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CURRENT TOPICS

NEW YEAR’S EVE. There was nothing particularly exciting about the conduct of the numerous people who celebrated New , Year’s Eve in town last evening. Many turned out as a thanksgiving for the cessation of extremely unpleasant weather, which, with the unreasonableness of the elements quartered in Wellington, blew from the north or thereabouts. , The actions which go to prove that people are enjoying themselves wcre.no more lacking last night than they were a week ago, and the expressions of gladness were similar. A largo number of people, following ancient custom, faithfully saw the old year out and heal'd the post-office clock strike twelve. Bands also observed the ceremonial dispatch of December 31st, and hailed the smiling morn o' January Ist with loud blasts. BUILDING OPERATIONS, Despite the depression which existed last year building operations were fairly brisk throughout the twelve months, the estimated value of work carried out in that period amounting to £305,890. In all 520 permits wore issued by the City Council for permission to erect, alter or extend buildings. Tho estimated value of work in the various districts was af

The foregoing figures show very clearly that the Melro'e district is being, built on very rapidly, nearly the whole of the £IOO,OOO being for the erection of dwelling houses. In the city proper many new buildings have sprung up during the ■ year and the older buildings are gradually being replaced by up-to-date modern premises. If the same rate of progress oontinuea there will bo very little “ancient Wellington’’ existing in ten years' time ’ VITAL STATISTICS. Last month there were 147 births registered in Wellington, compared with 209 for tho corresponding.period ju 1008; there were 84 deaths as

against 03; and 112 marriages, compared with 123 for 1908. During tho twelve montlio just ended the totals were as under, the figures for the preceding year also being given : 1000 1903 Births 2075 2131 Deaths ... ... 830 74-1 Marriages ... 1030 1070 There were 240 marriages celebrated in the Ke-gritrar’s office during the year, compared with 237 in 1008. in comparing the death statistics, which show a considerable increase for 1000, it must bo remembered that the Penguin wreck was responsible tor 74 deaths, thus swelling tho normal figures considerably, THE WEATIXJ3U. Holiday-makers and -others are no iloubt interested in Lo-tlay s weather prospects, and Lire Kev. D. b. Da cess forecast can not he said to be rcassiuuig. His prediction fur to-oay is ‘‘btron-g southerly', with rani, and soideir weather.” During the twentylour hours ended «ut 0 a.in. yesleida\ 55 points of sain fell in Wellington, ami from 9 a.rn. to 5 p.m. 01 points, or nearly 1 inch, were recorded. thus ■jn thirty hours nearly !)• inches of rani fell, equal to practically LA) tons of water per acre, so that the ground received a- considerable soaking. THE BARTON CASE. Commenting upon M-otonuaii Burtciis ca*e tho “-.Napier Telegraph ’ remarks;— The Wellington C‘uy council comes very badly out of tUo Parliamentary inquiry into the case of Alotortnaii Barton. This man was injured while in tho employment of the City Co mi oil. The City Council had him insured, in common with ail its other employees. It was the duty of tii o City Council to compensate him, either direetbs or by seeing that the insurance company paid the money secured by the insurance contract between the company and the City Council. The latter body not only did not compensate him, not only did nob seek to compel the company to pay tho money it was liable to pay apart from its insurance contract, but it connived with the company in an arrangement by which the latter —ex gratia, as it is with futility saidpaid to Barton £5150 after taking from him a legal undertaking to repay the company if he .succeeded in inducing tho Government to compensate him. The company does not seem particularly blamable. As a business _concern it sought to protect its shareholders. It is the AVellington City [Council that has been at the bottom of tho whole miserable business. Tho member for Napier, in his comments in the House upon the position, spoke Very fairly -and properly when he said that tho City Council had sought to get rid of its just UkbiTity by making «n arrangement with the insurance company. That puts the whole case in a nutshell. NEWS NOTES Railway authorisations passed by Cabinet yesterday for immediate expenditure totalled .£71,900, and the expenditure of .£I4OO on, material for public works, ,£2OOO for extension of asylum buildings, and .£30,000 for permanent way material was approved. Detective Connolly yesterday arrested & man. on a charge of stealing =£2 at Auckland. A woman, was also brought down from Hastings in custody, charged with theft of £8 at ‘Wellington. Both will be brought before tho Magistrate this morning, Tho Hocowhenua Agricultural and Pastoral Association will hold its fourth annual show at the Bovin racecourse on Wednesday, February 9th. Competitions of all classes are provided, besides the usual classes in pigs, sheep,-cattle, horses, etc. Schedules can bo obtained from tho eecretary. Nominations close on. Saturday, January 22ud. Frederick Bliss Nicholson, chief officer on the Orari, was convictd at Auckland yesterday of having harboured and concealed on a vessel uncustomed dutiable goods—nineteen mackintosh overcoats. Ho said he had no fraudulent intent, and had not declared the goods because he was not quite clear how to do it. He was fined £25. A serious mortality has affected a dairy herd at Mangawhare. Five valuable cows have succumbed during the past week. The symptoms point to poisoning through tho agency of pasturage (writes the Dargaville correspondent of tho. '‘New Zealand Herald*’}. The uuimuls are.,affected in the hind legs, and post-mortem examinations have reveailcd peeliug’of .the membrane of the stomach. The Stock Department has, been communicated with, and has notified that a veterinarian is proceeding to the district \o investigate the outbreak. Mr F. King, who is engaged carting wheat from. Kaverina to the Echuca <Victoria) railway station with a bullock team, has had several of his bullocks «hotl owing to‘their suffering fromfeet (says the “Melbourne Age ). iuo performance proved exceedingly interesting to the many spectators who witnessed it. The bullocks were first roped, and an effort made to hold them etandtng, but this proved ineffectual. lho> were then thrown and heed secure!}. The hoofs were very hard, and holes lor Mae nails had to be drilled. , Tho twonty-riovonth annual meeting of the New' Zealand Educational Institute will be held this year ,‘n 'Vellmgton. Tlip nine' l of meeting is tne laigq a>sembly hall in the Y M.C.A. builclmgs. Representatives from the fchutecn d.s trict institutes of the Dominion will bo present. The official welcome by the Mayor will be given at 10 a.m. next I’uestlav. Mr Tl. Lee, chairman of -he Wellington Education Board, and Mr T. It. Fleming, M.A.,' LL.B., Chief In-spec-tor of Schools, will also speak. 10 president of the institute tins year is Mr G. W. C. Macdonald, headmaster of the Maeandrew road school, Dunedin.

The Samoan colony in Suva (says the “Western Pacific Herald” of November noth) ha* been in mourning during tho last week or so for tho death of a liand»;onio woman named Snrioli, reported to bo no less than a granddaughter of the famous chief Mahotoa. The Samoana hero are all most assiduous attendants the L.M.S. Church, but for several nights after the funeral they stood “watch and watch” in the death chamber to sco 'Samoli's “spirit return.” This psychological event appears to hare happened towards the end of last week, and there were, in consequence, groat doings in tho Samoan quartier on Saturday, ICogs of salt beet, yams, fish, cocoanuts *nd taro in abundance tvdd of a forthcoming feast, and there wis a very marked and jubilant air of anticipation along what has been crstwh.Uo called tho “Barbary Coast.” On Saturday afternoon the Samoans “of the baser sort” squatted on the grass in Gladstone road and the patricians occupied doorsteps ■ and verandahs. Several “fathers in Israel fare length addresses, with much ge&icUation, and there was a continual handing over of mats and tappa, to friends, this latter being the ceremony known .as io tonga (“toga”?). In the evening the foass took place, and it were an idle tale to tell of the rapidity with which tho viands disappeared. A verv interesting “ Handbook for the People” has just been issued by the "New Zealand Times” Jobbing Department on behalf of Mr John Young, in which he sets forth analytically, and with full reference to authorities, a largo number of very interesting facts about metallic money and paper currency. The book can be obtained at all booksellers for one shilling-

The return fare- to Petono in connection with the Trotting Club’s meeting I o-day is lid. Tho Minister of Marine (the Hon .1. A. Millar) lias been approached on behalf of tho-e interested in the late ol lac missing -learner Duco and the rcialalives of those who accompanied tho vessel, with a view to having the outly-i-1- islets of the Chatham* searched for any trace's of castaways. As the Kippio is hi leave Lyttelton' on Monday lor the l.hutiinms it "is suggested that that vessel could be engaged to make the search. A lender was accepted hy Cabinet yesterday for the erection of a_ post office at llui.s to replace the building destroyed by lire. Tenders wore also accepted lor I he construction of the Tangahoe viaduct and plate girder work for railway bridges in Ibe Nelson district, railway construction between Xgahcre and Blackball, and tiie erection of a post office- at Wairoa, Hawke’s liav. Tenders were ordered to be called for the erection of a bridge on the Big Wanganui (West Coast). Following are tho Wellington Customs returns and heer duty for the terms fust eoneluded, with the figures for the cor-re-.pending period of 1908 in parentheses ; —(juarter 'Customs revenue, <£172,501 11- Rd (.£185,383 U- 8d); beer duty. .£3700 (Is cd (.£3833 9s 10d)j excise duty £BOO 12s Id (£303 8S sd). Month of December —Customs revenue, £(10,158 10s 10d (£011,422 Os lOd); beer duty, £lsOl 10s 3d (£14(10 3s Kid); excise duty £IC2 12a 2d (£7O 4s). The Customs revenue, beer duty and surtax collected at Wellington during the past week totalled respectively £10,938 Os 7d, £228 10s Od and £240 12s 2d.

The report from Christchurch that a married man named floury Cranley jumped into tho sea off tho turbine steamer Maori last night is entirely discredited by the officers and the chief steward of that vessel. llrero was, as a matter of fact, no one on the passenger list of that name. Invtlier, any reasonable individual who had witnessed another person jump overboard would at once have reported the matter to the officials on board. No report was made to any responsible member of the ship’s company. ihe statement that tho missing man had been asked his name on the Wellington wharf is denied hr the constables who do wharf duty at Wellington Iho police are not a little interested in the .'-.range story.

TTie Lux Light Company wish it known that the Lux Incandescent Kerosene Gas Lamps give the Cheapest and Most Brilliant Light on Earth, bee Te Aro House, Bates and Lees’, Warded Bros,’ Leydon and Co., Caterer and Carey, K. Pearce and Co., it. Hannah and Co., Petone Workshops (where Lux replaced the latest devices in lighting). House Lamps 22s 6d. Lamps up to 2UUO candle-power. 35, 37, 39. Old Customhouse street’ (back of Opera House), Wellington.

follows:— £ City ... ; '... ... 197,767 Melrose ... 100,033 Wadostown ... ... 1,815 Northland 6,275 Total £305,890

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Bibliographic details

CURRENT TOPICS, New Zealand Times, Volume XXXII, Issue 7015, 1 January 1910

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1,928

CURRENT TOPICS New Zealand Times, Volume XXXII, Issue 7015, 1 January 1910

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