Epidemic nears end

Peace day celebrations in Timaru: the procession in Stafford St, with the fire brigade leading. -...
Peace day celebrations in Timaru: the procession in Stafford St, with the fire brigade leading. - Otago Witness, 11.12.1918.
The epidemic has reached its diminishing stage to such an extent that it must, with reasonable care, soon become non-existent.

Reports from all quarters, so far as the city and suburbs are concerned, are confirmatory of this opinion.

It is true that in one or two quarters some serious cases still remain, but even in these directions the condition of matters has improved.

The notifications of pneumonic cases to the Public Health Department yesterday were 18 in number; two from Waitaki, six from Otago, nine from Southland, and one from Wallace.

The decrease is a material one when the past few days are taken into account.

Dr Faris was in attendance at the Public Health Office yesterday, and will resume his ordinary duties to-day.

During the height of the epidemic the creamery at Manurewa, Auckland, was run by a woman, with the aid of her children.

At Papatoetoe, where the staff of the local creamery was also incapacitated, settlers kept it going, in addition to rendering good service in attending to the homes and farms of their neighbours.

Several farmers were unable to attend to the milking and other duties, and, to assist them, one man kept his milking machine running throughout the day for the benefit of all who could not attend work themselves.

Black Hole of Lille

London: Some of the returned war prisoners give horrifying details of the Black Hole of Lille.

It was a huge underground cavern, in which 270 men were confined for five weeks in an unspeakable state of neglect, famine and disease, with no clothing or covering except that in which they left the battlefield.

They were only allowed in the outside air for 10 minutes daily.

Twenty of them were taken to hospital suffering from dysentery. The vermin had to be scraped off their clothes with knives. The place was never cleaned during the five weeks, and the food was so foul as to be uneatable. The men practically went mad. They used to lie on the ground killing vermin and singing hymns. The men used to fight to reach the latticed window, which was 10ft above the floor, to get air. The men were compelled to bathe their wounds with the coffee given them to drink.

Efficient department

Chatting to the secretary of the Minister in Charge of the Discharged Soldiers' Information Department, a Dominion representative was furnished with two rather striking instances of how effective the organisation of the department is. "A miner just about to be discharged from camp walked in here two days ago,'' said Mr Mulligan. "We made him a farmer at Otaki, earning $2 a week and'found'. The whole thing took about two minutes. Another case we disposed of was that of a lieutenant, who had a little money and wanted to take up sheep-farming, a business in which he had not had much experience. We were able to place him on a big estate and secure him $3 a week and a four-roomed house for himself and his wife. And that, too,'' Mr Mulligan remarked, "took about ten minutes!'' - ODT 11.12.1918

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