Snowstorm relief sought

Lieutenant Durrant (wireless operator), Major Scott (commander) and Major Cooke (navigator) of the British airship R34 which crossed and recrossed the Atlantic. - Otago Witness, 12.9.1919.
Lieutenant Durrant (wireless operator), Major Scott (commander) and Major Cooke (navigator) of the British airship R34 which crossed and recrossed the Atlantic. - Otago Witness, 12.9.1919.
At yesterday's meeting of the Otago Land Board a petition was received from some 18 runholders in the Lakes district asking for some relief on account of the loss sustained by the snowstorm, experienced in the spring of last year.

Messrs T. Elliott, Edie and Lee appeared before the board as a deputation in support of the petition. Mr Lee, who acted as spokesman, said the actual losses of sheep during last year were from 30 to 33 percent, these figures being based on the shearing tallies.

The normal mortality was 12 percent. The petitioners asked for a year's extension of their leases. Last year, according to the experience of men who had lived in the district for 25 years, was the worst runholders had experienced, the snowstorm being the heaviest.

The Commissioner of Crown Lands (Mr Sadd) said there was a liability of a recurrence of these storms. Mr C. J. Inder said the heavy snowstorms recorded in Otago took place in the following years:- 1878, 1895, 1899, 1903, 1908 and 1918. Mr Sadd pointed out that the tenants knew the risk they were running when they took these properties up. Mr Elliott said the tenure of those runs was not satisfactory.

Mr Sadd said he could not understand all this talk about tenure. The present lessees had an absolute right of renewal, with full valuation for improvements. In the event of the property being subdivided the lessee had the right to select one of the subdivisions.

Mr Inder pointed out that if any relief was given it would have to be general, and could not be confined to the present petitioners. The commissioner said the board had no power to comply with the petitioners' request, and the most it could do was to make a recommendation that remedial legislation be introduced. He would go into the matter and report to the board at its next meeting.

Admiral tours Otago Harbour

Favoured by fine weather, Admiral Jellicoe's tour of inspection down the Otago Harbour yesterday morning proved a thoroughly enjoyable experience for the entire party.

The trip was arranged by the Otago Harbour Board in order to provide Lord Jellicoe with an opportunitty for inspecting the harbour, the docking facilities at Port Chalmers, and the military defences at the Heads. The Admiral and his party with a small procession of motor cars, left Dunedin at 8 o'clock and motored to Port Chalmers, where they were met by the Mayor (Mr J. M. Stevenson) and a number of prominent citizens, including crowds of children, upon whom the Admiral smiled benignly.

The town was flying all its flags, and the shipping in port made a gala display of bunting in honour of the distinguished visitor, cargo steamers, ex-hospital ships, and even colliers being a mass of fluttering streamers. It was a sailor's tribute to a great seaman, and the Admiral's eye lighted up visibly as he noticed the display.

Road hog's escapade

An Alford Forest correspondent, writing to the Ashburton Guardian, states that last week a resident left his car outside the store with the engine running; in the car was a pig, which in its struggles got mixed up with the gear lever, with the result that the car was put into the low gear, and the pig immediately started off on a joy ride.

The owner came out just after the pig had decided to start, and had to put in a good sprint to rescue his car.

- ODT, 11.9.1919.


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