The Kohekohe School was closed for the Christmas holidays on the evening of the 22nd December, when, at the request of the teachers and a few friends, the children assembled in the school paddock, and had a very pleasant evening’s amusement. The sports consisted of running, jumping, skipping, etc., for prizes presented by Mr. Murray, Mrs. Muir, Miss Clarke, and Mr. Ferguson. Miss Clarke was very energetic in looking after the programme, and deserves the thanks of the Kohekohe children. After the good things were all disposed of, three hearty cheers were given for the teachers (Mr. Murray and Miss Clarke), when the children wended their way home well pleased with their entertainment. This is the first time anything of the sort has been given here.— A Correspondent.
AUCKLAND AGRICULTURAL SHOW THE OPENING DAY SHEEP While sheep were not strong numerically as at last year’s show, there being but 115 entries, as against 161 in 1897, it was pleasing to note that the falling away in number was more than recompensed for in the quality all round; as fine and even a lot of sheep being penned as could well be seen in any part of the Colony. Commencing with Lincoln rams, under 18 months ……………. Another pen worthy of mention, though not among the prize-winners, is that shown by Mr. C. T. Barriball, the only failing being that they are slightly bad in tip.
In rams over 18 months, a strong class, Mr. J. R. McElwain claims first and champion, the animal, which was bred by Mr. C. T. Barriball, being good in frame and wool, the only thing to tell against him being the fact that he had been oiled, which is looked upon with considerable disfavour by the judges. ………………. In the pen of three ewes, suckling lambs, Mr. J. R. McElwain’s lot contains the first and champion ewe, bred by the exhibitor, a really fine sheep, …………… Great competition ensued in the class for pens of three ewes under 18 months, the rival exhibition being Mr. C. T. Barriball and Mr. Jas. Harris, …………… Mr. J. R. McElwain once more takes premier position in the pen of three ewe hoggets (shorn with lambs), both first and second prize-getters being strong in wool, a remark that may also be applied to this exhibi- tor’s pen of three ram hoggets, where, owing to lack of competition, only a second has been awarded. ……………
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.
On landing from the steamer, the first important building is Mr Sedgwick’s Kentish Hotel. Mr Sedgwick has of late considerably improved the appearance of the building and its surroundings. A contract for large additions to the hotel, was taken some weeks ago by Messrs Henessy and Hammond, who enjoy a good local reputation as builders. The work is nearly completed, the verandah and balcony only requiring the finishing touches. The balustrades have been turned out at Mr Hockin’s Waiuku Manufactory, and are of totara. A walk through the new suites of rooms shew that travellers, visitors, and the general public have every desirable convenience. New furniture is observable in every department. Newly married couples desirous of spending the honeymoon in a quiet country spot might do worse than go to Waiuku. The hotel has 20 rooms in addition to the large hall where the Waiuku and Waipipi Highway Boards hold their meetings. There is also a large kitchen, scullery, and other outbuildings, a large stable, kitchen garden and paddocks within a hundred yards. Horses and vehicles may be had on hire at the hotel.
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.