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SUMNER NOTES., Star, Issue 6109, 21 February 1898
[From Oub Correspondent.] _ Siunu er is certainly a most ambitious little place and in some oases rather extravagant. We are constantly being requested to put ourharida in our pockets and assist something or other. Sometimes we are asked straight out for cash, but more often we are worried half a dozen different times by children selling tickets for "an entertainment in aid of ." This is all very well occasionally, but unfortunately this sort of thing has been very much overdone the last few months, and I really think it is time we had a rest. Although in the main, I condemn so many subscriptions in the way of entertainments, etc., there is one entertainment being got up now by the Sumner Amateur Dramatic Club, and which is to take place 6n March 8, in aid of procuring funds to give the borough scholars a picnic, which I consider ought to be countenanced and largely patronised. As an instance of Sumner ambition, our local fire brigade wished to send a team to compete in the trials at Auokland. A dramatic performance was given which we were all expected to attend, and being for such a good cause we went, and the. club handed over .£9 to the brigade. Then we were asked for a public subscription (hands I in our|pockets again), and to this request we ; also responded. Now, what is the result of all this? Five men are sent to Auckland while a place like Kaiapoi is contented with three, and I am told that each of the men goes away with about £4> for personal expenses. Yet the Government carries them there and back practically free. Now, the funny part of all this comes in. The brigade made the gentleman who collected for them a present of a set of pipes. If they could have afforded' to do this, could they not have done without collecting the amount? This is surely' rather an. extraordinary .proceeding! At. least so it appears to me, though please to remember I am rather a novice in these matters. But lam learning, and learning very fast, so I hope to master some of these things in the future. I think it is well, under the ciicumstances, that the Borough Council did refuse to contribute the two guineas asked for. About seven car-loads of the unfortunate inmates of Sunnyside came to Sumner for their annual picnic on Tuesday last, and many of the Sumner people went and talked to them, as usual. Some of these poor afflicted ones make very quaint remarks, but though they are amusing, one cannot help thinking what an appalling thing it is that a small place like Canterbury should possess such a large number of lunatics. It is a sad sight to see a lot of grown-up people behaving like a number of little spoilt children — playing and dancing one minute, petulant and sullen the next. I have often thought the attendants were well paid for little work, but when one sees more of these unfortunate lunatics, it dawns upon one what a trying lot of people they must be to deal with. I heard one lady remark that a hundred a year would not tempt her to take up such work. The men on Tuesday did not seem to care much about the sea, but some of the women were delighted . to paddle, and clapped their hands with glee ; while others walked about in an aimless and shambling sort of way. At any rate, whether they enjoyed it or not,: an outing like that must do them some good; change of air is good for everyone. I notice all the houses - seem to be occupied, and Ido not wonder at it. Sumner is very pleasant just now, far more so, I think, than during the great heat of summer. Apparently I am not the only,, one who thinks so, for there are a great many picnickers. One picnic party, numbering about two thousand, came down last week— l believe it was from Sydenham—and the same day the Eiccarton folk also visited Suinner. I hear the school children of Whitecliffs are coming shortly for their annual outing. It ought to be a great treat for children accustomed to hills always to come and paddle, dig in .the sand and have donkey rides — things which Sumner children appear to despise, if one can judge from the few resident children who play upon the beach as a rule. When is the Lytteltqn Uaibour Board going to erect the much-i^ked-of, scoria, building upon the much -coveted Cave Rock? We notice that the different properties belonging to the Harbour Board are exposed to all kinds of weather, and used for various purposes for which they were not originally intended. The member who represents this district on the Harbour Board ought to take the matter up and iirge upon the Board the necessity of having the building erected at once.
SUMNER NOTES., Star, Issue 6109, 21 February 1898
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