City’s first nationals in a decade

M. Swinburne (Wellington, right) wins the 100 yards ladies’ handicap at the NZ Amateur Athletic...
M. Swinburne (Wellington, right) wins the 100 yards ladies’ handicap at the NZ Amateur Athletic Championships at Caledonian Ground, Dunedin. — Otago Witness, 25.3.1924
On Saturday afternoon the Amateur Athletic Championships of New Zealand were decided at the Caledonian Ground before a large gathering of spectators. The last of these championship meetings to be held in Dunedin took place in February, 1914. The weather was dull and cold from a spectators’ point of view, but the conditions were excellent for the competitors. There was a wind against them coming up the back straight, hut it did not affect them seriously. Though the recent rains undoubtedly had a certain effect in plowing the track, the ground was by no means soft. Very complete arrangements for the meeting had been made by the Otago Centre, and the long programme was put through smoothly and expeditiously. In addition to the 19 championship events, a number of flat handicaps were decided, school races, cycle races and also women’s races, which are something of a novelty to Dunedin. Whether it is a matter of more experience or not, the latter races were annexed quite easily by northern competitors. Miss Swinburne, of Wellington, showed remarkable speed, and covered the 100 yards in 11 sec in fine style. The net result of the meeting was that the championship shield was retained very easily by Wellington. In the 19 championship events they secured ten firsts and eight seconds, making a total of 65 points. Canterbury came next with 32 points (six firsts and a second), Otago third with 20 points (two firsts and five seconds), and Auckland last with 11 points (one first and three seconds). There were a number of close finishes during the day, and the New Zealand standard was passed on several occasions.

Ship steering fin broken

The oversea steamer Tainui was docked at Port Chalmers on Saturday prior to going on the loading berth. When the dock was pumped out, officials were astounded to see that half of the rudder was missing. The missing portion of the rudder is about 6 feet by 7ft 6in. It was broken clean off  horizontally, the break being about in line with the 10ft draught mark on the stern post. As soon as the damage was noted steps were immediately taken to effect repairs. The Stevenson and Cook Engineering Co were entrusted with the repairs, and the rudder will be unshipped this morning to have a new portion made to take the place of the part that was lost. It is said that the vessel was fortunate in being docked at Port Chalmers, where up-to-date appliances were available for repairs, and where many big jobs in ship repairing have been carried out successfully.

Insulators hard to resist

There is a strong fascination to the average boy in being able to throw a stone straight, and to achieve perfection in his direction he is often tempted to make targets of telegraph insulators. Six boys, who were found out, appeared in the Juvenile Court on Saturday morning, before Mr J.R. Bartholomew SM charged with breaking insulators and lamps at Mornington. Their ages ranged from nine to 14 years. Twenty-one insulators had been broken in one short street. The juvenile probation officer (Mr Lock) said that the boys came from respectable homes. The Magistrate said that he would leave the parents to punish the boys and would adjourn the case for six months, the boys to be under the control of the juvenile probation officer during that period. The parents would have to make good the damage. — ODT, 17.3.1924

Compiled by Peter Dowden