the charges made against Captain Bache, of the Queen of Nations, of having caused the loss of his vessel by carelessness and drunkenness, came to an end this week, after very lengthy evidence had been taken, and in the Board suspending the captain’s certificate for twelve calendar months.
It is currently reported that Mr Duncan, Collector of Customs, will retire at the end of the present month, and that Mr G. W. Lloyd, M.P. for Newcastle, will be his successor. - .The sensation of the week, as far as legal circles are concerned, is the decision of the full Court of Appeal in the equity suit of Smith v. Kearney, involving the distribution of the property of the late J. H. Linden, which is valued at L 50,000. The primary judge in Court below pronounced the infant defendant, Wilhelmina Eve Linden, to be the lawful issue of the deceased, and this decision was appealed against The full Court has ■now decided that inasmuch as Mrs Linden left her mother’s house and went to live with one Baldwin, at a time when she was enceinte, that this and other circumstances could be taken as evidence, of conduct Their Honors declared, themselves to be satisfied with the evidence of the plaintiffs that it was improbable, considering the feelings which Linden bore to his wife, that he ever met her at the critical period, and therefore upheld the appeal and declared the infant defendant to be illegitimate. The plaintiffs here offered to give the girl Lxoo a year if an end is put to all litigation.
OUR SYDNEY LETTER, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 392, 11 July 1881
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