Maidenhair ferns and gloxinias in the middle house at the Dunedin Winter Gardens. - Otago Witness, 29.1.1913. Copies of picture available from ODT front office, Lower Stuart St, or www.otagoimages.co.nz
One of the outstanding features of the recent tour of the
Parliamentary party through Otago Central was the manner in
which the motor car once more demonstrated its reliableness
and ability to cover wide stretches of country in a short
space of time.
Had the visitors had to rely on horse traction it would have
taken them a very much greater time to traverse the ground
got over by the cars - in fact, the time could not possibly
have been spared by the northerners, and a large part of
Otago Central would have had to remain a terra incognita to
them. The drivers had their machines well tuned up, they
traversed hill and dale with the greatest ease, and mishaps
to the machinery were few and far between.
The chauffeurs, however, freely admit that so far as
''burning the wind'' - to use an Americanism - is concerned,
they are quite willing to stand down in favour of a well
known Hawea farmer, who has a private car. It is related of
this driver that, out touring with a number of ladies, his
machine stuck in a water race.
''Necessity is the mother of invention,'' so the ladies were
put out on the bank and given the end of a rope, which was
affixed to the front of the car. The farmer took his seat in
his machine, opened the throttle, and gave the word for a
long pull, a strong pull, and a pull all together. The car
thereupon charged out of the race like a mad bull, and the
ladies just escaped the onslaught.
The passengers having once more taken their seats in the car,
it again sped off, and when another water race came into view
the farmer, with an air of determination, remarked, ''We will
fly this one,'' and dashed into it at full speed. The car
''flew'' the race all right, but the impact was such that the
lady sitting beside the driver had a baby in her arms thrown
clean over the back of the seat, where by a miraculous piece
of good fortune it was caught, uninjured, by one of the
ladies in the rear.
• A remarkable whirlwind passed over the Oxford district on
Monday (says a correspondent of the Lyttelton Times). It
commenced in a small ploughed paddock belonging to Mr Isitt,
and then crossed to Mr Brown's farmyard, taking up a shed in
its course. After shaking the shed about the whirlwind
dropped it in a paddock of oats some distance away.
It then crossed over near the Railway Station and came to the
River Eyre. Here it lifted up a good deal of sand and
rubbish, and then proceeded in the direction of the
Waimakariri River. Soon afterwards a huge cloud in the
heavens seemed to be hastening to meet it, and in a short
time the whirlwind was gathering up tons of water. The cloud,
which was growing blacker and blacker, was not immediately
over the spout, but a long way off.
The whirlwind drew up the water to a great height, and then
took a turn to the south-west, travelling along nearly in a
straight line until it met the cloud. Soon after this the
other end of the cloud seemed to be dropping tons of rain on
the plains around Burnt Hill, occupied by Mr Bassett.
''So terrible was the sight at one time that I caused all the
doors and windows to be made fast in case it came my way. My
house is on a hill, and we had a fine view. Through field
glasses we could distinctly see the water ascending and
revolving at a very great pace.''
Some seemed to fall down, but it was soon involved again and
caught up. The whirlwind could be seen for a long time. There
was no rain at the time, and very little wind. No doubt many
others saw it. - ODT, 31.1.1913.