Tumultuous Darwin welcome

The maze, Dunedin Botanic Gardens, an attraction for visitors, young and old. —  Otago Witness,...
The maze, Dunedin Botanic Gardens, an attraction for visitors, young and old. — Otago Witness, 16.12.1919.
Darwin, December 10: Captain Ross Smith arrived at 3.40 this afternoon on his flight from England. 

His landing was spectacular.  He received a tremendous welcome.  The Mayor presented an address on behalf of the citizens. 

The aviator, in replying, said: ‘‘I hoped to make the journey in 30 days, and am proud to have accomplished it in 28.’’ 

Despite the influenza regulations to the contrary, the crowd rushed the aviators and carried them shoulder height from the ground.

The Defence Department has made arrangements for the flight of the arriving airmen across Australia from Darwin to Melbourne via Cloncurry, Charleville (Queensland), Bourke, and Albury (New South Wales), at which places there will be stores of petrol.  Flying officers to advise the fliers will be established at the various stations. 

This upsets the original proposals regarding the landing.  There will be no public receptions at Brisbane and Sydney.  The Defence Department has approved the use of the Flemington racecourse as a landing ground.

Motor traffic control urged

Cr Taverner, in speaking to the motion for the adoption of the General Committee’s report at the City Council meeting last evening, urged the committee to take more seriously the matter of controlling the motor traffic in the city. 

He said that particularly on race days the speed at which motorists drove to the course gave concern to the residents in the southern end of the city.  During the recent meeting held at Forbury Park he had had occasion to ring up the police owing to the rate at which come motorists were driving their cars. 

He had not heard of any prosecutions having taken place, but he would like to have the assurance of the General Committee that this traffic would be properly regulated.  Cr Scott undertook to give this question his attention.

Watersiders set Christmas hours

Reference was made to the statement, emanating from Dunedin, to the effect that the waterside workers had decided not to work between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day (says a Press Association message from Napier). 

Mr Glover, president of the Waterside Workers Conference at present sitting in Napier, states: ‘‘We have decided to work up to midday on the day before Christmas and turn to again at 8 a.m. on the following Monday.  This gives us Christmas Day and Boxing Day, and we do not think it worth while working for a half-day on Saturday.  We will stop work again at midday on December 31, and start again on Friday morning.  I am quite sure we are entitled to these holidays, as we have worked continuously during the whole year and have not had the fortnight, or more, holiday time that some of the trades get.  We see that the matter of shipping is important, and cannot be held up.’’

Rat explosion

A bag of over 500 rats has been secured in the King George Dock in Hull from the steamer San Jeronimo, one of the largest oil tank steamers afloat. 

The rats succumbed to the special poison and arsenical gas used by Mr E. W. Walsh, a sanitary expert, who, with his staff, has in less than two months accounted for 4000 rats in the port, and in docks and mills.  The largest of the rats in San Jeronimo measured 2ft from nose to tip of tail.

— ODT, 11.12.1919.


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