Domestic servants in short supply

A panoramic view over the Taieri Plain, with the Wingatui racecourse in the foreground. — Otago...
A panoramic view over the Taieri Plain, with the Wingatui racecourse in the foreground. — Otago Witness, 23.3.1920.
The fact that there is that which money cannot buy is receiving more and more prominence in the evolution of the social system.

The gradual deterioration of what is known as domestic service has reached its culmination in the lamentable plight in which the average married woman in the dominion, overburdened with family cares and social duties, finds herself at the
present time. 

The advent of the industrial era has opened up avenues to women that have diverted the most ambitious of their sex to industrial pursuits, and the field of domestic service has in large measure been left to the more thriftless and incompetent. 

It is not to be denied that the harsh treatment to which household assistants were subjected in the past by some inconsiderate mistresses, together with the inadequate food and lodging provided for them, has contributed to the existence of a distaste for domestic service, and the extension of education has also been a factor of some importance in depleting the ranks from which domestic help was formerly secured. 

The net result is that the supply of even incompetent domestic assistants is diminishing, and that, except in the cases of those employers who are in a position to pay exceptionally high wages and who are prepared and able to offer the inducements of comfortable quarters and attractive conditions, domestic help is procurable with such difficulty that a feeling of despair has seized a great many women whose need of help is not seriously to be questioned.

Car conversion becoming common

There are a number of joy-riders in Dunedin at the present time, who are evidently disinclined to pay for the hire of a car, and who, therefore, take the opportunity of commandeering any motor car left unattended. 

Within the past fortnight no fewer than a dozen cars have been temporarily lost to their owners, and in one or two instances they have been rather badly knocked about.

One car, which was taken in the evening from outside His Majesty's Theatre, was not discovered by its owner until three days had elapsed, and the distance register showed that it had travelled 200 miles. 

The machine, however, did not receive any serious damage.  Another car was taken on Tuesday night.  It was found abandoned after the expiry of about two hours, but by that time the thief-driver had managed to badly strip the gears.  The owner will have to pay £15 to £20 to get new gears put in. 

The thief-drivers leave the cars anywhere after they have completed their unlawful joy-rides, and their owners are put not only to the inconvenience of temporarily losing their machines, but to the trouble of having to go out on the highways and byways to look for them.

The wearing of the green

Little bits of green caught the eye all up and down the streets yesterday.  It was the day dedicated to the memory of St. Patrick, around whose name clings many a quaint and fanciful legend, and no true-blooded Irishman could forbear to deck himself out with some emblem that was the outward and visible symbol of his inward and ardent patriotism. 

In the evening the concert at the Grand Theatre provided a more tangible expression of national loyalty. 

— ODT, 18.3.1920.


Add a Comment