Buildings, goods destroyed in fire

After the disastrous fire at Invercargill which destroyed the premises of the New 
After the disastrous fire at Invercargill which destroyed the premises of the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Company and the National Mortgage and Agency Company. Estimated damage £75,000. — Otago Witness, 30.11.1920. COPIES OF PICTURE AVAILABLE FROM ODT FRONT OFFICE, LOWER STUART ST, OR WWW.OTAGOIMAGES.CO.NZ
INVERCARGILL, November 20: The most destructive fire that has occurred for many years broke out in the National Mortgage Company’s premises in the Crescent block shortly after 3 this morning. When the brigade arrived the place was a seething mass, and the two-storey brick premises were completely gutted. Nothing on the premises was saved. The flames broke into the adjoining four-storey building of the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Company, the main portion of this being destroyed, too, with its valuable contents. Only part of the front offices remains intact. Extensive stocks of seeds, cornsacks, fertilisers, and general merchandise were carried by both firms, and the loss will be very heavy.

It is estimated that it will cost over £20,000 to reinstate the National Mortgage buildings. The contents were valued at between £15,000 and £20,000. The Loan Company’s building contained 850 bales of wool belonging to the Imperial Government, besides a large quantity stored for clients, valuable plant, a large quantity of seed oats, manure, and general merchandise all of which were totally destroyed. The aggregate loss will probably reach £75,000.

Electricity for Peninsula

The latest report of the Electric Power and Lighting Committee of the Dunedin City Council states that authority has been granted the city electrical engineer to proceed with the reticulation of the Broad Bay, Portobello and Macandrew’s Bay district, at an estimated cost of £4370. Applications have already been received for supply from 91 Portobello residents, 56 from Broad Bay and 47 from Macandrew Bay, and the revenue from these applicants more than represents the guarantee required.

In defence of cricket

The clergyman who (according to a recent cable) stigmatised cricket as a “loafing, lazy game” was, as the phrase goes, looking for trouble. Little wonder that Mr “Plum” Warner (who, as it is pleasant to remember, once made 206 at Carisbrook, after being missed before he had scored) felt compelled to challenge the malign indictment, and to champion the honour of the pastime which, after some 30 strenuous summers, he has just relinquished, amid mingled congratulations and condolences. He would not relish the idea of having devoted so large a portion of his ample leisure to a pursuit deserving such a opprobrious epithets as “loafing” and “lazy”, and naturally he was reminded of Rudyard Kipling’s too memorable saying about “the flannelled fools at the wicket and the muddied oafs at the goal”. It seems that he once boldly asked that brilliant but heady versifier whether he really meant what he had written; and the characteristic answer was: “In this world, if you do not exaggerate, nobody will take any notice of you.”

Leprosy case in the north

Recently a leprosy case was discovered in the back blocks of the Taumarunui district (says the Dominion). The Health Department took all precautions to prevent infection as soon as the case was discovered, and is now transferring the patient, a Maori man, to Quail Island, where he will receive medical attention and be properly cared for. The discovery of this case, the sixth known in the dominion, is not viewed with alarm, as the infectivity of leprosy is not high, and cases are of extremely rare occurrence. — ODT, 22.11.1920.

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