Six o'clock closing

The Duke of Connaught inspects the victors of the Messines battle: greeting a New Zealand general. - Otago Witness, 4.12.1918.
The Duke of Connaught inspects the victors of the Messines battle: greeting a New Zealand general. - Otago Witness, 4.12.1918.
By the narrowest of majorities in the House of Representatives, an amendment providing for the permanence of the six o'clock closing of hotel bars has now become part of the Licensing Bill as it will be transmitted to the Upper House.

If the Legislative Council accept the proposal, which the Prime Minister declined to do, on the ground that the present Bill was no place for it, this question will be definitely disposed of, for the time being at all events. We venture to think that the general public will, as a whole, view the prospect with perfect composure.

Six o'clock closing of bars has now been the rule in the dominion for a period sufficiently long to demonstrate that as a practical measure of reform it possesses many recommendations.

The community has survived remarkably well the change that the introduction of this system of early closing involved, and has suffered no apparent hardship in the curtailment of the hours during which the law permits hotel bars to be open.

On the other hand, it has enjoyed the benefits, not entirely negligible so far as the maintenance of order and decency is affected, that have accrued from the reduction of the facilities for the sale of drink.

We have little doubt that the popular verdict would go strongly against a reversion to the old order of things.

Fear of contagion

The reluctance of some people to aid their sick neighbours was illustrated in a case in Auckland, where the patient, a man living alone, had been very feeble and ill for several days.

He seemed to make little improvement. The visitor (reports the Herald) noticed one morning that his outdoor clothes were in a different place from that in which she had last seen them several days before.

''Have you been out?'' she asked in surprise. The man hesitated, and at last confessed he had got up and dressed every day in order to go outside and feed his fowls.

His neighbours had shown marked aversion, ''and I couldn't let the poor birds die of hunger,'' he said. The visitor lost no time in calling on the people next door and expressing her personal views on the matter.

Flying School continues

The work of the New Zealand Flying School at Kohimarama, which has been an important factor in the training of aviators during the war, will not be affected by the cessation of hostilities.

It is intended by the proprietors to carry on the school, and considerable attention will be devoted to the training of civilian airmen, both for commercial and sporting purposes. At present there are 26 pupils at the school.

Juvenile joker

The mystery of the recent shifting of bicycles from doorways or other convenient standing places and their discovery a few blocks away has at last been solved.

A lad of nine years of age, with a perverted sense of humour, has confessed to this system of practical joking, as a result of inquiries prosecuted by Constable M'Culloch. The boy did not discriminate in his favours. He would annex a bicycle, ride it till he saw another standing against a wall, change mounts, and so on.

In one evening he gave no fewer than four machines an airing. It is not thought that he will carry on his practice of commandeering bicycles for some few days at least - if he ever again dares to take the risk - for the simple reason that he has received a good thrashing.

- ODT, 5.12.1918.


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