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MELBOURNE TOWN TALK, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2039, 17 January 1889
MELBOURNE TOWN TALK
+. (fbom oue own correspondent ) For a long time past there have been grumblings on the part of the shipping community loud and deep. Owing to the laeoffiolenoy of berthing accommodation, vessels nic detained an absurd length of time m port, to the great lobb, of coarse, of the owners and Inoonvenlenoa to ahtppera. So great did the grlevanoe become, and si nameroas the complaints oonoerniog it, that the ohairmao of the Harbor Trust considered It a duty to make personal inquiry into the matter. And what did be find? Simply that the management of the port was dUgraoeful. WhlJifc Iha Trust has been spending heaps of money In Improvlug the river 10 as to bring as much shipping as possible up to the Melbourne wharves from the bay, it totally negleoted the necessity of looking after the channels whioh enabled the ships to comfl up the bay Itself. This Is like establishing a market, without providing means for bringing goods to the market. Port Philip 1b silting up at a remarkable rate, and to oope with it inoessant dredging Is required. If the Truit desires to retain publlo confidence, it will have to direct a little more attention to the bay, regardless of what Is best for any individual locality, the Interest of Port Melbourne, WlllUmstowß, or the oity to theoontrary notwithstanding. A very extraordinary murder is reported from America — not that the murder Itself is extraordinary— but the motive assigned for the orlme is. A boarding house keeper In Philadelphia, named Sohlops killed one of his lodgers — beoauie the latter consumed too much of the hash provided for the dinner table. In fact for hlB gluttony he got slops 1 Mr Sohlops must however have baen a very inexperienced lodging hoate keeper, If he oould find no other method of curbing his victim's voraoloos apetlte. There are hundreds of landladies In Melbourne who would have managed the business muoh more sensibly. The plan they adopt la to take very good care lodgers shall not have the opportunity of using their knives and forks too freely. They keep what they ohooie to oall a solid table—the table oertaioly is solid enough — but the contents are like the fair proprietress :— dry hash — very—-. The sympathy with Mr W. K.Thomson m his present reverses ia wide and general. In the commercial world he has always been an active figure, and as a man of extreme probity and honor he has enjoyed the confidence and respect of all with whom he oama into contact. Although he occupied no very prominent part m politics, he exercised considerable political influence, and if ha did not pertoaally seek legislative honors, he took an energetic interest m securing the return of others whose opinions oonolded with his own. His connection with the well* known firm of James M'Ewtm and Oo , of which he was the head, censed some time since, the bueineas having been fl ated Into a limited liability company, From a man of wealth Mr Thomson has gradually been reduoed to circumstances that resulted In his insolvency. Investments m sugar plantations m Fiji snd elsewhere, which have tun 3d oat very unprofitable ventures, are attributed as the principal oiuae of his failure. Mr Thomson, more* over was a man of large-hearted hospitality and open-banded charity, and hit many friends gave practical recognition of these estimable qualities, when they ool* looted at a single meeting £3000 m his behalf. An undertaker of my acquaintance Informed me the other day m confidence that he onco had to bury a Hibernian cerise called Beilly. Betlly m life had ordered from a him rosewood ooffin. and paid for it m advance. The doctor had given Mr Rellly only a few weeks to live and therefore he thought It as well to arrange about bis sepulchral affairs beforehand. The undertaker thought, as there had been no witnesses to the transaction, and no receipt was given, It would cave him some money, and not matter much to the corpse of Beilly If he put it Into what Is termed "* varnished ptner,' r — meaning a coffio made|of pine and varnished. "You mightn't believe it." continued my friend, " but as I'm a ltvin* man that plner wai exactly the aims s'ze and the same build as the rosewooder. And what do you think ? I'm dashed If that there corpse Beilly didn't swell himself out so's he wouldn't fit Into It. I had to put him Into the rosewooder after all, and he fitted aa snag as you like. That'll tell you the style theß9 dashed corpses can pat on when they choose. Perhaps the thing that most attonlshes a youag student of Sociology is the question — " How it oomea to pass that masses of men will submit to be tyrannised over to the extent of deash by starvation by a, few no stronger. as man to man, than themselves and do nothing more than murmur ? Such a frightful phenomenon as the Frenoh Revolution may come at last, but It Ib jast as well to remember that the Frenoh Bevolntion Is the only successful uprising of the people on record ilnoa Moses led the Israelites out ol Egypt. And why ? Because the rloh few oan divide the people against the people. Over a thousand men In Sydney were without employment some time ago, Work nil found for them by Government on what they nnderstqod to be Government works. Some revelations made m the House recently— which would blast forever the character of any tn«n or bodj of men m their private capacity— ahon that these men were employed In making roads and other conveniences on land belonging to prominent members of tb< Government, thereby multiplying the value of the land three or four times, while the purely public works were almost ci 4 rely neglected* There was such a flagrant exposh of thli matter made m the House that something had to be done— and consequently the men who had been employed oo these nefarious "jobs" wore promptly, x>n« might almost say ignomlniously, dis oharged and sent out like scapegoats lute the wilderness. They may starve once more beaause men who ought to be mirron of honesty and|moral purity are shkmeleai swindlers . This is a pretty way of appor tloning punishment. If a deputation o the men thrown out ofwwortk t through th< exposed robberies of these other men wh< hold tbelr he ids so high, were to wait upoi them and poiitgly but firmly request then to hang themselves m order to aave th< imputation trouble I think the proceeding though it might be characterised as un conventional and perhaps abrupt, coul< I. hwdly be termed uncalled for,'
The ship Edward from Havre laden with a cargo of iron ore reoently encountered a terrible eleotrical storm m the Atlantic, when m lat. 41*42 north, long. 54-42 west. The storm lasted for several hours, during which the vessel was continuous 1 7 enveloped m lightning, whioh prostrated on the deok eleven seamen, and deprived them of sight for nearly half a day. The second officer and boatswain were also dashed to the deck, and received serious injury, and the former waa speeohlesa for five hours. Three balls of fire exploded with a tremendous report over the main rigging, scattering flaming fragmenta over the Bhip, driving the remaining members of the crew m terror into, the foreoaatle. From three a.m. on the 31at until seven p.m. the captain and mate were the only persons aboard capable of doing any work, and on them devolved the task of keeping the vessel before the easterly gale. The oaptain states that all aboard the ship were trembling with fear during the time the eleotrioal storm lasted, whioh was the most ten-ibis ever witnessed, and he adds that no doubt the iron ore with whioh the Edward was laden acted aa a magnst to attraot the lightning.
MELBOURNE TOWN TALK, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2039, 17 January 1889
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