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SWAN DRIVE.

BELGIANS REAP LITTLE BENEFIT.

A SMALL BAG. In epite of the Interest taken in the Lake Ellesmere swan drive on Saturday, Bays tho "Press" the good cause in whioh it was held and the elaborate preparations made to carry it out, it was not very successful, if success is to be measured by slaughter. The fact is that the swans had something t> l do in the matter, and deolined to be driven, preferring to continue their residenoe on the lake than to patriotioaily provide food for the Belgian? Very few general particulars have filtered through in regard to to the actual ba?, but s known to indtcate that it was certainly not large, and the sanguine prophecies of tallies apprnachinp a thousand or so were no real' ined, infaoc, it seemes doubtful if many raoro than h hundred fell to the guns, who were very numerous on the northern and north, pastern edges of the lake. Mr Edgar Stead formed one of the crew of the fleet of launches whioh were intended to drive the Fvani on to the guns, and he gives the follow ng interesting and amusing ao count of the day's sport.— ••While we were getting the little launch ready," he said, "wo could hear a good deal of shooting in Coe's Bay and round the Selwyn month; and through the fog conld see swans Hying to and fro. We set off down the river with a dinghy towing behind., and soon reached lower but. Here were traps and horses, and tents, just like on the morning of the first, and men with guns all over I the place. Some were bunting pukeko in the swamp, some standing in the rushes on the river bank and others oooupying the mimus used for duok.ihooting in the late Most ef the latter, despite the Drive Com. mittee request to the contrary, had set out duck decoya, while several had already ehot Sijine swans and propped them up as decoys, Mr Stead then cave a graphio description of how the boats lost fheir way in the fog on tua lake. In conclusion he saya ''There are io my mind, two reasons why a swan drive organised on similar lines to thie one must always fail. The first is that the lake is so big that the birds will alwiye fly baok round the ends of the line, even if the line is kept. The second is that the line never will be kept. On a small scale the scheme might work, but not on a larger one The only six swans we got, or shot at were fe'rds that could not fly. As we ran towards the flock of birds, all would get up save one or two and these we would 'try out' and if they could not fiy properly we'd hunt them till we got them. All that were able to do so rose out of the range and kept out of it And thats what happened to us, but the interest, ing stories will be those of the men who didn't find their way home and stayed out on the lake all night."

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http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AMBPA19150629.2.5

Bibliographic details

SWAN DRIVE., Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXIV, Issue 3469, 29 June 1915

Word Count
529

SWAN DRIVE. Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXIV, Issue 3469, 29 June 1915

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