Truant family

A glimpse of the "bird-cage'' containing German prisoners captured by the Australians on the Western Front. - Otago Witness, 22.5.1918.
A glimpse of the "bird-cage'' containing German prisoners captured by the Australians on the Western Front. - Otago Witness, 22.5.1918.
An extraordinary case of family neglect of education was brought before the Otago Education Board in a report from the truant officer yesterday.

There are no fewer than 14 children in the family concerned, which belongs to the Sutton district, and only one of the 14 has reached as far as the Fourth Standard.

The individual records show that the oldest, a lad 21 years of age now at the front, has passed only the Second Standard; the second, aged 19, passed the Second Standard, the third passed the Fourth, the fourth and fifth passed the Third, and the sixth, aged 15, passed the Second.

These five latter are all working at home. Of the seven of school age, the oldest, a girl aged 12 years and nine months, has passed the Second Standard, and none of the remaining six has passed any standard at all. The youngest of the family is three years old.


Dentists busy

It would appear that men called to the colours would be well advised to have their teeth looked over by their dentist before entraining for the north, judging by the information contained in a letter from a soldier who left Dunedin a couple of weeks ago as a Class A man of the Second Division.

This is what he says: ''They have quite a battalion of dentists here. Great workmen they are, but they seem to take a delight in taking out as many as possible. It is deadly to see youths with 26 and 28 teeth taken out at one sitting, and you can't argue the point, either. If they say they are to come out, out they come. It is all by painless. Of course, you don't feel them, but the after effects on some are deadly. I haven't had my turn yet, and I can tip you I'll be glad when it is over.''

It may be added that when a man is first medically examined as to fitness, the state of his teeth does not bar him from being passed, if he is otherwise sound.


Long overdue

An American schooner, which left Sydney for San Francisco early in November last, recently arrived at her destination about 60 days late, according to information received by Messrs Horwood and Co., of Sydney. She was loaded with copra in Sydney, and it was anticipated that she would make San Francisco about 70 days after leaving Sydney.

However, continuous adverse winds delayed the vessel to such an extent that she did not reach San Francisco until 127 days after her departure from Sydney. She had been fully provisioned before leaving, but owing to the protracted nature of the voyage supplies ran out, and but for the timely meeting with a large Dutch trader those on board the schooner would have probably died of hunger.

The Dutch vessel gave the schooner sufficient supplies, and she was able to finish her voyage. Her owners in San Francisco were on the point of giving the vessel up as lost when she sailed into port.


Otago epidemics

The prevalence of infectious diseases in many parts just now was discussed at the meeting of the Otago Education Board yesterday.

The Chairman (the Hon. D. T. Fleming) said that a certain amount of scarlatine was going about, and he suggested that all schools should be disinfected during the coming holidays.

The secretary of the board (Mr S. M. Park) stated that four schools had had to be closed on account of epidemics.

- ODT, 17.5.1918.


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