THE SHALE WORKS
FAVOURABLE REPORT. The season has been uncommonly dry, but timely showers have fallen, at intervals, and. the crops have benefited accordingly. The yields all round promise to be large, and the Pasturage and turnips would gladden the hearts of stock-owners in the d r ought-s tricken districts to the Northward. Tillers of the soil in this part of the world have much to be thankful for, seeing that they are not exposed to the same vicissitudes as the same class in Australia, when .you may have plenty of water and no grass or abundance of grass and little or no water. The sawmill industry is very brisk just now, and I was surprised to meet three young fellows who -were leaving for the north in search ox work. As one man put it—" Anyone who wants work here can g-et it —if not at one thing, then at another. ” The Misses Young, who have lived here for a good many years, are giving- up business and going North. They were entertained at a farewell gathering on Friday evening. They were devoted members 0 f the Anglican Church, and will be -greatly missed by that coxnmunion. Mr J. A. Adamson is also giving tip business, the lease of his premises having expired. FTe is a prominent member of the Presbyterian Church, in whose interests he is a devoted worker, and he has aflso taken ’ an active- part in all matters tending- to improve the district. ■The dairy-maid and cow-boy of the story-books will -soon belong to the past. They a i'e being displaced by the milking machines. These labour-, savers have found their way into the once remote Waiau district, and I hear that Mr Alderson, among others, is having one installed. On Monday last our local schoolmaster, Mr Young, marched the bulk of the pupils into the street next the school and gave them a Nature lesson. ' There was nothing remarkable about this, but with a. thoughtfulness that does him credit he selectedthe rag-weed as his subject, and required each of the children to hold aloft a specimen of the weed. There was no -lack of material, and if Mr Voting can only .give a few more lectures on the same theme there will be no need for the inspector to complain of th j prevalence of rag-wood in. the vicinity of the school. For months almost the sole topic of conversation in Orepuki has been the future of the shale works. With the prospect of the sawmills being wort-cPd out some day and with the gold-mining industry waning, it was recognised that the resumption of operations at the works would be the one thing useful to push the place ahead. At intervals there were rumours- that the wheels were once more to be set in motion, and that experts were coming whose yea or nay would settle the question once for all. From that time onward every stranger who visited Orepuki was eagerly scanned in the hope that he might prove to lie the long-looked for expert. The other ’day a man arrived with a professional-looking box and other favoutable indications 1 , and when he was seen making in the direction of the works’ hopes ran high, but alas ■! he turned out to be merely an agent booking orders- for an improved broom. However, all things- come to those who wait, hirst a whisper passed round that accommodation had been bespoke atone of the hotels for two gentlemen from London connected with the X.Zi. Coal and Oil Company, and since then the gentlemen themselves (Sir John Sh-er-bourne and Mr Allen, directors of lh-e Co.) have inspected the works-. Sir John is Mayor of Hull and Mr Allen a timber merchant from the same city. Their presence is- no doubt due to the report made by Sir Boverton Redwood, who recently subjected to exhaustive tests the 50- or 60 tons of shale sent to Glasg-ow by the Government. In the course of his report he says;— "It is evident from the, results of the comprehensive practical test which has been carried out that the shale in question is of high value, and that its commercial working may be carried on most profitably. It is common knowledge that paraffin wax is by far the most valuable of the products obtained in the distillation of s-halo, and the exceptionally large proportion of this substance yielded by your shale is a feature the importance of which does not need to be emphasised. . No Scottish shale jdelds- anything like so large a Per-
cent ago. The various oils are evidently all of good merchantable quality, but, of course,-if desired,-the heavy oils could be marketed in bulk as liquid fuel instead of fractionating them in the usual way."
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Orepuki Notes, Southern Cross, Volume 14, Issue 50, 16 February 1907
Orepuki Notes Southern Cross, Volume 14, Issue 50, 16 February 1907
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