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Among those present were the Hon. G. M. Thomson and Mr C. E. Statham, M.P. Mr J. Loudon (chairman of the Electrical Committee of the Otago Expansion League) said that the Waipori scheme would not meet the wishes of the conference. A much larger scheme was necessary to suit the needs of the whole of the province.
We all recognised that it was from the country that we got our wealth. During late years the tendency had been for the country people to take up their residence in the towns, and the Otago Expansion League advocated a scheme of hydro-electric energy as a means to prevent this migration. In the South Island alone, 3,200,000 horse-power was going to waste annually.
The Southland people were promoting legislation which would have the result of placing the hydro-electric power in the hands of local bodies. If a cheap, flexible, and efficient power were introduced it would create its own demand ...
The speaker moved — (1) "That this conference, practically representing the whole of the local bodies and population of the province of Otago, respectfully asks the Government to obtain without delay a report from its responsible advisers as to the various sources in this district which will provide an adequate and efficient power to assist in the general development and advancement of the province. (2) That this conference is of the opinion that the policy as indicated by the Minister of Public Works in reply to a recent deputation — that Otago cannot look for any expenditure in the direction of developing our hydro-electric power until a North Island scheme is completed — is an injustice to this part of the country, and strongly urges that in any scheme undertaken in the interests of the dominion as a whole, and as a means of replacing the ravages of the great war by developing our latent resources to the fullest extent, Otago should participate simultaneously with other parts of the dominion."
The resolutions were adopted.
The sequel to a remarkable experience by a former resident of Central Otago has been brought under our notice. Some 13 years ago the man had a vivid dream in which he was brought into touch with the suffering caused by a great war ten years hence. In that war his son, according to the dream, was to die in action. The man was so impressed with the dream that he wrote the facts down on the door of a shed and told his friends about it. He later removed to the North Island. The dream came true in the shape of the present struggle, and he recently received word of his son’s death on the field. A resident of the Central Otago town who knew of the dream sought for and found the shed, now mounted on a sledge, in another part of the district and was able to read the scarcely decipherable writing recording the facts of his friend’s strangely prophetic dream. — ODT, 10.10.1918.
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