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Unclaimed Letters. —The following letters from places beyond the colony were received at the Ashburton Post Office during the month of November, and remained unclaimed on Ist Jan. : Miss Mary Dowd, John McGill, and F. McKenzie. Cheese and Butter Factory.— We are requested to remind the Directors of the importance of the meeting called for t i-nighfc, as all business preparatory to the general meeting fixed for Wednesday, the 11th, must be transacted to-night. It is therefore necessary each director should be in his place.

The Progress op the District.— Everywhere in the county are to be seen signs of rapid improvement going forward, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the little township of Methven. Some two years ago all the buildings which Methven could boast of were a carpenter’s shop and a store. No«v the place presents the appearance of a thriving and goahead township. At the present time there is in course of erection for Mr Cohipton a handsome building to be used as ; a horse repository, which, when completed, will add greatly to the appearance of the township. The building is planned something like the Horse Bazaar in Burnett street, in fact the front elevation will be : a fac simile of that structure. The dimensions of the building are 80 feet by bO. feet I ,' and it will contain, in addition to stalls and hay loft, two roomy shops, each 25 : feet by 18 feet. The building is of wood roofed with iron, and will be completed in about a fortnight. Mr S. Nelson is the. contractor.

The Auckland Races. —The Aucklanders had bad weather for the third and last day of their summer meeting, heavy rain falling after 1 o’clock. Mr Walter’s won the Midsummer Stakes with a black filly by Yattendon—Fanny Fisher, beating Ouida. The Auckland Plate was a gift to Randwick, Maori being his only opponent. King Don'appropriated the Steeplechase, followed home by Clarence and Rawenata in the order given. Maid of Honor won the Steward’s Handicap, beating a field of five. The last event of the meeting—the Consolation—went to Maori.

Charters’ Case.; —At the Supreme Court, Cbriatchutch, yesterday, William Wombwell Charters was arraigned on several; indictments charging him with these offences. He pleaded “ Guilty ” to two indictments of three counts, each charging him with having at different dates, extending from November, 1880, to January, 1881, fraudulently applied to his own use various sums of money, amounting in all to L 920, belonging to the Christchurch, Sydenham and Suburban Building Society (Permanent), of which he was at the time a public officer. The prisoner pleaded “Not guilty” to an indictment charging him with having on July 28th, 1880, forged an acceptance to a bill of exchange for L 147 12s sd, and with having uttered the same on August 28th, 1880. He was defended by Mr Joycei' After evidence for the prosecution had been heard, Mr Joyce addressed the jury on behalf of the accused, his Honor summed up the evidence, and the jury, after consulting together for about ten minutes, returned a verdict of “ Guilty.” The prisoner, before sentence was passed, made the following statement: —“ 1 have to say with regard to the case of forgery that I must bow to the decision of the jury. At the same time, I state here before the Court that that bill was not forged. I signed it at the request of Mrs Chapman, in consideration of the amount she owed me. With regard to the Building Society, although the Crown Prosecutor has stated that there are other amounts, at the same time I think I have proved to the satisfaction of the directors that although those other amounts were charged against me they had no right to be ; and I have done all I can to restore a very large amount that was falsely charged against me. At the same time my late partner is dead and gone, and I don’t wish to say anything about him. But had he been living the thing would have been very different so far as I am concerned. I should not been here bearing the brunt of all this. I have a wife, your Honor, and a fine young family, and this is the first charge that has ever been brought against me. lam only a young man—twenty-six years of age—and I can only throw myself on the clemency of th Court. I can say no more. lam sorry went away, and I am only glad I came 1 back and am here to take my trial, and that the thing has been settled, for I should never have felt at rest until the thing was settled. At the same time my partner is gone, and I don’t wish to say anything about. That is all I have to say.” His Honor sentenced the prisoner to penal servitude for four years for each of the two indictments for embezzlement, the sentence to run concurrently, and a further term of four years for the indictment. for forgery, making in all penal ervitude for eight years.

To Lexter Writers. —Mails for the United Kingdam, and Australian Colonies, per Rotorua, will close at the, .Bluff at ridon on Friday, 6th inst. ' Grand National. —A meeting of gentlemen interested in this event was held at Shearman’s Hotel this afternoon, and arrangements were made which will ensure the next annual steeplechases being held at Ashburton. Messrs Fooks and Bell were appointed as a committee to collect subscriptions to the guarantee required. We are glad that the holding of these steeplechases has not been abandoned. It now rests with the sporting, as well as the other residents interested, to subscribe as liberally as they . an in order to make the affair as successful as possible. Fire at Newlands. —Yesterday afternoon the house of Mr George Aston, at Newlands, was destroyed by fire, caused, we understand, by the chimney getting bn fire and igniting the roof. Some few articles of furniture were saved, and four horses, which were in an adjoining stable, were rescued with difficulty, the fire spreading rapidly, and speedily demolishing the whole of the building. There were no insurances.

Rangitata Road Board. —The first annual general meeting of the above Board was held at the Lismore Schoolroom yesterday. The Chairman (E. G. Wright, Esq.) reviewed the past transactions of the Board and read a statement of receipts, expenditure and accounts, showing assets and liabilities of the Board at the present time. The adoption of the balance sheet and a vote of thanks to the Board for the manner in which they had conducted the business of the district was moved by Mr A. M‘Coll, seconded by Mr James Caskerie, and carried unanimously. Subsequently, Messrs Morrow and Trevor, the outgoing members, were re-elected unopposed, and at a meeting of the new Board Mr E. G. Wright was re-elected Chairman.

Charitable Aid. —The question of charitable aid cropped up at to-day meeting of the County Council. Mr E. G. Wright drew attention to the very large sum deducted on account of charitable aid out of the subsidy granted to the County Council. This sum was far in excess bf the money actually expended on charitable aid. . Mr Friedlander remarked that a similar unsatisfactory state of things existed re the Borough subsidy. The Chairman said that the question had arisen before, but had been postponed in order that they might see what Government were going to do in the matter, amended legislation having been promised. Nothing had, however, been done. It was resolved that the County Council should confer with the Borough Council on the matter.

The Late Rahway Accident.— At the inquest held on young Woodcock, who was killed by the train accident at Kaihiku, a verdict of “ Accidental death ” was returned. A rider was added calling the authorities to a gap in the fence on the line at the spot. Subscriptions are being raised for Mrs Woodcock, the mother of deceased. A Message prom the Deep. —A bottle was found on Sunday last on the Waikouiti beach, about thirty miles from Dunedin, containing a scrap of paper, on which was written in lead pencil—- “ Tuesday, December 27th, 1881. Please send assistance as soon as possible. Shipwreck about eighty miles off Cape Saunders. God help us, captain. Whoever finds this let him send to headquarters.” The police only got it tonight. As no nomes are given it may turn out to be a hoax. St. Mart’s Church, Nelson. —The foundation stone of the new St Mary’s Church,- Nelson, was laid on Sunday by Bishop Redwood, assisted by the Rev. Fathers Garin, O’Mally, and Mahoney. There was a very large concourse of people present. A suitable address was presented to his Lordship, reference being made therein to the fact that the stone would occupy the spot on which the Bishop determined in his own mind to become a priest. A silver trowel, suitably inscribed, was also presented to his Lordship. The Bishop delivered an excellent address, and referred to his having commenced his studies at St. Mary’s under the Yen Father Garin, who had been their : pastor for thirty-one years. The band of the Wellington City Juards performed sacred selections during the ceremony. Our Celestial Colonists. —The Chinese residents in Dunedin subscribed L3B 16s last week towards the Dunedin Hospital. This is the third subscription made by them within the last three months. The money has been handed to the Hospital Committee to be at their disposal for the benefit of the patients generally.

A Priest Becomes a Methodist.— Roman society has been startled by the action of Monsignor Enrico di Campello, canon of St Peter’s, in publicly abjuring the Catholic faith and becoming a Methodist. The letter written by the convert to Cardinal Bprromeo is of an extraordinary character. He states that he had often meditated such a letter in the time of Pius IX., but a sense of gratitude to one of such great age stopped him. When Leo XIII. succeeded to the Pontificate, he thought, with,others, that a better time for the chumh and country would dawn, but the hope’ had now been dispelled, and nothing was left to him but to carry out his convictions as a Christian and an Italian citizen. He could no longer consent to remain part of an institution which in secular matters barred the way of progress and liberty, and which placed its ministry in the middle of society after the manner of an Indian caste. Death or a Centenarian. —The Norfolk Times thus records the death and funeral of a centenarian :—We have to record the death of Joseph Ashton, a tinker, and an inhabitant of this parish, at the great age of 112 years, on the Bth inst. The deceased was buried in this quiet churchyard on the 13th instant, followed by his sons, daughters, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and a large number of people from all parts of the country. The rector, the Rev. J. Spurgin, officiated at the grave, and as he was leaving the churchyard he said, “Peace be to thee, memorable old friend.” Upon the coffin was the breastplate, bearing this inscription, “ Joseph Ashton, died Oct. 8, 18 1, aged 112 years,” and an engraving of a kettle, stewpan, and a bowl. The deceased had travelled the Eastern Counties as a tinker for a great number of years, and up to a few days of his death he was never know to have had a day’s illness in his life, and to the end he was in full use of all his mental powers. The poor old man was much respected by all who knew him. Police Supervision in Fiji. Fiji doesn’t seem to suffer from too little police supervision. A Suva correspondent of the New Zealand Herald writes : —Every mechanic here has to pay a license to the Government, LI per annum, I believe ; and in default of “drunk and disorderlies,’ of whom there are few here, the unfortunate carpenter get an overhauling. Some days when the police gets on the war-track, they clear as much as Ll2 or Ll 6 at the Court-house for a single morning’s performance. A hotelkeeper was fined LI for having a little * <T> inafore ” swng in her house without a special permit from Messieurs lea Gendarmes ; and again a man was fined for building his own house without a license. If I might suggest an improvement in the licensing business, I should imagine a license granted to policemen would bo a good idea, so if anything specially villanous occurred on thoir part, they might be suspended or “sacked right off.

Supreme Court, Chjbistchurch. —ln addition to the cases reported in our last issue, the following rtwere disposed of yesterday at the Supreme Court, Christchurch :—For indecent assault, W. H. Sutton got twelve months’ hard labor; for receiving stolen goods, Daniel Mark was sentenced to eighteen months’ hard labbr. Matthew Been pleaded guilty to a charge of larceny, and was sentenced to eighteen months’ hard labcr.

Fire at Westbrpield. —A fire occurred close to the Westerfield railway station on Monday evening. It appears that four trucks were standing close to the station, two of them laden with timber for the water-works, and a third with firewood. The man in charge at the station was alarmed by seeing a very bright light proceeding from one of the trucks, and on going up to it found it was on fire. He then endeavored to uncouple the truck which contained a load of firewood, but unsuccessfully, and the fire quickly spread to the other trucks. There was no assistance, and so rhe fire had to burn itself out. Nothing but the ironwork of the trucks was saved. The timber and firewood burnt was worth LSO; the loss on the trucks would probably amount to five or sir times that amount. The fire is supposed to have originated through a spark from a passing engine dropping amidst the firewood.

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 525, 4 January 1882

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Ashburton Guardian Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 525, 4 January 1882

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