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No conclusion can be drawn from a single day’s increase or decrease; the next few days will show whether it is only a temporary change as the epidemic fluctuates, or whether it is going to increase to any dangerous extent. The present position, however, is as bad as, if not worse than, that when the decision to keep the schools closed was made, and the Health Officer considers that it does not warrant the reopening of the schools on the 23rd. They may reopen a week later, but that depends on what happens in the meantime. There are now 49 cases in the Hospital, six of which are pneumonic, including one fresh one. 1914-15 Star being issued Sufficient supplies having been received from the Imperial Government, the Defence Department has now commenced the issue of the 1914-15 Star to members of the N.Z.E.F. who are entitled to wear that proud distinction. It is estimated that fully 25,000 stars will be issued — the great bulk to surviving members of the N.Z.E.F. who left the dominion in 1914-1915, and the balance to the next-of-kin or legal representatives of the fallen. It is estimated that the whole of the living men who are entitled to wear the decoration will receive theirs within 10 weeks. The issue of the star to the next-of-kin of deceased men or their legal representatives will then be commenced. The star is in bronze, being about the size of half-a-crown, and is four-pointed. On the front appears crossed swords surmounted by a crown, with the Royal cypher at the foot. In the centre, which is raised, appears the date ‘‘1914-1915’’. The star on the back is being inscribed with the number, rank, initials, and name of the wearer, and below with the letters "N.Z.E.F."
Upholding a family’s honour
A fine sense of family honour was evidenced in a case which came under the jurisdiction of the local Official Assignee (reports our Christchurch correspondent). A man who was adjudged bankrupt in 1906 died, having paid no dividend to his creditors, to whom he owed £200. This unpaid liability was a burden upon his son’s mind, and before going to the war in the Main Body he insured his life for £2000 and made provision in his will that the £200 odd owing to his father’s creditors should be deducted from the amount due under the policy should he lose his life, and that the debt should be wiped out therewith. The lad was killed in action at Gallipoli. On May 2, 1916, the creditors received 20s in the pound.
Weather a mixed blessing
The extraordinary spell of fine weather that Southland has experienced during the past three or four weeks cannot be looked on as an unmixed blessing. Up to three weeks ago agriculturalists were congratulating themselves that the province was going to experience one of the best turnip seasons for many years, but in that period there has been only one fall of rain worth talking about, and it was of short duration. Although the sun has had the partly compensating effect of bringing the oats to a head in good style, farmers are inclined to be apprehensive regarding the prospect of root crops. The grass everywhere has a burnt appearance. All the rivers are running low. — ODT, 18.2.1920.