LOCAL AND GENERAL.
The Mayoress acknowledges receipt of the following donations to the Akaroa Branch of the Red Cross Fund:—Wainui School children, £6 10s; Mr G. Checkley, £2 2s.
Mrs E. E. Lelievre, who is in charge of the local branch of the Lady Liverpool Fund acknowledges receipt of the following donations:—Mrs W. Glynan, £1 Is; Mrs V. V. Macefield, £1 Is.
Miss Reynolds of Christchurch will take charge of the Akaroa District High School Secondary Department and commences on Monday next. Later Mr Garton, M. A., of the Elmwood school will take over the school.
Another good rain was experienced on Banks Peninsula on Tuesday and Wednesday, the rain coming from the south east quarter and being rather cold. About forty.points of rain were registered on Wednesday morning and a much smaller quantity yesterday morning.
Mr Thomas J. Pemberton, a brother of Mr O. B. Pemberton, Christchurch, returned to England some weeks ago, after serving for a year in the French
lw.-d Cress, says the London Vcorres-poi.dc-iu of M)-. "LyltJton Tim-.:;." He now holds a con;-:ii':doi: in the 4;h Bedfordshire Regiment, which is at present stationed at Harwich, Essex.
It is not often that the popular | mushroom is despised and left to waste in the paddocks, but this has been the ease on Banks Peninsula this year. The great quantities of mushrooms have more than filled local requirements and residents are really tired of this autumn delicacy. The mushroom growth has been most prolific and grow thickly in the paddocks and even along the road sides where they are left to decay.
Mr Luke Wright, of French Farm went up to Christchurch yesterday to offer his services for Samoa and thus release a fighting man. Two of Mr Wright's sons are at the front now and the third one offered his services, but was pronounced medically unfit. French Farm shows an excellent example to the rest of the Peninsula in: the way of recruits.
Private Eric Hammond, youngest son of Mr Joseph Hammond, of Akaroa, 'who has joined the Twelth Reinforcements has been down to Akaroa on his final leave and left for Trentham again yesterday morning. On Wednesday afternoon he went up to the Akaroa District High School where he was educated and was given God-speed by Mr C. Hall, and the school children. As the Mayor had not heard of his arrival in time to give him the usual wristlet watch, he is posting it on to him at Trentham.
A very old land mark in Pigeon Bay, in the old gum tree, that stands at the bridge at the corner of the main road, Pigeon Bay, near the beach seems to have its days numbered. This old tree, which is a v-'i'y fim; specimen of a gum tree was '•■riguially planted at the Hay's homestead and was brought clown in the famous slip of August 18th, 1886, which destroyed the Hay's homestead at "Annandale." The member of the Hay's family had a miraculous escape and the tree was practically the only thing to survive the sea of mud. It was firmly planted at the corner of the road where it has flourished and it is a great pity that the dry weather and possibly its exposed position have numbered its days J The tree should however stand" for many years yet.
The Rev. Father Bonetto has just purchased an Overland motor car to carry out his duties on Banks Peninsula. Will the native birds of the Dominion shortly be but a memory, consequent on the murderous proclivities of stoats, weasels and ferrets? A member of the staff of the "Otago Daily Timse," who has just made the overland trip from Lake Wakatipu to Martin's Bay, on the West Coast, j had ample opportunities of studying this question, and he gave it as his opinion that the native birds are doomed. On the trip referred to, through forests of birch which once echoed to the music of song birds, there was a most noticeable absence of bird life. From Elfin Bay to Martin's Bay the overland party did not see one tui. They saw about three "mockies" and a similar number of tomtits, and one Maori hen crossed their path. A kaka and some native pigeons were also noticed, and at nightsthe call of a few moreporks was heard. One night at the Middle Hut the subject of the absence of the birds was brought up. The Messrs M'Kenzie (who have lived all their lives at Martin's Bay), Mr E. H. Green (who has spent most of his life in the same locality, and on the West Coast), and Mr J. Pellow (Lake County Inspector of. Works) —residents who could be considered qualified to pass a thoroughly convincing opinion on the cause of the diminution of bird life—were unanimous in the view that the stoats, weasels and ferrets were killing out the birds. There are no rabbits in Hollyford Valley, but there are plenty of the animals which were brought to New Zealand to kill them out.
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LOCAL AND GENERAL., Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXV, Issue 3532, 31 March 1916