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OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER., Issue 7955, 10 July 1889
OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER.
(From Our Melbourne Correspondent.]
Melbourne, July 3. THE GORDON STATUE.
The Gordon memorial statue was unveiled last week in Melbourne, in the presence of many thousands of spectators. The ceremony was performed by His Excellency Sir William Robinson, and a memorial address was delivered by Major-general Downes, a comrade of Gordon’s at school and in the field. A guard of honor was furnished by the Victorian Artillery, while the Princess’s Theatre Opera Company and the Gordon Cadet Band assisted in the musical part of the programme. The statue is of bronze, and is a replica of the one erected in Trafalgar square, London. It represents Gordon in scuff officer’s undress uniform, patrol jacket, etc., but without weapons—a faithful detail, as it was bis habit never to carry arms. He stands firmly on hi) right foot, his left raised on a broken cannon. In his left hand he holds a Bible, while his right is raised up to his chin, as if he were thinking upon some distant object, towards which he earnestly gazes. The sculptor chose this attitude as one distinctly representing Gordon’s character and habit of mind, and most people will agree that he has been happy In his selection. The Committee were 'greatly struck with the dignity of the design, and closer acquaintance with the work has confirmed their satisfaction. An important variation, however, exists between the memorial erected in London and that in Melbourne. In the latter case the statue stands upon a more ornate pedestal, and the entablature of the base has been enlarged, so as to carry four massive bas-reliefs. These illustrate tbe four salient epochs of Gordon’s life,
ARMED BURGLAR:! IS SYDNEV. Another attempted burglary, attended by circumstances similar to those which marked the case in which Constable Sutherland was fatally shot, has occurred in Sydney. Early one morning last week Constable Slater, when opposite the residence of Judge Stephen, saw a man lurking about the fence surrounding the garden. He watched the man until he saw him jump over the fence, when he followed him, and seized him on some steps leading to the house. The man resisted, striking the constable on the head with some weapon, inflicting a cut just above the forehead. This for a moment stunned the constable, but he stuck to his man, and they both rolled over on the lawn. At this moment two men approached, and one of them fired two shots in rapid succession at the constable—one of the shots entering his left shoulder, the other his left thigh. The two men then ran off, and the constable’s prisoner soon disengaged himself and followed his accomplices. The firing of the shots awakened Judge Stephen, who at once removed the constable into the house, where the wound in his shoulder was found to bo rather serious. Slater was afterwards taken to the Sydney Hospital, where he is progressing as favorably as can be expected. The detectives succeeded in arresting a well-known rough named George Dignam on the charge of attempted murder. The man was taken to Slater’s bedside, and the constable at once identified Dignam as one of the men concerned in the attack on him, RETURN OF MR SPEIGHT, Mr E. Speight, the chairman of the Victorian Railway Commissioners, has returned from the Home Country, where ho has been making exhaustive examinations of the r rilway systemsboth in England and America, with the view of importing improvements into the Victorian system. In the course of an interview with representatives of the Melbourne Pres?, Mr Speight stated that he had discovered no decided improvements such ns would justify any changes being made by the Railway Department at present. Experiments were being conducted in England in compound engines, but they had not, so far, proved such a success that the authorities were prepared to make any change, but were waiting the course of events. As in Victoria, ho found that the Westiughousc brake is in usoboth in England and America. Tue most important problem that the railway authorities in Australia have to solve, in his opinion, is that of the transportation of perishable goods, the methods at present in use on our lines being far from perfect. The moat advanced system of carrying perishable goods is that in use in America, known as ieeing the car, and there is a unanimous consensus of opinion there that no other system is practicable. In these colonies, of course, we have no means of naturally producing ice, but on inquiring Mr Speight found that artificially-made ice is just as good as the natural ice for the purposes required. Mr Speight has come to the conclusion that the colonial railways can compare in excellence with any that he has seen; and in regard to freights, the charges are lower, in comparison with the distances, than the rates charged in (he United States. THE KAARIMBA CRIME, A new horror has been discovered in connection with the Kaarimba case, in which a farmer named Hugh M'Carron and his eldest daughter Jane are charged with infanticide and living in a state of incest. It was found, when the guilty pair were arrested, that the girl had been enceinte to her father several times, but the body of only one infant was obtained. Acting on information obtained from M'Carrou’s children, the detectives visited his farm last week, and unearthed the skeletons of two infants, which were buried about three feet underground in a ploughed field not far from the farm-house. The Coroner’s inquest was adjourned at the request of the detectives, who are now engaged in searching for the remains of another infant, believed to be buried out on the Kaarimba Plains. A PRESS GATHERING. An interesting gathering of pressmen took , place at the Maiaon Dosco on Saturday evening. It consisted of most of the members of the literary staff of the ‘ Argus,’ with the heads of the other departments, as well as two of the proprietors, and the party numbered about forty. A rtcherchi dinner having been partaken of a little speechmaking of a humorous character was indulged in, and was interspersed with anecdotes and musical selections. The meeting altogether was of a very pleasant character, and served to frustrate the good feeling which exists between the members of the ‘ Argus ’ staff and the proprietory. It is noderatood that similar gatherings will be held quarterly. It is worthy of mention that three Dunedin Pressmen were present on Saturday evening namely, Messrs S. H. Jenkinson, J. C. Norman, and IC. T. Fricker. These gentlemen have all graduated through the ‘ Otago Daily Times ’ office ; and Mr Norman, previous to'coming to Melbourne, was connected with the Evening Star. Mr Jenkinson occupies the position of day sub-editor on the ‘ Argus,’ and Messrs Norman and Flicker are attached to the Parliamentary staff of reporters. Mr D. D. Wheeler has been appointed chief of the Victorian 4 Hansard,’ vice Mr T. R. Hadley resigned, and Mr D. F. Lumsden, of the 4 Argus ’ reporting staff, has been selected to fill up the vacancy caused by Mr Hadley's retirement. SURRENDER of a defaulting bank MANAGER, The defaulting bank manager, William Thompson, for whom a warrant was issued in Victoria on 13th June for defalcations, amounting to between L 2.000 and L 3.000, from the Yarra Glen branch of the Colonial Bank of Australasia, is now in custody in Adelaide. It appears that he was involved by horse racing and gambling, and, to pay his debts of honor, misappropriated several sums of money. Things coming to a crisis, ho determined to 44 bolt” at the Whitsuntide holidays, hoping thereby to gain a fair start and successfully escape. His intemperate habits seem to have clouded his tact and judgment, for he entrusted to a woman of ill-fame in Melbourne a sum of 1.800 before he left Melbourne ; and to this circumstance the surrender of Thompson is believed to be traceable. Instead of joining Thompson in Adelaide with the money as was agreed the women surrendered it to the police, and Thompson hearing of this no doubt felt the 44 game was up,” and gave himself up to justice. He said he was without means to travel far beyond Adelaide, and preferred to give himself up to the police rather than face hardship in the bush in perhaps a vain endeavor to his pursuers. GENERAL. The Victorian Commissioner of Trade and
Customs has obtained the sanction of his colleagues to the granting of bonuses with the object of stimulating the deep sea fishing industry and dredging for oysters. Regulations are accordingly being framed with a view of granting a bonus of Ll,ooo for the successful establishment of deep sea trawling, and LSOO in connection with oyster dredging. The first bonus will be divided, LCOO being set aside for the most successful trawling expedition carried out, and L4OO for the next best. _ The bonus for oyster dredging is also divided—L3oo for the first and L2OO for tbe second prize. Intending competitors will be required to give notice of their intention to compete to the Commissioner of Trade and Customs. In order to protect the Government against any unfair advantage being taken of the regulations a Customs officer will accompany each fishing boat. The trawling ground has been fixed on the Victorian coast and in Bass strait. The liquidators of the Commercial Bank of South Australia, which failed early in 1886, have issued a writ claiming L 320,000 against the directors of the bank for negligence, The directors were Messrs M. Salom, M.L C., R. A- Tarlton, J. C. Verco, A. Tennant, and C. Rischbeth. The claim rests on the allegation that, contrary to the Commercial Banking Companies Act, the defendants declared dividends out of the | capital. Further, that they had been guilty of gross negligence in the performance of their duties as directors, whereby large sums had been lost to the company. The case will come on very shortly, and will bo ’invested with considerable interest. I ! The condition of the ship Cape Verde, which was sunk in Hobson Bay last week, appears to be not so hopeless as was thought immediately after the occurrence. Examination by divers led to the impression tbst,
with favorable weather, tho cargo and vessel will he raised within thu next thre-u months. The inquiry into the cause of the collision is still proceeding The insurance companies, it appears, have declined to take risks on several of the very high buildings which have lately been erected in Melbourne, on the ground that the fire engines are unable, to pump water up a sufficient height to quench a conflagration therein should combustion take place in one of the upper stories. The companies have not thought it worth while to equip their brigade with an engine capable of providing for the inundation of these mammoth premises, and, consequently, the Melbourne City Council has stepped into the breach and met tho difficulty. A resolution has been passed hy that body authorising the expenditure of LBBS in the purchase of a Shand and Mason Are engine capable of pumping 600 gallons of water per minuta to a great altitude, and it has been arranged to hand it over to the charge of the Its irance Brigade on tho understanding that they work and maintain it. The engine was lately on view at the Melbourne Exhibition.
A collision of a rather extraordinary character, and one which caused some excitement amongst the officials concerned, happened between the locomotive a mixed goods train and tho trucks forming the train itself, on one of the Victorian country lines recently. The engine had just mounted a very steep incline and started on the down track, when tho coupling connecting it with tho trucks broke. Tho driver did not discover this until he had got some distance away from the train, when on looking back he saw the latter coming down the gradient at a rapid speed, which was ire,easing with every revolution of tho wheels. There were two courses open to him—one was to ease up so as to allow the uncontrolled trucks to “ bump ” the engine, and the other to put on steam with the object of reaching the next station in time to get switched into a siding. The driver decided on the latter course, and as he approached the station sounded an alarm whistle and signalled tho pointsman to turn him on to the siding. The trucks meanwhile had increased their speed, and before tho engine could be shunted dashed into it, wrecking several of the trucks. When the Bijou Theatre in Melbourne was burnt down a little while ago no time was lost by the proprietors in getting tho necessary plans for the erection of a new theatre and laying them before the Central Board of Health for approval. The first plan had to ho altered so as to give further exits, and on the alterations being made tho Board expressed themselves fully satisfied, hut intimated to tho architects that they desired the theatre to he altogether cut off from the Palace Hotel, which at the present time almost surrounds it. They stated they would further consider the matter at the next meeting of tho Board. The result was the total rejection of tho plans, and the rebuilding of the theatre is almost indefinitely postponed. It is understood that there is a project on foot for the erection of a large and commodious theatre at the corner of Russell and Bourko streets.
OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER., Issue 7955, 10 July 1889
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