Thursday, 24 April 2014

Hawkeye, 1911


Peculiar grass growing luxuriantly on the Hauraki Plains stymied settlers there.  A sample, sent to Mr Chesseman, Auckland Museum curator, was pronounced by him to be the splendidly named Polypegon Mons-plensius.*  Evidently it was nutritious, as cattle were known to turn aside good feed to eat it.  It was thought the seed had been dormant between the peat and the clay.  When the drains on the plains were dug  light and air reached the seed and nature did the rest.  "It is an interesting discovery and may prove of great value to settlers in the future."

The possibilities and potentialities of the Hauraki Plains were now being recognised,  The immense area of land once known as the Piako swamp was expected to become superb farming country,  A number of settlers were  scattered about in various parts of the plains, but their main disadvantage was want of roads.  Several Government grants had been entrusted to the Ohinemuri County Council for this purpose.
"A road that is of vital interest to Paeroa township is the one that will eventually go from Tirohia to Tahuna," noted the Gazette.   In dry weather it was possible for sturdy settlers  to walk along this line of road  from the Waihou River,  opposite the Tirohia railway station, to Tahuna. The roading of the roadless plains would do much towards opening them up and making the land attractive.

The Department of Tourists were notified of the many attractions of the Thames to Coromandel Road.  The Thames Chamber of Commerce asked that photos of the tantalising throughfare be included in the Department's collection. The Department's Director replied that he was well aware of the manifold attractions of the road,  and when the department's photographer was again in the north, he would include Coromandel to Thames in his itinerary.

A bush contractor from Hikutaia was returning from Mercury Bay, where he had been purchasing bullocks, when his horse fell and threw him.  He came the long way home to Hikutaia, via Auckland by steamer.

A dirty bakehouse at Karangahake had Constable Montgomery spluttering that he had seen many stables in better condition, and it should be closed at once.  On his first visit there he spied  a quarter of an inch of dirt over the floor.  An Inspector under the Public Health Act said the bakehouse floor was very dirty and beneath the trough and benches was simply filthy.  He did not think the bakehouse had been cleaned for a year and thought it should be condemned.  It was not a fit place to manufacture food.
A second bakehouse was charged with failing to lime wash ceilings and walls,  and failing to clear away dirt as required by the Inspector of Factories.  In this bakehouse, Constable Montgomery measured  a half inch of dirt on the floor and saw diseased kittens lying amongst the bread.  The bacteria- breeding bakehouse's were fined,  and the magistrate roared that "it was time this state of affairs was put to a stop."

"LOST - Two £5 notes between railway and school by a person who could ill afford the loss.  Liberal reward at Mrs Swinburne's shop."

*Polypogon monspliensis - common name is Beard grass, has a  distinctive 'fluffy rabbits foot' head.  Native to southern Europe.

© Meghan Hawkes and Dead Cert 2014

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