Boxing Day sales attract thieves

A busy day in the field, ploughing with horse teams. - Otago Witness, 25.12.1912. Copies of picture available from ODT front officer, lower Stuart St, or
A busy day in the field, ploughing with horse teams. - Otago Witness, 25.12.1912. Copies of picture available from ODT front officer, lower Stuart St, or
The Dunedin retailers have been having a very busy time during the past few days, some of the shops on occasions being crowded to excess. These crowds have evidently lent a sense of security to the petty thief who wished to secure some of the articles displayed on the counters without paying for them.

It is regrettable to learn that petty thieving has been rather rife in some of the shops, and the manager of one large firm states that though his turnover for the Christmas week constitutes a record, the number of articles which this year have been surreptitiously taken constitutes another record. Observation leads to the statement that children of from 8 to 13 or 14 years of age have been the chief offenders, the girls being worse than the boys.

Several girls have been caught with stolen toys, etc., in their possession, but beyond insisting that the articles be at once returned no further action is being taken.

 A shipment of eggs consigned by a large Dunedin firm to Messrs E. A. Lane and Company, of Tooley street, arrived in London recently and was sold to the trade the following day. The price realised was quite satisfactory, being 13s net London per 120. The eggs were brought by the Turakina, and are the first consignment this season.

Messrs Lane and Company told your representative that the packages were a great improvement on previous experiments, but there is still room for further improvement.

The condition of the consignment was very good, and the quality perfect. They were much larger eggs than previously, and certainly had more colour. Both of these points are important with the London dealer.

Having tested the eggs by boiling, they proved to be as good as any it is possible to get on the London market at this time of the year, the flavour being rich, and the yolk and white perfect in colour. The eggs were carried in cool chambers, and had no preparation on the shells at all, and when the cases were opened the appearance was as good at that of any English new laid.

At the moment this trade is in its infancy, but in a few years' time, if the production increases to an extent to enable shippers to see a fair margin of profit, a big trade will be done in the future.

- ODT, 31.12.1912. 

Boxing back in the day

I have vague memory of such events, Hype. O. Thermia, from the days of Railways Settlements. I think it was the violent husbands that got Boxed, then put on the Stage, out of town. The tradition of leaving the dusties an ale on collection day was extant in the North Island 20 years ago.

Boxing Christmas presents?

Well, ffolkes, maybe if they were re-wrapping unwanted presents in a hurry to give to the domestic staff and the night cart man:  "Boxing Day is traditionally the day following Christmas Day, when servants and tradesmen would receive gifts from their superiors or employers, known as a 'Christmas box'". (See link here).  

Those of lower social status might however have spent the day hitting ugly gifts with their bare knuckles, first having placed breakable items in boxes so the fun could last longer. No TV, no radio, it was a great era for "making our own fun".


No time for shopping when you're boxing

There is no evidence in the story that these crimes took place on Boxing Day, 1912. I doubt that anyone was open on 26/12/1912, neither were there Boxing Day sales. The day was spent boxing Christmas presents.