Most of week showery. Fri. & Sat. fine, rain again today for a time.
Sale of bottles took up much time in early part of week, but by Thurs. we had sold & delivered many thousands & got floors of room pretty clear once more. Mon. Vesp. Adjourned meeting of S & W Soldiers Fund. Harley ruled any amendment out of order but I made a fiery speech. Old Com’ee almost all rejected.
Much time in arranging about Mr Pitt’s trip to inspect house at Golden Downs. He went Fri. A.M. & returned Sat.
Sat. A.M. spent about 2 hours at Inst. going into finances with Mrs Graham. P.M. Mr Hall, the beetle collector, now on last leave before leaving with 19th’s called a spent whole afternoon here. This A.M. went down to F.H Richmond’s & put to rights the rack part of their telescope. Then to M. Boor & copied most of marks of Boys’ Central School. P.M. went to the school & spent much time in tidying up. Sid, etc. to dinner.
War – small advances on all fronts, but Italians seem to have gained great victory at end of week. Long casualty lists still pouring in. Alan Rout dangerously ill. Submarines sank several small vessels off American coast.
Most of week fine but showery all day yesterday & this morning.
Very uneventful week. Have been doing my ordinary school work & in the evenings have done clerical work & written many letters. Rec’d letter from Prof. Marshal re Cawthron Institute Commission. For 1st time wore specs at Harmonic practice on Thursday & found much advantage. Most of Sat. at home doing clerical work, esp. with exam marks in view of examination visit on Wed. week. This A.M. M. Boor helped me enter some marks into registers. Am now busy preparing for big fight at meeting tomorrow night.
Not much war news. We have made slight progress but weather very bad. Russians have begun another big attack in Galicia. Terribly heavy casualty lists this week – many thousands. F. Barltrop, J. Saxon, C. Harrison among killed. Veysey, Worley wounded
Warm & pleasant till Thurs. Since then cold blustering wind with showers from S.E. & N.E.
Monday Dominion Day. Rev’d Mackenzie addressed children who saluted flag. Dispersed by 9.30. Did clerical work & read. Wed. Dick came across for day, having been to Wellington on business. Came up about 7am & left by Nikau, 7pm. Tues P.M. saw Harley re Waitapu lime. Thurs P.M. while I was at Brook St School Deci Hudson had epileptic fit. We thought at first he was choking & I rushed off on motor cycle for Sid. Later took him home to Davidsons. Sat. A.M. in town. Long talk with W. Rout re Cawthron Inst., also with Miss Palmer re her Richmond position. Today Sid & family to dinner. Have corrected writing of whole school & read reviews. Am preparing marks for Inspectors’ visit & am examining school in class subjects.
On Somme front several big advances – Thiepval, Combles, Lesboeufs & many other position being captured. Enemy seem to be becoming demoralized. Germany apparently has sent Gerard to America on peace mission so Lloyd George made great speech declaring for complete victory before peace can be entertained. Reichstag opened.
Very heavy casualty lists coming through. About 200 killed & 500 wounded in last night’s paper alone.
Beautiful weather all week, but air rather cold.
On Tues. night Re was out for the evening. Mother had rather richer tea than usual & chocolates during evening. But her attack was probably the gastric enteritis which has been epidemic lately in Nelson & has kept many youngsters away from school. At bedtime she felt rather unwell & would not have her soup for supper. She had a very bad night but Nell’s return from Timaru on Wed. A.M. probably prevented us from noticing how ill she was. She remained in bed all day. When I got home at about 5.30 I read the mail news to her & while doing so she tried to be sick. I lifted her up in bed to a sitting position & was astonished to find how limp & weak she was. Sid came up shortly after & said he should have been sent for earlier. After tea she again tried to be sick while we were all upstairs, but she swooned away and almost succumbed. I rang up Sid who came up immediately & slept here all night. For 24 hours we had a very anxious time & telegraphed to all the rest of family on Thurs. A.M. in case things should take a bad turn. She was unconscious most of the time & her heart action was very weak. Thurs. Vesp. Dr Washbourn came with Sid. I did not stay at Harmonic. Sid again slept here. By Fri. A.M. she was distinctly better & since then she has made slow but steady progress.
Of course mother’s illness has caused most other things to be put on one side. On Tues. I had a Binks carburetor fitted on to motor cycle, but have not yet adjusted it quite right. On Wed. & Thurs we got ground & posts ready for basket ball. On Thurs. P.M. Mr Just gave 6th a lesson. On Fri. A.M. he gave me instruction in drill for defectives & then gave a lesson to S.5. I afterwards gave lessons to S.4. & S.3. & of course there is at present a great rage for the game.
Sat. A.M. in town paying bills, etc. P.M. & Vesp. read & did clerical work. Ditto all today so far as time permits.
Skilton rang up yesterday to say no lime procurable after all.
War news continues good. On Somme good advance made, partly by help of new armoured cars – the “tanks”. Desperate attack by Germans on French part of front completely repulsed. A general order issued by Falkenhaym in August has been found warning troops re failure of munition reserves. Advance from Salonika proceeding slowly.
Most of last week fine but about 70 points fell on Tues. I think. Mon. Institute meeting. Thurs. only 2 basses at Harmonic but good att’ce of others. Tues. Vesp. read Rice’s little book on Voice Production & have found it very useful. Tues. Dr Baker & Mr Just at Central School examining IIIs for corrective drill purposes. A good deal of work towards end of week arranging for Daffodil Day (Sat.). Fri. P.M. half holiday to allow Nelson & Waimea teachers to attend lecture by Dr Baker at Wesleyan Sunday School. Lecture good. Fiasco when Mr Boyce tired to get meeting to express itself on refresher course for phys’l drill. Fri. Vesp. clerical work. Sat. at 7.30 went down to school to dispatch boys with button holes, then into town on business. A.M. great processions, etc, but I stayed at home. Vesp. Mr A.G. Thompson called & took up some time. I called on Mr Wells & found him well satisfied with work.
Trip to Golden Downs, 17 Sept. 1916.
Went up to take offer of lease to Newton & also to examine house. Intended to leave at 8 but at 7 it was raining & foggy, so I gave up the idea & settled down to a good read. But it looked better at 10.30, so I got ready & left about 11.20. Had a pleasant run out, my bicycle going well. Roads in good order. Had lunch about halfway up Motueka Valley. Practiced singing much of way. Streams rather high & gave me some trouble. Finally left bike at Gordon Stream & reached house about 3. Mrs N. in but had bad neuralgia. Went all over house & made rough plan. Newton came home & I explained letter to him. Finally left at 4.20. Got to Wai-iti before dusk & had sharp cold shower of rain. Came in rather slowly but with poor light & tired my eyes. Home about 7.30. Sid & others here. After tea Miss Lorimer gave me account of her visit to Ruapehu.
War news very good from many fronts. English & French at Somme both made large advances.
Tris Corrigan went home about Wed.
Fine all week. Cloudy & very light showers today. Resumed school Mon. & got notice re medical inspector’s visit Wed. & Thurs. Had a rush to get cards prepared & heights & weights entered. Dr Baker examined S.1 & S.2 this year. N.S.M. meeting Tues. P.M. Wed. P.M. matinee after school of War pictures, so took singing Fri. Tues. Vesp. general meeting of Sick & Wounded Soldiers Fund subscribers. Great fight between Evans & Com’ee. esp. Harley. I took part & had some fun. On Thurs. County Council had some Richardson correspondence before it. Sat. A.M. Mr H. Wells arrived. I went to see him from 9 to 10. Then at 10.30 took about 30 boys up the Fringe to get lycopodium & red brick for Daffodil week. Carried home large bundles & I was very tired. Today have been correcting papers & mending motor cycle tyre. Negotiating with Smallbone re Nile St. property.
Another good advance on the Somme this week, now up to Combles.
Rain on Wednesday but rest of week fine. Wed. Maginnity told me re Fraser’s statement about Maitai which made it seem probable that proclamation would be gazetted immediately. So had to hustle round. P.M. rode out & had a chat with Corder, the Maitai member, at the Bluff. Had to write another letter to Colonist for Friday A.M. issue. Got Field to send Fraser a strong telegram which elicited a promise that nothing should be done till he visited Nelson in about 2 months’ time. By invitation attended council meeting on subject on Friday evening. This P.M. rode up to look at embankments of road. Have spent much time correcting school exams, doing clerical work, reading reviews & books. Fri. P.M. at 5 cycled to Tahuna & looked over Sid’s new house with Miss Judson. Hatty still here. Tris arrived Sat. Tongariro wrecked off C. Portland. Sat. A.M. called on Macarthur, a bit of a crank. Cawthron Trustees adopted my suggestion to invite a number of scientists to form a Com’ee to plan schemes.
Roumania’s entry into the war & her successful invasion of Austrian territory at Orsora, Brasso & Hermanstadt the great feature of the week. Greece is in a chaotic state. Very little movement elsewhere. Falkenhayn dismissed & Hindenburg appointed Chief of Staff.
Broken weather last week till Fri. Beautiful weather till today which has been showery. On Tues (?) snow actually fell for 5 minutes at about 9.30am. but did not lie on ground of course. Gave out most of exam. papers & took Arith. exams. On Thurs. began Harmonic 3rd concert practice (Hiawatha’s Departure) with fine number of soprani. On Fri. P.M. Mr Just took S. 3, 4 & 5 with Phys’l Drill for benefit of Inspectors. Correspondence with Everett closed, I hope with final letter of mine in Sat’s Colonist.
Visit to Wellington 25 – 29 Aug.
Mainly in order to see Hector, etc., re Observatory business, I left by Nikau at 7 on Fri. evening taking only handbag. Expected to stay with Hector, but he did not meet me & on my telephoning him from Harry’s learnt that on acc. of measles in family he could not take me. Went into town for short time, then to Observatory for long yarn with Dr Adams. Then at 12 with him to Mr Ernest Bell who took us to Mr Skerrett. He had read documents & asked me large number of questions & told me to select & send him certain letters. He expressed no opinion, but will give that later. Soon after lunch Harry took Annie, Margaret & self out to whare & we all walked across gully & round further hill back thro. Giesen’s. Back about 7.
Sun. A.M. very fine day. Read on roof till about 11.30 when Harry took us all including boys to whare again. Repaired water ram. Harry & boys worked at leveling while I read. Home about about 7. Charles & Mrs Broad in for about an hour.
Mon. threatening at first, but soon beautiful. Went at 9am to meeting at Obs. & explained position to Com’ee of whom there were present – Hector (chair), Adams, Gifford, Powles, Parry, Easterfield & (?) Barry. Easterfield took me to Victoria College & showed me the labs. & lecture rooms & had long yarn re Cawthron Institute. Home to lunch & then went to Newtown Zoo by tram. Spent about ¾ hour. Back to afternoon tea, rang up Henrys, & Chambers, then down to Kaitoa. Was nearly refused passage as 19 passengers on board, but was finally allowed. Blechynden, Norman Barnett, & young Betts on board. After good dinner we were given large tent rigged up amidships. Most of us turned in between 7 & 8 as strong wind & fair sea. Slept off & on till arrival at 4.45. Walked home & went to bed.
On way across read Belloc’s Second Phase of European War – Battle of the Marne.
Hatty Jenkins is staying with us. Sid has ordered her to resign post at Blenheim High School. On Tuesday last week, I ran down to Tahuna to see Sid’s house being built on new principle.
All today reading papers & periodicals, writing letters, etc. Both Stratfords & Newton in town & latter up to see me. Hope we have at last come in sight of the end of that trouble.
Steady but slow progress on all fronts. Italy has declared war on Germany & this morning the good new came through that Roumania had also come in at last. This will probably have considerable effect on course of war.
Cannot imagine how I came to omit writing up last week. Much showery weather this fortnight & very little really fine weather. Correspondence with Everett re Maitai Road continues & has occupied a good deal of time. Phys’l Instruction inspectors about till Sat 12th when Just gave an address to about 70 teachers at Boys’ Central School. Have been getting on with exam. of Central & hope to finish this week. Mon. Institute meeting re Gordon downs, etc. Tues. final rehearsal for concert. Thurs. it came off & was a great success. We got over Sigurd Lestrup for 2 songs. Fri. P.M. meeting of S.A.G. Trustees at which we decided re new financial arrangements. Felt very done up on Fri. & Sat. – partly a cold & partly lack of sleep this fortnight, so have taken things easier. Yesterday A.M. in town. P.M. had a good sleep & read. Vesp. clerical work. Ledger came in re Maitai question. All today correcting exam work. Hatty Jenkins has come for a short visit. Yesterday bought new tyre (Stepney) for back wheel of motor cycle.
Italians have captured Gorizia & have advanced in Trentino. Russians have captured Stanislau & Bothmer is retreating along Tarnapol – Lewberg Ry. Eng. & Fr. Are making slow but steady progress at the Somme.
Broken weather; wet Thurs. great S.E. gale Friday, rain last night. Have been examining reading at Central this week, but on Thurs. Mr Just, Inspector of Phys’l Instruction came & took IIIs most of A.M. As it was wet he took Vs inside 1st hour P.M. On Friday took IVs, Vs & VIs outside during A.M. & was highly pleased. Told Veysey he had not seen better work at any school in N.Z. P.M. spent nearly all P.M. at Brook St. Miss Peart took up work at Brook St. on Mon. & promises well, though inexperienced in our type of work.
On Wed. Aug. 2. Mr Horatio Everett attacked Colonist & myself in a letter to Col., but the Col. in a leading article showed up Everett’s vacillations splendidly & I replied in Friday’s issue. At Thursday’s meeting the council ordered a letter from Mrs Richardson complaining about Whiteside & myself to “lie on the table”.
Snow fell on Fringe on Tues & Wed nights so boys begged me to take them up line. Though very inconvenient, I decided to go & about 70 of us left Brook St. at 8. Enough snow to have a moderately good fight at Third House, but further on snow was 8 inches thick & continuous. Went as far as Fourth House & made a snow man. Got back to road by about 5.30. The unwonted exercise of snowballing for several hours tired me extremely & I went to bed at 8. Pretty stiff today.
This A.M. went to Museum as a skylight has fallen & broken one of cases. Read & slept. Ditto this P.M. Mr Falconer of Takaka called re lime crushing project which Sid & I feel inclined to go into if we can get G. H. Allan out of it.
Busy re Gordon Downs business. Think I can fix things up nicely re lease.
War news not much this week. Slow but steady progress on all fronts. Public meeting at Church Steps Friday on anniversary (4 Aug.) passed resolution.
Weather fine this week save for a few showers. Busy worrying week. Letter re Maitai & Washing Up Bill appeared on Wed., but on Thurs. we learnt that all danger had passed. Floods did much damage in Maitai washing away bridges at Hanby Park & Pole Ford & destroying sections of road near Smith’s. Great slip on Rocks Road. Robert Stratford called on me re Golden Downs. He is now unwilling to take over lease. Meeting of Suter Art Gallery Trustees Fri. P.M. appointed Rankin to take Christian’s place as caretaker. Mon. Vesp. long meeting of N.S.M. Trustees over appointment of successor to Mr Waters. We chose Mr H. Wells & I wired him asking for acceptance, but he preferred to make hurried visit first, so came to Nelson by Pateena Thurs. at 7 A.M. & returned 1½ hours later. I met his cab at N.S.M. & he tried organ for about 20 min., then came up here to breakfast to talk things over. Wired acceptance Fri. P.M. Sat. A.M. in town. P.M. corrections & met Murchison boys by 5.30 train. Vesp. Clerical work & reading 1st acc’s of Jutland battle in Eng. papers. All today corrections. This P.M. good view of partial eclipse of sun, •6. Examining Boys’ Central all week.
Russians have captured Erzinghan & also Brody. British have captured all Pozieres, Anzacs talking part. Germans counterattacking violently at the Somme but without success.
Mr Hall – the great beetle collector – called yesterday, being on his way to Trentham.
Warm moist weather nearly all week culminating in steady downpour all yesterday resulting in heavy floods. Paddy’s Market has been going strong all week with heaps of gambling & indecent dancing, but I have not been along to it. On Wed. started exam of Central School. Thurs. few sopranos but good att’ce of others. Sat. A.M. in town; heard of Mrs Richardson’s latest move to get road along Willow Hole, etc., so spent much time in investigating & have today written strong letter for Colonist on Tuesday. Sat. P.M. annual meeting of Ed’l Inst. was postponed after an hour’s informal talk. Vesp. went to farewell for Hedges by Recruiting Com’ee & Reserve. Then with Jackson & Snodgrass to see flood washing over Trafalgar St. bridge. Over our boot tops in water near the Post Office. This morning still raining. Walked round to see damage. Brook St. stream blocked at several places by willow trees & current diverted against willow walk washing it away. Sadler & Parmenter lost much good land. Lower Hardy St. under water. Home & wrote letter re Maitai. Then went down to help remove wreckage in river & with exception of brief interval at 3.30 for lunch was busy on & off up to nearly dark. Have now had hot bath.
Miss Taylor’s brother & also Athol Hudson killed in action this week. Heavy casualty lists. Letter from Barltrop, since wounded. Have had large tool tins made for motor cycle.
English & French made steady progress on both sides of Somme & repulsed great counter attack. Russians also pressing on both in Volhynia & Armenia.
Paeroa return – from what we thought was good sand – again disappointing - £3650.
Wet on Mon. Mostly overcast till last night when drizzly showers set in. Mon. Vesp. Institute meeting. Mrs Claude Graham accepted position of Sec. & Tr. vice Mr Geo. Wise who is going to Chch. Mr Cresswell, senior, elected to his place on the Com’ee. Have been teaching & examining at side schools all week & have about finished. Miss Wills was at Brook St. for a few days & now Miss Shirtcliffe is there till end of month. On Thurs. Vesp. news arrived that Lucy had a little boy – her 4th child. Sat. A.M. took motor cycle down to Winn’s & spent morning, watching them take down the engine, clean out carbon deposit, grind valves, etc. Have been riding push bike all week. Sat. P.M. pruned trees. Vesp. Wrote long reply to Cachemaille re Assoc’d Board, N.S.M. & Tait. This A.M. did a host of little carpentering jobs. P.M. began statement re Observatory for Moore to send Findlay. McKay of the College was in for most of one evening re books & Ed’n. Morley in for another re application to Wn.
Russians have made little or no progress on Stockhod & Strykpa during week, but heavy fighting proceeding. They have gained successes W. of Erzeroum. The French have pushed up to the suburbs of Peronne, capturing Biaches & Barleux. The English have broken through German second line on four mile front, advancing to Longueval & Bazentin. Submarine Deutchland with cargo & no torpedoes reached America.
Fine weather all week; a couple of frosts. No-one in place of Miss Palmer. Have been examining side schools most of week. Graded list of teachers issued in early part of week causing much excitement. Cousins of Auckland & I are together in first grade. Much larger attendance at harmonic on Thurs – quite a decent chorus. Fri. Vesp. in order to hear E. Haynes sing, I went to patriotic concert & films at Theatre with Re & Mrs Peck. Sat. Motueka boys came over by motor lorry arriving at 12. Gave them lunch at school & brought Griffin & Silcock up to dinner. Motueka beat our boys by 10 to 3. Our boys were lighter & played a poor game. Nell left for Timaru on Wed. A.M. today I have been by myself up the line & finished off the last bad stretch of scrub near the lime kiln. No badly overgrown places now the whole length of line. Went to 4th house valley to get Veronica for planting which Petrie says is not [word illegible]. Grey cold day but no rain. Home by 7.
War has gone well this week. At the Somme Eng. & French are steadily breaking through to Peronne & seem to have brought relief to Verdun. Russians victorious at many points. Best of all, feeling Germany against the war seems to be getting very strong. Riots in many towns.
Weather fine early part of week but rain set in Thurs & Fri. A.M. & P.M. & cont’d on & off till last night. Severe easterly gale Fri. night. Wed. P.M. Recruiting Com’ee meeting. Thurs P.M. Navy League meeting re disposal of funds for naval relief. Wed. A.M. Mr Tennant of Training College & Prof. Somerville of Victoria College called at School & on Fri. they & their wives with Miss Lorimer spent the evening at our house. Sat. A.M. clerical work, P.M. supervised Sunday School exam. Miss Hughes absent all this week, so I have either had to examine or teach her room or send Miss Palmer there, while I took Brook St. S1 & S2. Miss Palmer left us on Fri. to take up position at Richmond School. Spent this morning & much of afternoon revising & partly rewriting articles on Nelson for Wise & Co’s guide book. Have read Trollope’s “The Warden”. End of quarter with quarterly returns, Assoc’d Board entries, etc.
Germans have made 700 yards advance near Fleury on Verdun front, but in all other respects news is good. Russians slowly but steadily progressing, having captured Kutz & Kilomea, & repulsed attacks near Riga, but they are held up before Kovel. Italians have routed Austrians in Trentino & driven them nearly over boarder. French have penetrated two lines near Taluire. British have kept up severe bombardment along whole front. Great expectations of early advance.
Later – news tonight that offensive is begun N & S of Somme.
Thurs. after Harmonic, Old People’s Home beyond Hospital was burnt down. I went up to see it. Great blaze. No water.
Cloudy, showery & cold weather most of week, though not much rain. Tues. Vesp. went with Re, Nell & Miss Lorimer to Wilford’s lecture at Theatre on war. Most of it from Belloc but even more optimistic. Thurs. 1st practice after concert. Several new members. Fri. P.M. Recuiting Com’ee meeting re expenses. Sat. Motueka boys were to have come across, so much of morning & P.M. occupied in arrangements. But their motor lorry broke down. On Wed. A.M. Miss Hughes sent word that she could not be at school as her mother was seriously ill, so I have been at Tasman St. since examining S1 & S2. On Fri. her mother died. Letter in paper on Tues re organ recitals. Made use of lucky chat with Mayson in week before to parry the attack which no doubt came from Tait’s partisans. Am reading Trollope’s Barchester Towers.
Mexico has declared war against U.S. Russians have captured Cyernowitz & are approaching Lemberg & Kovel. Italians are now holding their own, also the French. Great offensive in West daily expected.
Fine weather all week, though cloudy & threatening today. Mon. Institute meeting. Tues. Harm’c rehearsal. Concert “Ancient Mariner” on Thursday night went really well & attracted good house - £9.13.0, tho. chorus – esp. soprano (11) – very small. Sat. A.M. in town, P.M. studied plant identification received from Cheeseman. Vesp. & all today clerical work & reading.
Russian drive in Galicia continues. About 160,000 prisoners now taken. This must have great effect on other theatres of war by causing withdrawal of reserves. Already Italians have rallied & brought Austrian offences in Trebinito to a stand
Weather fine most of week, but wet Tues. & Wed. A.M. Have done my proper work throughout week without upsets – unusual. Wrote 2 letters for Colonist re Cawthron Observatory & on Friday evening met Finance Com’ee of City Council & discussed matter this them. Saturday A.M. spent most of morning at lawyers’ offices dealing with the question & with that of Golden Downs Reserve. Sat. P.M. went up Fringe but only as far as edge of bush & burnt much gorse. All today clerical work & reading reviews. Great delight on Mon. & Tues. when fuller news showed that the naval battle off Jutland was an undoubted British victory, though Germany is still jubilating. Tremendous sensation cause on Wed. morning by the news of Lord Kitchener’s death. Germans have at last taken Fort Vaux, but the Russians are making great strides in the south of Russia & have recaptured Lutsk. Silver Bullet Cannonade now starting in Nelson for benefit of Sick & Wounded Fund, but I am standing aloof as it is such a childish method.
Weather cleared up in early part of week after 5 ½ inches had fallen. Rain so quiet & steady that no floods followed. Very cold Thurs. Cloudy & dull Fri. & Sat. Today brighter & less cold.
Inwood returned yesterday, so I have got back to my regular work. Mon, Vesp. Recruiting Assoc’n meeting, practically to wind up Sidford’s work which has been most successful. Did not go afterwards to meeting to inaugurate Silver Bullet Campaign which is to occupy next 2 months. Tues. Vesp. after 9.30, Mr Wise & I fumigated Library & Reading Room with formalin vapour. Fri. P.M. after school went with large number of boys to Anzac pictures. Sat. A.M. held Assoc’d Boards Theory exam in Central School. P.M. in town re naval engagement. All today clerical work. Our servant Grace has gone for a holiday. Observatory business has taken much time – have written lengthily to Hector. N.S.M. meeting re Waters’ vacancy on Thurs. P.M. Decided to advertise. Went down at 6.30 on Thurs. A.M. to meet some returned soldiers. Caimington [possibly Cairnington] very ill, 2 others nearly well.
Naval fight of Jutland. Yesterday morning news came through that we had lost about 6 cruisers & 8 destroyers in engagement, Queen Mary among them. German losses do not seem to equal ours, though probably 3 dreadnaughts & 6 destroyers sunk. Further particulars anxiously awaited. Germans penetrated Fr. Line near Vaux, but Fr. gained ground near Mort Hournne. Austrians still driving back Italians near Asiago but being held elsewhere.
Weather fine but gradually getting more hazy in early part of week. Rain began Fri. A.M. & with short intervals has been falling ever since. The best soaker we have had for a long time. Short thunderstorm this evening. Have been taking Inwood’s class all week & have examined in many subjects. Randall telegraphed that he could not take Waters’ place, so we are in a bit of a fix. Cawthron trustees on Mon. evening decided to oppose Observatory scheme. Saw Routs about it yesterday A.M. & wrote at length to Hector about it. Neal Skilton came over yesterday A.M. & told me Booth could not let me have lime after all. This a great nuisance. He was here again for several hours this evening. Richard Jenkins has been in several times. Came today very wet. Frank Washbourn also up (after Wn. conference) for a few days. Nell well enough to dress for a time today. Tait gave concert at Druid’s Hall on Wed. & said he hoped to get N.S.M. in future.
Some anxiety all week re fighting at Verdun which is fiercer than ever. French regained Fort Douanmont but lost it again. Germans made most desperate efforts to break through, but so far have been completely repulsed. Austrians are expelling Italians from Trentino.
End of holidays. Glorious weather all week. Very hot Friday P.M. Holidays came abruptly to an end. Health Dept. told Board further extension unnecessary, so schools reopened on Thurs., but att. is still bad. Only about half back at Tas. St. Inwood had to go to camp Thurs. Vesp., so I have to take his class till end of coming week. Miss C. Palmer has been appointed to Richmond. On Mon. & Tues. cont’d botanical work & reading & got off plants to Petrie & Cheeseman. On Wed. went up to 3rd house peak via the Maitai. Cycled to bridge beyond Smith’s, then struck up steep hillside & at length found Trig station E. Went along ridge blazing all the way till I reached summit. No sort of track along ridge but no special difficulty. No special attraction about it. Got home before 6. Thurs. P.M. got telegram from Waters stating that he had passed medical test at last & would probably be joining 18th reinforcements. Called meeting of Trustees Fri. P.M. & sent long letter to Randal. Also appointed Miss Fairhall. Sat. A.M. in town. P.M. wrote Randal. Vesp, F.J. Ledger here for several hours. Have got through great deal of arrears of correspondence. Also worrying Pitt & Moore re Cawthron business & Golden Downs. Mon. Institute meeting. Germans still attacking at Verdun but nothing important this week.
3rd week’s holiday.
Glorious weather till Wed. P.M. when severe S.E. gale set in which lasted till Sat. night since when we have had light showers.
Mon. & Tues. cleared out shelves in outside room & put out huge piles of periodicals for burning, etc. Tait had cheek to apply for N.S.M. for Academy concert & also Rose Maiden. Sent curt refusal. Wed. went up Dun Line as far as 4th house with tracing of Dun Line (from Ledger’s survey) & also geological map. Went slowly & studied outcrops & inserted on tracing all landmarks, such as kiln. Home about 8. Thurs., Fri., Sat., & Sun. have spent most of mornings at botanical work, identifying plants recently obtained & going carefully through many genera, e.g. veronica, celmisia & epilobium. Have also done much reading of reviews, etc. also Adams’s Herbartian Psychology (2nd time) with which I was much delighted, Baldwin’s Mental Development, Fabre’s Life of a Fly, etc. On Friday, Medical Assoc’n recommended that school be not yet reopened on acc. of Scarlet Fever, so we shall remain closed at least one more week & probably two.
Nell getting better but still in bed.
Germans still making occasional attacks at Verdun, but French have more than held their own & have somewhat advanced their lines. Australian & N.Z. forces now nearly all on French front. Great offensive of allies soon expected. Germans at last seem to have yielded to American threats re submarine warfare. Kaiser has put out feelers re peace. N.Z. Parl. has opened. Vicious attacks on Hon. Allen.
2nd week’s holiday.
In early part of week, much clerical work & reading. N.S.M. meeting Mon. P.M. re Tait’s recital. Mon. A.M. two dogs attacked me on motor cycle & one suddenly tried to cross in front, bringing me down rather heavily, cutting left knee & bruising both legs. Am still stiff as a result. Expected to go up Lodestone this weekend, but as Harry Kidson found he could not went to Takaka instead. Mon. Vesp. 1st to Annual School com’ee meeting (no election) which lasted 12 min. then to Recruiting com’ee meeting at which a letter I had written for contributing bodies was adopted, then to N.S.M. pupils concert.
Motorbike trip to Onakaka – alone, 5 – 7 May.
Fri. left home about 7.30 & had good run to Riwaka hotel which I reached just after 10. Went straight to bed.
Sat. 6th. Up at dawn, had a little breakfast & about 6.30 started for Takaka. Met mob of cattle near foot of hills but no one on hills. Had delightful run over though I found the other side decidedly rough. Spent some time in Takaka chatting with Jack Glasgow & getting refill of benzine, but reached Globe Hotel soon after 10. Went straight out to Onekaka but met Mr James at his gate & had long yarn with him. Then on to land. Top terrace of all ploughed again & most of it harrowed. Tremendous pile of wood stacked up. Went on to further are where Skilton & Ives were ploughing. Had lunch with them & made important plans. Went across country to Mr Duncan’s house. Had a yarn with him re his tenancy of sections. His boy & little Richard Washbourn showed me way to road near Onekaka bridge. Walked back to my bike & then returned to Globe Hotel just at dusk. With Mrs Hamilton & Miss Baird, watched moon very nearly occult Venus. After tea walked up to village & had important talk with Mr Booth re lime supplies. Back to hotel about 9.30 & straight to bed.
Sun. 7th. Up early, breakfast, read Colonist. About 6.40 left for Nelson. Had good run to top of valley, then machine gave some trouble. Got half way up & stopped at stream. Could not restart, so cleaned plugs, finally found clutch not properly adjusted. After than got on well, till just entering Motueka when back tyre went down. Ran into a side street & found old patch leaking. Took about an hour to get right. When near Upper Moutere found I had dropped a strap & a swag bag. Went back some miles, but did not find them. Had dinner at Upper Moutere. Bennett & others there who had been coursing. Had a pleasant run in arriving about 2.30. Have since changed, read papers, etc.
The trip was a very enjoyable one as I had fine weather.
Nell had a relapse in middle of week & is now in bed though much better now.
Townshend had to surrender with 10,000 men at Kut el amara. 2 Zeppelins destroyed. German attack at Verdun seems to have come to an end.
1st weeks holiday.
Beautiful weather prevailed till Thurs. but we have had almost continuous heavy showers since – about 3in. rain - & the barometer has shown a long slow steady drop. Now beginning to rise but a thunder storm has brought more heavy rain.
Spent much of Tues, Wed., & Thurs. in clearing out cupboards at school & destroying tremendous accumulation of old books, etc. Have read many reviews in arrears, have worried thro. most of Baldwin’s “Mental Development”, which is tough reading. Have had motor bike overhauled. This P.M. went up hill at back & examined thro. glasses the range where we were last week. Friday P.M. Liddell brought in final results of sedition hunt at the Moutere. It does not amount to much. Some hot correspondence with Tait who has asked for use of N.S.M. for 24th May. My eczema has been very troublesome this week, especially round right eye. Nell not quite so well this week so has kept to bed mostly for last few days.
Chief war excitement – rebellion in Ireland & Sir Roger Casement’s capture. sinking of H.M.S. Russell in E. Medit’n. Landing Russians in France. Battle of Verdun seems coming to an end. German cruisers made another hurried raid on Lowestoft but did little damage.
Last week we had some rain in the night about Tuesday, but it was then beautifully fine till Sunday. Mon. Vesp. Com’ee meeting of Scientific Branch at 7.30 re programme for year. Suggested a programme & then hurried off to important Recruiting com’ee meeting. Tues. Campbell came to school re Upper Moutere sedition. Gave him £3 to sift matter thoroughly. Tues. Vesp. poor Harm’c prac. Wed. Vesp. went for an hour to Miss Judson who is still very ill, to discuss payment of her substitute, then for several hours to E.B. Moore going through Cawthron business. Thurs P.M. we broke up for Easter & 3 weeks’ holiday to allow schools to be thoroughly fumigated. During last hour we moved all desks on to asphalt.
Easter trip – Canaan & Brown Acre, 20 – 23 April. H. Kidson & self.
After school got things together & packed them in a box which I strapped on to luggage carrier. The weight made steering difficult, probably caused my upset & finally broke carrier & loosened rivets. We were to have started at 7, but Harry was detained by business & we did not get away till 8.30. I had to go carefully & at Appleby Harry got ahead. Just at commencement of Moutere Hills, a thick layer of loose gravel at corner led to my skidding. Bike ran into & then fell under fence. Handle bar twisted & frame somewhat wrenched. Started again after about 20 min. delay. Overtook Harry on summit. At Motueka called first at Hotel to leave message for Campbell then on F.W. Huffam to arrange for next day then went on to Riwaka Hotel which we reached at 11.45. Knocked Goodwin’s up & were shown a room.
Good Friday. Canaan. Up at 5.30 & left about 6. Edwards took Huffam in sidecar. Bike went up hill more easily than I expected. Harry & I used whistles but we met nothing. Near Hendersons had a yarn with Lancaster & Brockett who had 50 College boys up there for the holidays. Left machines at McLean’s shed & after breakfast started with Huffam only, Edwards having bad foot. Huffam went very fast except uphill & we got to Canaan in about 3 hours. Glorious day & very hot. We had a good look round, saw olearia suavis, senicio geminatus, etc, also gold boxes & ripples. Met 2 young fellows (Feary) from Takaka with rifles & many dogs. Came back not quite so fast. Described route to some College boys. Cycled home just as it got dark. After tea cycled in to Motueka & spent about 2 hours in Huffam’s phonograph shop listening to different instruments. I went along to hotel but again missed Campbell. To bed about 10.30.
Saturday – Brown Acre
Huffam had described to us route via Brooklyn but not very clearly. Up at 6 & had breakfast at hotel. Left about 7. Cycled past Brooklyn School & up valley to first footbridge where we left our cycles. Walked up valley about 3 miles to what we imagined to be Wratt’s whare & struck up on to ridge at back – a steep climb. Glorious view from top of ridge, then along ridge till we came in sight of Brown Acre. Down to a saddle & up through thick bush in with merely scraps of cattle track. Progress very slow & we gave up all hope of reaching top. But luckily we struck survey line which though much overgrown gave better going. This finally led us on to proper track. We reached open about 12 & made for water where we boiled billy & cooked bacon. Then went on to top & were greatly impressed by magnificent view – one of the best we have seen. Top not interesting botanically. Left at 2 & followed track down to Wratt’s whare where we bathed feet (3.30). Then down valley to our cycles (5.20) & back to Hotel for tea.
After tea ran into Motueka & had long yarn with Campbell in Huffam’s phonograph room. Coming out had amusing somersault over low fence. Back to hotel where it was pretty noisy & to bed.
When we awoke, it was raining & heavy showers fell at intervals during morning. H. Hawkins of Collingwood fell out of a cart & cut his head badly. We overhauled machines, packed up & at 10.30 set off for Huffam’s. Looked at his native plants till past 12, then discovered my back tyre had a weakness & had to repair it. On way back Harry’s machine gave him a good deal of trouble, the carburettor being blocked. Near Appleby my back wheel got a puncture & we had to take it off to mend. Got home about 4.
We had intended going to Heath’s on Sunday & climbing Lodestone on Monday, but bad weather & Harry’s sore toe made us give up this part. Today, however, has been beautifully fine.
Today have read papers, cleaned up machine & for about an hour tidied cupboards at school.
Russians have captured Trebizond. Wilson sent practically an ultimatum on submarine question.
Heavy rain & wind on Friday night, but rest of week beautifully fine.
Mon. Vesp. Chamber of Commerce annual meeting. Second discussion on post war trade on which I spoke at some length. Motion for more taxation supported only by Snodgrass, R. Fell & self. Was to have spent one evening with E.B. Moore on Cawthron business, but he forgot about it. Good practice on Thurs. Thurs P.M. took S.6 boys to Hampden St. & cleared desks out as school had to close. Our numbers at Central School are rapidly falling. Scarlet fever, chicken pox, measles, mumps & whooping cough are all represented. On Monday & Tuesday we disinfected Tasman St. school, washing down floors, dipping desks & then fumigating with formalin sprayer. Sat. Educ’l Inst. meeting at Girls’ Central re remits. P.M. & Vesp. read & clerical work. This P.M. have been for run to top of Fringe. Yarn with Lieut Stone just returned form Egypt.
My cold quite gone, but eczema on face still very troublesome. Collection of beetles from Major Brown on behalf of T. Hall.
Not much war news. Attacks at Verdun not so violent. Heavy loss of shipping from new submarine campaign. English success on Tigris but Kut el Amara not yet relieved.
Fine & warm most of week, but last night was cold. Heavy sou’wester blowing yesterday & today. Have been teaching at Brook St. most of week, but two days spent in discussing & investigating scarlet fever epidemic. Finally had to close Tasman St. School on Friday morning. On Wednesday discovered muddle in Mrs Kidson’s roll which has caused a lot of bother, & took up all my Wed. evening. Clegg’s lecture on Thursday evening. Pushed sale of tickets as much as possible, but of course I could not go. Mon. Vesp., send off to troops from Church Hill. Field & Snodgrass spoke. Thurs. P.M. N.S.M. meeting re Dimant’s lease, etc. Sat. A.M. in town. P.M. work at home. Vesp. Clerical work. This A.M. cycled out to see C.H. Martin re his will. P.M. & Vesp. Reread “a Project of Empire” in view of tomorrow evening’s discussion. Poor Carey died at Motueka of infantile paralysis.
Heavy fighting round Verdun continues, but French are beginning to recover ground. Offensive against English at St Eloi. Important speech by Hollweg re peace overtures, etc. Submarines have sunk many vessels recently.
My cold is practically well but eczema on right cheek is troublesome.
Weather again hot & fine. My cold has worried me the last few days but is now I think on the mend. Began P.T. classes on Monday. Only 5 for School Management but many who have passed wish to join for singing. On Thurs. began Ancient Mariner, as orchestral parts of Golden Legend cannot be found. Better att’ce. Tues. Recruiting meeting. On Thurs. at midnight Maitai recreation ground & bathing holes became vested in City council. On Sat. P.M. I went up to Denne’s Hole to see how far Mrs R. had damaged it – very little. Hamil has developed scarlet fever. Nell returned from Timaru & Dunedin on Tuesday, but is unwell & has spent most of time in bed – some form of indigestion. Miss Judson better, but will have to give up harmonic. Sat. P.M. Dick Grimmett called for time. He is still weak & suffers much from bad ear. There is still a good deal of illness about. This weekend I have not felt very well, so have taken it easy & have read “The riddle of the sands” & many reviews; have also done much tidying yup. On Monday Vesp., Annual meeting of Nelson Institute. I again took position of President on acc. of Cawthron business. Germans captured Malancourt & French captured Avocourt Redoubt. Submarines suddenly very active again & sinking neutral & enemy shops indiscriminately. Another serious labour trouble on the Clyde.
Weather suddenly turned much cooler on Tues., but today is pretty work again. A few showers at different time but most of week fine. Miss Knapp (sick sister) & Miss Mackenzie (sore throat) both absent from Tas. St. so I have been teaching down there all the week. On Mon. Mr Allen visited Nelson. Met Recruiting Com’ee at 10 & gave address to large audience at the Drill Shed in the evening. Miss Judson spent last Sunday here, but on Mon. fell ill & has not been able to work since. I have had much clerical work to occupy evenings. Thurs. poor att. at N.H.S. Am rather in despair about it. We began too soon. Fri. P.M. C of Com. Com’ee meeting. Sat. A.M. in town. P.M. went on motor bike to Maitai whare to return blankets & give kettle lids to Brewerton, etc. Proclamation re Maitai lands has been gazetted & takes effect next Friday – 31 March. Have been somewhat worried by a sort of eczema, on r. leg chiefly, for past few weeks. Have also caught a bit of a cold, but hope to keep it from getting bad. No particular war news. Tirpitz has resigned. German war loan stated to be a great failure. Frequent reports of dissensions in Bulgaria & Turkey. Greece almost bankrupt. Russia has made some advance at Jacobstadt & on Dinester. Germans have again made small advance near Verdun at very heavy cost. Important letter from Dr Hector re Observatory. Must answer it tonight.
Weather very hot & fine till Fri. evening when steady rain set in which lasted with little break till last night. On Wed. Sid returned from camp, so now I am entirely back at home. Mon. Vesp. Library meeting agreed to transfer back to Rob’t Stratford the Golden Downs lease. He had long talk with me in afternoon. Latter part of week with Walter Snodgrass made arrangements for Mr Wilford’s lecture on the war delivered at Drill Shed Friday evening. Mostly taken from Belloc but very good. Had to get boys to carry round forms as no carts available. Recruiting Com’ee meetings both Tues. & Sat. evenings. Sat. rained most of day. Did clerical work at home. This A.M. long letter to Evershed. P.M. went to top of Fringe – first walk since holidays. Germans continuing attack at Verdun but with no success.
Weather very hot & fine most of week but on Tues & Wed. 20 & 60 points fell. Tues. Recruiting meeting. Thurs. race day. Poor att. at N.H.S. House fumigated Thursday, so on Fri. I came back home to meals; but as Sid is out at artillery camp at nights, I am still sleeping at his house. Fri. Vesp. & Sat. Vesp. brought most of my things back & put them in order. Sat. A.M. in town. P.M. & Vesp at home. All today copying out Schemes of Work. Thurs. P.M. went with Leaper to Cuthbertsons to arrange re verandah room. Called at Grimmett’s Dick Grimmett still very bad from effects of scarlet fever. Great battle at Verdun continues. Germans have gained a little ground but at great cost in lives.
Weather still very dry & sultry. Infantile paralysis spreading throughout N.Z. but not yet in Nelson. Three meetings of recruiting Com’ee – Mon., Tues. & Sat. Thurs. opened Harmonic – Golden Legend. Poor attendance as usual at beginning. Fri. waited on finance Com’ee of city council re Council taking up case of observatory. They consented. Sat. A.M. in town. As Sid & family had gone to Aniseed Valley at week end, had meals at home. P. M. went on motor cycle to whare & fetched back blankets which Elsie used there. Yarns with Brewerton, Smith & another party (Tid, etc.) re Smith stopping them in S. branch. All today at correspondence & school work. Nell now in Dunedin. Bad motor accident on Fri. at Annesbrook crossing. 2 men killed.
Battle for Verdun continues, esp’y around Douaumont Fort. Russians reached Bitlis. Kitchener’s speech for economy.
Fine weather all week; cloudy today & drizzle a few times. Mon. School Com’ee meeting. Westley affair. On Thurs. appointed Miss Phyllis Thompson to my school (Not confirmed.) Tues. Recruiting meeting. Sidford appointed. Subcom’ee set up to go through roll, etc. Met Fri. Vesp. for 3½ hours. Much trouble over Sidford’s appointment, finally arranged satisfactorily. Finished long letter to Cawthron Trustees re Observatory. They met on Wed. Vesp. Wrote City council asking it to take up Observatory’s case. Sat. A.M. motorbike punctured in town. Long talk with Maginnity sen. re Institute affairs, (1) Cawthron, (2) Golden Downs. Sid & family went to Aniseed Valley Fri. P.M. for 2 days. Lu, etc. left for Timaru on Tues. after having scare on Mon. Vesp. over Joan’s high temperature. On Wed. after school I cleared garden & my outside room of muddles. Miss Louisson having left Begg’s I am having to teach Miss Joyce to keep N.S.M. books. Last night spent about 2 hours at Sid’s piano player. Today have mended bike, copied Cawthron letters, etc. Had meals at Coll. St. Great German offensive north of Verdun so far with little success & heavy losses.
Forgot to write up last week. Weather during fortnight very hot & fine. Have been extremely busy & not had a walk since holidays. Have meals & sleep at Sid’s but do practically all work at school to which I have removed typewriter & many papers & books. Elsie is getting on well but Harry had chicken pox, preventing Lu from going home last week. She now hopes to leave on Tues. Week before spent much of evening carrying things down here. Correspondence with Fraser re Maitai. He has now given way & probably proclamation will be gazetted within fortnight. Saw Hon. Macdonald yesterday evening for half an hour as he was passing through & thanked him for helping us. Sat 12th P.M. Educ’l Inst. meeting. Requisitions asking me to allow myself to be nominated to fill Caughley’s place. Gave me opportunity to refer to White & Co’s letter. Last Sun. Wrote letter to Cawthron trustees on behalf of Nelson Institute. Mon. Institute meeting discussed that & lease question at length. Tues. meeting re recruiting on Govt’s new scheme appointed 3 of us to secure secretary. Negotiations with Sidford have occupied much time. Thurs. Harmonic Soc. Comm’ee meeting re works for year. At school busy with schemes of work, etc. Disgusted to find that Miss Redgrave cannot sing. Hope to start my regular work on Tues. next. Yesterday A.M. in town. P.M. with Wise at Institute going thro. records. Vesp. saw Macdonald & then clerical work. All today at clerical work. Went up home for dinner as Sid & family out for day. Their servant left Wed. so we now go to Mrs Hamilton Smith’s for dinner. Have been sending out the Sixths to collect grass seed on several occasions. Stockton report rec’d. No div. on ordinary shares this year. Former week, heavy attacks by Germans on western front with little or no success. This week great elation at Russian capture of Erzeroum & defeat of Turkish army to the westward. Mr Drummond (Wn) called on me at Sid’s one evening, having spent holiday on Gouland Downs with Clouston.
At Sids. Very hot fine weather nearly all week, but it drizzled most of Friday & rained well, Fri. night.
Self. Mon. 31 Jan. 1916
Disturbed night before – screen rattling, picture falling, etc. so not away till 9. Worked at track in places. Lunch at Coad’s Creek. Went to end of line & botanized to foot of Dun, examined bush patches behind the house, then crossed stream high up. Had to light lamp at 2nd house. Home at 10.
Tues. last day of holidays, clerical work all day. Elsie & Nan Rogers at tennis tournament. Tues. Vesp. They went to theatre & afterwards Elsie complained of sore throat.
Wed. 2 Feb. School resumed. Elsie sick & feverish but went with others up to Maitai whare for the day. I got classes arranged at all schools. Vesp. called on Hon. Macdonald & had private talk re Maitai question. He promised to make representations to Fraser. I wrote strong letter to Fraser last Sun. Vesp. Afterwards joined deputation re fruit lands for returned soldiers.
Thurs. rather suspicious about Elsie, so worked hard to get things arranged at school. Fri. Sid up before breakfast & said it was clearly scarlet fever. Decided Re to nurse her, Nell, Lu & youngsters & Nan Rogers to live in garden, I to go to Sid’s. Got up Johnston & erected tent & made other necessary arrangements. Came down here to dinner. Of course not at school Fri. Am taking things down to Central School where I shall do most of my work for next 5 weeks. Sat. & today working on verandah & in dining room at certificates, schemes of work, etc. At night have carried things down.
Zeppelin raids on Paris & much of Eng. Zep. L.19. lost in sea. America & Germany strained. Ottawa Parl. burnt.
Weather exceptionally hot – hotter than we have had for some years I think. Heavy rain in Nelson on Friday. Mon. clerical work & in town. Trip to Wellington. 25-29 Jan.
On Tues. at 10 left by Pateena for Wellington. Big crush on board. A.M. yarning with Bryant & Capt. Nicholls. P.M. below bridge with Bryant studying coastline with map. Smooth trip. At Picton strolled round town. Reached Wn at 10. As Annie out at whare, went to hotel. With Bryant & Nicholls went to Windsor but found it full. Spent an hour ringing up other hotels without success & then went back to steamer for night. Deck cabin but very hot.
Wed. secured rooms at Windsor & spent practically all day at bookshops, getting many school books. Went to Harry’s to tea & afterwards he & I went to “Our Miss Gibbs”.
Thurs. raining most of day. Saw Lewis & Caldow re music for Harmonic. Met Brockett. Went to Railway station re carriage of lime & to Hull, agent for Mauriceville. Chat with Parry & Aston, then with Petrie & Hill. After dinner went to Harry’s & chatted & read for about 2 hours. Long talk with Dr Hector, Gottfried & others on telephone.
Fri. fine very hot day. Called on Westland at Hector Observatory & E. Bell re Observatory business. Long yarn with Henrys on wharf. Very crowded steamer left at 1. Outside heads ran into dense fog for a time. Sat on box & read & chatted to Andrews (who has just been over Tongariro with Brockett) & others. Stayed very short time at Picton. Chatted with Mrs Squires & later W.W. Snodgrass for time. Very tired so to berth to read at 9 & immediately fell asleep not waking till all in darkness. Reached Nelson about midnight but I stayed on board till about 7.
Sat. felt very bilious & seedy all day so did little but read. Fetched motorbike home.
Sunday A.M. clerical work & went down to M.B. [Milly Boor] re her finances. Vesp. wrote strong letter to Hon. Fraser re his withdrawal of grant for Maitai lands. Long chat with editor Colonist re that & other matters. Then to Sid’s. Talk re Hamil & public school, also re lime, etc.
My trip to Wellington partly to see about lime question (as I shall very soon need about 100 tons on land at Onekaka) & partly to see Hector, etc. re Observatory. Have arranged for them to formulate a statement presenting the case for solar physics.
Holidays now practically over. As a war economy stayed mostly in Nelson & in case of age limit for recruits being extended have taken tramps to get fit. Am certainly in much better condition though weight unaltered. Find myself slower on hills especially coming down. Knees & ankles much stiffer than 10 years ago. But much depends on boots. In old comfortable boots which I have now to discard, get much less weary than in new boots which, though fitting well, make soles of feet ache. Hope to keep in form by further tramps.
Have done much reading but chiefly of periodical character & books relating to the war. Also much clerical work but rather to my surprise at finish of holidays find much clerical work on hand.
Not much war news. Position in Messpotamia still rather critical. But Russians very successful in neighbourhood of Erzeroum. Big German offensive in west almost a complete failure. Optimistic speeches by Lloyd George. Sensation over Wilson’s bellicose speech directed against Germany. Am now taking in New York History of the War.
Weather in town fine all week. Mon. & Tues. clerical work & reading. N.S.M. meeting Tues. P.M. Wed. Reception to Returned Troopers made me busy nearly all day. Took down flags & helped for a short time in A.M. At lunch I helped with dirty plates, etc. Yarn with Mr Higgs of Mapua re lime question. Reception at Church Hill. Speeches by Hon. W.G. Russell, etc. Adjourned N.S.M. meeting cont’d. Vesp. went to Council Chamber again to hear speech by Russell on administration of War Funds.
Tophouse - No Catch Em - Rotoiti, Gordon Downs trip, Thurs 20 – Sat 22, with Grimmett
Grimmett went ahead & I left at 11.30 overtaking him at Brightwater. Some delay at Wai iti owing to his net getting entangled with chain. Lunch just beyond bluff at mouth of Rainy River. Reached Tophouse just after 6. I towed Grimmett up Spooners Range, but on short steep hills near Tophouse had to cast off several times. After tea we strolled along towards Wairau to make sure of fence to be followed next day. A number of men drinking & playing cards. To bed early.
Friday. Up at 5 & left house at 6. Followed survey line through bush as far as it went, then struck up to a bare place on ridge following bits of goat tracks much of the way, then through very dense growth of young birch (Fag. Cliff.) which took over half an hour. On reaching open, found ridge in dense cloud. Pushed slowly on & soon got clear view of Wairau, but clouds hung on western side of ridge nearly all day. Got a good look out westwards about 12. Went down to very small trickle on eastern side for lunch. Collected many plants but got nothing rare. About 1.30 struck down spur leading to flat ground near lake. Very dense fog. Cliff. Scrub again for a long distance & pretty thick bush till near flat, then easier going till we reached open, 4.30. Made for road & walked down to lake where we had a meal & I had a good look at domain, 6. Then back to Accom’n House. Pretty tired so strolled back slowly arriving about 8. Tea & chat with Mr Russ & also Misses Palmer, McEachan & Mackenzie who are staying there for a week.
Sat. 22nd. Meant to go to Golden Downs, see Newton, ascend Gordon’s Nob & go home. But showers in night & morning so gave up plans.
Left at 9 & soon ran into fairly heavy rain. Roads in a few places, especially at Kikiwa, very bad & sticky & finally my bicycle got badly stuck till I scraped clay out of mudguards. My stand also broke. After passing Kikiwa, roads were harder & I began towing Grimmett, but something got caught in his spokes, crumpled up his mudguard & made him fall on his chest with bicycle capsized on top of him. He was not hurt but it took us a long while to get bicycle to rights. Lower down Motupiko roads were much better & drier & we got along well. Fresh supply of petrol at Motupiko store. As rain had ceased decided to go to Golden Downs. But much loose metal on road & Grimmett soon got three punctures. Mended them, had lunch, then he decided to go back towards town while I visited Newton alone & was to overtake him at Belgrove. But Newton was not in, so I strolled round, took phots., chatted to Mrs Newton & others had a cup of tea then at 6 left for town. At 7.10 in Norris’s Valley got a bad puncture which took till 7.50 to mend. By the time I got over Spooner’s Range it was dark. Grimmett had gone on & reached town half an hour before me. I got in at 10.
Today have read papers & reviews. This A.M. Mr Daimant came to say he had leased theatre & wished for release from N.S.M. This evening Mr Gilkisson in with 2 sisters to ask about trip to top of Dun.
On Tues. Vesp. Frank Milner here till past midnight talking about 50 things.
No special war news. Russian offensive in Bessarabia still succeeding.
Weather fine most of week but some showers. On Mon. Frank Washbourn returned to Timaru. 1st Starveall trip, Fri. 11 Jan, 1916, Grimmett Left on motor cycle at 5.15. At Bishopdale commenced towing G. with a short line fastened to my handlebar. Got on splendidly. Could not ride my motorcycle over steep Hope hill, but walked alongside. Had some difficulty in striking lower whare & again followed survey track over top of knob near Mineral Belt. Did not reach upper whare till 3, by which time dense fog prevailed. G. caught several moths in spite of cloud & drizzle. Got back to cycles just after dark & both had serious trouble with acetylene lamps. Did not get home till midnight. Boots not very comfortable. 2nd Starveall trip, Fri. 14 Jan. 1916, Grimmett Again left at 5 & towed G. out. Had old boots which were more comfortable. Reached the top just as cold wind with rain set in. Spent half an hour searching rocks for Raoullia Gibbsii but found only one specimen. Very few moths. Got out of bush just before dark. Coming down Serpentine Valley I tripped over a stone & fell heavily making my right arm & leg very stiff. Am now in much better form for hills than I was, though knees & ankles stiff from advancing years, especially coming down hill. On other days have done much clerical work & reading – Wells’s Boon, etc. Tait’s advt. re “Nelson Academy of Music”.
Montenegro nearly crushed. Kaiser very ill.
Govt. refuses gazette Maitai proclamation.
Weather fine most of week, but some showers at night & early morning esp. Fri. Vesp. Arranged to go to Takaka for 2 days Mon. Vesp., but found just before going down that steamer running had been altered. Onekaka Trip, 5 Jan. So went by Wairoa leaving on Tues. at 10pm. Yarn with O’Connor, formerly Coll. County Clerk, for a time. Got up early while at Tatas & yarned with Mr & Mrs Ria Trott. On arrival about 7, immediately cycled off & visited outcrop of lime on Maori land, or rather inspected newly formed road leading up to it. Then went up to paddock & met Neil Skilton. Looked at various plots. Found manuka had grown fast on section only ploughed. Gave instruction re treatment. Mr Arthur Washbourn & Frank came up to see paddock. Went with Skilton to section on other side of road & arranged terms of lease. Then Skilton went off & I went to bush by whare for 1st meal, not having had time for breakfast. P.M. examined paddock & pulled most of manuka growing up in it. Then rode to Kemp’s & yarned with him & another man re lime, etc. Rode some distance with young Ives & discussed his war experiences. Had some fun with big black eel at Onahau Stream. Picked up Frank Washbourn at Globe Hotel & went straight down to Wairoa. Saw Mr Falconer on wharf & discussed lime question with him. Wanganui syndicate has fallen out but he & Soper will probably go on with scheme. Very tired & slept soundly on return trip to Nelson. Came home just before breakfast. Intended to go up Starveall Fri & Sat, but weather too threatening. Have tidied up outside room, finished school records & lists & done much reading, esp. Gregory’s “Geology of Today”.
Weather fine most of week but some showers at night. Have taken three tramps to try to get into form again with some success. On Mon. I went with Lemmer to end of Line & spent nearly two hours listing plants on Coad’s spur. Met Grimmett &his father. On Thurs. went up again by self. Followed up Coad’s Creek. Found Todea superba plants. Then through bush & down near end of line. Sat. went with young Grimmett up Old Maungatapu. Weather threatening but no rain. Again listed plants. Grimmett caught several moths. Annie with niece & Margaret went back on ? Monday, Harry & two boys on Thurs. Have read most of reviews which had got badly into arrears & have done much clerical work. Tait has severed connection with N.S.M. H.M.S. Natal exploded in harbour. About 400 drowned. P. & O. “Persia” torpedoed near Alexandria. Fighting on all fronts but nothing of special importance. N.Z. force engaged with Senussi on Xmas Day.
Most of week has been fine, tho. long steady rain fell on Friday & on almost every other morning rain has threatened first thing. First few days busy with school returns. Have also read many reviews & made up accs. for year. Lu, Frank & her youngsters, Hal, Annie & theirs are with us. This A.M. Dr Boor came round & showed his Anzac photos & told us his experiences. This P.M. Sid, Hal & I went down to Tahunanui to see section Sid has just bought. Then all went to Sid’s to tea. Glorious sunset. Gramophone & piano player. Yesterday Xmas. Chatting with Harry (just arr’d) all A.M. Vesp. up hill at back. Then usual supper – Mr & Mrs V. Rout, Mr & Mrs C. Broad, Sid (not Bessie) & Mrs H.S., Hal & family (including Marjory Connell) & Lu & family. Mon. Annual meeting of Sci’c Br. P.M. Recruiting com’ee. Spent a couple of hours on Tues. P.M. discussing Cawthron matters with C. Harley. Dog Petro has taken up his abode with us. Thurs. gave Inwood one evening’s coaching at singing. Paeroa 13,500 tons for £4,150. Prospects improving. Great war event of week, safe withdrawal of all troops from Anzac & Suvla Bay. How they escaped & where they have gone not announced. Startling speech by Lloyd George re military experts’ reluctant admission re high explosive & also Asquith’s discovery re machine guns
Weather fine all week, tho. threatening Fri. & Sat. Busy with final results of exams, but on the whole less pushed at end than in previous years. Mon. Vesp. first to Bible Class prize distribution at Wesleyan Church, then to Library com’ee meeting, finally to School of Music term concert for few minutes. Thurs Vesp. repeated “Elijah” in aid of Red Cross Fund but to small audience. Fri. announced results in morning, & broke up with usual concert in afternoon. Sat. took party of boys up line. On acc. of threatening look of weather only about 30 came, but as I expected heavy clouds on Fringe soon dispersed & we had a fine day. Mr Thompson, Crown Lands Commissioner, came also. Got home about 8.30, some of boys being very tired & dragging slowly. This morning Neil Skilton called on way back to Onakaka where he now intends to settle having given up the survey work down south. Had long talk re possible times of work. Long sleeps both morning & afternoon, being fairly well fagged after yesterday’s walk, but also read through Chesterton’s “The Prussian had said in his heart”. Liz returned to Blenheim about Wed’y. No special war news. Chancellor’s speech in Reichstag followed by rioting & singing Marseillaise. Anglo French forces have effected difficult retreat from Serbia into Greek territory. General French has resigned. Out eleventh Reinforcements are about 600 short – chiefly owing to Xmas & harvesting.
Glorious weather all week, fine but not hot. Busy with exam work which I have now well in hand. Tues. final rehearsal for Concert (Elijah) which took place on Thurs. & was great success though the tenor (Collier) was very weak. Sat. A.M. in town. P.M. & Vesp. & all today, school work. Spent Wed. Vesp. in typing for Edmonds a statement re Cawthron & Queen’s Drive. Some new books from Eng. this week, among them Belloc’s “General Sketch” of war which I rushed thro’ late last night & this morning. Liz still here. N.S.M. Annual Meeting on Friday P.M. Only 5 trustees present. Tues Inspectors held Prof. exam. War news rather depressing this week. Greece’s attitude still doubtful. British repulsed by Bulgar’s at Doiran. Bulgars threatening line of communication of Anglo French forces. After battle of Ctesiphon British force on Tigris had to make hurried retirement to Kut el Amara. Germans captured some trenches in Champagne but were driven out of most but not all. Chancellor Bethman Hollweg made important speech in Reichstag re position of war & attitude towards peace. Ford’s ridiculous peace mission is crossing Atlantic
More showery weather till Wed. but since then glorious. Mother, Re & Liz came from Blenheim on Friday. Have been examining most of week. On Monday Dr Baker made medical inspection of 2 side schools. As it was a wet day & I had to move weighing machine, etc, round, I was kept occupied tho. I did not attend her examination of children. Westleys as usual causing trouble over matter. My rheumatism in arm has nearly disappeared, but my right leg which I strained when darting at young Corby, is bad again. Mon. P.M. Allan Thompson of Wn Museum & Dr Cotton of Vic. College called on me at school just as I was dismissing P.T. class. Brought them home for afternoon tea & they then went to Worley’s for a time & came back here about 9 for a couple of hours. Trechman has also been in Nelson several days & the party has made important fossil finds at Wairoa Gorge. Tues at school Mr Hall the beetle collector called on me, & he came again yesterday afternoon & stayed chatting for about 3 hours. Am of course very busy with exam work this week end. Spent Fri. Vesp., Sat. A.M. & Vesp. & most of today at corrections & marks & am now well forward. Just before tea tonight ran round to Tahuna for a few minutes to freshen myself up. Greece’s doubtful attitude the great subject of interest. The Bulgars have now overrun practically the whole of Serbia & have taken Manastir, the Serb. army falling back on Albania & Montenegro. The Russian have made some progress in Bukovina & near Chartorysk, there has been heavy bombarding in West but no movement. Kitchener has returned to London.
Mon & Tues fine but rest of week showery till today which has been glorious. Bad rheumatism in left shoulder made me quite ill on Mon. & Tues. Result of scrub cutting on Sunday in spite of stiff shoulder when I got up. Stiffness soon passed of with work on Sun. & I felt nothing till I awoke on Mon. Worst on Tues. Unable to cycle, almost unable to walk. Went to bed immediately after tea. Took strong doses of Xaxa which made head ache. Did usual work at school, or most of it , with big effort. Wed. Vesp. spent about 3 hours with Edmonds over Cawthron business. Thurs. good practice. Have examined much of S1 & S2 at both schools & also S6 & this week end have corrected it. This P.M. took quick run out to Spring Grove & back after dinner. Went for tea to Sid’s. Don Corrigan there. Dr Boor much better. Fri. P.M. attended case of young Corby at “Children’s Court” in Mr Evans’s room. Boy was let off with a scolding. No war news of importance this week.
Changeable & showery weather almost all week, but Thursday was fine & today has been glorious. (?)Mon. night & all next day, heavy thunder & vivid lightning with heavy showers. Thurs. Annual meeting of N.H.S. during interval. (?)Tues. went down to Port at 8 to see large number (about 70) reinforcements including Adolph Lemmer leave, but boat not in on acc. of bad weather till 10. Have met Aldridge 2ce & have had long yarns with him re his experiences at Anzac. Friday morning, Mother & Nell went through to Blenheim for a fortnight visit. Fri. at about 9.30 A.M. Dr Boor had a bad stroke & seemed likely to succumb but he is recovering marvelously. Sat. A.M. in town. P.M. heavy rain. Corrections. Vesp. correspondence, etc. Wrote Chilton, Marshall, Miss I. Today have been up line alone & nearly finished clearing the thick scrub. Only a little over 50 yards left. Also removed many projecting sleepers. Very fine day, but am pretty fatigued after it. Germans & Bulgarians have overrun practically all Serbia & connection is now established via Danube between Germany & Turkey. Bonar Law made optimistic reassuring speech. Russians still holding the Germans along whole front. Continuous heavy cannonade on Western front. Recruiting Com’ee on Mon. P.M. passed a resolution I moved inviting the Gov’t to consider advisability of conscription.
Changeable weather continues but not much rain this week. Institute meeting on Mon. Vesp. Tues. Vesp. Went to Observatory for a short time, but Strahan was there, so came away. Thurs. good attendance again. Fri. Vesp. went to Gould’s Auction Room to help with badges for boys to sell next day. Sat. A.M. went into town for an hour to help start Produce Fair, etc. Then home to do clerical work & corrections. Richard Jenkins turned up unexpectedly after dinner. Went round to see Mrs Wright re correspondence with Mr Cawthron & was there for about 3 hours. Vesp. corrections. Was going up line to finish clearing today, but weather very threatening so I did not go. Reading, answered letters & much correction. To Sid’s to tea & heard new gramophone & piano-player. Mon. Dr Cockayne came here after Institute meeting & stayed till about 1. First a long yarn in my room on botanical matters, then to supper in drawing room & rather heated argument on war subjects. I walked to hotel with him, then on to Colonist of.& not home till about 2.30. Have written Petrie tonight. Sid getting better, used motor car for first time today. Trouble with power for organ. On Tues. Miss Whitwell took up work at Tas. St. Am still examining. No special war news. Sinking of Italian “Ancona” caused sensation. Lord Kitchener gone to Athens. Germans slowly progressing in Serbia but all attacks on French & Russian fronts severely repulsed. Churchill resigned.
Weather fine most of week, but sometimes showery. Friday night, severe thunderstorm & about 2 inches of rain from about 1 to 3. Last night a slight aurora at 10 with a few streamers. Inspectors at Brook St. on Monday. On going there at 8.45 learnt that someone had broken into school, maliciously spoilt plasticene work & smudged pictures, ransacked cupboards & stolen several articles. After a good deal of investigation I sheeted it home to Norman Corby who lives near school but attends Hampden St. After school on Tuesday cycled out to Stoke to see boy’s father & have since put matter into hands of police. Have held final exam of Central School in reading this week. Yesterday & today have set exam papers for whole school in all subjects. Good att’ce at Harm’c on Thurs. Yesterday afternoon & this afternoon went up Grampians for a walk. Thurs. got up at 4.30 A.M. to go down & meet more returned soldiers. Yarn with old Mr Skilton (whose boy did not come) & young Burt. Serbians making brave resistance but being steadily driven back. Venizelos has defeated Zaimis’s government but not yet in power. Many N.Z. nurses, doctors & dispensers drowned by sinking of “Marquette” in Aegean Sea.
Fine most of week but steady rain has set in this afternoon. My cold or rather cough is still bad & has made me feel rather seedy. Monday was Labour Day. I spent whole day finishing corrections & entering up marks in view of inspectors’ visit. They came on Wed. & Thurs. to Central on Friday to Tas. St. & tomorrow they will finish at Brook. On whole, classes have done well. On Tues. Board appointed Miss Whitwell to take Miss Wright’s place. Fair att’ce at Harm’c on Thurs Vesp. 1st proper practice of Elijah. 2 Recruiting Com’ee meetings & 1 Empire Def. in week. On Sat. A.M. I went down to Port at 6.30 to meet returned wounded soldiers. Had interesting talk with several, Ives, Aldridge, Connor. 10 arrived altogether. Heavy rain fell for about 2 hours in A.M. spoiling to some extent collections for Special Red Cross Fund. On Tues. had to attend Court in connection with case against a man found in Soldiers’ Rest room at Institute, but charge withdrawn. Tues. P.M. Dr Shinn, Assoc’d Board’s examiner, arrived from Blenheim. After tea I brought him up home for the evening. He examined Wed. & Thurs. & left early Friday morning. Wed. after 5 I took him for a short walk up the Maitai. On Thurs. after school, Mr Waters & I took him up Washington Valley & along Port Hills to Emano St & then home. Altogether a busy week. Last night late I went to Sid’s & lit up ready for their return. Sid, Bessie, Re & Hamil came up from steamer about 1.15. Sid much better but not quite well. Long chat, then Re come up with me about 3.45. They came up for dinner & stayed for afternoon. Have read a lot of reviews these two days. No special war news. Serbians being slowly pushed back. King George’s horse reared & fell back on him in France. Much criticism of Gallipoli operations by Bartlett & Brassey.
Several showery days. My cold has turned to a nasty cough which worries me a good deal for about 2 hours after getting up in morning. Tues. Harm’c Concert. Revenge, etc. Went off well, & we sold £6 tickets, but audience not large. Mon. farewell to over 100 reinforcements at Church Steps at 7pm. Everett made a fine speech, but a drunken trooper – Wilson – made a speech attacking Lemmer. Adolph has registered this week. Thurs P.M. took schools to military pictures. Bad headache afterwards. Vesp. 1st practice of Elijah. On account of cold & heavy work for inspectors have stayed in Sat & Sun. copying in marks, reading reviews, writing letters re Cawthron, etc. Long yarn with W. Rout Fri. P.M. & with Field Sat. A.M. on subject. Letter from Kingswell re big flood & result of dredging away roots upon amount of silting, etc. Last evening Reg’d Seaton of Kaikoura called on me re scouts. This week much excitement over resignations of Deleasie & Carson, recall of Sir Ian Hamilton, attacks on Dardanelles policy & on landing of troops at Salonika. Serbia seems to be making good stand against both Germans & Bulgarians & has been reinforced by French & Eng., but attitude of Greece rather alarming. Reported to have refused even offer of Cyprus. Germans vigorously attacking Riga & Dvinsk, but Russians are inflicting defeats upon them in the South.
Several showery days & some heavy rain at nights, Thurs & Fri. Weather most oppressive. Monday P.M. Mr Cawthron’s funeral. I went with C. King & Lemmer to rep. N.S.M. Fine day. Large crowds in Trafalgar St. Walked up to grave with Jackson & Allen & greatly cheered them with my view of the Institute. Put a long letter on subject into Friday’s colonist & Fri. P.M. Hal. Cock brought me a letter from his father bearing our my views. It seems probably that road & observatory will be gone on with after all. Spent much of yesterday writing lengthy letters on subject to Westland, Hector, etc. Have been continuing exam’n all week esp. Cen. Arith’c which is weak. Postponed Harm’c Concert till next Tuesday. Seem to have caught a cold last Sunday which has worried me during week. Felt quite unwell Wed. & Thurs. but probably oppressive weather had much to do with it. Today correcting exams. & arranging times for Ass’d Board Exam. German Austrian force vigorously attacking Serbia & have already invaded country some distance. Bulgaria is attacking from East. Greece refuses to aid Serbia but we have landed a force at Salaonika & Russia has promised aid. Russia counter attacking successfully esp’y in E. Galicia. Have bought Nelson’s History of the War.
Much showery weather this week, but Sat. fine & today not raining. Have been examining side schools. Mr Cawthron’s death – 8 Oct 1915 On Sat. 2nd he took a turn for worse & during week gradually sank, passing away about 7 on Friday 8th, evening. I got Barr to refer to Observatory Trust Deed twice but to no avail. His will found on Sat. was made in 1902 & leaves practically all fortune to endowing an Industrial & Technical Institute & Museum. When Jackson told me at dinner time on Sat. & said I & T “Museum” only, I was disgusted. But Vernon Rout came up in P.M. & told me correct version. I am sorry re road, but think the Institute, well managed, will be such an excellent thing I do not much mind about the Observatory, though I have put in an awful lot of work for nothing. Today have been up Dun Line with Treacher, clearing the track. The part we tackled today was more difficult & we did only about 200 yards, leaving another 200 yards to complete the main work. Sid no better, & may go north again. Jackson had letter from Kingswell explaining comparatively low return, £3100. French still making some progress in Champagne. Anglo French force landed at Salonika & pushing North to help Serbia against threatened attack by Bulgaria. But great excitement caused by Greek king dismissing Venezelos.
Heavy rain Tues, showery Sat. & Sun. mornings. Monday was Dominion Day. I addressed school, then we saluted flag & sang Anthem. Marked roll & dismissed. I came home & cont’d corrections. Thurs P.M. saw Cawthron re road & bridge, then saw Ledger & then Littlejohn. L’s rash statement to Cn. about grade has made a serious difficulty for me. Do not know what will be outcome. Fri. 4.30pm Navy League Com’ee meeting. Learnt that Jim Houlker died after all on hospital ship, 10 Aug. Sat. A.M. in town. P.M. Ed’l Inst. meeting. Lancaster gave paper on mathematics. Vesp. & all today corrections & clerical work. Quarterly returns gave att. which puts school into higher grade next year. Much elation over Eng. & Fr. successes at beginning of week – Hill 70, Hullisch, Vimy, Loos in Artois, Messiges, Ceruary, etc. in Champagne. Bulgaria apparently on verge of attacking Serbia, but steadied somewhat by Greek mobilization.
Fine weather all week. Busy examining Central School in all subjects exc. Arith. Yesterday & today working hard at corrections till tonight my eyes are rather done. Tues. P.M. meeting of Trustees re Tait & pictures. Fri. Vesp moonlight so after 10 took Nell for some short runs on luggage carrier of my motor cycle. Found steering not too easy. Frank Washbourn has bought a motor car for £45. Thurs P.M. ran out to Wakapuaka calling on Alborough, Whitwell & Frost re mangels for seed purposes. Mon. Vesp. School Com’ee appointed Miss Julia Wright to Knapp’s staff. Am not sorry to be rid of her. This P.M. ran up on Port Hills for a short time & fired some gorse. Much correspondence still re overhead bridge & exchange of roads, but things getting more forward. Sid & party probably leaving Auckland for Wellington today. Sid still far from well. Russians still holding their own near Lemberg but Germans have captured Vilna. English Budget chief event of week. Bulgaria has mobilized & seem likely to aid Austrians though she at present claims to be strictly neutral.
Out last Sunday & forgot to write up. Some beautiful days but weather has on whole been unsettled & showery. During 1st week of term, much unsettlement arranging for Daffodil Day, St., so did not begin my second exam, but began last Monday & have finished reading at Cen. New room at Brook St. finished so had to be up there several times arranging matters. On Daffodil Day got up early to set boys to work in various ways but then returned home & did not go to town again. Processions, etc. Vesp. large meeting of delegates of Sick & Wounded Fund at Council Chambers. Clement Wragge called that week to see me re observatory. Hatty returned to Blenheim that Sat. also. Last Sunday Harry Kidson & I took slashers up Dun Line & continued work I had begun in clearing line. We did not finish the work but we did all the worst parts. One more day will make a good job of it. Mr Cawthron still very unwell & disinclined to do anything. But plans of railway bridge came to hand over a week ago & exchange plans of road completed & sent to Wellington. So I wrote strong letter expressing disappointment at various delays & followed it up with an interview on Friday afternoon. Got him with some difficulty to sanction my drafting 2 letters to Council to be sent in when Gazette notice appears, which should be next week. Yesterday A.M. in town. P.M. work in garden, etc. A.M. met Falconer who told me re formation of Company to work limestone at Rangihaeata. Vesp. wrote many letters. This A.M. worked down at Museum. No important war news. Question of conscription causing excitement in England. Czar superseded Archduke Nickolas. Russian victories at Tarnopol. Zeppelin raids on London.
Spring Holidays. Unfortunately weather showery almost all the week, tho. Thurs. & Sat. were fine. In early part of week, I finished corrections, read arrears of reviews, transplanted Pitt. Dallii, etc. Harm’c Tues. Vesp. instead of Thurs. On Friday in spite of threatening weather I went up line to commence clearing track round Wooded Peak. Nell & Hatty did not come. Day cloudy & showery but I got through a fine lot of work, clearing all bad places almost to Look Out Rock. Dr Morice & his daughter here to tea. Tues. called on Cawthron who was somewhat better, but he looks extremely frail. Have pruned & sprayed trees. Heavy casualty lists still coming in. Ellis Littlejohn reported killed last Sun. Bobbie Deck (son of Dr Deck) reported Friday. Russians claim to have repulsed Germans badly in places & to have retired very little this week. Germany’s submarine policy evidently proved a failure. Tirpitz given a holiday on acc. of “ill health”. Germany has promised America not to sink liners without warning in future. It is supposed that large numbers of sub’s have been destroyed or captured recently. Germany putting out feelers re peace but allies very determined. Strikes all settled. General belief that great blow about to be delivered by our side in West very shortly.
Fine weather all week till today which has been overcast & showery. Mon. Vesp. Meeting S & W soldiers Com’ee. Thurs. poor att’ce at Harm’c. Fri. Vesp. Young Kempthorne & Tennant here most of evening re camping in Maitai. Fri. P.M. called round to see Mr Cawthron but he was too weak & tired to see me. Much fear he is failing. Sat. A.M. pruned fruit trees rather late; P.M. read. Vesp. Dimant called re lease. Sid greatly improved & on Thurs., he, Bessy, Hamil & Re went off for a month’s holiday. At present they are at Te Aroha. Yesterday P.M. Hatty Jenkins came for a visit. Tues. A.M. went to Port early to see soldiers off. Germans appear to have had bad naval reverse at Riga, but have now captured Grodus & Brest Litovsk. Terribly heavy list of casualties this week – about 150 killed including De Castro, Alborough & Hamish White of Blenheim.
Fine weather all week, last few days simply perfect. Great joy in town Mon. A.M. when it was known that Houlker was only wounded & not killed. Thurs. 1st practice of “Revenge”. Builders have commenced alterations at Brook St. School. I took Miss Hughes’s class on Mon., but she returned on Tues. Mr Cawthron has been ill recently tho. not in bed, & called in Dr Barr this week. I saw Mr. C. on Fri, P.M. Sid has got much better & has been down to his house yesterday & this afternoon. Hamil is also about again. Yesterday A.M. in town. P.M. went up Fringe with Nell & Milly Boor. Boiled billy at surveyor’s camp. Thurs. P.M. I took slasher up Grampians track. Again much trouble with row between Tait & Surrell, but think I have now settled it. War news bad on whole this week. Germans have captured Kovno & Novo Georgieosk & have torpedoed the Arabic & a transport – the Royal Edward (1000 lives lost).
Mon. Inst. Com’ee meeting appointed Wise Sec. & Tr. Vice Worley. Tues. final rehearsal for concert. Thurs. in Colonist appeared news that Capt Jas. Houlker had been killed on Sat. 7 Aug. Deep sorrow in town but we thought it best to have concert all the same. Attendance smaller than usual but concert otherwise quite successful. Sat. showery. Motueka boys came over in launch to play our team, but Griffin did not come. I went down to meet them & gave them lunch at the school. Game at 2. Ours won by 14 pts to nil. Owing to Miss Hughes having to go to Wellington to see her brother before his departure for the front, I have taken classes at Tasman St School for a few days. Most of today at accounts of N.H.S. & balance sheet. Russians now appear to be holding their own. Colonial troops have greatly extended their lines & are reported to have captured Sari Bahr. Sid is a good deal better with frequent ups & downs. Hamil has caught the measles.
Fine most of week but some showery nights. Monday was 1st Mon in Aug. & Gala Day for Sick & Wounded Fund. Glorious day but a cold S.E. wind was blowing. Boys assembled at 9.45 & marched to Trafalgar St. Procession passed between our lines & we then joined in. Best procession I have ever seen, many of the displays being excellent. We marched down nearly to Park & then dismissed. I helped with races, which nobody looked at. Gambling shows & produce stalls did a roaring business. About 8000 on ground. Mock court sat also. About 3.30 I came home to sit with Sid & nurse cold. Rodley won all Schools Chp., but only Stoke competed against us. Much annoyed with Cherrie for not turning up. Still examining side schools most of the time. On Tues. Miss Cameron went to new position & Miss Worley took her place at Central. On Wed. (Declaration Day), meetings throughout Empire to express resolve to fight to a finish. Large crowd at Church Hill, but no fire in speeches & crowd cold – shyness.
Tait still giving much trouble re organ & pictures.
Sat. A.M. in town. P.M. Educ’l Inst’. meeting (annual). Small att. Boyce elected President. I again declined office. Wilmot gave account of Conference.
My cold has given me much bother but it is now getting much better. Sid also showing marked improvement.
All today busy with accounts & exam work. Showery day.
Fine weather all week. I have begun exam’n of side schools as measles are in town & threaten to spread rapidly. Educ’n Bd. on Mon. accepted tender for enlarging Brook St. School. Sid is slowly improving but still has attacks of great pain. Yesterday A.M. in town. P.M. spent afternoon in Park helping Cresswell, etc. prepare for Gala Day tomorrow. Still busy correcting essays. Have caught a cold but am carefully treating it & hope to check it. Friday P.M. examined roads from Russell St. to Washington Valley in connection with Queen’s Drive. Thurs. yarn with Cawthron. War news this week rather depressing as Russians are reported to have evacuated Warsaw. But Lloyd George’s speeches have apparently largely overcome industrial troubles, & manufacture of munitions in likely to be satisfactory in future.
Heavy rain in early part of week, & showery till Sat. morning. Mon. Vesp. long meeting Wounded Soldiers Com’ee. Mrs Saxon died. Wed. Mr Collie gave organ recital at N.S.M. Very small audience but good performance. Re, Nell & I went. Sat. Produce Fair in Trafalgar St. Luckily rain ceased early in morning & day was gloriously fine. I went down at 10 to see whether I could help & had heavy work till 6.30 helping arrange for delivery of goods in Grant’s carts. Friday P.M. at 2.30 went up the Maitai with Ledger, Harley, Edmonds, Harrison & Littlejohn to mark off land to be taken at the various places. Sid came up here on Thurs – still pretty bad. Russians still retreating before German attacks. Warsaw seriously threatened. Still busy correcting exams.
Fine week, although cloudy yesterday & today. No quorum for a wonder at Institute meeting on Mon. Maitai question. Busy with insertion of advts. etc. Mon. & Tues. On Wed. an informal poll of ratepayers taken. To our surprise & delight all three proposals to acquire Denne’s Hole, Big Hole & Recreation Reserve carried by over 3 to 1 majority. Diamant’s pictures opened at N.S.M. last night. Of course this gave me much work esp’y as Tait very nasty over the business. Good practice on Thurs. Vesp. Fri. Vesp. Clerical work. Sat. A.M. saw school team off in launch at 9.30, then up to N.S.M. re Hall arrangements. At 11 started for Motueka to see Central play the High School. Roads in good order & I reached ground before 1. Our boys won by about 20 to nil. Went to Mr Griffin’s for afternoon tea, to Huffam’s for lubricating oil & started back to 3.30, arriving at 5.30. Have examined Central School in several subjects & am still busy with that work. Sid still as bad as ever with neuritis. This afternoon George Green called. He is on a sugar plantation on the Zambesi River, 130 miles from coast. Many wounded returned to N.Z. this week by Willochra, among them Jack Cock. No important war news, but serious strike among South Welsh coal miners.
Some heavy rain during week, esp’ly at night. Rivers high. Mon. Vesp. Phil’l Soc’y meeting. Misc. Prof. Easterfield present. I spoke on Hygrodeck & Pitt. Dallii. Fri. P.M. C. of C. meeting re Maitai poll next Wednesday. Vesp. supervised Sunday School exam. Sid still ill so have again seen him several times. Sat. A.M. in town, paid off loan from Sid. P.M. & Vesp. read reviews, corrected essays & clerical work. Vercoe brought me 8 interesting lizards which we are feeding with flies. All today at school & other work. Amusing scene in Thorp’s drawing room this evening. No important war news. Russians severely checking Austro-German drive near Lublin. Severe fighting on W. front but no change. Munitions now being made on good basis.
Weather cloudy most of week but only a few showers. Thurs N.S.M. meeting agreed to lease N.S.M. to Diamant for pictures. Sid still very bad with neuritis in left arm. Have been to chat with him several evenings; also to Library re new card system inaugurated on Thurs. Sat. A.M. in town. Vesp. went on motor cycle to examine limestone outcrop in new cutting at entrance to Wairoa Gorge. Last evening meeting of town & country delegates re Sick & Wounded Fund. City Council on Fri. evening decided to hold a poll re acquisition of Maitai lands. New roof on Alton St. Observatory & also coat of paint. All this A.M. with Assoc. Board entries. Heavy clerical work this week. No important war news, but good progress been made towards capture of Achi Baba.
A good deal of dull showery weather during week, exp. Wed. & Thurs. New loose gravel has almost made Coll. St impassable. Agitating for enlargement at Brook St. Met first sub Com’ee & then Mr Thompson to discuss methods of enlarging. Several Com’ee meetings in week of various kinds. Sat. P.M. Educ’l Inst. meeting re flag competitions etc. for Gala Day. Sat. A.M. in town collecting N.H.S. subs. etc. Miss Kitching absent Friday on acc. death of another brother so I pushed on with examination of S.3. room. Carefully considering Diamant’s proposition re “pictures” for N.S.M. Discussed it with Cawthron on Friday. Shall probably agree to it. Miss Judson down with influenza. Mrs Blincoe died this week. Sat. Vesp. N.S.M. & N.H.S. finances. All today reading & doing clerical work. No important war news. Small successes everywhere except in Galicia where Russians have had to abandon Lemberg. Munitions question the chief interest at present. Parliament opened this week.
Heavy rain in middle of week – Wed. & Thurs. but rest fine. Weather very cold now. Mon. Institute meeting, so could not go to meeting at which Miss Farnie advocated children holding concerts, etc. for Wounded Soldiers fund. Deputation waited on self & then on Knapp on Tues. P.M. but we both gave decided negatives. Have in consequence got into hot water, esp’y for opposing carnival queen business. Had to attend Com’ee meeting Wed. P.M. on subject. Wed. Vesp. Ch. of C. meeting re German trade. Thurs. began “Banner of St George” at harmonic. Good attendance for first (& wet) night. Fri. Vesp. waited on city council with Fell & Bond re Maitai. At their request did not attack Com’r’s Report but now regret that I did not. Matter postponed for a fortnight. Aurora. Coming out from harmonic on Thurs. saw fine glow in sky. Morley soon came up & we watched it for about an hour when a rain storm came on. Bright pearly light from S.E. to nearly due W. all the time. At intervals shafts of pink light shot slowly up to about 60° above horizontal. Have been helping make arrangements to convert big front room at Institute into soldiers’ room. War news on whole satisfactory. Germans pressing Russians very hard W & also S of Lemberg. But Italians are getting on well & French have made considerable progress at many points. Practically no news from Dardanelles but heavy casualty lists. Yesterday A.M. in town. P.M. up Fringe to my clearing, but could not find axe. Very cold wind. Vesps. Clerical work. This A.M. rehung pictures in bedroom & overhauled motor cycle. P.M. read & clerical work. Sid laid up with bad neuritis in left arm. Have spent several hours chatting with him.
Fine till Friday, but a good many heavy showers have fallen during last two days. Monday, meeting of Patriotic Committees to inaugurate Sick & Wounded Soldiers Fund. Gave £25. Went round to Drill Shed too late to vote for election of officers of National Reserve. Returned to Com’ee meeting. Tues. final rehearsal for concert. Wed. should have been C of C meeting but no quorum. Yarn with Capt Robinson re rough surveying, etc. Thurs. first Harmonic concert since Lemmers return. Rumours of possible disturbance so I had plain clothes detective ready but no symptom even of trouble. Audience not quite so large as usual but not bad. Items all went well. Chief one, Cowen’s Sleeping Beauty. Very relieved to have got it over successfully as I had been anxious. Early part of week, very busy selling old Junior Cadet uniforms & haversacks. Mr Irwin away Thurs. A.M. Inspector Crawford inspected S.4. Sat. A.M. in town. P.M. & Vesp. read “Nature” & did clerical work. All today clerical work. As gas is so bad for about 2 hours every evening I have bought an incandescent kerosene lamp. Russians seem now to be stemming German attacks in Galicia. Italy is making good progress. Severe fighting still continues at the Dardanelles & heavy casualty lists are coming to hand. Capt. Goulding’s death (Marlborough High School) greatly saddened us. Great movement in England to increase enormously supply of munitions.
Weather fine all the week. Resumed school on Mon. but Miss Kitching absent all week with influenza, so I have been tied up to her class. Have started new physical drill in tentative manner at present. Thurs. a holiday for King’s Birthday. Patriotic meeting in Trafalgar St. at 11 which I went to after cutting grass. P.M. went on motor cycle to Maitai whare & spent one hour throwing cord of wood down hill. Road pretty rough. Harm’c prac. on Tues on account of holiday. Mon. Vesp. Sci. Branch met. Whitwell gave us discourse on rusts & kept us till past 11. Dr Boor there. Fri. P.M. called on Mr Cawthron with plan of road. A difficulty has cropped up regarding railway crossing. Sat. A.M. various kinds of work at home. P.M. went up Fringe intending to burn some small patches of gorse but the second fire I lighted spread rapidly into fern & manuka & finally burnt several acres of hill side. No harm done but I had to wait up there till past 7 in order to prevent fire crossing line. Resa & others went to Third House. Today have read & put up Concert tickets, etc. New servant came on Mon & promises to do very well. Really the first girl we have had since Maggy left in Nov. last, so welcome change. Mrs Thorp here for several days to attend Church Festival on Wed. Russians still having a bad time of it, & driven out of Przemysl but now seem rallying. Italy has made a good start. Rumania & Bulgaria seem likely to join us. America’s relations with Germany very strained. Not much progress at Gallipoli yet. Jim Houlker reported wounded today.
Autumn Holidays Several wet days, esp. in early part of week, but some days – as yesterday & today just perfect, tho very cold. Have been hard at clerical work with a little reading, all the week, & have not been out once save yesterday P.M. to visit Mr Senior. Have sorted out papers, sent out N.H.S. accs., written lots of letters, paid bills, etc. On Mon. Vesp. went to drill & had a little brush with Squires over forming fours. Attended Col. Chaffey’s meeting re recruiting P.M. & was put on exec. com’ee. Then on Wed. another meeting & was made convener & sec. of circular com’ee. Thurs P.M. this com’ee met & work connected therewith had taken much time. Fri. Vesp. went with Re, Nell, Misses Lorimer, & Judson to hear Peter Dawson. Good, but only ballads. Re & Miss Lorimer ret’d from Bn on Mon. Mon. C of C com’ee meeting. Have gradually recovered from fatigue & bruises of previous 2 weeks. Sat P.M. cycled out to Senior’s place at Hope & chatted with him for first time re lime crushing proposition. Italy definitely joined Allies in war at beginning of week & should be of great assistance at present juncture. Germans still striving hard to drive Russians back from Przemysl. Eng & Fr. gained many successes. But sinking of Triumph & Majestic by German submarine in Gulf of Faros is very bad news – perhaps the worst since the war started. English ministry reconstructed on coalition basis. Have read or finished reading Nyers’s Human Personality, Adams’s Herbarian Philosophy, O. Schreiner’s Woman & Labour & many reviews. Read Podmore’s The New Spiritualism”.
Glorious weather all the week till Friday when it became showery. Sat. P.M. & Vesp. very wet. Today fine but again raining this Vesp. 2nd Week, Phys. Drill. Work much same as in previous week but we all felt it more & most were quite stale at the end. On Thurs P.M. I hurt leg muscle, so did not play in single v married football game in late afternoon. Thurs. Vesp. A teachers’ concert was held in Temp’ce Hall, but of course I could not go. Fri. fortunately was an easy day. Have had to go to bed early most evenings owing to fatigue. Thoroughly enjoyed the fortnight but glad it is over. Mon. Vesp. to National Reserve Drill. Wed. P.M. to Patriotic Fund Com’ee. Sat. A.M. in town. P.M. slept & read. This A.M. put motor bike in good order. P.M. read & biked out to Richmond. This coming week – our autumn holidays. Hot correspondence re aliens still continues but I have not joined in. Russians having a very bad time in Galicia having to retreat before Germans, but Servians have again begun to move & Italy has practically decided on war. N.Z. casualty lists terribly heavy – now about 1500. On western side many small successes in different parts of line. Mellish’s comet visible to naked eye this week.
Heavy rain Monday, but rest of week perfect weather. Physical Drill Instruction
As it was raining, I opened School of Music for the 200 teachers who had been told to assemble in Central play ground, & instructors then arranged with me for them to have use of hall for fortnight instead of Boys’ Coll. Gym. Women have three rooms elsewhere, all men being at N.S.M. Mr Johnson our instructor. As a result of the exercises most of us are very stiff & tired, but the new drill is certainly a great improvement on the old. On Tues. I fell heavily on left thigh & badly bruised muscles making work even more difficult. We are all enjoying it. On Fri. Vesp. Ed’l Inst. Meeting. Coleman read paper on “Books I have read”. On Sat. picnic to Bishop’s Peninsular. 90 went. I had business in town till 11.30 & then followed on motor cycle. After lunch we strolled about, then had afternoon tea & returned home. Much disgusted at Knapp’s cunning trick to entrap me into running picnic.
“Lusitania” business has greatly angered whole world & anti German riots are widespread – even in U.S. & Italy. Miss Farnie wrote letter re internment of all Germans. Should have replied but simply no time. Have had to arrange re King’s Hall, also Golden Downs reserve, also Queen’s Drive Survey & half a dozen other things this week.
On Tuesday, Education Districts Boundary Commission sat in Nelson. After afternoon drill, I took J.C. Thompson & Petrie over Institute & to Atkinson Observatory. They came up after tea & spent evening in obs.
On the same day my presentation copy of Cheeseman’s Illustrations came to hand. Wed. Bryant came home to lunch with me. Miss Lorimer ret’d from Tadmor & stayed here about 2 days. On Friday she & Re went to Blenheim.
Thurs. Vesp. N.H.S. Com’ee meeting. Mon. Vesp. Institute monthly meeting. Important business re Rout’s offer for King’s Hall & Macmalion’s report on two Reserves. New Council members present. Moffat very loquacious. Lent Wise my microtome.
War getting very fierce. Terrific fighting on all fronts. At Dardanelles N.Z. casualties already about 800 & full lists not yet to hand. Russians suffered reverse at Libau & in Wn. Galicia but not very serious. In all other directions we are more than holding our own.
This A.M. wrote long letter to Hon. J. Allen re Lemmer to counteract petition. P.M. went on Port Hills & followed new line flagged out by Ledger.
Altogether a most strenuous week. Lemmer & Tait correspondence took some time.
Most glorious weather all week till yesterday when it clouded up. Today light showers are falling. On Mon. made out Re’s balance sheet in connection with croquet club, which has given great trouble for previous week. Several strong letters in Colonist re omission of National Anthem at last term concert. Most unfortunate carelessness on Lemmer’s part, but quite accidental. Letters from Mrs Proctor & Adams. Long casualty list from Dardanelles. Jack Cock & Major Stuckey wounded. Howard Newton killed. Terrible sensation caused by sinking Lusitania with over 2000 aboard. Only about 740 saved. Germans claim great successes which Russians deny. Otherwise news favourable though no big operations this week. We broke up school for 3 weeks holiday on Friday as we teachers have to have a fortnight’s physical drill instruction. Yesterday I took about 100 boys up the line, leaving at 8 & not returning till past 7 as some got more tired than usual. In the clouds most of the way down. Today have done nothing but read reviews & go to town for news re Lusitania.
Weather very beautiful all week. Mon. Vesp. Sci. Branch – Knapp on Maori implements in Museum. Wed. 28 April, election for 5 things. Harley beat Lock for mayoralty. Good council in tho. Piper among them. Wed. Vesp. Went to Cherniavsky Concert, Very good. Thurs. cablegram congratulating N.Z. on gallantry of troops at Dardanelles led to public meeting at 3 pm at Church Steps to which we marched the school boys. Fri. P.M. broke the gear wheels of my “Douglas” for 4th time. Sat. A.M. in town, saw McKee re lime. P.M. went to Senior’s property at Hope on valveless “Governor” borrowed from Winn. Found him not at home but went up valley & on hillside & gathered specimens of limestone. Vesp. N.S.M. term concert. A.M. work. P.M. went up line to water beyond 3rd house to look for leggings left there. Nell & M. Boor came with me & boiled billy just this side of 3rd House while I went on. Leggings gone. Left at 2 & got back at 6.30. I wore quite new boots & feel much fatigued in consequence. Much anxiety re casualties at Dardanelles which are not yet reported. Great battle on Yser this week. Germans by using large clouds of chlorine nearly broke line but Canadians saved situation.
Glorious weather most of fortnight. On 14th Miss Lorimer, Re, Nell, Elsie & others had motor car Lower Moutere – Dovedale. Had 4 punctures so did not reach Dovedale hill till dark. On Wakefield side Ingles drove car straight over bank. Luckily body caught on edge of road & saved them going down steep hillside. They had to walk in to Wakefield where other cars met them & brought them in at about 10.30. Mother & I naturally anxious till telegram came through Thorpe at about 8.30 yo Sid. Elsie went home on Fri. 16th. Wooded Peak trip. Sunday 18th. April. Miss Judson & 2 Miss Saxons, Ken Saxon & Mr Knight. Miss Menlove’s accident. Miss Judson asked me to take party round Wooded Peak. I went ahead to Reservoir & others joined me there at about 8.30. The Saxon girls were poor walkers & we did not get along nearly so quickly as I had expected. We had a most pleasant tramp along track on North & E. side of the Peak though very rough in places. Tea at Coad’s Creek, using fire made by Jarret & Sowman. Just on town side of fallen in tunnel came upon Mr Evans & Miss Sutherland Smith attending to Miss Menlove who had broken big bone of right leg by falling over side of track. I sent girls ahead to get down before dark as I had but two lanterns & cut two saplings for stretcher. Other men – Jarret Sowman, Atmore, Harford & Olliver – came on scene with blankets, etc. Finished setting leg, making stretcher, & getting everything ready for journey just as it grew dark. Shoulder straps relieved strain on hands considerably but we were all pretty tired by the time we reached the Reservoir where an ambulance was waiting. She bore journey well, though sick once or twice at first. Was only a little stiff next day. Rather fun having to discuss matter with Evans as he had cut me dead in Hardy St. on the previous day. I was delighted to be able to return the compliment on the following day – Monday. Several Chamber of Commerce meeting this fortnight. First, 2 meetings re putting question to municipal candidates as to attitude to Maitai question. Then re meeting Hon. Rhodes at Commercial on Thurs. at 8. I spoke re Mt Arthur & Roto-iti. A good deal of business has arisen out of application re transfer of lease of Gordon Downs reserve & adverse report on property by Macmahan & Washbourn. Wooded Peak – midnight trip with search party 22 – 23 April. On returning from Harmonic on Thursday evening, found Mrs & Julie Tomlinson in great alarm about a party that had not returned from Wooded Peak, but which had evidently, from story of 2 who had returned, had gone down wrong spur towards Sclanders Creek. Missing ones were Mr Greenwood & Misses Brockett, Iva Hudson & Lulu Tomlinson. After much telephoning, arranged to go up with Mr Brockett of College, Dr Bett & young Andrews & Hudson having already set out. Heavy rain shower when I set out at 11.15 but it ceased before I overtook Brockett at Reservoir. We were not very anxious about those lost so had quite a pleasant walk up line by candlelight. Had a little trouble in finding Atmore’s whare which we found empty. On getting near Wooded Peak saw Dr Bett’s light & on cooeeing, heard his reply & another faint one from the far distance. Found Bett’s party had been to end of line without seeing or hearing anything. By further cooees found that lost party was on the Peak so we all went up, finding track with hardly any trouble. On reaching them, found them quite comfortable by big fire but very hungry so chocolate & sandwiches were much appreciated. Waited till nearly daylight, then essayed to come down but got off track to the north. Greenwood & I returned to fire to make sure of right spur & soon all were down on line. I then came ahead quickly to give cooee signals to Stone that they were all right & he telephoned the news to town soon after 8. Really quite a pleasant little experience though I was pretty sleepy all day & did not make Takaka trip as I had intended. Got to school about 10. All day Sat. & today tidying up, doing clerical work & reading heavy arrears of reviews. Sid took mother & girls out last (?) Wed. to Wakefield in afternoon but bad puncture detained them till about 7.30. Dresden sunk at Juan Fernandez. Allies have made progress in Fecht Valley & at Hill 60 near Zillebeke, but big battle now on on Yser.
At Maitai Whare last Sunday. In week before Easter Mr Inwood was married so I had to take S.4 for 3 days. Had more trouble than usual in getting out quarterly returns. On Thurs. P.M. Littlejohn & I had long talk over Port Hills road with Cawthron. On Wed. after Easter I met Mr Tosswill before breakfast on Port Hills re road deviation. At midday Wed. & Thurs. saw Porter Harris & Bisley re Washington Valley improvements. Mon. Vesp. before Easter attended Reserve Corps droll at Drill Shed for first time. Harm’c practice on Tues. that week. Easter Holidays. 2 – 6 Apr. A party was to go up to Maitai Whare on Friday morning, but owing to Nell being detained by bad weather (in Wn) till Sunday morning, Re could not come out till then; but the rest of us – Mrs Broad, Miss Judson, Elsie & myself went out Sat. A.M. Sat. P.M. we went up spur opposite & thro. bush to top of ridge hoping to get a good view to then N., but found no clearing. On return tried taking Miss J. on luggage carrier of motor bike but found it risky on such a road. Sun. up early & came to fetch Re. She was not ready to leave till after 11 so we did not get out till about 1. In afternoon went up past Horse Bridge & Re rested while we others went for a short time into bush. On our return journey, Miss J. found she had lost valuable gold presentation watch. Mon. Old Maungatapu trip. Did not get away till about 10 so I did not expect to reach top. But we got on better than I expected & after having lunch at old girls’ camp, we pushed on & finally reached the open beyond the tarns. On way got off track & had rather a long scramble to find it again, losing about ½ an hour. Left bare at 4 & got to whare at 6.20, good going for Re. Vesp as usual sat in front of fire & read “Brown Bread”. Tues. A.M. up early to come in with Miss Judson as she had to begin work at 9. Returned to Maitai & after lunch we went up past Horse Bridge to look for Miss J’s watch. Fortunately found it on side of track. Started from whare rather late & just got in at dark. Although heavy rain & wind on Turns. Night before Good Friday weather during holidays was gloriously fine. Maitai camp rather a rowdy one, but enjoyable, & gave me good deal of exercise chopping wood, etc. On Wed. Mr Aston spent the evening here & showed me splendid collection of plants he had collected from gorge of Ure River. Fri. meeting of National Reserve com’ee. Sat. had intended going to Takaka but weather threatening. We had a motor drive to Spooner’s Range chiefly for Elsie’s benefit – mother, Re, Nell, Else, Miss Lorimer & self. Mr Ingles was our chauffeur. Two punctures. We had lunch just beyond Belgrove. Afternoon tea in car near Wakefield while tyre being mended. Called in to see Miss Annie Daniell at Brightwater. This A.M. clerical work. P.M. went up Maitai to tidy up whare, etc. The Wrights are back from year’s holiday. Miss Cameron has begun in Miss Baird’s place. Miss Palmer ill, so I took her classes Friday. No important war news.
Fine week. Mon. Hamilton Hodges concert. Thurs. Harm’c attendance improving. Sat. A.M. in town & took phots of Nelson from Quarry but pin holes have spoilt them. Sat. P.M. for first time went to Maitai whare on motor cycle. Went to see what was wanted if Re & others camp there at Easter. Vesp. developed phots. & went to Tait’s organ recital. Saw Cawthron Thurs. & arranged re interview with Littlejohn re road. Fraser, Minister for Public Works in Nelson Friday, so I spent much time over deputation which waited on him in evening re Wangapeka track, etc. Fall of Prcemzsl chief event of war this week. Sid returned from Tadmor. Big flood at Paeroa at last. This afternoon walked with Mr Strahan round Port Hills & he came to tea.
More light rains this week, esp. Thurs. & today. Mon., 1st meeting of Scientific Branch for this year. Thurs. good att’ce of all but soprani, & many of them still busy with Band carnival which finally closed Fri. Vesp. On Wed. P.M. crowning of carnival queen in Park so half holiday. I went with Ledger to Port Hills to take preliminary levels re new line of road & found things worked out quite satisfactorily. Explained matters fully to Mr Cawthron on Friday afternoon & told him extra cost would be £400. He said he thought it would be well worth the money. Sat. A.M. in town, then up Wakapuaka Road to select good spot for photograph. P.M. went on Port Hills to show Braddell the site & to take photographs for Mr Cawthron, but a drizzle set in after a time. On Tues M. Boor went to Takaka. Sid is spending a fortnight at Tadmor. Elsie still here. 2 Eng. & 1 French ships sunk in Dardanelles.
Some heavy rain this week, especially on Wed. & grass has grown splendidly. Drought now clearly over. Mon. Vesp. Institute meeting. Tues P.M., 9th, went on Port Hills with Littlejohn & examined better line of road. Tues. P.M. our parrot got out of cage & flew about as he has often done before. But this time he did not return at dusk. Has been flying about in various parts of town & I have spent much time in attempting to cajole him into cage, but he has developed strong flying powers & evidently prefers freedom, so I shall not go chasing after him any more. Tues. Licensing Com’ee election. 4 moderates & Pettit elected, I coming next. Thurs., 1st Harmonic practice. In spite of wet night & special Carnival performance, fair attendance, so I think we shall get on all right. Correspondence re Denne’s Hole in E. Mail this week. Evans shuffled miserably, but Lucas refused to publish more than the barest statements on my part, at which I feel extremely annoyed. Yesterday A.M. waited on Cawthron with Lock, Edmonds, Moore re caveat on Brook St. property. P.M. Mr Washbourn here several hours on eel question. Then chased after parrot in Old Cemetery & cut grass. All today, reading papers & clerical work. Mr Cawthron very pleased with suggestion re Queen’s Drive & I think he will carry it out very soon. Morepork in drawing room Wed. night. Some trouble with boys going to races, Wed. & Thurs. No special war news, but all items satisfactory. Good progress in Dardanelles & at Neuve Chapelle. Harry Hills drowned at Motueka. Sid returned Thurs. Gives good account of Paeroa.
Weather fine since Mon, showery Thurs, & now turning cold. Mon. Vesp. Chamber of Com. Annual meeting. Fri. Vesp. National Reserve Com’ee meeting. Thurs. Harm’c Com’ee meeting but no quorum. Sat. A.M. in town. Long yarn with Littlejohn re water supply & road line at Observatory site. Chat with Cawthron Fri. P.M. Harkness at Bk. St. on Thursday. Sat. P.M. went up Fringe along No.1 section line & down to line, up 2nd house stream & back on to ridge, along to my land to get Acoena for Cockayne. Vesp. printed phots of Timaru people. Put letter in Sat. Mail re Evans’s report on Denne’s Hole. Sid wires that Paeroa outlook is satisfactory. War news satisfactory but unimportant. Russians are driving back Germans to E. Prussia & Austrians to Bukowina. Eng. & Fr. fleets are making good progress in Dardanelles. German submarines doing nothing, but 2 or 3 sunk this week. Many French minor successes. Germany reported near starvation.
Drought has at last broken. During last three days about 3 inches of quiet warm rain have fallen in Nelson. Do not know whether wide spread. Mon. P.M. first p.t. class to arrange work. Mon. Vesp. Annual meeting of Institute. Fri. P.M. meeting of Com’ee of Chamber of commerce. Thurs. P.M. meeting of teachers at Girls’ Central re kindergarten apparatus. Tues. P.M. Board paid hasty visit to the school. Thurs. A.M. trouble with Bert Snow, so saw his father. Fri. P.M. Chamber of Com. com’ee meeting. Sat. A.M. in town. Foolishly agreed to be nominated for Licencing Com’ee but as meetings may be held in school time shall withdraw. Saw Evans’s report on Maitai question at Town Clerk’s office. P.M. discussed report fully with Ken Lucas. Vesp. clerical work – school admissions into reg’r. All today have been reading arrears of magazines. Thursday, Nell, Lu & 3 children left for Timaru, so house in now very quiet. Before tea I fixed cushion to my motor bike & took Harry, Molly & Tommy Moses for several short rides. Sid also went by Thurs. boat on way to Auckland & Paeroa. Sends word that he saw Duthie (Paeroa director) who assured him that we should soon get good returns. New Priestman dredge was to be floated this week. German submarines have sunk about 7 small merchantmen since the 18th. Chief fighting in E. Prussia & Poland where Germans drove Russians in retreat, both sides losing heavily. According to special cable last night. Russians had turned on Germans & routed them badly near Nilawa. Austrians have driven Russians out of Bukowina & southen Galacia. English fleet now operating against Dardanelles
Drought continues. Large fire ran over S. side of Zig Zag this afternoon. Finished clearing up rooms & arranged work & timetables this week. Began my own regular work on Thursday. Applied at Monday’s Com’ee meeting for additional room at Brook St. Purchase of observatory lands still dragging. Mr Worley still seriously ill so I have had to make preparation for tomorrow’s annual meeting. Yesterday A.M. in town. P.M. judged at the swimming races. No important war news.
Still fine though a short shower fell this afternoon. Have not yet started regular work at school though I probably shall this week. Mon. long Institute meeting considering my report re method of keeping books, etc. Fri. P.M., N.S.M. meeting chiefly to interview Tait re madrigal choir. Mimes put additional shelves in my room & yesterday A.M. I went thro. a lot of shelves & weeded out useless books. P.M. went to top of Fringe & got acoenas for Cockayne. Cut down a lot more of manuka to give to give extended view. Heavy German losses in Poland. Small Eng. success at La Bassee. German threat to use submarines against all shipping English waters has caused great indignation in America. Council has given Mrs Richardson notice to move fence by Denne’s hole within one week.
Fine all week till last night when a little welcome rain fell. Monday 1 Feb. Anniversary Day. I went to top of Fringe in afternoon & studied acoenas. I went up again yesterday afternoon & continued cutting manuka to give look out. We recommenced school on Tues. Tues & Wed. arranged classes, etc. Thurs. & Fri. got ready for painters to commence work in No. 2 room. Did a lot of spring cleaning which I continued yesterday morning. Both side schools larger than last year, Central the same. Much worry this week over an adv’t which Tait put in re madrigal choir. I had to write him a have since had two interviews. His explanation fairly satisfactory. Tris. Corrigan left Thursday. Liz, Lucy & youngsters still here. No important war news, except engagement on Suez Canal in which two Nelson men wounded, & Germany’s declaration of submarine blockade of Britain.
Drought has apparently broken in Auckland & light showers are now falling here but weather has been dry all week. Wed. Vesp. attended stupid meeting re National Reserve & went on Com’ee. Rest of time have been reading, tidying up at school & at N.S.M. Wellington trip, 28 – 30 Jan. Ran across to visit bookshops, see Aston Edwin Bell, visit Harry’s whare at Belmont, etc. Left by Pateena with great crowd aboard at 8pm. Read in Social Hall till past Croixelles when whistling of steamer led me to go on deck. Found fog so thick that almost impossible to find French Pass. Stopped often & crept slowly along shore till at last Pass light was visible. Soon after leaving Pass, left fog bank behind & beautiful moonlight night. Long yarn with a Mr Harris. At midnight all passengers had turned in but as I was not at all sleepy & another dense fog bank lay ahead I remained on upper deck just below captain’s bridge. Capt. occasionally came town to peer round & he admitted he was very anxious. Suddenly great mass of rock appeared close on starboard side. Capt told me afterwards it was base of rock at Jackson Head but light above was quite invisible. We did not see Cook Rock, but after log reckoning showed we had passed it, the Capt’n said he feared we should not see the light on the Brothers but might see the base of the rocks. Suddenly a great mass of rock appeared on Port bow. Engines stopped & helm put down when almost immediately another mass appeared close on starboard. I felt certain we should strike, but Capt’n cried Full speed astern & way was soon checked. We were then in danger of going stern on to 1st mass, but we finally maneuvered backwards out of the danger & drew up close below light on N. side. But though reflection or beam could be dimly seen on mist above us the light itself did not show. The commotion brought all the crew & about 30 passengers on deck. We went slowly down Cook St, & waited till the fog dispersed soon after daybreak. Immediately after passing the Brothers I lay down on seat at top of stairs & slept well. We undoubtedly had a very narrow escape. To Public Library where I had a long talk with assistant re methods. Rang up Miss Ig’n. Went to Whitombe & Tombs. Going along Quay met Cockayne & also Henrys. Had lunch with Aston at restaurant, then walked with him to Old Parl. Buildings & met Chilton & Marshall. Back to bookshops then hurried to Harry’s. He, Annie & I motored to Belmont & looked at bush & house. On return had tea. C. Broad came in. Walked down to steamer & saw Miss Ig’n for a few minutes. Went on board. First had yarn with Judsons, then with Herr Lemmer now returning to Nelson. After passing Brothers turned in & slept till alongside wharf. Very calm trips. Eva Gibbs was at Harry’s to tea, Harry Skinner being in camp at Trentham. Miss Lorimer, Miss Tolmie, Sid, & family & Lemmer in this evening. Defeat of German battle cruisers & sinking of Blucher. Have read Cramb.
Immediately after breakfast hurried thro. town & across bridge. Met Wood & another enthusiast. Looked over his ground & over experimental plots behind. Beautiful day. Hurried back to hotel & then to Arahura which left soon after 11. Beautiful day & not much sea though I did not go down to lunch. Yarn with Mathieson who used to run pictures at N.S.M. & read on upper deck. After dark read in smokng room & dozed till we reached Nelson about 11.30. Drove home & read papers. Have had to answer letters in Colonist directed against Lemmer. Have done much reading or reviews, etc. Another picnic tea at Bluff last night. I went on motor bike. Much of today school work. Weather still very fine & dry with just an occasional shower. Have decided not to go to Pairoa as new dredge will not be at work for more than month, but shall perhaps run across to Wellington to meet Lemmer & do a little business. Terrible earthquake in Italy. No special war news. Slight French reverse at Soissons & Zeppelin raid over Norfolk. Walked up to Harry’s arriving about 8. Rang up Hector, Acton, Westland. Harry drove me down to Govt. Buildings & I had a long talk with Parry the electrician chiefly re proposal to use Coleridge electric power to crush limestone.
Woke at 6 so off by 7 train to Ngakawau. Breakfast at hotel there then went to Stockton Office & saw Crowe the manager. Spent about two hours with him & got a great deal of information about the mine & its prospects – on the whole satisfactory. Then walked up track through bush to lodging house near substation 1 & had a meal there. Went along line & watched working of gravitation & electric haulage, then struck off on sort of pakihi to botanize. Clouds threatening all day & now – about 1 – very heavy rain set in. I had on overcoat but hurried back to sub station for shelter & stood by fire for drying sand. Next down train ran into empty truck & sent it flying so as to carry away 7 supports of gable end of shed. After chatting with men there for about an hour, I hurried along to store & bought 2 sacks, one for head & one round waist. Then walked down to Ngakawau without getting very wet. Derailment of trucks at Waimangaroa made train an hour late, but I got back to Westport about 7.30, rain having ceased. After tea went for walk & to Athenaeum. On returning to hotel at 9 met Wood who is much interested in pakihi experiments & was by him taken to house of a Mr ? Rowley where we yarned till about 11.30. Had to get back into hotel by fire escape after rousing a boarder
Westport Visit. Left by Arahura 8a.m. Beautifully smooth till we reached C. Farewell. Read on deck. Very rough head sea at Cape which subsided somewhat as we reached Westport, but I was unable to go to meals, tho. not sick. Took some chlorotone. Dozed most of afternoon on deck. At dusk went to my berth & slept till arrival at Westport at 9.30. Met Mr Thompson (Com’r Crown Lands) on wharf & on his advice went to the Empire Hotel. After tea went straight to bed.
Writing tonight as am going to Westport tomorrow. Nothing special this week; all odds & ends. Picnic to Bluff, Mon. Vesp. Sid, etc, Frank & Mr Washbourn. I went out on bike (motor). Mr Page’s second recital on Tues. Very good. Spent about 3 days in finishing epitome of diaries ups to end of 1913. Institute meeting Mon. Vesp. I reported on membership question. Have worked at N.S.M. library & done much clerical work. Also read a good deal. For third time have had to have broken gear wheel removed from motor bike. Painting of 5 class rooms at Central School now complete.
Splendid rain Fri. night & all day Sat. – over one inch. Have been doing various kinds of clerical work & reading ever since return from Takaka. Went to Page’s Organ Recital on Thurs. – very good indeed. About 250 0r 300 present. Long yarns with various people. Frank Washbourn re his interest in Onakaka land, Mr Wn., eels, etc. Coney, Fritz, Worley, Lucas, etc. Did phots. Digest of diaries (7 years yesterday). Sid & family returned on Friday. Today mother’s 79th birthday. Mr H.P. Washbourn here all day. Sid, etc. in this evening. No important war news.
Was in Takaka on Sun. so did not write up. Fine weather except for some showers Mon. night & Tues. Harry & party stayed till Thurs 31st. Meta & Ethel till 2 Jan. Lu & youngsters are still with us. One day (?Wed. 30th) we had an enjoyable picnic at the Peninsula. I went on motor bike, the rest in Haase’s drag & Sid’s car. Glorious day. Walked over Pen’a & round beach. Took phot. Did much clerical work & read a lot. Spent Tues A.M. at Library & found out error re number of members, only 270 instead of 413. Takaka trip with Sid, etc. At 10.30 am on Fri. 1 Jan. Sid, Bessie, Hamil, Mrs H’n Smith & I started in motor car. Went 1st to Barr’s place at Tasman where we had lunch & stayed some hours. Then went gently over the Pikikiruna, staying to look at scenery several times. Reached Page’s Globe Hotel about 7. To bed early & read. Sat. 2 Jan. we ran up town for some things, then motored to Onakaka & spent the day looking over the place. Sid greatly pleased with the grass which he saw for the first time. Lunch in bush near whare & the Bessie & her mother remained there while Sid, Hamil & I went across terraces to cliff at mouth of Onakaka R. Very hot day. Sun. 3 Jan. we went first to mouth of ParaPara on Collingwood beach road & spent some hours on sands. Then to Collingwood & we should have gone up valley but heavy pall of smoke from W. Coast in early afternoon filled valley. After tea I went for short walk alone then early to bed to read. Mr & Mrs Hoggard (Daisy Saxon) at hotel on honeymoon. Sun. 3 Jan. we went first to mouth of ParaPara on Collingwood beach road & spent some hours on sands. Then to Collingwood & we should have gone up valley but heavy pall of smoke from W. Coast in early afternoon filled valley. After tea I went for short walk alone then early to bed to read. Mr & Mrs Hoggard (Daisy Saxon) at hotel on honeymoon. Monday, 4 Jan. We went to Pohara for lunch. Another glorious day. Late afternoon went round as far as Tarakohe. After tea Bessie, Sid, & I strolled down to wharf & saw Hina come in. Before going to Pohara we visited the Bubu Springs & spent about an hour there. Tues. 5 Jan. We had intended going to lime outcrop 1st thing but rain had fallen in night & weather was still showery, so we stayed at hotel till it was time for me to leave. I had to come back before them for certain pieces of urgent business. Saw Falconer on wharf re syndicate & Rangihaeata lime. On board had long chat with the new owner of Hina – Mr Watson & also a young American – Mr Moritry. Arrived about 8. All today at clerical work, newspapers, accounts, & letters. Have a great deal of this sort of work yet to do. Loss of “Formidable” is chief war news.
Monday wet, so put off Dun trip till Tuesday & went on with school returns which I nearly finished though I have even yet many entries to make. On Tues. went to end of line with about a dozen boys. Took slasher & did much clearing round Wooded Peak. Fine day but found myself much out of form. Rest of week largely reading, paying bills, making up accs. & yarning with our visitors, Meta, Ethel, Harry, Annie & 3 kids, Lu & 3 kids. Usual large party on Xmas Eve. Yesterday all to Sid’s for tea & took youngsters over Museum afterwards. Walks up Grampians & Cleveland, firing gorse. No striking war news, but satisfactory though slow progress being made.
Several good showers & drought now broken. Use of hose again permitted. Very busy week. Finished up exam of side schools & doubtfuls just in time for break up on Friday P.M. Institute meeting Mon. Vesp., rehearsal Wed. Concert, Thurs. “Messiah”. Went very well indeed, though Mrs McCullough was weak, but Mr Sidney Butler was splendid. Sat. A.M. arranged with Mr C’n to buy Cross’s 12½ acres. P.M. went on Port Hills, to examine survey, so far as made. Vesp. to last organ recital, but organ not workable as piston valve out of order, so other vocal items substituted. All today at school returns & not nearly through yet. Jim here till Sat. A.M. when he went away by steamer. Have had usual trouble with disappointed parents, exp. Mr Johnstone & Mr & Mrs Brundell. War news good except German naval raid on unfortified towns in York & Durham killing over 100 civilians.
Dry all week till today when light showers set in. Harm’c prac. on Tues. Vesp. Tues. P.M. Mr Bligh gave addresses to boys. I saw Mr Cawthron re Cross’s land, etc. Wed. Vesp. to Temperance Hall for meeting of scrutineers. Thurs. General Election. Acted as scrutineer at Oddfellows Hall all day, but work not so heavy as on previous occasions. Finished count at 9.30. Took papers to returning Officer & No Licence people. Then with Heaps to Mail Office to watch returns. Field gave speech & we then all went to Com’ee Room for more congratulations. Back to Colonist Office till about 12.30. Results not yet known as votes of Exped. Force will not be counted till Tues, but Field seems safe & Massey will probably have very small majority. Sat. A.M. in town. P.M. to Richmond again to see Cross re purchase of land. Vesp. & all today correcting Arith. & making up marks. Jim Jenkins came by steamer before breakfast this morning. Great delight at sinking Gneisenau, Scharnhorst, etc, off Falkland Is. Small successes in west , but Germans threatening east of Warsaw
Rain of last weekend filled weir & reservoir, but weather very dry since. Busy with school exams, but have today practically finished corrections. Mon. Inspectors examined S.6. but results not yet given. Tues. went to Allen’s political address at Theatre. Theatre crowded, very good speech tho. many interruptions. Agitation against Lemmer coming to a head. Am doing my best to check it. Had chat with Mrs Lemmer after Harmonic on Thurs. & told her to be careful not to make enemies. Am pushing on with purchase of land on Port Hills for observatory site. Fighting in Belgium & Poland going satisfactorily. No striking feature. N.Z. & Australian troops have landed in Egypt to defend ag. Turks & for completion of training.
Drought at last broken. Several good showers during the week, but bed of Brook was still quite dry yesterday. Tues. Vesp. bother over soprano soloist for Messiah. Had to m. cycle down to Mr Tait & got puncture. Wed. Vesp. wrote letter to Mail on Pro’n & Economics pub’d Thurs. but no reply. Much correcting & setting papers this week. Also business re Observ. Site, re which I went on Port Hills again Fri. P.M. Sat. A.M. Musical theory exam. at school. Spent some time in early part of week with schol. boys. Yesterday afternoon & all today, school & clerical work. Great German defeat in Poland & loss of H.M.S. Bulwark at her moorings at Sheerness are chief events in war this week. Jim Houlker & others leaving for Trentham camp tomorrow. Myrtle Friend (our servant for 2 years ) left yesterday – very rude recently.
Drought has continued up till today but all this afternoon & gentle rain has been falling, but not much yet. Much worry this week over Observatory site. Snowden sold his land on Tuesday to Tosswlll. Had to go up on Port Hills 3 times this week – Wed. P.M. & Thurs. before breakfast to plot out macrocarpa hill, & on Fri. before breakfast to meet Tosswill. He has finally given us worse terms than Snowden offered, but I trust Cawthron will accept & finally close whole business. Saw Henrys also on Tues. evening, then to Election Com’ee meeting. Wed. Show day. Corrections all A.M. on hill P.M. Mistake putting prismatic compass on fence. Continuing exams chiefly at side schools this week. Thurs Annual meeting N.H.S. Fell spoke re Lemmer’s loyalty. No special war news. Have read Sept. “Round Table”, etc.
Drought continues. Only 85 points of rain last weekend & none since. Mon. Vesp. Institute meeting. Much time this week over “site” question. Mr Hogben here in middle of week. Spent Wed. evening here. Thurs. P.M. took him up to site. Sat. P.M. went out to Richmond & got final offer from Cross. Thurs. good practice at N.H.S. but am having trouble over soloists. Tustin has tuned organ this week. Hintz arrested & brought here for trial on charges of embezzlement. Destruction of the Emden by the Sydney caused much jubilation. Terrific fighting continues near Ypres. Have this week got copies of Bernhardi’s & Usher’s books.
Fine all week till yesterday afternoon when we had some heavy rain but not nearly enough. Reservoir now very low. Mon. Vesp. very interesting miscellaneous meeting of Scientific Branch. Wed. final sitting Maitai Com’n. As usual some hot skirmishes. Vesp., spent 3 hours in going through 300 names of petition with Town Clerk. At midday deputation from Chamber of Com. & City Council waited on Thompson re scenic reserve & as a result on Sat. Thompson, his son Ernest, Miss Lorimer, Nell & self went up line & down Sclanders Creek. Glorious day till about 5 when heavy showers suddenly set in. Carriage met us at Smith’s Ford. Today quite fine. Have read & worked. Sid & Hamil in. Good att’ce at chorus on Thurs. Fri. Vesp. I attended Field’s political address at Prov’l Hall. He made a really good speech. Parl. rose this week. Iron & Steel Bill passed but B. in S. referendum thrown out. Germans making great attempt to break through at Ypres but we seem to have defeated them badly & gained a little ground. Germans report that they have defeated some of our cruisers off Valpariso. At school have begun final exam of Central School.
Fine but for an odd shower or two. Now raining slightly; drought serious for N.Z. Took Harm’c prac. on Tues on acc of Snowdens’ lecture on Thurs. Have been examining side schools. Mon was holiday – Labour Day – but worked & read all day. Have had to spend some time fixing things up at N.S.M. for Girls’ Coll. “Masque of Empire” which was given Fri. & Sat. to crowded house & is to be repeated tomorrow. Thurs. went to hear Snowdens at Theatre on Prohibiton. She was an excellent speaker. Sat. A.M. went to see H. Kidson at Tahuna. He has now nearly recovered from pneumonia. Snowden probably selling land to a syndicate, so am urging on purchase. Allies have held their ground in N.W. France & have inflicted heavy losses. Russians also gaining successes. Yesterday Turkey declared war.
Drought continues. Inspectors examined school Mon. – Thurs. On Thurs. Mr English came to hold practical music exams, & that same evening Harmonic Concert (Elgars Bavarian Dances, etc) so very full day & was dead tired. On Tues. Harm’c rehearsal. Fri. A.M. got in copies of petition – 801 names – asking Council to proceed with Maitai acquisition. P.M. went with Moore & Coltman to see Eden & situation from sanitary standpoint. Sat. A.M. in town. P.M. read. All today reading & clerical work. Dr Paterson to tea. Allies have made much headway in N.W. France & W. Belgium but critical battle now being fought near Lille. Have spent all this evening epitomising diary further.
Fine in early part of week, but during last few days weather has been threatening & some heavy showers have fallen but not enough yet. Maitai Commission. Chief excitement for me this has been long drawn out meetings of Com’n which has sat (I think) everyday this week. As expected, Evans has proved most partial to the other side. I have been examining & have had some hard knocks, but have enjoyed novel experience of an amateur lawyer. Case not yet quite finished but sittings adjourned while Evans goes to Coast. Have had to devote much time to circulating of petition. Fair practice on Thurs. concert this coming week & music exams. Also inspectors’ exams. Preparation for all these has kept me busy. Mon. Vesp. Library meeting. War news on whole satisfactory though Germans captured Antwerp & Ostend. But allies are succeeding along battle front & Russians have gained further victory in Poland. Cruiser “Hawke” sunk by submarine. Sat. A.M. at commission. P.M. at school tidying up. Last night, wind up of Shakespeare club at our house.
Rain has threatened several times & light showers have fallen but hardly enough to do any good. Good downpour badly wanted. Medical Inspector (Dr. Paterson) at our school Mon. P.M., all Tues. & Fri. P.M. so work much cut up. Have been pushing on with exams & think I shall now get through in time for Inspectors. Much time out of school in connection with Maitai question. Meeting of Com’ee on Mon. re witnesses, etc. which I have got satisfactorily arranged. Have distributed many copies of petitions & spent yesterday P.M. doing Upper Coll’d St. Slow work, but no refusals. Last night went to 1st of Tait’s recitals. Sat with Snodgrass. Fair audience. Took £3.7.4 collection. Battle of Aisne still continues with varying fortune but apparently on the whole in our favour. Germans have begun to bombard Antwerp. Russians seem to have defeated Germans badly at Smualki & also to be invading Hungary. German cruisers shelled Papeete. Indian troops have landed in France, Canadians in England. Have had rather nasty cold last few days. H. Kidson down with acute pneumonia but progressing well. Iron & Steel Bill offering bounties introduced this week, but not much said about it so far.
Fine weather still continues, tho. a few very light showers. Busy correcting exam papers & going into Maitai question. Got Snodgrass to call on Cawthron Tues. but he would not recede from position taken up in letter to Council. Have had petition & maps printed & yesterday distributed some. On Fri. P.M. went with Commissioner (Evans), Phil Moore, Edmonds, Houlker, Wilson (valuer), Mrs & Miss Richardson, & J Calder to see land flagged up the Maitai. Mrs & Miss R. & also her tenant Eden insulted me ad lib but I took it all smilingly. Most of today looking up dates & facts. Visit of Dr Brown (of Yale) & Mr Adams. Thurs. 1. Oct. Met them before breakfast at Port & brought them home. At 9 took them & Morley to Port Hills where we looked at sites & took observations with two telescopes. Home to lunch & then discussed terms of Trust Deed, Brown strongly urging that rights of Director be more clearly defined. Walked round to Alton St. Observatory & then to see Mr Cawthron. Then took a stroll up Brook St & back to tea. Drove them down to boat at 7.30 & then returned to Harmonic. Good prac. Sat. revised Lemmer’s letter pub’d in Mail, & saw Moore & others re Maitai question. P.M. & Vesp. corrected exam papers. Today clerical work & going through diaries etc for facts & dates on Maitai question. Massey says he will bring down Legislation re iron industry shortly. War news very satisfactory. Terrible battle being waged between R. Oise & Verdun but our side steadily gaining ground on both flanks & it seem probable that we shall soon completely rout German army. Russians making good progress in Galicia & seem now on eve of great battle with Germans near Cracow. Some scare in Nelson this week lest German cruiser should raid Nelson, but I have done best to ridicule idea. Comet has been visible passing Achernar.
Rain has threatened on & off this last few days & a little has fallen but unfortunately not much. Have been examining side schools this week & correcting Central papers. Much time over Maitai question. Better practice on Thursday as a result of a lot of hunting up. A comet has been visible for a few nights. Loss of three cruisers – Cressy, Hague & Aboukir – caused painful impression Wednesday night. Yesterday A.M. in town, chiefly on Maitai question. P.M. ran past Bishopdale on cycle & on return spent long time adjusting clutch.
Fine weather still continues. Rain badly wanted. Mon. A.M. attended opening Maitai Commission at S.M. Court. Great fun with Mrs Richardson. Work in connection with this has taken a great deal of time this week. Have interviewed many of those who signed contra petition. Meeting of some interested Friday night. Prof. Nicholson spent Tues. in Nelson. I met him at steamer at 7 & brought him home to breakfast. Went up Grampians to get general view of town. Then with Morley & Mr Lancaster visited Port Hills & looked at various sites. Got 2 good observations & then light cloud covered sun. Took up Atkinson’s 4 ½ inch & used that as well as Mrs Tomlinson’s. In afternoon Harry Field took Nicholson, Morley & self for pleasant motor drive round 3 bridges & to Wakefield. Puncture at Tahuna on return. Took Nicholson to see Mr Cawthron for an hour, then home for tea. At 8 Morley & I saw him off by Pateena. In cab on way down he offered to propose me for F.R.A.S. Colleges & N.S.M. resumed this week. Miss Judson has recovered enough to begin work tomorrow, but Miss Fell is down with measles. Mrs Fell & old Mrs Atkinson both seriously ill & Ruth is also ill, so that family is in bad trouble. War news very satisfactory this week. Battle of the Marne was a great victory & according to tonight’s news the Battle of the Aisne has been even greater. Germans in full retreat to their own territory which is being invaded from the East by Russians. Huntley Mine & White Island disasters, also loss of submarine at New Guinea (this week captured) [ED - we now know this was lost with all hands].
Weather still very fine. Rain badly needed. Slight showers 2ce during week. Commission appointed re Maitai question, so called meeting Traf. Com’ee on Thurs., & on Fri, P.M. after school cycled up Maitai to look again at ground. Road recently repaired & in bad order for cycling. War took sudden turn for better. Germans instead of attaching Paris rushed off eastwards & are now retreating before vigorous attacks of Eng. & Fr. N.W. France practically clear of enemy. Belgians pushing S & E from Antwerp. Russians nearly at Breslau. As Profs. Nicholson & Brown are coming over on Tues, I went up on Port Hills this afternoon. Slight westerly wind, but seeing quite 4. Busy with school exams all week. Correcting papers much of yesterday & today. Neal Skilton called both yesterday & today re work at Onekaka. Evidently offended at my letting land to James. Witheford back in N.Z. & states he has made all arrangements for iron industry so far as Eng. capital is concerned. “Hina” has been sold & sent to Wn., so “Wairoa” is now the only boat running to Golden Bay. Miss Judson down with flu. so Waters played & conducted last 2 practices. Poor attendances. Hatty went back yesterday. Jackson has returned from N. but I have not seen him yet. Kingswell has taken out prohibition order ag. self. [Prohibition Order – a court order prohibiting a person from purchasing or drinking alcohol] Profits last ½ year only £900!
Holidays. A few light showers in early part of week, but fine since. A good rain much wanted. Have read many reviews, etc. Have put in a lot of time at Museum, filling new cases & rearranging others. Have also done a little tidying up at school & at home, but have not got through nearly as much work as I expected, chiefly on account of distraction caused by war, which is engrossing all thoughts. Lucas generally telephones news at midday & I go down to Colonist office about midnight. Germans now nearly at Paris, but Russians have defeated Austrians very severely near Lemberg. Destruction of Louvain has provoked worldwide indignation. Harmonic prac. on Thurs. better than before. Sat. A.M. in town. P.M. up Fringe. Re, Nell (just ret’d from South) & others had gone up in A.M. I started at 2 on motor bike but owing to trouble with sparking plug, did not reach reservoir till 4. Got up to camping place in 55 m & met them just coming down. Hatty is spending holidays here. Took her up Flaxmore one afternoon. Spent one or two evenings in making resume of diaries for about 11 years, from 83 onwards. Shall finish as time permits. Motor bike has been down at Winn’s several times on account of trouble with clutch.
Perfect weather till today; now steady gentle rain falling. War in France seems going in favour of Germany so far. Anglo French forces have fallen back repeatedly after heavy firing & acc. to today’s news are now on La Fere-Laon-Rheims line. Russians steadily advancing & now in Western Prussia. English cruisers & destroyers made a daring & highly successful raid on German cruisers, etc, in Heligoland Bay, sinking & seriously damaging a good many. The Pope has died. The “Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse” sank the N.Z. boat the “Kaipara” but has herself been sunk. Things satisfactory everywhere except in N. France which is the most important theatre of war, of course. Indian troops on way to the front. On Tuesday went to Theatre to hear “Watson” a great reciter give Kipling & Tennyson selection. Wed. A.M. at 8, Mrs Hampson rang me to say that Mrs Sweeting – Mrs Lemmer’s mother had died after a very short illness. I had to rush up & make arrangements re funeral which took place on Thursday morning. Waters, Fell, Adolph Lemmer & I in one carriage, Miss Judson, & Mrs Leggo in another. No Harm’c practice that evening in consequence. My motor cycle came back on Tues. but broke down in same way – stripping gear wheels – immediately. Thurs. P.M. went to meeting of Pat’c Fund Com’ee re paying expenses of ladies seeing our men off at Chch. There has been much talk about this. Long yarn with Cawthron on Thurs. On Fri., broke up for week’s holiday. Sat. A.M. in town. Am tidying up & reading a great deal. Grampian track finished. Hattie came this morning. Sid & others to tea.
Most glorious weather now prevailing. All interest centred in war & not much work done out of school hours but study of maps & articles bearing on subject. German fleet still bottled up, many of their stray cruisers captured & practically all seas now quite safe. Japanese ultimatum to Germany re Kiaochau has made Germany offer to restore it to China. Nelson mounted men went away on (?) Tuesday for which we had a half holiday. I went to wharf & yarned with Lancaster. Great enthusiasm. Germans have now overrun all Belgium & occupied Brussels. English Expeditionary Force safely landed in France. Better attendance at Harm’c on Thurs. but still poor. Sat. P.M. Educ’l Instit. meeting. White gave acc. of Wn. meeting. Election of officers very hurried at close of meeting. I refused nomination to any office, largely in order to mark disapproval of Waimea teachers supporting Harding, but I obviated discussion. Sheather began work on Grampian track on Thurs. & has nearly finished it. I have been up hill several times in late afternoon & have fired gorse but not very successfully. Paeroa = 1300 tons, £4,600
Glorious weather most of week tho. a little rain Wed. night & Thurs. A.M. War excitement at fever heat. Citizens’ meeting at Council Chamber on Mon. Vesp. at which I spoke. Over £2.000 subscribed in Nelson. I have been on Com’ee of management & have had to attend several meetings. Large numbers of men have volunteered for expeditionary force. 1400 left Wn. yesterday probably for Samoa. Nelson’s infantry contingent left for Chch yesterday morning. Mounted men will leave this week. Women very busy providing outfits – blankets, shirts, etc. So far as we have been given news, the war has gone most favourably for us. German fleet bottled up & German commerce completely swept from seas, while practically all seas now safe for our shipping. Liege forts still holding out & to a large extent barring invasion into Belgium though engagements lately at Diest, Tirlemont & Eghezee. French have advanced into Upper Alsace. Russian armies now mobilized on German & Austrian borders. German plans have clearly failed & unless things take a very strange turn I cannot think that the war will last long. A revolution in Germany seems a probable outcome. All German possessions in Africa seem to be already in our possession. Sale of Goeben & Breslau to Turkey to save them from capture has caused amazement & will probably not be allowed. War news of course eagerly sought I usually go to the Colonist office about midnight. Have read many articles & books bearing on subject of war, such as Angell’s “The Great Illusion”, etc. Sat. A.M. in town. P.M. & all today at home in case summons to meeting should come. Harm’c prac. Thurs. “Bavarian Dances”.
Commencement of War A week of terrible excitement & anxiety. On Tues. it was known that Germany had violated neutrality of Belgium. On Wed. afternoon after school on my way to Navy League meeting I learnt that England had declared war on Germany. Since then very little reliable news, but it seems certain that Belgium is making a magnificent resistance at Liege, that Holland had declared war against Germany, that Italy has refused to aid Germany & is more likely to come in with England & that there has been a naval fight in the North Sea but result in not yet disclosed. So far all seems going remarkably well, but of course these are only the first few days. Contingents from overseas Dominions offered & accepted, N.Z. to send 6 or 8,000 men. On Thurs. P.M. saw Cawthron, having on Wed. sent him engrossed deed. But naturally he preferred not to sign it just at present. On Wed. evening fairly strong earthquake while a number of us were in drawing room discussing war. No Harmonic on Thurs. Vesp. All Sat. A.M. & P.M. pruned fruit trees in garden. Sat. Vesp. lit up Museum but exciting news & late editions prevented more than a few visiting it. About 8 fire at back of H. Kidson’s shop, but I think it cannot have done much damage. Today have read reviews & visited newspaper offices. Anxiety re war naturally makes one feel disinclined for other things. On Fri. & Sat. men removed Baigents fence back to proper line. Trees not yet touched. Rain on Mon. night; rest of week quite fine.
This morning soon after 9 left Heath’s. Had a long yarn with Stebbings who was working on road & learnt that Germany had declared war on Russia. Kept with others till I had crossed awkward footbridge near Ngatimoti. Much gravel on Rosedale hill, but I managed to get up. This side of Moutere hills also badly graveled. Came carefully & reached home at 1, having done whole trip on about 9 pints. This afternoon had a nap & read papers. Mr & Mrs Broad to tea. Of course this awfully sudden outbreak of war monopolizes all thoughts. Austrian ultimatum to Servia about middle of week followed by Russian mobilization & on Sat evening by Germany declaring war against Russia. It is reported that France is already invaded. General European war seems inevitable & worldwide excitement & alarm prevails. Bank rate 10%, & all Stock Exchanges closing.
European War begun. Heavy rain on Wednesday & Thurs. morning & it has just now come on again, but rest of week fine. Final rehearsal on Tues. & Concert (Hiawatha) on Thurs – 1st 2 parts of Hiawatha. Went extremely well. Sold nearly £12 worth of tickets. Mrs Hanron & H. Kidson very good, but Williams from Wellington had a bad voice & was very weak & disappointing. Got “Douglas” motor cycle on Mon. On Tues. P.M. ran it out to Richmond & back & have used it a good deal during week to get used to it before trip.
Mon. Vesp. Worley cont’d discussion of Dun Mt. Bulletin at Sci. Br. meeting. Fri. P.M. meeting of Suter Art Gallery Trustees.Mt Arthur Trip
H. Kidson, Cheek & self.
I left on “Douglas” at 1.30 & took an hour to run to Wakefield. Road over Dovedale hill very rough & rutty with patches of gravel, but to my surprise I was able to ride the whole way, only getting off at some sharp corners & when meeting vehicles & teams working on road. Long strips of heavy metal in Dovedale gave me a nervy time but I managed to ride them by going slowly & carefully. River road good. Reached Heaths at 5.30. Kidson & Cheek trained to Wakefield & then came via Dovedale, arriving at 7.
Early to bed. On Sunday had breakfast about 7 & got away soon after 7.30. Lunch at Pearce. No heavy snow till ascent beyond Whaleback. Just as we got out of bush, very strong sou-wester set in & blew snow dust against our faces with such violence that we could barely face it. Sometimes could see only few yards. After pushing along ridge for about ¼ mile we struck down into a sheltered gully & spent about half an hour glissading, etc. Then made another attempt to push on – chiefly for the fun of the experience, but before striking up on main ridge turned back. Walked back at gentle pace & reached Heath’s about 5.30. After tea yarned with Heath & to bed about 9. Walker – Methodist preacher disturbed us about 11.
Weather very beautiful all week & not very cold. Have continued exam’n of side schools all the week & have almost finished. On Tues P.M. at 2.30 both Baigent & I appeared before Works Com’ee re track up Collingwood St. & though decision will not be known till Council Meeting Fri. I have not much fear. Went to Cawthron Tues., Thurs. & Fri. afternoons. At lasts got off Trust Deed to Wn. to be engrossed. Good prac. on Thurs. Sat. A.M. in town. Took a trial run on a “Douglas” & have decided to get one as the Triumph I now have will I think be constantly requiring minor repairs. Only today one screw gave way on clutch. Sat. P.M. meeting of Ed’l Instit. re new Ed’n Bill 2 – 4. This A.M. took observation on Port Hills – strong S.W. blowing. Seeing about 3. This P.M. at Museum putting things back in cupboard room
One or two showers, but most of week quite fine, & Sat. very cold, - 11 degrees of frost. Miss Baird’s sister died Monday night, so Miss B. away all the week. Have been examining side schools for the most part. Row with Mr Mcartney one day re punishing his boy, but was able to establish my case completely. N.S.M. Com’ee meeting on Thurs. P.M. Good Harm’c practice. Had to put letter in paper re Baigent & Grampian track, but think it will end all right. Mishap to engine at Paeroa will somewhat affect this month’s returns. On Tues. saw Cawthron, but he again put off decision. Generally ride motor cycle to school to get practice. Yesterday A.M. in town, P.M. went to top Fringe & used slasher a good deal. Fri. Vesp., Sat. Vesp. & today, clerical work & reading reviews. Last 2 days have had sore throat. New Educ’n Bill out.
Fine early in week, but wet Wed. & Thurs. A.M., also Friday & Sat. A.M. Have not used motor cycle much as roads are wet. Have given out most of exam papers at Central & have begun side schools. Trouble with drains at Central & much time with Com’ee re them. The elder Berney boy died in Hospital. On Tues. received final draft of Trust Deed & sent it to Cawthron, but when I called on Thurs., he was not prepared to do anything as he had not felt well enough to look at it.
Miss Palmer away ill, so Miss Mayo is taking up her work at Bk. St.
Fri. Vesp. supervised Sunday School exam. Chatted with Broads afterwards. Sat. A.M. in town. P.M. & Vesp. made up balance sheet, etc. for Harmonic & spent much time on N.S.M. business. This A.M. did correction work first, then spent some time at Museum emptying little room for carpenters. Finished this work late this afternoon. Am still negotiating through Adams with Snowden & Cross for land. Baigent of Masonic Hotel very angry because C. Council has given me permission to make track through plantation by Hoby’s house.
Weather glorious most of week but a little rain on Wed. Have been riding motor bide to & from school to get more practice. Mon. Vesp. Chamber of Commerce meeting. I brought up reports re outlying roads & reserves. Mention made by Cock re ParaPara prospects. Tues. should have got to meeting of Reform League executive, but too busy with Observatory correspondence for Wednesday’s Mail. Correspondence with Falconer & Soper, etc. re lime crushing syndicate. A fruit growing syndicate has this week bought nearly all Paramahoi to cut up into 25 acre blocks. Very good practice on Thurs., but we have having trouble re soloists. Fri. Vesp. Mr & Mrs Washbourne to tea. At 9.45 I left by Hina. Rather rough trip, but slept well. Reached Waitapu about 5. Walked some miles in beautiful starlight. On reaching my land put bike in bushes & pushed up to top end of section to see if any limestone there or near by. Rough clambering in & out of gullies. Followed up middle spur as far as saddle connecting with main ridge. No indication of limestone & in creeks at boundary lime found papa rock in situ. Back to road & then to whare. Boiled billy & had dinner. Took some phots. Lost aluminium legs. Cycled back to hotel & had tea. Then down to Hina which left about 6.30. Young Marris in cabin. Slept well most of way back. Home about 1.30. Nearly all today correcting exam papers. Assassination of Crown Prince of Austria. Completed work at Gallery.