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NEWS OF THE DAY.

As will be seen by our telegrams, the Interprovincial Regatta at Wellington was postponed till to-day in consequence of bad weather. Last night there was every prospect of to-day proving fine. Should this, however, not be the case, an alternative course, near the city, has been fixed upon, where the race will take place, if it cannot be held at Petoni. We learn that the Wellington people fancy their own crews. The favorites, however, with the general public, are the Cam, the Sabrina, the Waterlily, and the betting is about even.

The Magnet Variety Troupe are expected to arrive from Wellington on Thursday next, and will give their opening entertainment in the Canterbury Music Hall, on Friday evening, A meeting of the shareholders of the South British Insurance Company opposed to issue of new shares as proposed, was held yesterday in Mr W. Wilson's new room. Shareholders to the number of over 3000 shares were represented, and after some discussioo. it was resolved to dispatch a delegate to Dunedin to invite the co-operation of the Dunedin shareholders in the matter.

With regard to the site of the Normal School proposed to be built in Chrisichurch, the Government have advertised for a suitable site ; and at the meetiug of the Board of Education held yesterday, the chairman. Messrs Bowen, Gould, and luglis, were appointed as a committee to select the most suitable site from those offered, and generally to arrange details in connection with it.

The consideration of the matter of the scholarships under the Board of Education, of which there are cine or ten open to competition, will come before the Board at its uexfc meetiug,

The last show of the season in connection with the Horticultural Society will take place on Thursday nexVat the Canterbury Music Hall. From what we can learn of the state of the exhibits in the various classes, we are enabled to predict a very satisfactory Close to the season of 1872-3. The annual dinner of the society will be held on Friday evening next, at the Clarendon hotel.

Last evening the usual weekly meeting of the City Council lapsed owing to there not being a quorum, the members present being his Worship the Mayor, Crs Calvert, Jones : and Williams. This is the more remarkable as it is now some six or seven years since the meeting has lapsed in this way. The Council adjourned until Wednesday next at 11 a.m., when the newly elected members, Messrs W. H. Lane and J. Gapes will form the requisite quorum.

Visitors to the Government Domain have hitherto bnen much inconvenienced by the absence of labels containing the names of the different varieties. This drawback has been, however, to a great extent remedied, and after a great deal of trouble, Mr Armstrong has succeeded in affixing as many as 700 large metallic labels to the more conspicuous plants, each label containing (1), natural order; (2), botanical name, and (3), native country. Visitors already begin to appreciate this arrangement, so much so, that in their eagerness to ascertain the particular varieties they are apt to walk over the borders, which is a custom at any time that is more honored in the breach than in the observance. A meeting of the various insurance agents of Christchurch was held yesterday, at which it was agreed to subscribe the sum of £50 towards the construction of a fire tank at the junction of Lichfield and Colombo streets. This part of the town is practically isolated from any large supply of water in case of fire, and containing as it does some very large and valuable blocks of buildings, is certainly entitled to adequate protection from the effects of fire. A Calcutta Sweep on the four-oared outrigger race, to be rowed at the Inter-pro-vincial Eegatta, was announced to be drawn at Tattersall's last evening. It did not appear to excite much interest, as Mr J. H. Bennett, after using his most persuasive powers, only succeeded in getting sixteen subscribers at 10s each. The total value of the sweep amounts to £15 12s 6d. and the following were the prices obtained : —Stella, £4 ss; Cam, £3 5?; Waterlily, £3 ; Fernleaf and Wellington, each £1 10s ; Sabrina, £1 ; Dolly Varden, 15s. A second sweep on the same event, comprising seven members at £1 each, resulted as follows :—The Cam fetched £2 7s 6d; Stella, £2 ; Sabrina, £1. As there was no bid for the others they reverted to the drawers. We learn with a great deal of pleasure that the new lessees of the Theatre Royal, Messrs Geddes and Willis, of Dunedin, intend opening their season here with a company comprising some of the best artists in New Zealand, amongst them several new to Christchurch audiences, while we recognise one or two whose names are prefectly familiar to playgoers here. From the successful manner in which the management has carried on the Dunedin theatre, and the rapid succession of novelties produced by them, we augur favorably for the prospects of the coming season here.

We understand that the Superintendent of the Fire Brigade has reported that the hose obtainable in Chriatchurch for the engines is not sufficiently large, and is therefore unsuitable, so that recourse will have to be had to Melbourne or Sydney. It is to be hoped that the fire brigade committee will lose no time in getting a fresh supply, as in case of a fire breaking out the result might be to impair most seriously the efficiency of the steam fire engines.

The Provincial Govemment have forwarded an official letter to the City Council agreeing to place the sum of £150 on the estimates for consideration by the Provincial Council during its next session, for the purpose of a grant in aid of the cost of asphalting the footpath from Barrett's Hotel to the Railway Station, on condition that the City Council undertake to lay down the footpaths from Barrett's Hotel to the heart of the city. In connection with this matter we may also mention that a petition signed by 132 residents and ratepayers of Christchurch, numbering some of the most influential members of the community, has been prepared for presentation to the City Council asking them to carry out their portion of the work as speedily as possible. This is certainly a most necessary work, and one we hope, for the sake of the appearance of the city, to see completed without any delay.

By an advertisement in our columns it will be seen that the Provincial Government have appointed Mr and Mrs Colee to the situation of master and matron at the Burnham reformatory. Mr Colee has had some experience as a master at the Industrial School at Look-out Point in Otago,and from enquiries that have been made would appear to be well qualified for the post.

His Honor Mr Justice Gresson leaves for Hokitika per coach on Tuesday morning next to take the criminal business of the Westland Circuit, for his Honor Mr Justice Richmond. In order to allow of the profession bringing forward any business of urgent importance, his Honor will sit in chambers on Monday next at 11 a.m.

The city valuator for the year 1873, Mr H. B. Huddleston, has, we understand, completed his task. The valuation of the city property for this year amounts to £102,232, being an advance on that of 1872 of £6402. thus showing a very gratifying progress made during the past year. The valuation is of course subject to appeal before the Resident Magistrate, but this seldom results in any very appreciable reduction being made in the amount.

An inquest was held yesterday before J. W. S. Coward, Esq., coroner of the district, and a jury of whom Mr J. Souter was chosen foreman, on the body of the infant son of Mr Ridley, North town belt, whose death by drowning in a creek near his father's residence we recorded yesterday. After hearing the evidence, which was a recapitulation of the facts already stated by us, the jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."

On Friday evening a meeting of the inhabitants of Pigeon Bay was held, to elect a library committee for the ensuing year, when the following were elected :—Messrs W. Inues (chairman), R. Litten, librarian ; R. Stewart, secretary ; J. Pettigrcw and H. White. The iucome for past year amonnted to £S 6s 10d ; expenditure £2 lls 9d, leaving a balance in hand of £5 15s Id. The chairman announced that the Government had agreed to give ft grant of £10 towards the library,

The birds recently imported by the Acclimatisation Society are thriving admirably. Mr Perry's consignment bythe Beautiful Star, under the charge of Mr Deans, the curator of the Otago society, consists of 26 goldfinches, 14 hedge sparrows, 12 blackbirds, 30 redpole linnets, and 6 thrushes. On a casual inspection of the birds at present in the grounds of the society we were much struck with the first-rate condition ''n which they have been imported, reflecting the greatest credit upon Mr Bills. It is little short of a miracle tha out of 10S goldfinches shipped, as many as 95 should have arrived in first-rate order. The rooks and starlings too, are looking particularly healthy, and it is expected will be turned out in about a week. There are also two admirable specimens of the male and female curassow, a description of which appears elsewhere. We understand that as many as half the present consignment of birds has already been delivered to private persons. We would draw especial attention to the splendid lot of English partridges, not one feather in any one of them appearing to be in the slightest degree out of place. The gold and silver pheasants are also a perfect picture of health and beauty, and the same mead of praise may be afforded to the summer ducks. Taken all in all the present shipment is one of the most successful and valuable that the society has ever received, and the province generally is to be congratulated upon the importation.

As several enquiries have been made relative to the nature and habits of the curassow (crax alector), two splendid specimens of which have been lately brought out to the Canterbury Acclimatisation Society, we take the present opportunity of describing the same, as given by the famous author on ornithology, the Eev J. G. Wood. All the curassows are a native of tropical America, and are found almost wholly in the forests. The crested curassow inhabits the thicklywooded districts of Guiana, Mexico, and Brazil, and is very plentifully found in those countries. It is a really handsome bird, nearly as large as a turkey, and more imposing in form and color. It is gregarious in its habits, and assembles together in large troops, mostly perched on the branches of trees. It is susceptible of domestication, and to all appearances may be acclimatised as well as the turkey or pheasant. There is special reason that the curassows should be added to our list of domesticated poultry, for their flesh is peculiarly white, and well flavoured, surpassing even that of the turkey, and they are of a pleasant temper, and readily tamed by kindness. A dry, sandy soil is necessary for their well-being, as they suffer greatly from damp, which produces a disease of the foot and toes, often causing the toes to mortify and fall off. Trees are also needful, as these birds are often fond of perching at some height from the ground, and the situation must be sheltered from wind or rain. They lay six eggs, not unlike those of a fowl, bat larger and thicker shelled, and they build among the trees, making a large and rather clumsy looking nest of sticks, grassstems, and leaves, and grass blades.

On Sunday last a fire occurred at the farm of Mr G. McCandlisb, near Oxford, by which a small stack of wheat, and a large stack of oats, were destroyed. The cause of the fire is unknown. We observe that the Mandeville and Bangiora Eoad Board invite tenders for the formation of two-and-a-quarter miles, and shingling nine-and-a-half miles of roads in their district. This is something like business.

The quarterly licensing meeting, in terms of the Public-House Ordinance, 1868, takes place to-day.

The Christchurch Musical Society intend to give a miscellaneous concert some time at the end of the present month. Sir W. Stern dale Bennett's " May Queen," will form the first part. We hope members will attend punctually, as the time is short before the performance.

We understand that a telegram has been received from Wellington stating that the Forfarshire has on board a splendid lot of biids for Hawkes Bay, including rooks, partridges, and several descriptions of insectivorous birds, under the charge of Mr Bills, juD., whose father has been so successful with his shipment here. Though a late telegram states that more than half have died on the voyage, yet we learn that those that have arrived are in splendid condition, and the father is to be congratulated upon the signal success of the son.

The Rev Mr Peebles who has been recently delivering lectures In Christctrarch on spiritualism, left per Beautiful Star yesterday for Dunedin en route for China and Japan. Previous to his departure, the spiritualists residing in Christchurch presented him with a purse of twenty guineas as a mark of their esteem and regard.

The formal declaration of the election oj two councillors to fill the vacancies caused by the resignation of Messrs H. Sawtell and P. Jenkins, will take place at the City Council Chambers to-morrow at 11 a.m. Messrs J. Gapes and W. H. Lane being the only two candidates nominated, their election results as a matter of course.

Mr Armstrong," the Superintendent of the Government Domain is at present attempting a very interesting experiment, which may ultimately eventuate in very important results. Some time ago he obtained from the Kew Gardens, London, some seeds of the senna (cassia.) This is well known and described elsewhere as a genus of much importance in a medical point of view from its producing the well-known drug. It is a member of the leguminous family (fabaces), and is known by its five unequal sepals, its

five petals of a yellow color, not papilionaceous, and its ten stamens, three of which are long, four short, and three sterile or abortive, the anthers opening by pores at the top. The species arc very numerous and consist of trees, shrubs, and herbs, with compound pinnated leaves. Mr Armstrong has succeeded in rearing two varieties, one the cassia lanceolata, which is collected originally far in the interior of the country in Upper

Egypt, beyond Sienne. The plant yields two crops annually, one in spring and the other in autnmn. Mr Armstrong last spring planted two varieties in the open air, and it is as we have stated an experiment as to whether our climate will allow of its becoming a marketable commodity. Both sorts are flourishing admirably, and growing rapidly, and we can only hope that the venture may turn out successfully. The intention is to transfer them to the propagating house during the winter months, and then to transplant them in the spring with a view to thoroughly mature the etems, on the chance of their surviving the following winter in the open air,

We are informed by the Chief Postmaster that the English letters (via Suez and Brindisi) and Australian mails, per the as. Tararua, were landed at Hokitika, and will be brought to Christchurch by the coach due on Wednesday evening.

The jury list for the Christchurch district is now open for inspection till the 6th April, when objections thereto will be heard at the Resident Magistrate's Court.

A serious fire, believed to be the work of an incendiary, originated about midnight on Saturday last, in the centre of ten stacks of grain belonging to James Rosser, living on the North road, near the Waiiuakariri bridge. He was just going to bed when he and his wife noticed the reflection of the fire, the stacks being near the house. On going outside he found five of the stacks in the middle row were each alight, half-way up from the bottom. Finding he could do nothing to save his property, he sent a message to the police at Kaiapoi. Sergeant Pratt was soon on the spot, and actively making an investigation into the matter. Seven stacks of wheat, containing from 1500 to ltiOO bushels were totally destroyed, and were uninsured. Three stacks of oats were saved by great exertions. In order to prevent the fire communicating from the burning wheat stacks to the oat stacks on a change of wind, an alarm was given on Sunday afternoon at Kaiapoi, when several of the Fire Brigade turned out with one of their engines, under charge of Mr Foreman Smith. After a few hours work they put out the fire which remained. The wheat, a fine sample, had been sold for delivery in Christchurch at 4s 3\A per bush si, to Messrs Dudley and Craig, and the thrashing machine was to have commenced work on Monday morning. The loss will be about £350. It has not been decided jet to hold an inquest.

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Bibliographic details

NEWS OF THE DAY., Press, Volume XXI, Issue 2365, 4 March 1873

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2,885

NEWS OF THE DAY. Press, Volume XXI, Issue 2365, 4 March 1873

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