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Wellington Notes, Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 18, 17 August 1907
PERSONAL AND OTHERWISE. (From a Correspondent). The Wellington Harbour affords an object lesson as to what can be done in the way of reclamation. The water at one time came up to Lambton Quay, one of the principal streets. Now, for a distance of over half-a-mile from this street land has been reclaimed, and is compactly built on with shops, warehouses, and offices. Mr Hornsby, who has been pushing himself to the .ront in connection with the railway men’s grievances, has apparently got the hacks of other members up, as it is stated on good authority that it was only after sorely complaining that his name twas /added to the committee appointed to interview the Minister in regard to the claims of the railway servants. One wonders how members of the Upper House fill in their time, seeing that the Council does not sit on the average more than three or four hours a day. Wellington is fast becoming like Melbourne on Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons, with its stump orators on politics, socialism, spiritualism, religion, etc.
Rumour has it that the Lands Committee has adhered to the proposal in the Land Bill not to give leaseholders under the Land for Settlements Act the freehold. The North Island, particularly 'Auckland, by reason of the great increase in population and urgent requirements, is, it is said, to receive the largest share of public works money this year. It is an interesting sight to stand at lunch hour and watch the swarm of men, boys, and young women coming out of the Government buildings here, particularly the Government printing office. The other day I had the good fortune to see through the interior of the Parliament Buildings. Bellamy’s, which I saw through, is conducted on the lines of State control. The premises are not open after 10 o’clock at night, and are shut on Sundays. It is a large 'room, with long diningtables, and is nicely furnished. In the corner is a small apartment, from which refreshments are served. ■Everything has to he paid for. Meals can also be obtained there. In tin? halls of the long lobby are hung some fine photo groups of the members belonging to the various Parliaments in the past. A large and beautiful painting of the late Queen, the Prince and Princess of Wales, and some ex-premiers occupy a prominent place. In passing, my eye caught a number of interesting exhibits on the mantelpieces. One was a bottle labelled “Essence of Lemon,” guaranteed absolutely pure. On the ticket attached to it it was stated that the contents had been analysed and was found to be methylated spirits pure and simple. This bogus article had a big sale in the colony.; The Wellington City Council, in order to provide instruction and social entertainment for the public, since the erection of the Town Hall, has been providing popular lectures, organ recitals, etc.
Mr J. B. Lindsay, Inspector of Factories, at one time at Invercargill, has been transferred to Auckland. It is a most interesting experience to visit the public fruit market, and watch the assertiveness, keenness, and cunning business tactics adopted by the Chinese produce buyers. They put the European buyers completely in the background. Cheap sales seem to be the order of the day with drapery establishments in the Empire City. It is difficult to find a shop the windows of which, are not plastered every day with cheap sale advertisements. One noticeable and praiseworthy feature from the public p©int of view in connection with the business people is
that they ticket the prices of all their window-shown Roods. In appearance and internal furnish-* tags, Wellington churches, which are nearly all built of wood, cannot be compared with those in Southern towns. Not only in the class of church buildings, bvt also in respect to school buildings, Wellington is much behind other places. The schools are nearly all of wood, of very plain architecture, while the play-grounds —if they can be called such—are so small that the children have not room to play a game of rounders.
Many married couples, owing to rents being so high, and living so expensive, find it much cheaper to go into lodgings than to take a house. Fruit is very cheap here. Bananas, for example, can he bought off carts in the streets at 50 for Is. The people of Wellington hold pub" lie meetings protesting against the influx of the Chinese, and they put their doctrines into practice by largely patronising the shops of the Chows, who own or control nearly all the fruit businesses in the city. When it comes to a question of buying in the cheapest market, these patriotic citizens have no time for the European shopkeeper. Judging from the number of hotels and the business done a rich harvest is reaped by Wellington publicans. Wellington is obviously a long way off no-license. The Wellington City Council has got together in Newtown Park the nucleus of a "zoo.” Among their collection they have a lion, kangaroo, ’possums, swans, young, deer, and a variety of birds. The Rev. Dr. Jones, a Unitarian preacher, has established a church here, and is drawing large congregations. Wellington people are not inclined to fuss over Webb’s return to the colony. A big reception was proposed, but did not catch on. The champion sculler deserves; credit, btit the Wanganui-ites have overshot the mark. The churches are greatly exercised about the tendency on the part of some people to get the law altered, so as to make lunacy after seven years a ground for divorce. A deputation from the Council of Churches, accompanied by Bishop Wallis (English Church) and Archbishop Redwood (Roman Catholic Church) is to wait, upon the Premier, protesting against any attempt to raLvke ‘‘Divorce more easy.” Wellington is soon to have a municipal milk depot. The public are up in arms at the old system of round milk suppliers.
Wellington Notes, Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 18, 17 August 1907
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