The following weather forecast is supplied by the Rev. D. C. Bates for 24 hours from 9 a.m. this day:—"South-easterly, moderate to strong winds. Glass rise slowly. Cool night." The death of the Wirth Bros.' giraffe .on the steamer Marania on the night preceding her arrival at Sydney was the subject of very general regret on the part oi the passengers. It appears from the statement made by one of Wirth Bros.' managers, that the animal affected by the motion of the-steamer, and seemed decidedly unhappy. It was standing up at the time, and, being unable to keep its feet, fell dawn and sprawled about the cage. It could not recover itself, and, as Messrs. Wirth's man expressed himself, "it was a timorous and nerveless animal, and after a minute's struggling it simply broke its heart." " This is an unlucky trip for us," he subsequently remarked, "as the Polar bear died 011 the first night out from Auckland,* and we had to throw him overboard. The giraffe, cost us £ 1000, so you can sec we are having a bad time of it." The giraffe, was taken on to Sydney, and will be stuffed and sent to Melbourne, where it will be placed in Wirth's museum of, animals that have died, '' Recent events and the Prime Minister's announcement regarding national defence have aroused keen interest in, New Zealand in the subject of universal training. All interested are invited to a meeting convened by the National Defence League to be held in St. James's Hall to-morrow night, when resolutions in favour of universal training up to the age cf 21 will he submitted. The Mayor will preside, aud ilr. F. E. Baumej 1 M.P., Dr. Dean Bamford, Yen. Archdeacon. Calder, Mr. h\ G-, Ewington, Mr. T. Long, Mr. J. K. Kneen, and Dr. T. Hope Lewis will speak in support of universal training. The annual meeting of the Ponsonby Literary and Debating Society as anr' nounced for to-morrow night.. The secretary's report shows that the work of last session was jvery satisfactory. ~~. The practices for the l annual gathering of Bands _qf Hope will be commenced next evening in the Westr street -Church 'of Christ building.. All singers willing to take part -are -reo/Twssted to attend, \'J^ ''■'''■" * ' ' ''*'■'-Li' l
Passengers -cm the s:s. - Cygnet, 124 tons, had an alarming experience on the .trip from.Akaroa Wharf-to the Mararoa' lying, in the stream at Lyttelton' las* evening.. Fully.6oo -passengers were on; board, and when .the boat was some distance from the wharf it'bega-ii to roll in a manner. A -number <jfgot ready to jump fearing a capsize. The sea was ; calm' and there was-aoiTvind, What caused the boat-to roll so violently-is a mystery.. , ' \ "' -'' -„ ;;" In answer to a question regarding the Midland railway, ;the Minister for Public Works, said trhat the work of construction was progressing favourably. Re-cently-a bigslip occurred at the western end of 'Sloven's Creek viaduct, and the clearing of the spoil brought down by the slip would delay the opening of the line to Cass. It was .impossible to estimate the quantity of stuff; that would have : to the -renioved, and it was not possible to cay whether it would take three, six, or nine months to clear it away from the Sloven's Creek viaduct to Cass. The of the line was almost comI pleted. From the engineer of the contractors of the Otira tunnel, Mr. McKenzie learned that the work was progressLing .satisfactorily. Last" week 79 feet I were excavated, which was 1 a record for one week's work. With luck the Minister thought that the contractors should be able to drive at the -rate of one mile per annum from the Otira end. 'The contractors expected shortly to be able to start work on the tunnel from the Bealey end. At present the pipes to convey the water from the Punchbowl are being laid. This is an age of record-breaking, and the latest attempt is being" made at 'the Royal Albert Hall by Mr. E. Travis, a pupil of Monsieur Weigand, late organI ist at the Sydney Town Hall. On De- ! cember 31st last, Mr. C. Parneil established a record for continuous I piano-playing of 52' hours 1 minute, and Mr. Travis has set himself to exceed these figures. Commencing at 2.30 yesterday afternoon, the 52 hours will fun out at 6.30 p.m. to-mor-row, and providing that he feels fit, Mr. j Travis intends to go on until 2.30 the ! next morning, thereby establishing a world's record of 60 hours. During his stay at the piano Mr. Travis will play I frcm sight anything the audiences like to suggest, as well as accompanying any vocalist. At three o'clock on Tuesday and Wednesday he is announced to play a difficult composition by Monsieur Weigand, entitled "The Storm." His assistants feed him with fruit, jellies, plas- ' mon and diet of this variety, and at six o'clock each morning he is bathed and rubbed down with olive oil. The twelfth annual general meeting of Bovril, Limited, was held on February 23, the Earl of Arran (the dhairman of the Company) presiding. The chairman, in moving the formal resolution for the adoption of the report and accqunts for the year, said the net profits earned are only slightly better than those of 1907, being £120,314 9s lOd, as against £119,971 13s. The substantial amount of £10,000 carried to reserve from, the 1907 accounts brings that fund up to £175,000. An important development in connection with the supply of raw materials is the formation of Argentine Estates of Bovril, Limited. These estates consist of a large group of "estancias," situated in the province of Entre Rio and Santa Fe, in the Argentine Republic. The area of ths freehold property alone is 438,000 acres. The present -stock of cattle on the estates is between 100,009 and 150,000 head, and the quality of the cattle is being constantly improved by the purchase of fine breeding stock. "I think jlou are aware that we have always dyawn large supplies of raw mate-' rial from our colonies," said the chairman, '"and I should be sorry for you to think that under the new arrangement we are turning our back upon them now. The fact is, our-colonies have not been able to provide the quantity ol raw material we require; when their output increases we shall be ready for it." A common blunder made by visitors to Dunedhi is to step into the police station under the impression that it is a wellknown temperance boarding establishment situated a few yards further on. On Friday evening (sayn the "Otago Daily Times ") a very respectable looking old gentleman confidently stepped into the police station building, and proceeding along one of the passages, knocked at the police inspector's office door, and received the customary polite invitation to " come in." The look of surprise, not to say consternation, that came over the face of the visitor when it dawned on "him that he was in the police station was highly amusjng, and he abruptly stamimered: "I beg your pardon; I thought this was a boarding-house!" "So it is," dryly remarked the inspector; " but 1 think it is not quite the kind of lodgings you are looking for. You will find them further on," and the abashed visitor thereupon hurriedly retired, thinking thoughts which failed to find an utterance. ~ Mr. E. S. Marks, who toured .England" with the "Wallabies," said that a quieter and better and more manly lot .of men for a tour of this kind could not be got together. In talking with different members of the team oue is impressed by the educative aspect of the tour —that is, apart from football. They do not understand the bitterness of a large section of the English Press towards them. They are grateful to the London "Sportsman" and to Major Trevor, who did the tour for the "Daily Telegraph"; but the attacks of Mr, Hamish Stuart, who-dominated a number of newspapers, and especially the " Sporting Life," and the incessant bitterness of the "Morning Foit," aotonis'hed them. "If we were hostile and treacherous aliens, instead of Colonial Britishers playing a national game, some of the criticisms poured upon us would not have been too hot," said one member, who was careful to add: "Mind you, many of the newspapers were absolutely fair in their criticisms, and on the whole we were treated royally by the people, especially in Plymouth and in the West and North of England.." Messrs. T. H. Hall and Co., the wellknown local merchants, have been appointed Auckland agents for the Indemnity Mutual Marine Assurance Co. (Ltd.). The head office of the Company is in London, and the subscribed capital is £1,005,000. The agents are prepared to accept all classes of marine risks. - The wholesale quotations for butter and eggs for the week ending April 17 are as follows:—Butter (factory), 1/0$ per lb.; ditto (farmers'), 7d. per lb; eggs, 1/6 per dozen. , Women suffer most from headachehousework is a great drain on nervous energy. Every woman should' keep a box of Steams' Headache Cure near at hand. One wafer cuTes quickly. 1/- a. box. Nobby, neglige shirts. 'We have three special lines of shirts going at 3/11 while they last. Don't miss them. Geo. Fpwlds —<Ad.) A suitfor men with, quality, style and price, right. - Our read-td>wear '■•'suits from 39/ C are' ths article. Geo. Fowlds,
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