Auckland rat nuisance

This surrendered German submarine at Hastings, England, is proving a great attraction for holiday...
This surrendered German submarine at Hastings, England, is proving a great attraction for holiday visitors. - Otago Witness, 16.7.1919
The rat nuisance was the subject of a circular letter received by the Auckland Harbour Board from the district health officer, Dr R. H. Makgill.

Dr Makgill stated that the construction of the concrete wharves had done much to minimise the rat trouble along the waterfront, but it was still bad at Hobson street and the north shores, and very marked at Onehunga. The circular stated that recently it had been reported from various countries that rats infected with the plague had been found in ships or about the waterfront.

It was satisfactory to know that a continual examination of rats captured in Auckland had failed to reveal any sign of infection among them, but from complaints received by him it was evident that of recent years rats had so increased as to become a serious nuisance in many districts.

The circular recommended that the board should resume co-ordinated measures in the following respects:- Enforcement of the regulations in the direction of empowering the local authority to compel owners to clear their premises of rats; the appointment of officials to lay baits and traps; inspection of drains, sewers, and foundations of houses, with the object of making them ratproof; strict supervision of the disposal of garbage.

The board's traffic manager reported that he had doubled the number of traps in the places mentioned by Dr Makgill. Poison was laid on the various wharves, and the suggestion that the number of traps be increased, and more time devoted to that and the laying of poison. An average of 40 rats a week were being destroyed.

Welcoming soldiers' wives

Sir, - I was in Auckland when large batches of soldiers and their brides were arriving, and some of the latter were feeling lonely and strange.

We at once offered our rooms to any who would like to use them, and offered gladly to be of help to one and all. Some of our W.C.T.U. women, now that they are not knitting and sewing for the soldiers, have started to work for the soldiers' babies.

Here in Dunedin we have no official rooms to which to invite our new citizens but we have hearts as warm as our Auckland sisters, and we are willing to hold out the hand of welcome and friendship to every girl arriving. I have been appointed to do all that is possible in this department, and am desirous to get into touch with soldiers' wives all over Otago.

We recognise that many of these dear girls have made great sacrifices in leaving home and friends. They have, in some cases, sick and wounded husbands, and in a country so entirely strange to them they will need all the love and sympathy their New Zealand sisters can give them.

May I ask such to make themselves known to me, or to members of our union, and to look upon us in some measure as representatives of those they have loved and left at home? I am, etc. - Bessie Lee Cowie.

Distinguished pilot

Our London correspondent states that Major K. R. Park, R.A.F. (son of Professor Park, of Dunedin), has accomplished a fine flight round the British Isles in a Handley-Page machine with two Rolls-Royce engines.

Major Park left New Zealand with the Field Artillery, and served in Gallipoli. He has the M.C. with a bar, and the French Croix de Guerre. He was formerly in the service of the Union Steam Ship Company.

- ODT, 11.7.1919


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