Adieu to French navy visitors

THE French war sloop Aldebaran which visited Dunedin. — Otago Witness, 25.10.1921. COPIES OF...
THE French war sloop Aldebaran which visited Dunedin. — Otago Witness, 25.10.1921. COPIES OF PICTURE AVAILABLE FROM ODT FRONT OFFICE, LOWER STUART ST, OR WWW.OTAGOIMAGES.CO.NZ
About 8 o’clock yesterday morning the Mayor (Mr J. S. Douglas), accompanied by Mr F.O. Bridgman and Mr A.E. Usherwood, paid a visit to the French sloop of war Aldebaran prior to her leaving the Dunedin wharf, with the object of saying farewell to officers and men.

Commander De Solminihac expressed his appreciation of the great kindness shown to the ship’s company by the people of Dunedin. They had thoroughly enjoyed their stay here.

The commander also said that he had telegraphed to the French Consul at Auckland requesting him to convey to Lord Jellicoe (Governor- General) his appreciation of the kindness and hospitality shown to the ship’s company at all the ports visited in New Zealand.

At 8.15am the Aldebaran’s men were called to ‘‘stations,” and at 8.35am the vessel’s mooring lines were cast off, and she steamed slowly down the channel towards the open sea. The [signal] ‘DJX’ (‘adieu’) was flown from the Harbour Board offices. The Aldebaran passed through the Heads at 9.55am.

Children’s poor health highlighted

The director of the Division of School Hygiene, Dr E.H. Wilkins, told the Otago Education Board yesterday that, considering the practically ideal conditions for child life in New Zealand, the state of the children’s health, taken generally, was not a credit to the dominion. The medical inspection in the schools had revealed that there was an enormous amount of preventable disease and defect.

Among the things he mentioned was that the number of perfect sets of teeth in New Zealand school children averaged about 3 per cent,  which was lower than that in any other civilised country in the world. It was deplorable to think that on the average more than five children under five years of age died every day in New Zealand. Sad as that appeared, it was still more bitter to reflect that for every child that died many contracted diseases that affected their health throughout the rest of their lives.  He attributed the bad state of the health of the children largely to faulty diet. The food habits of the people were deplorable. The principal faults were the refinement in the manufacture of wheat and other cereals, and excessive consumption of manufactured sugar and tea. 

In fact the consumption of tea with cakes, biscuits and similar super- refined and damaging foods at all hours of the day was appalling.  The substitution of whole wheatmeal bread for white flour bread, combined with a very great reduction in the consumption of sugar and sweets was required; also the greater consumption of fruit and vegetables, and in many cases a reduction in the meat allowance.

Otago children’s ailments

Dr R.J. Mecredy, school medical officer, submitted the following rather startling report to the meeting of the Education Board yesterday: “542 children were examined during the month of September in eight schools. 466 children were completely examined. Of these 3.4 per cent had perfect sets of teeth; 11.3% had some normal nutrition; 48.7% suffered from enlarged tonsils; and 11.1% had goitre. Musselburgh and Mosgiel were the only big schools dealt with. 12.4% of the children had pediculosis (unclean heads). Moeraki, with over 50 per cent and Northeast Harbour with 33 per cent, were the first offenders in this respect. ’’

  — ODT, 21.10.1921.


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