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Local Intelligence., Lyttelton Times, Volume XII, Issue 746, 31 December 1859
The Customs revenue for the twelve months ending this day turns out to be within a fraction of £30,000.
An error of dates crept into onr observations on Wednesday on the Governor's visit. It is only four years, not five, since his former trip to the south. A sudden and remarkable death occurred in this town on Wednesday morning. Mr. James Vaiuc, a member of the medical profession, and sometime engaged in the service of Her Majesty's Customs in this port, was found-dead in his house by a lad who called on business, early. He vr&a in a half kneeling position, his face resting on the bed, and the body was quite cold. The unfortunate gentleman had lately removed into the house, which was new, and which he inhabited alone. A coroner's inquest was held on Thursday, at which the medical evidence as to the cause of death indicated nothing but that it may have occurred from suffocation. The verdict was ' Died by the visitation of God.' This has been a remarkable year for sudden deaths, accidents, and offences.
We have thia week to make a record of festivities, as is natural at the time of year. The visit of h;s Excellency and two men-of-war, and the thronging shipping in our harbour, have given an unusual vigour to the gaieties of the place. On Tuesday last, the 27th, being St. John's day, and a festival among Freemasons, a grand ball was given by the Masonic body, in the Town Hall, Christchurch. His Excellency was present; so were the officers of the Iris and Niger; so were two hundred and fifty of the inhabitants of the towns and surrounding country. Of course the room was crowded, almost unpleasantly ; hut it was because the building was too small, not because the company was too large, It was peculiarly gratifying to m for once all classes amalgamating' in t/io enjoyment of the occasion, for such a sight has not'been usual. The room was handsomely decorated, and the supper liberally and tastefully provided; the music also was such as to do justice to the occasion j and when at four o'clock the next morning the phalanx of hooded and cloaked dames and damsels issued from the portico to regain their homes, there was an expression of thorough satisfaction on their countenances.
On Wednesday, Captain Newlands, the master, and Messrs. Miles and Co. the owners of the Boyal Bride, gave an entertainment on board that splendid ship in harbour, at which a throng of ladies and gentlemen from Christchurch and all parts of the plains attended by invitation. The pleasure of visiting such a handsome specimen of marine architecture was enough in itself to have attracted an equally numerous assemblage, without the dejeuner and ball between decks, which carried on the excitement. Both were got up in excellent style, the spacious apartment between the first and second main bulkheads, from forward, offering ample accommodation for the whole party. We do not make it a rule to indulge in descriptions of dinners, and there was, happily, no oratory; therefore, suffice it to say that the afternoon passed off most pleasantly, aud all on board had cause to be satisfied with the hospitality and obliging disposition of owners, captain, and officers. The Planet steamer took the guests to the ship and back again, making some half-a-dozen trips; some also made use of her services to inspect Purau bay and other nooks of the harbour. As the last band of guests was disembarking on the public jetty, about half-past eight o'clock, p.m., when it was pitch dark, a casualty happened which might have been serious. A young lady,walking along the jetty, stumbled over a boat laid at full length across it, tripped and fell overboard into the water. Fortunately by the gallantly and dexterity of some of those present she was rescued without delay, and by next morning ceased to suffer any inconvenience from the ducking. The circumstance leads us, however, to remark that to leave a boat or any lumber on a public jetty in the way of people who may have to walk either to or from a boat at night, is an act of culpable negli-
Yesterday, His Excellency held an undress leveo at Cliristchurch, of which the dry particulars are given elsewhere.
We understand that on Tuesday nest a match at cricket will be played on the Avonside ground between an eleven of that club and sixteen officers of H.M.S. Niger and Iris.
We perceive by an advertisement in our paper that Messrs. Luraley and Jones are to give an entertainment on Monday evening, said to he the last in Lyttelton. The exhibitions of legerdemain by the former of these gentlemen,and the histrionic efforts of Mr. and Mrs. Jones, have not commanded the success, pecuniarily, that on the whole they merit. We shall be glad to find them rewarded by a bumper house on Monday, on which occasion the stolid Sambo is to be metamorphosed into tho wieldev of the magic baton, Mr. Luinley supplying c converso the place of page. A good evening's entertainment is promised, not the least exciting part of which is the mysterious shawl trick. We learn from Pigeon Bay that some cattle belonging to Mons. Pierre Bernard of Alcaroa, 22 in number, valued at £200, have during this season been killed one after another in a manner which presents every indication of wilful and malicious conduct on tho part of some person or persons unknown. Steps are being taken to bring the perpetrators of this cold blooded atrocity to justice. A firo occurred in the neighbourhood of Akaroa, a few days ago, by which the ware of a man named McJenkins, living near tho Maori pah, sit Onuku, was burnt to tho ground. The firo originated from tho chimney, which was built of Manuka poles and clayed inside, catching the flames from tho hearth; in a few minutes the fire spread and consumed tho place. Nothing was saved, and even tho porsonal clothing of tho proprietor and his wife was consumed. The whaling ships which make Akaroa their rendezvous were beino- looked for. °
Tho affairs of limaru prosper. The town at the tune of our last letters was in a state of bustle and animation after the arrival of three vessels in port, with goods ana passengers. AmonJ the latter was the, Kov. Mr." Foster, whoit s nnder tne uibtuot. Iho Eev. gentleman preached hw first sermon on Sunday week last to aMcoLre! Rnbonina house given up for the oww&to discourse w» etoqutat aad calculated to Spw s
hearers who had boon many of them long unused to regular church attendance. It is gratifying to learn that tho church so long con tempi sited is now on the eve of being contracted for, and that its erection will soon bo commenced. Tho general character of the weather in tho district had been variable, and a considerable supply of rain had fallen, doing a groat deal of good to uvory description of cereal crop, now making rapid advances towards perfection. The post-oflice department at Tiniara has been entrusted to Mr. John Beswick at a convenient site for tho purpose. Notwithstanding tho flooded state of tho rivers, the postal communication overlaud has been maintained with singular regularity j Mr. Baines still keeps up his"character for energy and punctuality. Gardens round Timaru are growing into notice; one is to be mentioned exhibiting an excellent specimen of the horticulturist's labours; it belougs to Mr. J. S, Browning, and is a perfect model of neatness, combined with, luxuriance of fruit, flower, and vegetable productions. Situated where it is, it forms an oasis in the wilderness, and captivates the attention of every passer by. An inquest was held yesterday, at Eiccarton, before the Coroner, on the body of Joseph Richmond, who was drowned on Tuesday last, while endeavouring to cross the Rakaia. The evidence adduced showed that the deceased, who had a horse with him, had been put across the river from the north side, by Dunsford's man, in the punt; and that a quarter-of-an-hour afterwards,.when the punt had re-crossed, he was seen returning. Dunsford sent the man to the punt to go over for him, but deceased rashly ventured into the stream, was quickly washed off his horse, and life was extinct before the body. was recovered. The verdict was given in accordance with the evidence.
Local Intelligence., Lyttelton Times, Volume XII, Issue 746, 31 December 1859
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