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SYDNEY LETTER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2458, 4 July 1890
[from our own correspondent.] Sydney, June 23. THE MONOWAI's TRIP. The inducements held out to the travelling public by the Union S.S. Company, who placed their new steamer on a pleasure excursion, resulted in that vessel landing over 300 passengers on the Sydney wharf last week. The vessel is one of the best of the Company's fleet, and the accommodation proved ample. The elements were exceptionally favorable for the trip, and from the time the steamer left Port Chalmers Heads until her passengers were landed, the ssa, with the exception of a few hours previous to sighting Sydney Heads, was like the proverbial mill-pond. Up to this time those on board thoroughly enjoyed the voyage, btifc it was nevertheless a great relief to many when the vessel steamed up the harbor on the Sunday morning, which turned out to be most favorable for viewing the beauties of the world-renowned scenery of this part of the Australasian colonies. The customary deck and other amusements were provided, and one grand concert was given, at which several residents of your part of New Zealand took a very creditable part. Mr Ford occupied tha chair, and Miss Murray (of Christchurch) presided at the piano. During the journey from Dunedin the boat was visited by thousands of persons in the various way ports, and at Auckland the modest sum of 6d was charged to visitors who wished to inspect the vessel, the result being that some £30 or £40.was handed over to one of the local charities of that city. As I have before indicated, the trip on the whole proved thoroughly enjoyable, the only i mistake made being perhaps taking passengers for way ports, which was the means of making things rather crowded until after we had left the last port of call. It is not exaggerating to say that a more comfortable or better class of vessel has never been seen in New Zealand waters —in fact the Monowai will compare, favourably with any vessel that has ever visited even this part of the Colonies. Of course the sum of £8 was reasonable enough for a trip which would occupy nearly 3 weeks, and this will probably account for the large number who availed themselves of the chance of visiting their neighbors on the other side. The morning we arrived was simply perfection, just like Canterbury summer weather, but while most of our passengers were doing the city In summer costumes the Sydney people were complaining bitterly of the exceptionally cold weather. Such is life, yRBETRADK SYDNEY. Whatever may be said pro and con on behalf of freetrade, there is no denying the fact that business here is stagnant. Any casual visitor cannot help observing this if he' will take the trouble to make inquiries ; but at first glance he is apt to be deceived, for the traffic of both vehicles and pedestrians is very great dining business hours. But lam inclined to think it is all outside show, and that the business places are doing little or nothing. In fact one cannot help noticing this by looking into the various shops in the principal thoroughfares, which are, as a rule, empty, or nearly so, even during the busiest part of the day. The "depression" here is great, and you have only to visit the gardens and domain' to convince yourself of this, for in these resorts will be found hundreds of men wiling away the time in various ways, the majority of whom, probably, not knowing where to lay their heads at- night time. I don't say that all those whom I saw are deserving at sympathy, but am certainly convinced that many cannot find employment. The Press of your colony can talk as they like about the. depression in New Zealand, but you are well off compared with this colony, and I would strongly advise New Zealanders to stay where they are, for should they come over here they will find the greatest difficulty in making even a living. The hotels appear to be doing all the business, and while one can get good 'accommodation for £3 a week in your colony, £4 and £5 have to be paid for the same kind of board here. But the hotels are conducted here on a much larger scale than in New Zealand, and several of these buildings contain over 250 bedrooms alone, and it is therefore necessary to keep a large istaff of employees. At the time of writing nearly all the principal accommodation houses are driving a real good trade, thanks to the influx of visitors from the neighboring colonies. Not for many a long" day has there been such a large number of passengers moving to a fro by the various intercolonial steamers. On Tuesday the A.U.S.N. Company's Arawatta took between 200 and 300 passengers for Queensland, and the Rodondo had also a large number, while the next day two other vessels took over 250 passengers to Melbourne, Over 700 visitors came here by the Monowai, Jubilee, and Tekapo from New Zealand last week. The traffic, it will thus be seen, is remarkably heavy,, but this is attributed to the fact that the cost of travelling has never before been so low as at the present time on all intercolonial lines. Competition in this direction is very brisk. One can get a saloon passage to Melbourne now for £1 ; originally it cost £3 and £4. SIGHTS TO BE SEEN. The visitor is never at a loss for something to engage his attention during his stay in the capital of New South Wales. There are innumerable recreation grounds, museums, a beautiful art gallery, etc., and the surroundings of the city cannot be surpassed in Australia for variety and splendor. Sydney is far ahead of any of her neighbors as regards reserves, which are not only very extensive, but are also kept in good order. Her tram system is on a colossal scale, and one can ride outside of town, a distance of five miles, for the small sum of 3d. Tram tickets are sold at different depots along the line of route, and must be purchased before entering the carriages, otherwise double fare is charged. The tram service runs in all directions, and only stops at certain places during a journey, and the speed at which passengers are conveyed to their destination equals that of your express trains. The wonder is that there are not more fatalities to record ; but then this may be accounted for by the fact that the engines make a thundering noise while in motion,' and a person has to be very deaf indeed should he not hear one of these locomotives at i least 100 yards away. The system is complete in every detail, and some of the trams resemble the trains on New Zealand railways, and can seat nearly 300 passengers at one time. At night over a dozen different places of amusement can be visited, and strange as it may appear, but it is true nevertheless, that most of the places are drawing crowded audiences. One has to be at some of the theatres an hour before the curtain rises to ensure even a fair seat in any part of the house. The great Toole is drawing immense crowds', but nearly everyone who has seen this artist in " Chawles " express themselves as disappointed. "After Dark," with Henry Rignold as Old Tom, is doing fairly well, and draws exceptionally large houses, while the Halle" concerts, with Miss Annie Montague and Mr Charles Turner as vocalists, are creating the. greatest enthusiasm among the musicloving portion of the city. The Zoo and Aquarium are well patronised daily. But what strikes one as alarming is the large number of race meetings held every week over here. There are more meetings in a month than you have in your colony in a,year. The betting . mania has, I fear,, become an evil to such an extent that it will take years of legislation and (stringent measures to stamp it oui. And, like many of your gatherings, the horses here
as a rule, run m the interests of "^"® books " and owners (not of the public). I was present at a small meeting thxa week, and was surprised at the vast amount of watering that took place. To be brief, not only was there betting on the part of those who can afford to lose, and those who make a livelihood by attending the racecourse regularly, but also of girls and boys who did not look more than 12 or 14 years of age, but who, with an amount of assurance characteristic of the New South Wales youth, deposited,.their half-crown or shilling with the "list-men m backing their fancy. J fear, Fere I to continuepointing out the injury occasioned by the too frequent holding ;.#s,»ce meetings here, you would have room for nought else m your paper. A splendid cyclorama, representing the battle of Gettsburg, is on view m one of the suburbs. It has lately come out from England, and everyone .who has seen it pronounces it to be a most wonderful illustration of a war. The visitor stands m a sort of rotunda with a dark roof projecting over his head, fie is supposed td be m the centre of the battle-field, with Veal wax figures, broken cannon and various implements of war around him. all of which are lying on reaJsoil. Thisiswherethework is so well conceived, for about 26 feefcftfom where the visitor stands is a beautiful panorama, painted on an enormous quantity of canvas which entirely encircles the point of vantage from which you look and which is a continuation of the view, and one can fancy he can see within a radius of perhaps 20 miles. Real fires, wheat grass, etc., are within touch of yon, all of which form a combination on the canvas, and the effect is most deceiving. An illustrative lecture is given at certain times during the day. i Nearly all the public and business ; buildings are of colossal proportions. I hardly think there is a structure m the whole of the colonies to be compared to the Post and Telegraph offices, and the facilities enjoyed by the public as regards this department is not surpassed anywhere. The Town Hall is another massive concern, and contains not only all the municipal offices, but also the celebrated Cennfcenial Hall, which can accommodate something like 3000 people, and m which is placed the largest organ perhaps m the world. To give your readers an idea of of ita dimensions I may state that a man can easily get inside the largest of Its tubes. The cost of this hall, when completed, will be no less a sum than a quarter of a million sterling. There are also two large buildings utilised as hotels, and which contain no less than 500 bedrooms, besides many other places of the same nature, but on a less pretentious scale. Excursions are plentiful, and a trip up the Paramatta m any of the pleasure boats is well repaid by a view of the beautiful scenery which abounds m this part of the colony. Accidents are of such common occurrence that the Press seldom take notice of them, except where the sufferer is a "personage." For instance I was one of a party of pleasure-seekers who were enjoying a run down the harbor last week when one of our company fell overboard and would certainly have been drowned had he not been a good swimmer and kept himself afloat till the arrival of a small boat from one of the bays. Had a similar accident occurred m New Zealand it would have been recorded m the papers, but here it is different. GOT HIS DTS9BETS. The trial of Dr McLeod for bigamy was concluded last Tuesday, when accused was brought up for sentence. It will be remembered that McLeod married one Mary Manson at Darling Point m 1872, and later on went through the same ceremony with Elizabeth Cameron, his first wife being then alive. All through the trial the prisoner appeared indifferent to the position m which he was placed, 1 and maintained that he would be finally acquitted. Whether this was "put on" or not I cannot say, but, as the sequel shows, he was considerably mistaken. The presiding Judge, m commenting on the case, saia the accused's actions from the time he had married his first wife was characterised by deceit and fraud, and his Honor could not take a light view of his conduct. Gaol life would be hard to a man of his education, but his Honor could not overlook the,, fact that accused had ruined the lives of two wonteii, and sentenced him to three years' hard labor. Prisoner made a long statement, m which he said that his first wife had left^him voluntarily, and that, m marrying again, he was not guilty of an offence according to the laws of America, THE PUBLIC DEBT OF NEW SOUTH WAXES. The "Sydney Evening News" gives the following statistics regarding the public debt of New South Wales :— The latest returns issued with respect to.our expenditure of money from loans Show m a clear and concise manner how the money was spent, and what amount of interest each expenditure has now to bear. Following are the particulars:—
Loan Annual expended. Interest. Railways and r tramways ... £35,808,913 ... £1,398,190 Electric tele- ' <* graph ... 700,595... 30,765 Harbors and , rivers ... 2,099,314... 85,632 Roads and bridges ... 600,182 ... . 26,720 Immigration ... 384,463 ... 18,703 Sydney sewer- .■":' age ... ... 568,123 ... 22,964 Sydney water supply ... 1,680,019 ... 66,908 Miscellaneous works ... 1,304,834 ... 4f ? 30« The total debt is thus shown afe £43,146,449, and our annual payment of interest is £1,693,391. , lW>:
SYDNEY LETTER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2458, 4 July 1890
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