Holidaymakers arrive at the busy Otago Harbour holiday
resort of Broad Bay. - Otago Witness, 22.1.1913.
''Your people in the city have not the slightest idea of
the difficulties we fellows have to overcome in carrying out
our work,'' was the preliminary sentence of some remarks made
to a Wellington Post reporter by a man who has for many years
been engaged in telegraph line construction in the North
The speaker, a man over 60 years, with the frame of a giant,
said that the work in which he was engaged was exceedingly
strenuous, and at times hazardous. The extension of the
telegraph lines in broken country was by no means child's
play. The cutting of tracks through the primeval forest was
bad enough, but when the heavy coils of wire and poles had to
be hauled up steep hillsides and across unbridged streams, a
linesman's job was difficult and sometimes dangerous.
In some cases it was quite impossible to transport the sawn
poles provided by the department, and the men were obliged to
fell the local timber and shape it themselves. In some
localities water was not procurable within easy reach of the
camps, and had to be carried for miles to the men's temporary
habitation. As everyone knows, the telegraph lines in exposed
situations more frequently break down in winter than in
summer. Repairs have to be promptly carried out.
''Our life is a hard one,'' said the speaker, ''but there is
plenty of variety about it, and I don't think anyone can say
that is has done me any harm. The pay, though, might be
better. Nine shillings a day for what we have to go through
is not much when you have a wife and family to maintain.''
• Mr A Considine has been saying some strong things against
prohibition. As a justice of the peace, he told a
representative of the South Australian Register he had had
ample opportunities of watching the movement, and considered
it was far from being a success. In the prohibited districts
people were constantly being brought before the court for sly
grog-selling, and some of them were fined as much as 100.
Still the evil continued. Prohibition was having the effect
of producing a very inferior class of houses of accommodation
for the travelling public. Business had also fallen off
considerably in towns which had adopted prohibition, as
travellers preferred to go to other places miles off where
their comforts might be attended to.
People living in a prohibition town would drive a few miles
to secure their supplies of liquor and take it home in bulk.
Then again, the police had free access to licensed houses at
all times of the day and night, but they had to have
substantial evidence before they could enter a private house
suspected of conducting a sly grog traffic. Under the present
system the drink evil was not reduced, and the morality of
the towns suffered.
• A custom among the Maoris of the old school was to hide
away their money in cabbage trees and such like receptacles,
where it was hoped it would be safe from the younger and more
extravagant members of the tribe. Evidence of the fact that
the custom still exists was secured by the manager of a
Waverley bank the other day, when a young Native walked in
and deposited a number of notes and a quantity of silver.
The notes were issued in 1890 and were as crisp and clean as
the day they were issued, indicating clearly that they had
been withheld from further circulation by the Native
originally acquiring them. The bank manager ascertained from
the depositor that the money has actually been hidden away
for years. - ODT, 23.1.1913.
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