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A proposal that appeals as a very practical one to provide speedier medical attention in times of sickness in remote districts where railways exist was put forward at Friday's meeting of the Clutha County Council. The writer was the secretary of the Dunedin branch of the New Zealand Locomotive and Fireman's Union, who wrote asking for the use of doctor stationed at Owaka a motor velocipede in order to provide with a rapid means of transit in urgent medical cases. The Railway Department provided an ordinary velocipede for the use of the medical man stationed there, but it was considered too slow a method, in urgent cases especially, when more rapid means could be obtained. The branch had already represented this to the department on behalf of members stationed at Maclennan, but had been refused. The branch felt sure that if the council joined issue in making representations to the Railway Department there would be more chance of the request meeting with a favourable reply. The Chairman thought the council should support the proposal. It had been very hard on the doctor during the recent epidemic in trying to negotiate the steep grades on the railway beyond Owaka with a trolley. It would be a boon to the settlers in the back-blocks if the doctor were given the use of a velocipede or motor trolley. Some of the patients had suffered greatly through the doctor being unable to get out to them in the early stages of the disease. He moved that this council support the request. Cr North seconded, but said they should also agitate for an improved railway service. Cr Cooper also spoke in support, and the motion was carried.
Railway meals complaint
Sir - As a traveller on the railways in both North and South Islands I notice with regret that the meals supplied in the refreshment rooms have deteriorated in quality during the past few months. I have arrived at the conclusion that the department, finding it difficult to make the rooms pay, is responsible. The tea obtainable at the tea-room counter is seemingly made from the essence. Why not a straight-out cup of tea? The sandwiches consist of corned beef and minced meat with fat. What has become of the ham sandwiches? The meals served in the North Island rooms are better than those served in the South, but in both places it is quite apparent that retrenchment is being practised. There are no pickles, jam, cheese or biscuits on the tables; paper serviettes are supplied similar to those seen in cheap dining rooms, and the commonest of mustard is used. It is about time that the catering for the public received attention and that the system upon which the refreshment rooms are started, when they were a credit to New Zealand, was restored. - I am, etc., Constant Traveller.
German mine near Bulls
A sensation was caused in the Bulls district on Tuesday when it became known that a German mine had been washed up on the Rangitikei beach. The discovery was reported to the police, who immediately got into touch with the authorities at Wellington, and four men were sent to Bulls. The experts found that the mine was in good going order, so they decided to place it out of action. This was done yesterday morning by a charge of dynamite and a length of fuse. The report was heard for miles around, and at Bulls, 12 miles distant, the windows in the houses and shops were considerably rattled.
- ODT, 10.4.1919.