LOCAL AND GENERAL NEWS.
A slight improvement in the condition of Miss Freda Fountain, of 290, Great North Road, and Mr. Eric Holiday, of 55, The Drive, Epsom, was reported by the hospital authorities last evening. Miss Fountain was one of the passengers in the motor-car which capsized at Archhill on Sunday morning, when Mr. S. E. Gordon sustained fatal injuries. Mr. Holiday was injured as the result of being run over by a racing motor-car at Muriwai Beach on Saturday. Both- patients underwent X-ray examination yesterday, but the exact nature of their injuries was not known last evening.
The Point Chevalier public school, which was closed through sickness among the children, was yesterday reopened. The definite cause of the illness has not been found, though bacteriological examinations are being made.
Green and red flags for starting and stopping signals respectively have been issued to railway guards and will in future be used during daylight hours-in place of the usual hand signals. The flags are small and can conveniently be carried in a small leather bag, which has also been supplied. The flags were first used in Auckland on Sunday.
A fire occurred at Papamoa yesterday afternoon, resulting in the total destruction of a dwelling house on O'Shaughnessy's farm, telegraphs our Tauranga correspondent. It is stated that the house was unoccupied.
When the question of a public library for Devonport was being discussed by the Waitemata Chamber of Commerce last evening, it was .mentioned that there was no possibility of getting assistance from the Carnegie Library trustees toward establishing a library in the borough.. It was then pointed out that the matter of a library in Devonport had not made much progress, for the old records of Devonport showed that the first free library in the Auckland province was established in Devonport in 1874.
"Is this tlio famous destructor site?" queried a member of the Mount Eden Borough Council last evening, when a plan of a right-of-way on an estate was submitted for approval, The Mayor, Mr. E. S. Potter, replied in the affirmative. " Then we must be very careful," replied the member with a smile. The plan was approved.
Community singing will probably be revived in Auckland for the coming winter season. At yesterday's meeting of the Rotary Club it was resolved to approach the Mayor of Auckland, Mr. J. H. Gunson, and ask him to convene a meeting of citizens with the view of forming a citizens' committee, with which the club would co-operate, without in any way taking charge of the movement.
What is a bungalow? To this question a naive answer was given in the Supreme Court yesterday, during the hearing of an action in regard to the sale of a Parnel] house. A witness had described the place as a " good, average, jerrybuilt house." Mr. Justice Herdman suggested that there were three types of houses—the good house, art bungalow, and a jerry-built place. Then it was that the term "bungalow" came in for discussion. The witness volunteered the information that " bungalow " was only a fancy name used to induce a purchaser to buy.
An inquest touching the death of Seymour Elmsley Gordon, the young man who was killed in the motor accident at Archhill early ; on Sunday morning, was opened before the coroner, Mr. W. R McKean, S.M., yesterday.- After • evidence of identification had been taken the inquiry was adjourned sine die. The body will be taken to Hamilton for interment.
The ravages of that destructive pest, the borer, were frequently referred to in an action in regard to the sale of a Parnell house, heard in the Supremo Court yesterday,. An architect stated in evidence that he considered the house in question had depreciated 20 per cent, from borer troubles. In the ordinary way, one per cent, per annum would b« fair depreciation for a house built of sound timber, apart from the borer. In certain cases in which ho had reported the existence of borer "to possible buyers, the deal had fallen through, or the buyer had used the borer to lever down the price. There were, he thought, very few timber houses of a certain age that were free from borer. Another witness said that in sap timber the borer spread marvellously. And, he added, every day it was getting harder to get heart timber.
Hie cruiser Chatham, which has been visiting southern ports since she left Auckland on January 24, is to return on Thursday. She was to leave Dunedin for Auckland yesterday. The warship will remain at Auckland until April 17, when she will proceed to Wellington, where she is due on April 19. At Wellington the Chatham will subsequently meet the British cruiser squadron, and she will escort the warships to Auckland.
An unusually large specimen of the gray nurse shark was recently enclosed in the trawl net, in a catch taken off Tiri Island by the trawler Serfib, which returned to tli-j harbour last week. The shark is l slated to have measured about lift, in length, and Captain Herbert, of the Serfib, who trawled for some years in the North Sea, states that shark in question is the largest specimen of that particular species ho has seen in New Zealand waters. Sharks have been fairly plentiful in the Gulf lately, according to reports from various trawlers.
The Cavell Company, of the Girl Guides, Epsom, held a successful garden fete and sale of work in the grounds of Mr. and Mrs. St. Clair Brown, Ranfurly Road "West, on Saturday. Mrs. W. B. Wilson, declared the fete open. The afternoon was devoted to competitions and physical exercises, while various stalls for the sale of fancy goods, produce, oddments, bran dips, ice creams, and afternoon tea were well patronised. The funds of the guides i/enefited considerably, as all the articles wero either the work of the girls, or donated by friends.
The winter cruise of the Melanesian Mission steamer Southern Cross will be commenced on April 25, and the vessel has gone into dock for cleaning and painting. The vessel will make calls at the jJew Hebrides stations, beginning at Vila, and proceeding thence to the Banks Group, Vureas, the Torres, Solomon and Reefs Islands. Captain A. H. Burgess will be in command.
One of the most productive game-rear-ing farms controlled by an acclimatisation society is that of the Whangarei Society at Maunu, which is managed by Mr. W. Parkin, a veteran game-keeper from England. He has received an order for 100 pheasants from the Auckland Acclimatisation Society to be allocated as follows :—Patetonga, Ngaruawahia, Taumarunui, Hamilton, 20 each; Rangiriri, 16; Te Ivauwhata, 4. There will still be from 130 to 140 birds left at the farm. In addition to the above 347 birds have been liberated in the district under the jurisdiction of the Whangarei Society, and the Auckland Society has already 'had 155. The birds are in splendid condition.