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The annual statutory meetings of householders for the election of School Committee*) are appointed to be held at the various schoolhouses at 7pm on Monday 28th inst. On and after Monday next, the Longbeach Coach will leave the Ashburton Post Office at 4' p.m., instead of 5 p.m., as at present. Mails will close at 3.45 p.m. Mr John Anderson, jun. r of the firm of John Anderson and Sons, has been elected President of the Canterbury A. and P. Association ill room of Sir John Hall, resigned. A Christchurch telegram informs us that the Canterbury A. and P. Association has decided that, under the regulations of the Ashburton Show, Mr Carlan's mare Idalia was eligible to compete in the thoroughbred mare classes.

A little boy, five years old, son of Thomas Brown, farmer, an old resident at Doon, near Mansfield, Victoria, was bitten by a tiger Bnake while playing with his brother in a woolshed, He dropped a knife, and putting his hand through an opening in the floor to recover the knife, ho was bitten on the little finger. His parents knew nothing of it till half an hour after, when the child began to vomit, and complained of pains in the head. His father drove him fifteen miles to Mansfield for medical aid, but the child died soon after.

The Rev. J, Chapman, from Fiji, will lecture in the Wesleyan Church on Thursday evening. For several years Mr Chapman has been engaged in Mission work in Fiji, under the direction of the Wesleyan Missionary Society. He is visiting Australia, and will afterwards probably be transferred to the New Britain Mission, The subject of the lecture on Thursday evening is " Missionary Life in Fiji." The lecturer carries with him several articles illustrative of Fijian Life, and he also exercises his vocal powers by singing in the Fijian language. Altogether an interesting and instructive address will be given.

Writing of the probable early return to the colony of Sir Julius Vogel, the Rangitikei "Advocate says that it is morally certain that the ex-Colonial Treasurer will contest one of the New Zealand constituencies at the next general election, and it lias been sated that he will run for one of the West Coast electorates, Egmont for choice. The Advocate " thinks that if no outsider cut in Sir Julius would beat Sir Harry Atkinson, but would prefer to sec the former stand for New Plymouth for which it thinks he would be pretty safe to be elected.

The following extract from a letter received by a Wellington gentleman from a friend in Sydney, last mail, is of interest as bearing iipon the vexed question of the prosperity or otherwise of New South Wales :—" things are very bad just now in this colony, worse, they say, than ever before. I cannot understand it. I thought that I had been through some hardships, but I have seen more poverty and wretchedness since my arrival in Sydney than ever before. You can see hundreds of men sleeping out in the parks, with a very large sprinkling of really good honest workmen."

Mrs Kendal, the English actress, wearß on her chatelaine five little bells, one to represent each of her children. These bells are curiously wrought and inlaid with tiny gems, and bear on their margins the monogram and date of the birth of the child thus kept in memory.

A Wellington telegram says that some doubts are entertained of the validity of the proceedings in the Christchurch Diocesan Synod with regard to the election of Archdeacon Julius, and it is possible that the General Synod may be asked to rectify, by special statute, this suspected irregularity.

It is estimated that 60,000 people are homeless in the world's metropolis, and spend their nights crouching about door-steps, etc., vainly endeavouring to shelter themselves against the cold. The Salvation Army Shelters are now providing 1000 of these with a bed every night, and are increasing their usefulness every month.

Sir Roger Tlchborne (says the " Dunedin Star's" London correspondent) has announced to the world at large that his case is to be re-opened in April next, a fund of £150,000 being guaranteed towards the necessary legal expenses. The claimant, who is looking remarkably well, resides for the nonce at Hanlcy, where he delivers free lectures each evening upon the points of the last trial.

In the course of a " character sketch " of Mr Parnell, an anonymous writer in the "New Review" indicates that.the Irish leader is eminently superstitious in trivial matters. He refuses to remain in a room where three candles are burning, and he regards green as a peculiarly unlucky colour, so much so that when the freedom of the city of Dublin was to be conferred upon him he requested that the lining of the casket should not be green but purple, the latter being his favourite colour and considered by him as very auspicious. His chief relaxation is machine-making, and if he reads at all, he is a student of specialist journals of the class of Engineering. The water lily, it seems, is largely used in some parts of India as food. The fruit of one species which grows plentifully in the Lakes of Caslnnere is rich in starch, and has much of the flavour of a chestnut. If the nuts are dried they will keep for a long time, and when ground may be made into cakes or porridge; or they may be soaked for some hours, and tj»:n boiled. The seeds of the lotus are also much used in India. When green they are eaten raw; when ripe they are boiled. The root, too, is often boiled and served as a vegetable. With Mr Br.lfour's return to London has come a little story from Ireland, which the London correspondent of the " Liverpool Daily Post" is told to be true. During his stay in Dublin Mr Balfour met a Catholic priest who did not belong to the Nationalist party. Taking an opportunity favourable for obtaining information on an interesting point, he asked the priest if, in his opinion, the Irish people were as bitter against him as they were represented to be in the newspapers favourable to Mr Parnell. " Since you have asked me I will tell you the truth," said the priest. "If our flocks hated sin half as oordiajly as they hate you, there would be no use for priests in Ireland."

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LOCAL AND GENERAL, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2401, 15 April 1890

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LOCAL AND GENERAL Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2401, 15 April 1890

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