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Probably ``Die Wacht am Rhein'' is a rather discredited national melody at present. The German people are now realising the truth of the saying that adversity brings acquaintance with strange bed-fellows. They have also learnt that it brings them into association with strange matters.
It is a distinct tribute to the New Zealand forces who played, as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has this week been emphasising, a strenuous part in the great battles that beat down Germany's resistance in the West, that they alone of the colonial forces participated in the march into Germany which signalised the completeness of the Allied victory.
The streets of the most famous city of Rhineland echo with their triumphant tread. Among the vicissitudes of Cologne, none has perhaps been more remarkable than the utilisation of troops from the far-away little dominion of New Zealand, units in a British army of occupation, to maintain order in the city during the first election of a National Assembly in Germany under a democratic regime, and also to mitigate the danger of serious strife in German industries.
Kaitangata flood damage
Kaitangata: Kaitangata flats, from Lovell's Flat to the sea coast, are under water. Extensive damage has been done, and 70 homes have been flooded out. Provisions are being supplied by boat to several settlers.
The flood height is 18in less than that recorded in the flood of 1878, and it is 3ft higher than the 1917 mark. A large number of stock are in danger, but the water is now receding slightly. The rain has abated somewhat. Only boat traffic with outside districts is being maintained. Stocks of flour and butter are almost depleted. The public works at the canal were submerged after a strong fight to save them by the erection of walls. The materials were washed seaward. The Kaitangata Creek bridge is collapsing. The roads are unsafe, and a strong flow of water is washing across them.
Timely warning of the grave position was given, but many settlers regarded the warning lightly, resulting in the isolation of some and frenzied dashes for safety of life and stock on the part of others.
Families are now housed in halls and homes of friends. Stray stock are everywhere. Crowds of citizens are actively engaged removing furniture and effects from flooded homes.
A petition is in circulation in Timaru asking that the weekly half-holiday shall be held on Saturday instead of Thursday. It will be necessary to obtain about 700 signatures before the poll can be held.
- ODT, 31.1.1919.
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