Islanders' contribution

A battery of the New Zealand field artillery in action on the Somme, in France. - Otago Witness, 17.7.1918.
A battery of the New Zealand field artillery in action on the Somme, in France. - Otago Witness, 17.7.1918.
There arrived in Sydney last week 25 Gilbert and Ellice Island policemen, who have volunteered for service at the front, and whose services have been accepted by the Imperial Government.

When this little company of men, who came from the ''uttermost part of the Empire''- the Gilbert and Ellice Islands colony - arrives at the front, it may be said that every part of the British Empire is helping in the glorious fight of right against German might.

The group of 26 islands, comprising the Gilbert and Ellice Island colony is 250 miles from Sydney. As soon as the natives of this group heard of the declaration of war by the British Government against Germany, thousands of the natives from all parts, made application to the Resident Commissioner to be allowed to go to the front.

This application was, on account of the cost of transportation, refused, and then the natives asked to be allowed to contribute to some of the empire's funds.

Permission being given, the natives gave over 10,000 to the Prince of Wales' Fund and Belgian Relief Fund, which was a truly magnificent donation from a population of about 30,000 people, whose only means of acquiring money was by selling copra.

Sickness causes truancy

The Truant Officer (Mr John E. Ryan) reported that for the month ended 11th inst. 16 notices had been served on parents for the irregular attendance of their children at school.

Two convictions were obtained at the Magistrate's Court, Tapanui. Owing to the unusual prevalence of contagious diseases - scarlet fever, diphtheria, mumps, etc., and tonsilitis, the general attendance was adversely affected. Many parents also fearing infection of their children had refrained from sending them to school.

Recovering from snow

Mr R.Young, the Mount Cook guide, who was one of the Lands and Public Works Department's party which left Christchurch last Friday for Lees Valley, returned on Wednesday. The party was successful in reaching Lees Valley, via the Blowhard track, and found the settlers and others all safe.

A thaw has set in, and snow slips are clearing the hills. It is feared that there will be heavy losses of stock. Under the north-westers and heavy rain the snow is disappearing in the back country at Geraldine, and latest accounts go to show that losses of stock will not be so heavy as feared.

From Mesopotamia, on the Upper Rangitata, it is reported that snow raking recovered practically all the sheep, those employed stating that they saw only four dead sheep. From Mount Peel, too, the reports are favourable.

Maori warriors

Amongst the Maori tribes of old there were no second Division Leagues.

''In regard to military duty,'' said Mr Elsdon Best, in a lecture at Wellington, ''every man was ready at a minute's notice to defend the commune. Let but the signal fire gleam on a far range, or the doleful booming of war trumpets resound through the forest, and every able-bodied man seized spear or patu, girded up his loins and, in single file, the group contingents swung out upon the war trail that leads to victory, or the broad way of Tane to the spirit world. Nor did the Second Division man stay to claim another 3s a day. He jumped right into it. And what is more. Mrs Second Division went along too. She went to cook the dinner. And you know what the dinner was.''

- ODT,19.7.1918.

 

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