The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. SATURDAY, APRIL 12, 1889. WHAT A SETILER CAN DO.
A few days ago we republished from a Christchurch exchange a very interesting account of what had been accomplished by a settler at Sumner who, starting with little more m the shape of capital than brains, energy and perseverance has m a few months succeeded m setting himself on the road towards competency and independence. Examples of this sort of thing cannot be too generally known, as being calculated to inspire a determination to go and do likewise among those (of whom we hive far too many) who are waiters upon Providence, or rather we should properly say, foolishly imagine that Providence is to be expected to find a way for them without their using all their energies to carve out a way for themselves. We, therefore, think that we are doing good service by calling attention to another instance of what can be done by those who are willing to try. It is taken from one of our northern exchanges, which writes as follows :— " A settler well known and much respected m this district, called on us the other day. 'I have noticed it stated/ he remarked, ' that it is no use for a man without means, money or marbles going on the land and expecting to knock out a living.' 'That is an impression,' we replied, ' very carefully cultivated by those who are adverse to the settlement of working men and small capitalists.' • Well/ he rejoined, « I think if I told people my own experiences through your columns, I could disabuse some of their minds,' He sat down, and this is the recital which we had from lips which, as far as we know, were never known to speak anything but the absolute truth : ' In April 1880, I selected a deferred payment section of one hundred acres, m tho Mangaone block, Forty Mile Bush. I was at the time a poor man, pretty heavily handicapped, for I had a wife, and eight young children, and after I paid the first instalment fiey went to Eketahuna, for they could not face the bush m winter. At that time the road to Alfredton had not been made, and for ten and a half miles I had to carry everything from the store on my back through bush, creeks, gullies, bogs and swamps. I built a whare with pine logs, and commenced work with my axe felling the bush. At first I was a novice, but I did my best for I resolved that I would never say fail. After working for myself for a time I took a contract from Mr Jobn King the County engineer, who was putting up culverts aud bridges m the neighborhood, to saw heart of totara at 17s 6d per hundred feet. The work was new to me but I tackled it and erecting a pit knocked out about «£1 per day when at work. Of course I lost a great deal of time humping my provisions from Eketahuna. I used to start for the town to get supplies and see my wife and family of a Saturday about noon, and I would reach Ekelahunaabout eightor nine atnight,so covered with mud that I looked more like a newly dug potatoe than a human being. Sometimes on my way my feet would sink and my boots dropoff m the boggy soil and then I would have to take a stick and prod for them before I could recover them. On Monday with my stores on my back, I would return to my whare, starting about 8 o'clock and reaching it about £ p.m. By the end of the first winter I had jo_anage4 to clear about 20 acres of bush, besides doing work for the county, whioh enabled me to erect a good six-roomed weather-board house. I also got a horse and dray, and the roads having been sufficiently cleared I brought out mj wife and family. A Mastefton contractor, who was building culverts owed me some money, for hauling timber fropa the bush, and when he failed, I had to square matters with his sureties by taking out tho amount due to me m grass seeds and stores. This explains how I grassed my first clearing. I next went to work for Mr John Williams of the Tiraumea station, and with my mate sawed 40,000 feet of timber for his homestead. The rate was 12s per 100 ft and we earned 10s per day a-picce. With tho money I thus earned I was able to fell more bush on the land. The clouds at this time began to lower. Sickness assailed my family, and fight ing the grim visitor. I had to sell my stock, my money disappeared, and I was soon without a sixpence. But I was not disheartened. I managed to harvest some grass seed, which I sold to Mr Alpass of Alfredton. 'Do you go out to work?' he asked. 'Yes I' I said, ' and I would only be too glad to get it.' 'Then I've some bushfelling that I can give you,' he added. I took a contract to fell 50 acves at 30s per acre. 'You have sheep for sale?' I asked. , ' Ye?.' 'Xhe» I'll fell t&e buf h and takg I !
the sheep partly m payment. My family must live, but you can stop hall of what I earn for tho sheep and pay mo for the other half.' This bargain was carried out and what is the consequence? I have now a comfortable home, 100 acres freehold cleared and grassed, 100 acres alongside on deferred payment that will soon be freehold aud partly cleared, 340 of the best I'omney Marsh shet-p m the district, that this season, yielded an average of 81bs of wool per heail, and wool fetched 7f d per lb m the Wellington market. The sheep are a source of certain revenue ; they keep the family m meat and tho wool is money, and when more cash is wanted I have a crop of wethers handy.'" Here then is another case, and there are many such of successful combating with difficulties, and of the wina'ng of independence and comfort with nothing but energy, per sevcrenco and thrift to 6tarfc with, and we are satisfied that what others have accomplished and are accomplishing can yet be done by hundreds more, if they only set themselves manfully and earnestly to work.
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