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Upon my being invited to the weddings of two school mistresses the figures that loomed largest were those indicating that there were 515 female and 225 male teachers in the board's employ - a striking change from the day when, in his inaugural address to the Synod of Otago in 1866, the Rev. Dr Burns stated that there were 43 schools in the province taught by 45 male and 12 female teachers. That the members of the gentler sex make the better teachers for the younger children is generally admitted, but it was to the fact of the board assisting these young women to other duties than teaching young children that my attention was drawn. Quite a number of young Otago farmers are happily mated to erstwhile school mistresses, and my recent invitations prove that others are following their good example.
Here on the one hand are intelligent, good-looking spinsters scattered throughout the province by a wise and kindly Providence, and here, on the other hand, surrounding them so to speak, are numerous healthy and wealthy bachelors of amorous and home proclivities. And the inevitable happens. For human nature will assert itself amongst intellectual as well as amongst illiterates. The "maternal instinct'', though sometimes dormant, is ever present with those whom the board formally calls its "female'' employees.
Criminals in Town Belt
"A hiding place for criminals'' was the description given by Cr Sincock at the meeting of the City Council of a locality on the Town Belt in the Belleknowes district. He stated that this neighbourhood was covered with an overgrowth of gorse and broom and he went on to give several instances of interference with pedestrians. The position was rapidly becoming an acute one, added the speaker, and steps should be taken at once to remedy the matter. Speaking a little later, Cr Hancock stated that the work of clearing these areas was being held back pending the return of the soldiers and the need for providing as much employment as possible.
Flower show entries down
The thirty-eighth annual show of the Dunedin Horticultural Society, held in the Art Gallery yesterday, was in many respects a very admirable one, but it took place under somewhat adverse seasonal conditions. Another disability was noticed in the fact that many enthusiastic horticulturalists who have distinguished themselves as exhibitors in former years had not come back from the war. The number of competitors yesterday was also rather less than in former years, many of the exhibitors having sent their blooms for exhibition only. The most noticeable among these was Mr E. A. Hamel, who, after being an invaluable exhibitor for 21 years and a premier prize-taker for nearly the whole of that period, this year generously stood aside so as not to outshine less capable and enthusiastic growers of chrysanthemums. His show table, which occupied a middle position in the hall, was crowded with close on 200 blooms in great variety. It was gratifying to Mr Hamel to know that the prizes won in the open classes fell to some of his pupils, the more so as amongst them Mr T. O'Brien, of St. Kilda, took the premier prize in show with his champion bloom Louisa Pocket.
- ODT, 29.5.1919