[From Our Own Correspondent.] August 20. We have had more than the usual share of bad weather this winter. For the past three months the climate appears to have undergone a complete metamorphosis, and instead of having weather of a more genial character than that down in the South Island at this season of the year, we have been visited with one of the severest winters experienced for many years. It has been raining pretty constantly for nearly three months, and there has been more than the ordinary quantum of gales and sleet and fog. This is very unusual for the North Island, which has always been considered a healthful retreat for those who are unfortunate in possessing weak constitutions. The late galea have caused considerable domago along the coast, houses being unroofed, bridges torn or washed away by the heavy surf which has been washing in on the shore for several days. The tremendous surf which came into the Waiwera bay made great havoc with that once popular little watering place. About three chains Jeep of the sandhills have been washed away for more than half the length of the beach (which is nearly three-quarters of a mile long), and the fence in front of the Springs Hotel and several of the dressing rooms of the baths have been completely demolished, while the roads, trees, and culverts in the district have been destroyed. The company who own the Waiwera estate will now sec that it will take more than was at first anticipated to build a wharf sufficiently substantial to withstand the rough weather, which fortunately does not visit that district very often. As I indicated in a previous letter, when the new syndicate took over the estate they intended to devote about L 4.000 to building a wharf, but they will now note (if the weather experienced recently is any criterion) to their sorrow that it will take fully three times that sum to erect anything of a wharf that would be sufficiently substantial to brave one of the stiff nor’-easters which periodically visit that part of the Auckland province. Te Hemera (who at one time possessed nearly the whole of Waiwera, but, like many of the Maori race, allowed it to slip through his hands) owned several acres along the foreshore of the bay, and whereas the week before last his property was of considerable value, at the present time it is of little use, the sea having made a colossal breach in the sandy soil, which at high water now comprises only a vei;y narrow strip of land. As in Dunedin, as well as in all the other commercial portions of the colony, tho rivalry existing between the Union Company and the Ellis Company’s line of steamers is being watched with the keenest interest. From what I have heard and observed in a trip from Dunedin to Auckland, there is no denying the fact that the public are in sympathy with the latter company, and should they run steamers of a better class they would receive more patronage than at tho present. However, “ it’s an ill wind that blows no one good,” and passengers can now get to Sydney for one-third of what they formerly paid, and a similar reduction is Li vogue along the whole coast. The Ringarooma and Centennial, which left Auckland last week for Sydney, took about 200 passengers from our shores. The bulk of those went by the former vessel, but the Centennial had a cargo right up to the hatches, and could have had that considerably augmented had they room for more. I understand that the Ellis Company wished to negotiate with the Union Company with regard to a fixed piice for both passengers and cargo, but the latter declined any advancement whatever made by the former company. A fatal accident occurred at the Auckland wharf on Saturday last, when a seaman named John Franklyn met his fieath under melancholy circumstances. Deceased, who was in company with two other men, was observed going along the wharf by Sergeant M‘Mahon and Constable Cargill, who followed them, apparently thinking that all was not right. Deceased and his mates were the worse for drink, and on reaching the ship Largo Bay the former went up the gangway ladder, which was lighted, but, missing his footing, fell into the water. The ship’s watchman was standing at the top of the gangway at the time of the accident, and, calling for assistance, Constable Cargill got a rope’s end with a lantern attached over the side of the ship, but owing to tho darkness they could see nothing of the unfortunate fellow, who must have sunk immediately. Ultimately James Watts, the Harbor Board watchman, procured a lifebuoy and got into a boat when ho saw the body of deceased floating and brought it ashore. Various measures were tried to restore animation, but without avail. Deceased was forty-two years of age, a native of Southampton, and was of delicate constitution. The report of Sergeant M‘Mahon states that he believes tho accident was attributable to the manner in which the gangway was rigged, having only a rope on one side of it. As it was nearly high water the gangway was almost perpendicular, the ahip’ajail being about 12ft above the wharf. The two men who were with the deceased professed to belong the Largo Bay, but on inquiry it was found that their statement was untrue, and their whereabouts has not been as yet ascertained. A verdict of “ Accidental death” was returned, and the jury added a rider recommending that the Harbor Board should pass a by-law that ships moored along the wharf should be provided with gangways having a rope at each side, and that in every case a netting should be spread underneath between ships and the whurfa Quite a sensation has bean caused through some statements made by the Rev. J. S. Hill, a Church of England clergyman, who has delivered a series of lectures recently in the Y.M.C.A. rooms, one of which was on ‘ The Administration of Justice.’ Some of the rev. gentleman’s assertions are of a most extraordinary character, one being that Caffrey an 1 Penn were not guilty of the Barrier Island murder. Referring to the Hamilton mystery, the lecturer stated that he knew a murder was committed, and who was the murderer, and in the same breath condemned the present system of prison management in regard to female prisoners, and said that tho s ® unfortunates should be placed ia proper prioojj cells, and in charge of females instead of male warders as at present. Another curious statement made ty the speaker was that female prisoners should be tried by female magistrates; andhe then siiopjred his audience by telling them that there were more bad girls (not young women, but girls) in Auckland than would fill Mount Eden Gaol, the causes of
their fall being vanity and laziness. The building was crowded, and among those present were several of the legal and judicial profession, who asked a number of questions relating to the rev. gentleman’s lecture. It was considered that, as regards the Penn and Caffrey episodes, Mr Hill sakl either too much or too little, and that his statements would only lead to unsettling the minds of the public, among whom it has caused more than a little consternation.
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AUCKLAND NOTES., Evening Star, Issue 7999, 30 August 1889
AUCKLAND NOTES. Evening Star, Issue 7999, 30 August 1889
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