Ode to poet overflows

The annual gathering of the Dunedin Burns Club, and of Scotsmen generally, to celebrate the 154th anniversary of the birth of the poet Burns was of such dimensions that it more than filled the Garrison Hall.

The management had evidently not anticipated such an overflowing attendance, and was sorely put to it to find seating accommodation for everyone. Forms and chairs were brought into the hall and quickly taken possession of, and when the concert began the audience was sitting right up to the stage, with a few still standing. The stage had undergone a good deal of ornamentation and decoration, and presented quite a handsome appearance.

The Burns Club choir, which seems to be constantly growing, occupied a place on the stage, the ladies having donned tartan sashes in honour of the occasion. The national instrument of Scotland always appeals powerfully to Scotsmen, and when the Dunedin Pipe Band played an opening selection the audience became enthusiastic, one gentleman in the front remarking, ''That's the music you will hear when you get to Heaven''.

• Greymouth: Learning of a parliamentary trip to Central Otago, the chairman of the Westland County Council (Mr Joseph Grimmond) yesterday telegraphed an invitation to the Hon. W. Fraser to extend the tour to Westland. Mr T. E. Y. Seddon, M. P., and Mr Ormond have agreed to meet the members of the party at Lake Wanaka and escort them over the Haast Pass and up the coast to Hokitika.

It is hoped that so useful an excursion can be arranged, affording as it would a fine opportunity for many of the members of Parliament to see something of South Westland and its possibilities when served with a through line of railway down the coast and linked up with Otago Central - a railway project which was once the dream of the late Right Hon. James Macandrew, and which afterwards had the approval of the late Right Hon. R. J. Seddon as a scheme for speedy realisation.

• A correspondent of the Press writes: - A remarkable discovery was recently made concerning the hatching powers of the sparrow. Not long ago Master Crispian Saunderson, of Wright's road, Hillmorton, climbed up to a sparrow's nest, extracted the eggs, and in their stead put a hen's egg, not thinking the sparrow would sit on it; but, to his great surprise, on climbing up, after 22 days, he found that a chicken had been hatched, which is now running about the yard. Another egg was placed in the nest, and every time the boy climbs up the tree, the sparrow flies out, leaving the egg quite warm. - ODT, 25.1.1913.

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