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PARS ABOUT PEOPLE, Observer, Volume XXIV, Issue 29, 26 March 1904
PARS ABOUT PEOPLE
HIS EXCELLENCY; n»*cl^ his trip through the ragged Urewera Country with personal surroundings little less pioturesque than the magnificent bush -ol ad regions he traversed. Long fttretches of country were either roadless, or the tracks had from long disuse fallen into disrepair The Urcweras were extremely eolicifcbu* for the comfortable passage of Te Kawaiia through their territory, and had gangs of men working ahead of him along the route. As the vice-regal party travelled, it was no unusual thing to see ahead a party of sturdy natives, just done with the last track-clearing job, jump across their horses and v scuttle away to clear off another obstruction further on. ••• *» — To the natives it must have appeared that a special Providence watched over the vice-regal head. For though there were signs of recent bad weather wherever Lord Ranfurly went, and though news of other storms reiu-hed the party from the districts which they had quitted, there was nothing but sunny sky wherever they happened to be. For superstitious Maoris this could have only, one meaning. An interesting personage in connection with the trip was a grizzled old native who attended the Governor as a sort of gillie. He had fought at Orakau, though he was not the man who defied •General Cameron and all his hosts with the cry of "Ko whawhai tonu matu ! Ake, ake, ake !" Neither, for that matter, was Rewi, but popular belief still credits the old Maniapoto chief with the honour, in spite of all that Major Mair, who was there, can say to the contrary.
A large number of people outside the business circle of Sargood, Son, and Ewen will be interested and gratified to learn that " Tom " Finlayson, for many years past joint manager with F. C. Tewsley of the local branch of the big firm, has been admitted to the partnership. Mr Finlay-son-has"been in the" eijflployment of Sargooda. for close on fwsy years, and haa^sorked his way froJß^ the lowest to^e highest rungs, in- the ladder by the exercise of many excellent qualities. There are many in the province who remember him when he was " on the road," and for all of them he has the some kindly word and genial smile as of yore.
Poet " Banjo " Patterson was blessed with a daughter the other day. Whereat a fellow-journalist tunes bis lyre to warble his congratulations, and breaks out in these lines : —
For years and years, dear Banjo P., You joyed us as a minstrel straying, But, ah ! old chap, how will it be
Each morning — say, 'twixt two and three, To hear the little " Banjo " playing?
The recrudescence of the discussion on the alleged decrease in the birthrate is providing all the politicians, parsons, and other faddists with an opportunity to acclaim the merits of their particular panaceas. King Dick, who has at last been converted by the Farmer's Boy, says the cure for the evil lies in the settlement of the land ; 'Sammy Vaile says the adoption of his -stage system on the railways would do the trick, while George Fowlds has long argued that the supply of infants will never be regular until we get single tax. Which reminds us of the argument used by a resident of the flourishing town of Cambridge, James Keeley. Speaking at a public meeting held to promote the extension of the area of ornamental domain at that place, he asked, with a fine scorn, how they expected to increase the population if they did tot provide more parks.
Sir Joseph Wardjhas scored one at the expense of the Hon. James Carroll. At the termination of Lord Ranfurly's trip through the Urewera County, the Native Minister wired to the Minister of Kail ways: "Governor and I have been through the moat exquisite scenery in New Zealand— the best in the world. Knocks Stewart Island, your favourite beauty spot, into a cocked hat." To this Sir Joseph replied, promptly : " Expert* should not give au opinion on a subject before viewfug " The joke is that Mr Carroll, much- travelled man as he is, has fjever seen Stewart Island.
Willoughby Brassey, whose death is announced this week, cut a conspicuous figure in Thames life from twentyfive to thirty years ago. He then had one ot the best law practices on the gold field. In point of fact, he, and Macdonald and Miller, and J. £. Dodd cut up amongst them the bulk of the legal work of the district. It was worth dividing, too, for the business done in the old verandahed Warden's Court at Shortland, where Warden Fraser used to sit in state in his dressy white waistcoats, was something very heavy, and conveyancing and native land work was plentiful. If Wilioughby Brassey did not make a fortune, it was not tor lack of opportunity.
Probably, it was as a volunteer officer that Brassey was most in the public eye. He commanded the Thames Naval Brigade at a time when it was one of the crack corps of the colony. Volunteering then held the place in the estimation of ~ Thames youth that footballing does nowadays, and the town swarmed with enthusiastic companies, but Captain Brassey's bluejackets, though their uniform was not of the Navy pattern, were about the smartest and most popular of them all. By-and-bye, Brassey drifted away from the Thames to Gisborne, where he lived for some years. Then he
went to the United States, and passed ao completely oat of sight that many of his old_ac4uain tances supposed that be. must be dead long ago. ,It turns oat that he only died at Chicago at the end of January. Mrs Brassey is still in Auckland.
The recently-announced marriage of Mr M. A. Samuel, of Wellington, to Miss Nellie Yohe recalls how often the smart young bachelor .of the Hebrew penraaHion-wins.fof hwt&tidi! a popular favourite in the ranks of vaudeville or comic opera. For instance, Miss Cissy Samuel (the Cissy Stanford of the stage), who wedded Mr Chas. Phillips, of Auckland ; Miss Marion Mitchell, who is now Mrs Ernest Davis, of Hancock and Co. , Aucklaud ; and Miss Connie Buttel, who retired from the stage to become Mrs Louis Schatz, of Wellington. Louis Schatz only followed the example, of his brother Ernest, who, at Christchurch, a year earlier, carried off to the nuptial altar that charming little artiste, Miss Lily Stevens.
If length of residence in and service to the borough is acknowledged as constituting a claim upon the burgesses' support, Alexander Donald, one of the candidates for the Grey Lynn mayoralty, should have a good prospect of election this year. Mr Donald has lived in what is now the Richmond ward for thirty years. For fifteen years he was a member of the borough council, and in the last election that he contested he was returned at the head of the poll. It was his intention to have stood tor the mayoralty against Mr Shackelford last year. As, however, he made arrangements about that time to take a trip Home, he had to forego his plans. His son, by the way, has inherited the parental partiality for local government work, and was returned for the seat on the Council which Mr Donald, senior, vacated.
Walter Kir by seems to have done wonders with his voice since he went to London. The English correspond dent of an Australian paper tells iv that at a recent fashionable AngloColonial wedding Mr Kirby gave a beautiful anthem froth " Elijah." Now/ an anthem is a thing that it generally takes a full choir all its time to Rtruirgle with. Bat apparently Walter Kirby has developed a double or treble* barrelled sort ol voice, and can taAtvum the singlehanded. He always did expect great things from his trip to England, but if the London correspondent is to be believed he has done something that will astonish the world !
Sir William Jukes Steward has passed a self-denying ordinance. For years pact the event of the session of Parliament, to him, han been an eloquent dissertation upon his Elective Executive scheme, and on the wonderful reforms its adoption would effect for New Zealand. Year after year he has hammered away at the idea, each Parliament being called upon in each of its three sessions to waste at least a day over his Bill. But the heavy bump be received last year has disheartened him. He will not give the present Parliament another, chance of mangling his pet, but will keep it on the chain till a new Parliament is elected. Which is wise of Steward, and saves something in public time and printing. But for a man so fond of posing in the limelight it must have cost him a wrench to come to such a decision.
Dr Pentreatb, who has been appointed to the permanent medical charge of the Government Consumption Sanatorium at Cambridge, was formerly, for a short period, in private practice there, occupying the old residence of the late Major John Wilson. It is interesting to note that he is a brother-in-law of Dr Makgill, of the Health Department. The oversight of the Sanatorium has heretofore been carried on by Dr Roberts, who, in addition to the work of his own enormous practice, looktd after the patients more as a labour of love than anything else. It was delicate health that induced Dr Roberts to- remove from Devonport to Cambridge four or five years ago, and the change has wrought so complete a recovery that the doctor probably looked upon his services to the Sanatorium in the light of a thank-offering.
"Timi'' Carroll is a devout lover of the play. He has just been undergoing a most exhausting experience in the capacity of bear-leader to the Governor through the fastnesses of the Urewera, and only arrived in Auckland by special train at 8p; m on Saturday, but he was in the orchestra atalkat His Majesty's shortly afterwards. There does appear to be much in common between the sleepless detective and the Chesterfieldian Minister, but " Sherlock Holmes " had no more sympathetic auditor than the Hon." Timi on Saturday night.
No wore patent medicines for Tom Fitzgerald, of the big circus firm, just yet awhile. He has had an objectlesson that makes him careful. Feeling out of sorts the other day, heresolved upon a bold experiment with a new liver pill. The globules came to him put up in a small phial. Before entering upon his venture, Tom happened to, take forty winks, with his new panacea for the blues lying close at hand. Un waking, he could find no pills, but beside him was a quantity of broken glass and the swollen and dead body of a fancy pup which had been much cosset ted as one of his wife's pets. The pretty little thing had also felt seedy, and had evidently thought that what was suitable for its master vas good enough for it. Or perhaps it had heard of the showman's motto that new things should be " tried on the dog." But it had no idea of moderation. Anyhow, Tom was •startled at what he saw, and swearing off pills found another way of getting himself back to concert pitch. .
Lately it was recorded, as an in .stance of ministerial absence of " frill," that Minister Tom Duncan had received a deputation while travelling in a railway train. Chief Justice Stout has bettered that by setting aside judicial dignity to suit the convenience of counsel, and holding a Banco sitting of his court in the train between Napier and Wellington. The idea of Supreme Court business being done so informally, without wig, or gown, or attendant officials, almost takes one's breath away. But Sir Robert was always a bit of an innovator, and has not dropped his radical ways since he went upon the bench.
Lord Ranfurly is one of the most methodical men in New Zealand. His Excellency has a huge volume in which he enters up particulars concerning every undertaking he carries out. The scores of banquets, the multitude of foundation - stone layings, the little trips, the fishing excursions, etc., are all recorded. It has become a part of his religion to see that the book doesn't get behind-hand.
Harry D. Bedford, M.H.R., one of the reputed orators of our own Parliament, is away on tour just now, and particularly interested in the grotesque doings of other Legislatures. In the Hawaiian Parliament he came across a gem of originality— the introduction of a bill which proposed to alter the latitude of Honolulu, so that the twentieth degree should pass through the island ! Exactly how the daring member proposed to do it— whether he was going to shift the island holusbolus, or alter the laws of geographical reckoning— is not clear. Another Bill w is intended to dispense with the ebb of the tide, on account of the convenience to shipping of having a tide always at the flood ! But this is a little too steep If Mr Bedford were not such a stolid little man one might suspect an attempt on his own part at humorous literature of the loug-bow class. What is probable is that some sly Yankee has been pulling his leg.
Captain Frank Fisher, one of the leaders of the public meeting at Christchurch which calls for the appointment of a Royal Commission to look into the defences of the colony, is the volunteer officer whose difference with Colonel Porter, commanding the Canterbury district, caused the waste of so much time in Parliament last session. In that instance the Colonel considered it necessary to put Fisher under military arrest merely because he signed a letter to a newspaper as to the distribution of the patriotic fund. But that must have been a mild offence compared with speaking publicly in criticism of our sacred defence system. What terrible penalties the military heads can have in store for poor Fisher this time, it is dreadful to contemplate.
Tom Cottei is not to be repressed, even in the awful presence of the full bench of bewigged and begowned judges. That insinuating smile of his carries its way in the Appeal Court at Wellington, just as elsewhere. One day last week, he was elaborating an important part of his argument when Mr Justice Denniaton interrupted him to observe that he had already given that point to the Court on the previous day. " But," rejoined Mr Cotter, " I am now answering Mr Bell's argument upon it." The judge persisted in his complaint. He didtj't want to have the time of the Court taken up by repetitions. " Of course," he added, "I know what temptation there is. When I was at the bar I did the same thing. If 1 had a good point, I took care to repeat it as often and as strongly as I could, but we do not want such reiteration here." "Ah," retorted the unabashed Auck lander, with the unfailing smirk, "but did your Honor happen to be pleading before the same kind of judge as I am dealing with?" The Court smiled audibly at the daring suggestion, and the lawyer was allowed all the elaboration he wanted.
A Chicago merchant, who was in New Zealand at the end of last year, iti a letter to an Auckland friend, makes a reference to Captain flerrimann, of the Sonoma, the skipper who distinguished himself in connection with the young bank clerk returned empty. The passage reads : — " We had a most enjoyable trip back home, the only happening of particular note being the failure of our captain to 1 pick up ' Fanning Island (the cable station) which he spent some six or seven hours in attempting before he abandoned it. This amused some of u.s considerably, as only a day or so before he was telling us with great pride of his wonderful success in finding this island without any trouble, while captains of other bo *ts had lost hours in doing so. Tis only fair to say, though, that the day was rainy arid misty, but even that is hardly excuse enough for his being off. the course about 60 miles when he got his bearings.
"This is>-the same man, you may recall, who had charge of young Harper, the clerk who was returned from San Francisco to New Zealand under the contract labour law, and who was said to have been treated with great ind^nity at Honolulu. By the way, what was the outcome of that affair? We were surprised to have
Captain Herrimann come to us voluntarily and give us his version of the affair, throwing the whole responsibility upon th« immigration commissioner at Honolulu. He Paid that it would all ' blow over,' as a friend of his in Auckland, who had some influence with Seddon, asked him (Herrimann) what he wanted Seddou to do, and he would see that it was done. We've been wondering since if Seddon was so easily handled as all that."
Mrs Hendre, matron of the Costley Home for Boys, was a passenger by the last 'Frisco mail boat, going on a visit to her former home in America, Which recalls the fact, that about twelve years ago Mrs Hendre towM; suddenly on the political world of Auckland. She figured as a pushing, intelligent woman in one or two of the female political leagues ami force of character quickly I/rough t her to the front; At one memorable election the candidature of a prominent Labour leader was understood to l>e virtually at her option, and Auckland waited breathlessly for Mrs H end re's decree. She afterwards, in conjunction with Mr Jennings, ran the Tailoresses' Union, and became a great and acknowledged power. But when the comfortable berth at the Costley Home was offered her, she disappeared from the political arena as meteorically as she had appeared. It is some consolation, perhaps, to know that she makes a good matron.
William Shepherd Allen, his wife, and two daughters are. planning their annual trip to the Old Country, whither they go to enjoy the splendour of the English summer. It is a long periodical jaunt that they take between their two homes, but, liy ase, they ' have learned to get the maximum of enjoyment out of it. They have » delightful plafce in Chenille Hall, in Staffordshire, and there, hs well as here, Mr Allen is a pillar of Methodism, and a kindly friend, whose face is welcome everywhere. ' For many years be represented bi» native place in Parliament, and bis eldest son succeeded him. Mr Allen, jun.,. was one of the volunteer patriots wnb went- to fight in South Africa, and during" his absence at the front he lost his seat in the Commons at the General .Election. With another contest of the same kind looming nji, it is probable that Mr Shepherd Allen's forthcoming trip may have a good deal of politic* mixed up in it.
PARS ABOUT PEOPLE, Observer, Volume XXIV, Issue 29, 26 March 1904
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