Community singing craze hits

Community singing at the Octagon Hall, 1922.Otago Witness, 11.7.1922.

The people of Dunedin lifted up their voices yesterday and made a joyful noise. In other words they sang, and sang with a whole-hearted fervour and abandon that was a delight to hear. The occasion of this novel manifestation in a city that is perhaps not remarkable for its demonstrativeness was the introduction of the  community singing movement — a movement which has proved popular in various parts of the world, and is now firmly established in Wellington and Christchurch,  and, it may be added, after the success of yesterday’s "sing", in Dunedin as well. Some claim is put forward by the advocates of community singing that it has a  valuable psychological effect. What the precise nature of that effect is it is unnecessary to inquire. But when Mr Albert Russell mounts the platform with a large-sized  and infectious smile and tells the audience that the object of community singing is the "radiation of happiness’’ and that "we are all going to be pals in about five  minutes’’ then the people know what he is driving at and are at once prepared to enter into the spirit of the thing.  At the behest of Mr Russell they were swept along  on a wave of song, and if the wave at times became unmanageable and threatened to swamp portions of the tune, it was only made an occasion of merriment and  the singing went on again. It was a case of "another little song won’t do us any harm", and those present sang and sang until, in not a few cases, they sang  themselves hoarse. But they enjoyed it thoroughly.


Exploitation of Indians in Fiji

In the course of an address to a large gathering of Indians at Sydney recently, Mr Sharma, one of the members of the Indian Commission which recently investigated  the working conditions of Indians at Fiji, said that the whole system under which the Indians worked at  Fiji was  cruel. Work in the cane fields at Fiji started at 5:30 in  the morning and concluded at 6:30 at night. 

For 13 hours toil the Indians were paid 1 shilling 6 pence, but out of this they were compelled to spend 1s per day on food. The rations given by the Colonial Sugar  Company were 1 pound of rice and one ounce of peameal per day. No blankets were provided during the winter months and, as a result, there was an acute suffering  among the Indians from the cold in June and July.  Mr Sharma indicated that among the recommendations to be made to the Indian Government were: (1) that no Indian be allowed to leave India for Fiji unless under engagement at 5s per day, and (2) that unless the Colonial Sugar Company agreed to pay the 60,000 Indians  already there 5s per day, instead of 1s 6d per day, it be compelled to repatriate them. — Industrial World, by W.T. Paul

Lynchings in USA

New York: Two lynchings occurred in different parts of the South yesterday. One was in Georgia, where a young negro was burned at the stake for having robbed  and killed a white postwoman and stolen her automobile. The lynching was witnessed by 2000 persons. Various individuals shot at the negro while he burned.  Another negro was hung in Texas. He had been arrested for an alleged attack on a white girl. A posse was sent out to find him after he escaped from prison, and later he was found hanging from a tree.

ODT, 20.5.1922


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