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A TRIP HOME., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2482, 4 August 1890
A TRIP HOME.
The following is the final selection of extracts from the lecture delivered by Mr John Lambie, Kyle, on the 4th of July last :— NEW ZEALAND WHEAT IN LONDON. I visited the great London corn market at Mark Lane, and found our Canterbury Tuscan long-berried wheat quoted at 39s per quarter. This was the highest in the market. Much of the foreign wheats on offer at Mark Lane were dirty, mixed with seeds and rubbish of all kinds, such as wild oats, barley, cockle, etc. South Australia and New Zealand wheats seemed to be the cleanest in the market. ON THE BACK TKACK. After a visit to the Paris Exhibition . . •. . on the 24th January, 1890, I started on my return trip, sailing from the Royal Albert Docks in the s.s. Arcadia, of the P. and 0. line, 6500 tons, and 7000 horse power. We left the shores of Old England in the teeth of a howling south-west gale, which wrecked many vessels and did other damage. It was rough and stormy until we had crossed the Bay of Biscay, and then all at once we entered beautiful summer weather, and on the fifth day from London anchored at Gibraltar. Here some of the most powerful British war vessels were lying at anchor. There was the Colossus, with her enormous 160-ton guns ready to blow an enemy to smithereens ; also the Benbow and the Northumberland, vessels of .the highest class. Five days ago we were in the depths of an English winter, but here we had the peach trees in full bloom. We had a magnificent view of this celebrated fortress, and then steamed on down the Mediterranean, and in three days ai'rived at Malta. MALTESE MILKMEN. The milkmen in Malta supply their customers in a peculiar way. A milkman has a flock of goats, and he leads them along the street, stopping at the door of the customer's house and milking the quantity required into a basin, and then pftsees on with'his flock to the next customer's house to do the same thing. LIFE ON BOARD.
From Malta to Brindisi, to take on board 1000 bags of mails and many passengers, thence to Port Said, the entrance to the Suez Canal. . ■ . . Shortly after leaving London, as soon as the majority of the passengers had got over their sea-sickness, a meeting was held at which an amusement committee was formed. It was the duty of this committee to arrange a series of concerts, sports, dramatic performances, lectures, wild beasts shows, (after the pattern of '' Barnum's ■"Greatest show on earth") dances and all forms of entertainment. The P. and O. Company provide a band of eight performers for the purpose of supplying music during the voyage. This band plays a selection every day on the first and second saloon decks, supplies the dance music, and furnishes the roars for the wild animals at the "Great Show." So that, given smooth seas, warm weather, and an agreeable crowd of passengers, a trip on one of these fine steamers can be pleasant in the highest decree. Mr Edison, the inventor of the phonograph, had an agent on board who was going out to India. This agent gave a very interesting lecture, and an exhibition of the wonderful pitch of perfection to which tins instrument has been brought. We heard the phonograph on board the Arcadia repeat the tunes played by the Hor.so Guards, band in London, the bugle calls for various movements, and those of the London 'Bus conductors. There were also to be heard speeches as delivered by some of the best orators in England, and songs as sung by the celebrated singers. By request, the popular purser of the Arcadia sang into the instrument the celebrated Irish song "Kilkloe." The instrument repeated the song in every detail, down to the applause which followed its performance, much to the amusement of all on board. WhVi fancy dress balls on the deck in the .beautiful tropical evenings time does not leg, bu* passes like a dream with nothing more trying to the system than eating and drinking, with perhaps a mild flirtation here and there. PORT SAID. The town of Port Said lies on the right as you enter the Suez Canal from the Mediterranean. It was evening when we arrived at this point. The entrance is shown by a revolving electric light, from a high tower, which light at every revolution throws a flash exactly in the line of the canal. On the left lies the Holy Land, but nothing can be seen for miles except a flat sandy desert, with a small patch of scrub here and there. At Port Said we got our first glimpse of Oriental Ufc. Hundreds of Arabs and Egyptians were lying asleep in the open air, coiled up in heaps by the sides of the houses. .
. . A great number of the inhabitants make a living by selling curios of German or Brummagem manufacture to passengers by the various steamers. The passage through the canal occupies eighteen or twenty hours, but apart from the historical associations connected with this part of the world there is nothing of special interest. The passage down the Red Sea in February is not attended with any degree of discomfort from excessive heat, as the thermometer only registers about 70°. ADEN. This is one of the most barren, dried up places on the face of the earth. Swarms of Arabs crowd on board the steamer while she lies at anchor, to sell ostrich' feathers, eggs, antelope horns, leopard skins, etc., for which they ask mast outrageous prices. It seems to be an understood thing that the buyer should never offer more than a fourth of the price asked. \ The principal attractions at Aden are the wells, cut out of the rocks, and the handiwork, it is asserted, of Alexander the Great. The camel ""market, just outside the gate, is a curious sight. I ADELAIDE. After leaving Colombo, the next port after Aden, a fine run of nine days takes the Arcadia again 'across the Line, into the Southern Hemisphere, and under the Southern Cross, and the other constellations familiar to New Zealanders. . . .
On the thirtieth day out from London the Arcadia anchored at Albany, in King George's Sound, and stayed a few hours. A run of three days across the Great Australian Bight, and the steamer arrives at Adelaide. Here I bade good-bye to the Arcadia, had a look at the city, and took a train to Wallaroo, 126 miles north, where I visited some relatives, who have been farming in that district for many years. TO THE DISCONTENTED. For any one who is dissatisfied with New Zealand, I cannot recommend a better cure than a visit to South Australia in the autumn, and a journey through that extensive waterless country, From the city of Adelaide in a northerly direction the railway runs through manjf i : , miles of country which is covered with a noxious weed called stink-wort. This is one of the worst weed pests in the old settled districts around Adelaide. In the back country, which is being reclaimed from mallee scrub, this weed has not yet ob- , tamed a footing. LAND CLEARING. The settlers in South Australia are not lacking in energy, and employ some excellent devices for saving labor. In clearing the land, the mallee scrub, which is sometimes over twenty feet high, is rolled down wholesale by a large heavily weighted roller, drawn by a bullock or horse team. After drying for a time, the scrub is burnt off. The land is then rerolled in an opposite direction and any remaining scrub burnt off. The land is then ploughed by means of " stump- , jumping " ploughs of two, three, or foir
furrows. The wheat is sown from a DobbieV; broadcast sower, and the laud is then harrowed with stump-jumping harrows. If there is a sufficient rainfall the when,*-, grows very well; but before harvest the newly reclaimed wheat paddock has often the appearance of a young blue gum plantation, from the young shoots of mallee which sprang up. The farmer then goes ovsr his paddock and with a scythe or reaping hook cuts down the young shoots of eucalypti, which are often higher than the wheat crops. This is necessary so as to allow the stripper fco work freely. After stripping, the wheat is passed through a hand-winnowing machine. It is then weighed, bagged up by hand aid carted to the nearest market.
Although the South Australian farmer gets a slightly better price for his wheat than we do in New Zealand, his yields are smaller and much more uncertain. While in the interior of South Australia I experienced one of thefamous hot winds, and I have no wish to feel another. Between flies, mosquitoes, snakes, and hot^ winds, I did not find life so pleasant as in New Zealand. HOME AGAIN. Aiter a week in Melbourne, I sailed for Lyttelton in the U. S. S. Company's s.s. Manapouri, via Hobart and the Bluff, and had the pleasure of luring for a fellow passenger, Bishop Julius of Christchurch, who preached two excellent sermons on board. Let me say in conclusion that in all my travels I have seen no place where there are better chances of making an honest living from the soil, or of living a healthy happy life, than in the land in which we dweli—New Zealand !
A TRIP HOME., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2482, 4 August 1890
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