The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. MONDAY, DECEMBER 10, 1888. A WEEKLY HALF HOLIDAY.
The venerable old couplet that All work and no play, Makes Jack a dull boy ; inculcates the immutable truth that recreation is as necessary to the mem sana m corporc satio as are rest and food. Yet m these hurrying worrying, feverishly active times, that truth is only too often practically ignored, and hence half the doctors' bills, and perhaps three-fourths of the ill-temper which makes the domestic machinery of so many households work so jarringly. For Nature is an exigeant administrator of her own laws, and without respect to persons, always and invariably visits their infraction with the appropriate penalty, and dyspepsia, and disordered nerves, fretful, irritable temper, and not infrequently despondent - miserable views of life are the inevitable consequences of a refusal to relax now and then the terrible strain which our busy modern civilisation imposes upon air but the fortunate few whose lot has placed them m the smooth waters of affluent ease. For those whose daily experience is a ceaseless struggle with the rushing current, and the often whelm ing waves of the stream oi life an occasional respite must be had, or the penalty of ceaseless labor must sooner or later be paid m premature disablement or death. It is for this reason that the Divine institution of a seventh ; day of rest is so precious a boon, and it is one which m the interests of physical as well ag moral well-being cannot be too jealously guarded. But 1 though the rest of Sunday is an unspeakable blessing to humanity, there is yet something more even than that required, for recreation is as needful as rest, and the workers of the human hive need their playtime just as truly and juet as much as do boys and girl? at school. J?or this reason the weekly half-holiday movement which has been carried out so successfully m many centres of population m the colony has our heartiest sympathy (though alas we belong to almost the only profession which cannot take advantage of it) and we are very glad inu£?-d t0 l earn tnat there is every probability of Ashburton shortly following the example of sister towns. On Saturday a memorandum of agreement to close at i p.m. on Wednesdays was going the rounds, and when shown to us had already receiyed the signatures of nearly all our bakers, booksellers, butchers, cabinetmakers, confectioners, chemists, drapers, grain merchants, grocers, hairdressers, plumbers, ironmongers, solicitors, tailors, and watchmakers, and the promoters of the movement informed us that they were sanguine of obtaining the adherence of all or nearly all*the representatives of every trade and industry. We heartily hope that this will be the case and would urge that the Wednesday half holiday once determined upon, it be faithfully and honorably adhered to by one and all, and should it happen, as j unfortunately it nearly always does, that one or two stand out, or worse still, break the agreement after becoming parties thereto, then we hope that the public will show their sympathy with the half-holiday movement by giving their patronage only to those establishments which not only close their doors but actually cease business punctually at the time agreed upon.