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Mr Tripp drew attention to a paragraph in the report of the Relief Committee stating that quite recently the committee had received several additional requests from soldiers desiring to sever their domestic relationships, which was no longer possible.
It had therefore been suggested to the Minister of Justice that the Crown should make some provision tending to enable a soldier to meet the expenses of divorce proceedings when it was shown he was in no way to blame.
''It is very hard on the fellows,'' said Mr Tripp, ''to find that their wives had gone off with someone else. We are meeting with quite a number of such cases.''
East Taieri returnees welcomed
One of the largest audiences that has ever assembled in the Riccarton Hall, East Taieri, attended on the occasion of a welcome to several returned soldiers, and men back from camp. A. B. Seaman Ronald Ings, and Sister Naismith, who returned to the district some little time ago, were also welcomed.
Mr Miller was in the chair, and the soldiers were escorted on to the stage by Mrs J. N. Waddell, the audience singing a verse of ''Soldiers of the King''. The Rev. W. W. Brown and Cr W. H. L. Christie occupied seats on the stage. The programme opened with the National Anthem.
The Chairman welcomed the boys back on behalf of the East Taieri people. The Rev. W. W. Brown presented Sister Naismith with a gold brooch and a lady's bag on behalf of the women of East Taieri. Mr W. Allan replied on behalf of Sister Naismith, and Seaman Ings acknowledged the welcome on behalf of the soldiers.
A programme of music and recitations was contributed and Mrs Munro played the accompaniments. The ladies provided supper, and the social closed with ''Auld Lang Syne'' and cheers for the soldiers.
Lignite fire at Charleston
Westport: The old town of Charleston is built over a big seam of lignite, which in places is from 20ft to 40ft in depth. The field has been worked only for local needs, but lately an effort has been made to link Charleston up with Westport by railway so as to make the coal a marketable commodity.
The seam is exposed in many places to a considerable depth, and on Wednesday it was found that a face, known as Tom's Pit, was on fire. There is only a slight earth covering over the coal. Messrs Bowwater and Bryan, who have the lease, immediately arranged a contract with Mr W. Butterworth, who has a good pipe line with a plentiful flow of water running close to the pit to extinguish the fire, and it is confidently hoped that this will be accomplished in a very short time.
Urged to retire
Public servants who have reached the age of 65 are not being encouraged to stay in the service (says the Wellington Post). Steps are being taken to give an unmistakable reminder to men who may forget to take advantage of the superannuation provision for veterans.
This policy of speeding-up the retirement of the ''sixty-fivers'' is being worked in special consideration of those public servants who joined the N.Z.E.F., and have yet to resume civilian duty. It is also intended to brighten the promotion prospects generally for the comparatively young men.
- ODT, 28.2.1919.
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