[From Our Own Correspondent.]
AUCKLAND, May 15. The Southern School Committees should take pattern by their colleagues up in this part of the colony, some of whom (it is worthy of note) never spend a shilling without knowing where it goes. I was much Interested on reading last week a notice on a store at the Wade, which was as follows: “ Wanted, tenders for two loads of wood ; must be dry, cut into 2ft lengths, and to bo delivered three weeks after the acceptance of the tender.” I expressed surprise at the smallness of the order to one of the Committee, who informed me that, owing to the limited number of pupils attending the school, the smallest item in connection with its expenditure was invariably tendered for—(firewood costs about 4s per ton at the Wade). While on the subject of schools, it may be of some interest to your readers to know a little of the workings of a few of the inland schools up here. There are so many small schools between Auckland and Warkworth (distance about forty miles), for example, that the greatest economy has to be resorted to so as to give an opportunity of learning, the various districts being so scattered that it is with difficulty anything like a sufficient number of pupils can be mustered in one place without probably some having to travel long distances. This difficulty is, however, got over in a measure by having what are termed “ halftime” schools i.c,, schools where the master visits and teaches alternate days in some districts, while in others the week is divided into the first half at one school and the second at the other. The Rodney district embraces the townships of Puhoi, Warkworth, Matakana, and Wellsford, at which places the schools are kept at full time. The former is a German settlement of about 400 inhabitants, and it is worthy of note that of this small number the families of Scholiums and Schischkas comprise nearly half the entire population. The average attendance at thissohool isabout sixty. The master of course has more than the ordinary amount of trouble in teaching the pupils, many of whom can speak very little English. This settlement was established some twenty-five years ago by Captain Krippner, who your readers may remember presented a petition last session in the House of Representatives for their consideration, to remunerate him for successfully pioneering and_ placing them on the land. Considering that the land was of a very rough nature, the settlers, by dint of industry and hard work, have succeeded in establishing homes for themselves and families, and are now in pretty comfortable circumstances. Charcoal, shingles, and bark for tanning are the principal products of the Puhoi, and the settlers appear to drive a considerable trade with the former article especially. As with nearly all the settlements in the Rodney and Waitemata districts, the wants of the settlers are supplied by small craft, which ply to and from Auckland regularly. The rivers are very narrow, and can only be navigated at high water. A coach conveys the mail from Auckland every alternate day, and it is worthy of note that, considering the very rugged nature of the road for a distance of forty miles, the mail carrier (Butler) has during the last four years always delivered the mails to clockwork time, and has only had one break down during that period, Edward Hanlan (the ex-champion oarsman) is at present on a visit here, where ho purposes giving an exhibition of his prowess as a sculler. In addition to rowing against the local champion gig crew in the scullers’ race (in which he will concede lengthy starts to his opponents), he will also perform the feat of walking on the water in a pair of shoes which are now being made for him here. The arrangements in connection with the affair have been very warmly taken up by the leading athletes of Auckland. The exhibition is to take place on Lake Takapuna, and promises to be a success. In view of the large attendance which is expected, the Ferry Company have arranged to run their steamers every few minutes to and from the lake. The meeting convened in favor of the Home Rule movement was largely attended last night, the Catholic Institute being comfortably filled. The audience was most enthusiastic. Mr J. M. Shera was elected chairman, and Messrs Jennings and Sheehan hen. secretaries. The meeting was called by many of the leading citizens of Auckland, but dissatisfaction was expressed outside that it was not held in one of the public halls, as many were inclined to look at it from a party point of view. A motion to the effect that the meeting invite the Home Rule delegates (Messrs Dillon, Esmondo, and Deasy, M.P.s.) to visit Auckland was carried unanimously. A committee of about sixty members was then formed, who were empowered to communicate with the members of the House of Representatives for Auckland, asking them to allow their names to be placed on the Committee. A motion—- “ That it be an instruction to the Committae to include the members of the Legislative Council for the provincial district of Auckland in the list of invitations ’’—was carried unanimously. The City Council have at last commenced to retrench in real earnest, the timber used on the reception platform and triumphal arch at our Governor’s reception being utilised in constructing street culverts—a want which baa been felt for some time, especially in some of the places where the traffic is considerable. This is a step in the right direction, and it is to be hoped that the efforts of the Council to retrench will not stop at this, but that councillors will endeavor to decrease the heavy overdraft with which the city is burdened. Mr H. Gillespie has been appointed manager of the Thames branch of the Kauri Timber Company, and Mr R. Blair has been placed in a similar position at Auckland. The proprietors of the Switchback Railway now running on the reclaimed ground have offered to the Harbor Board an additional LSO per annum for an extra piece of ground to provide space for attractions in the shape of a skating rink and shooting gallery. . Last Saturday morning the premises of Albert Berger, watchmaker, Te Aroha, were broken into and fifteen watches left for repairs stolen, besides a quantity ol jewellery of a miscellaneous nature. Mr J. Courtenay, of Ponsonby, has exported a considerable quantity of grapes during last week to some of the Southern ports, and even as far as Australia, they being packed in paper, which proved the best means of keeping them in a marketable condition at this season of the year.
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AUCKLAND NOTES., Evening Star, Issue 7915, 24 May 1889
AUCKLAND NOTES. Evening Star, Issue 7915, 24 May 1889
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