Swarthy savages fit the bill

Workers in the bush: a group at a loading bank in the King Country. - <i>Otago Witness</i>, 19.7...
Workers in the bush: a group at a loading bank in the King Country. - <i>Otago Witness</i>, 19.7.1911.
A very pleasant ceremony took place at Totara yesterday in connection with the opening of the private railway to Miss M'Donald's lime kilns.

About a hundred guests, including the Hon. T. Y. Duncan, Messrs J. M'Pherson (Mayor of Oamaru), Duncan (representing the Railway Department), Lees, Hislop and Creagh (of Oamaru), Reese (of Christchurch), Douglas (of Taieri), B. B. Couston (of Dunedin), county councillors, and farmers, met at White Craig siding, and were conveyed over the new line to the lime kilns. At the kilns a banquet was held, and a number of toasts and speeches followed.

This is the first time in New Zealand that a lady has shewn the enterprise to construct a private railway, at very considerable cost, to develop an industry, and the public men who spoke at the function expressed the general admiration that was felt for Miss M'Donald's business capacities, the hope being voiced that the venture would prove a financial success.

The railway line connects with the main railway at White Craig siding, and is a mile and a-half in length. The permanent way is of the usual Government standard for branch lines.

The work of construction was carried out under the supervision of Mr B. B.Couston, C.E., of Dunedin.

• It is satisfactory to observe that there is a prospect that Arbor Day will be revived in this district as an occasion to be suitably observed in the public schools.

The Education Board readily acquiesced yesterday in the proposal which had already been favourably discussed by a meeting of head masters that the 9th August should be a day set apart in the local schools for the inculcation of some practical lesson connected with arboriculture.

It must have been a matter for rather general regret that the observance of Arbor Day, which was brought into vogue with considerable success some years ago as an incident of public school life in New Zealand, should have languished to the point of absolute abandonment.

Whatever may have been the reasons for this, evidence of a renewal of interest in an idea that has been shown capable of producing desirable results is at least a healthy sign. It is not necessary that any elaborate programme of tree-planting should be a feature of the observance of Arbor Day.

• Much money is made out of cast-off police uniforms. Quantities are bought by African trades and exported to various parts of the Dark Continent, where they are exchanged for palm oil, ivory, skins, and other merchandise.

It is by no means an uncommon sight to see a swarthy savage dressed in the uniform of a London policeman, and wearing the regulation helmet of the force. - ODT, 21.7.1911.



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