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MONDAY, SEPTEMBER- 10, 1877.

The Wanganyi Herald ve,c,ei\tfy i^vocated that the Colop^aJ Prize Firing should take, place , always at Picton, instead of varans every, year. Perhaps it woujd, be, he^ey. }f our Volunteers had a fixe.^ hqme, in some, part of New ?eajand, in, wliUjj^ip display their skill. Now that nearlyevery district in New Zealand has had the H'ouor 'amTprpfit (?) qf the presence of the picked' defenders qf their country, there can be np jealousy a,bout the matter-. Fox example, we in Hokitika h^Ye, been visited by the champion shotf-s •in th,eir variegated u,nifo,rm.s, arid/- -believe both visitors apd visited retain pleasurable memories of (hat Qccasion. Similar sentiments no doubt obtain elsewhere. But now that the Volunteers havo gone the round of New Zealand, it would be, we thiuk, injudicious of the Government not to adopt the suggestion of the Herald to fix upon a spot' which shall rernaia permanently the: * convincing ground" fqr the picked .sho^s.pf the colony. On the score of • the change from the present system is advisable. In. fact there is no precedent elsewhere which can" be pointed to of competitors in rifle shooting travelling about the country h and holding their annual meetings to-day in the north and to-morrow in, the .south.. ,In ' England the Volunteers have their Wimbledoou, and in the United States, their Creedmoor. The pfoppsition of the Herald I is^ that Picton would be the most con1 ve-nient and best adapted place for the gfqtheripg. There may be,' other places ! as well or better suited for'^tm annual i competitions,,. bu.t if. we, are to judge by I the remarks of the Timaru Herald on thjs subject^ Pictqn ought to be selected on the score of charity. Our contemporary \ says :—": — " Pictou being a, central place • an^T ' blessed with a good harbor, we

think our con^enqpovary's suggestion that the firing sh,oq|cl bfi held there, is a fair one. Indeed the G-overnmeut would be doing 1 a charitable action by fixing |;he locale there, for the money spent at each meeting would be a perfect god-send to poor, miserable, half-starved Picton, and if the inhabitants look care, they would make enough during the fortnight or three weeks' festivities to enable them to liye comfortably until the dale for the next meeting came round. Besides, no one could be jealous of Picton; that is if they had ever seen it, for there is nothing to be jealous of. It has a railway ruqning between it and Blenheim two or three times a day, but the average weekly takings on the line do not amount to more than a few shilling 0 . Picton itself is a mistake — and hy Jin inspection of the countenances of its few hundred inhabitants, it at once becomes evident that they are aware of having committed an error in settling there. Its prps.-nl, trade is about "nil," while iis> future prospects may be feet down as " ditto." Now and agtdu — about once iiv every three years — some individual more enterprising than the .rest finds a coal or manganese miue, which for a time infqses fresh life into the dead,-and-alive commercial atmosphpre of the place ; but this flickering star of hqpe soon goes out, and leayes everything more stagnant and dull than before. Poor Picton ! it is high time a paternal Government stepped in and saved you from the fate of the "Descried Village." We have never visited Pjcton. Samo oue counecied with the Timaru Herald has evidently resided in that cheerful spot. If his description of it, which we have just quoted, be correct, in the name of charit}', let the Government adopt the suggestion, and thereby cause rejoicing among the desolate and despairing Pictonitea.

At high tides on Saturday night aud bunday morning, the sea again became intrusive on the back premises of residents on the west side of llevell-street. The principal encroachment was between Mansion's aud Russell's iight-of-way. Mr Hock, who lives in a cottages at the rear of Mr Johnston's shop was a considerable sufferer, his carpets and furniture experiencing much damage. Beyond destroying gardens aud fences, aud inconveniencing the residents, no further damage is reported. There will be a meeting of tho Hospital Committee at eight, o'clock this oveuing. Among other business the election of two auditors for tho year will take place. Mr Eissenhardtj of Givymouth, architect of the new Hospital, visited the building pi) Saturday, for the purpose of finally taking it over from the hands of tho contractor.

It will be observed from the notices of motion printed elsewhere, that the County Chairman proposes, at the meeting of the Council to-morrow, that the necessity for the appointment oi an Engineer should be acknowledged, and no doubt steps will be taken to appoint one. This is a matter that should have been attended to long since. The Council commenced by the appointment of a Consulting Engineer, but, as a matter of fuct, Mr O'Connor lias had, until Mr Campbell was temporarily employed, n,o engineer to consult with, and most of the engineering work fell altogether on his shoulders. In short Mr O'Connor has hitherto done as much work for the Council for £100 a year as if he were receiving .£0(10 or £700, but it is absurd to expect him to give so much of his time and his abilities as he has hitherto done, to the works of the Couucil, which are of increasing magnitude and importance* necessitating tho employment of the whole time of a professional man. Latterly Mr Campbell has undertaken some of the County works, but this gentleman's services have also been in constant requisition, as other public bodies such as the Harbor Board and the Borough Council, have plenty of work for so able a man.

A correspondent writes to us as follows: — A most cowardly assault on a Chinaman took place in Sewell-street, on Saturday morning. Two young men were loading a dray with sand, when a Chinaman was passing with vegetables. The men called the Chinaman names, to which he answered in his ovn tongue. Both men then jumped out of the cart, each having a long-handled shovel, and attacked the Chiuauian, who endeavored to defend himself with his bamboo. One of the men threw a shovel at him, which, if the Chinaman had not dodged aside, would have struck him in the face. The. Chinaman then ran away, both men following and throwing stones at him to the danger of some childrep who were looking on. Fortunately only one of the stones struck the Chinaman. Finally the neighbors interfered, or the unoffending foreigner would, have heen seriously injured. One of the blackguards said "If I had a knife I would cut your throat." Our correspondent gives the names of the two m^n, who will probably appear at the Police Court shortly.

We understand that Mr Mabin, tbe wellknown average stater, is now in Hokitika on a double mission ; first, to open au iu«urancp agency; and, secondly, to investigate some average claims which have arisen on vessels stranded on this coast.

Mr Lyncb's. sweep on the Melboi^rne Cap is announced to be drawn at the Town Hall on the 11th October next. But very few tickets remain undisposed of.

By an advertisement in another column we observe that the Phconix Insurance Company is about to begin business in Westland. On referring to M'Cullocli's Commercial Dictionary we find that the Phosnix is one of the oldest and largest offices in London. One of the prettiest and most appropriate designs for the common seal of a public body which we have ever seen is that made by Mr F. E. Clarke, of the Survey office, for the Municipal Corporation of Kumara. The words, " Municipal Corporation of Kumara, Westland," surround the outer border, and in an inner circle is a wreath of leaver, and flowers of the native Couvolvulus (from which Kumara derives its name) with the motto, " Majora minoribus consouant," signifying that the Borough and the Couuty Council will part in friendship, and get on very well afterwards. The whole of the rest of the space depicts a scene in which much is said in a

very small compass. The sun rises over hills, on a city surrounded by forest trees, and built in a valley of vegctotimi T!

work iB very well done altogether, and please the people of Kumara.

The following interesting "special telegrams" have been received by the Wellipgtou Post: — The Czar is seriously ill at rioyesti, owing to recent liussiau reverses. — The Turks, to the nnniber of 75,000, have renewed the attack on the Sclppka Pass; but the Russians, up to the present moment, have contrived to maintain their position. — Tremendous slaughter has resulted from these attacks, and the operations of j;hs defenders. The incidents of the battles have been hqrrible and heartrending.— Brigham Young, tho Mormon Apostle, is dead. The institution of Mormonism is in jeopardy, owiug to the death of the Head of the Church.

Captain Campbell Walker did not make such a bad thiug of it after al|. He got » year's leave of absence from the British Government, remaining on full pay. In addition to this he received from the New Zealand. Government £800 salary, and £1358 15s Id for travelling expenses aud contingencies. For all this we have tho privilege of printing at the colonial cost the blue books containing his report.

Regarding reform in the Civil Service of the colony the Wellington Argus writes that it can be done only by the Government. It is vain fpr private members to inoye that £50 be reduced here and suggest that £50 be added there. Such a style is simply uniust and injurious. The whole system requires re-organisation, and the whole salaries qeed rc-adju.Btin.ent. There are two many officials, and too rauoh, red-tape. Those who do little work get larg[e pay ; those who do the bulk of the duty are poorly paid. There are, speaking within the mark, scores of men enjoying partial sinecures, — in fact, some of them have not the brains for important work, if they got it to do, — while numbers of hard-worked men are struggling upon salaries quite inadequate to support their families. Then again there are numbers of lads in the telegraph, the post office, and other public offices, doing a largo amount of work for wages little, if anything, better than that of housemaids and respectable female servant?. The marvel is that these lads conduct, themselves in the exemplary way they do, and the Government has the plain aud imperative duty before thorn of taking the bull by the horns, and inaugurating an entirely new system. It they trust to tho heads of Departments to do it, the thing wili never be done.

The Lyttellon Times recently at.ited that a great improvement has been effected in the street lamps of Christchurch by fitting them with new burners and Sugg's patent regulators. With the view of promoting the geucial use of these regulators, the Company have sent Home for 1003, to be supplied to the public at cost price. The great saving that can be effected by simply substituting a good burner for a bad one is very clearly shown by the photometer recently fitted u.p at the Gas Company's works, and amounts in some instances to 50 per cent as between a burner with the patent regulator and the old cast iron lwtswing. TFle illuminating power of the gas supplied during the hist month has been equfiA :• to 22-29 candles (Belmonfc sperm), being 'the mean of 230 observations; but to ftbtaiu gas of. this quality a considerable portion of kerosene shale has to be mixed with the coal, whether Newcastle or Greymouth. It is a;ls6"satisf'ictory to note that the gas from the latter coal is equal in brilliancy to that from the bust Newcastle.

A large number of peonle assembled on Satin day afternoon on the banks of the river in Milton Reach (snys the Brisbane Telegraph August 20th,) to witness some torpedo firing. The operations were directed by Mr E. C. Cracknell, the Superintendent of Electric Telegraphs ju New South Wales, from the Government slcanier Laura, on board of which were the electric batteries, used for firing charges. Some boats intended to bo destroyed had been moored in a line and connected with the batteries. The principal explosion was that under a punt moored near the Laura. The torpedo in this, instance contained a charge of 701 bof dynamite, v?hich, when discharged, caused a prodigious explosion, the boat being blown to fragments, and :i column of water being thrown up to a great height. It was estimated that this column was 200 feet high and covering about a hundred feet at its base. Mr Cracknell stated that on a previous occasion, in Sydney, a torpedo fired by him from the sauio depth and containing a thousand pounds of gunpowder did not throw up such a vast column as that on Saturday with a charge of seventy pounds of dynamite. The wire used in the main explosion ou Saturday was one brought by Mr Orackneli from Sydney, and which answered admirably ; the remaining operatiou were marred iv consquence of the wire | used — ordinary telegraph wive — being unsufficient to stand the strain caused by the boats drifting from their moorings in consequence of the very strong tide running. i His Excellency Sir XV. Jervois, Colonel Scratchley, and the Premier witnessed the proceedings from on board the Laura. A patent has just been granted to Loring Pickering, of San Francisco, for a method of telegraphing fac similes of stereotype plates. It is claimed that by the process an entire page of a newspaper can be transmitted by telegraph in from fifteen to thirty minutes. Dr Gerard undertook to cure Mdlle Celine Montaland, a Paris actress, of stoutness by shampooing her. After he had operated 235 times without reducing her flesh, she dismissed him, having paid him £120 on account. He sued her for £346, but she convinced a jury that the contract was based on the "no pay no cure" principle, and that she was as fat as ever. Much has been written against the accordeon, but the first evening after a young man who practised on one moved into the second floor of a house in Union street, a smile lit up tho face of an aged citizen who lay in sickness on the floor above. He said that he was now reconciled to death.

There is (says " iEgles" in the Australasian) something snobbish in announcing the performance of a marriage ceremony by the Lord Bishop of Sanctimony, assisted by the lion and Reverend Ilavry Harkaway, uucle of the bride. One of the best rebukes of this kind of thing I find in the following

ironically expressed marriage notice in the Hobart Town Mercury: — 'f Marriage. — On t'-o 11-',I 1 -', August, at St. Mark's Bojl-rjvo, by the Rev. 11. Wilson,™mos(i effectively and with despatch, and without other plqrioal assistance, Henry G.," Sec, &c.

We clip the following from an exchange: — An amusing instanco of nuftpiaccd confidenco came under our notice lately. A gentleman, in this town, named Bniith, wiib expecting a brother from Victoria by the last Melbourne boat. Whon tho fjtoiuncr arrived at the Bluff the list of passengers) was duly telegraphed to Wellington, f|iid among the names was that of Smith, Qur friend at once rushed to the conclusion that it was " his long lost brother," who had once more placed his foot on New Zealand shingly strand- But to make matters doubly sure he despatched a collect message to Smith at the Bluff, couched in. the following terms :—: — " Are you my brother ? John Smith." The reply, which was very laconic, was roeeived in due course, and ran thus :—": — " No ; and I don't back bills. John Smyth." Now Smith with the " i " declares he never know a Smith with a "y" to have any decency about him.

The following volunteer regulations appear in last Gazette :— The portion of rule 34 ? relating to Cavalry Volunteprs. has beqn altered as follows :— (1). Cavalry volunteers shall parade twice a day for six consecutiyc days, at such time as may be appointed by the officer commanding a district, and parade half-yearly for inspection, or twice a day fur three consecutive days and one inspection, or (2) shall attend six monthly inspections and six company parades, or three monthly inspections and three company parades. Every volunteer corps shall, on or before 30th June in each year, elect under which of the above provisions it intends to hold parades for the then current year. Volunteers who attend six consecutive drills aud two half-yearly inspections, or six monthly inspections and six company parades shall be entitled to the full ratp of capitation voted. Volunteers who attend three eonseputive d^ys' drill and one half-yearly inspection, or threu monthly inspections and three company parades shall he entitled to half the rate of capitation. No volunteer shall be entitled to any capitation unless he has received a certificate of efficiency for the then current year.

The Southern portion of the Australian mails, ex Hero, were not forwarded from Auckland by the Taupo. This, says tl]O Herald, was caused simply by the want of tact ou the part of those they were eont down to the wharf in charge of. On reaching the em} of the wharf the Taupo was just steaming oil:, and tho officers then went 'round to the A.S.P. Go's T. and borrowed the s.s. Pretty Jane's din.gy. Lowering the eight or ten b;igs into the boat, the two- officials begun to pull, but it was evident that tbejr forte was not rowing, for one simply pulled the other round, to the amusement of a large number of spectatois. "Stroke" eased a little, und the dingy was then headed towards the llai'nvay Wharf, when seeing that if v great effort was not made the Taupo would not be overhauled, stroke put on a spurt, and away with the flood the gallant oarsmen pulled over towards Strokes Point, tho steamer by this time being fully a quarter of a mile ahead. A more ludicrous scene thau the above has not been witnessed on the wharf for a long time. The nien ought to have taken the bag to the boathousc, aud engaged a couple of watermen, who would have headed the Taupo easily, at a cost of six shillings, and our Southern friends would have had their Australian letters sooner than they can now receive them.

The Wellington correspondent of the Ilawkos Bay Herald says: — " The Hog Dr Pollen's health has again given way, aud hence have arisen rumors that he will retire from the Ministry, and be succeeded by the lion John Hall. These rumors prevailed last year, but with returning health the Minister decided to retain his position ; probably if he does not break down more seriously, ho will still cling to his seat in the Cabinet. His retirement would be a great loss to the Ministry. He is so wise and learned, possesses s J uch a thorough knowledge oC the workings of a government, and manages the Upper House so well that if he left, the Ministry would be seriously weakened. Of course the ilou John Hall is mentioned as his successor, and either he or the Hon. J. A. Bonar wquld make very good substitutes."

A clergyman walking to his church on a Sunday morning observed the shop of a wicked butcher open, and the wicked butcher examining his meat and endeavoring to pre> serve it from the effects of the hot weather, Addressing him, the minister said, " Good morning, Mr Bull. I'm sorry to see you attend to your business on Sunday," To him the wicked butcher said, " Good morning Sir. I'm sorry to see you attend to your business on Sunday, but if you'll slide on and attend to yours, I'll stop here and attend to mine," Parson passes on, and butcher feels he has had none the worst of it. — Canterbury Press.

The use of tar in the construction of the streets and foothpaths of Melbourne aud its suburbs has become so large recently that tar has risen in value from 2d to 4d per gallon, and the expenditure per month on this item alone amounts to £275. In Prahrau asphalt sewers have been laid down, and they are found to answer the purpose admirably. The street channels in the city itself are receiving copious coatings of tar, the surface being thus rendered impervious. It is proposed to lower the crown of some of the principal streets, and cover the centre with asphalt, so as to prevent the flooding of the footpaths during heavy rains. Two men residing at the Big Bush, in the Tokomairiro district, shot during the season just closed, no less than 191 cock pheasants, which they readily disposed of at satisfactory prices. — Otago Times. At the conference of ministers of religion held at Dunedin recently, with reference to the Education Bill, the Rev. M,r Fitchett took occasion to romark that at tho present time clergymen were required to spoon-feed their people — to read for them, think for them, aud to negotiate their salvation generally.

As a mob of fat cattle were boing driven through Foxton a largo dumber ot the inhabitants turned out to have a look at them. One

littlp boy gQt into tbe road, when an immense bullqck, from the station of the lion J. Johnson, rushed at the pbjld, and carried bin} on his head for spm,o distanpo between his two horns. Intense excitement prevailed, the mother thinking hpr child would be crushed to death, .and others looking on in fear, not knowing what to do. At this moment Mr 11. Stevens galloped up to the bullock, when the child fell to the ground uninjured. — Press.

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Bibliographic details

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER- 10, 1877., West Coast Times, Issue 2635, 10 September 1877

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MONDAY, SEPTEMBER- 10, 1877. West Coast Times, Issue 2635, 10 September 1877

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