The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas, et Prevalebit. TUESDAY, DECEMBER 27, 1881.
R. M. Court.— There was no business at the Court to-day. One man arrested by Constable Smart last night for drunkenness was bailed out. He will make his appearance before Mr Beswick to-morrow.
Roman Catholic School Treat.—The children attending the Catholic School left the school-house for the sea-beach this morning, where they went to enjoy their annual treat. The little folks were attended by their teachers and seemed to be throughly happy as they passed through the town. There were no less than eight expresses full of the visitors to the sea. The weather has been vcrj' much pleasanter to-day than that experienced during the last few days, and we hope to hear that both children and adults had a thoroughly pleasant outing.
Proposed Benefit to Mr C. Bourk. —We are glad to learn that the Ashburton Amateur Dramatic Club contemplates (acting on our suggestion) giving a benefit to Mr Chas. Bourk, whose property was recently destroyed by fire. A meeting of members is to be held next Thursday evening, when it is to be hoped there will be a full muster, to arrange all matters in connection with the benefit entertainment and fix date of same as early as possible.
The Express from the North.—The engine attached to the express train from Christchurch was delayed for a little while this morning owing to a slight breakage, coming down. The damage was very small and was quickly repaired here. Accident at Mayfield.—A man named Joseph Patterson met with an accident at Mayfield on Saturday. He was driving a three-horse dray belonging to Mr John Bell, of Longbeach, past the blacksmith’s shop when a horseman riding past suddenly, the dray horses took fright and bolted. The driver was thrown with some violence to the ground and the wheel passed over his left knee. Fortunately no bones were broken but the leg is much swollen and very painful.
Ball.—A ball will be held at Mr J. Clark’s grain store at Tinwald on Monday, Jan. 2.
Town Hall.—Thera was a good house at the Town Hall last night to witness the performance of the Amateur Dramatic Club. The opening piece was the farcical littlecomedy of “Betsy Baker,” which was creditably produced and apparently heartily appreciated by the audience who frequently testified their satisfaction by well-timed applause. The evening’s amusement concluded with Buckstone’s serio-comic drama of “ Nan, the Good-for-Nothing.” There were no programmes issued, and we are therefore unable to give the casts, but it will probably be enough to say that the members, both individually and collectively, did their level best to make the performance a success and they certainly succeeded. Pieces of the kind played last night, while affording ample scope for good acting, are nearly sure, if put on with any attention at all, to “ fetch ” the public. We shall look forward with interest to the next production of the Club.
Killed by a Cow. —At Auckland yesterday the son of W. A. McKenzie, Wangarei, was gored to death by cow while taking a calf away from it. nO .7
Woollen Factory. —We understand t that a meeting of persons interested in , the floating of a woollen factory in Ashburton has been called for Friday afternoon, at 3 p.m., January 6. Wheat. —Messrs J. T. Ford and Co. will offer at the Ashburton County Saleyards, on Tuesday, Jan. 3rd, 880 acres of standing wheat crop, in one or more lots. Tenders. —Mr Joseph Clark invites tenders for building an office in West street. Plans and specifications may be seen at Mr Joseph Clark’s office in East street. Harvesters Wanted. —Mr John Grigg, requires six men immediately as ploughmen. The Holiday in Christchurch.—Today is almost universally observed as a holiday in Christchurch. Yesterday over 12,000 persons travelled over the various lines o f tramway. An Alarming Sacrifice.—A somewhat novel business transaction was discussed in Ashburton last night, we understand. A married man grown weary of his better half, was offered LlO for the lady by a mutual friend of the unhappy pair. But the husband refused to sell at the price, holding out for Ll 5 which however he failed to obtain. Heart of Grace. —Out of 1,000 girls married in Germany last year, 103 were married at the age of 20, and the same number at 27 At 28 there were 102 married, at 29, 95, and at 30 the number was 82. There were 53 married at 35, and at 40 no less than 46 were married. For ages below 20 the figures were as follows : —At 19, 51 ; at 21, 66 ; at 22, 80 ; at 23, 90 ; at 25, 99. It thus appears that at 29 German girls have better chances of marrying than at any age up to 22. It is only after getting on the wrong side of 40 that their chances of marriage become very slight. Old Men’s Home. —The master of the Ashburton Home wishes to acknowledge with thanks the receipt of a quantity of fruit from Dr Trevor, two cases of cherries from Mrs Furness, one large cake from Mr Thiele, one carcase of lamb from Mr Zouch, a variety of meats from Mr Digby, one bottle of whisky from Mr Steele, some tobacco and a quantity of mixed fruits from Messrs Friedlander Bros., and a fore-quarter of beef from Messrs Wilkin and Carter, Grove Farm, towards the Christmas treat for the inmates. Shipping Accident.— -The barque Ganymede has arrived at Port Chalmers in a dismasted condition. She was from Timaru to Newcastle in ballast, and got as far south as Stewart's Island, where her ballast shifted. The boats were got out, as the ship appeared to bo in a sinking condition, and it was only after the most strenuous exertions that the crew succeeded in getting the vessel righted by cutting away the masts, and the men then set to work to trim the ballast. She had eight passengers, who speak most highly of the conduct of Capt. Morgan, his officers and crew. A Shoemaker’s Latin. —Two shoemakers advertising one against the other, one headed his advertisement, “Men’s conscia recti.” The other, not to be outdone, headed his “ Men’s and women’s conscia recti.” An Extraordinary Freak of Nature. —According to the Oamaru Mail a lusus natuce is the latest production of Hampden, that stirring borough of the South. The description of the nondescript is thus told by Mr W. McKay :—“ I have a spotted sow that produced eight young ones yesterday, and among them is .a most curious nondescript. It is the same size as the other pigs, but has not a hair on it beyond a few bristles on the eyelids. It has a perfectly-formed head of exactly the same shape as that of an elephant, with a trunk like that of an elephant, over three inches long, and turned up over the forehead. It has no mouth. It has two large eyes under the head, joined together, each being quite as big as a shilling. The ears are extraordinarily large, and are placed on each side of the breast, and they are at least four times as large as the ears of the other pigs. The nostrils are placed between the ears, and are quite prominent. The feet are all ali-:e, and of the most extraordinary shape, all the fore toes being at least one inch long, and turned up with nobs on them. I sent it to the museum this morning, after it had been ‘ interviewed ’ by almost every person in the place.”
A Treeful op Skeletons. —An incident of considerable interest to local archaeologists occurred at Opotiki, says the Times. Ihe correspondent of the Bay of Plenty Times states that some distance up Otaro Gorge, on a portion of the estate of Mr Thomas Black, on enormous puketea tree, probably many hundred years old, has been blown down, disclosing the astounding fact that the whole of the hollow interior, extending from the roots to the first fork, about 45ft., had been filled with human bodies. Since it fell these have burst out at the butt of the tree in the form of a confused heap of skeletons. A. more extraordinary sight than this monarch of the forest lying prone and discharging a perfect hecatomb of human skeletons can scarcely bo conceived. Some are nearly perfect, while i others are mixed up in a chaotic mass of heads, hand, feet, arms, and logs indiscriminately. All the Maoris here seem to have been quite unaware of this natural charnal house, and declare that it must have happened long before their or their fathers’ time. Indeed, the appearance of the tree fully justified the supposition that it must have been some hundreds of years since this novel family vault was filled with its ghastly occupants.