Seamen mission provides abundant amusement

Visitors on the road near the Broad Bay store on regatta day. - Otago Witness, 8.1.1913. Copies...
Visitors on the road near the Broad Bay store on regatta day. - Otago Witness, 8.1.1913. Copies of picture available from ODT front office, Lower Stuart St, or

During the year just past the Church of England's Men's Society's Mission to Seamen has had a busy time, as shown by the statistics just compiled for headquarters. They show that 125 visits were paid to 79 vessels, and 357 visits were paid to seamen laid up in the hospital.

The services held during the year numbered 17, with an attendance of 252 men, with one special celebration of Holy Communion. Seventeen concerts and socials were held and attended by 430 men, while the rooms were used by 414 men, making a total of 844 men for the year. Of letters written in the rooms, there were 175, while 45 were received for seamen. At an admission service for Seamen's Guild members, two were admitted members and four admitted to probation. In addition to the above, the attendances have been considerable for this month, for on the 1st there were about 40 men entertained at a picnic and entertainment, and men have attended the rooms during the week. These men were mostly from the S. S. Mamari, Nairnshire, and Kumara, and the crews have been thankful to the work carried on at St Matthew's for their comfort.

• The fruit-growers in the Tasman district (Nelson), have encountered a new pest in the way of imported red deer. These animals disregard ordinary fencing and wire netting and have already damaged over 1000 trees in one orchard. The leaves and also the young shoots on the trees seem to provide a rare titbit for the animals, and in order to cope with them the growers intend organising a monster ''drive'' taking in all the surrounding districts. By this means it is hoped to drive them back.

• An intricate problem of division engaged the ingenuity of the immigration officials a few days ago (says the Melbourne Argus). They have been endeavouring to find employment for half a dozen married couples with families, and they have only just succeeded in disposing of one family. One married couple possesses 11 children, another has eight, and the other couples from two to five children. The father of the family of 11 at the outset expressed himself as anxious that his older children should obtain work in the same district as himself, but, like the other couples, he was averse to being parted from any member of his family. The bureau, however, has been unable to make the arrangement wanted, and is perplexed by the task of dividing the families in such a way that the various members may be closely in touch with each other.

• The Wairarapa paper says people in the backblocks have other things to contend with besides bad roads. At times, in just about the narrowest places, a highwayman pig, a gigantic black boar with gleaming tusks, holds up the unfortunate traveller. For days the brute will not be seen, and then, when least expected or wanted, he grimly appears. There is only one instance where he has actually attacked a man on horseback, but several have been blocked for a time. Efforts have been made to meet the pig by armed men, but so far the callers have not been received. - ODT, 11.1.1913.

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