The findings of the Rivers Commission in regard to the flooding of the Waimakariri River show that the margin of safety is insufficient for the protection of Christchurch (wires our Wellington correspondent). It is estimated that the works for the present effective control of the river will cost £124,000. Special legislation, with a large rating area, and a special Board of Control, are recommended.
Leading Dunedin grocer farewelled
A number of the Dunedin grocery merchants met Mr John Peterson on Monday evening to say farewell to him on his retirement from the grocery
business, which he has carried on in Dunedin for close on 50 years. Mr Peterson gave some reminiscences which illustrated in a marked manner the progress in the conditions of the trade and hours of employment that has taken place since he first entered the grocery business. He said that he was bound an apprentice for five years, for which period he got no wages, receiving only his board and residence, and the hours he worked
were from 7 in the morning to 9 each night, excepting Saturday, in which case he worked from 7am to midnight. Mr H.K. Wilkinson expressed his pleasure and being able to speak of Mr Peterson’s long connection with the grocery trade, of his scrupulous thoroughness in the carrying out of all
his business dealings, and of his reliability and trustworthiness in all that he said and did.
Light-fingered employees targeted
Sir Francis Bell, addressing the annual conference of the Executive Council of the Public Service Association, raised the very important question of the probity of the service and the punishment of those who misappropriate public money. The Acting Prime Minister referred to certain misapprehensions and difficulties which had now been overcome, with the result that every person who embezzled public funds in the future must be prosecuted. He does not agree that the number of lapses are greater than usual, but there does undoubtedly appear to be room for the conclusion that peculations of public money are increasing. There have recently been what appears to be a high proportion of cases of this character before the courts. The explanation may, of course, be discovered in the new policy of prosecution in all cases. If that be so, the situation is not perhaps unduly alarming, but it carries with it the uncomfortable feeling that a proportion of offenders have escaped
prosecution in the past.
Born of very early stock
Mrs Maria Lee Baird, who died recently at Otautau, aged 82, was one of the first European children born on Stewart Island. Her father, Andrew Lee, was one of the adventurous spirits who, away back in the early part of the last century, followed the hazardous calling of a whaler. The late Mrs Baird (states the Otautau Standard) was born in 1839, and at the age of 15 years, with an elder and only sister (the late Mrs Newton, Riverton) came over to the mainland. After remaining a short time in Riverton, both sisters, in the service of the late Captain Howell, went to Burwood Station. Here Miss Lee met the late John Burroughs Baird, and at an early date the young couple were married. She is reported to have been the first woman to ride a horse on the shore of Lake Wakatipu and the first woman to row a boat on the lake.
— ODT, 22.6.1921.