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Before leaving Dunodin this morning the Hon. James Allen, Minister of Finance, told a ' Star' reporter that arrangements had been made by the Government for paying off tin's month the balance of the loan (nearly three and n-quarter millions) that Sir Joseph Ward raised four years ago. The money for this repayment has been raised in London througu tin* help of the Imperial Government. Mr PauTin telephoned: Strong N.E. winds ; fine for about 24 hours ; some mist oil the East Coast.

A Gore message states that the. eleventh annual Bible Claas Summer Conference of the Presbyterian Church was officially opened on" Saturday evening. Addresses of welcome were given by the Rev. J. M. Simpson (local Presbyterian minister) and Mr G. J. Anderson, M.P. The Rev. Henrv B. Gray (president of the conference) "replied. Mr Fraser Barton, organising secretary, also spoke. He started that 767 members "had been registered to date, which constitutes a record. Ho read Christmas greetings from various parts of New Zealand, and staled that at least ICO of tho best young men connected with tho Bible classes were not present on account of having responded to tho call of King and country. Approximately 300 Biblo class boys had gone, to tho front. The church services yesterday were largely attended, and Bibki study was proceeded with to-day. An inmate of the Benevolent Institution writes to us saying that the old ]iecpl« wore provided with a. splendid dinior on Christmas Day. An excellent tea ivas n!«o supplied. Th« inmates are very grateful to Mrs Mee and tho others who did so much to make Christmas Day pass so pleasantly. The ferry steamer Wahine conveyed the record number of 814 passengers—of whom 580 were males—to Lyttelton from_ Wellington on Thursday " morning. To accommodate the huge crowd shake-downs were made in every available corner. The vessel carried only six passengers less than the license permits. Here is a story from a London paper about a War Office clerk :—An officer was reported missing, and then killed. He got back to England by a roundabout route, vent to Whitehall, and personally assured the War Office that he was alive. The official gravely informed him that his statements would be inquired into ! The other morning (states the 'Dominion') tho unusual spectacle of a young Ctrl about 18 years of age masquerading in male attire was witnessed at Petone. Calling at a hairdresser's saloon, she expressed a desire to have her hair cut. Upon the barber, who guessed that something was wrong, refusing, she stated sho would cut it off herself. Sho tried another saloon, where she was shorn of her tresses, and took the 8.40 train to Wellington The girl is a stranger to Wellington, and nothing is known of her. It was only a fortnight ago that a scaling anil whaling party from To Awaiti, Marlborough, which is on Campbell Island, hcaid that war had broken out between Germany and Great Britain. The news was taken to the islands by the. Amokura, rind nearly all the men at onco expressed a great desire- to go to the front. All the members of the party are well, but have not had the nest of lurk in whaling during the past season. They arc now going in extensively for sealintr, and report- successful catches. By their contract, they must remain on tho islands until 1916. With the erection of the Convent- .School recently at Port Chalmers tho improvements contemplated hy Father O'Reilly wci'o not. completed : in fact, they may be said to have only then commenced. Further improvements have been effected this summer. The- wooden fence in front- u! the church and its adjoining buildings has been removed, and superseded by a very sightly structure consisting of a concrete, foundation wall carrying wroughtiron railings, the gates being of tho same material, in a pleasing design. The grounds have been laid out artistically, and altogether tho surroundings uf St. Mary's Church are pleasantly improved.

Tho total booking.-, at tho Dimedin Railway Station for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Dav wens 15.213, as against 15.660 for the same day? of last year. The decrease this year is attributable to tho less of traffic to the regatta, at Port Chalmers. This year 973 travelled to Port,, as. against. 1.693 last year. The. number of people carried to the Wingatui races on Saturday ("tailed 3.629, and to-day tho number came to 2,697. On tho first, day of last year 3,640 travelled to Wingatui, and on the second day 2,703.

New season's photographic goods: Excellent stock now arriving from 6s. Send your orler early to H. J. Gill, 11 and 13 Frederick street, Duneilin. 'Phone 1,144. -[Advt.] Watson's No. 10 is a little dearer than most whiskies, but is worth the money.— [Advt.] A glass of Speight's beer at lunch nncl Clipper is better than all toe tea in China. — [Advt.] Troubled with insomnia? A glass of Waipou's No. 10 makes a splendid nightcap.— [Advt.]

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Evening Star, Issue 15686, 28 December 1914

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Evening Star Issue 15686, 28 December 1914

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