Thursday, 5 December 2013

Hawkeye 1883

A scandulous sly grogging selling case surfaced at Coromandel - the offender being a local Wesleyan preacher who was in the habit of selling spirits to bushmen.  Frequent complaints of drunkenness and disorder were made to the police.  Sundays were particuarly bad, being the preying preacher's favourite time for dispensing spiritual comfort at ten shillings a bottle.  In court a blacksmith named Peacock declared he had got two bottles of brandy from the preacher for 10 shillings each.  Sergeant Rist testified he had secreted himself in a whare wearing plain clothes and observed the whole "carnival."  The magistrate considered the offence thoroughly proven.

More sober in his duties was the Reverend Father Boyle.  Proceeding to Waihi to attend his clerical duties, his horse was swept from under him while crossing the Waitete River.  The reverend gentleman then swam the river and regained his horse from the other side.  On his return journey to Thames he attempted to cross the Komata River but this time he lost his horse altogther and narrowly escaped drowning himself.  Although he was only six or seven yards from the bank he had to swim nearly half a mile before he reached safety.  His two coats containing a cheque and gold and silver worth 30 pounds were swept away.  The pooped priest then had to walk to Paeroa in his shirt sleeves.  Between Waihi and Paeroa he came across a small hut.  The woman owner refused him food or shelter on the grounds that he was a Catholic priest.  When he asked the odd occupant to show him the road to Paeroa,  he was told to go along, he would soon find it.  "Rather remarkable treatment of a tired traveller in the country," spluttered the Star.

A drenching was also experienced by Paeroa township when a great flood carried away the wharf and steamer goods shed.  Houses on the Ohinemuri river's left bank were swamped and had to be abandoned.  The Junction Wharf was under water and cattle were swimming in the paddocks between Paeroa and Puke.  The Thames to Tauranga coach could not get through after its wheels locked and the pole broke while crossing the Komata river.  The dogged driver then took the mail through on horseback.  "The storm still continues heavy in the valley of Waitekauri."

An exodus by steamer from Thames was occasioned by the Agricultural and Pastoral Society's show in Auckland where George McCaul of Thames was awarded first prize for ovens, tinware, spouting and lead ridged cap.

Dry weather at Thames all but stopped the stamper batteries as water levels in the County race fell - the batteries being dependant on water for motive power.  Bulls battery had not worked for four or five weeks, the Herald and Queen of Beauty batteries were very little better off and the Alburnia had stopped several times to allow a supply of water to build up in the reservoir.  The scarcity of water happened at an unfortunate time - there was a large supply of quartz ready to crush.

"WANTED - for Barlow's Juvenile Dramatic Company - a fairly educated GIRL about 14 or 15, for comedy line - a good vocalist preferred.  Apply, with parents written consent, to Mrs BARLOW, Brown Street."


© Meghan Hawkes and Dead Cert 2013

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