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The depredations are on such a wholesale and daring scale as to suggest the work of an organised gang or gangs. Importers, who during the past few months have been facing serious losses (says the Sun) have just formed an importers protection association, and meetings will be held next week. The experience of Robert Francis, of Christchurch, a firm of music dealers, is illustrative of the wholesale manner in which pillaging is carried out. The manufacturers of gramophones pack the machines in stoutly built and clamped cases about 4 ft 6 in high. A consignment was shipped to Mr Francis from New York of 11 cases of which seven were found to be minus machines. Of another lot of 14, nine were without machines. The loss runs into £175 a consignment. A number of cases were found to contain sacks of sand and shavings. There are traces of the imprint of a machine on the felt packing sacks, and other contents bear inscriptions showing American origin. Other cases were empty, but at least one that has not yet been opened is obviously packed with bricks. A peculiar feature in respect to the empty cases is that the closest scrutiny fails to show they have been opened. The evidence seems clear that the pillaging is done in America.
Lonely Chinese trapper’s death
A whisper of murder sent the chiefs of police speeding to Ranfurly over the weekend, and the presence of so many officers caused a stir of excitement in the township, but it was a false alarm, and the party returned to town about midnight on Sunday with nothing more serious to report than the death of an aged Chinaman named Sue Pin. Far away in the hills, in remote spots, the lonely reaches of Central Otago shelter an occasional mud hut or tin whare; solitary dwelling places. Such was the abode of Sue Pin. In a desolate gully in Blackball, six miles from the homestead on Limburn Station stands his hut, with its cheerless mud walls and grass thatched roof. In this forgotten corner of a foreign land, he spent 15 years of his life, seldom seeing anyone, except when he went to the station for stores, or when a stray trapper visited him, without human companionship of any kind. When the gold gave out, he turned his attention to trapping, and so lived his lonely life known to the countryside only by repute as a rabbiter. But there came a night when Sue Pin shut the door of his whare behind him for the last time. A few days later a shepherd, forcing the door in, discovered his dead body. An inquest was held in Ranfurly.
Maori Hill Church ceremony
Fine weather prevailed for the ceremony of laying the foundation stone of the new Presbyterian Church at Maori Hill on Saturday afternoon. The site of the building is a central and commanding half acre at the corner of Drivers Rd and Highgate, and the occasion drew a large gathering of members and friends of the church, including many members of Presbytery and the boys of John McGlashan College. At present it is intended to erect only the auditorium and tower, and these alone are estimated to cost £10,500, of which £8000 is now in sight. — ODT, 20.9.1920.