Great events of year

Visitors and well-known sports on the lawn at Wingatui during the Dunedin Jockey Club's summer meeting. - Otago Witness, 2.1.1918
Visitors and well-known sports on the lawn at Wingatui during the Dunedin Jockey Club's summer meeting. - Otago Witness, 2.1.1918
Several great events mark the year that has passed. Only those that have an important bearing upon the operation of the year which has now been entered upon need be briefly recalled.

They are the conclusion of the Somme campaigns which were begun in 1916 and the retreat of the Germans on a front of over 80 miles to the depth of 12 or 13 miles; the battles of Arras and Lens, and the capture of the Vimy Ridge by the Canadians; the destruction of the dangerous Ypres salient by a combined British and French offensive, marked by the capture of the Messines and Passchendaele Ridges; and the opening of the ruthless submarine campaign by Germany.

This campaign against British and neutral commerce will always be memorable, because it produced the historic event of the advent of America into a European war on the side of right and humanity.

The operations of the French Army have been marked by their great and successful work north of the Aisne and their partial successes in that difficult country known as the Western Champagne.

Closely related to the terrestrial misfortunes of the Germans is the aerial activity and enterprise of the Allies. In aerial warfare of a legitimate nature the Anglo-French airmen have again and again demonstrated their superiority, and they generally maintained it throughout the year.

New Year's Eve

A light, drizzling rain set in shortly before 8 o'clock on New Year's Eve, and gradually increased in density as the evening wore on, till towards midnight there was a steady heavy downpour.

As a consequence there were not the same number of people in the streets as were to be seen on Christmas Eve. Probably, however, had the weather been fine there would not have been a much greater number of people about, as there has been a big outflow from the city to the various holiday resorts.

Most business people had a very slack day on Monday, both during the day and evening, and the absence of buyers was most marked at night as one walked along the streets and looked into the respective shops. Evidently the people had completed their Christmas purchases some days previously.

It is understood that a meeting of the heads of some of the softgoods houses was held in the afternoon to see whether it would not be advisable to close in the evening, but no agreement could be come to on the point, and nothing was done. There was an almost complete absence of rowdyism in the streets and practically no drunkenness.

The leavening effect of the thoughts for our men in the trenches restrained anyone giving way to undue exuberance.

- ODT, 2.1.1918.


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