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Yesterday evening a varied treat was, provided at the Princess. Theatre, comprising— " Robert Macair," "■ ~'£ PracticaVMiii," and "Thfi Loap of a Lover.? Miss Julia Mathews, Mrs Holt, and Mr George Fawcett, did ample justice to the parts allotted to them, and the performance: throughout was in the highest degree pleasing but the attendance was^not so good as the attractive programme would have j ustified one in anticipating. v . ; , ' A full Committee Meeting of the Caledonian Society (not one member being absent) assembled at M'Cubbins Otago"Hotel yesterday evening, to make final arrangements for the second annual gathering appointed to take place on the Ist and 2nd of January next. The order of the various games advertised with the additiou of quoits was resolved upon for the two days, and judges were appointed to decide the awards of the prizes to competitors. The Committee were highly gratified with the prospect of success in the anticipated sports.

We call the attention of those of our readers who are interested in turf affairs to the programme of the Qtagp J^ocky Club Meeting, which appears in, our columns of this day.' It will be found particularly valuable in its items,, and liberal in its arrangements ; nor need any straightforward sportsmen complain of the chances afforded them, for there are capital openings given to second and thirdclass as well as to first-class horses. Although the races do not come off until the middle of March, this early publication of the "events on the card" must be considered a great boon to stud-owners, inasmuch as they now know long before hand exactly what is worth their while to complete for, and have nearly three . months allowed for requisite training. We are informed that His Honor, the Superintendent, has accepted an invitation to bd present at Mr S. Jones' Annual Old English Sports, on Boxing Day, and that special arrangements will be made for the reception of himself and party in the centre box of the Monster Stand. Amongst the "fun of the fair" that will take place, so as to remind us: of. similar holiday frolics in our dear old antipodean home, there will be a foot race for women, a friend of Mr Jones ■ having offered a handsome bonnet as first prize and a plentifully be-ribboned cap as second' prize. Another gentleman,- carried away by his recollections of the Club Feasts in. his native country, has presented two beautiful "baby dolls" as premiums for a similar trial of "the light fantastic toe" amongst young girls; nor will the masculine juveniles be forgotten in the list of pastimes drawn up more specially for the amusement and beneßt of their elders. We notice, also, that tenders are advertised to be received by to-morrow evening, at trie Provincial Hotel, for the right of carrying on Aunt Sallys, Three Sticks, Nine-pins, Toy Stalls, and similar customary privileges of Greenwich Failnotoriety.

The Supreme Court sat yesterday, and two causes we disposed of. In the first—John Rattray v. Abraham Moses—the plaintiff claimed L 99 odd on account of the misconduct of the deiendant in dealing with 24 tubs of butter placed in his charge for sale. The Jury, not only found a verdict for the plaintiff for LlO7, but the Judge directed that the defendant should be taken into custody, and be prosecuted for perjury. During the day, however, the defendant was liberated, the bail for which his Honor stipulated having been offered and been approved of,.by.'the Registrar. The other'case, J. W. Dyer^v.1 M'Clean'and Gregg,' was a claim of L3O, on the ground that a quarter-cask of sherry, sold as Amontillado, and for which the plaintiff

had paid, was not only not equal to sample, l&t was really '-no sherry at all." The defence simply was, that -there was no mention of Amontillado ; and that what the plaintiff returned was part of a cask of confessedly inferior wine, sold for Ll 6, at" the same time as one of Pons de Leon was sold for L 25. The jury, believing this version, found for the de«fondants'on all the issues. Two other causes: set down for trial before the Christmas vacation, were postponed by consent; and theCourt was adjourned to Monday, the 4th January, when the same panc-T of common jurors will have to bo in atteudance at eleven o'clock.

By the City of Duncdin, which left yester day, Miss Aitkin, accompanied by Mr Sluels, Miss Annie 'Morion, Mr W. K. Newton, and six others to^k their passage. to Christchurch, for the purpose "of opening a theatre in that city.

A scheme for supplying the City with water on the gravitation principle, has been devised by Mr Millar the City Engineer, and. Mr Hutcbinson the Engiueer of the Gas Works, and sub-sittcd to the Provincial Government, who have guaranteed six pur cent to-. a company carrying it out. The estimate is that a population' four times as numerous'asthat of Dunedin can not only be amply supplied with pure water, but that there.will bepower to spare to work maehiuery by thehydraulic pressure. Wo trust that a plan so< essential to health and comfort will'besuccessfully and speedily brought into opera-

Professor Parker;has engaged the' New^ Assembly Eooms at the Boyal George Hotel;, where he proposes giving a.novel entertainment. Miss Annie Beaumont a ballad singer^, and Mr William Cowell, a comic singer;, well known in Victoria, are announced a» vocalists. ■~-.'. \ - -,

We were yesterday . shown some extraordinarily large eggs; the produce of some Spanish fowls, the property of Mr Eeidj of PeKchefc Bay Jetty, fflve of them weighed one pVuodj the largest of them weighing a quarter of a. pound. The elliptical circumference of-tli£» monster egg was 8£ inches, and the circular measure 6^ inches. We believe these were somewhat aboyo the average size, the estimate., being six eggs-to the pound. The peculiarityof the Spanish fowls is, that they- seldom* ' evince a desire to sit, and with; the exception; of a short interval, if properly fed,. they,7layall.the year round. An estimate-may,,be? formed of the value Mr Reid attaches' to' this; species ot poultry, from the fact of his havingr given 20s each for them. We last week intimated that good prosiM6fcß« had been obtained by Ware and his par-5y on; the Adelaide quartz reef, West Taieriy and that specimens had been shown us, in ■which gold could be plainly seen with the unassisted eye; Four prospecting shafts had then been .sunk, each of: which gave evidence of a payable return for working. Since that "time;/ two more have been put down, with increased! assurance of success. The quartz is variable; in color full of veins, easily pulverised, Jandi the gold appears to be distributed pretty evenly throughout. The previous experience of, the widening of the reef downwards^ is. confirmed by the last explorations, which have been continued along it for 220 feet. Thewidth at the surface is about three feet, but it gradually widens, until, at the depth of IS feet, it measures five feet across, and the prospectors inform us that ..thus, tar it has increased in richness with the depth. Some be^a^iful apecimens of pure coarse gold' were sap.wxi «s v one weighing, apparently, upwards of a pennyweight, which, had been knocked out of some of ihe^Cjuartz. We understand tha prospectus of a company fer^working the reef, will be, published in a day orTfrsQ_^_and in the meantime a trial crushing is going to be made, to ascertain the probable return that may be anticipated. Another quartz reef has been discovered by the same party, the'particulars of which have not yet transpired.

A fresh feature is stated to have been dis--covered in the Land Bills, by which the present system of Hundreds appears to be virtually abrogated. The fifth clause except*, from sale all Rural Land " included or comprised within any license to depasture stock." It is contended that the depasturing licenses, whicliare granted to purchasers within Hundreds, come within the quoted designation—■ and, therefore, that either such licenses wilt have to be discontinued, or the land within Hundreds will remain locked up, from f sale. If this prove to be the case, the frain'ers of the Bills are not likely to gain much credi^ with the Provincial Council. It will amo'' anfc to an utter suspension of the present st em the more especially as by another c)' ause further provided that until- War< J aens are ap _ pointed, the right of pasturar c is to reraaia with the Runholder. Accord' mg to the version which is given it will be, impossil)le to elscfc Wardens without issn' ulg licenseSj and if the licenses be issued t> ae saleof the land will be stopped.

An advertisement appears in another coiumn ac>; now i e( igi n g the receipt of a:testimonial, ' anx j p urse o f sovereigns presented to • Mr ■*.. McDonald, by settlers and others at ti"*, Clutha, in acknowledgment of the satisfactory manner in which he fulfilled his duties as foreman of the works at Clutha Ferry. ... The following is a list of the gentlemen appointed by his Honor the Superintendent' to act as a Local Committee for the Province of Otago, to promote the purposes of the Exhibition and to act in conjunction with the Royal Commission. Similar committees have to be appointed in the other Provinces by their respective Superintendents. The Commissioners communicate with the NewZealand exhibitors only through' the Local Committees. We take the list from the., " Provincial Gazette": —Anderson, Archibald,/ Esquire, Inch Clutha; Baldwin, William,. Esquire., R.M., M.H.R,, M.P.C., Dunedin ;; Beetham, Richmond, Esquire, R.M., Queens--own, Wakatipu ; Beverly, Arthur, Esquire, Dunedin ; Birch, Thos, Esquire, M.P>C>/,l)an>edin ; Bortou, John, Esquire, J.li\,Bvock.ville ;; Branigan, St. John, Esquir*^. Jg^My, Dnnedih ;• Broad, Lowther. Esquy;^ R.M-. ; Brodie,-. George, Esquire,- M.HJB., M.P.C., Dunstan ;; Burns, Arthur John,, Esquire, J.PvM.P.C.j, Taieri; Calcutt, Thomas, Esquire, Dunediir ; Carrick, Alexander,"Esquire, Dunedin ;.-Clapcott, Bunter, Esquire, Popotunoa^ Cleve, Alfred, Esquire, Dunedin ; Croker, Edward, Esquire, R.M., Tuapeka; fAitton, William^ Henry, Esquire, J.P., Anderson's Bay; Day, Walter, Esquire, Dunedin ; Daniels, John, , Esquire, Dunedin ; Dewe, John, Esquire, ,•' R.M., Tokomairiro ; Driver, Henry, Esquire, } Duneuin; Dyer, William John, Esquire, •' Taieri; Every, Simon Frederick, Esquire, Silver Acres, Anderson's Bay; Fenwick, Fairfax, Esquire, J.P., Otepopo ; Ferguson, William, Esquire, Inch Clutha; Filleul, William Gabriel, Esquire, J.P r , Oamaru; Forman, Robert Henry, Esquire, R.M, Duuedin; Forsaith, Thomas Spencer, Esquire, J.P., Wakari-France, Henry, Esquire, Oamaru; Fulton, James, Esquire, J.P., R.M, Taieri -, FultOD, Francis, Crossley, Esquire, Forbury ; Gillies, John Lillie, Esquire, J.P., M.P.C. Dnnedin j Gillies, Robert, Esquire, Duuedin

Gtlion, Edward Thos, Esquire. Tokoiriairiroj; Gkeson, Michael Shevloclr, Esquire, M.P.CI, Moeraki; Hamilton, James, Esquire, J.Pi, Shag Valley ; Hardy, Johii, Esquire, M:P.C, Tokomairiro - p Hardcastle, Edward, Esquire, R,M., Mount Ida; Hassell, James, Esquire, J.P., Oamaru ; Hickson, John Smith, Esquire, E.M.; Holmes, Mathew, Esquire, J.P.; Hopkinson, Charles, Esquire, Moeraki; Hughes, John, Esquire, M.P.C., Weatherstone ; Ick, Charles Thomas, Esquire, Dunedin ; Jones, John Richard, Esquire^ J.P., Waikouaiti; Jones, Jathes, Esquire ; Jones, William, Esquire, Goodwood ; Jones, ShadrachEdward Robert, Esquire, M.D., Dunedin; Kilgour, James, Esquire, M.P.C., Rosslyn ; Kirkpatrick, ..Hugh, Esquire. Dunedin ; Leggatt, William Lube, Esquire, Moeraki ; Livingston, Alexander Robert, Esquire, Dunedin; Lloyd, George, Esquire, J.P., M.P.C., Green Island Bush ; Logan, John, Esquire, Dunedin ; Maitiand, James Pillans, Esquire, R.M., Molyueux ; Mansford, Thomas Anstey, Esquire, R.M., Port Chalmers ; Meiville, Frederick Louis, Esquire, Dunedin; Millar, John, Esquire, € E., F.S.A., Dunedin ; : .Miller, Henry John, Esquire, M.P.C., Oamaru; Morse, Henry.PorBon, Esquire, Dunedin ; Murison, J«mes,~ Esquire, M.P.C., Maniototo ; M'Glashen, Edward, Esquire, J.P., Dunedin ; M'Master, Alexander, Esquire, J.P., Oamaru ; Orbell, John, Esquire, J.P., WaikouaLti; Pyke, Vin-. cent, Esquire, R-M., Dunedin; Parker, Thomas Wiridle, Esquire, R.M., Oamaru ; • Quick, Edmund Edw. Colston, Esquire, Dune*dm; Redmayne, Thomas, Esquire, Diuiedin ; TEennie, Alexander, Esquire, M.P.C., Taieri; jßichardson, Frederick Hall, Esquire, Dune«din ; Robinson, Henry Wirgman, Esquire, iR.M., Dimstan; Rolland, James, Esquire, Inch Clutha• Sampson,, Lewis, Esquire, Dunedin ; Baunders, William, Esquire, East Taieri; Shepherd, John, Esquirej Inch Clutha ; Smith. James, Esquire, Tokomairiro ; Stevenson, William, Esquire, M.P.C., Taieri ; Tayler, Thomas, Esquire, Port Chalmers ; Thomson,- John Tumbull,Esq., C.E.,Dunedin ; Thomson, William, Esquire, J.P., Port Chalmers : Todd, Andrew, Esquire, J.P., Taieri ■; Turnbull, George. Esquire, Taieri; Webb, Charles William Craven, Esquire, Dunedin ; Webb, Joseph Syke3, Esquire, Dunedin; Williamson, Charles, Esquire, R.M.,' Taieri; Wood, John Nugent, Esquire, R.M.," Nokoimai; Worthington, Charles, Esquire, R.M., Waitahuna. Given under my hand at Dun•edin, and issued under the Public Seal (L;S.) »of the Province of Otago, this 16th day of JDecember, 1863,-^John Hyde Hakris, iSuperintendent." By .his Honor's command, T. Dick, Provincial Secretary. '

Mr Warden Hickson, under date 12th December, reports I—'VOn Thursday I visited the\ Eight Mile and also the Twelve Mile Creek, in company with Mr Harrison, the Gold Fields Road Engineer. The fluming <which I mentioned in my last report is very jnearly completed across the Twelve Mile (Creek, and it certainly does much credit to *he enterprising owners. I found also that a party had flumed the water across the Eight Mile Creek, near its junction with the Arrow, at a height of 35 feet, and span of 120 feet. The miners generally in this direction are doing well. The population of these two places I should estimate to be between five and six hundred. On Friday there was a very heavy fall of rain. The Arrow River rose to a .height of about 7 feet, and many were the iktXß that the last month's work would be ..eni&ely destroyed. lam glad to report that ,->h'ttte<or no damage has occurred on this river, ?but jl Slave heard very bad accounts from the 'j.Upper>Sb.otover."

Mr Warden Beetham, writing from Wakafctipuon the 12th December, observes :—" The 'Weather during the early part of the week i' fine. Saturday very rainy, andin consequence r the river was heavily flooded on Sunday. v morning. Considerable damage has been *.done at the Long Beach. The river backed V"up into the Afthuv's Point race, but fortui nately no serious damage was' sustained.

'.-Parties further up the river do not appear to ■1 liave suffered so much as might have been ex--7 pected. The beach holders on the east side of ? the river at Arthur's Point have nearly completed a large overshot water wheel, fifteen feet in diameter, for the purpose of draining their claims. The,wheel will have a leverage of nearly four tons when working, and I believe will fully answer the purpose reqm'red. Miners generally appear to be in good heart through the district." •

Mr Warden Robinson, in his report from Manuherika, dated 12th December, writes— " The weather during the week has been. ■omewhat severe on the mountainous districts, two men having been lost in a snow storm, and since found dead on the Old Man Range. Mining operations on the Manor Burn seem every week to be wearing a more lively aspect; and the confidence displayed by the miners there, in making extensive preliminary operations, speaks well for the future prosperity of the locality. A race which is to extend over fifteen miles is now being commenced by Jeremiah Drummond and party, and is expected to be finished in the course of 12 or 14 weeks."

Mr Warden Hardcastle, writing from Mount Ida, on the,l2th instant, remarks :— "Sluicing is becoming common at Vincent, and appears to pay satisfactorily. The weather continues variable."

Mr Warden Lowther Broad, writing Maori from Point, Shotover, under date 12th December, says " I have granted a prospecting claim on a quartz reef to Samuel Jones and three mates. The reef is situated at the head of the right fcand branch of Skippers Creek, and runs due rnorth and south. The specimens shewn me "were plentifully speckled with gold, and the '.prospectors anticipate a yield of from 15 to OZ3. to the ton. Two other claims have Ibeen taken up on the same reef, and I expect fhat the entire course of the lode will be speedily occupied. lam not yet in a position to state the extent of the reef, as it has not lieen traced for any great distance at present; but its parties flock to the spot for the purpose of taking up claims, the length of the vein will be more fully ascertained. I look upon this discovery as one of the highest importance, as anything like extensive quartz workings will give a stability and permanence to the district, which the fluctuations and uncertainties of river workings only, could never do. Machinery will be very difficult to conTey to the reef. The men intend therefore to construct wooden stampers shod with iron on the spot." " The past week was ushered in •with; glorious weather and the miners were •anguine of being able to work their claims efficiently, several paddocks were bottomed on the beach of Maori Point, and the yields were remarkably good. Scott's, Miller's, Sullivan's, Anderson's and Strachan's, parties may be mentioned as particularly fortunate, but on Friday the rain came down in torrents and before night-, the beach which had taken months of labor to expose, was a vast sheet of water. The extent of injury cannot bo yet aicertained. It is to be hoped hov/cver, that the.receding waters will relieve the most ierioiis of our apprehensions, and that the

walls of the United and Perseverance Companies will stand firm against the flood. A party of men obtained 166 pounds weight of gold from a terrace near Deadmans Poiut, at the commencement of the week, and I hear left for Dunedin after giving 15 ounces for a pack horse on which to carry their treasure. In addition to the quartz claim granted at Skippers, I have another application for a prospecting quartz claim at Pleasant Creek."

Mr W. Lawrence Simpson, officer in charge at Mount Benger, writing under date 12th December, says—" The weather was very broken in the beginning of the week, and on Monday snow fell. On Friday night the river rose several feet, and all mining operations on the banks have been suspended in consequence. The most interesting' information I have to record this week is in reference to dredging. The Miller's Flat Dredging Company|have now got their punt launched and the whole apparatus erected, and have made some very successful trials, and feel satisfied it will repay their labor. To-day I had the pleasure' of making an examination of the punt and machinery. On going on board I was struck -with the substantial nature of the structure and the good workmanship exhibited. The punt is about 15 feet by 21, with a strong rail all round, and in every way apparently seaworthy.: The machinery used for dredging consists of a strong iron winch and chain, a derrick or dirge_(a moveable crane), ropes anji blocks, and a large iron scoop or spoon, and the necessary appliances ior washing. The modus operandi is by lowering the scoop at one end of the punt, and by means of the winch, and chain pulling it along the bed of the river until it reaches the derrick, by means of which it is raised to the surface, and with the tackling the contents are emptied on the deck and there washed. The mode of washing used for the present is the ordinary cradle, supplied with water by means of a pump; but the Company, purpose having sluicing boxes on board and pumping the water by a wheel. A dredging company has been formed at the Tenot, and are now actively engaged in building their punt. ~ There are one or two dredging machines on a smaller scale in this district, with which wages can be made." i

We have been" favored with the following extract from a letter from one of the Waikato Volunteers :—" Camp Papatoitoi, St. John's Redoubt, Dec. 5.' Here I am,' drilling away night and day to fight the Maoris, and already I have had one bit of a skirmish with them.: There were only 300 of us, and we pursued over-200 of them, killing for certain two of them and wounding' God knows how many. Several of our chaps were wounded slightly, and your humble servant had a flask'of gin broken by a bullet. The very first night after our arrival we were placed on main guard for 24 hours, it raining heavily all the time ; and after being relieved we had scarcely turned in when the drum and bugle sounded out again, and away we went on a twentiy mile march through the most, infernal scrub you ever saw, expecting every moment to be popped off bysemeMa6ri, and kept skirmishing about without one scrap of tucker except a few onions and unripe gooseberries, which we got from the deserted farms, and which gave me a touch of the collywobbles for days afterwards. So you see, my dear Bill, soldiering isn't the pleasantest life in the world. We have different reports every day of the Maoris being near us, and we are now held in readiness to start at five minutes' notice to the front/ This is about the finest looking country I ever saw, and if a fellow ig only lucky enough to get a good fifty acres I will never regret coming. I would advise every one who can to come and settle here after the war is over., but not at present, for we are kept under strict military discipline,- the country being under martial law—no lights allowed after nine o'clock; and the only difference between the regulars and us is that they won't flog us, and they do them for little or nothing. The uniform is a blue shirt, blue trousers with red stripe, blue cap with big peak, shoulder belts; crossbelts, Enfield rifle and bayonet. I am on rifle shooting drill now, but owing to the wet weather can do nothing-to-day. We get two stiffeners of rum a day, and drink is" very cheap here—3d a nobbier."

A scene such as i 3 rarely witne9sed in a court of justice, and which was really of a very startling nature, occurred shortly after noon'yesterday, in the Supreme Court. The judge and jurors, counsel, witnesses, and auditors interested or simply " loafing," were to be seen rushing pell-mell to escape from the building; but fortunately the alarm was as brief as it was sudden. Our readers know that in addition to the work of reducing Bell Hill, which is being carried on by Mr Macken- j zie, the contractor, the hard labor prisoners are similarly employed under the general directions of Mr Swyer, the Provincial engineer. The prisoners work at the point of the hill nearest Gaol street, and the Court House; and it has not unfrequently bsen the case, that advantage has been taken of the dinner hour, when that part of the ground is clear alike of prisoners and warders, to fire a " shot" or two. This was done yesterday, and hence the alarm. The case of John Rat - tray y. Abraham Moses was before the Court. Knotty argument on an application for the non-suiting of the plaintiff, on the ground of non-joinder was being proceeded with, when there was an instant severance of it owing to a "shot" which shook the slender building until every part of it rattled again. Before the shock could be recovered from, there came another blast, louder and nearer than its predecessor. It was followed by a perfect shower of debris, which pelted down upon the roof of the Court for several seconds, the fragments apparently varying in weight from an ounce to nearly a' pound weight. It was during this time that the rush took place j and it was not astonishing. It was not simply the result of fear, if those in the. Court did believe that larga pieces of the rock might crash through the roof, or if most of the occupants desired, each for himself, to remove his head from the possibility of a blow from any such dangerous missile. But the shower ceased, and then there was as hasty a resumption as was possible, not only of places but of gravity. When his Honor had reseated himself, he said " This is too bad of Mr Swyer, and I shall be obliged to teach him that there is ' really a limit to endurance^ Mr Chapman, please to send a message to Mr Swyer that Ljcannot allow the_ business of the Court to be disturbed by these shots — that the fragments are falling on the roof — and that I will use the powers of the law against him, or against any other party, whomsoever he may be, who is guilty of again firing shots so, near to this building while the Court is sitting. It is a most gross contempt of Court; and I will not hesitate.about taking the necessary proceedings to preserve the dignity of the Court, and the safety of myself and of those who are in attendance here. One really does not know when a 10 Ib. or 20 lb. stone might drop upon that table, or in any other part of the Court." And His Honor was strictly ..correct, as appeared subse-, quently, The roof of the old churcK building,

on the slope behind the Court, and in which the Resident Magistrate was sitting, was similarly visited, though less startlingly. One stone weighing If lb to 2 lbs was hurled over the Court House, and the line of its descent being about perpendicular to the sky light of the mess room of the officers of the gaol, two.panes of the glass there anri part of the framework, were smashed into atoms, and the stone passed within a few inches of the head of one of the officers. Had the skylight of the Court House been similarly visited, it is at least five to one that one of those sitting clcfsely in the body of the place, would have been stretched senseless. But this great" shot" did more mischief still; Pieces of stone from 20 lb to about 100 lb in weight, went flying outwards at a slight angle; but fortunately theie was nothing more valuable in their way than one. of the sentry-boxes of corrugated iron which dot the ground for the convenience of the watching warders. It stands about 30 or 35 yards from the face of the rock ; but a stone weighing, at a rough guess, fully 100 lb. went ricocheting along, leaving unmistakable hollows in the gravel-covered ground, until it smashed through one side of the box, and lay quietly within. We opine that a sitting of the Supreme Court will not speedily be disturbed in a like manner.

A meeting of gentlemen desirous of initiating a new Cricket Club was held at the Exchange Hotel last evening, Mr Thomas Little in the chair. It was resolved that the club be called the "Dunedin Tradesmen's Cricket Club," and that application be mada to the Secretary of the Dunedin C.C. for permission to practice on their ground. The meeting adjourned until to-morrow evening.

By a notice in our advertising columns it will be seen that the sailing of the steam ship City of Hobart, for Melbourne, is postponed to Wednesday, the 23rd inst.

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Bibliographic details

Otago Daily Times, Otago Daily Times, Issue 628, 22 December 1863

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4,473

Otago Daily Times Otago Daily Times, Issue 628, 22 December 1863

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