Education key to lightening burden

A group of Dunstan pioneers: from left:  David McConnachie, one of the first storekeepers in...
A group of Dunstan pioneers: from left: David McConnachie, one of the first storekeepers in Alexandra and Clyde; William Theyers (standing) one of the first storekeepers of Alexandra; Jeremiah Drummey, a contractor; Mr Dewar (standing), one of the...

Westport, November 28: The following letter from Mr G. Joachim, managing director of the Westport Coal Company, to Dr Truby King, was read at the latter's meeting here last evening, and evoked great applause:-

"I am glad to hear that you are going to lecture on the West Coast on the health of women and children, and that there will probably be a Plunket nurse established at Greymouth. I am more especially interested in Westport and neighbourhood. I feel confident that the Greymouth nurse will have as much as she can do to manage that and surrounding places. I have done what I can to ameliorate the life of the workmen in our mines, but I have not been able to do anything for the wives.

"I am satisfied that nothing can lighten the burden of life in the case of a married woman who has to bring up a family and attend to her household duties so much as to give her the benefit of the society's system, to be taught first by yourself and Mrs King, and the teaching to be continued by the Plunket nurse, aided by local committees.

"I am therefore most anxious to have a Plunket nurse established in Westport to take charge of that district, including Waimangaroa, Denniston, Burnett's Face, Birchfield, Granity, Millerton, and Mokihinui. To enable the necessary funds to be raised the Westport Coal Company will subsidise funds subscribed locally by giving 1 for 1 up to 100 per annum for a period of three years on condition that the nurse's services are wholly given to the place"

All Dr King's meetings on the West Coast have been well attended.

• The very valuable work which the Department of Agriculture has been doing during the past few years in the way of establishing experimental plots on farms dotted all over the country is being extended rapidly in the South Island (says the Lyttelton Times). Under the scheme adopted by the Department the farmers supply the land and labour, and the department the seed. The crops go to the growers to recompense them in some measure for their part of the work.

It is stated that there are now over 200 farms in the South Island where these plots have been made and the results cannot fail to be of great value to all engaged in agricultural and pastoral pursuits. There are experimental plots in every province in the South Island and practically all kinds of grain and root crops are being experimented with. There are manurial experiments, tests to determine whether certain classes are more immune from blight than others, and so on. Large numbers of farmers, not so much in Canterbury as in the other provinces, are experimenting with lucerne and the results obtained in provinces so different from the climate standpoints, as Nelson and Southland must prove of value. The plots already arranged for have all been dealt with in the past six months, and it is practically certain that many more will be added to the list before long.

Some of these plots, such as those at the Canterbury Meat Company's works at Belfast, are well known and their educational value is freely admitted. The same remark applies to the numerous experimental plots established in connection with district high schools throughout the island. The recent agricultural and pastoral shows have proved in a very marked manner the great interest which these experiments have created in the minds of the scholars.

- ODT, 29.11.1912


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