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Td Our Readers. —We have to apologise to those of our subscribers who did not get their papers last night, and we fear that. many did not get, them. The calamity that befel our head runner, Mr C. BourF, during the afternoon of course prevented his making his usual rounds, and a substitute for him had to be procured. But the substitute was but very imperfectly acquainted with the run, and consequently many of our readers were deprived of their papers. We trust, under the circumstances, the matter will be overlooked.

A Suggestion. —As will be seen on reference to another column, MrC, Bourk is a heavy loser for a man in his circumstances, that is by the fire which destroyed his home yesterday. Beyond a few articles of small value the whole of his effects and.those of.hia family were burned. He waft wholly uninsured, and estimates his loss at over L3O, reckoning the things at their second-hand value, but .to buy them new would cost him over L7O, and some of the things destroyed cannot be replaced at all. We are sure the public sympathise with Mr Bourk, who is a hardworking and most respectable man, and we would like to make a suggestion, aud that is that the Amateur Dramatic Club, to which Mr Bourk is scenic artist, and whose assistance has been invaluable on many occasions to the successful production of the Club’s pieces, should call a meeting and arrange a benefit entertainment at the Town Hall. We are quite certain the public would support such a step and for our own part we should bo happy to print the tickets and advertise the performance gratis We trust the Club will act upon this suggestion.

Local Industry. —We have been shown this morning a very neat specimen of local workmanship, in the shape of a silver medal, which has been manufactured by a local jeweller, Mr Robert Murray, of East street. As a specimen of the art, it is indeed very creditable, and reflects great credit to the maker for the excellent design as well as execution, and prove that we can obtain work of this kind in our own town without going elsewhere. On one side of the medal is ihe Harp of Erin in richly chased relief, surmounted by sprigs of shamrock. On the the reverse side is a plain surface for engraving the winner’s name, and so much has already been engraved thereon that we find the medal is presented by Mrs Butler for the best dancer of the Irish jig at the forthcoming Caledonian sports. The medal, which is a very solid one, is suspended from a silver clasp by means of a green ribbon, and on the clasp are engraved some more shamrocks, making it altogether a fit emblem of the nationality of its donor, as well as a handsome gift, and no doubt there will be plenty of competition for it. As one People. —At Auckland, Te Ngakau, Tawhiao’s private secretaiy, paid a visit to the Hon. F. Whitaker yesterday morning, in company with Mr Sheehan. A long conversation took place, in which Te Ngakau declared plainly that in a short time matters between Maories and Europeans would be as they were thirty years ago—that they would be as one people. After the interview the Kingite dignitary drove round the town with Mr bheehan, and expressed his pleasure at the prosperity and advancement which was everywhere evident. Encouraging. —lt is proposed to increase the capital of the Oamaru Woollen Factory to L 50,000, and to place a number of shares on the Victorian market, from which place promises of support have been received.

Gratifying. —From Invercargill it is stated that the Nightcaps Coal Company have received an order from the Government to supply from thirty to forty tons per week for the use of the locomtives.

About that Rabbit Skin. —Mr Robert Eill, through our advertising colum is, offers to return a gold ring, supposed to have been lost while some benevolentlydisposed person was in the act of tying up a rabbit skin for the purpose of presentation to the above urbane gentleman. The Christmas Tree. —lt will be seen from an announcement elsewhere that the sale of fancy and useful goods at the Primitive Methodist Church is to be continued to-morrow afternoon and evening, when the balance of goods not disposed of yesterday will be offered for sale.

In Bankruptcy. —James Gardiner, contractor, has filed a declaration of insolvency. That Terrible Wind. —The nor’-wester which commenced yesterday morning has been hard at it ever since, and behaving in the most boisterous and blustering manner. The blow seems to be general, for accounts reach us from several parts of the colony to that effect. The crops are suffering severely in some places by the high wind.

Gas Explosion. —A serious explosion of gas occurred last night at Spedding’s auction stores, Dunedin. Two windows were blown clean out, and two employees thrown down but not injured. It is believed the accident was caused by rats gnawing the gas pipes.

Local Industry. —lmportant meetings of the provisional directors of the Cheese and Butter Factory and the Industrial Association were held last night. Reports appear elsewhere. Yesterday’s Fire. —From further particulars to hand, respecting the fire on the North Belt yesterday, we learn that the fire originated in the kitchen of the house occupied by the Bourk family. Mrs Bourk had been washing in the kitchen, the infant being asleep in its cradle in the bedroom. The mother who was washing in the kitchen, Heard the child moving, and went in to see to it. She sat in the bedroom for a few minutes, when a loud noise like a gun exploding caused her to run out of the bedroom. She found the floor ’of the kitchen in ashes, and the flames creeping np the walls The noise that had attracted her attention was the tin containing the kerosene exploding. Mrs Bourk was naturally terribly frightened, but still had presence of mind enough to rush in to the house and seize the child, which she placed in the back yard, after which she says she remembers nothing more. Mrs Miller, the next door neighbor, fortunately saw and rescued the little one from its perilous position, for the sparks and charred wood were flying about at the tinie ill all directions. Mrs Bourk sustained a severe cut on the arm, and another on the finger, and has suffered severely from the shock to the nervous system occasioned by the disaster. Mr Bourk has also been a sufferer, both personally and pecuniarily. The sudden news of the fire yesterday brought on a fit to which He is subject, and his anxiety about his wife and child was of course very great. He estimates his loss at L3O. That is the goods destroyed were intrinsically worth that sum, but their loss is a much more serious matter to the owner, who has had things destroyed which money cannot replace. Beyond a sofa, bedstead, a box or two, and a few drosses, the family has lost everything, being wholly uninsured. As we stated yesterday, the house was the property of Mr Martin, and was insured for LIOO in the South British office ; the unoccupied house burnt belonged to Mr Slade, and was insured ( ,for LSO in the South British. Mr Bourk asks us to return his heartfelt thanks to all those who assisted at the fire to save his property, and also to Mr Miller for her promptitude in rescuing his child from the danger threatening it. Mr Miller also desires to £ thank all those who helped. Borough School —The Boroiigh school breaks lip to-morrow for the Christmas holidays, and the distiibution of prizes will take place, after which a presentation will be made on behalf of the scholars to the head master and , mistress, consisting of a handsome locket and a signetring. Mount Hitt Road Board. —The annual meeting of ratepayers is fixed for

Jan. sth. Ashburton’s Volunteers. —At the weekly drill of the Ashburton Rifles on Tuesday evening a telegram was read from Colonel Pscke stating his intention of paying the Parihaka men on Thursday (this) evening. A full parade of the company, band included, is called for seven o’clock, and a largo muster is expected.

R. M. Court -There was a clean sheet at the Posident Magistrate’s Court this morning.

Called Away. —Amongst the passengers on. hoard of the ill-fated ship Clan Mac Duff, and who went down with her, was Miss Ada Lester, the well-known actress. Miss Lester was respected by all who knew, her, while her talents as an actress wore justly admired. Mias Lester was performing with a comedy company, which visited Ashburton about throe years ago. School Treat. —The children attending the Borough School, some 500 in number, mustered at the school-house at nine o’clock this morning, and marched, with flags and banners gaily waving in the nor’-wester, for the railway station. There a special train of ten carriages convoyed them to Windermere, where they went at the kind invitation of E. G. Wright, Esq., to enjoy a day’s outing. A number of adults, friends and parents of the children, teachers, etc., accompanied the youngsters, who, we hope, managed to put in the time agreeably. They return about six o’clock this evening. Christmas Holidays —The railway arrangements for the Christmas holidays will be found in another column. Lotti Wilmot Again in Court.— The notorious Madame Lotti Wilmot appeared at the Christchurch Magistrate’s Court yesterday, in answer to a judgment summons, calling upon her to “ ante-up ” the L 5 damages awarded to Mr Moon for the assault upon him some time back, together with costs of Court, amounting in all to L 9. Madame Wilmot pleaded poverty and said her business as a lecturess had been unproductive since the affair at the Popanui Town Hall. She was at present without means. Although living at an hotel she was unable to pay for her accommodation. She had no difficulty in getting credit for that. She was known to many hotelkeepers, and as she punctually paid her debts when in funds, they never refused to trust her. She had got a verdict against the directors of the Papanui Town Hall, but had not yet received the money. After some discussion between Bench, Bar, and Lotti, the Magistrate said that the Bench, under the circumstances, saw no reason why defendant should be protected by that Court. The debt was a small one, had been owing a long time, and must now bo paid immediately, or, in default, defendant would be imprisoned for fourteen days. Tenders. —Mr J. Stanley Bruce invites tenders for cutting, stocking, carting, and stacking sixty-eight acres wheat. The Railway Department invite tenders for Tiniaru engine-shed contract.

Quo-Fellowship at Watbrton.—The annual summoned meeting for the election of oilicers for the Loyal Waterton Lodge, 1.0. O.F. ,M. U., took place last evening, there being a large attendance of members present. N. G. Bro. Thomas Williams (Ashburton Lodge) presiding. After the usual routine business had been gone through, the following officers were duly elected:—N.G., Bro. P. O’Shannassy ; Y.G., Bro. Wm. Bryans; E.S., Bro. John Pearson ; S., Bro. J. A. Clothier; Treasurer, Bro. J Davies ; R.S. to N. G., Bro. George. So .!; L K to N.G., Bro. Morrison ; It.IS. to Y.G , Bro. Moses ; L.S to Y.G., Bro Gardiner; Warden, Bro. Bysh ; I. G., Bro. J. Barr ; Sick Visitors, Bros. Pearson and Moses; Auditors, Bros. 0. Schutt and W. Bryans ; Lodge Surgeon, Bro. Dr. Murdoch. The installation of the newly-elected officers then took place, Bro. Thomas Williams acting as installing officer, after which a very hearty vote of thanks was passed to Bro Williams for the able ard satisfactory manner in which he had filled the office of N.G. for the past six months. A vote of thanks was also passed to all the other retiring officers. Bro. Williams then took the chair of the G.M., which he holds for the next six months, and having been elected lecture master, responded to the vote of thanksinfew but appropriate words. After the close of the Lodge, the lectures were conferred and four minor degrees on brethren duly qualified to receive them. This Lodge is progressing very satisfactory, several new members having been made since the opening of the Lodge, and there having been no calls on the sick fund, which is steadily increasing, and the Lodge as a whole bids fair to become a very prosperous and creditable one. Christmas Cake.— lf you want a good substantial Christmas cake, give “Free Trade ” (otherwise called R. Lancaster) a turn. —[ Advt. ]

Shocking Accident. —A sad accident occurred at Lambton Quay, Wellington, I last night. At a quarter past seven a loud explosion was heard, and it was discovered that some blue fire composition in the rear of Messrs Barraud and Sons’ chemist shop had exploded. It appears that blue fire composition had been made during the afternoon, and that it had turned out badly, some of ic exploding and singing the hair of an assistant. About half a pound of the stuff remained in the mortar, and Mrs Anthony suggested washing out the vessel, and so getting rid of the dangerous powder. While in the act of doing this the explosion occurred. The report was heard half a mile away, and Mrs Anthony sustained such dreadful injuries that she succumbed to them at nine o’clock last evening. Destruction of our Forests. —Says a Home paper:—Considerable attention is being paid to the subject of forest destruction in the Australian colonies. In New Zealand the Kauri pine is being fast exterminated, and Dr Hector has pointed out that the average annual destruction of the New Zealand forests during the thirtyeight years terminating in 1868 was at the rate of 23 per cent., while in the aucceeditig five years 20 per cent, in addition was destroyed of what remained, being at the rate per province as follows:—Auckland, 27 ; Taranaki, 11 ; Wellington, 25 ; Hawke’s Bay, 30; Nelson, 20; Canterbury, 33; Otago, 10; Marlborough 28. In Victoria, New South Wales, and South Australia the evils arising from reckless and wholesale deforestation are beginning to make themselves felt in increased dryness of climate, longer droughts, and more numerous bush fires. A Philanthropic Rat. —The Stanford (Ky.) Journal says ;—At a recent fire in Madison county there appeared in a window up stairs, which had been opened in removing furniture, a venerable-looking rat, which svrveyed the ground and retired. Presently he returned and suspended himself from a broken lathe, head downward. Then one ran down him and swung off, keeping this up till eleven were suspended ; then giving one or two swings, they all let loose except the first that suspended. Those that let loose escaped, but the patriotic old one perished in the flames.

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 515, 22 December 1881

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Ashburton Guardian Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 515, 22 December 1881

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