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THE WORLD'S SANATORIUM.

Jill SALA AT ROTORUA

(KliOM OUU OWN COUUBSPOJfDENT.)

Ko'i'oi! 0"A, November 21,

Mr G. A. Sala lias been spending several days in the Lakes district, and describes the terraces as in the same category as Niagara and Vesuvius —one of the gramFfchow places of the world. To-day lie opened the largest hot water swimming bath in the Southern Hemisphere. The bath is limit of concrete, is nearly 70ft long, and is fed from a large boiling pool of valuable mineral water near the Government buildings. A great crowd of Natives and Europeans assembled to witness the ceremony. Mr Sala, accompanied by friends, reached the grounds at 1° o'clock, and at the request of Mr Jolmstone, the Government agent, immediately pulled the plug to detain the water. Mr Sata, who was greatly cheered throughout by nit assemblage of 300 people, then addressed the spectators, and said he felt the greatest pleasun- at lii'ing present on this interesting occasion, and at bavins,' been privileged to open the blue lrith He bad, be must acknowledge, ielt a little perplexed as to why so signal an honour 'h'ul li-en conferred on him by I ho authorities of the fiotorua sanatorium. He was neither a Minister of Stale nor a member ol the House of Lords on his travels : neither a grave doctor nor a reverend divine, lie was only a working man. That is to say, that for more than -II.) years he had been earning bis bread by the sweat of his brow and he consequently thought ho had some connection with the working classes. Possibly however, the real reason why he had been selected to perfomi the. ceremony of opening a bath, which in dimensions, comfort ami general ellicieucy might certainly be considered" the premier bath of the Southern Hemisphere, and which was us large as handsome, and as well appointed as any thermal establishment which ho had visited m the Continent of Europe, was that be was the m:\n from Home—our dear old native home, Britain—who would be able to tell the public what New Zealand was like, and of what her sons were capable of. He was delimited to be standing there—in the winter of hi-day it was true, but with his health vet good, and his memory still unimpaired, and in the humble hope I hat with heaven's help ho would be able to ivturn to the place of his birth and pursue his task to tilt! end: t.hat of faitllfullv n;nTiilin«wlial he had actually seen during men- than a year's pilgrimage throughout the length and broadthof these magniiicienl Colonies. Vei-l>le us W\< power:, ami inlliienee at Home intent W\ they miiM nut forget that there was a ViTV good fable about a mouse that once bellied a lion The lion bad be"v land to the mouse, but tli" uoMe brine got caught in tlm toils one day lie was struggling in despair to free himself from the net, when the little mouse managed to nibble a hole in the. network, and eventually set his old friend free. Now ignorance and missfaUmen! and prejudice hung to a "i-eat extent very much like a network round \ew /swil«»>l. " TJio Britain of the South had been very kind to him, and he was going to try his best to imitate the mouse of the fable,"and nibble through the network of misrepresentation. Mr Sala went on to say that the previous day when climbing the terraces of Rotoniahana, mid sailing on the bosom ot the Hot Lake, and now when he wits watching the healing water flowing into the blue bath came up to him distinctly the remembrance, of an old picture—indued, it was painted some 100 years ago —in the Museum at Berlin in Germany. It was called the " Brunnen dus .luiigeheit, the fountain of restored and reinvi-onued youth. There you might see. in the centre of the picture a vast thermal sp.ing-a very blue bath indeed— surrounded by an amphitheatre, of marble steps. Down these steps on one side slowly and painfully waited a multitude of aged and infirm creatures, worn-out dotards, hopeless cripples. They hobbled into the hath, but when they passed the centre and had laved in the magic waters of the thermal spring they all recovered, and not only youth but beauty and health, and joyfully ascending the steps on the other side, they spread themselves over a verdant pleasance and proceeded to dance, sing, feast, and make nurry in joy and gratitude for the recovery of Nature's most inestimable boons. So in degree might it be with the sanatorium at ltotorua. He said in degree, for they were well aware that neither the blue bath, nor the priests bath, nor the Madame Kachael bath—(laughter) —nor tho painkiller could give him back his youth again. But still, so far as the cure of disease and the alleviation of suffering were concerned, he felt confident that many of the fancies oi the old German painting could be realised in this wonderful and beautiful region, and in his mind's eye he saw crowds—not only of invalids, but of tourists in full health, seekers after pleasure a.s well as seekers after health—docking to tho Hot Lake districts of New Zealand, not only from other parts of the islands and tho Australasian Colonies, but from far oil Britain, from the European Continent, and from the United States of America—(cheers)—and indeed from every part of the civilised world. Mr Sala went on to applaud the action of the New Zealand Government in developing the thermal resources of Kotonm, and erecting the baths connected with the hospital and sanatorium, and he concluded his speech by an impressive address to the numerous Maoris present, telling them how before he had been many days ill Wellington he had been generously and gracefully entertained in tho Parliamentary Buildings by members of both Houses of the Legislature, ami how in the course of the proceedings he had been permitted to propose the health of the Maori race, coupling the toast with the name of Taiaroa, who returned thanks in his own language.— (Cheers.) He (Mr Sala) knew very little personally of the Maoris then, but he had read a good deal about them. He knew that they were a valiant, intelligent, and chivalrous race of men. He knew that in olden days we (the Europeans) hail fought the Maoris, and had found in them foemen worthy of British steel. But those dark days were now, thank Heaven, at an end. Europeans and Maoris had now shaken hands for good. They were fast friends. The Native Minister and the Government of New Zealand, he was persuaded, do all that was possible for the conservation of Maori rights, and to see tlm* no injustice was done them, and he was equally certain that the solicitude for Maori inte.osts evinced by the Colonial Government would be sympathised with, endorsed, and approved by the Imperial Government at Home aud the Government of her Most Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria—(loud cheers), —to whom God grant long life and happiness. Nothing could bo considered impossible nowadays, ko rapidly did civilisation progress, and they had heard a great deal lately about the possibility, nay the probability, of Australia and New Zealand being visited at no distant date by the Prince of Wales. If, under the advice of wise councillors, his Royal Highness did take such n journey, and did come to New Zealand and to Kotorua, he (Mr Sala) was certain that all his European friends present would agree with him when he said that no more enthusiastic and loyal welcome could be extended to the heir of theßritish Crown than that which he would receive from the Maoris of Kotorua—loyal as they had been in the past, loyal as they were »t present, loyal as they will bo in the future.— (Cheers.) ' Dr Guldens said it afforded him great pleasure to propose a vote of thanks to Mr Sala. — (Cheers.) He said if he hal been asked what person could by his voice and his pen do most to further the interests of the district, he would have mentioned the name of George Augustus Sala: and it was fortunate that they had been able to secure his presence that day at the opening ceremony. It was perhaps v happy omen that that (lay was Mr Sala's birthday. He would ask all present to join in three hearty cheers for Mr Sala.

Three ringing cheers for Jlr Sala wero then given, Europeans and Maoris alike joining. Jlr Sala briefly addressed tho assemblage, and said he would like to live for a few years longer, if only to visit the Southern Hemisphere, and see if some of the predictions he had made were not fulfilled; Mr Sala was again cheered, and at once drove back to Lake House.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ODT18851128.2.37.13

Bibliographic details

THE WORLD'S SANATORIUM., Otago Daily Times, Issue 7422, 28 November 1885, Supplement

Word Count
1,475

THE WORLD'S SANATORIUM. Otago Daily Times, Issue 7422, 28 November 1885, Supplement

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