The City Council mooting in committee oi the whole was hi'kl hist night. There were no matters oi material inter-: liiser.ssed. excepting a proposal from Me IJo.ud oi Ivlucatioii to bring in a. Dill to make a hour two ;u:res at the buck of tie Wellcsleystreet school ;ivailal.lo as a pi ivgrounJ for the chihhvn. Out of the app'j.-.\nt> for the ollic-e of niosscngtr to tl-.o Coiuk-:!, Mr. Lovell was elo.;tod. A report of tho prooeclint's is pubhshocl in another column. We understand that the NY.tivo Minister has co'.ninunicatea v.ith the constabulary, instructing them to take evoiv humus iu their power to e:irry out tlie law in re_'.irJ to the sale of spirits at the •ju-uiii'.' native meeting. A number of natives -were in tnvn yostorj day investiii!,' in new blankets, v ilises* portj niaiiteaus. t S:c., preparatory to :i:ton-:liiiir the great native meeting. Fauk o' Orakef, his brother Hira te Jvawau, end a!v.".it thirty of the people of that settlement leave Auckland to-day, by the up Waikato trai:. for Whatiwliatihoe. Te llem.ua. the w,-!l known Mahurau-i jhief, also aeeov.p-Miie.s them. A ninnoer of tlie natives of the s-.-;tkinei)tat Te Keweti, Ivaipani, intenl t."> be present, accompanied l.y tlie chiefs, }[..;., :u. Vvjm.U.i, W ireliana, I'airama. K,r.vi Matu. .".nil lion Pairama. Hori Kerei Mou '..iiui. oi the r»:iy of Islands, has also express*! his mt-Mition of going up to the m^tin-. It is rumoured that C.ipt iir. 15:iriy, the tamous ex-emigration agent, i>: dtai:--?. i:i:iy be expeeted h'ere sliortTv. :\<<A wilf deliver some of his popular lectures on Personal Keminiseonees of his Jonrnevii: s at Home and Abroad. This is the gei.:'e::T.ui oi >.vi-.o:n it was maliciously ivp.jrte'd l':..:: he ]:ad covered a " lumbago lnine. " 111 the course of cutting d ..vi; t!:e rook Calliopu l'oint, for the pur; >.-;■ ijt making room for the new dvek. th- u ... k:no:i li.ive found a large i|Uautity of !i-i,it-. or woo.! i" tile intermediate state boUweu wood .ii'.J coal. .Many line specimens h..\e been procured, and it is intended that a number Oi them shall be brought over t<> A;:'!dand, all;' placed in the Museum as ■'.-,.;.> -ical cariosities. ° " ° We arc sorry to hear that .Iv.riiij the p-^ 1 «-cek .Mr. J. A. T.ole has been .variously i»He caught a severe cold, wiii.h a-i'eeted tlie lungs. Mr. Tole was ye.ster.i iy a uoo.l d«' better than he had been. Mr. K. S. Bush, who will represent the Government at the great native meeting'it Wkatiwhatihoe, which begins on MomlaV next, leaves by train for Alexandra to-day.
The annual meeting of the subscribers „„£ friends of the St. Stephen's Orphan Heme -as held last night. The Very Rev. £e Bishop of the Diocese in the chair The official report and balance sheet will bo found in our account of the proceedings in another column. His Lordship's speech will also be found in full. It contains a good deal of interest for the subscribers and the friends or relations of the children.
To "et to the new dock at Calliope Point from Devonport, by way of the beach, it requires not only a fair amount of calculation on the part of the individual who tries that route, but it is also necessary that he should possess courage and presence of mind in no small degree. For about iifty or sixty vards before reaching the dock the rock is almost perpendicular, and the water coming up to its base at high tide is pretty uecp For the convenience of the workmen, and those who are courageous enough to attempt the unsafe way, little ledges have been made (and some arc natural) on which passengers may step. There is only room for one toot at a time on all the ledges, so that in some parts it is rather awkward, and if tne passenger happens to have started on the pen - ous journey with the wrong foot, he will find, when he has got half-way across, that a considerable stride requires to be made with the left foot first when the right one is only available. Of course little iron bars have been inserted in the soft rock for the purpose of holding on by, but these for the most part are loose, and do not look as it they would submit to being put to even a Tery ordinary strain. This, however, will shortly be improved, as it is understood a sufficient reclamation will be made, so that access may be had without any trouble.
Getting butter out of a dog's throat is a comparatively easy operation to getting from absentees on their property in Auckland, as more than one secretary of a highway board can testify, such are the legal difficulties which crop out of conflicting Acts, and muddling legislation. In Puns mby, boards may be seen here and there posted on allotments notifying the owner of the allotment cannot be traced, and that the property will be sold after a given date to pay the rates and legal costs. Lately, a letter was received from au indignant ratepayer at Malta, wanting to know what "the little bill" amounted to, so as to avert forfeiture. Even ratepayers who arc not absentees, are not very anxious to sec the collector, but this is one of those phases of human nature which will not bear further scrutiny.
An influential meeting of tradesmen of Newton and its neighbourhood was held last evening in the Masonic Hall, Karangahaperoad, in connection with the early closing movement, whan an almost unanimous decision was arrived at that on and after Monday, May Sth, the shops be closed At 7 o'clock, p.m. An association was formed, of which Mr. Warren was appointed chairman : Mr: R. French, secretary ; Mr. Garrett, treasurer, and six gentlemen as a committee, with power to add to their number. Contributions were received towards defraying the expenses incurred. A hearty wish was expressed that all tradesmen would join in furthering the early closing movement.
Very general regret was felt in town when the tidings circulated yesterday forenoon, that Mr. George Aickin, civil engineer, had dropped down dead at his residence, Epsom, of heart disease. He was engaged in the morning, about 9.30, in sawintr some wood within view of his wife—a couple of minutes later, on going to the yard, she found him prone on the ground. Her first impulse was to raise him up, and ou discovering that he was deid, Mrs. Aickin called for help. A neighbour, Major Lambert, came over promptly, and helped her to remove the body of her husband into the dwelling. Dr. Goldsbro' was sent for, and speedily arrived, but could do nothing more than pronounce life extinct. Mr. Aickin ■was CO years of age, and was in the enjoyment apparently of good health. The cause of death was heart disease, and Dr. Goldsbro , , who had previous knowledge of. the deceased, was of opinion an inquest was unnecessary. Mr. Aickin leaves a family, some of whom are grown up. One son is in the Auckland Post-office Department, and another in the office of Messrs. -Boylan and Lundon, engineers. The deceased had a very extensive experience in his profession, both at Home and in the colonies. Thirty years ago he won the premium for a design of an institution for the Blind, in Birmingham. He subsequently emigrated to this colony, and held an important appointment under the Provincial Government of Canterbury. From Christchurch he removed to Auckland some years ago, and came into public notice in connection with the dock controversy, in which ha took an active part. He was the author of various dock schemes for this harbour, and of plans for widening Hobsonstreet and cutting down the point opposite Gteeson's hotel; also, of throwing a suspension bridge over the cemetery gully, to connect S3'monds-street with Graf ton-road district. He was occasionally employed in the City Surveyor's office when there was a press of work, and supervised the improvements in Albert Park. Latterly he acted as consulting engineer to various Highway Boards and County Council-;. H'i was so well known th-it the tidings of his appallingly sudden death will be received with feelings of general regret.
Although the immigration policy lias not been resumed and the increase of population in the city and province is solely the result of the ordinary uoiir.su of tilings, the building of residenees and shops in the former goes on unremittingly. In a!most every quarter of the city and suburbs progress is manifest, and where the people eo.no from to occupy these new dwellings, and the trade to justify the large extension of shopping accommodation, puzzles many. 'Die frontages of all the leudinj outlets from the city are now being devoted to places of business. On the corner of I lardingo and Drake-streets no le-s l.han wine shops, we understand, are about to bo built. Three at the corner for .Mr. Akers, three adjacent for Captain Daldy, and three beyond these again for Mr. Richard (Iraltam. The site was formerly a bank, but was cut down to fill up the hollow at the loot of Brake-street, opposite .Mr. Uiliington's promises. The shops will be two storeys in height, and of brick. The plans wore prepared by the late .Mr. .lames Wrigley, architect. On the opposite .side of the street, but lurther up. several .shops are in process of completion, and lower down Messrs. -Jagger and I 'ark.-r ar-; commencing the erection of a number of dwellings adjacent to the City Council reserve, ho that Drake-street, as "a leading outlet to City West and Ponsoubv, may ijc .-.aid to be looking up. -'•i.jssrs. T. A. Xorric and W. Cow proceeded by the s.s. Te Anau yesterday to Dunediu to resume their studies at. the OL-iljo University and Theological JJall. The owners of the open failing '■ oat Imp have refused to take up the challenge lo sail her against the Transit in the Auckland har-1-iour, but express their willingness to arrange at any time a race between the two boats, Provided it take place at Russell, Ray of Islands. The annual meeting of the members of the Auckland Agricultural and Pastoral Association is advertised to be held Friday next, the sth May, at -2 o'clock, in the offices of the as<-"-iation, for the purpose of passing accounts, l '.tion of a committee in the p'...ce of those re. ring, &c.
' The extreme of larrikinism was manifested in the Domain yesterday. When Mr. Percival, who has temporary charge of the weather and rain gauge on the knell, went to take the daily markings, he found that the instruments had been taken down by some person or persons who had entered the enclosure. They were laid apparently with care outside the fence. The matter was duly reported to the police, who were busy the whole of yesterday making inquiries. The result of these inquiries has not yet been reported to the authorities. It is to bo hoped that the mischievous people concerned will be apprehended and severely punished.
Croat interest is manifested in the athletic competitions which will take place at the Theatre Koyal during the Mace and Miller season. Competitions in wrestling, sparring, fencing, and other athletic exercises will be under the same rules as govern entertainments for trophies, in which the leading athletic clubs in Europe and America take part. All athletes will be attired in proper gymnastic costume. The performance will commence with the drama, "A Life's Kevsnge," by the Dramatic Company. The novelty of this double combination will tend to amuse those who are fond of the drama, as well as those who take an interest in gymnastic and athletic exercises. Several local men have promised to take part in the competitions, including Mr. Keesing and others.
In digging the trenches for the foundations of "the Bank of New South Wales, adjoining the Hekai.d Oflice, the contractor came upon some relics of Old Auckland in the shape of the lied of a creek which ran right up the hill towards Mills' Lane. Among other debris the men came across the timbering and palisading which had I:eon used to keep the banks of the creek from falling in. These traces of tiie pre-historie period were found ten and twelve feet below the present surface level. Not a little surprise was evinced yesterday morning by those interested in shipping matters, to tiud the barque Bella -Mary anchored out in the stream, when it was understood that she was on her way from Melbourne to the Kaipara in ballast, for the purpose of loading timber there. The reason of her unexpected appearance was soon made known, however. It appears that, on account of the severe illness of Captain Owens, it was considered advisable to come down to Auckland, so that skilled medical aid might be procured. The captain was ailing when he i arrived in Melbourne, previous to his leaving on April 10 for the Kaipara, and went to a liomceopathie doctor for advice, which he received. Whether the doctor had misunderstood the complaint, or whether the medicine prescribed had opened the pores of the body and rendered it susceptible to cold, is a matter of conjecture ; but the one or the other must have been the case, for shortly after leaving Melbourne Captain Owens was suddenly seized with violent pains, which, becoming daily more virulent, rendered him perfectly unfit to take charge of his vessel. He is swung in a hammock, and is perfectly unable to move any part of his body but the head. Dr. Moore was called, and he visited Captain Owens early in the forenoon, and instructions were left with the mate for the treatment of the patient. The doctor did not mention the nature of his illness, but the captain concludes, from the nature of the treatment, tli.it the disease is that of pleurisy, combined with very virulent rheumatism. The captain has many friends in Auckland, and doubtless many doors will be open to receive him, so that he may receive proper attention and treatment till his recovery.
In our report of the meeting of the Drapers' Association eight hour movement an error occurred in the narau of the president. It is Mr. W. 11. Smith, draper, Upper Queen-street, who is president of the association, not Mr. J. Smith, draper, Queenstreet. " The name given by Tawhiao to the bridge which spaas the Waipa between Alexandra and the King Country—Tawhara-kai-Atua— is somewhat puzzling, and the news from the upper country gives us no clue to the meaning. The word " kai " means food, and " A tan " is thu Maori word for ('-oil. The tawhara is the ilower of the kiekie, and it is also a sweet and delicious food, found in plenty in the depths of the forest. Tawhiao probably means that the tawhara, being a product of nature, and not the efioct of cultivation, is a food offered by Clod, which may be had by men free and without labour. So it will be with the bridge, which will be there for the convenience of whoever may want it. Therefore it is fitting that the bridge should be called " Tawhara-kai-Atua."'
Since that prince of Court jesters, Mr. Bars tow, retired from the Judicial Bench, the habitues of the Police Court less frequently enjoy the luxury of a hearty laugh during the proceedings of the Court. Mr. Edwin Hesketh, however, got off a good thing during the hearing of the prosecution eases against the Mount Albert and Newton Working .Men's Clubs, which is worth recording. He was retained for the defence, and it appeared that the disguised constable who trapped the defendants was named Plant. Mr. Hesketh archly remarked to the Bench, in allusion to this incident, "That he had his suspicions at the outset, that there was a 'plant' in both cases, and the evidence had only confirmed it !"
A sharp look-out is being kept by the crews of the ferry steamers and other craft plying up anil down the harbour for the body of Henry Webber, who was drowned at the North Shore last Friday. It is expected that it will rise to-day, or to-morrow at the latest, and if the wind continues to blow from the nortb--.:ast the body will drift over towards t'e ccnire of the channel, and will be sure to be noticed by those on board the steamers. The opening servicc.-i of the new Wcileyan Chinch, Ponsouby, will take place on Sunday li'.-vt, when services will be conducted by the liev. Thomas Spurgeon at 11 o'clock a.m., the Re-. Thomas 'Huddle at 3 p.m., and by the Rev. J. Robertson at 1i.30 p.m. Special collections will be made in aid of the ehure'n building fund. A soiree will lie held on the following Tuesday evening at U.:iO o'clock, in the I'onsonby ilall, and the after meeting in the church. Addresses will be delivered by various ministers and friends, and an eliicient choir will render some choice .••eketiuns of music.
The programme of the concert to be given by the I'onsonbv Cnoral Society, on Monday next, was published :■> ycLcrday's issue, and it fully ju.-,tiiie.s tlie opinion which iiad been expressed i>;_;.ti dinLf it, as to its variety and aUr.icliveucHS. All tiie leading ladyand amateurs of tin. district have b..-<-n iinpi-essed into the service, and the result, it is eoulidently antiei,ji:«ter., will be a pronounced success. It is understood that th« band of the Auckland Choral Society will render its valuable .■ssistance on the occasion. A grand amat'-ur dramatic performance will be oiven in the (Jhoi-al Ilall on Thursday evenin:.', the I 1-;h May. The cast includes all the leading tah-iit of Auckland. H. T. Craven's popular comedy, entitle.! " Meg's Diversion," is the />'"'■<: </<■■ r< .■.•;>-M//<r, and has been in active rehearsal for sometime, and the wln.le atl'air promises to be a great succi.-.-s. Full p,r,tieu!.trs will be .seen in future advertisements. At the Police Court yesterday morning, before Mr. J. K. Macdouald, R.M., one man was punished for drunkenness. 'I he amended railway time-table will be found in our advertising columns.
It has been the practice of too many for a long time to speak slightingly of the district to the northward of the city of Auckland. The soil has been denounced .is cold and barren, and so far as cultivation is concerned utterly worthless, and for a time people had come to believe in the truth of such slanders. Even many of those who have for a time resided there, have helped to give strength and life to the cry of the "poor North," by their mismanagement of the soil rather than in consequence of any defect in the soil itself, Even some of those who have lived there for many years, and who depend wholly for a living upon the increase of their cattle turned loose upon "the run" as it is called, without taking the trouble to provide food for their stuck upon purchased property, have been most energetic in the cry about the barrenness of the North, and the sure starvation which awaits all who go there. But this class arc not disinterested in their active depreciation of the district in which they make a livelihood, for they know quite well that with an inilux of population, and the general occupation of the soil, their halfwild cattle would not be allowed to wander at large as is now the case, and this result they endeavour to keep as far distant as they can by frightening people away from the district. Kut within the past few years it has been proved in many instances that the land formerly despised is capable of producing the finest qualities of fruit, fruit too of such a tender character as will not come to maturity in a cold and less genial climate than that which Auckland possesses. Matakana is one of the districts that was once despised as infertile and unadapted for general agricultural work, yet for several years that district has l>..'en gaining for itself no mean fame as n district capable of producing the finest qualities of fruit. We have received samples of what is grown in the orchard of Mr. J. E. Matthew, of the Matakana Nursery, and certainly they leave nothing to be desired in point of flavour, size, or appear- j ance. As to size, some of the pears are unusually large. There is a Deil weighing lib., a Catilae weighing lib. (sozs., a Napoleon weighing lib. .'jozs., and a Catilse weighing no less than 21b. 2ozs. These are magnificent fruits, and clearly indicate what the district is capable of producing. Mr. Matthews says, in the note which accompanied the samples, " The length of the fruit season, extending over more than one-third of the year, prevents showing the extent of our varieties. The fruit sent are by no means exceptional." There is no doubt that fruit-growing will be a profitable industry here if carried oui: with the necessary care and skill, bvit it is a mistake to suppose that everyone who can purchase a piece of laud has the necessary skill to plant, train, prune, and otherwise keep in the highest culture a fruit farm.
The fortnightly meeting of the Epsom Mutual Improvement Society was held on Wednesday last, at the usual hour and place. There was a fair attendance of members present. It was expected that a paper on "The Antedeluvians " would have been read and discussed, but the gentleman who was appointed to bring it on was unable to do so. A very interesting discussion, however, upon the subject, coupled with remarks relative to the Noaehian flood, was entered into, and upon which some of the younger members of the- society made some very telling observations. For some time past the operations of the librarian and the subscribers to the library have been cramped for want of room in the compartment of the hall where the books are kept, and in order to overcome the ditiieulty Mr. Gardner has generously ottered the society the free gift of the building, which is now used for the Sunday services, for removal ; and, further, he has given an extension of the hall site upon which to re-erect it as a library and reading-room, and it is the intention of the society to have a fire place constructed in the same, and to have it opened two or three evenings each week. The Sunday services, which are at present held in this building, will, after its removal, be held in the hall, permission to hold them there having been freely given by the custodians. It is expected that the sum of £"20 will be required to effectually remove and reerect the building, subscriptions for which will be thankfully received by any member of the society. The programme for the present session was then compiled (or prepared) as follows :—May 10, essay, "Sam Wellcr," Mr. I'\ Lawry ; 24, " Ancient Fiji .Life," Mr. Hause ; June S, "Anglo-Saxon Race,'" Mr. J. Cochrane ; June 22, "Amusements," Mr. E. Neal ; July 0, debate, '"Should legislation go in the direction of ultimately abolishing the liquor traflic as at present carried on ?" Affirmative, Mr. R. Mall ; negative, Mr. Trollope. July 20, essay, Mr. Courtenay, subject to be announced; August l>, essay, "On War," Mr. John H. Neal ; August 17, essay, " Napoleon 1.," Mr. A. Neal— to all of which the public are invited. The plans of Messrs. Chapman's and Goldwater's buildings, prepared by Messrs. Reals and Son, which were lost when in course of delivery to Mr. .James, contractor, Mount Albert, were found yesterday morning in a gutter near Mr. James' place by a boy, who brought them to the architects' oilice. The man .John Harris, who was recently brought from Tairua to Auckland and sent to the hospital, suffering from debility and paralysis, caused by exposure, was in a semicomatose state during yesterday, and it is doubtful whether he will now survive many days.
The Aitki.anii \\ keki.y Xi:ws this week contains portraits of Longfellow unci liarwin. with sh.-rt hioL-raphical slo t':lira : all the lou.il .-mil foreign news of the week ; latest telegrams, and cablegrams, f.-c;. Tin; usual till inns arc also well sustained, and all matters of inU-rc-st to tiie cnimlrv settlers will be fc.llllfl ill its p.lgcs. The members of Mr. Salter's Arb Union are invited to be prcH-nt at tiie drawing of prizes, to Im h.;M in Mr. Slodari's otlicc, Insurance litiildin^s-, this afternoon, al 1 o'clock.. Owners of billiard and bagatelle tables, and other amusements cif which tin: licen-es expire c,n the la-it day (if tlic present month, are reinindeil tliat if mlie.-nsed mi anil afu r the llrst of the following month they will he li.'.ble to a heavy penalty. The Auckland Timber Company, having decided to build another whl K to their arcady extensive i..-:talilis!ini.-]]t, announc; they will sell cheaply several lines of useful timber for general purposes, bundles of ,trips suitable fur gardeners, .te. We understand that a concert, preceded by an exhibition of views by limelight, will be given in tlio hall at N.. rtlif:«.t<i on .Monday evenint;. May Ist. Visitors ran proceed by the ferry lo Xortlicote at, fi.IQ anl 0 I 1) p.m., returning by special boat after tin; concert. The education district of North Canterbury are in want of an Inspector of Schools, and iuvite'application ac.-c.rilin,;ly. M.-ssrc. Vailt: ami Douglas will hold a sale of frci-hi.ld propeityon Tuesday, at the sale rooms, Sh:.r:i '.nd- tleet. William Sylvester Pulford, of Auckland, i..iini:i!..-.t. has "lih-d a statement of insolvency, and the !ii>! iiiretin-; or the ereditur.i in the estate is lixed al I I 0Y1.k.-I; ~n the fith .May. In another column will be found the times and places when the annual lieensin- meetiiiK.s are to be h-ld. They will be held in each licensing district in pi.vi- of at one pl.'ee as in former years. Auckland North is to be on the .Mil .lime, at the Temperanci' Hall ; Auckland So..th, on .June (I, at St. .lame.s . Hall. ; Auckland Kast, <m June 7, at the Police Tourt l.'i-h- trect: P.uucll, on .liuiu !i. at the lioroueh Council rhauib rs ; Takapuna, on June :'., at tin- li.vonport. Ilall ; on .lime J. at the I'riimiive .Methodist School, I'itt-street ; Craltonrcad, on .) ; :(, at tlie Wusleym School. Craftonroad; Xev.ma.ket. on .lime: r>, at the -Newmarket Hall ; Remnera. on .l.me -1, at tho. Church of Kn;;hnid School ; Arch Hill, on .lime !>. at the residence of .Mr. John .limes Creal North road ; Newton, on June.'.l, ;-.t Wariiock's Soap Works, ('ox's ('reek ; I'onsonby, oh Juno 10 at I'onsunby lliill ; -Mount Albert, on June 10. at the I'ulilic: Ilall; and Mount 1-Mt-n. on .lime l<l. at the .Mount. Kdcn Public School. The air.v<; an; the licensi;.* districts in the c ; ty or the ini-incdiat.-Kuliurlis. but the times anil places when the Hiim.al of the licensing ilibtricts further distaut are also given in our advertisement columns.
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