Insurance mix-up

British troops drawing rations at the railhead on the western front. - Otago Witness, 12.9.1917.
British troops drawing rations at the railhead on the western front. - Otago Witness, 12.9.1917.
To be told in effect that he was dead, and that the insurance policy on his life had been paid over, was the experience that a well-known resident of Hokitika had a few weeks ago (says the Greymouth Star).

It seems that his gentleman, who can be designated as John Smith, had a policy of insurance on his life for the sum of 200. In the same street as John Smith resided there was also an old man of the same name.

It had been the custom of the wife of the first John Smith to send the half-yearly premiums on the policy by post to the head office. Frequently the receipts for the premiums so forwarded did not come to hand, but this did not cause any concern to the party insured.

Later developments showed that the missing receipts had been delivered by the post office to the second John Smith, who filed them away, without making any inquiry as to why or how they came to be delivered to him. Some few weeks ago this second John Smith died, and the local agent of the Public Trustee took possession of his hut and effects.

He found in the hut the receipts for a number of insurance premiums and on inquiry at the head office of the insurance company a reply was received that the company had a policy on the life of John Smith for 200, and that on production of the policy and probate the amount, with bonuses, would be paid over.

As the policy could not be found a new one was issued, and the money was paid over to the Public Trustee. By this time another half-yearly premium on the policy had fallen due, and, following his usual custom, the first-named John Smith forwarded the amount to the office.

Judge of his surprise to receive a letter which, in effect, told him he was dead, and that the amount of his policy had been paid over to the Public Trustee.

Inquiries were speedily made, with the result that the true state of affairs was revealed. Fortunately, the Public Trustee had not distributed the estate to beneficiaries in England, and the amount of insurance received was refunded.

Salmon liberated

With regard to salmon in Otago, the Minister of Marine (the Hon. G. W. Russell) has received from the Chief Inspector of Fisheries (Mr Ayson) a report that during August the following fish were liberated from the Pembroke hatchery:- In Glendhu Bay (Lake Wanaka), 95,000; in Lake Wanaka, near the outflowing of the Clutha River, 200,000; in Lake Hawea, near the outflowing of the Hawea River, 100,000; in the Matatapu, 95,000; - total, 490,000.

The total quantity of eggs sent to the hatchery was 500,000, and the loss in hatching was 10,000. It is intended in future to send more than 500,000 eggs to the hatcheries for distribution in the Molyneux River, owing to its great size.

Women deliverers

Housewives were somewhat astonished on Wednesday (says the Manawatu Standard), on opening the door in answer to the familiar baker's knock, to find one of their own sex delivering the daily bread supply.

Owing to the war, they were told, the supply of man power for delivery carts was almost exhausted, and when a man was obtained he seldom stayed more than a week or two, and the work could be done just as efficiently by women.

- ODT, 7.9.1917.


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