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It was thought that the termination of hostilities would herald a drift away from the Empire City on the part of those who had taken up their residence there to be near headquarters whilst their soldier relatives were away, but now, four months after the armistice, congestion is as rife as ever, and the heart of the house-broker rejoices.
Why he should be glad is because of the fact that people, being unable to rent houses, or rent them at a reasonable figure, are being forced to buy, and the fact that the eager purchaser is about has a trick of forcing up values. Indeed, many cases could be quoted as showing that he does the forcing himself by offering a figure likely to tempt the owner.
There is, according to several land agents who were seen by a Christchurch Press reporter on the subject, a decided shortage of modern houses to let in Christchurch - a rather serious state of affairs in view of the large number of men returning from the front, very many of whom want to start housekeeping.
The shortage is in four, five, and six-roomed dwellings at rents ranging from 15s to 25s per week. The number of this class of house available for letting is almost negligible as compared with the demand.
Some idea of the straits to which some house-hunters have been reduced is given by the allegation made by one land agent that he was offered a premium of over 10 if he could supply the class of house desired.
Hot lunches suggested
At yesterday's meeting of the Otago Education Board the following circular was received from the Education Department regarding hot lunches for school children:
''The beneficial results that have attended the introduction at some country schools (especially in the winter time, and in the case of children coming from a distance) of a system of providing hot lunches in some form or other have suggested the desirability of making the practice a more general one, and the Minister of Education desires to bring this aspect of the case before Education Boards with a view to such arrangement being made by boards with the view of the co-operation or School Committees and teachers. It is suggested that the lunches usually brought from home by the pupils might be supplemented by hot cocoa and milk, or by milk, or possibly, in schools where cooking classes exist, or where suitable provision can be made, a complete meal of a simple character might be provided, a small charge sufficient to cover the actual cost of the materials used being made where necessary.''
A combination of favourable circumstances ensured the success of the open-air concert which was given in the Botanic Gardens last evening in aid of the funds of the Hospital Helpers' Association
. The weather was splendid, with a clear sky and no wind, and there was an invigorating coolness in the air that made it most refreshing. The gardens were brilliantly lighted, and many of the borders and flower-beds revealed an unusual beauty in the artificial light that was very striking.
Five bands were present - the Maori Hill, St. Kilda, Kaikorai, Dunedin Highland Pipe Band, and the Band of the 4th Regiment - and the musical programme rendered was of a very high standard throughout and was admirably varied.
- ODT, 20.3.1919.
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