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There was already a shortage of coal supplies in Dunedin, and the position has now become much more acute. The welcome arrival of the Verdun with close on 6000 tons of Newcastle coal on board should relieve the shortage for the Dunedin railway engines in the meantime, but as Oamaru and Invercargill have to receive a quota of this cargo, a further shipment will be required in the not distant future. The arrival of the Newcastle shipment, however, will have the effect of allowing Westport coal coming forward to be diverted from the railways to local industries. Nevertheless, it will be a week at the very earliest before the southern sources of supply are again available, and stocks will then be so depleted that it is doubtful if sufficient coal will be accumulated to carry Otago over the winter — that is, unless rigid economy in the use of coal is exercised by householders and industries alike.
Generous billeting response
The Mayor of Dunedin writes to us as follows: "I desire most sincerely to thank the large number of citizens who, so promptly and generously responded to my request for assistance in billeting the soldiers who returned on Thursday. Dunedin once again showed in a practical way a splendid appreciation of the men who have done such glorious work at the battle front. Within an hour of the opening of the Town Hall far more than the required number of homes were placed at the disposal of the returning men, and during the morning accommodation for five times the required number was offered. I regret that so many were disappointed in not being provided with a soldier guest."
Fatal air crash at Riccarton
The Riccarton Racecourse holiday was turned into a tragedy this afternoon. Just as the Lyttelton Plate was being run, at 4.10 p.m., C. M. Hill appeared over the racecourse in the Canterbury Aviation Company’s new aeroplane. He circled over the course, disappearing in low lying clouds; but, reappearing again in a nose dive, he circled again, and finally flew low over the course, being cheered by the crowd as the familiar figure was discerned. He was diving directly towards the crowd, and rose to take a loop, but as he did so there was a palpable snap, and one wing collapsed. The machine lurched over sideways and it was evident that the end had come for a very brave and popular aviator. Some said that both wings had collapsed. The crowd was speechless with horror, but immediately there was a rush across the course to the spot where the aviator had disappeared. Word came back that the biplane was in matchwood, and the aviator dead.
Fish are very plentiful in the harbour at present (says the Bluff Press). Hauls of trevalli up to a ton per tide are not infrequent. The laying up of the dredge is the chief cause of the increased number of fish in the bay. A large number of very fine groper have been caught with line and hook off the wharf, and the growing line of fishermen along the wharf is a certain sign of the sport being met with. — ODT, 3.2.1919.
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