Volunteer mail-sorters

Disinfecting underclothing at the Western Front. - Otago Witness, 4.9.1918.
Disinfecting underclothing at the Western Front. - Otago Witness, 4.9.1918.
The arrival of an overseas mail is hailed with pleasant expectation by the average public, who would be rather impatient of a few days' delay in receiving their letters or parcels after their arrival in Dunedin.

A few details may serve to show the strenuous and unselfish efforts necessary on the part of the postal staff to secure, under the present economic conditions obtaining in postal circles, the prompt delivery which the public confidently expects. A visit to the mail room last evening gave a Daily Times reporter some idea of the work involved.

Between great stacks of assorted and unsorted parcels a small army, mostly young ladies, with sleeves rolled up in the most practical manner, bustled about reducing chaos to order. From one huge stack, weighing tons, parcels of various forms were being sorted into smaller heaps, then they had to be gone over and checked.

Some of these parcels are bulky and heavy, and by reason of their number the work becomes strenuous. If these activities comprised a day's work the young ladies would have earned their wages but it is not. In fact it is not even included in the day's work, it is extra.

Most of the toilers had already put in their eight hours' day in their various positions in the Post Office, and were doing this work voluntarily so that the mail might be delivered up to time instead of ''tomorrow''.

Rabbit infestation

A transparent example of the magnitude of the rabbit pest in Otago is afforded by the experience of a Waitati settler, who, on a farm of about 85 acres, has destroyed over 1000 rabbits during the current year, not including young rabbits. For some years past similar results have obtained on this farm.

In conversation with a reporter, the farmer stated that these figures represented the outcome of continuous work. When asked what he thought were contributory causes of the pest, he said that surrounding sections, held by absentees, unoccupied land growing much shelter in the form of gorse and scrub, and occupied land on which the shelter was not sufficiently cleared tended to assist the pest in a great measure. The Rabbit Act did not appear to work effectively.

Old settler dies

After a long illness, Mr John Edie , of ''Springfield'', Edievale, aged 83 years, passed to his rest last Wednesday morning. In his early days the deceased followed the avocation of a miner at Waitahuna, but later took up land in the district now known as Edievale, when it was first thrown open to settlers.

Being a man of industrious and practical methods, he was very successful as a farmer, and built up what is now one of the finest agricultural properties in that district. He was also a public-spirited man, and for many years represented the James Riding in the Tuapeka County Council. About a fortnight ago Mr and Mrs Edie celebrated the sixty-fourth anniversary of their wedding.

Young veteran

Cromwell can boast ''some'' soldier. In a few weeks he will attain military age - 20 years - but he is able to produce evidence of two and a-half years' service.

On his first attempt to enlist, when only 16 years of age, he came under the keen eye of a colonel, and was ordered out with the assurance that he would be old enough for the next war.

- ODT, 6.9.1918


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