Coconuts for aid deemed fair trade

Reapers and binders at work near Queenstown. - Otago Witness, 25.12.1912.
Reapers and binders at work near Queenstown. - Otago Witness, 25.12.1912.

During her voyage from Malden Island the barque Triton passed Palmerston Island, a lonely speck in the Pacific, about 400 miles south of Malden Island.

Two boats were sent off from Palmerston Island to intercept the Triton and obtain provisions as no vessel had come near the island for over four months. Captain Nicolaison gave them all the provisions he could spare, receiving in return a large supply of cocoanuts, which is about the only kind of fruit that grows on the island. Various other fruits have been tried, but the soil, such as it is, does not favour cultivation.

There are about 70 residents on the island, and they produce about 50 tons of copra annually, for which they receive provisions in exchange.

Many years ago a sailor named Mason settled down on the island, and traces of his parentage are still plainly visible in the countenances of the natives, who are of a quite handsome type, and all speak English fluently. Taken all round the Palmerston Islanders are a superior type, and, although completely isolated, they appear to have no desire to leave their lonely island habitation for the busier haunts of mankind.

• To those people who are unable to take an extended sea trip, the news that the Union Company's annual trip to Oamaru will take place on January 1 will be very welcome. This year the Maitai will make the trip, leaving Dunedin at 8 a.m., arriving at Oamaru at 12.30 p.m., leaving again on the return journey about 3.30 p.m., and arriving in Dunedin at 8 p.m. The Maitai is a vessel of about 3500 tons, and was, until a month ago, regularly engaged in the intercolonial service. She is by far the largest vessel that has yet been commissioned for this trip to Oamaru, and, with her splendid deck space, she will give holiday-seekers a fine opportunity of making the trip in comfort.

• A little boy named Mulgrew was injured under the most remarkable circumstances at Katikati, a day or two ago (telegraphs the Waihi correspondent of the New Zealand Herald). Hearing screams, the boy's mother ran out, and found the little fellow lying on the ground, where he was being savagely attacked by a white Leghorn rooster. The bird had evidently struck the boy with a spur, as there was a deep gash extending from the forehead to the nose. As the mother ran forward, the rooster turned upon her, but was quickly compelled to beat a retreat, and was afterwards killed.

• A visitor from the Gisborne district, referring to the system of party telephones, has given the Whakatane journal the following glowing account of Gisborne's extensive telephone service:-''There is hardly a Maori whare, to say nothing of the settlers' homes, for many miles from the Gisborne township but that has telephonic communication. What the system has done for the district is shown by its flourishing state, and that the system is valued by the settlers is evidenced by the fact that every new house is considered incomplete without the telephone. There are hundreds of miles of private wires in every direction. .''

ODT, 20.12.1912.



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