Are glad to observe that the Rev. James M. Smith, in company with friends to the number of thirty four, arrived on the 12th instant per the ’Ganges,’ after a very pleasant and, on the whole, speedy voyage. The reverend gentleman, we believe, on account of severe indisposition, was urges by his medical advisers to demit his charge, and proceed to New Zealand, as a means of recovery. When the announcement of his intention to leave for a foreign land was made, there was one feeling in the congregation – that of deep and heartfelt sympathy with him in his affliction. After a connection of nearly twenty years, during which the onerous and responsible duties of the gospel ministry were most efficiently and faithfully discharged by Mr. Smith. So ardently attached were some, that they could not bear the idea of separation. Accordingly, a number of the congregation at once resolved to emigrated to New Zealand along with him. So far as we know, such a manifestation of attachment to a pastor is seldom one never met with. It is a most substantial proof of the high esteem in which he was held by his congregation. We may also mention that many more of his devoted flock intend to follow him and join him in this land, as soon as circumstances permit. Having been informed of the expected arrival of these emigrants, the Rev. Mr. Bruce, of this city, about two months ago, kindly interested himself on their behalf, intimating to the Provincial government they they were desirous of establishing themselves in this province, with the means of taking up their land together, and possessing the advantages of mutual co-operation. The government, without the least hesitation, set apart for this special settlement the Ramaroa and Opoia blocks, situated on the Manukau harbour, and containing about six thousand acres. Whilst possessing much good soil, these blocks have also a fair proportion of forest land, and being situated at no great distance from Auckland, and accessible both by sea and land, a better position for a settlement could not be desired. We cannot, therefore, but congratulate Mr. Smith and his party on their acquisition of a site so advantageous. They, of course, cannot take into their possession the whole of this extensive tract of land, but the government has kindly consented to reserve a portion for the occupancy of their expected friends. Whilst henceforth the settlement will be known by the designation of “Pollok Settlement,” the settlers, as a religious community, will be distinguished by the name “Scotch Presbyterians.” We need scarcely add that we earnestly with Mr. Smith and the Rev. Andrew Anderson, who accompanies him, all success in their efforts to extend the knowledge of Christ’s gospel in the part of the world; nor do we doubt but by Divine aid they will prove to be efficient instruments in the promotion of the Lord’s work. — Communicated.
Although Miss Betty Potter did not win the Auckland Lawn Tennis Association’s women’s~singles championship as appeared possible after her defeat of Miss Margaret Beverley on Friday, she did what no New Zealand lady has been style to do for the last four or live seasons. She gave the spectators the greatest thrill of the whole tournament and incidentally broke the anticipated repetition of last year’s clean sweep of all 1 the major championships by Waikato players. Miss Potter has had little first-class practice this season but evidently the large number of matches she played during the week brought her well on to her lop form and she played at times almost inspired tennis against Miss Beverley who was obviously disconcerted towards the finish when her game went to pieces. Unfortunately on Saturday Miss Potter had too much play and her form against Miss Pam Cook in the first set was very pool. In the second she led five —two and had two set points which she was unable to clinch and eventually Miss Cook, who was playing well, got on top.
It was rather an anti-climax tor Miss Potter to he beaten by Miss Rosemary Hodges in the final of the intermediate girls’ singles championship soon afterwards, but no doubt the prolonged struggle she had with Miss Marion Hodges in the morning had taken its toll.
It seems somewhat of a refection on the management of the Auckland tournament that after a week of tennis a young and promising player should find it necessary on the last day to take part in three hard singles matches, besides a combined intermediate doubles in which Miss Potter had to default. However, she is to be congratulated on her performance and tennis enthusiasts hope to see her still climbing the ladder towards national honours next season.
A BROADCASTER’S MISTAKE
In a broadcast commentary on the results of the tournament on Friday evening Air A. C. Johns, in congratulating Miss Betty Potter of Waiuku, on her wonderful win over Miss Margaret Beverley, mentioned that be believed Miss Potter started her career by winning the Franklin championship at the early age of twelve years. Mr Johns was a bit astray. It was the schools’ champion of champions tourney that Betty won at twelve years and lie won the Franklin senior champion of champions at fourteen. Actually the Franklin championship eluded her until the Easter tournament of 1939 when she was seventeen. She won it again last. Easter and is the present holder of the title.
Some 250 officers, non-commissioned officers and men of the 3rd Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment, encamped at Waiuku last week, headed by the Commanding Officer (Lieutenant-Colonel M. Aldred), marched from the camp through the main street on Friday morning, the regimental band playing the march. A large crowd of interested spectators had assembled at various vantage points to witness the march, and they were loud in their praises of both men and horses. The troops then proceeded to Colonel Aldred’s farm, situated at Whiri Whiri, where the General Officer Commanding the New Zealand Military Forces (Major-General R. Young, C. B., C.M.G., D.S.O.), the Officer Commanding the Northern Command (Colonel-Commandant H. R. Potter, C.M.G., D.S.O.), and the Brigade Commander of the 1st Mounted Rifle Brigade (Colonel J. N. McCarroll, D.S.O.), had taken up a position on a hill to view the tactical operations.
The enemy troops, who were represented by a number of Waiuku Senior Cadets, had taken up a defensive position on the hill, and as the advance guard and the main, guard moved up various approaches covering the advance of the main body, they were fired upon. A dismounted action was brought about by the protecting bodies, and the enemy, upon being pressed, retired. The advance and flank guards combined fire and movement, and finally routed the enemy in the sandhills near the west coast. The troops then retired to a spot where an improvised field kitchen, supplied them with lunch, and arrived back in camp during the afternoon.
In conversation with a “Times” reporter, General. Young remarked that the camp site at Waiuku was an ideal one for mounteds, and the country where the operations had been carried out was excellent for tactics. The G. O. C. expressed his pleasure at the general appearance of the horses, which he stated had greatly improved since he had viewed them at Epsom last year. Continuing, General Young said he had inspected the regiment in a dismounted action at Mr. .T. Muir’s property on Thursday, and he was pleased with the work, the riding of the men being especially good. The men evinced the real mounted rifle spirit, namely, they “went for it.” Commenting upon the welfare of the regiment, the General stated that the unit was very fortunate in having so many experienced officers, the majority of whom had seen active service. He was pleased with the local arrangements for the commissariat, and passed the remark that they were exceptionally fortunate in having such patriotic farmers as Mr. ,T. Muir, who even went, to the trouble of removing his stock to allow of tactical operations being carried out.
After viewing the action on Thursday, the General took the salute at the regimental march past. General Young left for Wellington. Friday.evening by the. Limited express.
A thanksgiving service will he held at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Waiuku, to-morrow morning, as part of the celebrations to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the construction of the church. The Rev. W. J. Comrie will lead the service. On Monday afternoon, a reunion social will be held, at which early members of the church will attend. This will be followed in the evening by a public meeting of commemoration and thanksgiving in the Waiuku Hall. The Rev. E. Mowbray Finnis will be chairman and the speakers will include the Rev. J. H. Roseveare, the Rev. J. Puttison and the Rev. T. E Riddle. Musical items will be given by Miss Moya Cooper-Smith and Miss Minnie West. The celebrations will end with the holding of a communion service on the morning of Sunday, June 7.
An inquest was held upon, the body of the deceased Patrick Gleeson on Saturday last at Kohekohe before Walter J. Harris, J.P., acting coroner, and a jury, of whom Captain Alexander was chosen foreman. – Constable Parker conducted the inquiry.— Julia Gleeson deposed that she was the mother of the deceased. On the evening of Friday last, the 7th of September, I left the deceased, who was 15 months old, asleep in a cot, and fastened the door of the house, and went away a short distance. As soon as I came on the hill I saw the house in flames. I ran along the gully as fast as I could, , crying out, “My baby, my baby”. There was no one at the house when I got there I then opened the door and tried to go in. I rushed to the window where the baby was, and, as I got there, my husband came up, and tried to enter by opening the window. I heard the baby say “Mamma” three times. My husband could not get in, though he tried repeatedly, on account of the smoke and flames. The house was burnt in a very short time. I left but very little fire in the fireplace. I first saw the fire in the dairy, which is part of the house. No one came to my assistance, nor could I see anyone about. Mr. Dickey came soon after, but too late to save my child. — William Gleeson deposed : On Friday evening I was away from the house for a short time to get firewood. I heard my wife screaming “My baby, my baby!” I ran back and saw the house all in flames I tried, but failed, to make an entry into the house. There was then an explosion of kerosene and powder which was inside. The child, no doubt, was dead before this, although I heard him scream when I first came up. When I first saw the house, the part used as a dairy was on fire on the roof on the weather side. I have no idea of the cause of the fire. I was there ten minutes before it occurred, with a load of wood, and there was no sign of fire then. My wife was not at home at that time. Part of the house was thatched, and it was there I first saw the fire. The chimney was at least twelve feet from that part. Mr Dickey came and rendered all the assistance that lay in his power, but my nearest neighbour, who was at home and lives only a short distance off, did not. I saw him when I was last at the house, close under the hedge. The chimney was on the weather side of the house. I did not smoke when at the house last, nor was there any chance of the children getting matches I know there was but little fire left. The chimney was of slab, the inside lined with zinc, and mortar between. — The foreman wished the jury to see the remains of the house, and they having done so, Mr. Gleeson continued: I believe the fire was not accidental, but that the house was set on fire by some one. I have my suspicions. The last time I saw Evitts he was on his own ground, in the garden, behind the hedge, about eight chains from my house. There was no ti-tree about the chimney for a pig-sty. — David Evitts deposed: I was, in my new house at 5 p.m. yesterday, mending a pair of boots, when my wife ran up to tell me that Gleeson’s house was on fire. I said I did not think so, as the smoke often comes through the thatch; but she said the roof was in a blaze. I then went down to my old house. I heard screaming all this time. My wife said she would run over. I went some time afterwards. A short time elapsed before I went. I would have gone before, but I was mending the children’s boots. I gave no assistance. The body of the child was not recovered when I left. — John Dickey deposed: I saw a fire at 5 p.m. yesterday, rising at the back of Mr Gleeson’s house. It seemed to be between the chimney and the far gable end of the house, from where I stood. I ran, and on coming to the house it was all on fire. I looked around, but there was no possibility of entering. Mrs. Gleeson told me her baby was inside. I made an attempt at several places, but did not succeed. The only thing I could do was to pour water on the place the child was supposed to be, and after some time we got the remains of the child, fearfully charred. This is the body now viewed. — By the jury: Evitts came, but I was there fully 10 minutes before him, though I had to run a mile. He rendered no assistance whatever Mrs. Evitts came before he did. — Nearly all the jury were in favour of a rider being added to the verdict, of culpable negligence on. the part of Evitts, but it was toned down to an expression of regret at his inhuman conduct. — Verdict: That the child, Patrick Gleeson, was burnt to death at Kohekohe, on Friday, September 7, 1876, in the dwelling-house of William Gleeson, but there is no evidence to how how the fire occurred. — [Own correspondent.]
A lifebuoy bearing the name Waratah has been washed ashore on;the West Coast near Waiuku. It is not known how long the buoy had been on the beach before it was picked up. It was covered with barnacles and marine growth, evidently having been in the water for some considerable time . Unfortunately the finder, in removing the barnacles, spoilt the name, but he states that when found the name was plainly seen.
The likelihood of the buoy having any connection with the liner Waratah, which was lost off the African coast some three years ago, was mentioned by a “Star” reporter to a number of prominent deep-sea captains this morning.
Captain Hart, of the steamship Star of Canada, asked for his opinion, said that he was inclined to think that the buoy was from the ill-fated vessel. For the last 20 years he had thrown bottles over at various points in his voyages at the request of the Australian and United States Government meteorological observers. Of course, a number of the bottles were never heard of again, but he had received a report on his last trip to England of three that had been picked up in various parts of the world after drifting for over three years. He remembered throwing bottles over on the African coast and at Cape Horn, and having them reported from the West Coast of New Zealand, near the Manukau. It was no doubt a long distance for the buoy to drift in such a time, but such things had happened before.
Captain Murrison, of the Drayton Grange, said that it was by no means impossible that the buoy was from the lost Waratah, though he hardly considered it probable. Nevertheless the barnacles on the buoy pointed to the fact that it had been in the water for a long time. It would be a quick drift for the buoy to be carried 6000 or 7000 miles during the time that had elapsed! since the loss of the vessel. There are small steamers and a cutter trading on the Australian coast bearing the name Waratah, so that it is possible that the buoy may have been lost by one of these vessels, while it may have come from the scow of that name abandoned near Lord Howe Island last year.
The official search for the lost Waratah was abandoned on December 16, 1909.
BATTLE OF THE DUNES. THE MOUNTEDS AT WAIUKU. REALISTIC FIELD DAY. MOTH AEROPLANE CO-OPERATES SUCCESSFUL FLANK ATTACKS. Miles of open,.sand dune and tussock and scrub above the sea. Squadrons of horse, exactly the same type of New Zealand mounted riflemen, although younger, who made history from the sands of Sinai to the Hills of Moab. A nimble Moth aeroplane observing for the defenders. The rattle of blank ammunition from rifle and machine-gun. Stirring gallops behind the cover of rides, the hasty dismounting, and the scramble of keen youths to the crests to bring a disconcerting flank fire to bear. Green-lined pugarees, and here and there the glint of a ribbon on tho tunic of an officer who served in the same regiment on its active service. The same good-humoured exasperation among the Number Threes when led horses objected to be led. The same flurried remounting of excited horses when it came to retire, or advance. Such was the scene and atmosphere yesterday, when the Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment had a passage-at-arms among the sandhills of Waiuku. A mythical Northland was at war with a mythical Southland, their dividing-line being the Waikato River, and the whole of the regiment, less one troop, was assumed to have forded the Waikato River near the Heads — a perfectly feasible movement that would involve some swimming and a good deal of wading — and had bivouacked for the night at Maioro. Their objective was to seize valuable military stores at Waiuku. Naturally, they were deemed to have infantry behind them, due to appear in front of Waiuku in 48 hours Air Reconnaissance. The defending force was represented by the troop detached from the regiment, some infantry and a body of cadets who were promoted to the rank of troopers for the occasion. The Moth aeroplane, piloted by Captain J. Seabrook, by arrangement with the Auckland Aero Club, was, doubtless, deemed to be a formidable plane. It had been intended that the attacking force should move out to the Maioro position on Monday night and sleep on the sand, but rain caused this plan to be abandoned. Instead, they moved off from camp at Waiuku early in the morning, and were on their way to the attack when the plane came over to locate them. It was a sunless day, and, therefore, there were no shadows, which prove so valuable to an air observer in locating troops, and, furthermore, the dark sand was blacker than usual, owing to the wet. Captain Seabrook had difficulty in finding the deployed troops of the advance guard. What really gave them away was the tracks loft by the horses on the sand. These, from 2000 ft., looked like so many lines, and the rest was easy, although the pilot is assured by some of the officers that if they did him with the Hotchkiss they could have at a low altitude with rifle-fire. The umpire was not required to decide this point, which would have had particular interest to the relatives of the airman involved. Dropping Messages. The airman had to get back to the headquarters of the defenders and drop his information. There a large black sheet with white markings was spread out on the top of a hill to guide him, and Captain Seabrook made excellent practice on it. His messages, in tubes with streamers, were all dropped within a few feet of the sheet. An interesting fact is that the khaki-clad figures lying still round the sheet could not be detected from the air. It was only when a man rose and ran for the message that he could -be seen. In extended order, the advance guard of the attacking force, commanded by Colonel Aldred, officer commanding the regiment, moved forward through the dunes and got in touch with the mounted troops of the defenders, whose first main position was a ridge running at right angles to the shore. On the defenders left was a commanding eminence, and Colonel Aldred sent forward his right flank guard to seize it. This they did, a machine-gun section of two guns doing their usual duty, and signallers performing excellent work with flags and field telephones. Retirement Well Executed. The defenders retired and executed the action very well indeed. They fought a delaying fight, one troop covering the retirement of another. A mile further back they occupied a second main position. The advance guard of the attackers was held up half-way and was reinforced. Again the flank attack took effect and back the defenders .bad to go, but with fine morale and in approved order to the third position 800 yds away. The action had now passed from the dunes, through tussock toward grass land. On either flank of the position were two dominating points, with a basin between. Colonel Aldred made a feint on the defenders’ left, and then threw m his strength on their right, where the hill was seized and the outlook for the stores of Waiuku became a trifle gloomy unless the Auckland base devised means of holding this charming district. It should be explained that the reason why the attackers swam the river was that Northland held all the Waikato bridges.
Ideal Training Ground. The action covered four strenuous miles of ideal country for mounted manoeuvres. Experts consider this wide range of dune the best area of its kind for the purpose, in the vicinity of Auckland. It was often hard going for the horses on the sand, but they were in good condition and stood up to their work very well. Some of them are a little on the small side for remount purposes, but the standard is good. It was good to see these young horsemen ride. In spite of the car they know how to sit and handle their horses. A pleasing sight of the day was a troop of cadets who came mounted to take their place with the defenders. They will make splendid troopers next year. Their lance-corporal rode one of the showiest beasts of the lot, an animal called Vanity, that is not the most disciplined, and one of the junior bare-kneed troopers came on a black pony which, probably carried him to school. He had a rope bridle and rope reins and a sack for a saddle, but he “stayed the course” and the pony appeared to be proud of himself. To indicate the keenness of the men of the Auckland Mounted Rifles to-day it might be mentioned that probably 80 per cent, of them are volunteers in the true sense of the word, seeing that, on account of distance, they cannot be compelled to serve. Officers of the Camp. The camp will break up to-morrow. In command is Colonel Aldred, second in command is Major Stevens., and the adjutant is Lieutenant Moncrieff, M.C., N.Z.S.C. In yesterday’s operations Lieutenants Birdsall and Morrison commanded the advance guard of the attackers, with Captain F. Dill in support, Lieutenant Aldred the left flank guard, and Sergeant Wright the right. Lieutenant Tingey, N.Z.S.C., commanded the machine-guns, and with Major Stevens in reserve were Major Potter and Lieutenant Shanks, Lieutenant Waddington was orderly officer. The defenders were commanded by Lieutenant Buttimore, Staff-Sergeant-Majors Milne, Brant and Dunlevy. Captain Foster, adjutant of the North Auckland Mounted Rifles, was umpire, and Major Glendining observed operations for Command Headquarter https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NZH19290417.2.112 New Zealand Herald, Volume LXVI, Issue 20232, 17 April 1929, Page 13
HEAVY FLOODS. [By TELEGRAPH. —OWN CORRESPONDENTS.] WAIUKU. Waiuku, Monday. On Friday it commenced raining, and on Saturday it came down in torrents, and continued unabated until midday on Sunday, when the level part of the country was completely flooded. A great amount of was done. Several bridges have been swept away, namely — Newdick’s, Brown’s creeks, and others — stopping all traffic between Mauku and Pukekohe. The mailman started this morning with the mails, but had to return. The mail will have to go by the steamer. The Waitangi mill has guttered severely. The water-wheel, twenty feet in diameter, has been carried away, as well as the dam. Every precaution wan taken for: its safety, and at five a.m. on Sunday all was safe, but so rapidly did the water rise that by eight o’clock everything was gone save the mill-house. The water reached a greater height than is known by the oldest settler. It was several feet over the Waitangi Bridge, which fortunately has stood the, the heaviest of floods. No word has reached here from the south and north-west of the district, where it is possible damage may also have occurred. MAUKU.
After the long drought the rain has been falling for twenty-four hours, and the Mauku river has risen to a height not known for over 20 years, and I regret to say it has been the means of doing a good deal of destruction. The bridge on the road from Pukekohe to Waiuku over the Mauku is swept away entirely, as also another one on the road from the church to Lower Mauku. The water rose fully 10 feet over them, which of course was more than they could stand. Fortunately for the District Board the Government had called for tenders for a new bridge on the Waiuku road. All the flat land near the river was flooded for acres, and it looked more like the Waikato than the Mauku. The fails were a grand sight — in fact a miniature Niagara. I am sorry tosay Mr. G. Johnson is at a great loss by the fresh, his mill dam being carried away, not a vestige being left; then the bridge over the river between his house and flax-mill went after the other two, and his loss must be over £100. He had also the store-room full of dried flax, and the water was nearly up to the wall plates. Potato crops must suffer by the quantity of water about, and from being for want of rain. I fear they will now be made lighter from having too much. Those are lucky who had them up before the rain came on. — [Own Correspondent.]
NATIVE ACCOUNT OF THE MAUKU ENGAGEMENT. We learn, on perfectly reliable authority, that the following is the Native account of this affair: — They state that the natives were present to the number of 400 men from the Ngatimaniapoto and two other tribes, who had come over with the intention of making a grand attack upon Mauku, which place seems to have gained an honorable notoriety amongst them. When they found themselves opposed to but 60 men in the field, they made sure of killing all, and must have been grievously disappointed at the result. They say they killed 14 of our men, besides wounding vast numbers, while they acknowledge to having themselves lost about 12 men and one important chief killed in the action, while many more were wounded. The loss was felt to be very severe, as is evident from the fact that they did not delay longer than was requisite to gather up their killed and wounded, before making again for the river, which they crossed the same night, at eleven o’clock. The party which was observed next day by our men on the field of battle, did not belong to the party who fought at all, but were a small body of thirteen men who met the others as they were re-crossiug the Waikato, and hearing of the battle anxiously inquired whether the volleys had been fired over the field, as ought to be done, in claiming a victory. The answer was that this had not been done; upon which the new comers kindly offered to go and supply the deficiency. They reached the ground about daybreak, and fired the salutes heard by our men. Seeing, however, our Defence Force men coming up the valley on horseback, they fled precipitately to the Waikato, and were in the act of crossing when fired on by the flying column. The natives are firmly persuaded that they were pursued and finally tired upon by the horsemen from whom they originally fled. They say that no one was killed by the fire, but one man was wounded in the neck who fell overboard in his fright. The account is chiefly interesting as showing how much they must have suffered. To account for their own losses they state that they engaged 500 pakehas. As they thought fit to double our loss, it is not improbable they may have proportionately diminished their own. This account is entirely from native sources, and may be relied on as being at all events one version of those published by authority of the native military magnates.
We have the following intelligence also, through a Maori channel: — “At the Mauku fight of last week, the Maoris lost 8 killed, and have taken 40 wounded (of course several so as to be hors de combat) up the Waipa. Tikaokao’s son and nephew are both killed. The tribes engaged were: — Ngatimaniapoto, 150; Urewera, 100 ; Ngatiporou, 50. This fight was these first work in which the Urewera and Ngatiporou were engaged. They had just arrived at the scene of operations, bringing each man a back load of powder from the East Cape. Tikoukou is of Mokau (Ngatimaniapoto county), and was lately appointed generalissimo of the native army. He was not present himself. They took up the river no end of boxes, &c., which they carried overland from Howick, via Mauku
NEW SCHOOL OPENED. CEREMONY AT KARIAOTAHI. AN UP-TO-DATE BUILDING [FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.] WAIUKU, Friday Over 200 people were present at the official opening of the new school at Kariaotahi, some three miles from Waiuku, this afternoon. Among those present were many ex-pupils of the school, some of whom were scholars there as far back as 47 years ago. The school was first opened on August 4, 1879, with 20 pupils. To-day there are 52 on the roll. Reference to the early days was made by the head teacher; Mr. F. M. Shepherd. He said the building which served as the first school was the first structure to be erected in sawn timber in the district. It was in reality . a two-roomed house, and was lent by the owner, Mr. George Bennett, to enable a school to be opened. The timber was cut from a large kauri tree that grew on a near by ridge. In 1883, the Wesleyan Chapel at Waiuku was purchased and re-erected at Kariaotahi, as the permanent school building. The contractor for the removal and re-erection of the structure, Mr. A. Hammond, was still living at the age of 93 years, and even as late as yesterday was engaged in such active work as lopping limbs off a pine tree. Mr. H. Knight, chairman of the school committee,’ who presided, said the residents were gratified to have an up-to-date and safe school building. Reference was made by Mr. A. Burns, chairman of the Education Board.”to the fact that the new building, with two large classrooms and long entrance corridor, was on the latest lines approved by the board for country schools. The ample window space gave excellent lighting, and the windows were so arranged that splendid ventilation was available in any weather. Mr. J. Patterson, the district member of the board, said, as the school had to serve also as the social centre of the district, the board had folding doors provided so that the two rooms could be thrown into one when desired. The official opening ceremony was performed by Mr. J. N. Massey, M.P. for Franklin.