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TO THE EDITOR. Sat,—l have been reading with very great pleasure and much interest the letters which hare appeared in your paper from your numerous correspondents, I regard the efforts which are being made to further this most desirable object as most important, not only to the employes themselves, but also to the employers and the general public ; and from what I gather there appears a wish of some, at least, to aid tho movement, and some good suggestions have been advanced in support of same. 1 may say in passing that 1 do not live in Dunedin at the present time, but was engaged in a business house there for about eight years, and therefore have been able to observe and form a judgment of the mode of how the business there is conducted; and I have had some experience in the Horae Country—viz., London—having been engaged in one of the largest houses in that city, I remember when we started the Early Closing Association, when we had the support and sympathy of such men as the Archbishop of Canterbuiy, Bishop of London, Earl of Shaftesbury, Samuel Morley, etc., etc. We had at tho outset great opposition. Employers then did not understand as they do now that those whom they employ are the better men for the vest and recreation which the boon affords, for at the time of which I speak the wholesale houses in the city kept open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m,, and on Saturday we closed at 6 p.m., of course often working until ten or even twelve o'clock in the seasons. And the retail houses—their time for closing would be : all the week ten, Saturday twelve, and even one o’clock on Sunday morning—a most disgraceful thiug. What was tho effect of all this overwork, especially among our young men, coming up many of them fresh from the country, jaded and worn oat—no time for rest and recreation. They sought to escape from slavery, and the hotel and gin palace ware their haunts. And on Sunday they would plead : “ 1 am too done up to rise from my bed in time to go to any place of worship ”; and in these cases often the parents can trace the downward road to ruin in health, both bodily and spiritually, to tho evil effects of this system. But now things are changed. In the stead of jaded men and worn-out youth we have smart, robust, healthy, and active youth to fill those positions which, years ago, were filled by those who have sunk into an early grave. But there is another reason I would urge in the interest of the community at large in favor of early closing, and to my mind, and 1 know shared by thousands besides, it is this evil of intemperance. I will explain first that I am not a temperance agitator, and therefore I speak calmly and with deliberation. But if our temperance friends will walk down George street, Dunedin, for a few evenlugs in the week, not omitting Saturday, they will observe a certain class of pretended customers frequenting our shops under pretence of shopping, in the absence of which both employers and employes would be gainers. 1 need not state more plainly their object. I think all whom it may concern will know at a glance that many such who parade the front of our shops are those who come out late under pretence of shopping, sheltering themselves under the wings of those shopkeepers who do not yet adopt the early closing. In many cases they discover when their husbands are at home that some little article of drapery is required, and the husband is left with the children ; and often, if you could see it, there is a bag—it may be a fancy one—often enclosing another article—viz , a bottle, which they can get filled at the grocers. Ho keeps open late. It is all right. It is quite respectable; plenty of people out late shopping. Will those friends help to remedy this pernicious vice? And how is it to be done ? Simply shopping early and with those tradesmen alone who close early, and let there bo a marked distinction between, and avoid entering those shops and so mixing and supporting those persons. By so doing you will help many, and the community at large will be thereby benefited.—l am, etc., Farmer. Dunedin, September 21.

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Bibliographic details

EARLY CLOSING AND INTEMPERANCE., Evening Star, Issue 8019, 23 September 1889

Word Count

EARLY CLOSING AND INTEMPERANCE. Evening Star, Issue 8019, 23 September 1889