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"The treatment of nurses at the Christchurch Hospital is the most scandalous thing in our human civilisation," said Mr J. J. Dougall in the course of an address at Sydenham. They were treated more like slaves than human beings, he said. Their pay ranged from 12 to 20 a year, out of which they must buy uniforms and aprons. They had to scrub floors and do all kinds of menial work; they had to study hard, and eventually pass an examination needing a high standard of intelligence. Then they must work three or four years to qualify as nurses, and then they become entitled to a maximum salary of 80 a year! It was not a credit to Christchurch, to the people or to our civilisation. When he had brought up this matter recently the chairman of the board had retorted that the Christchurch Hospital was the best paid hospital in New Zealand. What then could they say of the remainder? The nurse was the hand-maiden of the doctor, but what a disparity between the nurse's 10 or 80 and the doctor's 2000 or more. Of course the doctor was often a bigger slave than the nurse, but the disproportion in remuneration was far too great.
The extent to which pilfering of cargo is practised is illustrated by the recent experience of a Dunedin shoe store proprietor. A case containing 35 pairs of boots was shipped to him by a Wellington firm. When the case, which presented no external evidence of having been tampered with, was opened, no fewer than 11 pairs of boots were missing. The thieves had considerately left in the case the empty cardboard boxes.
Balmacewen House opened
The official opening and dedication of Balmacewen House, the new dormitory building of the John M'Glashan Boys' College, took place on Saturday afternoon. The ceremony drew a large gathering widely representative of the Presbyterian and other churches, of the professions, and of educational and other interests. Both before and after the formal proceedings the visitors took full advantage of the invitation to make an inspection of the building, and keen admiration and approval of the very thorough, up-to-date, and handsome provision made for the boys was expressed on all hands.
Women in evolution
The position of women is placed fourth by Professor Macmillan Brown amongst the characteristics that distinguish the stages of human evolution and culture. He places capital first, education second, and liberty third. In explaining this to the Canterbury Women's Club, he said that all those characteristics were interdependent. Capital was necessary for women's leisure; education was necessary in order that they might teach themselves and their menfolk the relationships of the sexes, and liberty was necessary because without liberty the position of women could not be raised. He placed capital first, he said, because without it there could be no progress and no civilisation, in fact, nothing human.
- ODT, 28.4.1919