Seaside scene beneficial to Salvation Army girls

The official opening of the Kaitangata Post Office was performed by the Hon Mr Rhodes, Postmaster...
The official opening of the Kaitangata Post Office was performed by the Hon Mr Rhodes, Postmaster General. Here, the deputy mayor, Dr Jas Fitzgerald, speaks at the opening. - Otago Witness, 1.1.1913. Copies of picture available from ODT front office,...

This week the Salvation Army brought all the girls from the Middlemarch Girls' Home to the seaside for a period of three weeks. The matron (Staff-captain Parks) and her assistants have had a trying time during the winter months in the training and housing of the 36 girls under their care, and it is believed a change to the seaside will prove beneficial to the girls.

A house has been temporarily taken as a home at St Clair. The girls will take part in the Sunday night service at the Dowling Street Hall, where they will render special singing, and on Thursday evening they will give a unique programme of action songs, drill, and recitations in the same hall, to assist to meet their expenses. It is hoped the public of Dunedin will show their sympathy in this splendid work.

• A party of holiday campers at Whare Flat had a sensational experience early on Saturday morning, which, though unpleasant enough, might have been much more serious. The two ladies of the party were accommodated in a snug, well-roofed, little manuka whare, the two gentlemen having a hut a good 10 minutes walk away. As the evening was somewhat chilly the ladies were provided with a roaring fire. About half-past 1 o'clock one of them rose and brushed together the dying embers to make a fresh blaze. She awoke again at half-past 5 to find the whare in flames. One scream aroused her sister, and in a second they were both in safety outside the hut with the scantiest of clothing and a handful of blankets.

Nothing could be done to save any of the contents of the whare, and the only course left to them was to tramp bare-footed to the men's hut to acquaint them of the disaster. Later the ladies, still bare-footed, tramped three miles to the nearest available conveyance, and having obtained a useful, if not ornamental assortment of clothing, they were driven to town. The whare contained a small stock of new clothing, and was well equipped with camp furnishings, the most important item in which was a tent. A watch was destroyed in the ruins, but a gold chain was recovered not much worse for its experience. The ladies took the matter very philosophically, their uppermost feeling being one of thankfulness that they had been aroused just before it was too late.

• It is said that our ancestors of the Stone Age had all of our pains with few of our pleasures. Dr M Baudouin has examined more than 100 skeletons of pre-historic France, and in the backbones of quite a number he has noted deformations, which chiefly affected the neck and lumbar region in men and the back in women. Dr Lucas Championiere thinks these defects must be the marks of chronic arthritis. He concludes that the simple life of the ancient cave dwellers did not lack gout, rheumatism, dyspepsia, and other modern ailments, although it was without wine and banquets of our degenerate age. - ODT 5.1.1913.

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