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The vital sector is still the country south of the Sensee River, below Douai, and west of Cambrai, where we followed up the breach in the Drocourt-Queant line. The Germans were ordered to hold the line of the Tortille River and the crossings of the Canal du Nord at all costs, but the English and Welsh battalions with the greatest gallantry threw bridges across under heavy fire, and gained the other side.
In all the villages north of Peronne the German garrisons are fighting desperately to gain time for the retreat of their main forces. They are now receiving stronger support from their artillery than hitherto, some of their guns coming close to our lines in order to destroy our approaching tanks, which are having a demoralising effect upon the German troops. The poor devils of German infantry are having a tragic time. They are left week after week in the line.
First Church anniversary
The seventieth anniversary services of First Church were held yesterday, when large congregations assembled, the building being completely filled at night. The preacher for the day was Chaplain Rev. F. W. Burridge, M.A. B.D., of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church, Invercargill, late chaplain of the 1st Otago Battalion. In the morning the subject was ‘‘The changing years and the unchanging Christ,’’ the text being taken from Hebrews xiii, 8: ‘‘Jesus Christ, the same yesterday and today; yea, even for ever.’’
The preacher drew a contrast between the brevity of human life, as set forth in Psalm xc, with its limit of ‘‘three score years and ten, or even by reason of strength four score years’’, and the basis of permanence and stability for the Christian Church, found in the truth indicated by the words of the text, that justified the triumphant marching song ‘‘Crowns and thrones may perish, kingdoms rise and want; but the Church of Jesus constant will remain.’’
The text was a reminder that amidst all changes the Church of Christ had a living Leader, she worships a living Christ, who was able to meet the demands of every age.
Shortage of shearers
The shearing season will shortly commence, and Mr C. Grayndler, general secretary of the Shearers’ Federation, stated to a reporter at Wellington last week that he anticipated a marked shortage of shearers throughout the dominion, chiefly owing to the fact that a large number of the most competent men in the First Division were now in the firing line or else were on their way to France.
It was a noticeable fact that few shearers were applying to the head office for information, and that certainly indicated anything but a surplus. Sheep-owners who applied to the head office for men this season would have to be satisfied with those shearers who could be sent to them.
‘‘The industry will, no doubt, have to depend to a large extent on those brawny young fellows who, we have been told, can be taught,’’ stated Mr Grayndler, ‘‘and upon those vigorous old men. It is certain that learners will take a big part in shearing operations.’’ — ODT, 9.9.1918
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