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TOWN AND COUNTRY.

The English Mail. —The Albion which arrived yesterday, only brought the news of the mail as contained in the Otago papers; the mail itself will be brought by the Prince Alfred, which is due this morning Acclimatization Society.—A meeting of the Council was held in the Mechanics' Institute, at two o'clock liast afternoon; but owing to the attendance being so small, no business was entered into, and the meeting adjourned till Wednesday next, on which day, we are informed, the society will proceed to consider the propriety of purchasing some of the alpacas which are to be sold in New South Wales, on the 23rd of next month.

Lectdres. —Last Tuesday evening a lecture was delivered by. the Rev. G. Cholmondeley, on Arctic Voyages, by the kind permission of Messrs. Knight and Co., at their large store in the Ferry road. The Rev. gentleman gave an interesting sketch of the various expeditions which have been sent to the northern regions, illustrating his subject by means of a large, clearly defined map. The attendance was rather a numerous one, and the audience appeared to be highly gratified with the lecture. An unanimous vote of thanks was passed to the lectuier for his able and spirited address. At half-past seven o'clock on the same evening, a lecture on Animal Physiology was delivered by the Rev. W. J. Habens, in the Mechanics' Institute. Notwithstanding the severity of the weather, the attendance was pretty numerous ; but this is mainly attributable to the very important nature of the subject which this able lecturer had selected as his discourse. Mr. E. B. Bishop occupied the chair, and in a few prefatory remarks introduced him to the audience. Throughout the discourse, which was a highly instructive one, the utmost attention was paid by all present, who gave testimony to the manner in which they appreciated the remarks by loudly applauding the lecturer. Yesterday evening a lecture was given by the Rev. Charles Fraser, at the Town Hall, on the subject of of the Holy Land. The lecture was given for the benefit of the Christchurch Young Men's Christian Association. Owing probably to the inclemency of the weather, the attendance was a very limited one. Mr. George Gordon occupied the chair; the meeting was opened with prayer aiid the singing of the hundredth psalm. The Rev. gentleman gave a most interesting and graphic description of the land which will to the end of time be known as the „ Holy Land, illustrating his lecture by reference to various maps and plans. He conveyed to the • minds of his audience a vivid idea of Palestine, contrasting its small size with the important part which it has always occupied and will always continue to occupy in history, the whole extent of Palestine proper being not muqli lorger than the province of Canterbury, to which, in Us physical features, it bears a striking resemblance. In the proportion which its size bears to its importance, it might be compared to Rome, Carthage and to our own land of Britain, which one and all occupying such a restricted territory have exercised such a powerful influence in the history of the world. A vote of thanks to the lecturer was unanimously carried, and the proceedings of the evening terminated with the singing of the Doxology and the pronouncing of the Benediction. Dinner to J.H. Ward.Esq—On Wednesdayadinner was given to this gentleman by the workmen at his establishment, the Canterbury Brewery, on the occasion of his departure for England by the Mermaid. Several toasts were proposed *nd duly honoured, kindly allusion being made to the uniform good feeling which has always existed between the employers and flie employed. Foresters' Dinner.—The anniversary dinner of Court Foresters' Retreat took place at the Papanui Hotel on Tuesday last. A numerous company sat down to an excellent dinner, and the conviviality of the evening was kept up with great spirit. Princess' Theatre.— Yesterday evening, the comedy of " All that Glitters is not Gold" was produced with a change in the cast of characters since it was last played, Mr. Manly taking the part of Stephen Plum, whilst Mr. Pollock took that of Frederick Plum, which had been hitherto played by the former gentleman. Miss Aitken was Martha Gibbs. in which part she was as successful as ever, whilst Miss Kate Grant .represented Lady Valeria with ranch ability. The drama of Gilderoy was produced for the first time, Mr. Manly taking the part of the hero, and Mr. Shiels that of Jock Muir, which lie rendered with much skill, and with which he highly amused the audience. Lillias Logan, the heroine of the piece, was successfully played by Miss - Kate Grant. The remaining r6les were very creditably sustained by the other members of the company. Fire—On Wednesday night last a fire broke out in the Ferry Road, in the house occupied by Mr. Kerrison. It appears that some of the children set the room in which they were in the habit of sleeping on fire. Theflan.es soon spread until the whole cottage was burned nothing of it being left but the sod end-walls and chimneys. The neighbours rendered all the assistance in their power i„ saving the contents of the house. The inmates succeeded in escaping, but great'fears were en ei tained at one time for the safety of some stacks of grin which were standing in the yard,the more ,» the wind was blowing strongly at the time. iLItX fire was r « to , .h»,. Mr. Kerrison, who is a heavy loser j tunate occurrence. A „ TherUßll to the Timaru to the Wakamarina. nfW _„ Pelorus diggings still continues. u,n er tfa men are constantly going northwards past the Temuka. A great number of pedestrians, furn^ with swags, have taken the same route. Ito. tending diggers are mostly of the f seem to bo well supplied with stores. Upwards or 100 men, having 70 horses with them have passed along the road during the last few da t > . , lottery.

Akauoa Post (iFKici;.—J. Badeley, the bite Postmaster of Akaroa, has been arresiei! on a charge of feloniously concealing letters. It appears that a number of letters have been found in the Post-office on which he had been .paid the postage, but had applied the money to his own use. He was to he brought before the R.M, on the 18th inst. Ki.kction ok School Committke, Akauoa.—A meeting convened by K. llowe, Esq., M.P.C., was held at the Sch wl-house, Akaroa, on the evening of the 16th inst. Mr. Rowe was called to the chair and read to the meeting a letter from the Chief Educational Board requesting him to take steps for the appointment of a committee in Akaroa, to correspond with the Chief Board on all subjects connected with the school in that place. After some discussion, the following gentlemen were appointed:— Messrs. R. Rowe,G. Haylock, E.C. Latter, 6. Armstrong, and F. Guinness. Owing, no doubt, to the inclemency of the weather, the meeting was but thinly attended. Chicket at Akaroa—A match has been arranged to be played between an eleven from the Head of the Bay, Akaroa, and the same number of Akaronians, to take place on the anniversary of Her Majesty's birthday, the 24th inst. Mr. F. Pavitt of Robinson's Bay, has kindly allowed the use of his paddock for the players and their friends. Boating Club at Akaboa.—Several gentlemen, interested in the formation of a Boating Club held a meeting at tlie Commercial Hotel, Akaroa, on the 14th inst., when it was unanimously agreed that the entrance fee for intending members should.be three guineas, and the annual subscription two guineas per annum, with the following gentlemen as officers of the Club :—President, Mr. Weston ; Captain Mr.' B. Townsend ; Secretary and Treasurer, Mr. Geo. Kirton. A boat was ordered to be obtained from Mr. Chandler, of Hobart Town, through Mr, Thos. Ockford. We hope this club will carry out what they have begun, as we have a great dislike to being bored with queries of " what has become of so and so," &c., &c. With such a magnificent sheet of water as the harbour of Akaroa to practise on, the members should be able after a short time to challenge any other club in the Province.

Gazettes. —The General Government Gazette, of May sth, No. 16, announces that Court ney Ned will, Esq., M.D., has been appointed surgeon to the Can-- 1 terbury Volunteer Rifles, vice Edward Batt, Esq., M.D., resigned. The same Gazette also contains the balance sheets of the Union Bank of Australia, the Bank of New South Wales, the Bank of New Zealand, and the Bank of Otago respectively for the quarter ending 31st March, 1864. The Hawkes' Bay Government Gazette, notifies that " whereas it is expedient to call out for training and exercise the men of the Ist and 2nd classes of the Militia and Volunteers of the said Napier District" —they are accordingly called out for training and exercise.

The New Otago Ministry.—The following is extractedfrom the Otago Daily Times, of the 18th instant A message from the Superintendent wag read, announcing that an Executive had been formed consisting of Mr.- James Paterson, M.P.C., Provincial Secretary ; Mr. Henry Clapcott, M.P.C., Provincial Treasurer -, Mr. Henry John Miller, M.P.C., Secretary for Public Works, and Messrs. John Cargill,. M.P.C., and James Adani, M.P.C., without office.

Wellington.—By the Rangatira we have our files to the 19 th. We notice that the Wakamariiia gold fields have attracted a considerable number of persons from.this province, but it was considered the rush for the present season was nearly over. The merchants were very diary of sending goods to Havelock in the absence of reliable information. The Star of the South arrived at noon on the 19' th;' instant, with 200 returned diggers, who represented matters as in a terrible condition. The river had risen, and claims were being perforce Robberies with violence .were very frequent. Amongst other instances of this, two men were robbed and beaten to such an extent that their lives were despaired of. Great numbers of persons were unable to.find employment, and the distress was very great. The meeting of the Provincial Council was fixed for the 25th instant, but a 9 the Superintendent is in Wanganui, and will probably remain; there for some little time longer, the meeting will be delayed. Wellington, for the first time, has made the highest score in the Provincial prize firing, Wanganui having hitherto carried off that honour.

The Sandwich Islands. —We have received a copy of the Commercial Advertiser, published at Honolulu. The chief item of importance is the account of the funeral of the late King Kamehameha IV., which took place on the 3rd February last, with all due honor and ceremony. The attendance was very numerous; the funeral service was solemnized by Bishop Staley. according to the rites of the Episcopal church. The following description of the coffin is extracted from the journal to which we have alluded:—"The coffin, which was made by Mr. Fischer, was a most elaborate piece of wo'rkmanshipt of koa and kou woods. A heavy silver plate, surrounded with scroll work, and-surmounted with a>" crown, bears the following inscription : ' Alexander, Kalani-Kna-Liholiho, iolani-maka-o-iouli, kunuiakea, kukailimoku, Kamehameha IV., King of the Hawiias Islands, born February 9, 1834; succeeded to the throne December 15, 1854; died November 30, 1803,1 The engraving of this plate was executed by Dr. J. Mott Smith, and could hardly be excelled for beauty and finish in any Eastern city. The plate itself was east here by Mr. J. Hopper, and the whole shows that our.artizans can, when required, perform work not surpassed anywhere else." On reading the aei counts of this funeral ceremony and of the formalities observed on the occasion, it is difficult to prevent one's mind from recurring to the early description of Tahiti given in Captain Cook's voyages, which afforded us all so much delight in boyhood, and from contrasting the state of the island when Omai visited England, and was presented to George 111., with its present position of civilization, if not of refinement. The journal from which we have quoted is very fairly edited and printed. The Accidents in Theatkes—A deputation of the theatrical managers of the metropolis, specially' convened by the Lord Chamberlain, attended af his office on the 12th February, to confer with him on the subject of the late disastrous accident from fire, by which an unfortunate ballet-girl lately lost her life. The Lord Chamberlain, after stating why he had called the gentlemen together, said he wished to hear their opinions on two points—first the covering of the ground-lights or foot-lights, and also the means of enforcing npon the ballet-girls the use of a preparation, like the solution of potass, to prevent their dresses catching fire. An interesting conversation followed, in the course of which most of the managers expressed their opinion that it would be useless to make any legislation on the subject. It was also pointed out that the bullet-girls could not; he got to use a solution for rendering their dresses uninflammable. Several gentlemen described the. precautions taken in their theatres against fires. With respect to the means of egress from theatres in case of fire. Mr. Webster said he had been very much surprised at the leading article in the Times. Because a church had been burned they turned round at once on the theatres. It would have been m<>re to (he purpose if they had directed attention to the churches of this city, the door 3 of which were almost hermetically sealed. Several thousands of persons were sometimes in Westminster Abbey and St. Pauls' together, and if a fire occurred it would he impossible for them to get out; while every theatre had ten or twelve doors which could be made available at once for the exit of spectators. A letter had been written on the subject about the Olympic Theatre by some person who knew nothing of the subject. Now, he had been assured that that theatre when densely crowded, had been emptied in seven minutes. In his own theatre, if a fire took place, there were five extraordinary exits, besides large scene doors for the entrance of scenes and machinery, all of which could be thrown open. Besides those, he had two large doors opening outward, through which 2000 people had gone out in three or four minutes on a recent occasion on an alarm of fire in the next street. There was no music-hall in London that had any such facilities for exits as theatres. He thought it unfair that such places should remain unnoticed, and that people should turn round at once and find fault with theatres; Mr. Swanborongh explained the means of exit at the Strand; and Mr.

Falconer said that the means of egress at DrnryUiue were the'/best in London.—Manchester Courier, Feb. 10. [The subject is one of such importance that we feel il a duty to draw attention to it. The moans of egress in almost all our public buildings have been hitherto too much neglected, especially when the inflammable nature of the materials of which they are constructed are taken into account. It is almost fearful to contemplate the danger which might arise from a dense crowd attempting to escape from a building in case the alarm of fire should be raised.]

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Bibliographic details

TOWN AND COUNTRY., Lyttelton Times, Volume XXI, Issue 1239, 21 May 1864

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2,561

TOWN AND COUNTRY. Lyttelton Times, Volume XXI, Issue 1239, 21 May 1864

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