Courtenay Henry Drake

M, #6991, b. Sep 1870, d. Dec 1966
Father*Dr Charles Henry Drake b. Dec 1837, d. 1 Apr 1919
Mother*Sarah Louisa Brown b. 16 Aug 1847, d. Mar 1949
ChartsDescendants of William DRAKE
Birth*Sep 1870 Wandsworth, London, England, Sep Q [Wandsworth] 1d 591.1 
Marriage*7 Jun 1898 Spouse: Ellen May Warner. St George Hanover Square, London, England, Jun Q [St Geo Han Sq] 1a 942.1
 
Widower11 Feb 1965Courtenay Henry Drake became a widower upon the death of his wife Ellen May Warner.2 
Death*Dec 1966 Chelmsford, Essex, England, Dec Q [Chelmsford] 4A 538 (Age 96.)1 

Electoral Rolls (Australia) and Census (UK/IRL)

DateAddressOccupation and other people at same address
2 Apr 1871Braxted Lodge, Streatham, London, England(Head of Household) Dr Charles Henry Drake;
Age 7 months
Member(s) of Household: Sarah Louisa Drake Ernest Charles Drake3
31 Mar 190134 High Road, Streatham, London, EnglandHead of Household: Courtenay Henry Drake. Age 30 - Surgeon
Member(s) of Household: Ellen May Drake Maurice Henry Drake.4
2 Apr 19111 Leigham Avenue, Streatham, London, EnglandHead of Household: Courtenay Henry Drake. Age 40 - Medical Practitioner
Member(s) of Household: Ellen May Drake Margaret Eileen Drake.5

Family

Ellen May Warner b. 10 Oct 1874, d. 11 Feb 1965
Children 1.Maurice Henry Drake b. 23 Mar 1899, d. 28 Aug 1981
 2.Raymond Courtenay Drake+ b. 29 Nov 1901, d. 2 Oct 1983
 3.Margaret Eileen Drake b. Sep 1905
 4.Alison Mary Drake b. 25 Jun 1912, d. 11 Feb 1980

Citations

  1. [S9] Free BMD. Index. Online @ https://www.freebmd.org.uk/.
  2. [S50] Miscellaneous Source, http://www.thepeerage.com/p56498.htm#i564973
  3. [S83] Online index to the UK census "Class: RG10; Piece: 719; Folio: 26; Page: 17; GSU roll: 823348."
  4. [S83] Online index to the UK census "Class: RG13; Piece: 477; Folio: 64; Page: 7."
  5. [S83] Online index to the UK census "Class: RG14; Piece: 2333."
Last Edited25 Jun 2018

Ellen May Warner

F, #6992, b. 10 Oct 1874, d. 11 Feb 1965
ChartsDescendants of William DRAKE
Married NameDrake. 
Birth*10 Oct 1874 [par William Henry WARNER & Emily Mary ARMSTRONG].1 
Marriage*7 Jun 1898 Spouse: Courtenay Henry Drake. St George Hanover Square, London, England, Jun Q [St Geo Han Sq] 1a 942.2
 
Death*11 Feb 1965 (Age 90.)1 

Electoral Rolls (Australia) and Census (UK/IRL)

DateAddressOccupation and other people at same address
31 Mar 190134 High Road, Streatham, London, England(Head of Household) Courtenay Henry Drake;
Age 26
Member(s) of Household: Maurice Henry Drake3
2 Apr 19111 Leigham Avenue, Streatham, London, England(Head of Household) Courtenay Henry Drake;
Age 36 - married 12 3/4 years - 3 children living
Member(s) of Household: Margaret Eileen Drake4

Family

Courtenay Henry Drake b. Sep 1870, d. Dec 1966
Children 1.Maurice Henry Drake b. 23 Mar 1899, d. 28 Aug 1981
 2.Raymond Courtenay Drake+ b. 29 Nov 1901, d. 2 Oct 1983
 3.Margaret Eileen Drake b. Sep 1905
 4.Alison Mary Drake b. 25 Jun 1912, d. 11 Feb 1980

Citations

  1. [S50] Miscellaneous Source, http://www.thepeerage.com/p56498.htm#i564973
  2. [S9] Free BMD. Index. Online @ https://www.freebmd.org.uk/.
  3. [S83] Online index to the UK census "Class: RG13; Piece: 477; Folio: 64; Page: 7."
  4. [S83] Online index to the UK census "Class: RG14; Piece: 2333."
Last Edited25 Jun 2018

George Clements

M, #6993, b. 23 Mar 1887, d. 21 Jul 1975
Father*William Clements b. 1855, d. 16 Oct 1910
Mother*Deborah Lee b. 1860, d. Mar 1944
Birth*23 Mar 1887 Barnwood, Gloucestershire, England, Jun Q [Gloucester] 6a 275.1,2 
Land-UBeac*11 Dec 1919 PAK-70 l/p 6686 (Lots 6.7). Transfer from Louisa Preece to George Clements William Clements. 19a 0r 39p (joint proprietors.)3 
Marriage*1925 Spouse: Amy Elizabeth Friswell. VIC, Australia, #M5049/1925.4
 
Land-UBeac22 Oct 1926 PAK-70 l/p 6686 (Lot 21). Transfer from Louisa Preece to George Clements William Clements. 18a 1r 20 7/10p (joint proprietors.)5 
Land-Note*6 Sep 1928 PAK-70 l/p 6686 (Lot 6.7.21): Mortgage from Edward Allott Hardy - discharged 7 Aug 1941.6 
Census 1939 Reg*29 Sep 1939Head of Household: George Clements. Born 23 Mar 1887 - bricklayer
Member(s) of Household: Amy Elizabeth Clements Joan H Clements.7 
Land-UBeac*7 Aug 1941 PAK-70 l/p 6686 (Lot 6.7). Transfer from George Clements William Clements to George Thomas Grant.8 
Land-UBeac7 Aug 1941 PAK-70 l/p 6686 (Lot 21). Transfer from George Clements William Clements to George Thomas Grant.9 
Widower26 Jun 1972George Clements became a widower upon the death of his wife Amy Elizabeth Friswell.10 
Death*21 Jul 1975 Coventry, Warwickshire, England, Sep Q [Coventry] 33 261 (born c 1887.)10 
Probate (Will)*17 Sep 1975 CLEMENTS, George of 10? Blackberry Lane Coventry died 21 Jul 1975, Probate Nottingham 17 September £9513?11 

Electoral Rolls (Australia) and Census (UK/IRL)

DateAddressOccupation and other people at same address
31 Mar 1901The Railway Crossing House, Goodyere Street, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England(Head of Household) William Clements;
Age 15 - Stable Boy
Member(s) of Household: Deborah Lee, Amelia Elizabeth Clements, William Clements12
2 Apr 191114 Sinope Street, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England(Head of Household) Thomas Harry 'Harry' Clements;
Age 24 - bricklayer
Member(s) of Household: Amelia Elizabeth Clements, Gladys Rhoda Deborah Clements, Harry Tom Clements, Florence Elsie Clements13
bt 1914 - 1931Upper Beaconsfield, VIC, AustraliaOccupation: bricklayer.14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27

Citations

  1. [S80] Ancestry - Family Tree, Warren Family Tree - Owner: SueWarren01.
  2. [S332] UK - General Register Office Indexes "mother's maiden name LEE."
  3. [S185] Property Titles. ; PROV (Public Records Office Victoria), C/T 3886-191 - see C/T 4272-233.
  4. [S27] Victorian Government. BDM Index Victoria (Marriages) (online).
  5. [S185] Property Titles. ; PROV (Public Records Office Victoria), C/T 3886-191 - see C/T 5196-083 & 5196-084 George Clements of Upper Beaconsfield Farmer & William Clements of Upper Beaconsfield Farmer.
  6. [S185] Property Titles. ; PROV (Public Records Office Victoria), C/T 3886-190 & 191 - C/T 5196-084.
  7. [S83] Online index to the UK census "The National Archives; Kew, London, England; 1939 Register; Reference: RG 101/5650A."
  8. [S185] Property Titles. ; PROV (Public Records Office Victoria), C/T 4272-233 George Thomas Grant of Beaconsfield Orchardist. G T Grant died on 8 April 1951 Probate granted to Harold Kent Lamb of Beaconsfield Accountant.
  9. [S185] Property Titles. ; PROV (Public Records Office Victoria), C/T 5196-084 George Thomas Grant of Beaconsfield Orchardist. G T Grant died on 8 April 1951 Probate granted to Harold Kent Lamb of Beaconsfield Accountant.
  10. [S9] Free BMD. Index. Online @ https://www.freebmd.org.uk/.
  11. [S190] Index to Probate Calendar England, viewed at ancestry.com.au, 1858-1966 "image hard to read."
  12. [S83] Online index to the UK census "Class: RG13; Piece: 2430; Folio: 101; Page: 39."
  13. [S83] Online index to the UK census "Class: RG14; Piece: 15307; Schedule Number: 260."
  14. [S114] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1914.
  15. [S115] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1915.
  16. [S116] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1916.
  17. [S117] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1917.
  18. [S118] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1918.
  19. [S119] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1919.
  20. [S121] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1921.
  21. [S122] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1922.
  22. [S124] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1924.
  23. [S125] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1925.
  24. [S126] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1926.
  25. [S127] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1927.
  26. [S128] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1928.
  27. [S131] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1931.
Last Edited6 Jul 2019

William Clements

M, #6994, b. Mar 1886, d. 30 Mar 1937
Father*William Clements b. 1855, d. 16 Oct 1910
Mother*Deborah Lee b. 1860, d. Mar 1944
Birth*Mar 1886 Newark on Trent, Nottinghamshire, England, Mar Q [Newark] 7b 469.1 
(Transfer to) Land-UBeac11 Dec 1919 PAK-70 l/p 6686 (Lots 6.7). Transfer from Louisa Preece to George Clements William Clements. 19a 0r 39p (joint proprietors.)2 
(Transfer to) Land-UBeac22 Oct 1926 PAK-70 l/p 6686 (Lot 21). Transfer from Louisa Preece to George Clements William Clements. 18a 1r 20 7/10p (joint proprietors.)3 
(Witness) Land-Note6 Sep 1928 PAK-70 l/p 6686 (Lot 6.7.21): Mortgage from Edward Allott Hardy - discharged 7 Aug 1941.4 
Death*30 Mar 1937 Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England, Mar Q [Gloucester] 6a 532 (Age 51.)5,1 
Probate (Will)*2 Nov 1937 CLEMENTS William of Koorong Massey-road Gloucester died 30 March 1937 Probate Gloucester 2 November to Annie Patton Clements widow. Effects £955 14s.6 
(Transfer from) Land-UBeac7 Aug 1941 PAK-70 l/p 6686 (Lot 21). Transfer from George Clements William Clements to George Thomas Grant.7 
(Transfer from) Land-UBeac7 Aug 1941 PAK-70 l/p 6686 (Lot 6.7). Transfer from George Clements William Clements to George Thomas Grant.8 

Electoral Rolls (Australia) and Census (UK/IRL)

DateAddressOccupation and other people at same address
31 Mar 1901The Railway Crossing House, Goodyere Street, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England(Head of Household) William Clements;
Age 15 - Stable Boy
Member(s) of Household: Deborah Lee, Amelia Elizabeth Clements, George Clements9
bt 1914 - 1927Upper Beaconsfield, VIC, AustraliaOccupation: ploughman.10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21

Citations

  1. [S9] Free BMD. Index. Online @ https://www.freebmd.org.uk/.
  2. [S185] Property Titles. ; PROV (Public Records Office Victoria), C/T 3886-191 - see C/T 4272-233.
  3. [S185] Property Titles. ; PROV (Public Records Office Victoria), C/T 3886-191 - see C/T 5196-083 & 5196-084 George Clements of Upper Beaconsfield Farmer & William Clements of Upper Beaconsfield Farmer.
  4. [S185] Property Titles. ; PROV (Public Records Office Victoria), C/T 3886-190 & 191 - C/T 5196-084.
  5. [S80] Ancestry - Family Tree, Warren Family Tree - Owner: SueWarren01.
  6. [S190] Index to Probate Calendar England, viewed at ancestry.com.au, 1858-1966.
  7. [S185] Property Titles. ; PROV (Public Records Office Victoria), C/T 5196-084 George Thomas Grant of Beaconsfield Orchardist. G T Grant died on 8 April 1951 Probate granted to Harold Kent Lamb of Beaconsfield Accountant.
  8. [S185] Property Titles. ; PROV (Public Records Office Victoria), C/T 4272-233 George Thomas Grant of Beaconsfield Orchardist. G T Grant died on 8 April 1951 Probate granted to Harold Kent Lamb of Beaconsfield Accountant.
  9. [S83] Online index to the UK census "Class: RG13; Piece: 2430; Folio: 101; Page: 39."
  10. [S114] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1914.
  11. [S115] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1915.
  12. [S116] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1916.
  13. [S117] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1917.
  14. [S118] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1918.
  15. [S119] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1919.
  16. [S121] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1921.
  17. [S122] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1922.
  18. [S124] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1924.
  19. [S125] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1925.
  20. [S126] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1926.
  21. [S127] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1927.
Last Edited6 Jul 2019

Clara Peters

F, #6997, b. 1864, d. 24 Apr 1955
Married NameCole. 
Birth*1864 Schnapper Point, VIC, Australia. 
Marriage*1895 Spouse: Rev Alfred James Cole. VIC, Australia, #M3806.1
 
Widow22 Nov 1938Clara Peters became a widow upon the death of her husband Rev Alfred James Cole.2 
Death*24 Apr 1955 Berwick, VIC, Australia, #D18242 (age 92) [par William PETERS & Ann HANLAN].2 
Death-Notice*26 Apr 1955COLE.-On April 24, at her home, Peel street, Berwick, Clara, beloved wife of the late Rev. Alfred James Cole, aged 92 years. -At rest.
COLE. - The Friends of the late Mrs. CLARA COLE, of Peel street, Berwick, are notified that her Funeral will leave Church of England, Berwick, THIS DAY. after a service to commence at 3.15 p.m., for the Berwick Cemetery.3 

Electoral Rolls (Australia) and Census (UK/IRL)

DateAddressOccupation and other people at same address
bt 1903 - 1931Berwick, VIC, AustraliaOccupation: home duties. With Rev Alfred James Cole.4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19

Grave

  • 4-274-A, Berwick Cemetery, Berwick, VIC, Australia, Cole Alfred James 1938 76 hus/ Clara; Cole Clara 1955 91 wife/ Alfred James20

Citations

  1. [S2] Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages Federation Index Victoria 1889-1901.
  2. [S5] Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages Death Index Victoria 1921-1985.
  3. [S11] Newspaper - Argus 26 Apr 1955, p16.
  4. [S103] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1903.
  5. [S109] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1909.
  6. [S114] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1914.
  7. [S115] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1915.
  8. [S116] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1916.
  9. [S117] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1917.
  10. [S118] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1918.
  11. [S119] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1919.
  12. [S121] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1921.
  13. [S122] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1922.
  14. [S124] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1924.
  15. [S125] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1925.
  16. [S126] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1926.
  17. [S127] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1927.
  18. [S128] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1928.
  19. [S131] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1931.
  20. [S44] Index of burials in the cemetery of Berwick,
    4-274-A     Cole     A.J.     M     77     24/11/1938     1005
    4-274-A     Cole     Clara     F     93     26/04/1955     1353
    Photograph: bw0744.
Last Edited28 Dec 2016

SBMJ Rambling Reporter

M, #6999
S Bourke Morn Journ21 Dec 1881 BEACONSFIELD. [FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT.] On Saturday week Messrs. Ferguson and Mitchell's employees held their annual picnic at the Gippsland Hotel. The weather might have been called "Queen's weather." A splendid programme of sports was successfully gone through, the most amusing being the Handicap Hurdle race and the Ladies' race. Dinner and tea were provided by Mr. E. H. Key, of the Gippsland Hotel, and full justice was done to the palatable viands supplied by him. It is to the credit of the district to say that it can cater for any number of people who wish to enjoy the fresh mountain air, combined with easy railway travelling from Melbourne.
On Monday the St. Andrews' Society likewise held their annual picnic at the same place, Professor Killian's Bavarian hand accompanying the Society. A full programme of sports was thoroughly enjoyed by the picnickers, races of all descriptions being on the card. Dancing, quoits, cricket, &c, was the order of the day. The special train engaged for the occasion, leaving Beaconsfield about 6 p.m, conveyed a crowd of persons in the best of humor, they having experienced a most pleasant surprise, many thinking they were going to a most inhospitable place, where no accommodation was to be had. The enthusiasm with which three cheers were given for the prosperity of the district and its surroundings shows that the surprise was most agreeable. Great complaints could be heard on all sides against the Government for not running Sunday trains, to enable Melbhourne people to enjoy the beauties of the country districts of Beaconsfield, Berwick, and Dandenong.1

 
S Bourke Morn Journ1 Feb 1882 BEACONSFIELD. From a Correspondent. A meeting was held at the Gippsland hotel on Saturday evening to appoint stewards and form programme for the forthcoming Berwick annual races. The programme and the names of the stewards, &c., appointed is advertised. This year a Novelty Race is added to the programme. It is a bare-backed hurdle race, and should cause a good deal of excitement, and also give some of our young sports a chance of displaying their equestrian capabilities. The programme and prizes offered are very fair, and should give a good day's sport.
The railway station on Sunday had quite a busy appearance, seven trucks of firewood being loaded at one time. The Railway Department, it seems, is hard pushed for trucks to carry fire wood, and no other means could be devised for relieving the pressure than to forward a train of empty trucks on the Sunday morning to be loaded the same day, and returning to town in the evening. The residents and visitors about the district are loud in their complaints against the depart ment for finding convenience for the wood merchants with Sunday trains to carry their firewood, and refuse the general public the advantage of it run to the country by passenger train on Sundays.2

 
S Bourke Morn Journ1 Mar 1882 BEACONSFIELD. (From a Correspondent.) Quite a lively time was experienced on Saturday lust, at Key's Hotel, and a great strain was put upon Mr Key and his wife to entertain the number of people who congregated at their hotel. Messrs Kitchen and Co. held their annual picnic this year at Beaconsfield in preference to other places, and, at the same time, the Melbourne Coachmakers' Society had settled upon holding their picnic at the same place. The first information that Mr Key had of the two occurring on the same day was on Thursday; he then put his men to work and erected a booth suitable to seat 120 people, and made arrangements for the one party to have their luncheon first, and the others to have theirs an hour later. On the short notice given, over 700 people were supplied with meals, &c., to their full satisfatinon.
On Monday the Bespoke Bootmakers held their Annual Picnic at the same hotel. This picnic was formerly held at Queenscliff or Schnapper Point; this time they gave the preference to inland, and found that it was greatly to their benefit, from the easy carriage both ways, full accommodation for sports, &c. They numbered over 600, and fully enjoyed themselves in dancing, races, a go-as-you-please, ladies' races, cricket, &c., and a handicap for a purse of £10. A splendid programme was arranged and faithfully carried out, giving great credit to the man agement of the Society.
Beaconsfield at the present time appears to be one of the great attractions for the city people ; they prefer the salubrious air of the ranges to the close atmosphere of the Melbourne suburbs, and with the cheap fares by the railway avail themselves of the opportunity of seeing the ranges, and enjoying a day's out ing. During the present month, Mr Key informs me, he has arranged for several other picnics, and has made preparations for all.3

 
S Bourke Morn Journ22 Mar 1882 BEACONSFIELD. (From a Correspondent.) Since my last we have had two other large Pic-nics from Melbourne, the first being the Protestant Alliance Friendly Society—numbering about 500; it was one of the most enjvyable pic-nics of the season, everyone seemed fully intent upon making the most of their holiday. An impomptu cricket match was arranged between the local team and the visitors, the locals winning after a hard fought game. The second was a portion of the Melbourne Gas Co's employes, numbering about 250; only one half of the hands being able to get away at a time, in consequence of the work having to be kept continually going to supply the requisite gas for the City. The other half have their pic-nic at the same place this week. They were not so fortunate in the weather as the previous pic-nics, as soon after arriving in the morning, a steady rain commenced, which greatly marred all outdoor amusement. On both occasions Mr. Key, of the Gipps Land Hotel, was the caterer, and full justice was done to the viands &c., supplied by him. Previous to the learning of the Protestant Alliance pic-nic, a vote of thanks was given to Mr. and Mrs. Keys for the manner in which all the arrangements had been carried out. On Saturday next Messrs. Danks & Co., brass founders, hold their annual pic nic at the same place. The large number of pic-nics at Beaconsfield shows that it is coming to the fore in popularity as a place of resort for holiday seekers. The same complaint as usual is always heard when any large number of people visit the place, "How is it that we are debarred from a run here on Sundays ; is it a sin to run here or not asin to run to Brighton &c." A very just complaint too, and I think will be fully endorsed by two thirds of the visitors and local people.
Several new houses are about to be erected in the township for private residences, and several blocks of land have changed hands at over double the price paid for them 18 months ago.
Rumours are rife that His Excellency the Governor intends making a visit of a month or so to the district ; it is to be hoped that he will, as no doubt it would make the district still more attractive.
On Saturday last a cricket match was played on the ground ad joining the Gipps Land Hotel, be tween the Nar Nar Goon and Cran- bourne clubs. A very close game was played, and was gained by the Nar Nar Goonites by two runs. I hear a return match is to be played, and as usual both parties are confident of winning; the sequel will tell.4

 
S Bourke Morn Journ10 Jan 1883 BEACONSFIELD. (From a Correspondent.) The pretty hills around Beaconsfield were rendered prettier still by the brilliant company which assembled on St. George's Hill to do honor to Professor and Mrs. Halford on the occasion of the marriage of their daughter Edith to Mr. John Dight Harrison. The Rev. W. Wood, assisted by the Rev. J. M. Easterling officiated. The bride's dress consisted of a very rich cream brocade, trimmed very tastefully with lace on crystal ferns. The wreath of orange and jasmine flowers, with a handsome veil edged with three rows of narrow cream silk, and very handsome jewellery completed the costume. The bouquet accompanying it was very tastefully arranged. The two bridesmaids wore nun's veiling trimmed with lace, with white fowers fastened by a brooch. Pretty bouquets completed their toilets, nothing being worn in the hair. After the breakfast, which was served by Miss Sullivan, late of Gunsler's. Some played lawn-tennis, some cricket, and others explored the shaded fern tree gullies, these probably sowing the seed for many other such happy days as that which had dawned on the youthful pair.5

 
S Bourke Morn Journ23 Apr 1884 BEACONSFIELD. Public Assembly Hall. An influential meeting of the ratepayers of the Pakenham Riding of the Shire of Berwick, amongst whom we noticed Professor Halford, Councillor Charles Souter, J.P., Messrs. William H. Goff, Alex. Crichton, William Brisbane, William Elms, J. Hyde, Lennie, Adams, Swift Glishman and others, was held in the above hall on Saturday afternoon last, at four o'clock, for the purpose of discussing the desirability or otherwise of forming a fourth riding or readjusting the boundaries of the present ridings of the Berwick Shire. In the absence of the President of the Berwick Shire, Mr. Edward Hanley, J.P., who had convened the meeting by public advertisement in this local paper, Professor Halford was proposed, seconded and unanimously ap pointed chairman. He accordingly took his seat as such and opened the proceedings by stating the objects of the meeting, and in a long and eloquent appeal gave cogent reasons in favour of a fourth riding as contradistinguished from a re adjustment of the present riding's boundaries.-Mr. W. Brisbane in rising to propose the first resolution pointed out amongst other reasons for his present course of action that up to the now existing time the whole of Beaconsfield proper had been absolutely left unrepre sented in the Berwick Shire Council. He therefore moved-"That a fourth riding is necessary and that one be established, to be called the Beaconsfield Riding of the Shire of Berwick.—Mr. Adams seconded in a brief and pithy speech.-Councillor C. Souter stated that he considered the most of Mr. Brisbane's remarks did not apply to this matter, as the question was whether a fourth riding was necessary. He (Councillor Souter) believed that even a fifth riding was necessary. He said that twelve months ago Gembrook felt the necessity of having a fourth riding in their district. The outside portion of that district objecting to be annexed to Berwick Riding. At the suggession of the Minister of Public Works the Berwick ratepayers then seemed agreeable to a fourth riding, which was afterwards knocked on the head by Councillor J. S. White, who brought figures before them that were not reliable, and who proposed, and got carried in the Council, that a fourth riding was not necessary. On behalf of the people objecting to their having a separation from Gembrook, he said they were willing to assist them, if the district was large enough for a fifth riding. He knew of nothing in the Municipal Act to prevent their being eight ridings in a shire, which at three members to a riding would constitute a Shire Council of twenty-four members. If the Berwick Shire Council lors hindered the people far north, that was those fifteen or sixteen miles' away from Berwick, from making themselves into new ridings, he could see nothing for it but having a now shire. They ought all to be properly represented in the Shire Council Chamber. He thought the first thing the meeting ought to consider and decide upon should be, was a fourth riding necessary for Beaconsfield alone, without any assistance from Gembrook. Mr. Brisbane here asked the speaker what would be the use of the meeting that night if the name of their riding was left out.-Councillor Souter stated that he and others would then be able to vote for the abstract question of a fourth riding being necessary without specifying any particular one.-The Chairman asked Mr. Brisbane to allow Councillor Souter to finish his speech, and he would answer any questions after he sat down, but not to interrupt him then.-Councillor Souter stated that he had some other objections he had to the motion as it stood.-After conversational remarks and desultory interjections from others in the body of the meeting, the chairman put the motion, which he declared carried unanimously with the exception of Councillor Souter and Mr. A. Crichton, who were the only dissentients, and whose reason for objecting was that they considered that if a fourth riding called Beaconsfield was necessary, and therefore established, those who lived fifteen or sixteen miles away from Berwick and their neighboring selectors were just as strongly entitled to a fifth riding to be called Gembrook. Mr. Swift proposed a vote of thanks to their learned chairman.- Seconded by Mr. Elms and carried. Professor Halford thanked the meeting in a few well-chosen words for their ex treme orderliness and their strict attention, and announced that concluded the business of the meeting.6

 
S Bourke Morn Journ2 Feb 1887 CONCERTS AT BEACONSFIELD. By our Rambling Reporter. The second concert in aid of the organ fund was held in the Assembly Hall on Saturday evening, January 22nd. The hall was packed from floor to ceiling, and Mr. Crouch kept his promise by giving us a good programme. At eight o'clock sharp Mrs. and Miss Crouch made their appearance and played the overture "Der Freyshutz," which was much admired, the organ and piano blending together splendidly and reminding one of some first class orchestra, which in reality they equalled. Miss Perry, a new and welcome vocal performer to Beaconsfield, sang "When the tide comes in" very nicely. Mr. Gibb's song, "Hark the drum," was very much admired—in fact so much that before the song was half finished an encore was demanded. After the song the audience was gratified by hearing it sung over again. Miss Halford sang "Under the shadows of St. Paul's" (by request), and I think excelled her last effort. Miss Crouch's piano solo was beautifully played. This young lady seems to have the knack of choosing something which will please her hearers. She had to respond to an encore. Mr. Rice's song, "On a distant shore," was the gem of the evening, and he had to sing it again. In the interval Mr. Crouch informed those present that the debt on the organ was not quite cleared off and that another concert would be held next Saturday night, when he hoped to see a good house and also be able to say the organ would be cleared of its debt. The second part opened with a trio on the piano by Misses Crouch and McCutcheon, which was really enjoyable. Mr. Gibb sang "The skipper's flag" in regular sea style but unfortunately broke down in the second verse; however, in spite of this, his singing was so much admired that he had to respond to an encore. Mr. Crouch's appearance brought forth a round of applause and his song, "True till death," was given in his well known style. Miss Peers sang "The lands of long ago," very tenderly and it was much appreciated. The programme was brought to a close by Mrs. and Miss Crouch playing a duet on organ and piano. It is needless to say it was well played, as the encore it raised told that better than I can. A gentleman present proposed a vote of thanks to the performers. Some of the ladies and gentlemen had come a long way to give their services and he thought the least they could do was to give them a hearty vote. This was seconded and carried with acclamation. The singing of the National Anthem brought a most enjoyable concert to a close.—
[The above was held over is from last issue.] ———
The third and last of a series of concerts in aid of the organ fund came off last Saturday evening. There was a very large audience, many being unable to find seats, and every item on the programme was very much enjoyed. Too much praise cannot be given to the manager, Mr. Robert Beatty, who must have worked very hard to bring up such a company from Melbourne. Proceedings commenced with a duet on the piano by the Misses Beatty and Kinder, which was very enjoyable. Mr. Metcher's song, "The little hero," was so much appreciated that he responded to an encore by singing "The old brigade." Mr. Atkinson's recitation, "Eliza," was very well rendered and this young gentleman will be welcome again. The vocal duet, "O'er the hill, o'er the dale," by the Misses Kinder was very well sung. The dialogue, "Wolsley and Cromwell," by Messrs. Metcher and Maudsley, was very well given and these young gentlemen seemed well up in their parts. Miss E. Kinder sang "Tit for tat" very nicely. This young lady has a beautiful voice, and this, coupled with a pretty face, won her hearers' attention so much that she was loudly applauded, which she responded to by singing "Heather bells." In the dialogue "A sister's love" the following gentlemen took part—Mr. Atkinson as Mary Crawford, Mr. Maudsley as Robert Crawford, Mr. Hounsell as Bridget, Mr. Metcher as J. Renshawe, and Mr. Barton as James Brooks. This was very well acted, particularly the part of Bridget, which was exceptionally well done, and brought forth roar after roar of laughter, many of the audience laughing until the tears ran down their cheeks. This brought the first part to a close, the second opening with a quartette, "The Canadian boat song," by the Misses E. and A. Kinder, Beatty and Mr. Shawell, which was very well sung. Mr. Maudsley's recitation, "In the signal box," was well rendered and this young gentleman has paved the way to future success in Beaconsfield. Miss A. Kinder sang "Won't you tell me why, Robin" very nicely and it was very much enjoyed. Mr. Goode made his debut in a recitation, "The ruined cottage," which was loudly applauded. The vocal duet, "The flower gatherers," by the Misses Kinder, was really enjoyable. The last on the programme was a dialogue entitled "Matrimonial contrasts," in which the following took part—Mr. Maudsley as Mr. Bullium, Mr. Atkinson as Mrs. Bullium, Mr. Barton as Mr. Sneakley, and Mr. Metcher as Mrs. Sneakley. This was very well acted and elicited rounds of applause from all parts of the house. After this Mr. Crouch proposed a vote of thanks to the ladies and gentlemen who took part in the evening's entertainment. They had all come from Melbourne and had given their services freely. He would call upon Mr. Goff to second this motion and inform those present whether the organ was free from debt or not. Mr. Goff on rising said it gave him much pleasure to second this motion and was very glad to say that the organ was very nearly if not quite cleared of debt. The motion was put and carried with acclamation. Mr. Robert Beatty, the manager, thanked those present on behalf of his company for their kind vote of thanks and was very glad that they had been the means of giving them an evening's entertainment, and he hoped all present had enjoyed themselves as much as his company and himself had done. The singing of the National Anthem brought the proceedings to a close.7

 
S Bourke Morn Journ23 Feb 1887 BEACONSFIELD. By our Rambling Reporter. The weather here during the past fortnight has been very hot and oppressive. I hope we shall soon have a change, as many of the residents are complaining about the scarceness of water, a great number of the tanks are empty, and in many cases water has to be carted from the various creeks to supply household requirements. The trustees of our local hall are going to supply us with a long felt want, viz., a public library. The local contractor, Mr. Einsiedel, is busy building a new wing to the hall, which is, I am informed, to be used for this purpose. It will be a great boon to the district. There are many who would willingly subscribe and help on such a good object if the trustees get a good librarian and a fair supply of books. I have no hesitation in saying it will prove a success, and will be a source of pleasure and profit to the residents. The committee of our local race club are busy making preparations for their annual meeting, which is to be held on the 26th inst. They have got a very fair programme, and there should be numerous entries, for the various events, and, with fine weather, the meeting ought to be a success.8

 
S Bourke Morn Journ6 Apr 1887 BEACONSFIELD. By our Rambling Reporter On Sunday evening last, the 27th ult., the Rev. Mr. Walton, who is about to leave us for New South Wales, preached his farewell sermon in the Assembly Hall. There was a very fair congregation, and the rev. gentleman, who was well liked in the district, was listened to with wrapt attention throughout. He took for his text these words, "Finally brethren farewell." In his remarks he said, that all things come to an end. The little stream that runs down between the hills joined the ocean and was lost, and thus came to an end. Everything was bound to change, and reminded him of the lines
Change and decay In all around I see;
Oh, thou who changest not, Remember me.
Man himself was bound to change—the change from young to old, and finally left this world altogether. But God was unchangeable. He was the same to-day, tomorrow and for ever. Man's course was like a river, some short and some long. My course amongst you is finished tonight, and during the three months I have been with you I have made many friends, and it is with a sorrowful heart that I say the word farewell. I have experienced the presence of my Redeemer. When I was sad at heart he cheered me with hope, and as I bid you farewell, my parting words are "Live Godly" although around may rage a tempest. Try and follow in the footsteps of your God. I say again I am sorry to say farewell, yet I am not all sadness. I know there is an all-seeing God who will watch over us, and although he may call me to labor miles away from you, still whereever Jesus leads I will fol low. Fail not to lisp the name in your prayers for one who labored amongst you. Then I will know that a people are praying for me though I may be far away. I shall always pray for you, and though we may be parted in body we shall be united in God. Soon we must leave this earthly tenement, and if we fail to make our peace with God we shall hear this awful command "Depart from me ye cursed." Yes, we shall then either hear angelic music or see the darkness of despair. With the word farewell we shall change our role for a good or a bad one. We are not earthly, our souls shall go to Heaven. Shall we ever meet again? Shall we ever clasp each other's hands again? We know not what an hour may bring forth. We may never have an opportunity of greet ing each other again on earth, but around the throne of God we shall meet to part no more. It will be a grand and glorious union. Soon another shall stand in my place, and he cometh in the name of God, and he also cometh amongst you a stranger as it were. Give him your sympathy, cheer and encourage him, pray for him and do not forget him, let him do his duty, and soon your hearts will rejoice at the good work he has done for your souls. It brings a pang. to my heart as I say the word adieu, to see and to leave some who are not in the fold, and it makes me sad to see some far from God. If God's plead ing will not draw you on, mine will not. Finally, brethren, farewell. Be reconciled to God. Trust in Him. Realise that He is near you and willing to save.9

 
S Bourke Morn Journ13 Apr 1887 BEACONSFIELD. By our Rambling Reporter The first tea meeting in connection with the Beaconsfield circuit of the United Methodist Free Church was held in the Assembly Hall on Tuesday evening, 5th inst. When I arrived at the scene of action I found Mr. Wheeler busy boiling the proverbial "billy," assisted by about a dozen of the youngsters of the neighbor hood. Mr. Wheeler seemed to be the manager of the tea-making process, and later on seemed to give general satisfaction. On making myself known to him, he took me inside and introduced me to the Secretary, Mr. H. Glismann. This gentleman was up to his elbows in work, but when he found out what I wanted he walked round with and showed me what preparations were being made for the satisfying of the large number who were espected to tea. In an adjoining room I found Mesdames Alp, Wheeler, Jones and McLean, assisted by Messrs. Nelson, Day and Glismann, busy cutting the cake and other good things which were to be put upon the tables. At six o'clock the doors were thrown open and soon the two tables (which ran the whole length of the building) were crowded to excess. The interior of the hall presented a very pretty appearance, having been decorated by some of the young ladies with ferns and flowers. No. 1 table, which was presided over by Miss Day, assisted by Mesdames Jones and Wheeler, was also nicely done with flowers, but the palm of decoration was borne off by No. 2 table, which was under the charge of Mrs. Alp and Miss Glismann, and was a work of art in the way of decoration. After tea, whilst some were taking a stroll in the lovely moon light and others a rest, the tables, etc., were moved out and preparations made for the public meeting which was to follow. Mr. Beatty was voted to the chair and Mr. Walton opened the meeting with prayer. In the course of his remarks the chairman said—We have now to bid farewell to Mr. Walton, who has been with us during the past three months, and to welcome Mr. Johnson, his successor. Mr. Walton is leaving us for another colony, and I am sure everyone present will join with me and bid a hearty farewell and God speed to him. The Misses Kinder then gave a duet in a pleasing manner, Mr. Walton gave an interesting address, and Mr. Goode followed with a recitation (The Husband's Vow). An address from Mr. Johnson, and humerous readings from Messrs. Wheeler and Atkinson were well received. A good sum was realised at the collection, and after the usual vote of thanks of the ladies, chairman and committee the meeting terminated.10

 
S Bourke Morn Journ20 Apr 1887 BEACONSFIELD. By our Rambling Reporter. The holidays, with their usual accompaniment of visitors, have come and gone. We have been very busy owing to the large number of visitors we have had this year, quite in excess of former years, and I fancy we shall have more and more every year. Our representative in Parliament, the Hon. L. L. Smith, has given this place such a name for health that we shall soon have all the invalids and other health-seekers from Melbourne in our midst. But on the holidays quite another class are amongst us, viz., pleasure-seekers, and whilst they remain the residents have not much pleasure; every gully and creek swarms with them, some fishing, some fern hunting and others pic-nicing.
But, thank goodness (as I overheard one old farmer say the other day), this does not last long; in a few days they have all returned to their several avocations, and once more we can settle down in peace and quietness.
On Easter Monday evening Professor Thompson, the phrenologist, gave his amusing lecture on heads and faces, love, courtship and marriage. There was a very fair audience who appeared to enjoy themselves. Mr. Goff occupied the chair, and in a neat little speech introduced the lecturer, who kept his hearers amused for two hours by his apt remarks. After the lecture some half dozen ladies and gentle men went on to the stage and were mated according to phrenology, and in some instances caused roars of laughter. During his stay amongst us Mr. Thompson has read a good many "bumps" and made a number of friends, and no doubt should he lecture again here he will have a bumper house.11

 
S Bourke Morn Journ1 Jun 1887 BEACONSFIELD, By our Rambling Reporter. The day we celebrate has passed away and is now numbered amongst the days that are gone. We have been very quiet here and the holiday, scarcely made any difference, partly on account of the great attractions to be found near Melbourne and partly on account of the bad weather, of which we have had a good share.
Host Lenne, of the Pine Grove hotel, held his annual sports on the 24th ult. and I do not think they were a success, as there were very poor entries and still poorer fields. The log-chopping competition only brought forth three entries. I do not think the game was well enough known to bring many competitors in the field, but no doubt if it was again organised they would have more success.
I cannot make out what has come over the trustees of the local hall. It is nearly six months since we have had any enter tainment or concert in aid of the building fund, and I think it will be some time before the debt is paid off unless they make some effort in that direction. Some time ago a room was put up for a public library, but nothing has come of it and the room now stands empty and is likely to remain so.12

 
S Bourke Morn Journ8 Jun 1887 THE BEACONSFIELD ASSEMBLY HALL. To the Editor of the S.B. and M. Journal. SIR--In the last issue of this paper, your "Rambling Reporter" wished to know what has come over the trustees of the Beaconsfield Assembly Hall. He asked why there have been no entertainments of any kind in connection with the above hall. I would ask your "Reporter" to take notice, in his next ramble, of the number of capable performers there are at present in Beaconsfield ; and then, when he has got these behind the scenes, few as they would be, there would be fewer still to come and see the fun. There is no doubt that the performers must be many and the items present variable to make a concert a success. But the proceeds are the most important in such a concert, and as you want a full house to make the proceeds, what ... any entertainment when there is nobody hardly to fill the first few rows of seats in the hall. Another thing, this is not the time of year, nor even the year, to attempt any thing in the dramatic or concert line. Every body had rather go to town and spend their money in candles and Chinese lanterns for illuminations to spending it on concerts, up here. All the fun is in town this year. No, "Rambling Repor ter," don't worry the trustees yet a while for a concert. Have patience. Last Xmas brought in something. Dr. Johnson tells us to "Pause awhile from learning, to be wise." The trustees take the hint and pause awhile from indulging in concerts to appear fresh at a later date. Counting the chickens, etc., etc., I thank you for this insertion. I am, etc., ONE OF OUR FEW. Upper Beaconsfield, June 7, 1887.13

 
S Bourke Morn Journ20 Jul 1887 BEACONSFIELD. By our Rambling Reporter. Here, as everywhere else, the principal topic is the weather, which has been for the last two or three weeks very bad in deed, and at the present time the ground is completely full of water. It looks as if it will clear up for a time now, and the .... disgraceful state, nothing but mud and slush. How ever the numerous conveyances manage to get along is something wonderful. Only the other day I was talking to one of the principal carters, and he told me that the roads have not been in such a state for the past seven or eight years.
On Saturday evening, 9th inst., a very enjoyable concert, in aid of the Sabbath school organ fund, was held in the Assembly Hall. There was a very good attendance in spite of the inclemency of the weather and the state of the roads. The proceedings commenced with an overture on the organ and piano, "Marche Romanie," by the Misses Crouch, which was very nicely played. Mr. Mountain followed with a recitation entitled "Drink." Mrs. Rendall's song, "I cannot say goodbye," was really enjoyable. Mr. Duff made his first bow to a Beaconsfield audience in the song, "The old brigade." This gentleman is an accomplished singer and elicited loud applause, which he re sponded to by singing "No, sir, no. A vocal duet, "In the dusk of the twlight," was beautifully sung by the Misses Crouch. A song, "Jack's yarn," by Mr. Duff, and a piano solo, "Monasterp," which was well played by Miss Campbell, brought the first part to a close.
The second part opened with a duet on the piano by Mrs. Rendall and Miss Goff. Mr. Duff's song, "The tar's farewell," was well received, and for an encore he sang "Waiting my darling for thee." "The old cathedral" was very nicely sung by Miss Crouch, and proved to be the gem of the evening. Mrs. Rendall was heard to advantage in the song "Within a mile of Edinboro' town." Mr. Duff sang "A warrior bold," and in response to applause gave "Our Jack's come home to-day." The last item on the programme was a duet for organ and piano by the Misses Crouch, which was well rendered. The Rev. Mr. Johnson then proposed a vote of thanks to the ladies and gentlemen who had taken part in the entertainment and also to the chairman, Mr. Goff, who had acted so efficiently during the evening, both of which were seconded and carried with acclamation. The singing of the National Anthem brought a pleasant entertainment to a close.
The elections are not causing much stir up here yet, although it is rumored that two gentlemen, whose names I have not yet ascertained, are going to contest the seat with the present memsber, Mr. Sykes, who is, I believe, coming forward again.14

 
S Bourke Morn Journ5 Oct 1887 BEACONSFIELD. By our Rambing Reporter. A tea meeting was held here on Wednesday evening, the 28th ult., to bid farewell to the Rev. J. B. Johnson. Some time ago it was found out that the Beaconsfield circuit of the United Methodist Church was getting into financial difficulties, and as the support given was not sufficient to pay for the minister's horse feed, to say nothing of his stipend. The Church committee, or conference, which held its sittings at Geelong in the early part of last month, decided to send Mr. Johnson to take charge of the Ballarat circuit. As soon as it became known here that Mr. Johnson was going to be removed a number of the ladies determined to give a tea meeting for the purpose of bidding him farewell. They set to work and canvassed the district for contributions, and as Mr. Johnson had many friends these were plentifully forthcoming, and on Wednesday evening their labors were brought to a close when between seventy and eighty sat down to tea in the local hall. After everyone was satisfied and the tables, etc, had been cleared away, a public meeting was held. Mr. Beatty occupied the chair, and gave a very good address, in the course of which he said he was sorry to have to say fare well to Mr. Johnson, who had been laboring in the district for the past six months.
He also regretted that Mr. Johnson had to leave because he had not been supported. He was certain Mr. Johnson had done his best for their welfare. After Mr. Beatty's address Miss Pegler played a serenade on the piano very nicely, and was loudly applauded. Mr. Johnson here addressed the meeting at some length and was listened to with great interest. Song, "When shall we meet again," was very nicely sung by "Mr. Simmonds. Miss Thornton gave a selection, "Home flowers." Mr. Alp then followed with an address, after which Miss Peeler gave the "Post march" which was really well played. Mr. Wheeler then gave an address, and the proceedings were brought to a close by the singing of the doxology.15

 
S Bourke Morn Journ11 Jan 1888 BEACONSFIELD. By our Rambling Reporter. Christmas with its usual round of festivities has come and gone, and once more we have settled down to our usual routine of work and business. I dare say many will be glad that the holidays have passed, and that they can get a little well-earned rest after their exertions in trying to provide for the large number of visitors we have had to Beaconsfield this year. But I am sorry to say that although we have had a large number of pleasure-seekers, still there were not so many as in former years, and I think there will be a falling off every year unless something is done to stir up the fast waning popularity of Beaconsfield. No doubt if the contemplated railway starts soon, we may get a step forward again and make up for lost time.
I am sorry to have to report that a nasty accident happened here on Boxing Day to Shorthouse, the local mail carrier. From what I can learn it appears that he started with his waggonette from the usual stand, opposite his own house, and when coming down the hill the horse bolted and in turning a rather sharp corner at the intersection of the Gembrook road and St. George's Parade, the vehicle capsized, throwing two ladies and a gentleman (who were the only passengers), clean out. They escaped unhurt, but unfortunately the driver did not fare so well. By some means he managed to get under the vehicle and when extricated he was unconscious, remaining so for some time. "On the following morning he was conveyed to the Alfred Hospital where he still remains in a very critical condition. Great sympathy is felt for both himself and family, as they are well and favorably known all over the district.
Amusements of all kind have been very few, and had it not been for Mr. Schlipalius's annual Xmas tree, I do not know what the young people would have done on Boxing night. This gentleman entertained between sixty and seventy of the young (and in some cases old) folks. When I arrived at his place, about half past nine o'clock, I found that the innumerable candles, which were on the tree, had just been lit, and it presented a very pretty picture, being covered, in addition, with a large number of toys and other useful articles, which were afterwards dis tributed to those who had been invited. After viewing the Xmas tree and express ing our thanks and congratulations and partaking of refreshments, an adjournment was made to the lawn where all sorts of games were indulged in (by the light of the moon), until the wee small hours, when everyone wended their way to their respective homes; but not before giving three hearty cheers for the jolly host and hostess, and as the reverberations died away amid the hills and the echo of those heartfelt emanations were reced ding, with the year 1887, to the majestic realms of departed bliss, the crowd had dispersed to make other preparations for the reception of the year 1888, which I hope will be a happy and prosperous one for all.
A very heavy thunderstorm passed over here on New Year's Day. The rain decended in torrents for about two hours and a half completely drenching the large number of picnic parties who were out in the various gullies and creeks. The rain came on so suddenly that there was no time to seek shelter. Unfortunately the morning looked so clear and betokened that a fine day was going to follow, that nearly everyone—the ladies in particular—made no preparations whatever to guard against the rain. They presented a very pitiable appearance as they huddled to gether on the Beaconsfield Railway Station awaiting the arrival of the special train which was to convey them to the metropolis. They may consider themselves lucky if they escape with a cold, which may be the means of making them remember the old adage, "that a wise man carries his coat or umbrella everywhere" and thus come better prepared for that the next time.16

 
S Bourke Morn Journ*20 Jun 1888 BEACONSFIELD. By our Rambling Reporter. The principal topic at present is the weather, which has been very disagreeable during the past week, a nasty misty rain, accompanied with a cold and piercing wind, falling more or less every day, rendering the roads almost impassible. Everything is very quiet here just now that the winter months are upon us, but no doubt we shall soon have a change as summer approaches and visitors begin to flock here to spend a holiday amongst our famed hills and fern gullies.
The land fever has managed to reach this sylvan retreat, and some very high prices have been obtained for some of the blocks which have been sold. I am in- formed that a Melbourne syndicate have purchased a block known a Shorthouse's corner for something like £75 per acre, and the same syndicate have also bought Mr. Schlipalius' farm of 320 acres for £16 per acre. A few years ago the same land could have been bought for half that sum, which would have been considered a good price. I have been told that the purchase of these two blocks intend cutting them up into small allotments and reselling, when they hope to reap good profit. I have not the least doubt but that they will sell a large number if not all of the allotments, as enquiries are constantly being made by would be purchasers, who would buy a small but not a large piece of land.
A number of buildings are being erected here just now. Contractor Dight, of Fitzroy, has just finished a very handsome villa for the hon. L. L. Smith, and another contractor is busy erecting a large boarding house for Mr. George Craik, the well known carrier. This house is to contain thirty-two rooms, and will be a great addition to the district. There are also a number of private places going up and the carpenters seem to be resping a good harvest.
The approaching municipal election is not causing much stir yet, although it is announced that Mr. E. Kitchen, who opposed Councillor Sykes last August, is coming forward again to contest the seat with Councillor Goff, who is the retiring member, and who will I believe, offer him self for re-election. At present it is very hard to form an opinion as to who will be returned, but public feeling seems to go with Councillor Goff.
I am sorry to have to report that we have lost the services of our well known stationmaster, Mr. John Ryan, who has been removed to Pakenham. During the years Mr. Ryan has been amongst us he has not only very many friends but has made an impression on the residents of Beaconsfield which time will not obliterate or the shades of oblivion efface, and we are sorry to have to part with him. He was one of those genial good hearted fellows we so seldom meet with, always ready to do any and every body a good turn. I sincerely hope that health and good fortune will go with him to his new sphere of labor, for "He's a-jolly good fellow."17

 
S Bourke Morn Journ11 Jul 1888 BEACONSFIELD. By our Rambling Reporter. The weather during the past week has been all that could be desired, and farmers have been able to get on with their ploughing and other farm work, which has been delayed somewhat on account of the wet weather which we have had during the past month or two.
Gardening operations, such as pruning and tree planting, are also being pushed on, and I am happy to state that a large number of fruit trees are being planted just now, and as this diatrict has a first class climate and being admirably suited for fruit of all descriptions I have no doubt but that those who are now planting trees will in a few years be able to gather a good harvest and be well repaid for their labors.
A meeting we held in the Assembly Hall last Saturday evening for the purpose of taking steps to open the library and appoint a committee to manage same. Professsor Halford occupied the chair, and in a few well spoken remarks informed those present why the meeting had been convened. Mr Goff then addresses those present, and in the course of his remarks informed them that the hall had cost in building, furnishing, and fitting up something like £1150. Of this amount about £950 had been raised by public subscriptions, concerts and bazaars, as that there only remained about £200 to be paid, and he hoped that an effort would be made to pay off the balace. He was also pleased to see that steps were to be taken to form a library. He had been trying for some time to get the library opened, but the trustees could not do everything. (Cries of No, no.) It would be a great boon to the district and ought to be encouraged. He hoped the residents of the district would do all they could to foster the object they had in view. There would be a committee formed, to consist of some of the residents and trustees, and if they worked together they would soon have a library which would be a credit to the district. After addresses had been given by Messrs. Noble, Crouch and Elms, it was decided that Messrs. Goff, Noble, Glismann, Elms, Hancock and McLean be appointed a committee to draw up rules and manage the library. After a hearty vote of thanks to the chairman the meeting dispersed.
There is no election news to report, ex cept that Mr. Goff is going to have two opponents in the field against him. This is merely rumor, and I cannot vouch for the correctness of it.18

 
S Bourke Morn Journ15 Aug 1888 BEACONSFIELD. By our Rambling Reporter. The weather during the past week or two has been all that could be desired fine and warm with sharp frosty nights, which has been the means of drying the land enough to enable farmers and gardeners to get on with their work; the first with his ploughing and sowing, and the second with his tree planting, pruning and seed sowing. The roads have also been benefited a great deal, although they are still very bad, and particularly near the railway station, which has been awfully cut up by the sand carters. There is such a great demand for sand in the metropolis for sand from Beaconsfield that the carters are unable to fulfil or ders, although there are, at the present time, about thirty loads per day brought to the station, and I have just heard that a large order had to be refused on account of the difficulty of cartage and procuring teams, but no doubt when the summer comes on and the roads get harder this will be overcome.
The land fever is still raging, but not quite so furiously as a few weeks ago. Still we are pretty busy, and I fancy that sales will go on for some time, as inquiries are constantly being made for suitable blocks. Among the list of sales I may mention those of the Aurisch Bros. and Mr. Savage. Mr. Walker, the biscuit manufacturer, was the purchaser of the Messrs. Aurisch's land, but I have not heard who has bought the other. One thing I do know is that a good price was paid for both lots, something like £22 per acre. Talking about sales reminds me that the Beaconsfield Township lots are to be sold by auction, on account of the numerous applications for some of them. As an instance, no less than fifteen applications were sent in for one block, and judging from this, on petition will be pretty keen. When they are sold I hope we shall get some tradesmen amongst us, for at the present time we are sadly in want of a blacksmith. If anything wants repairing or a horse wants shoes on you have to go to Berwick, a distance of five or six miles, and those who live in Beaconsfield and Gembrook have to travel eight or ten miles to the nearest black smith's shop.
Last Thursday being election day every thing was in a more or less state of excitement. Who is going to be returned ? was the question asked on every side, and many were the answers. Some said Goff, others Hatfield. Both candidates worked hard to avert defeat, but Mr. Goff's friends and supporters rolled up, and when the result of the poll was declared he was returned by a large majority; and I think the ratepayers were wise, for in Mr. Goff they have a man who will look after their interests and see that they get a fair share of rates expended in their Riding. Not that Mr. Hatfield would not have done the same, but Mr. Goff has had two years experience as a Councillor in the Shire of Berwick which Mr. Hatfield had not and I think a great number took this into con sideration and voted accordingly.
Building operations are still going on. The contractor for Mr. Craik's new boarding house is making a great show, and Mr. Walford is having a large number of bricks made with which he intends building a large private residence.19

 

Citations

  1. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 21 Dec 1881, p2.
  2. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 1 Feb 1882, p2.
  3. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 1 Mar 1882, p3.
  4. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 22 Mar 1882, p3.
  5. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 10 Jan 1883, p3.
  6. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 23 Apr 1884, p3.
  7. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 2 Feb 1887, p2.
  8. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 23 Feb 1887, p3.
  9. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 6 Apr 1887, p2.
  10. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 13 Apr 1887, p2.
  11. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 20 Apr 1887, p3.
  12. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 1 Jun 1887, p2.
  13. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 8 Jun 1887, p2.
  14. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 20 Jul 1887, p3.
  15. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 5 Oct 1887, p3.
  16. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 11 Jan 1888, p2.
  17. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 20 Jun 1888, p3.
  18. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 11 Jul 1888, p3.
  19. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 15 Aug 1888, p2.
Last Edited16 Dec 2018

Todea Africana

M, #7000

Upper Beaconsfield

"Todea Africana" was the pen name of a correspondent to the South Bourke and Mornington Journal, the local newspaper of the time. Between Dec 1892 and May 1897, Todea wrote weekly letters initially, in the later part of his journalistic adventure, they appeared less regularly.
Although just one man's observations about life in Upper Beaconsfield in the 1890s, we can gain a great insight into life in our village.
Todea Africana was an educated man, read widely, and had travelled far before he settled in Upper Beaconsfield.
Although Todea Africana never revealed his identity, from his style of writing and the subjects he liked most, it is believed that he was Thomas Cole Mackley, who lived on A'Beckett Road, in a property called Ellim-Atta, later known as Calembeen. He was a resident of Upper Beaconsfield from 1888 to about 1900. Related by marriage to the Noble family, he probably left the district after his wife's death and when the Nobles left for Maffra. The property stayed in his possession until his death.
Related*bt 1892 - 1897 Thomas Cole Mackley Thomas Cole MACKLEY was writing weekly columns for the South Bourke and Mornington Journal under the pen name of TODEA AFRICANA.1 
S Bourke Morn Journ*21 Dec 1892 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. It did our hearts good to read the account from one of your contributors in last week's issue of a visit to this district, for, although we may in a quiet way abuse the place ourselves—when things (according to Mrs Gummidge) "go contrairy" — we can't stand other folks usurping the undoubted rights of residents in that respect, and, seriously, we are great believers in our destiny.
Our destiny, we take it, is—Firstly to be the sanatorium of Melbourne, the health and pleasure resort par excellence of the jaded citizen. The humility so much talked of by Mr Tom Roberts and his brother artists being ingrained in our natures, we refrain from saying more on this head. We only refer the eager enquirer after further information to the entire medical faculty, and, the question put, are assured that they will not need "to pause for a reply."
Secondly, our manifest destiny is to plant orchards, and with the fruit thereof, after satisfying our own needs to benefit the world—for a consideration. Mr Geo. Neilson's late visit provides us with chapter and verse for this otherwise apparently bold assertion. Apropos of this a friend of mine has lately received a letter from this gentleman, in which he stated that he was delighted with the district, and saw no reason to alter the opinion he had formed while on the spot, that it would yet become one of considerable importance so far as the fruit growing industry was concerned.
In this connection I may mention that the Beaconsfield and Gembrook Fruitgrowers Association, who were the means of inducing the expert in question to visit the district, are not inclined now to rest on their oars. So confident are they that the excellence of these Ranges in this respect can be proved beyond a doubt, that it has been seriously proposed to hold an Autumn Fruit and Vegetable show about March next, and possibly we shall be represented, let us hope not unworthily, at the great show in Melbourne. Of course all this depends on the sort of support the Society receives from the residents of this and surrounding districts, and here what is otherwise a great advantage acts to our detriment, viz., our proximity to the great metropolis. As the writer in the article of your last issue truly says, the residents largely comprise people who pay weekly or at any rate periodical visits to the place, but whose domicile—if I may say so—is in Melbourne.
This state of things is even now passing away and giving place to a new era. the Great Go-Bung epoch has opened the eyes of all the world and his wife to the evanescent nature of everything under the sun that is not real—as the lawyers have it—and of all things real a lawyer will tell you—but not for nothing ! the "realest" is the land.
And so it comes about that many of hitherto absentee land owners (whom we magnanimously refrained from taxing on that account) have now come to the conclusion that there are many worse uses they can put the little of the root of all evil which remains, than to plant it in the land. Many of our Prodigal Sons are returning thuswise to live permanently (or until the next relapse) amongst us, and the fatted calf (or possibly the veal cutlets) will not be forgotten.
Which reminds me that the Yule-tide festivities, like Artemus Ward's crisis are "upon us." There is great talk of a concert, to be followed by a ball, in the Assembly hall on Boxing Night. There is to be a picnic on quite a grand scale at Stony Creek, in connection with the State School there.
Again, if our friends on the Flat—no offence—will excuse my well meaning meddling with their affairs, I may allude to the races which it is proposed to hold, or run, on the course in the neighbourhood of Gissing's Hotel—now Gissings no longer, in the sense of having a new proprietor.
As a leaven for this rather undue preponderance of the world, the flesh, and the bookmaker, I ought to mention that the ladies in this neighbourhood are taking a practical interest in the bazaar which the Rev. Mr. Wilson, Congregational Minister, of Lower Beaconsfield, assisted by his worthy spouse, has courageously projected in aid of the funds for building a church in the vicinity. Rumour reaches me of a big marquee, with stalls of all manner of useful and ornamental articles, besides garden and dairy produce. Likewise of various attractive side shows and the like -- and all for the low entrance fee of one shilling, with the proud consciousness of performing a good action thrown in.
Not wishing to distract you or your readers too much with our doings, I will here draw the ——. P.S. -- May I be allowed to wish you and yours (in which I include the "gentle reader") A Merry Christmas.2

 
S Bourke Morn Journ28 Dec 1892 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. The time honoured custom of flying to the seashore, as soon as the children's school breaks up, and the jaded father can tear himself away from business, has, with many other truly British eccentricities, been transplanted to this Albion beyond the seas.
But we are beginning to discover that in this respect at least, what may be suitable in the Home of our Fathers is more honoured in the breach than in the observance. Speaking from painful personal experience, I can say that a sojourn by the sea in these latitudes may prove a veritable mid-summer madness, which none but those with a mania for mosquitoes, and a positive penchant for an Egyptian plague of flies would care to risk. Hence the discovery of such come-at-able mountain regions as Macedon and Beaconsfield has been a positive godsend to many, as witness the number of summer residences which may now be seen dotted in most admired and picturesque confusion up and down the hillsides at both resorts, while the pure mountain air, blowing as it does over mile upon mile of eucalyptus, acts as a microbe killer only to be excelled by -----'s Schnapps. (N.B. -- Negotiations for filling up this blank were not concluded up to post time).
Our season has now set in, and those who cannot get away from town or prefer to have a change elsewhere for once (the latter rarely being the case), have no difficulty in letting their mountain homes at fair rents for two or three months at a stretch.—By the same token, I think I am fairly within the mark in saying that at the moment there is not one of the "eligible residences" in this neighbourhood which can be had for love or money—that is, "as it will," for strictly speaking, the power of either is so great that a man might for such a consideration be tempted to peril even his—mother-in-law.
Not to say, mind ! that flies and mosquitoes cannot be had here also, in quantities wholesale and retail—by those who like them—On the contrary, there is a large assortment always on hand, but we keep them (or rather they keep themselves) in their proper places. The visitor curious in matters entomological, may pursue his interesting studies inn our far-famed fern gullies. (mark gullies, for they are many; not a resident has but one of his own or adjoining his property). When Stanley like he (the visitor) has penetrated the thick undergrowth, which in some places Nature delight in erection as an almost impassable barrier to her treasure house and stands beneath the umbrageous fronds of the giant ferns
"Where the gurgling brook doeth gurgle, And the warbling bird doeth warble ; And the Bunyip hath his lair."
Then and then only he begins to feel—oh! how he feels!! The Fairy of the Forest has set her forces to work in earnest to drive him back, and prove that his love of nature is stronger than his love of Self. Hitherto the bayonet, the sword and the wire (grass) have not deterred him, but he may well tremble when he hears the battle-cry of the pygmies' Uhlan, who carries a whole armoury of weapons ready for use on the slightest notice. Whilst engaged in repelling the attack of these tiny scouts in front, our explorer is attacked in the rear by the heavy cavalry of the march-fly. Thrown into disorder by these masterly tactics, he is at the same moment taken in flank, by a battalion of leeches, and completely routed with great (s)laughter (from the jackasses). This, as poor Artemis would add, is a goak. (sic). Seriously things don't often come to such a pass, and a ramble, which is sometimes a scramble, down our gullies is one of the ways, to a Nature worshipper like myself, in which a few spare hours can be whiled away, more especially after a heavy fall of rain, when aforesaid gurgling brook is transformed into a raging torrent.
I trust that you will be indulgent if I occasionally "take the bit between my teeth" when on this topic. You see the ancestral home of my family is in the gullies; the main branch, as our surname indicates, belongs to the Dark Continent. Nevertheless, we of South-eastern Australia, although a trifle less ancient, can—like the Welshman—come a long way down our pedigree before we need state "Here Adam was born." I may mention that several members of our family still reside at Beaconsfield.
With regard to the Christmas events mentioned in my last, I am informed that the bazaar at Lower Beaconsfield was a success, as many as nine hundred tickets being sold, and the attendance was very good ; altogether a substanitial amount should be realised. The races, I understand, have been postponed. The sports at Mr. Lenne's were well patronised. The entertainment given by Mr. Wakeham's grand concert company on Monday evening was of a really high-class character. The programme was performed with a few alterations, consequent upon the non-appearance of Mr. Will Watkins and the prima donna, Miss Harry Randell, who, we were informed, was suffering from congestion of the lungs, her place being well filled at short notice by Miss Hard castle, of the Italian Opera Company. Although some might be inconsolable for the loss of "Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay," the majority were of opinion that the per formance was a highly enjoyable one. Where all was so good the task of selecting any particular item for praise is invidious, but I must really make special mention of "In Old Madrid," sung with much feeling and with splendid voice by Miss Blanche Hale, "The Longshore man," by Mr. Cosson, a really comic song (encored), and "Finiculi Finicula" (encored), sung most admirably by the whole company. At the conclusion of the concert, Mr. Noble, on behalf of the audience, expressed his sense of the great enjoyment which had been afforded through Mr. Wakeham's enterprise, his remarks being emphasised by general applause. Mr. Wakeham and Mr. Edmunds responded, and the hall was then rapidly transformed into a ball-room, which was soon filled with the young men and maidens footing it gently. Well, I was glad that some at least of us can manage to gain a Merry Christmas, and let us hope that they and we and all Australians may have a Happy New Year.3

 
S Bourke Morn Journ4 Jan 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Since last week I have not much to call your attention to in our part of the world. Although we have been holiday making like the rest, we have done it in a quiet, sedate manner, quite in keeping with the universal policy of retrenchment now in vogue. By the way, some time since, having heard much talk of the gold-diggings in Welcome Gully (near here), I took a walk in that direction, and was delighted to see quite a small canvas town springing up in the heart of the bush. Now, alas ! there are only four men working there, and it is improbable that these will stop much longer. Gold there is, undoubtedly, throughout our gullies, but it is so equally distributed that with the present appliances it certainly seems it cannot be worked profitably. Whether the improved methods would give a different account of the locality remains an open question. Still, fortunately, if the young men, of the district are down on their luck; they are of that mercurial southern nature that they are not long cast down. During the past season they have been in the habit of meeting once a week at the Assembly Hall, where, in the company of their sisters and their cousins (with a discreet sprinkling of aunts), they have spent many pleasant evenings in song and dance. There is no doubt that in the bright sunshine of our genial climate we are developing quite a new type as different from the heavy, phlegmatic Anglo-Saxon of the Mother country as the Italian and Spaniard are from the North German and the Dutchman. Impulsive and impressionable, easily elated by a temporary success, as quickly cast down by the first appearance of failure such is the young Australian.
I am told that the Government have offered to send up their expert in charge of the Zimmermann and the Pearson fruit-drying machines. The matter will no doubt be brought before our Association at its next meeting, and advantage taken of such a favorable opportunity of showing our local orchardists how to avoid the great waste of fruit which must annually take place when the market is too glutted to give a profitable return or immediate sales. A copy of the report sent in by Mr. Wilson to the Department of Agriculture has now been printed, and is, I am informed, highly eulogistic of the capabilities of the whole of this district, from the Beaconsfield railway station right up to Gembrook, where Mr. Nobelius' place is deservedly pointed out as an example to all of what may be done with energy and perseverence in the way of cultivating.
The ball held on the 2nd inst. at the Assembly Hall is the last of the season. I am told that the attendance was fair, and a very enjoyable evening spent. And now, having got our gaieties over, although we may not altogether agree with the cynic that "life would be tolerable were it not for its pleasures," we shall come back, I hope, to the work-a-day world none the worse for our little period of hob-nobbing with the Lord of Misrule. Depend upon it, the new year will, to a large extent, be what we ourselves make it; so let our determination be that, God willing, it shall be for us and ours a bright and cheery New Year.4

 
S Bourke Morn Journ11 Jan 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. The Fruitgrowers' Association held their monthly committee meeting at the Assembly Hall on the 7th inst., when the report by Mr. George Neilson to the Department of Agriculture anent his late visit to this district, was read by the secretary. I will not here enlarge upon the contents, as I trust your readers will have the opportunity of perusing it in exteso; suffice it that this document cannot fail to encourage those who have already invested much time, energy and money in the neighborhood, and will in all probability be the means of attracting others to what is now stamped by an undoubted authority as a first-rate fruit district, and for some classes as second to none. The letter from the Secretary for Agriculture re fruit-drying apparatus (alluded to in last week's issue) was considered, and the secretary instructed to write to the Department, requesting them to forward the one designed by Mr. A. N. Pearson, provided they are of opinion that that apparatus is, on the whole, the best. The date on which the machine will be exhibited cannot as yet be absolutely fixed, the Government having so many applications which must be dealt with seriatim. The Association hope, however, to be able to make some announcement ere long; it is probable that some time about the middle of February will be ultimately fixed. As an expert will accompany the machine, and will remain two or three days giving practical demonstrations to all and sundry of its capabilities, the whole country-side should make a point of paying Upper Beaconsfield a visit at that time--they will most decidedly, in the language of the Missing Friends column, "learn something to their advantage," besides which, those who have never visited the picturesque heights of Upper Beaconsfield have a treat in store; and fast, but not least, all are sure of meeting with a hearty welcome from the officers of the Fruitgrowers' Association, which, although as yet not numerically large, has already shown such youthful rigor, and well- applied energy, that it is safe to say it is not going to be "snuffed out."
Talking of which reminds me that the devotion of Young Victoria to cricket is not easily damped. Even the cricket erially impossible slopes of our hills do not present any "just cause or impediment" why the Game of Games should not be played. A day or so since a team of youngsters from our village played Pakenham. I am not in possession of the scores, and therefore cannot say if there were any record-breakers, but this I do know, that although our team was conquered, it was by no means beaten. A challenge was forthwith given to the victorious aide, and when that fight comes off "may I be there to see."
Notwithstanding the hard times, young people must still be amused, and fail to see the force of the arguments which their elders would fain bring to bear upon them in favor of economy, so rather than face a strike parents must needs give way. Besides, strange as it may now appear, we were all young once, and at this time of year any excuse is better than none for a little gaiety. So it came about that a neighbor of mine, who is not afraid to speak with his enemy in the gate, gave a little dance-or rather, his young people relieved him of this trouble-and with their kindly aid the cold formalities of ordinary evening dress were dispensed with, and fancy costumes substituted. These were none the worse for not being borrowed from the theatrical costumier, and although the purist in such matters might carp at a somewhat free translation of the various characters aimed at, the result was, for the unprejudiced (and therefore indulgent) observer, of an altogether pleasing character. Who of us males does not get lost is a mazy wilderness when attempting to describe the simplest female attire -I, at least, decline to rush in where angels-(but the proverb is somewhat misty). Were I a few years younger I might choose (if they would let me) between Yea Yum, Mary, Queen of Scots, The Old Woman that Lived in a Shoe, Canterbury Bells, and various other poems in petticoats-" time was- " (but no matter). Of the male characters one may speak in cold blood. Here Jeames hob-nobs with Hamlet, there a Red Indian fraternise with a Stock Rider, whilst Rip Van Winkle haggles with Ah Sin, the Chinese hawker; the skeleton at the feast improvided by the woe-begone figure of Refrenchment, clad in a meat, bran (bag) nesack-suit, cheap, if not elegant, and lablled, "In this style, 'arf-a -crown." None may judge by the late hour to which the dancing was kept up, and the severe punishment which the refreshments recorded, the young people certainly enjoyed themselves. I can safely say that some of the old one, even renewed their youth for a seasons and all were the better for having resolved themselves for once into a Gaiety Company.5

 
S Bourke Morn Journ18 Jan 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. By TODEA AFRICANA. "Our Boys" have been at it again. This time they have been down on the Flats, in other words, playing against our friends of the Lower Township. It seems to have been a spirited game, and had I only been there to barrack " might have gone in our favor; but as it was, the abnormal development of some of the juveniles on the other side, combined with —well, you know; we must always uphold the umpire's decision—but there ! they only won by three wickets after all, so courage, boys, and let us brace ourselves together for the tussle that is to be next Saturday with Berwick. It is only a pity from a cricketer's point of view, that this is—as a Milesian gentleman assistant of mine sapiently remarked, a moighty onaiven counthry, sor-r"-nevertheless, it is to be hoped the lads will continue to do their level best, and thus, when the stumps are drawn after the next match, they may have a yarn to pitch of a different color to the last.
Although our hotels and boarding house are not so well patronised in this year of retrenchment as we should naturally like to see them, the visitors are certainly here, and in force, as evidenced by the attendance at our Assembly Hall on Sundays, when service is held "turn-about" by Anglican and Presbyterian. You see, we (including myself, of course) are not a bigoted people we can't afford it. There is a disregard of the subtle differences and distinctions between the various creeds and confessions of the main branches of Protestantism that would make the hair of a Ritualist stand on end. And it is in this wise. Out of the season we cannot muster sufficient for a respectable-sized congregation of each sect re presented, so needs must patronise each other. I never knew what constituted a quorum, as far as a church congregation was concerned, until the other day a friend informed me that during last win ter he had, in his own person, arrived at the irreducible minimum when constitut ing the whole and sole congregation. Of course only a portion of the service was gone through, and this at the special request of the clergyman. My informant says that he felt the affair painfully personal, but went manfully through with it, even nerving himself to take up the col lection, which the congregation in a body handed to the minister.
Now, with so many strangers about, many of whom are, not unnaturally, anxious to explore this wonderland of hill and dale, where is the guide, philosopher and friend to lead them through its mazes of ferntree gullies decked with maiden hair, with babbling brooks o'erhung by granite tors, and all around the forest like a sea ? Ah, where, indeed ? There is not even so much as a sign post on the road—but wait ! I must be truthful before all—for at the parting of the ways, hard by the public edifice, yclept the post, and whence the magic wire descends that joins us with the nether world, there stand two banners with these strange devices, "Beaconsfield House Hotel," "Pine Grove Hotel," still urging on the pilgrim from below to scale the heights where all too soon he'll find a bar to further effort. But I hear on what I believe to be reliable authority, that we are about to "change all that"—for this relief much thanks— and if, in addition to the name of the road and the next township, our signboard can give us the distance in miles and the propinquity of the most adjacent pub, with its nautical bearings, there will be "another injustice to Ireland" inasmuch as not a grievance will be left us to grizzle over—for awhile.
Our Christmnas and New Year's festivi ties seem to die hard—not to mention another juvenile party (entertainment, I mean) where Tommy, a town visitor, astonished the natives by surrounding so many sandwiches that it would puzzle a senior wrangler, or even the Leader's "enquiry man" to guage his capacity in that particular line. I say, not speaking of this, there has been high jinks over beyond Stony Creek, in the way, some say, of a surprise party at the house of a Councillor. At any rate there was a dance, in fact there must have been many, for I am given to understand that when past midnight one of the over-wrought musicians (not to put too fine a point upon it, he constituted half the band) sought to escape "unbeknownst" he discovered that his friends had been before him and "planted" his hat. This candidate for notice of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals arrived home about 8.30 in the morning ! he is still dragging on a miserable existence.6

 
S Bourke Morn Journ25 Jan 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Ensilage is a subject on which much has been said and written this wide world over of late years. Like many other "new fangled notions" it is only a revival. "There is nothing new under the sun," saith the preacher, and if not known to the ancient Egyptians (who certainly knew a thing or two—altho' why they were so loth to let the Israelites go would puzzle a Russian) it was by all accounts one of those things which nobody who was anybody in ancient Rome did'nt know all about. It is indeed sad to think what a world of trouble we should have been saved in not now having to learn all these things over again if those Goths and Vandals had not gone and mixed everything up so terribly.—Well ! I was not commissioned to write a history on the subject and therefore must bring my pen back to the point. A few years ago a friend of mine made what I believe to be (if not the first at least) one of the first silus in Victoria—it was at South Yarra. The pits were very substantially built of brick, lined with conrete and from the tops, where they were level with, the ground, were enclosed and covered insubstantially. The cattle, although perhaps a little shy of this new fodder at first, soon got accustomed, and presently were so fond of the stuff that they would run from all parts of the paddock as soon as the man came in with the cartful which was their evening meal.
All this is called to my mind now that the subject is once more brought before me by a friend in this neighbourhood, who has had the kindness to show me what I verily believe is the first attempt of this kind in Beaconsfield. Since my enterprising South Yarra friend constructed his pits, many in all directions have been experimenting, and it is now well known that really good silage can be made with very primitive applicances. For instance, Mr Thompson, formerly of Dookie, simply ran an earth scoop along, thus shovelling out a ditch 2½ft. deep by 10ft. long. In this he laid some fresh cut maize, without even chaffing it, shovelled the earth over, tramped it down, and after a few months re-opening it, discovered the contents as good ensilage as could be wished. Most people who study these matters are also aware that stack ensilage has with such simple appliances turned out with such pronounced success, that the most natural question arises, Is it possible to go wrong ! and the reply is, Hardly ! Now, this, to the uninitiated, is such a startling statement that it is in cumbent on one to justify it by coming down to concrete facts.
Well, my authority, who is of an experimental turn of mind, and always ready to burn his fingers in the pursuit of science, happened to read some time ago of a Queensland squatter who had made silage by the simple process of cutting the native grasses, stacking them on the spot, digging a trench round and throwing the earth taken thereout on the top of the stack, to a depth of about 1 ft. Viola torst. Ridiculous, you'll say ! Not a bit. My experimental friend, although he was dying to try it, thought too there must be a screw loose somewhere; it was too absurdidly simple. Here all these hundreds of years (one might safely say thousands only that rascally Roman, not to speak of the artful Egyptian, is such an element of uncertainty) we have been "making hay while the sun shone," instead of which it appears we should have cut our grass weather or no, and if, whilst stacking it, the heavens rained cats and dogs, the resulting fodder would be so much the more nourishing.
But "nothing venture, nothing win," and so, with the enterprise of the Englishman, tempered by the caution of the Caledonian, with a dash of the illogical Hibernian thrown in, our pioneer pro ceeded to test the matter after this wise: —Having sown, after the fashion ab horred of Mr Neilson, a crop between the fruit trees of his orchard, he deter mined to take that part for his experiment which was growing immediately around the trees. In these places not only the crop, but weeds such as sorrel, sow-thistle &c. were growing with luxuriance seldom seen, owing principally to the chemical manures used. The ground for the stack having been levelled roughly, the first layer of greenstuff was placed there on being composed principally of sorrel. After several inches of this farmer's delight as a foundation came the crop proper, and this being exhausted a few inches again of sorrel and other weeds on top. I may say that after every load the stuff was well tramped down and a few handsful of salt thrown on, though this latter is, I believe, not necessary. When the heap (which was circular, about 10ft. in diameter), I can hardly call it a stack, was about 3ft. high, the stuff which it was though desirable to devote to this very doubtful experiment was exhausted, and although the owner's chances of success would, in his opinion, have been immeasurably improved had the height been multiplied by 5 and the diameter by 2, he felt constrained to draw the line at this point. A shallow ditch was therefore dug around the heap, and the earth (sacks having first been placed over the grass) thrown on top to the average depth of say, 1ft. Rails and logs of wood were put on top near the edge, so as to equalise the height as much as possible, but with all this it was found difficult to get as much pressure as desireable at the sides.
This being done the heap was left for two months, during which time (Nov. 10 and Jan 10) some very wet weather was experienced. When opened the other day, on which occasion I had the privilege of being present, the first sight, and, truth to tell, the first smell, was not a promising one. The earth having been removed, the sacks were found thoroughly rotten, and under these the erstwhile green stuff was black, and for a depth of three to four inches more or less decomposed. From that downwards, however, for another 12 or 14 inches the genuine ensilage, both in color and flavor, was at once en evidence for any one who had once seen and smelt the real Simon Pure. Except at the outside of the heap the silage was good from the bottom to within say four inches of the top. Of course the proportion of waste in such a diminutive stack must be great, and had the stack been twenty times the size would have been reduced to a negligeable quantity. I may add, as the proof of the pudding is in the eating, that my friends cow, being somewhat of dainty appetite, as a well fed cow is apt to be, at first declined the strange fare ; but after a few times, and on its being chaffed and mixed with hay chaff soon took to it, and will, no doubt, after the general experience, soon run after it.
I will not apologise for bringing such an apparently trivial matter before your readers. Those who are acquainted with the conservative nature of farmers the world over will appreciate the value of an experiment which each unbelieving Thomas can try for himself without any outlay whatsoever, and simply risking such greenstuff about the farm as would either be thrown on the compost heap or in a time of plenty be allowed to waste. Let the experimenter in this direction do what he will, it would seem that, whereas success is ridiculously easy of attainment, absolute failure is an impossibility.
Although apples are scarce in these parts and the crop altogether will be very poor, there are certain kinds which flourish exceedingly, notably the Prince Bismarck, of which I have seen some fine specimens. Some apricotss that have been shown me are not to be surpassed, at any rate I should be glad to learn if any of your readers can "go one better" than five ounces for a single specimen !
They tell me that "our boys" have beaten the Berwick team by one innings and 22 runs. I am afraid this is too good to last.
Visitors continue to arrive, and Mrs Craik's boarding house, capacious as it is, is full to overflowing.7

 
S Bourke Morn Journ1 Feb 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. By TODEA AFRICANA. Fifty-eight pounds for a rooster and two hens ! A tidy price to pay for poultry is it not ? And yet that is what I am told was lately paid for a trio of Wyandottes by a poultry fancier who lives not five miles from here as the crow flies, or even as the horse trots, but, if you would reach there by buggy, it may take you about 14 miles.—The result of living in the ranges. Well, no doubt if you are hunting for the pot, fifty-eight pence might be nearer the figure, but, if on the other hand you are a pot-hunter with your heart in the game you will be deter mined to have the best birds obtainable, be the price what it may. Now this is the case of our friend. Some few years ago he gave up his business in town and took up his residence in the ranges. Having indulged for a long time past to a small extent, his fancy for poultry, he determined now to devote more time and attention to the matter. He soon dis covered, however, that with poultry as with patricians—when it comes to the bluest of blue blood, the question of marrying and giving in marriage becomes a most delicate matter, and one of the gravest importance.
After a little while there was not a bird in the colony fit to mate with his protegés that did not come within the prohibited degrees, and that way danger lies. Ere long to maintain (and possibly increase) the prestige already gained, it became imperative to obtain new blood, orders were therefore despatched to England to purchase birds, the very best of their kind. In our case carte blanche was given to a home fancier to buy and ship "the best bird in England." The order was executed and the price paid was twenty-five pounds sterling. Of course a bird like this will carry every thing before him—for awhile, and then he must lower his colors. The amount of care and attention demanded by, and bestowed on these royalties is enough to fairly astonish the visitor. Their per manent residence is a house no less than 217 feet long. Along the centre is an asphalt footpath four feet in width, and on each side of this, fenced off from it and from each other by wire netting are compartments for the various breeds of fowls. Twenty divisions in all, each with its separate outdoor run. The ease with which a large number of poultry can be attended to on this plan is evident, and, as the most scrupulous cleanliness is observed thoughout the establishment this point is of great importance. Much might be written on this subject which would be of the greatest interest to people of a poultry nature, but to give a complete description of this model farm would demand too much of your valuable space.
Strawberries, as Mr. Geo. Neilson in formed us all not long ago, ought to be grown by the acre in these ranges. Not many have entered largely into the business hitherto, but certainly the size and flavor of those which are grown in and around Beaconsfield hold out every hope of success for those inclined to venture. When you see plenty of this fruit weighing from three quarters of an ounce to an ounce each, you naturally think that such would be hard to beat. Judge of my surprise then when the other day I was told that a large grower a few miles from here had produced berries that turned the scale at two ounces. This was a matter that must he inquired into forthwith.—I visited the farm in question where I found the owner had two acres of this acknowledged "Queen of Fruits" in cultivation. Queried as to the phenomenal weight of his best, it turned out there had been a trifling mistake. It was eight to the half-pound that they had weighed. This season it appears has been a comparatively poor one, the heavy wet weather in the early part did much to damage the yield and then the sudden accession of heat dried up the ground too rapidly. Last season, however, seems to have been more pro pitious. When one hears of a return of one hundred and sixty pounds for an acre and a quarter, it is enough to make the mouth of any horticulturist water. But, tho' the profits are large in good seasons we must not forget that this fruit is peculiarly liable to the influences of the weather, so remember the old adage and "Don't put all your eggs in one basket."
It is reported that the Government have so many requests for the fruit-drying machines dating prior to the one prepared by our Fruitgrowers' Association, that it will be impossible to fix an earlier date for this district than March, which reminds me that a gentleman connected with this district, who lately sold a property in Lilydale, says he had a splendid crop of plums there go entirely to waste owing to the low price of fruit in town rendering the sale in a fresh state unre munerative, and the facilities for drying or canning not being to hand. There is not a shadow of doubt that it is the duty and the interest of our fruitgrowers to combine. There is a future (with a large F) for the fruit industry, not even second to that of the dairying interest. We must however shake off the lethargy which seems to have been oppressing us. No doubt it would he a very nice thing if the Government would take fruit in hand as it has done butter, but have we really arrived at that stage in this colony that nothing can he initiated without a Government stamp ?
"Our Boys" again beat Berwick, this time by four wickets I am told; the match being played at Lower Beaconsfield. If the youngsters go on in this victorious manner, they will soon come to believe (to use their own languase) that "they can't be packed". A would-be wag hints that if they don't look out some one will be Packin 'em soon.
The Stoney Creek State school pic-nic was, I hear quite a grand success, on which Miss Audsley, the teacher, is to be congratulated. There was plenty of fun, including games, foot races, &c., &c., plenty of prizes of a more than ordinarily satisfactory nature and plenty of refreshment, of which it is sufficient to say it did credit to —— Swallow. In the evening there was a dance which was a veritable crusher, they say. Crowded as the room was, the people showed no anxiety to get away until the usual small and early hours that country folk are accustomed to. Not to put too fine a point upon it, my experience is that people after these little affairs usually come home with the milk in the morning.
Appropos of enjoyment—now that our visiting (or visitors') season is at its height why does not some enterprising person start a four-horse waggonette to give people a days outing at so much per head, inclusive (or exclusive if preferred) of pic-nic lunch. I feel confident that, with the number of charming excursions that could be made, such a scheme intelligently carried out would be a success. People come here prepared to enjoy themselves, but it won't do to leave them loafing on the verandah when they get here. They will want to go out somewhere, and it is our duty (and should be our pleasure and profit too) to show them where to go, how to go, and what to do when they get there.8

 
S Bourke Morn Journ8 Feb 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Heat is simply a relative term. Philosophers will tell you that there is no such thing as absolute heat or cold. But, inasmuch as it is well known that "no philosopher ever bore the toothache patiently," so I make free to maintain that when the thermometer registers a trifle over the "end of the century" even the most orthodox scientist will momentarily take leave of his orthodoxy and sink to the level of Middlewick in "Our Boys"—"You may call it warm, I calls it 'ot." One very hot summer a few years since I was talking to a son of the soil who had found his way up here soon after arriving direct from the dear ould country. On being asked if he liked the district he remarked that he had no fault to find with it on any other account but he was "fairly killed with the hate," and in consequence he and his wife had made up their minds to relinquish their situation here and take a store in Melbourne City. "But," said I, "if you find it too hot here you will certainly be jumping out of the frying pan into the fire by going to live there. Don't you know that we are at least 650 feet above sea level (some insist that it is much higher). "That's where it is, Sorr," was his reply, "we're so much nearer the sun !"
Well, fortunately for the comfort of those who attended the concert on the 3rd inst. under the auspices of Mr. Wakeham, of the Beaconsfield House hotel, by the Professional Concert Company, the thermometer con-descended for the occasion. Those who had been present on a previous occasion, a few weeks since, considered the names figuring on the programme a sufficient guarantee of the excellence of the entertainment to be provided, and they were by no means disappointed. It is much to be regretted that the efforts which have been made to provide residents and visitors with a really high class entertainment have met with such poor encouragement, but, truth to tell, although the entrance charges had been reduced the attendance was not much better than on the former occasion. Whether this was owing to insufficient advertisement on the part of the promoters or apathy, combined with a depleted state of the exchequer, on the part of the public or a little of both, this deponent sayeth not, nor can he say. Suffice it that the result must have been very dispiriting, a both for entrepreneur and executants. The programme performed was as follows: -Overture. "Martha," Miss L. Edmonds; song, "The village blacksmith," Mr. A. J. Cosson; duet, "See he approaches," Miss Hardcastle and Mr. Edmonds; song, "Dear heart," Miss Jessie Jackson; comic sketch, Mr. Ernest Hosking; song, "Estudiantina," Mr. E. H. Edmonds; song, "Scenes that are brightest," Miss Kate Hardcastle; duet, "Maying," Miss Jackson and Mr. Edmonds; comic sketch, Mr. Ernest Hosking. Interval. Overture, "Chauson Russe," Miss L. Edmonds; song,' "Queen of the earth," Mr. E. H. Edmonds; song, "I dream't that I dwelt," Miss Kate Hardcastle; comic sketch, Mr. Ernest Hosking; song "The wolf," Mr. A. J. Cosson; song, "Sleep on dear love," Miss Jackson; duet, "Love and war," Mr. Edmonds and Mr. Cosson; quartette, "Funiculi funicula," the company; ventriloquial act (assisted by Ally Sloper), Mr. Ernest Hosking. Mr. Cosson's rendering of those old favorites Nos. 2 and 14 left little to be desired, whilst with the fear of Marshall Hall before my eyes, and painfully aware that as a Philistine I have no business with an opinion at all, I would still venture to remark both with regard to "Estudiantina" and the "Queen of the earth" of Mr. Edmonds' that "I like it, I like it, I do." Pardon, I should have given place aux dames, but do not let the ladies imagine on this account that they occupy second place in my—let me dissemble—mind. The sweet clear tones of Miss Hardcastle were no less effective than on the last occasion on which I heard her. Nor (if this time my lady friends will permit me an opinion) was the black gown (I believe that is the correct term) any less becoming with the sunflower accompaniment, than the envious yellow of the frock (I absolutely refuse to tempt Providence further by particularising the shade) which adorned her a few short weeks ago. In place of the sprightly little lady (whose name for the moment escapes me) who, on that occasion shared the honors of the evening with her, we have in Miss Jessie Jackson a fair young debutanté whose "Dear heart" (I mean the song) charmed all hearers. True, a little nervousness might be apparent to a severely critical eye, but isn't that after all only natural, and a delicate compliment to the optic in question. "Love and war" was a decided success (on this occasion at least), and "Funiculi funicula" sung in perfect time and tune and with excellent expression, brought down the house. A tribute of praise is due to the able accompanist for her by no means unimportant share in the entertainment. The Philistines of the Philistines (O! shade of the Professor) were catered for by Mr. Hosking, who had a suscccs de furore. The exigencies of space forbid me to dilate on his birdcage trick, his Tyrolese jodeling, his really wonderful performance on the mouth harmonica, and last, tho' by no means least, his ventriloquial entertainment, assisted by our old friend Ally Sloper. The gallery (our boys) was in a state of ecstatic uproar, and the whole house at times convulsed with merriment. Of course it was an outrage on our classical tastes, but were we to have been Court-Marshalled the next minute we could not have helped ourselves. The concert, after the manner of the country, was followed by a ball which was fairly well attended, and according to the account of those who were present, and judging by the disrepu table hour at which they arrived home the following morning thoroughly enjoyed.
The Fruitgrowers Association held their monthly meeting at the Assembly Hall on the 4th inst., whereat a letter from the Secretary of Agriculture was read in stimating that the fruit-dryer and the expert exponent thereof were engaged for the whole of February. The visit to Beaconsfield must therefore be postponed until some date to be fixed later on.
Our young cricketers are still on the war-path and ever victorious. This time I have to record a victory over the juniors of Narree Warren. The Beaconsfield "season" may now be said to be at its height, both "Kincraik" and the "Big House" are full and all available residences occupied.9

 
S Bourke Morn Journ15 Feb 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Floods in Queensland ! Fires in Victoria ! Eighty inches of rain in a week there—and here, since the commencement of '93, a fractional part of One. There it has pleased the Almighty to send a plague of waters, and here we are praying for rain. But no ! thanks to good Bishop Moorhouse we have learnt at least this lesson, that we should conserve the water which heaven sends in such abundance at one time of the year as to be sufficient for the rest. It were well before asking for further alms that we should make sure the last was not wasted through our neglect to mend the holes in our pockets. And even in this matter of floods, greatly as we must deplore what has happened, we cannot but see at a glance that such a catastrophe was only unprecedented in degree. If you will stand under a water-spout you must eventually get a wetting. If you cannot alter your position, why not provide a down pipe ? Please do not think that I am anxious to hinder, in the slightest degree, the stream of solid sym pathy which will no doubt soon be flow ing hence in the direction of our neighbors —by all means let us help them in the true spirit of the Samaritan, but let us be careful not to call Providence to account for that which is probably due to man's thoughtlessness or obstinacy. But I had nigh forgot that my mission in these columns lies not with mankind at large so much as with matters of local interest. Generally, however, these are of such a very personal nature in our little Pedlington that a little lattitude should be allowed to a correspondent who, with the law of libel before his eyes, is careful of his own skin and his editor's pocket. The Germans have a saying with regard to their little town, "A man can't sneeze at one gate without being heard at the other."
Of course we are in the prevailing fashion at present with regard to scarcity of water, but, fortunately in the immediate district we have hitherto been spared any very serious bush fires. At Gembrook, however, I hear that several people have been "burnt out," and a couple opposite to Mr. Walford's; (and belonging, I am told, to him); has been completely burned. It is to be hoped that the loss in this as in the other instances may be covered by insurance, but on this point I am as yet uninformed. Happily this gentleman's own residence is safe, and likewise his magnificent fernery—the pride of the country side. This veritable palace of ferns is well worth a visit, and, judging from personal experience, I may venture to say that permission to inspect will at all times be courteously accorded either by the proprietor himself or his represen tative. For those who have not seen and have had no description of this place, it many be well to state that the dimensions of the shade-house in which these treasures are displayed are (as near as memory serves me) about 200 feet long by about 50 to 60 feet wide. A stream of water supplied by a spring meanders from end to end, crossed and recrossed by means of rustic bridges joining part of a winding path which conducts the visitor through a perfect maze of tree and other ferns of all degrees of rarity, the whole forming such lovely fairy bower with its fresh greenery and its sound of running and falling water, that it seems the very beau ideal for a lazy man; like myself, to spend a summer afternoon, with the latest yellow-back for a companion. Nothwithstanding the fires and rumors of fires, we in this neighborhood have escaped its whole skins as yet, although a friend of mine had a narrow shave through a burning trunk falling. Spectators say it would actually have been on top of him had not a bystander called out in time.
Not so fortunate a poor woman who used to live here, but is now staying at Old Narree Warren. It appears that the poor creature, with her husband and two little children, have been living for some time past in a small hut belonging to a Mr. Lardner. It would appear that the mother had left the house in order to get water from the creek, which was some little distance, and meanwhile the baby, left to its own resources, may have obtained access to a box of matches, and in experimenting after the fashion of children arrived at the terrible conclusion which brought about its end. However this may be, on the return of the parent the house was in flames and the unfortunate infant burnt to a cinder, only a portion of one arm, I am told, being rescued from the omnivorous element. I mention this melancholy case, as the woman, a Mrs. Kerwan, formerly resided for a time in this neighborhood. Although both husband and wife had the reputation whilst here of being willing and hard workers, they certainly have been most unfortunate. Now, let us hope the climax has come.10

 
S Bourke Morn Journ22 Feb 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Flood and fire are still doing their worst, though hereabouts it is the fire fiend that still holds sway. Much sympathy is felt for Mr. Simmons, jun., of Gembrook, he lost his house and all its contents, not being able to save so much as to wrap the baby in. I did hear that steps were being taken to prove practically how very sorry the community were. Other losses in that district, though not so severe, were quite bad enough for the sufferers in these even otherwise hard enough times. We in this immediate neigh borhood cannot be said to be severe sufferers, but have had to keep a sharp look out to defend our hearths and homes. I notice opposite Mr Hicks, one of the highest points of Beaconsfield, and whence one views one of the finest panoramas to be seen about here, the fire has made a clean sweep right up to the roadway. Beyond this its course was stayed, but the ardent breath of the Nebuchadnezzar's furnace has scorched the young pines on the opposite side of the way, who, like the English drummer brought before Napo leon, had never learnt to beat a retreat. I trust that having so nobly stood fire they may surive, but as the Pottosporum hedge beyond is badly singed this seems doubtful. Mrs. Cope's and other houses on Goff's road were for a time in danger, but the burly sons of Beaconsfield rallied to the rescue and eventually out-manœuvered the foe. The danger of setting fire to the bush in such a dry season as this cannot, in my opinion, be too strongly im pressed upon the young and thought less (and the old and thoughtless, too, for the matter of that). Any more severe measures than this would, I suppose, be out of the question, as we can hardly expect the arm of the law, (which theoretically is long and strong enongh for anything), to deal with such matters as these so far away from headquarters, otherwise as a new chum in affairs of the country I was under the impression that, subject to the most fearful pains and penalties one, was forbidden from "burning off" until the month of March. This being "from information I had received," a wise provision of our paternal govern nent, inasmuch as by that time we have generally had sufficient rain to prevent any serious danger of a juvenile Black Thursday resulting.
Our reputation as a health resort is ever on the increase. Natural modesty; prevents us from vaunting this in season and out of season like some of our would-be rivals. But do what we will to hide our light under a bushel (and we certainly have done little enough towards setting it in a candle stick) people will talk, and so we must blush to find ourselves famous "It is a positive fact. Sir," as a fiend of mine has it, that a prominent Collins street doctor who brought his family up here to stay for a month, has found the climate so beneficial to their general health, that he has determined to prolong their stay here for a few more weeks. This, you see, is what the doctors prescribe for themselves. They also recommend their patients, when from pecuniary or other potent reasons there is imminent danger of said patient slipping through their fingers; other wise it would be against medical policy to send a patient to a place where, if people have any ailments, they must have brought them with them—as the landlady retorted to the lodger who ventured to remonstrate on the prevalence in his sleeping apartment of that scientifically interesting through physically objectionable insect re nowned for its skill, surgical as well as acrobatical.
Talking of doctors reminds me of a poor old digger we have in our midst, but who I am afraid will not be with us much longer. He is a Frenchman by birth, and, as a boy, ran away to sea from Havre, near which port he was born. After many erperiences by land and sea, amongst which whaling in the Behring Straits, Arctic Regions and other parts of the world play a considerable part; he was swallowed up in the vortex of the great maelstrom, otherwise called the gold-fever, which flung so many of the best, and worst, of humanity on the shores of this new Continent about the middle of the present century. Like other diggers he has been from end to end of the colony (if not colonies). I am not well up in the antiquities of this district, but believe it was about fifteen years ago that there was some consider able excitement in connection with gold finds in what is now known as the Haunted Gully—name only too obviously suggestive of romance of an eirie, not to say tragic nature. There are several surivors of those palmy days, when there were no less than 400 men at one time at what is called Scotchman's Reef or Point. Some of these still occasionally, more especially when, as at the present time, they are down on their luck, take a turn at the old life; only recently there was quite a little revival in this direction, but the fever has died out again. The only one who, through good report and evil report, through storm and sunshine, has remained true to his first love, is the old man of whom I speak. For several years at least our Jack has been firm in his attachment to the fern gullies. He has played a lone hand. It is indeed pathetic to see the perfect understand ing evidently existing between this apparently rough old man and his only friend—the little wiry-haired Scotch terrier, who has for yeaers shared the bed and board of the Hermit of Haunted Gully. "Good dog! My word yon may well say that, sir," as he runs to meet him on his return to the hut which serves as "home," leaping up and licking his hands and face; "but I shall never care for a dog so much as the one I had before that." When asked what became of this for mer favorite, he relates how one day, when the dog, as usual, was bearing him company, a tree which he was engaged in felling crashed the faithful brute, and, added the old man, "I don't mind telling YOU, sir—I cried." And no wonder, after fifteen years of such faithful service, such true-hearted friendship as only dogs—and woman—give. The old man must now be nearly seventy, and limbs and eyesight begin to fail. Urged to consult a doctor in town about his sight, he becomes somewhat alarmed at the prospect of finding himself alone in Melbourne. "Why, I should get bushed," he piteously pleads. "And then some bloomin' cart'nd be over me before I'd know where I was." He is only a specimen—one amongst the many pioneers of this great Continent—at home only in the bush. Men who have fought a good fight, too. Men who have battled like heroes with the well-nigh overpowering forces of nature. Men for whom, having faced him a thousand times, Death has no terrors. The only thing which con quers them (besides success, in which they often behave as anything but heroes) is age and infirmity. Then their country rewards them, in the chronically overcrowded state of the Benevolent Asylum, with apartments in—the gaol.11

 
S Bourke Morn Journ1 Mar 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. "Happy is the country that has no "history!" said ----; well you'll find the quotation in Shakespeare or the bible or some such incontrovertable authority. The author of the saying, anyhow, must have had a prophetic eye on Australia, where at present we are making history fast, seeming to have lost the "happy mean." Now it is always a Flood or a Famine, a Boom or a Buster. Either way the country suffers in the end, but meanwhile the heart of the historian is happy ; the ink-slinger revels in "copy" tho' there is "the devil to pay." In this sense we must congratulate ourselves in these regions, that, altho' from a physical geographical point of view, our ups and downs are of the most pronounced (not to say picturesque) character, we are not making history at an alarming rate of speed. Still to the faithful chronicler the smallest of beer is as worthy a place as the biggest of bottles ; in due proportion.
It therefore behoves me to state that within the last week the population of Beaconsfield "Upper" has been increased by ONE. The little stranger and her mama are announced to be doing as well as can be expected." By the way, talking of history naturally carries one's mind back to the origin of our village. It may interest even some of the inhabitants to learn how we came by our name. My own memory will not transport me to such a remote age, but happening to converse with the "oldest inhabitant" the other day over a social glass, I was regaled with some of his reminiscences of the olden time. After relating many stirring anecdotes of the early days when he and a few other hardy pioneers used to visit these hills, having discovered for themselves what has since become patent to the public—their great claims from many points of view, both practical and sentimental—he proceeded: Having brought these claims prominently before the Government, we at length persuaded them to throw open the land in the neighborhood in 20 acre residential blocks. The public took up the selections readily enough, but actual settlement proceeded very slowly. Beyond the "Big House"—and a few others, there were no houses worth speaking of. Something must be done to hasten the advent of that glorious future which we all believed to be in store for the district. We decided that we must apply for a post and telegraph service. Then arose the difficulty that the place altho' with more than one "local habitation" possessed no name. Nothing more definite was then known of it by the general public than that it was somewhere in the Berwick Ranges (as they were then called). Lord Beaconsfield had just returned from the Berlin conference, bringing "Peace with honor." and naturally no more honorable name could occur to any one than that of the hero of the hour. The name was fixed and a deputation proceeded to interview the Postmaster-general and request that a much needed post and telegraph station be forthwith established at the township of that name. "Beaconsfield ?" is the puzzled query of the official in question. "Don't know the place. Where is it?" To whom the spokesman of the deputation with pained and aggrieved surprise. "Is it possible that you are unaware of the existence of our township!" Hereupon an explanation of its whereabouts and a reference to the latest map on which is pointed out by our Pilgrim Fathers the agglomeration of residential allotments, which look like so many farms crowded together. An impression of population, which, it may be depended, was rather encouraged than otherwise by the far-seeing founders of the settlement. To be brief, our indefatigable deputationists got their prayer granted (on conditions), for six months trial, or some certain period. "You may be sure" says my informant, "that a good many telegrams flew to and fro' over those wires for the next few months, not all of which were dictated by urgent necessity." "Ah! those were palmy days indeed, when retrenchment was not born.
Gembrook is still suffering a visita tion from bush fires. I learn that some of the inhabitants were engaged fighting the flames from Saturday morning until Sunday. One newly built house was only saved by the ingenious device of hanging blankets up on the side exposed to the fury of the fire. In yet another case a store man, whose store was threatened, removed all the goods he could lay his hands on including a lot of kerosene. The store was saved, but the oil and the goods removed ignited through the flaming bits of bark which showered down. It may he imagined that there was a pretty flare-up. I have not been able to ascertain what has been the result of the canvas from house to house which has been inside for subscriptions to aid one of the sufferers by last weeks fire to re-build his house and purchase clothes, &c., so much needed. I only know that althou' the sums given (so far as this district is concerned) are mostly small, the will to help is great.12

 
S Bourke Morn Journ8 Mar 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. One hundred and five in the shade! Shade indeed! The word generally connects itself in the mind with some idea of coolness, but when the top has gone out of the thermometer let us put the s at the other end of the word and we have that which better describes the situation— Hades! That is, according to popular ideas, personally, I am not yet in a position to make a a comparison. The rain which fell on Friday and Saturday tended to freshen up vegetation, and above all, relieved some of the inhabitants from the nightmare of saving to cart water. We are thankful for small mercies, but, like Oliver, we cannot refrain from "asking for more."
The numerous friends of the Rev. Mr. Wilson of Lower Beaconsfield, will learn with regret of the death of his little baby daughter. Much sympathy is felt with the sorrowing mother and father in this sad bereavement.
We have not quite done with bush fires and their consequences yet. It appears that a few days since the fire-fiend, who it was thought, had been finally repulsed, but who had apparently only been lurking below in ths gully sent out a scout to reconnoitre, who, finding one of the out-houses of the Beaconsfield House hotel unprotected, attacked and soon made short work of it including the contents, which consisted of a large covered waggonette, commonly known by the ill omened appellation of "Black Maria" and two smaller carriages. Nothing could he done to save either the shed or vehicles even had there been plenty of water, which is now (or was then), well nigh more precious than whisky.
The friends, and they are not easily numbered, of Mr. and Mrs. Lenne will learn with regret of the accident which befel the popular hostess of the Pine Grove hotel on Sunday last. Whilst on an equestrian excursion with some friends in the neighborhood of Gembrook, she was thrown from her horse. Being conveyed with all possible despatch to her home, the services of a medical man were soon called into requisition, when it was discovered that three ribs were fractured. At present I am not in a position to give further details, but hope ere the despatch of this letter to the post, to give you more information as to the position and aspect of the case.
Poor old Jack the Digger, of whom I told you something in a former letter, has paid his long-looked-forward-to and not a-little-dreaded visit to town. By previous arrangement a French gentleman who was recently a visitor here met him at the railway station in town, and conducted him to the doctor's. The verdict was against him, and it now remains to be seen what his friends are capable of in the way of assistance, for if this poor old rudderless wreck is left to compass the entrance to any of the much-vaunted charitable institutions of Victoria without a pilot, and lacking provisions for a pro longed beating about outside the desired haven; it will go hard indeed with him. Notwithstanding the gloomy outlook for the poor old man, one cannot but be amused at the quaint way in which he describes some little incidents of his trip. His compatriot (Mr. Jack also is French, and hence perhaps some of the kindly interest shewn to him by the comparative stranger) "ran me about the streets like a kangaroo, complains the, digger, "in here, out there," round the corner, taking what he called the short cuts. "Thus his guide, it appears, was too particular for Jack as regards the use of buttons, etc., such attention to details being beneath the notice of the old bushman—"We never take any notice of that sort of thing in the bush, you know, sir." Although, I must say, in justice to the ancient mariner, that he had got his mate to give him a clean shave, which, with a soft black felt hat, a fairly good coat and trousers and clean Crimean'shirt, made a not unpresentable appearance. In the doctor's waiting room, cooped up with a lot of other patients (?), including, "two babbies squalling so you could hear 'em a mile away, and me that hot, and dying for a drink of water," no wonder he wished himself back in the bush. .
Further information re the accident to Mrs. Lenne states that the exact spot where the mishap occurred was on the bit of corduroy road near to Paternoster's. It would appear that the unfortunate lady, who was riding rather a spirited animal, must have pulled too sharply on the curb ; the horse reared and fell over the declivity, which is here rather abrupt, throwing Mrs. Lenne with force against the trunk of a tree. One of the three broken ribs is rather badly splintered, and although Mr Lenne states that the patient is progressing as well as could fairly be expected ; such a state of affairs must cause great anxiety both to husband and friends. However, as Dr. Elmes has the case in hand; we may rest assured that all that skill and care can effect will be done for the poor sufferer.
Although at present much inclined towards doleful dumps, there is still a healthy leaven amongst us with spirit enough left to sing "Nil Desperandum, I'll never despair." The Anglican Church services, which have for years past been carried on in fair weather and foul, summer and winter, through the indefatigable energy of the Rev. Mr. Hill of Berwick, have not pecuniarly paid expenses from the commencement. At one time, and that for a considerable period, they were the only services held by any christian sect in this district, and, although there is at present a fortnightly Presbyterian service under the efficient ministration of Rev. Mr. Rocke of Cranbourne, there is sufficient life in the Church of old England yet to fill the hearts of her children with a desire that her usefulness shall not be impaired for lack of funds. In short, a deficiency has to be made up. Well ! this is no unfamiliar state of affairs in Victoria now, and taking example by our new Government, the Beaconsfield Cabinet have uttered the watchword : Retrenchment first; Taxation afterwards. The Saving (up) has already commenced with the promoters, and it is hoped the exmaple will be followed by their friends as it will be a necessary preparation for what is to come. for like the old Roman Emperor the Executive Council has decreed that all the world shall he taxed (or as much of it as they can lay hands on). However, there is to be "no taxation without representation," or in other words with the immortal Artemus, "The fairest I can say to you ladies is that altho' you can't go in without paying, you may pay without going in." Which enables me to break it gently, and with bated breath, that the Taxation alluded to is not unlikely to take the shape of an "All Nations Fair"—not quite on the Chicago scale, be it understood. What ever it is will be worth seeing, but more anon. I'm told that Easter-tide is not unlikely as the time.—Meanwhile let us Retrench.13

 
S Bourke Morn Journ15 Mar 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Walk up ladies and gentlemen! Walk up and see the live lion (stuffed with straw) ! Such is the good old showman's cry, insepiably connected, with our memories of "childhoods happy days." Accompanied is this phantom sound by a babel of other sounds in which the sound of drum and speaking trumpet figure very prominently and to the minds eye at the same tine is presented visions of the showman in grotesque costumes, with some of their still more grotesquely clad performers frantically trying to persuade the crowd to patronise their particular show in preference to all others, not scrupling to hint in language more forcible and picturesque than polite the most disparaging things anent the opposition shop over the way; a delicate compliment more than repaid by the positively asseverated certainties with regard to to the rank and palpable nature of the swindling perpetrated in the first establishment given vent to by the theatrical gentleman alluded to. "Ach ! v-ere is dat barty now"! sighs old Hans Breitmann, opining finally that it is relegated with the "last year's znow on moundins prow, away in dicewigkeit." And so it is with the old world Fair, at least so far as we English speaking races are concerned, for it still survives with many of its ancient glories in some out-of-the-way places on the continent of Europe. Well ! like many other much regretted (in some quarters) phases of the "good old times" no doubt greater familiarity would with us, as with Hans Anderson's old gentlemen in the "Goloshes of Fortune," breed a well merited contempt. Still many of us like to get as accurate a notion as possible of what our grand parents and great great grandparents did and said and how they amused themselves. I well remember as a boy, being highly delighted with the life-like representations of "Richardson's" and other of the good old shows at the Crystal Palace Dramatic Fetes. As a rule I had no hankering after a vision of the "Two headed night ingale" the "Hairless horse" or such like curiosities, but I remember once when showing a German friend the glories of Derby Day at Epsomn, he, a spare thin little man as you would meet in a day's march, was irresistably attracted by a gorgeous representition of "The fat lady." Having handed over the coin demanded, we were rewarded with a sight of this adipose monstrosity. She offered to shake hands but —— we incontinently fled. Like Artemus Ward "It was on account of the muchness that we declined." But whence all this rub-a-dub-dub, this blare of trumpets and these remines ceses of shows and showman ? Patience awhile my friend !
Didn't I tell you in my last that I had heard rumours of an All Nations Fair to be held in this neighborhood. Since then the rumours have lost much of their misty nature and taken definite shape; and it is the talk that has been engendered thereby that has infected your faithful chronicler and got reflected in this mirror. Personally, with all the best wishes for the success of this laudable effort in aid of the church services' fund at Upper Beaconsfield, I can't help being haunted by a phantom fear that it may in some way clash with that little venture over in Chicago, and thus disturb the amity of nations. They'll be so apt to think we copied the idea from them. Be that as it may, and there may be "nothing in it," but the same cannot be said of the proposed programme of our forthcoming show. Third, I won't vouch for it as genuine, and I may get into trouble for this premature publication, as it was filched by--(No ! wild, horses shan't drag her name from me)—from the archives of the association. Well ! Here it is without any guarantee or responsibility on my part whatever. It is simply given for what it may be worth, and as showing the really novel ideas that are floating in the minds of the promoters: —Gates open at 2 p.m.—Grand proces sion of all nations.—Variety entertain ment—Maypole dance (practicable May pole).—Great wild beast show (positively no danger).—Bohemian al-fresco (this I suppose means tea-fight).—Mrs. Jarley's waxworks (all alive).—Shadow pantomime. —Great feats of strength.—Conjuring.— Performing elephant (reared in the colonies).—Bulgarian atrocities (with apolo gies to the Sultan)—concluding with a moonlight concert (moon specially engaged regardless of expense for the occasion) and dancing—the whole to conclude at 10 p.m., when the chucker-out-in-chief has strict orders to compel the delighted crowd to depart. I am led to believe that the costumes (more or less correct) of all nations (and possibly a few more) will be represented by the worthy showmen and their lady coadjutors, which ought to add very greatly to the effect. Farm, garden and dairy produce (all of which it is hoped by the committee that kind friends will give freely) will be on sale. Fruits and flowers also in plenty, besides cakes, aprons, and various other articles which appeal to the thrifty housewife. Fortunately for the peace of mind of the long suffering hus band, and the devoted but economically inclined swain, those tantalisingly impos sible fancy things which are gorgeous, expensive, but for which the male eye can see no mortal use, are apparently to be conspiconns by their absence. In short, the confiding countryman is to be amused and not abused. As a guarantee of this I am credibly informed that in the refreshment depart ment there will he fixed charges which will be eligibly posted in prominent positions, and from which no departure will be made except, perhaps, in the case of parents with their quiverful, in which instance it is broadly hinted that justice will be tempered with mercy. These charges have been fixed at a very low figure. The highest for an adult securing tea and sandwiches, cake, bread and butter, &c., as much as a reasonable being can accommodate comfortably for sixpence —with proportionate reductions for children.
Of local news other than the all-absorb inc topic it is difficult to get details.
I am glad to say that Mrs. Lenne is progressing favorably, having been allowed by her medical adviser to rise from her bed of pain for the first time on Saturday last. She has still, however, to take great care, and is only allowed to see her most intimate friends for a few minutes occasion ally.
As regards the weather, there have been so many samples since last writing, that it is too large an order to embark on at the end of a letter, suffice it to say that we, like yourselves, have had welcome rains, and such a change in temperature as to make a fire positively comforting. Now again it is getting warm.14

 
S Bourke Morn Journ22 Mar 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. The Fair fever is decidedly catching, at least it has caught on here in the most approved fashion. I suppose it is the dearth of rational (or, perhaps I had better say other rational) amusements, but certain it is that in many quarters all other topics of conversation are voted flat, stale and unprofitable, and "motley's" the only wear.
By-the-way, they say that Mr. Lenne is not going to hold his usual Easter Monday sports this year, and has very kindly offered to lend the All Nations' Fair promoters some of the apparata, including saloon rifles and a magnificent cross-bow of the true William Tell model. I am afraid tho' we must resign ourselves to something less ambitious than a reproduction of the Tell-ing apple incident, Apples are too scarce this season to be recklessly risked in this fashion; and although, as far as boys are concerned, there are people unkind enough to say "they never would be missed." the boys seem to think differently. Not out of any respect for the shooting powers of the possibly would-be marksmen, mind ! The bump of reverence has no existence in the cranium of the Australian boy, and consequently it would be wrong to blame him for the palpably poor estimation in which he holds his elders-superiors, of course he has none. Although, however, for the defective cerebral development in the direction above mentioned, the native youth is really not of such a Stygian line as it is customary to depict him. He is really very tolerant of those who are placed in authority over him, that is so long as they do not materially interfere with his enjoyment. Should these bounds be at any time exceeded, a bill for the Abolition of Parents and Guardians would certainly enlist the suffrages of the majority of boys throughout the colonies.
Mrs. Lenne is progressing favorably still, but it must naturally be a long time, before she can thoroughly regain health after such a severe shaking. It is to be hoped that, now the attention of the Council has in such a very practical fashion been called to this dangerous place, some steps will be taken to render such a catastrophe impossible for the future.
Besides a bazaar under the auspices of the Presbyterians at Berwick, in which many of our residents, are more or less directly interested and which is to be held on Easter Monday, there is to be a concert on the same evening at the Assembly Hall in our little village. Miss Craik is taking a leading part in the arrangements for the programme, which will include some good singing and playing and a treat for the young ones (aye, and old too), in the shape of a magic lantern ; the series of views being elucidated by Mr Mummery with oppropriate mechanical and vocal musical accompaniment. The prices of admission are to be strictly on the fashionable retrenchment scale.
We have at present on a visit to one of our residents a gentleman from Adelaide who (now retired) was one of the largest fruitgrowers for the Adelaide market. He informs me that he has sent as much as one ton of strawberries into town in one day. From a cursory inspection of the district he is inclined to agree with Mr. Neilson as to the suitability of soil and climate here for the cultivation of this Queen of fruits ; bit with him also he insists on the thorough cultivation of the soil, both preparatory and during the growth of the crop. "Better do a little well than a lot badly." He was also one of the pioneers of fruit-exporting to Europe, and his account of the adventures of one of his earliest shipments brings vividly before one the manifold perils which have to be undergone before the fruit can come under the cognizance of the consumer "at home."
"I had engaged freight for several hundred cases by the—(one of the big mail boats), says my informant, "and taken the precaution to be several months beforehand in doing so, knowing the eagerness of the Tasmanians in this re spect. Imagine my disgust then, when, a short time before the time of departure, I casually call in at the office of the agents and, on making some allusion to the freight I had supposed already secured, am informed that he much regrets that there is some mistake, as the whole of the cool chamber accommodation has been secured in Sydney. I storm and rave, but with small effect, the utmost concession that I can obtain being a paltry 40-50 cases. Under ordinary circumstances I should have rejected such an offer with scorn, but as I am travelling by the same steamer determine to take even such a small quantity. About 40 cases, there fore, of the choicest produce, of our orchard are selected, and packed with all the care a mother takes in putting her little ones to bed. With the greatest care the precious consignment is conveyed to the landing place. Alas! here the ill usage commences. It makes one's heart jump to see how the cases are knocked about in being transferred to the steam tender, which is the medium between the shore and the ship. Being on deck, and at best badly protected from the weather, they are liable to be plentifully sprinkled with salt water. Having barely had time to partially remedy this, we arrive at the ship's side. Here I am horrified at the tray in which many of the goods are handled ; swung in twenties and thirties in ordinary rope slings, which half-cut through many of the cases, the seas meanwhile dashing over them, there seems little chance of any fruit arriving in fair condition on the London market. lean stand this no longer, and, whilst I go in search of the officer in charge re ceiving the goods on board the steamer, tell my son, who remained on the tender, 'George, you stand by and dare them to touch a single case of our stuff', and George did his duty, but you should have heard the captain of those lumpers swear. By strenuous representations and a per sonal inspection the officer is induced to alter the mode of slinging, and with five cases only in hand slings the risk is minimised. Then, by means of a tip to the stowers, I got them to handle the cases like so many babies in putting them into the cool chamber. On the voyage I paid several visits to the refrigerator to view the state of things, and on one occasion found the floor of the room swimming in grape juice, which had, of course, ruined a lot of cases placed on the lowest tiers. However, I rescued some of mine, which were only slightly stained. On the occasoin of these precious cases being sold at Covent Garden, I had the advantage of standing at the elbow of Mr. White, to give him any little explan ation that seemed needed. You can well think that after all the perils my fruit and I had undergone by sea and land, I was not a little proud to see that it all turned out in excellent condition. Much of it fetched the highest price ever till then obtained for Australian fruit, and crowning joy, two cases of Napoleon pears, in absolutely perfect condition, realised the fancy price of £2 16s. per case."15

 
S Bourke Morn Journ29 Mar 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Easter-tide, and with it the tide of visitors returns. The ebb and flow are pretty constant. Mid-summer, Easter and Mid-winter are our gay and festive seasons, when like poor old Rip we wake up, shake ourselves, note that the world has moved on a bit, and—return to our slumbers. Of course we don't really stay in bed during the whole interval. The work has to be done somehow, and naturally our neighbors' affairs have a fatal fascination for us, for, though so much nearer heaven than the bulk of humanity, we are only mortal after all. But as for the world at large, we might as well be cut off completely from all communication with it, for all the influence it apparently has on our daily life. True we should some of us miss the Cyclorama of the Globe in our "Argus" and our "Age," but then, as the keen witted crofter of the Isle of Skye remarked to the tourist, who was commiserating him on the isolated position of the inhabitants during the six months or more of their stormy winter, when they are shut off from all communication with the main land and could therefore get no news from the Great Babylon, "A well, sir, and you're in nae better possetion yer sel; ye can get nae news from us." I am afraid that my attempt at a reproduction of too original Scotch (I beg pardon, of our Gaelic friends, Scottish I believe is the correct term) will be voted an ignoble failure by the cognoscenti. Unfortunately for myself, however, I have ever been unable to master the peculiarities of the language of Burns and his worshippers. That this is my loss, I am only too well aware, but, being denied a knowledge of "English as she is spoke" in Scotland and the United States, both noted for their purity of speech and intonation, I am forced to be content with the dialect of London for all general purposes.
Well, fortunately, we are not only not likely to be so completely isolated as our North British friend. On the contrary, things point to increased facilities now that Mr. Craik has secured the contract for carrying the mails in future. In the first place it is more than probable that instead of having as at present send a letter off before 8 o'clock a.m. at our post office, in order that it may quietly crawl along the line as far as Warragul and then return at a slightly accelerate pace past the point of dispatch, finally ending its way via Princes Bridge to the post office in Melbourne, and so on to the addressee, who gets it, if all go well, about 3 o'clock in the city, or perhaps by 7 o'clock in the suburbs. Send a letter, however, on Friday after 8 a.m. and your city corresdondent's heart will be rejoiced with the same about Monday morning. Now we shall change all that, at least if the powers that be are not anxious to find out that excellent way of "How not to do it" Mr. Craik being, I understand, willing, there is nothing to hinder our letters being posted some where about 11 a.m. and still reaching town before two p.m; moreover this gentleman is prepared to carry two mails a day at a very slight increase (if any) on that charged for one. Great advantage must accrue to the district through thus being brought within practicable speaking distance of the Marvellous.
And what of the Fair? Ah! there's the rub. Like poor Mr. Dick with King Charles's head I've been trying to keep it out, but it is of no avail; of that which the heart is full the mouth will speak. It is a matter of decided local interest, as any-one that has been in the place for four and twenty hours can testify, and from this very interest it is pretty safe to prophesy a success. From the heights of Gembrook, from the plains of Pakenham a cheering note has sounded. The natives of Narree Warren have notified their intention of coming and bringing their households with them, and the good people of Berwick will march up the hills in a body. And the natives of the earth, (or the few representatives of them here and hereabouts) are a-mind to be fully equal to the occasion. One thing I can promise the public is, that if they come in the spirit to be amused they will have their money's worth. Why I is'nt it worth paying a shilling (beyond anything you may spend on the way) for the sake of the glorious views you obtain en route of the glorious mountain land; and then the scent of the gum forests and the lovely glimpses of the fern gullies, with the suggestions they give of hidden beauties beyond. And now you come to the highest paint of the journey, with its magnificent sweep of land and seascape, in which-ever direction the eye may gaze. Now you look across the gullies and over the tops of tall gum trees to the undulating hills around Berwick, that township which everyone from the old country says is "so English you know." Farther on again the eye sweeps across the plains to Mordialloc and Port Phillip lying ablaze in the afternoon sun. Still further, when the sun is not so blinding, and by the aid of a good glass, the Heads can be dis cerned, aye I and even the steamers with their pennant of smoke passing in and out; and at night the electric flash from the light-house makes itself visible. Looking south, and this is the view which principly charms us from the heights of "Ttekceba" and the other residences so picturesquely dotted about, across the plains around Cranbourne and on to Tooradin the eye is at once arrested by the broad hand of light made by the waters of Western Port, with French Island beyond.
Yes, you may well spend an afternoon less profitably than by taking such a ride or drive as this. As to the profit to yourself, after passing the gates of the fair, well ! you must not look upon the matter from too strictly an £ s. d. point of view. Rest assured that unless you enter in a carping, cynical frame of mind (and then you'd better stay at home) you will not fail to be amused. Of course there are some people (but such we know are not among our readers) who cannot see a joke, even of the palpable brilliancy of the electric light. Such an one was it that remarked in my hearing one night, after a clever performance of H.M.S. Pinafore, when it first appeared in Mel bourne with Miss Lingard in her charming impersonation of Josephine, " Well, I've heard tell a deal of this here Pinafore but I'll be hanged if I can see anything in it, it's so improbable!"16

 
S Bourke Morn Journ5 Apr 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. 'Tis not in mortals to command success, But we'll do more, Sempronius. We'll deserve it. It is a perilous thing, either hero or in Old England, as all know who have had anything to do with Easter encampments, to plan open air entertainments of what kind or sort soever for the fickle month of April. Bright was the dawn of All Fools' Day and cheery the hearts of those good people who had spared neither time nor trouble in planning and contriving a little harmless fun and frolic for the youths of all ages. Of all ages, I repeat, for I am one of those who hold with the French proverb. "One has the age of one's heart." What matter the number of years so long as the heart be young, otherwise (were our heart old and wighted) even Methusaleh might have the advantage of the blasé youth of twenty. "'Tis love that makes the world go round" and while we preserve this power in its purity we need not fear that vital force will fail us. But where have I wandered to? Just so:—Yes, many a heart 'ere yet the day grows old—but let us not anticipate. Far better let us take things in due order, and having secured a ticket at the "Charing Cross" post office or these being sold out trusting to that open sesame the shilling, drive on to the place of action with that "Through the looking glass" name "don't you know." Being early, we can have a quiet look round, and few lovelier prospects may you see in fair Victoria than the cyclorama which surround you as you near the object of your journey. The first thing that attracts the eye as we are driving up to the grand old English entrance gates is a Maypole, dressed as we see them in pictures of the olden time with garland at the top (which must be fully five-and-twenty feet from the ground) and a spiral of greenery from that to the base. This with the many colored ribbons plaited around the post and no doubt intended for the use of the Mayday mummers, forms a very good earnest of what we may expect on further exploration. A few yards further and we espy a substantial merry-go-round, already in possession of a merry group of children and so well supporting its name and them. At the gate we are accosted by a country man of Ali Baba, and being reassured by this magnificently clad eastern as to the powers of the open sesame above alluded to we enter, not without vague fears in connection with the Forty Thieves. But if we are to be relieved of our spare cash, and some of it at least must go, let it rather be by means of some of those Charming Robbers who now assail us, who are Fair, but certainly not one of whom is Forty less the half. The fortune teller's tent (Miss F. A'Beckett) comes first. Our faith, however, in the future, is not so great that we can risk our after noon's enjoyment for fear of what this bewitchingly attired Gipsy maiden's cards might reveal. A few paces further and a cunningly devised bower, constructed apparently by some fairies of the fern gullies, in fact a perfect bower amongst the trees is appropriately placed. The flower market with its fair attendants the Misses Ethel Craik, Ada Hollow and Lily Chalmers. You may be sure it is not long before every eligible youth has been "button-holed," and so gracefully withal that he is made happy for the rest of the day. I said "has been" but "would have been" were the better expression, for operations were prematurely interfered with and a wet blanket neatly arranged over this as well as the rest of the show by a downpour of rain which had threatened for a long time. The post office had to be closed by the fair post mistress (Miss Elms), and the amount of damage thus inflicted by the clerk of the weather on the future prospects of numerous young people who were eagerly expecting missives through the medium of Cupid's letter box, is perfectly beyond the means of calculation of your faithful contributor. The fancy goods stall under the superintendence of the Misses Goff, Peers and Margery A'Beckett, had of course to be hastily closed and the delicate goods removed to safer quarters. The produce stall presided over by the Misses Craik and Mackenzie was well stocked, and despite the weather a fair trade was done, owing to the indomitable energy of these young ladies. By the wise foresight of the promoters, a weather-tight abode had been planned for the Japanese maidens, the Misses Estelle and Christine A'Beckett in their quaint realistic costumes. This most important feature of the show being personally presided over by the prime promoters and moving spirits of the whole undertaking, Mesdames E. A'Beckett and Mackley. Of the really tasteful transformation which had taken place in this part of the grounds space forbids that I should speak at length, only allow me to say that the arrange ments both artistic and gastronomical did every credit to all concerned. In speaking of the refreshment department I must by no means pass over Miss Williams, the dispenser of hop beer, whose business like others was sadly interfered with by the rain. Of the fancy dress costumes in which the stall holders, showmen, &c. appeared, considerations of space prevent me from speaking at length. The men seemed to favor Oriental costumes, whilst the ladies seemed too confine their choice to no time; country or climate, but withal, looked as is their wont, charming. The concert although (or shall I say because) it had to be held indoors was a success. I know that because I was told so, but must decline to particularise as I was unavoidably absent during the greater part of the performance. The side shows decidedly suffered, as "the best show Barnun" had to be transferred from the booth appropriated it to a comparatively small room in the house. However, the harrowing tragedy of Blue Beard, showing the heads of his three wives; the Siamese White Elephant; which was really cleverly performed and caused great merriment amongst the children ; and the German Dwarf served to pass a pleasant hour and bring in something substantial to the fund. Altogether it may be hoped, although no definite in formation of course is as yet forthcoming, that notwithstasiding the bad weather something solid will have been done in the direction desired—that of wiping out the small debt in connection with the local church service.
On Monday night a concert, followed by a display of dissolving views, was held in the Assembly Hadl in aid of the same good cause. The first part of the pro gramme contained some pleasing numbers, amongst which was Miss Craik's "Home, sweet home," well rendered and encored ; several solos and duets by the Misses Layton, with whose really fine voices the audience was delighted. Mr. Evans rendered the "Death of Nelson" in good style and voice ; Miss Goff played a piano forte solo very correctly and; with good taste, and her younger brother, in conjunction with a Mr.Vail, acquitted himself well in a duet. After the concert, a series, of dissolving views, illustrating parts of Scotland; Ireland and Victoria, as also some interesting views of Brisbane after the floods, were exhibited, also a series called "The Lifeboat," with appro priate songs, this part of the entertain ment winding up with some comic figures with which the young folk were highly delighted. On the whole a very pleasant evening was passed, by an audience which would have been much augmented had the weather been more propitious. The thanks (expressed at the meeting) are certainly due to Miss Craik and her co-adjutors, including Mr. Mummery, for the energy and good taste displayed, both in arranging and carrying out the programme and in the decoration of the hall.17

 
S Bourke Morn Journ12 Apr 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. "The crisis is upon us !" said the stranger, and poor simple Artemus forthwith springs up on the seat of the railway carriage and earnestly requests the speaker to turn the brute out. And no doubt the other day, when the fact that the Commercial Bank had stopped payment became known in Berwick and the regions of Arcadia around it, including even our own mountain fastnesses, the people felt that on the whole an avalanche or an earthquake would have been preferable to the crisis. Now that the reports of the enthusiastic meetings in favor of immediate re-construction have begun to filter through our bucolic brains we breathe once more, and although the candid amongst us have to confess to a certain want of comprehension which prevents us from grasping the situation in all its bearings, still, an inkling that the whole affair is just a cunning coup de theatre on the part of the rulers of their well beloved bank is beginning to possess the minds of many of its truthful constituents. That the chairman of directors elect, will, if not ideally perfect, be in the highest degree Service-able to the new institution is as much beyond dispute as the utility of the sunand rain to the farmer.
I really think that the Rangers (if I may so call the inhabitants of these hills) are as food of-their country as any Swiss or Tyrolese of his. And "small blame to them," for it is as charming a country "though I say it as should'nt" as any you need wish to see. Of course each looks upon a landscape from his own particular point- of view. The grazier looks for grass, the sportsman for game, and the land-boomer (but that was before the deluge) for pocket-handkerchief allotments. If he cannot see room for his particular hobby all interest ceases; you may indicate the beauties from an artist's point of view, the same as you may invite the inmates of the Asylum for the blind to view the National Gallery—cui bono?
But let us be content to take the country just as it is and as I saw it in a ride I had with a friend a few days since—to take it with its constantly recurring yet ever varying hill and dale, forest and farm, gully and garden, seen now in detail and now from some grand coign of vantage in a panorama that reminds one forcibly of one of Budelot's pictures—that of the Buffalo mountains—only infinitely more beauti ful than any effort of artist's brush can compass, is the living picture, with its ever shifting lights and shadows, in fickle moods of an autumnal day.
A time will come when we shall have our poet of the Highlands, then will these thousand hills that have no name, these giant granite tors—great silent witnesses of countless centuries gone by, these gullies clothed in tropical luxuriance, with fern trees, banksias, and the giant gum, just as they lived long æons ere man was made, speak out with voice articulate to the world what until then is whispered to a few in language which is felt but cannot be conveyed to others for want of the inspired translator.
Pending the advent of the poet, however, it were perhaps more prudent to confine myself to the regions of the prosaic practical. And undoubtedly practical is the bridge that I now stand upon successor to two or three carried away by the Cardinia in flood. I am told that the present one, built under the auspices of the shire engineer by Mr. Grieve, cost between £200 and £300, and well and truly built it appears to be. If you ask me the exact situation of this monument of perseverance I must plead ignorance. I have delivered myself over for the after- noon to my guide, philosopher and friend (and he is good in the triune capacity), and am content to look to him for light and leading. I know that some time previous we passed the hospitable Pine Grove, but he who thinks to attribute my mental obfuscation to that source errs most egregiously. Our excursion in that direction was bounded by the bridge, and, returning by another way we soon passed the residence of Mr. Morris, the Bishop's registrar, and after sighting the ancestral home of the Glismanns, descended to Stony Creek. Here, on what to me is historic ground—having, as a new chum, some years ago wandered from a picnic party and been all but bushed (all by myself be it understood)—here, I say, we come up on the sound of the rude axe, and find what will be a neat little bridge in course of construction. Very picturesque is the site of this structure, and, which will appeal to the majority more strongly, very practical is the nature of the improvement. Besides giving a shortcut between Upper Beaconsfield and the heights beyond the creek, on which a good many residences are situated, it will, I am credibly informed, bring the inhabitants of "our village" several miles nearer to their market town of Dandenong.
This, to the practical man, must surely plead as some justification of such a work, whilst to the tourist, who must certainly be considered in a pleasure resort like ours, a most picturesque portion of the district is made practicable, nay, even convenient for carriages. Whilst on this point, I may mention that reliable rumor says we are within measurable distance of having sign-posts at "the parting of the ways." This is a step in the right direction, and will enable the stranger within our gates to take one too. These visitors are "kittle cattle." We have no difficulty in attracting them, but unless we do something to keep them (besides allowing them to get bushed), and keep them amused, the place may know them no more. Lorne, Macedon and Bright are names to compete with, and if we cannot, like the latter, support an Alpine Club with guides and guide books, let us at least have guide posts giving intelligent (and intelligible) directions, which shall lead the confiding stranger over good roads and bridges the principal places of interest in the urrounding district. Apropos of this subject would be to provide a few-copies of the Government parish maps, to be placed at the Shire Hall and the principal hotels and Mechanics' Institutes with the praticable roads colored. Even to residents this would be a great help as needless to say, that every map road, although it may possibly be a high-way or even a shortcut (to destruction) does not represent a thorough fare in the ordinary acceptation of the term. These suggestions I offer free of charge to my fellow "villagers" merely stipulating that should they (the suggestions, not the villagers) be adopted in the fullness of time, my descendants be spared the misery of a monument to my memory in the market place of "Charing Cross."
They tell me that in spite of the in clement weather on the immortal first the All Nations Fair is like to have accomplished the primary end for which it was incepted, viz, the payment of rent for the past year for use of the building in which the church services are held. Had the weather only been fine the receipts would, at a most moderate estimate, have been trebled and the committee have had a substantial surplus in hand toward. meeting the expenses of the current year.—However, they are no doubt thankful for small mercies. We are all learning the lesson now-a-days.18

 
S Bourke Morn Journ19 Apr 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. By TODEA AFRICANA. "No! NOW its up let it stay. It was at the Ballarat Exchange some years ago in a time of financial panic. The names of those who had failed to meet their engagements were from time to time chalked up on a black-board. The manager has just chalked up the name of a prominent citizen, when the individual in question enters the room. Scanning the long list of names he at last comes to his own. -Electric shock-rush for said manager-dragged by the collar to the scene of his crime-indignant demand for immediate explanation, interlarded with expletives of the most blood-curdling character and coupled with threats of an action for libel with damages undreamt of hitherto-manager by this time brought to his knees-offers abject apologies and every redress in reason-information through channel thought to be reliable. However-but as he proceeds at once to rub the offending name out, his hand is stayed with the remark which heads this letter.
The above anecdote, related to me by an eye witness of the dramatic incident is called to mind by the failure-beg pardon ! closing for re-construction of another bank. When you next visit Melbourne, look neither to the right hand nor to the left as you walk along Collins street. A glance at any one of the remaining financial institutions might be misconstrued into a motion of want of confidence; for these be ticklish times indeed, then a shrug of the shoulders may prove as powerful as a battering ram.
Gembrook is a "commodious" country. There is Gembrook North and Gembrook South, Gembrook East and Gembrook West; how many more Gembrooks exist is not known to this deponent. But you cannot make a mistake (unless you go without a guide), in visiting them all. Not all at once, but, "all in order true." And although you may not find any "gems" such as you may have been led to expect, I can promise you the sight of others the brightness of whose rays will ever be remembered and treasured in the casket of your memory, as something rich and rare of which no robber can deprive you.
On April morning, and one that might have been born in "that dear old land of England," we had agreed to make a start from my friend's house at 9 a.m., but the weather was in a wavering frame of mind and looked as if it would take until the afternoon to decide what it was going to do. Finally, about eleven o'clock it gave us a little encouragement ; quickly all mounted and the start was made. Having passed the post office and secured our letters and papers, we take the road which leads by groves of pine until "Good Rest" is reached, leaving en route the store and residence of Mr. Schlipalius. Here we turn to the left off the Main road, and, taking a track through the bush, arrive shortly at the "Mountain Home" (and aptly so named) of Mr. Hall, the late Government Whip. Perched on the top of a high hill; with great granite boulders lying around and the world spread out like a map far below it, this modest little highland retreat has a site which in the old world would have been appropriated by some grey old baronial castle, tenanted by a bold bad baron or his descendant, with a history of repine and murder dating beyond the Norman Conquest. The painter, the poet, and the composer would have con spired to throw a halo round those ancient cattle lifters and their not too refined human surroundings, until the whole country side would be teeming with romantic legend and not a mountain top or fern gully but would be the scene of some thrilling deed of daring, some tear-compelling episode of love or some hair raising and cheek-blanching ghost story, intimately connected with a ghastly tragedy "away back" in those good old days of old. But as it is, we are a matter of fact people whose history dates from yesterday, and although there being as Josh Billings sapiently remarked "a great deal of human natur in man," our black predecessors could, in the poetic language of "poker," no doubt "see" the old barons, and even "go one better" as regards most of their performances ; unfortunately no record accessible to the white man was kept of these, and the blackfellow was in such a hurry (or we will, out of consideration for the feelings of the pioneer, put it so), to shuffle off this mortal coil, that no opportunity was given to the indefatigable interviewer of the modern society journal to gain an insight into the sayings and doings and a social scandal of the upper crust amongst these real original lords of the soil. However, deprived as we must resign ourselves to be of the glamour lent by such old associations to even the most homely scene, there is still enough charm left in the view to make it worth travelling many miles to look upon.
Descending from this eagle's eyrie most people will find it the better part of valor to dismount and lead their steeds down the mountain side, towards where we now see the home of Mr. Hunt, picturesquely situated on rising ground, which stands like an island in the midst of the wide valley formed by the surrounding high hills. Passing through part of this gentleman's property we come upon a track or rather, I should say our guide apparently comes upon one, for, left to ourselves, we should here inevitably have gone astray, more especially is a mushroon gatherer whom we chanced across differed in toto from our captain on the question of direction of route. Happily we had not placed our trust in vain ; ere long we pass a little shootingbox (or such it seems to be), set down without any enclosure in the midst of the forest. This, I understand, belongs to a Captain Schutt or Schutz. The building was brought here in sections, the sides being each in one piece and merely bolted together. No doubt it serves admirably the purpose of a secure and weather-tight bush home for a short holiday. Leaving this place on our right, I should be sorry to act as guide to any confiding new chum. However, we are in a happy state of perfect trustfulness of our appointed leader, and after many ups and downs through the big gum trees and across numerous creeks we arrive at a cottage, newly built near the bottom of a big fern gully. We are told that the proprietor is a Mr. Goetz, a German gentleman who intends this neat little structure for his man, proposing to build his own house on the summit of the adjoining hill, where he is having several acres cleared by the unholy aid of the forest devil, who, we are relieved to hear, is under the complete control of the muscular Christians who have taken the contract. At this point, as it is beginning to rain, we are glad to get our luncheon bags unpacked under the friendly shelter of the verandah, and whilst discussing the cold "collar" and the succulent German sausage moistened by the benign aid of McCracken succour, the spiritual man with tales of adventure by flood and field. Now it is how our veteran leader, who seems to us to possess the unerring instinct of the black tracker in picking up a trail, was himself in his new chum days lost in the bush in New South Wales, and with his party had well nigh died of thirst. Though, even then, his Heaven born gift of finding the "way out" rescued himself and the other chums of the party from a miserable death. As it was, they were glad to scoop a hole in the mud at the bottom of a one-time water-hole and utilise the fluid (if by compliment it might so be called) for making tea.—Then it is an anecdote of the Franco-Prussian war of sixty-six; with reminiscences of Heidelberg and the Neckar and the dear old German Rhine. But time flies all too fast and we must again be moving, so once more we mount our none too fiery steeds (though to give them credit they rival the goat in sure footedness), and on we go. I am glad to learn that even in these bad times, settlement is progressing in the surrounding country. Hereabouts there is quite a little German colony springing up; no less than seven families having made, or being about to make homes within an easy radius of this spot. After reaching the summit of the hill we get upon a pretty well defined bullock track which ere long brings us into the Main road to Narree Warren, and after passing the homestead of Mr. Charles Bent and a clearing which is being made by a party of men, who would otherwise be numbered with the unemployed, but who are sensible enough to accept wages, which the Gentlemen of the Pavement would turn up their noses at rather than be beholden to charity, we get from the highest point of our roadway a glorious view of the mountains of the Upper Yarra Ranges. Blue mountains—aye the bluest of the blue ; they appear forming a grand back ground to this forest of giant gums, many of them two hundred feet. Now our road dips down, and our goal is soon reached as we near the far famed Gembrook nurseries of Mr. Nobelieus. It is not my intention to give a detailed description of this monument of perseverance and indomitable industry. Let those who want to see what can be done in and with the bush see for themselves. Here is a nursery of fruit and ornamental trees, a profitable plantation of raspberries and strawberries and other products of the vegetable kingdom too numerous to mention. Are not its praises recorded in the chronicles of the Leader, and did not Mr. Neilson the Government expert give it the stamp of his approval? It is a credit to all concerned, and an object lesson to the surrounding district. As a friend of mine observed, "you could not get a barrow load of weeds off the whole of the fifteen acres of cultivated land." One thing I especially admired was that in clearing his land the owner, in the spirit of the true lover of nature, had spared every ferntree, even, as his wife remarked, when it stood in the way of a fruit tree. I counted no fewer than thirty of these tall forest beauties within the nursery enclosure. The absence in town of the owner was a subject of regret to us, but his representatives sufliciently did the honors of the place that we found it rather late when we at length were able to get on the road home. The ten miles or so of return journey did not seem long in congenial company, our leader enlivening the way with a plentiful fund of information about the surrounding country, plentifully interspersed with tales of the "early days." Returning as we did by a different route, we saw much of the havoc that had been wrought over an extensive area by the recent bush fires. The road is very picturesque in parts ; its picturesqueness by the way would in no wise be marred and its safety would most certainly be enhanced if the powers that be could see their way clear to placing a post and rail fence at such spots as at present, by reason of the sudden descent on the one side or the other of the road, are positively dangerous. It was at one such spot that the late accident to Mrs. Lenne occurred, and although I am not prepared, to enter into controversial questions there is little doubt that this liability to such contretemps could easily be lessened at little cost to the community. The rain which had been threatening all day settled down into a determined drizzle as night drew on, and our return to Beaconsfield was damp though as far as our spirits (I resent the imputation), decidedly not dismal.
Let me add as a postscript for those whom my letter may induce to "go and do likewise," that at present there is no practicable track for vehicles direct from Upper Beaconsfield to the Gembrook nurseries, the late bush fires having caused so many trees to fall across the track that even the horses have to pick their way. Until some steps shall have been taken to clear the road, the only vehicular route lies via Narree Warren.19

 
S Bourke Morn Journ26 Apr 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. The Summer siesta is over, and Nature once more awakes to the serious business of life. This Autumn of the Southern Hemisphere is indeed a lovely season, when one can and does once more begin to revel in the mere facts of living. Yes ! in spite of the times, with banks breaking to the right of us, butchers dunning to the left of us and rain confronting us, on such sunny autumn days as we have lately been having we can sympathise with Harold Skunpole, who only asked to live like the birds of the air ; although they, too, doubtless have an occasional "bad quarter of an hour." How pleasant it is now that the sun has lost its tropical fierceness, and even at mid-day one can brave his beams bare-headed, to "wander down the mountain side" in the direction of our favorite ferngully—we each have our favourite amongst the hundred and one which surround us. And now that mosquitoes cease from troubling and the March-flies are at rest, we can with some thing like calmness survey the sylvan scene around and note the glinting of the sunbeams through the feathery fern fronds, whilst we sit and listen to the babble of the brooklet which, never entirely dead throughout the furnace heat of mid-summer days, had only withdrawn to tunnels underground, and has now like us, been tempted out once more and merrily prattles to us of winter days to come, when he then grows to torrent strength, will carry all before him, bearing upon his broad shoulders the trunks of fallen gum trees and laying low our fern trees which surely we shall grudge. Just as unlikely now, but just as surely soon to come to pass as is that other childish boast which little now we heed:—" When I'm a man!" Meanwhile let us disregard this with other Cassandra like warnings of days that are to come and simply follow down the streamlet; now over granite beds of hoar antiquity, now of the later sandstone with here and there a miniature cascade, and nou again a pool all crystal, clear and deep and tempting for a bath. And all along the banks the graceful king fern and the modest maidenhair in prodi gal profusion, and here and there the lordly trunks of tree ferns with their crowns of fairy green: and where the gully narrows, the approaching hanks are joined as by design with giant trees laid over by winter storms, but fallen so that oftentimes a bridge could not be more convenient.
But it is Eight Hours Day, and our Melbourne cockney like his London prototype has the true British instinct which, according to the Frenchman, causes John Bull to remark on those rare occasions when on his tumbling out of bed the sun is visible throgh the murky atmosphere of that land of fogs, Old England :-
"It is a fine day !"
"Let us go and kill something!!"
And forthwith he shoulders his gun, and accompanied by his "Boule-dogue" goes in search of "le sport." And even now the Philistines are upon us ; potting the parrots, worrying the wallaby and pester ing the poor 'possums, not to speak of other wild fowl. Guns are popping all over the hills, and although the vanda listic instincts of destruction possessed by this class of beings, must, we suppose, have some outlet and perhaps this is after all the least dangerous form in which it can be indulged. Still, our reverie has been disturbed and our thoughts brought back to mundane affairs, so let us climb back again to the world we left behind us.
Mr. Neilson's admonition has been taken to heart by a few amongst our neighbors, who are now busy preparing their ground for strawberry planting, and next season I hope to be able to report that several acres are under crop where now no man owns one. On all hands it is allowed to be profitable where soil and climate suit, and I think that such can truly be said of our district here.
That little affair we read of the other day, in which the down-trodden son of toil who had invested his savings in a certain bank, and failing to get his cash in any other way thought to "take it out of" an erstwhile managing director, reminds me of a true story I heard a short time since. The law is proverbially un certain, and taking it into our own hands does not always mend matters. We generally have to pay dear for playing with edged tools, and although some may consider that the pleasure of punching a neighbor's head is not too dearly pur chased at £5, most people would think it rather an expensive amusement. Even when the cause is morally righteous I am not one to maintain that the end justifies the means, but there may, as the French have it, be extenuating circumstances. My friend was journeying to England by the P. and O. line, and, on touching at Colombo, the vessel was as usual invaded by a horde of Cingalese. No one but those who have travelled in those regions can have an idea of the snares that are laid for the New Chums gold. You are besieged on every side by smooth tongued brigands, offering most unheard of bar gains in every conceivable kind of curio appertaining to the country—precious stones mounted and unmounted however, are what are most offered and sought after. My friend (Brown-Jones we will call him) was attacked by a villain with the eye of the eagle and the tongue of the serpent. " Will Sahib look at some joullerie, vara cheap." Sahib will and does, and amongst the glittering gew-gaws is especially attracted by a ring set with a single sapphire of exceptional size and sparkle. "How much?" "Onlee feefty bounds !" "Nonsense !" and after a good deal of haggling " If Sahib no say word to anyone, he shall have it for twenty !" But no trade results and Mr. Brown-Jones goes ashore, returning to find the bandit at his post, and as time flies and our friend is apparently indifferent the prise rapidly comes down until, with the advice of an evidently disinterested guide, to whom Mr. B.-J. has taken a fancy in his shore excursion, a bargain is eventually struck at £5. All goes well for awhile and each passenger prides himself on his own superior astuteness; there is great display of jewellery at table and on deck. But a few days elapse, when the gold shows an unaccountable tendency to tarnish, and the heroes' repu tations for bargaining follow suit. Much "chaff" is bandied from one to the other, but each stoutly maintains that whatever the quality of the setting, the stone at least in his particular article of bijuoterie is undoubtedly genuine. Be this how it may, the display is soon conspicuous by its absence. To be brief, Mr. B.-J. on reaching London finds that he has been egregiously taken in. Returning by the same boat, his amour propre still suffers from the wound it has received; but he vows a dire revenge, and much to the amusement of captain and passengers proclaims his intention to have his money back. At Colombo he remains by the ship, let others go on shore if they will, and at last his patience is rewarded by the sight of the deceiver, who not recognising him, pounces on the lone voyagr as his legitimate prey and displays his wares. The injured one selects some of the (apparently) most valuable rings which successively are slipped on the fingers of the right hand, which being conveyed to the trousers pocket is as quickly relieved of them. The pedlar, expecting with beating heart a grand finale to his trading, is suddenly confronted with the spurious sapphire and accused of his crime, which of course he stoutly denies. No use ! on return of the £5 he will get his rings and not without. By this time several other natives have joined themselves to the first, and on learning the cause of the commotion begin by muttering, soon cul minating threatening looks and menacing attitudes, which, as our hero is alone and without any other weapon than those provided by Dame Nature, is rather alarming. The time for action has come, and as the foremost advances menacingly he comes in contact with a fist which lays him low. A tall and sinewy compatriot steps forward, but the British Lion now being thoroughly roused he finds discretion the better part of valor he beats a hasty retreat pursued by B.-J. whose blood is now fully up. At this critical moment some of the officers and returning passengers appear upon the scene and peace is restored, or rather an armed truce. Negotiations are opened by the vanquished foe, who, acknowledging the cheat, returns the money and has his goods reinstated, including the now notorious sapphire. B.-J. sings his Jubilate and his elation is complete when the captain, taking him by both hands, heartily congratulates, him on the lesson he has taught the scoundrel ; remarking "Why ! the beggar had me to."20

 
S Bourke Morn Journ3 May 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD, BY TODEA AFRICANA. "After us the deluge !" Such is the sentiment felt if not expressed, of the noble army of depositors who have been lately rushing helter-skelter in a general sauve qui pent to the palatial banking chambers of those erstwhile haughty financial magnates of Melbourne. And i' faith it does now seem to be a case of "Devil take the hind most." But who will be the first to cast a stone at the man who, having just completed a masterly leader in veighing against the public who, like a flock of silly sheep at the cry of "wolf" are tumbling over each other in efforts to escape from an imaginary danger, forthwith (on information he has received) proceeds to make assurance doubly sure in his own case by draw ing on his own case up to the hilt.
Self-preservation is the first law, and while the bank is reconstructing the poor client may be starving. Of course, now that we are like to be all in the same boat a fellow feeling will be apt to make us wondrous kind ; although I am afraid we shall soon be reduced to the state of those unsophis ticated residents of the desert island, who, we are told, earned a precarious subsistence by taking in each others washing.
It is perfectly useless to expect any local topic from me this time, as there is only one subject of interest even in our sylvan society. Rich and—no, I should say poor and poorer, old and young, have but one thought. A five year-old youngster the other day, hear ing the then latest event being talked about at the breakfast table, rushes out and coo-ees for his boon companion of three, "Tommy you don't know what I've heard.'' Tommy doesn't, but would willingly give the core of his apple to be AU COURANT, and at last, propitiated by this and other means, his brother imparts this won drous information—" Why, another bank's gone bung! "
The phraseology of the bank parlour has even penetrated into our gullies, and some schoolboy friends who are engaged in building a small log bridge (for the convenience of their cows) over a small creek, have intimated their grave apprehensions lest the heavy rain that has been falling this evening may unduly swell the other wise small watercourse, in which case they say, "OUR banks will break, and we must then go in for reconstruction."21

 
S Bourke Morn Journ10 May 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD BY TODEA AFRICANA. " This is getting a trifle monotonous," said the "patient man'' out West, when the cow (for the fiftieth time) tumbled through the roof of his cabin, which was situated at the foot of a steep hill. And certainly there does seem a sad want of originality about the proceedings of our banking institutions at present. Even our brave Patterson's attempt (like Mrs. Partington's to mop up the Atlantic) has not had any visible effect in stemming the awful tide of disaster which bids fair to overwhelm the few that still manage to keep their heads above water, if, indeed, it has not had the tendency to cause a wild stampede of those who considered themselves above high water nark.
Well, it's a blessing in these times, at least for those of us who are not the un fortunate possessors of a banking account, to be "far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife." We can sympathise with the hardy mariner at sea, who, during the height of the hurricane, remarked to his fellow A.B., "I say, Bill, don't you pity them land lubbers now, with the slates and chimney pots tumbling about their 'eads?" Yes ! through all this wreck and ruin Beaconsfield stands firm. Cash is, perhaps, if anything more plentiful than of yore ; but if so, he who hath it is as he who hath it not or tries to appear so. We are sad and subdued, as becomes the citizens of a great state in a grave crisis like the present; but we are not as those who have no hope, for are we not "on the land," and this cannot take unto itself wings and fly away, although the exchangeable value may.
No doubt the panacea of the present time—"Put the people on the land" like Horace Greeley's advice to "Go west, youngman," has a substratum of sound common sense. And now that the city has become too sultry for so many of her citizens, they will migrate like rats from a sinking ship—but whether they will ever make good their footing on the land—or, that being so, have strength to do any thing when they get there, depends on so many qualities of the individual and his environment that it were better to bear in mind the admonition of the American Socrates, "Never prophecy onless you know." Not to say that many city men will lot succeed in the country. What is principally wanted is a healthy mind in a healthy body, good heart, AND a sufficient capital (his own or somebody else's). This last is the supreme crux of the whole question. To put a penniless person in possession of a plot of ground and think you have done your duty by him, will be at once recognised as not only a senseless but a cruel act. He must have staying power, without which all other qualities will be valueless.
A novice cannot pass through his novi tiate without making blunders, in what ever walk of life his career may lie, and although the city man who has success fully filtigated his suburban flower-patch may consider himself a heaven-born gar dener, even he will find, that "Pride goeth before a fall." Even a past master in the art of agri- or horticulture cannot produce paying plot out of the virgin bush in a few months. How much less then the man of the town, be he artizan or quilldriver, who must at first grope more or less blindly, for the " way out." I speak feelingly as a man of the pen, which though it may be mightier than the sword, is certainly not equal to the ploughshare for earning a living now-a-days—one who, born and bred in a city, and immured though by no means inured to an office life from an early age, has, since taking to a country life, learned through hard per sonal experience the depth of crass ignor ance of which the human mind is capable in matters agricultural. Given them strength, intelligence, pluck and capital, we still want experience. Here the Go vernment can be very helpful with its fund of information on all branches of rural pursuits, and its little hand of experts wluch it places at the disposal of the rural community. Excellent, so far, and we do well, as was the case here, to avail ourselves of the earliest opportunity to seek the advice of these men of science and practice combined. But, after all, if it can only be obtained, there is nothing like the object lesson of the accomplished fact. The sight of the farm, the garden, or dairy in working order which, experi ments made and initial obstacles overcome —is paying its tray. There is no school at second hand of such value to a man as this.
The other day I gave you an instance of this kind from Gembrook. Since then I have had the pleasures of inspecting an orchard and garden at Officer which, al though only carved out of the forest a few years since, is now yielding a nice little income to its owner. Seven acres or thereabouts is the extent of the clearing, and about five of this is planted with fruit trees of various sorts. Between the trees are crops of peas and other vegetables over the greater portion of this area, but an acre is devoted to strawberries, and it is of these that I wish to speak more especi ally. This is the crop which was urged by Mr. Neilson, the Government expert, as one of the most profitable for growing on our hills, and it is this crop which we find is the great stand-by to those who have given it a fair trial on a marketing scale. At Gembrook, at Pakenham, and at Ofticer we find theim grown by the acre, and at each place we have a satisfactory account of the return of this crop. Two tons to the acre of such produce as straw berries is not to be sneered at, and yet such was the result I am told at Officer. The yield of the various fruit trees I did not inquire into. Last season was a bad one, we know, and therefore it would be no criterion. Tomatoes, I was glad to see, in spite of their plentifulness, were considered a fairly protitable crop. A new apple of considerable merit, raised on this estate, was brought under my notice, of which doubtless we shall hear more ere long. One class of fruit tree, apart from its fruit, which whilst growing is not con spiciuous, is bound to attract the eye at this time on account of the brilliant autumn tints of the foliage—one especially was a blaze of crimson. I allude to the Japanese plum, or persimmon.22

 
S Bourke Morn Journ17 May 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. We are still suffering from severe depression. The Bank! Oh, no! We've got used to that by time as the eels do to skinning, although like them we don't feel any more comfor table for the process. It's bad enough in all conscience, but as one William Shakespeare hath it: " He who steals my purse, steals trash But he who filches from me my good name, &c., &c.". Surely we were sufficiently punished already without this last straw being added to our load. " What am I driving at?" you say. Ask the youth of this district, aye! and anywhere else in this land of the Southern Cross, what most oppresses their souls and you will get but one reply—the defeat of the Australian cricketers in their first match with the Englishmen. Have courage my lads. All is not lost." Wait till the last match, and remember that. "He who laughs last, laughs the longest." Besides, surely we score ... in the notice that Her Gracious Majesty has taken of the Victorian Arts ... and, the positive ovation they received from the people on their first .... appearance in the Old country.
A resident of this neighborhood in the course of cultivating his land, came across a flattish oval shaped piece of sandstone about six inches in length which at once attracted his attention. He submitted it to me, and a very cursory inspection sufficed to convince me that some human agency had been at work in giving it its present form. Its edges at the ends and one side are roughly sharpened (so far as the material admits), and on the otherside, it is somewhat rounded. Of the flat sides, one is smooth with two small depressions (apparently drilled), the other is somewhat rough with two semi-circular pieces chipped out near one end. On reference to Brough Smythes, work on the Aborigines in Victoria, I find that implements of this class and identical shape were used for pounding roots by the erstwhile Lords of the Soil, and have little doubt that the piece of stone before me belonged to one of our dusky pre decessors. I should much like to know if many of such relics of the "Dark" ages have been found in this part of the country—it is the first in my experience. Perhaps some of your readers can give other instance of finds of this nature.
We were all grieved to hear of the serious accident which befel our shire engineer, Mr. Gardiner, on Saturday week. Whatever people's opinions .. be about certain questions that have been brought forward in the .... and only a few are in a position to judge the matters in dispute on their merits; the thought of that poor man lying all through the long night on a lonely highway, still as death, is one that must call for the most heartfelt sympathy from everyone. Latest advices state that the sufferer, who for days had been lying in a critical state had regained consciousuess and it was hoped he was in a fair way of to improving.
Truly troubles never come alone. Only one short week after the sorow which befell the shire engineer whose life indeed is still trembling in the balance), and now we have a fatality at Lower Beaconsfield which must come home with terrible force to every parent of adventurous youths with a sporting tendency. The fact of this case so far as I have been able to ascertain them, and they come, I believe from reliable sources, are as follow:—On Saturday afternoon last, a young man named Martin, a comparatively new arrival in this district, although having relatives here, was seated in a room in a house near Beaconsfield .... engaged in making a new stock or mending the old one), for an old muzzle loading gun which he had lately pur chased for a few shillings from a neighbor. Imagine him thus engaged with his back turned towards a table on which is lying the ham of the ancient firearm, when a boy of the name of Muir enters and seeing the weapon proceeds to examine it. "Is it loaded" says he. "Oh now it's not loaded" is the reply. Then there can be no harm in exploding the barrel which is on the hammerless type nipple. "Not a bit." The doomed man goes on with his task, thinking perversly of the pleasant day's shooting amongst the lovely hills and gullies of the neighborhood that he has often promised himself, and likely enough talked about many a time with this very friend... it may be dreaming of the future, when for one who has barely passed the threshold of manhood must have seen brightness in it, even if it only presents itself as a glimpse of that silver lining which we are told that every cloud in this life possesses. Alas, poor lad whose cloud that now o'erhangs thee is a cloud which for us envelopes the very Hereafter. The boy carelessly picked up a tool from the table and hits the cap------he has shot his friend! A doctor is called in as speedily as possible but cannot avert the fatal end, which comes on Sunday morning. The case is a pitiful one, not for him who has gone from us, for God is good ; lest for those poor sorrowing relatives he has left behind, and above all for the young boy whose whole life may be sadder by this horror of his youth. There is no danger that he will forget the dread ful lesson he has learned, but if he had only appreciated it a right he will go forth into the world as a missionary for those youths, who, encouraged by the culpable carelessness of parents and guardians and undeterred by an ... tic government, use dangerous weapons as if they were mere playthings ... are so graduating for an unenvious prominence in the ranks of that all too numerous army of those who never KNOW IT WAS LOADED.23

 
S Bourke Morn Journ24 May 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. By TODEA AFRICANA. Among her distinguished visitors our little village—"peerless" I had well nigh called her, but that were a misnomer, bearing in mind the eminent statesman from whom she has her name, may now number the Hon. Alfred Deakin, who with one of our worthy Councillors as a guide has been paying his first visit to bonny Beaconsfield. By all I can hear he is charmed (as well he may be) with the neighborhood, and is not unlikely to favor us with something more than a mere flying visit in the not far distant future. As a member of that ministry to which we are already indebted for some benefits—notably in connection with grants in favor of our Assembly Hall and Library, and to whom we had hoped to be indebted for more (but this was in the pre diluvian age), we naturally have a soft place in our hearts for this young Australian Legislator.
A week has passed since last I wrote, and still the life of the shire engineer is trembling in the balance. From day to day the bulletins vary, sometimes giving a shadow of hope which on the appearance of the next seems to be snatched away. What must be the feelings of that poor watcher by the bed of sickness; in daily, and hourly expectation of the sad sad ending of one earthly career and the all too mournful beginning of another.
In connection with this matter people have put it to me (and I am unable to answer the question) whether all inquiries, that it was possible to make under the circumstances have been instituted. Was it not within the range of credibility that the unfortunate man may have incurred the injuries by other means than those at first seeming most probable?
Poor old Jack the Digger is leaving us, and in him we lose one of our old identities. I suppose he knows as much about our gullies and the probabilities of gold getting therein as any other of our "oldest inhabitants." His experience of the district has not been altogether a rosy one, and I sincerely trust that he may find with the Little Sisters of the Poor at Northcote that rest and comfort in his old age, which during his hitherto adventurous life has been denied him. Of the friends that he leaves behind him I am safe in saying the one the old man will regret most, and by whom he will be missed most keenly, will be the little dog who has been his most faithful companion through good and evil days for years past. Let us hope he will find a kind master in the fellow miner to whom he will be entrusted.
Apropos of mining I understand that Mayfield gully, can boast of a dozen or so of goldseekers, besides which Haunted and Welcome Gullies are still haunted by searchers after the shining metal. But although some of the more experienced diggers may be making "tucker" out of their exertions, prospects are by no means brilliant enough to attract men from other occupations; nor is it likely to suit the unemployed of Melbourne or elsewhere.24

 
S Bourke Morn Journ31 May 1893 Jack the Digger; Baptism of Wakeham's child.
UPPER BEACONSFIELD " BY TODEA AFRICANA. Jack the Digger has deserted us in more ways than one. On Monday the 22nd inst., he left Beaconsfield for the Home of the Little Sisters of the Poor by the mid-day train. It had been previously arranged with a French gentleman who had taken a kindly interest in the old man, and indeed had been the means of his obtaining admission to the Home, to meet him at the Princes' Bridge railway station. It appears however, through unavoidable circumstances, that the appointment was not kept, and a fellow passenger kindly accompanied the aged pilgrim to the Northcote tram. From what I can learn, Jack undoubtedly arrived at the haven of rest provided by the good nuns ; but after a short interview with one of them in which he stated that he had left his "swag" at the cloak room of the station, informed the lady that he must fetch the same and would probably return next day as he intended spending the night with some friends in the city. The sister's offer to have the baggage fetched for him was of no avail, and the old man departed. He has not since returned so far as I can learn, and his friends and would-be benefactors are in some anxiety as to his possible fate; it is not unlikely that information will have been given to the police, so that the mystery may, if possible, be elucidated. Of course if the erstwhile digger turns out to be still in the land of the living, no compulsion can be used (nor indeed is such likely for a moment to be at tempted), in order to get him into what would be a comfortable home for the rest of his days. The aged miner, as those who have had to deal with him must know too well, is full of cranks and crotchets-its a way old people have-and the sight of the bustling and confusing city is more than likely to have had a bewildering effect upon his brain. Above all the horrible idea, to such a veteran bushman, of being compelled to spend the major part of his remaining days between four walls may well have shocked the Arab instinct and caused him to suddenly turn tail and strike for the country. I do not think that the patriarch will come near his old hautnts, neither will he remain in town either to live or--to die. No ! be it soon or be it late, in the bush will he be buried, midst the gum trees, find his grave.- The efforts of his friends have been well meant, but you cannot get a wild bird to appreciate the kindness of cageing him, broken winged though he be ; and you may tear an old forest tree up by the roots, but transplant it—impossible !
When a ship, already half a wreck, is seeking some secure haven from the hurricane on a strange and rock-bound coast, it is rather hard on the distracted captain to find his officers wrangling amongst themselves, be the dispute of ever so much moment in itself. Of course the pretty little quarrel between the two officers of our "ship of state" is a perfect god-send to our "village solons" now that it has become altogether too flat, stale and unprofitable, to discuss which of the remaining banks is to go next. Naturally it didn't take the "men of light and leading" of Beaconsfield, six weeks like Macdonald, or six days, like O'Loghlen, to decide what ought to be done with two bank mis-managers. Some amongst us (I might say many) have become tardy disciples of the once mighty Hancock and "'ate bankers." These, needless to say, think it would "serve 'em right" if all financial magnates in distress could be treated in the dramatic fashion adapted by the former client of Mr. Munro. Others more leniently, would let justice take her course—but don't believe in people being let off too easily. For my own part, as simple chronicler, I don't feel called upon to have an opinion and therein am happy, for "who shall decide where doctors disagree." By-the-way, the rival claims of the two legal luminaries alluded to, brings forcibly before the puzzled layman's mind the Shakespearian question "What's in a name?", and in this connection an ancient anecdote worthy of respect if only for its hoary antiquity—may possibly be of help to enlighten the new generation, if it bring no assistance to the old. A youth once asked his aged parent (who had good reason to know) what was the difference between a solicitor and an attorney. "Very much the same difference that there is between a crocodile and an alligator, my son!" was the sad reply of the man who had learned wisdom in an expensive school.
Africa to Australia! "Hands across the sea. "Truly" one touch of nature makes the whole world kin, "and when it is a touch of good-nature, such as the Cape Colony has shown, surely the hearts of all but the most sordid minded must glow with pride at this latest proof of the unity of the Empire. England did not need the soldiers Sydney offered when large-hearted Dalley was at the helm, and, Heaven be thanked, Australia can (as yet) afford to "decline with thanks" the proffered pecuniary assistance of her brother colonists; but, in both cases as a token, of sympathy, the value of the offer is simply inestimable. Let cynics sneer as they will, it is such sympathy as this that holds the Empire together and it will be men of the Rhodes and Dailey stamp—men with a soul above the shop—who will give us (if ever we are to get it, which God grant !) an Australia, One and indivisible.
From the Imperial to the Parochial is a great drop, but "little drops of water, &c."; and this brings me to the subject of the christening which took place at our principal hotel on Sunday the 28th inst., the hero of the hour being the child of the proprietor, Mr. Wakeham and the Rev. Mr. Hill of Berwick the officiating clergyman. With the liberal supply of water with which Heaven has favored us of late, there is not likely to have been any such hitch in the ceremony as occurred to a bush party on a similar errand some where out in the drought distracted back blocks of the far north, where for want of the precious fluid the performance had to be postponed. The father of the child having been duly warned by the clergy man, took some water to the church with him in a bottle which he "planted" outside the place of worship until it should be required. Meanwhile, a sundowner happens by, and espying the gin bottle, the spirit moved him to try the contents. At this moment the horrified parent appears at the church door just in time to witness the disappearance of the precious fluid down the throat of the disgusted tramp, whose disappointment is but faintly shadowed by the vocabulary of vituperation he hurls—with the bottle— at the head of the flabbergasted father.25

 
S Bourke Morn Journ7 Jun 1893 Fire at the 'Big House'
UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. "Like a house a-fire," is a simile for celerity which is more applicable in the the bush than even in the city. Fire is a bad enough matter, there, where the edifices are of brick and stone and the water is abundant and at high pressure, but where the walls are of weather-board and water none too plentiful, is often entirely wanting, he is a tyrant of the most blood-thirsty description. In such a guise did he show himself on the heights of Beaconsfield in the small hours of Tuesday, the 30th instant, when the name of our village was justified by such a beacon as has rarely blazed from hill-top, here or elsewhere. We are sober minded country folk (with festive interludes), and altho' the curfew custom does not hold sway hereabouts still mid-night with its myriad eyes sees all, but a few (I fear a very few) sad students, snugly tucked in bed. This, whilst speaking volumes for the orderly habits of the worthy yeomen hereabouts, sufficiently explains why not a soul, save the actors in this sad transformation scene had the solemn satisfaction of seeing this formidable conflagration in all its gruesome glory. I use the word "satisfaction" advisedly, and without shadow of any intent to imply that Beaconsfield could be so base as to take pleasure in another's discomfiture, but simply taking note: Firstly, of that fatal fascination which fire undoubtedly has for poor fallen human nature whether this has any connection with an unconscious foreboding of the inflammatory future, glowing accounts of which were so freely depicted by the parsons of old, for the benefit of our forefathers (pictures which both priest and presbyter have learnt to look upon of as far too glaring to be presented with any he of their reformation, to their more fastidious and less faithful descendants), is a matter which may be left to more fitting opportunity to discuss secondly, that distractions in the county are so few and far between that anythsing calculated to relieve the monotony of whatsoever nature it may be, is—well ! if not welcomed—received with a cheerful resignation (of course if no misfortune to ourselves !), and then, witn both a fire of the first importance and distraction in the highest degree simultaneously take place, to think that we were "not in it" is, it must be admitted, galling— very ! Not to speak of the chagrin of the choice few who look upon themselves as heaven-born firemen, and on such occasions are ever ready to lend a hand. These are they who may be seen (where they are suffered) carefully carrying a feather-bed out of the front door, and salvaging a cheffoniere by shoving it out of a window. Short and sharp was the work of destruction as carried out by the fire fiend between the time (about 1.30 a.m.), when smoke was first smelt by one of the visitors, and 4 o'clock ; by which time a pretty clean sweep had been made of the premises of which Mr. Wakeham was but a few brief hours ago the land lord. Of course all efforts to save the burning building were soon recognised as labor thrown away, and, once the occupants were safe, all energy was concentrated on saving a few of the most precious articles belonging to the erstwhile inmates. Some attempt was made to save the front premises which were partly built of brick and cement, and one of the 400-gal. iron tanks bears evidence of the manly efforts which were put forth in this direction by the big gash in its side, made by means of an axe, when the contributions of the precious fluid made by the tap proved all too feebly insufficient. All was in vain, however. The few bucketsful of water which the strongest arms could hurl upon the furious flames only seemed to make them burn more fiercely; at any rate, the omnivorous could not be stayed. At length the bar—newly decorated, and containing a considerable stock—was attacked in its turn, and the complete annihilation which followed of what unregenerate human nature would denominate good liquor, must have been enough to satisfy the most rabid prohibitionist.
And yet there was a Mark Tapley note struck by the lessee of the late structure when, commiserated on this dismal disaster (for so far as he was concerned it was a total loss), he replied, " Well, do you know, we were congratulating ourselves on having escaped with our lives" And true, the escape was a very "narrow shave," and the inmates were not justified in congratulating themselves on saving much besides, for most, of the visitors had to get a more or less complete out fit lent them, or they could not have departed by the evening train to town. I understand that, Messrs Lawrence and Adams, to whom a portion of the furniture belongs, were insured in the Derwent and Tamar offfice, but not to the full extent. Mr. Phillips, the proprietor of house and land, is covered to the extent of £900 (which is far from filling the value of the late buildings) in the Colonial Mutual. It is expected that not many months will elapse before a new building is erected, in which, let us hope, the enterprising lessee may have better fortune than has been his fate in the old.
The pathetic article which appeared a short time since in the "Argus," lament the poor little patients in the Children's Hospital, has gone home to many a heart. We all love children except, perhaps, some isolated old bachelor when a superabundance of animal spirits renders them temporarily obnoxious. But when sickness casts a pallor over their poor little faces, and the once so nimble limbs are racked with pain, even HE must acknowledge their claims. Great is the need of all the charitable institutions at the present critical juncture in colonial affairs, but the need of none of them is greater than is that of the one above mentioned.
Whatever the old may say or do, the young men of Beaconsfield have felt the call to help, and have deter mined, with the assistance of some of the ladies of the district, and (it is hoped) the trustees of the hall, to get up a dance in aid of the much needed funds. Judging by the success of the social evenings, which have been held by them once a fortnight during the last few months, I venture to pr ... that something substantial will be con tributed. The date, I believe is not yet fixed, but will be published as early as possible, and it is hoped as many friends as possible with them, if not able to be present, at least purchase tickets "for the good of the cause."
They say that some important gold discoveries have been made in the neighborhood of the Kitchen's proper ties. Time has not permitted to make much inquiry on the subject. In Mayfield's Gully there are still a good number of diggers, and prospects seem fairly good. However, I hope to know more by next week.26

 
S Bourke Morn Journ14 Jun 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. "Heavenly weather" ! Well, apart from Paradise, seeing that matters meteorological in that direction can as yet be mere subjects for surmise; there can, to my mind, be nothing more delightful than that which we hardy hill-men have been experiencing for the past week. Nights cold, clear, and sparkling with the "Thousand eyes of Providence." Frost just enough to make a roaring log fire a thing to thank Heaven for, as we sit round it of an evening and pity the poor of Melbourne, who, at this moment, are groping their way through a dense fog to a home (if even that is left to them), with an empty grate. Not that we are not poor enough, in all conscience, ourselves, so far as the current coin of the realm is concerned. But then impecuniosity's the order of the day, and no one having money, why ! nobody can pay ; and the butcher and the baker, whatever they may say, will see that in the winter's not the time for making hay, and will therefore cease from dunning us and let us go our way, in hopes that we may reconstruct before their hairs' grow grey. So you see that without a penny in our pockets there is still much to thank Providence for, and whilst we (and our creditors) are, Micawber-like, "waiting for something to turn up," there is ample time to "consider the lilies of the field." And could "Solomon in all his glory" compass the exquisite grace of a single spray of heath. Epacris the wise it call, and a very good name it is for Dr. Dry as dust. But common people must have common names for common things of beauty. In other words, besides it's baptismal name, the flower, like the child that is beloved, will have its nickname. What a pity that it seems as yet to have been overlooked by us as a people to give pet names to the flowers of our new world, such as lovers of nature old and young have been familiar with from time immemorial in the old. And this brings to mind that I have been dreaming over the log fire aforesaid! Yes, it is heavenly weather, and as I stand under the clear vault of blue, letting God's glorious sunshine "soak in," the while I drink great draughts of purest ozone, wafted from the distant ocean by way of the blue waters of Western Port yonder, over the glistening leaves of the gum forest. While I see the white hoar-frost melting, note myriad diamond like dew drops as the warmth from the clear cut disc of the sun, not long since risen o'er yonder hill top, reaches it and the light is reflected in all its rainbow radiance to the eye. While I glance at the glory of the many tinted heath with colors gently graded through crimson, pink, to white. While I gaze far o'er the fairy lake of fleecy clouds, five hundred feet below (to us the heaven-ward side so fair to see, to those beneath-a fog.) While all this panorama passes 'fore the eye and all its subtle influence is transmitted to the brain-the mind is cleared, the body rendered strong and mis-anthropics one may have been is forced to the conclusion, that God in Heaven doeth all things well, and life's worth living after all.
The grand ball, as some call it, or social, as the committee modestly insist that it should be called, in aid of the Children's Hospital is definitely fixed for Tuesday the 20th inst. The affair has "taken on" enthusingly, and there seems not a shadow of doubt that it will prove a great success. The "social evenings" at the Assembly Hall, the inception of which is due to the young men of our district, have become famous throughout the countryside as the smartest and best conducted for many miles around; and as the committee, assisted by the trustees of the hall and by a lady of the district who has promised to provide the refreshments, are determined to make this particular evening a special success. I feel confident that a substantial contribution to the funds of a most deserving charity will be the result. I should add that both Mr. Richardson and his sister, who provide the music, and Mr. Smith, the efficient M.C., all of Berwick, has also promised their services free. Tickets, at the moderate rate of 3s. for lady and gentle man, may be obtained as advertised.27

 
S Bourke Morn Journ21 Jun 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Our old friend Jack the Digger is still in the land of the living, it appears. For this relief much thanks, as the air of mystery which hung about his disappearance was decidedly a cause of disquiet to those who had fondly hoped that the old man was at last provided with a comfortable home for the rest of his life. His old acquaintances will be pleased to learn that he is no worse than when he left here, having been well cared for in the meanwhile, although not, in the institution that was intended. Our goldseekers; like everybody and everything else, seem at present to be under a cloud. I speak of those in our district. Now-a-days they would be content if they could make a little more than would keep them in tucker and pay working expenses, but this would hardly seem to be the case. A miner whom I met lately, told me that he had just come over from Ferntree Gully, led hither by the glamor of certain reports of the riches of the land. However, he was so disappointed that he hardly thought it worthwhile to make a start. The weather since last writing has broken again, and at present is by no means of that character currently supposed to belong to the celestial regions; but so long as it is good for the country generally we are content to patiently "wait till the clouds roll by." It is to be hoped that the weather will prove propitious for the Social to be held at the Assembly Hall on the 20th inst., in favor of the Children's Hospital. Everybody connected with the affair is working heartily to make the occasion a great success, but as many must come from a considerable distance a wet night would be a great drawback. So desirous are many of the inhabit ants of our rural neighborhood that no one should lose the benefit of the spiritual instruction that we are privileged to enjoy, that many of them suffer even their canine dependents to accompany them to the hall which on Sunday serves as a sanctuary. This sometimes proves rather embarrassing to both preacher and congregation, more especially when the four-footed friend of man fails to extend that for bearance to his fellows which is so characteristic of his bi-pedal superior. Although several little contretemps have from time to time taken place we have as yet fortunately been spared such a scene as once occurred in a north country village on the borders of England and Scotland. There also it was the custom of the faithful hound to follow the footsteps of his lord and master to the village church. The inhabitants, principally shepherds, were of a strong sporting, tendency. Even the parson himself was not exempt from the human weakness which seems so ingrained in our fallen nature. One Sabbath, in the midst of the service, one of the dogs fell foul of another in the sacred edifice, and a fierce encounter ensued. The attention of the assembled villagers was soon withdrawn from the preacher, and centred on the combatants, a black and white, well matched. The rustic parson, equally interested with his parishioners, and recognising the futility of preaching to deaf ears, was soon also engrossed in watching with ill-disguised interest the progress of events. At length, as affairs between the fighters seemed to be reaching a crises, the pent up feelings of the parson "found vent in the excited shout of, "Two to one on the black 'un."28

 
S Bourke Morn Journ28 Jun 1893The article reads: UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. The Assembly Hall was the scene of a particularly gay and festive gathering on the evening of Tuesday the 20th inst. The eloquent appeal which appeared in the Argus some little time since was one which few could read unmoved, and least of all a woman. The cry of the helpless infants cannot, must not go unheeded ! And so it came about that-well ! the hint was given, and it was taken up heartily by the good-natured young men and wo men of the Beaconsfield social clubs-it was decided to give a dance in aid of the funds of the Children's Hospital. This then was the occasion to which I allude. The evening was a fine one, and there was a large party assembled, some of whom had journeyed from Berwick (a distance of seven miles) to be present. No trouble had been spared in the decoration of the hall, and the effect was extremely pleasing. Fern fronds, autumn leaves and flowers were disposed about the walls and on the music dais in great profusion, not withal so tastefully that the most carpingly inclined critic (and kind hearted as we all know the critic is, he is sometimes inclined to be, not to put too fine a point on it, well, just a trifle too particular) would be disarmed. True to the social instinct the Union Jack, not yet looked upon as a party emblem in Australia thank heaven ! and the German flag hung side by side at the upper end of the hall, and between them a large anchor, beautifully executed in green leaves studded with marguerites, the cable ending in the word HOPE, similarly framed. It struck me that this anchor and motto were not only very appropriate, having the particular object of the gathering in view, but should speak to us all in these troublous times and encourage us to
"Front it all, however hard the weather ;
Trust me the tide will turn again."
As to the entertainment afforded, I must confess that I was not present in the evening. Being now in the sere and yellow leaf; I do not take so much stock of these sort of things as in the gay and salad days of yore. We were all young once, and there was a time but no matter. However, I am told that those who were present spent a very pleasant evening,-evening, that is in a Beaconsfieldian sense, which lasts till three or four the next morning. As everybody in connection with the affair gave their services free; the refreshments being given by a lady of the district, and the charge made for the use of the hall by the trustees was given by them as a donation towards the fund it is expected that a substantial contribution will result. There are some small accounts for advertising, tickets, etc., to get in, which have prevented the announcement as yet of the exact amount realised.
The above was not the only convivial assemblage we have had in these regions of late. On Friday last Mrs. A'Beckett gave a dance at her residence in honor of her eldest daughter's birthday. Many friends journeyed from Melbourne in order to be present, and a considerable contingent came from Berwick. A most enjoyable evening was spent and dancing was kept up until past three in the following morning.
Jack the Digger has returned to Beaconsfield. Needless to say his friends are deeply disappointed that he did not see fit; after all the trouble that had been taken, to take advantage of the comfortable home which had been made available. However, seeing that the associations connected with his beloved gullies and the old log cabin have proved so powerful as by their magnetic force to draw him back again, it is to be hoped that the forest fairies may prove kind to the old man of the woods.29 
S Bourke Morn Journ5 Jul 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. At a time when most of the population of this once happy colony are at their wits end for want of some way to earn an honest livelihood, and when to look to any town occupation is out of the question, for that way madness lies-it is comforting to read an article like that which appears in the "Leader" of the 1st inst., entitled: "A garden on Earth. I would recommend everyone saving a few acres which he would ..in to make support himself and his family, to read how seven men with their families (in all, seventeen), manage to live comfortably on twelve acres near Bunyip. It will be noticed that three of the twelve acres are devoted to strawberries. This ought to give confidence to those here who, supported by their own experience on a small scale and with the additional stimulus of Mr. Neilson's advice, have planted areas sufficient to test the Melbourne market with this fruit. If they, like the Mr. Boyce alluded to, can realise sixpence a pound delivered to the nearest railway station, they will probably find the venture sufficiently encouraging to warrant them in increasing the area devoted to this particular crop. Another thing which ought to encourage the owners of orchards in this district, is the successful competition which our apples have managed with those from other parts of the colonies at the Imperial Institute. All interested in the neighborhood, must have read with a thrill of pride that fruit from Pakenham was adjudged worthy of the first prize. That people in the same parish should have taken first place for stowing the fruit so carefully in the cases as to come out triumphantly over the severe tests to which all fruit in transit from this end of the globe to the other must submit, was, as a friend assured me, only a foregone conclusion, the announcement being made at the outset that the prize was to be for PAKIN'EM.-He has since taken apartments in the hospital. Having ascertained, then, that are the best fruits to grow; let us concern ourselves in growing the best varieties only, of those fruits; and let us cultivate them according to the most approved fashion. Let us act intelligently as well as energetically. To most of us hitherto, an apple has been an apple-a strawberry, a straw berry; on the same principal (or absence thereof) as that of the unintelligent individual of whom the poet saith:
"A primrose on the river's brim;
A yellow primrose was to him-
T'was that and nothing more."
Henceforth we must not only know all our fruits by their Christian as well as their surnames, but be on such familiar terms with them as to be able to make them thoroughly at home with us, or if that should in any particular instance prove impossible, to "know, the reason why."
The great gold find in Western Australia has just come in the very nick of time to stay the exodus which .. fair to assume serious proportions. South Africa may be all very well in a way, but "a devil you know is bet than a devil you don't know," and I mean to stick to my bush, as the father advised his blackberrying son to do. To those of my friends who are so unfortunate as to find they have no longer any bush to stick to, and are determined still to seek fresh fields and pastures new, let me advise this same Western Australia, where they will be, as it were, still under the same roof with us, or New Zealand, where they will, so to speak, be only next door.
The postal arrangements of this place show an amount of ingenuity in arriving at a solution of the great problem of "How not to do it,", which would have done credit to the great ..-rape department that Dickens so keenly satirised. How the Melbourne postal authorities ever devised such an ingenious absurdity, or that being so, how the inhabitants have had the patience to bear with it would be a puzzle to most people. The situation is probably without a parallel in other wise enlightened Victoria. I think I have before alluded to this matter, but the case will bear restating. Our daily inward mail arrives at our little post office at 10.30 a.m; our daily outward closes at 7.45 a.m. Let us follow the latter to Melbourne. In order to do so we must take the train from Lower Beaconsfield. Whither? To Melbourne ? Not a bit ! To Warragul!! How long our precious missives remain there or what mysterious pro cess they undergo is to me inscrutable. Of course when I said "let us follow them" I only meant in imagination, for no mortal to my knowledge has yet had the temerity to track them so far. Suffice it that when they do eventually arrive at their destination, repassing Beaconsfield after their up-country trip some-time after mid-day. The delivery in the City of Melbourne takes place about 3 p.m., and in the suburbs about six the same evening. The transit therefore from sender to receiver occupies the moderate time of seven hours accomplishing a distance of about 30 miles. Of course if the despatch takes place on Friday after 8 a.m., the Melbourne correspondent gets it by the first post on Monday morning. Various attempts have been made to obtain an alteration of this state of affairs. We even went with our member at our head to exercise the glorious British privilege of deputationising the Postmaster-General. On that occasion the great official was simply staggered to find that such things could be. He gazed at us with the greatest of interest and murmured something about our being a Noah's ark-aic people to stand such ante-siluvian arrangements. We retired with a promise of "something being done." Then came the dismissal of the old Commissioners and the general disorganisation of the railway services, and nothing more was done. The matter came up again with the tenders for the new contract which commenced on the 1st inst. Mr. Craik, who is the successful man, expressed himself quite willing to take the mail to the 12.30 up train, thus enabling us to post our letters until 11 am., half-an-hour after receipt of the inward mail. It was quite expected that such an arrangement would be finally made. Our astonishment and disgust may well be imagined on finding that the official world was not moved on. The new contractor has received special instructions that the mail arrangements are to remain as heretofore, and the station master (to make assurance doubly sure) has been informed to the same effect. No ! nothing will move them but dynamite or-a deputation ! I am given to understand that the dance given by the Beaconsfield social club resulted in a contribution towards the funds of the Children's Hospital of £3 10s., which, considering the number of the members who are not as to occupation as the lilies of the field, is not bad.
I hear that our Berwick neighbors have also given a ball in the same good cause, the outcome of which is very satisfactory.
Much regret is expressed at the death of Mr. Winter, of Lower Beaconsfield, on Sunday night last, after an illness of only a few days. Pleurisy was, I believe, the cause.
The Tubba Rubba goldfields are attracting the attention of our small mining population, and some men, after a preliminary inspection, have determined to try their luck there. May success attend them.30

 
S Bourke Morn Journ12 Jul 1893 Unreadable copy on trove.

 
S Bourke Morn Journ19 Jul 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. TODEA AFRICANA. An auction sale has a fascination for most people. There is always the possibility of getting some hitherto unheard of bargain. Of course if you don't need a thing it is dear at any price; but when we see something going under the hammer at ever so much below its market value, the thought must occur to the provident person of the possibility of it someday turning out useful. And so in the excitement of the moment the bid is given which makes on the possessor of a white elephant or a locomotive, really dirt cheap -- that is if you can only turn it to account. Mrs. Toodles was of this far-sighted character. Her husband was not a little astonished one day, when the wife of his bosom, brought home as the result of her day's campaign, a pair of crutches. "What on earth did you want to go and buy those things for, of all the useless articles in creation ! Neither of us is lame!" "No that's true ! But how easily accidents do happen, and if either of us was to get a broken leg, how handy they would come in ! I remember once, myself, going to a sale with the idea of picking up a few books, cheap. I got the books I wanted, (or fancied I wanted), lumped together with a lot I had no earthly use for; but to crown all, found myself the unexpected owner of a two horse brougham. Now I didn't want, nor dream of wanting such a gilt-edged luxury. Why then did I bid for it ? Well, it was on this wise; the day was cold, wet, and altogether miserable; would be buyers were conspicuous by their absence ; bids advanced by slow and painful degrees until a certain price was reached. Absurd ! The carriage (although I was no judge of that sort of thing) must certainly be cheap at double the money. The man of the hammer seemed to look appealingly at me for a little encouragement. It appeared only Christian charity to accord it, when a mere word might make him happy. Besides it gave me an air of importance to be supposed for a moment a possible purchaser of such a stately equipage. And then of course it couldn't be knocked down to me for such a price, and even – “He who hesitates is lost" and so was I. The fatal hammer fell. "Your name, Sir?" Now I am a wiser, if a sadder man. Ah! In those days I had the money, whilst lacking experience. Now there is a plethora of experience; but where, oh where ! is the money !
Wearing thus, as it were, armour, proof against all possible temptation, I wended my way on Thursday last to the site of the erstwhile famous “Big House” of Beaconsfield. The day was showery, and consequently the glorious panorama, which in clear weather unfolds itself from the proud eminence on which the well-known hostelry was situate, whose wreck lies all around us, was visible only through a veil of vapour. Even so the stranger was impressed by the grandeur of view. In fact to me the atmospheric effects on a misty morning seem in many respects to enhance the charms of our mountain scenery. In the height of summer such is the crystal clearness of the ethereal medium that the most distant objects seem only differentiated from the near at hand by their relative size; whilst at this season, with a Scotch mist driving in waves athwart the sphere of vision, the individuality of the hills seems accentuated, as they rise range after range before one, relieved here and there by white patches which represent the residences of the settlers.
Notwithstanding the unpromising weather a goodly gathering is present. Gembrook sends a contingent, Berwick is no whit behind, Pakenham is represented and Officer is on the alert.
The burly form of Brisbane the auctioneer - the pioneer and one of the sponsors of our settlement - is sufficiently conspicuous without the adventitious aid of a rostrum. As original selector of the ground on which we stand; as builder and occupier on this spot of (I believe) the first house on these hills, the occasion cannot be without a certain pathetic interest to the owner of the grizzled beard of patriarchal proportions. Be this as it may, he is not a man who wears his heart upon his sleeve, and he who would seek for any appearance of the sentimental in this quarter will today be disappointed. There is a tolerably long list to be got through, for, in addition to the salvage from the fire, the surrounding farmers have embraced this opportunity to get rid of surplus cattle etc. Therefore only a strict attention to business will dispose of the catalogue so that everyone may reach home in good time to-night. As you may imagine, galvanised roofing iron, in all stages from that which is almost as good as new, to the twisted and tortured sheets that look as if they had been writhing in a positive purgatory or other hell, for do they not seem (condemned) past all hope. Yet even these last named seem to have some redeeming merits, for all, except the very worst, find purchasers, whether as pig-sty protectors or coverings for cowsheds, even the vendee purchasers could only decide when he had overhauled them. However, as we can always learn something, so I learned that, apart from other recommendations as a roofing material, galvanised iron has this, above most of its competitors, that even after passing through such a fiery ordeal it retains an appreciable value. For the iron water tanks (of which there were no less than ten put up) there was a brisk competition, and it was really amusing to watch the undisguised eagerness with which some of the unsophisticated countrymen competed. They evidently enjoyed a good fight, and once in for it, with a foeman worthy of their steal, what did the difference of a few shillings signify to them. So we see G., of Beaconsfield, maintaining the honour of our village against the enterprising B., of Gembrook, much to the delight of the onlookers. Whichever way the contest goes, each party is satisfied ; the one that he has gained the day, the other that the winner has had to pay dear for his bargain. (?) With regard to the remainder of the sale I may say that the vehicles (including a fine family wagonette with cover complete) fetched fair prices, horses ditto. Cows, heifers, etc., of which there were a good number seemed to go very low, but the cognoscenti (of whose number I am not) say differently. A fine standing crop, of about three-quarters of an acre, sold for under three pounds, and the offering of a few plants brought the day to a close. The last named incident was enlivened by the sturdy, George Washington-like behaviour of the vendor, a well known inhabitant, who not only refused to be tempted from the strict path of truth himself, but effectually prevented the auctioneer from persisting in those generally-considered-pardonable perversions of veracity by bluntly blurting out the remark, "What's the use of telling a lot of lies?"
Whether this particularly plain speaking will prove, under providence, the means of the conversion of Mr. Brisbane from the evils of auctioneering, time alone will show.31

 
S Bourke Morn Journ26 Jul 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Really for a steady-going bush village we are getting a great deal too much excitement. Barely has the going, going, gone !" of the Big House sale died away in the distance, the bell is rung for another sale. This time it is the furniture and effects of our respected fellow-settler, Mr. Veevours, which are to be put under the hammer. Of course we shall all be there on Friday, 28th inst., not that any of us is prepared to purchase anything, although there is everything to ..t one, from an oil painting by an ..aster to pots and pans for a new ..ress. The picturesquely situated "Mountain Home" of Mr. Hall is also to be brought to the hammer on the date. Whilst we are losing, or are about to lose some of our neighbors, there are signs that migratory Melbourne is on a march bushwards. Town has few ..ctions when money is scarce, and, fortunes are not easily made in farming, there is at least an opportunity for promising expenditure in the bush .. put that accompanying sense of ..iliation which seems almost insensible from the transition between a Mansion in South Yarra and the ..age on the Flat.
Children certainly seem to possess a charmed life. The risks they run with ..anity would be certain death to any ... under similar circumstances. A few days since a young hopeful of ... years old, the pride (and torment), of his parents, storekeepers in the village, tired of so many unsuccessful attempts at suicide by horse-hoof or cart-wheel, determined to try his luck at drowning. The fates seemed ..itious. Mother was busy, and the rest of the world oblivious of his ...ance. Through what preliminary .. of reasoning (or overbalancing) ... into the water no mortal ... . Suffice it to say that the sound of screams brought a neighbor's ... girl, and the little girl soon caught Mr. Kirwan, the postmaster, who without a moment's hesitation, plunged into the hole and brought the lad to land. The wonder was that the boy, who had evidently been some .. time immersed, was found floating at the surface. Of an evidently philosophic temperament, he seems to have resigned himself to the situation..y crying out for help. Whether the natural buoyancy of the body, or his clothes enclosing air, or the combination, so it was that the little fellow was found floating as if to the manner ... and, although he had of necessity swallowed some water, does not seem to have been greatly inconvenienced. The young rascal is, no doubt, now ex.. stating some extra sensational escapade wherewith to harrow up the ... of his parents or friends. Meanwhile Beaconsfielders congratulate themselves on possessing a postmaster who is at the same time a man. One man, seeing a fellow mortal in peril, not wait to be introduced before offering a helping hand, or consider that the parents are the responsible parties, or wait to think that the water would be cold and deep, and that he could not swim. He finds all this out experimentally, and saves a precious life.
I hear that some young ladies of this neighborhood are abount to establish a school in the village, where, be sides the usual curriculum, such accomplishments as are indispensable to those who hope to take any place in society, will be efficiently taught. Such competent teachers, moderate ..., and a field free from competi tion, all the element of success would ... to be present. Unfortunately the extreme depression of the times did prevent such a hearty response as would otherwise be accorded, and con ..iently a little patience will be ne cessary. Be this as it may, the best ..es of the Beaconsfielders go with the ladies' little venture.32

 
S Bourke Morn Journ2 Aug 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. "Something like weather!" is the cheery remark as we pass the time of day during the last half-week. One is incontinently seized with the desire to be off on some jaunt or other. Fortunately for the sale at Mr. Veeuour's last Friday was all that could be desired in the way of weather. People who wanted to buy could get to the scene of action with comfort, and people who only wanted an excuse for an outing embraced the opportunity thus afforded. The temptation to follow the rest of the population thither wards was almost too much for me. However, I conquered, the inclination, being persuaded by certain symptoms which I had noticed on the occasion of the "Big House" sale that my old bargain-fever was only scotched, not killed. From what I learn of the alarming sacrifices made, I consider, that I saved money by my decision.
Fruit-growing is an occupation which we pride ourselves upon knowing something about; but judging from some specimens from South Australian orchards, which it was my good fortune to see the other day, I should say that they had not much to learn from us. The apples are amongst the finest I have seen, both in size and color, that one could wish for, but a pear, which I took to be of the Uxdale St. Germain's kind, fairly beat the record so far as my knowledge goes, turning the scale at 3lbs, a very mammoth amongst its species. Unfortunately our neighbors are suffering from a scourge which, at least in this neighborhood, has, I am informed, left us comparatively free. I allude, to the Fusicladium, commonly called '"Scab." An Adelaide orchardist who was lately on a visit to Beaconsfield, has written to the secretary of our local fruitgrowers' association, stating that whilst here he noticed it, and learned that it had only just made its appearance. It has been known in the neighboring colony for at least ten years, and is the greatest scourge, to apple and pear growers, of all the diseases known there. Naturally the experts in fruit culture have been on the track of the marauder with all the most fearful and diabolical compounds which the mind of men could conceive or his skill contrive, but hitherto with plentiful lack of success. To give some idea of the doss by scab, the gentleman alluded to mentions that five years ago he had 130 trees of a sort which is a great favorite in Adelaide. These were affected by the scourge that year, and since then they have not been able to muster more than twenty trees of this particular kind. At length, however, it is confidently expected that the sleuth-hounds of science are fairly on the track of the villain that has wrought all this mischief. Soon will he be brought to bay and forced to pay the penalty of all his misdeeds in the past. Out of a multitude of experiments, but a very few seemed to have any effect. Of these, however, one or two seem to have shown themselves particularly effective, and thus our secretary's correspondent writes that he hopes to have a crop from these particular twenty trees next season. Should this prove to be the case, the disease will practically be a thing of the past, at least in the nature of an uncontrollable scourge such as has been its character in the past. Should any of our local orchardists have been unwillingly or unwittingly entertaining this satanic visitor, let them forthwith take counsel with the association at the service of the members, whereof the information will, I understand, be placed. In doing so they will have the satisfaction of knowing that they have adopted the best defensive and offensive armor at present known, and are therefore in the best position to cope with an enemy that gives no quarter, and most assuredly should receive none.
Much sympathy is felt for Mr. Rees, the stationmaster at Beaconsfield, whose little son (aged about ten years) died on Sunday morning. The immediate cause of death seems to be a fall from the platform which he sustained whilst playing with a companion on the station premises. He was, however, said to be suffering from an illness at the time of the mishap, which may perhaps have contributed to complicate matters, and thus tend towards the fatal, result. The funeral took place on Monday afternoon.33

 
S Bourke Morn Journ9 Aug 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. In my letter of last week I alluded to a communication lately received by the secretary of our local Fruitgrowers' Association, respecting that pest of the horticulturist, the Fusicladium or "Scab," and known here, I believe, so far as the apple is concerned, as the "Black spot." The information, that it contained was deemed by that gentleman to be of such importance that, with the concurrence of Mr. Noble, the chairman, he called a special meeting of the committee for Saturday last, when this highly interesting paper was placed before them. As the full text of the document has been placed in my hands with permission to publish the same for the benefit of the orchardists of the country, perhaps the importance of the subject will justify me, in the opinion of the horticultural reader at least, in giving it in extenso ; even at the risk of repeating the information contained in my partial resumé of last week, written before any decision was made, known as to the intention of calling a meeting on the subject. The letter, then runs, so far as this matter is concerned, as follows: -"When I was in your part of the world about 16 months ago, I noticed traces of the Fusicladiuma or "Scab" as it is commonly known in S. A., in the apples and pears at various places at Beaconsfield. Upon enquiry I found out that it had only just made its appearance in your district. At the time, I mentioned to several residents that it would be the greatest enemy to apple and pear growers of all the diseases, more especially in the wetter districts. Perhaps you are not aware that the "Scab" has been known in S. A. for at least 10 years, and has caused the destruction of most of the apple trees in the Mount Lofty Range, in fact had it not been for that disease, I believe that we should have been exporting as many apples as Tasmania. So you will easily see that with such a formidable enemy in our midst it is natural that we should try to discover a remedy or preventative, and I believe that we are on the right road to success. Up till last year the only means to arrest the disease had been preventive ones, such as planting trees that resisted the disease most. The varieties which were foremost in that respect were the London Pippin, Reinette de Comenda and one or two others. The worst was that the greatest favorite of all apples in S. A. the Pomeroy or Cleopatra, known in Tasmania as New York Pippin. But last year, principally by the advice of the Bureau of Agriculture, spraying was tried with different remedies and of course various success. But the one that appeared to do the most good was known as the "Bordeaux mixture," which was very effective not only with apple and pear "Scab," but apricot "Shot hole Fungers," which threatened to exterminate the apricots at Angaston. The next best remedy was "Ammonia copper carbonate solution." Another remedy recommended was manure with "Sulphate of iron, or kainite." The best time to spray is just before the buds are bursting, after the blossoms have fallen and at intervals until the fruit is grown." To give you some idea of the loss by "Scab," five years ago we had 130 trees of Pomeroy apples and they were not clean that year. We have never been able to muster 20 since, and we are very free from disease. In fact the Pomeroy is the only apple that we cannot grow, and I hope to have a crop of them next year. In S. A. the disease is much worse in the stringy bark country than in the gum, but I sincerely trust it may be a thing of the past ere long. The reading of the paper was attended to with the greatest interest by the committee, after which a cordial vote of thanks was unanimously passed in favor of both writer and reader. When matters of such a practical nature, and of such vital importance to horticulturalists are discussed, and remedies of such a simple and easily applied character urged for adoption, accompanied by such cogent reasons for our encouragement. I maintain that no one need seek further for a full raison d' être of a Fruitgrowers' Association. It is only a thou sand pities that people who own orchards cannot see it is to their interest, and those who depend on the production of fruit for a livelihood, that their very existence de pends-or may do-on being au courant of the latest information in all concerning that industry, but above all in the matter of the great conflict which must ever be waged with these mysterious microscopic myriads at whose multiplication we so greatly marvel, whilst, unaided by science, we are utterly helpless to oppose their ravages. Ignorant of their origin as we are of their purpose in the economy of nature, we are tempted in our desperation at the havoc they work, to credit the arch enemy of mankind with the monopoly of their manufacture, rather than the good God who doeth all things well ; whereas it is often our neglect to use those brains which God has given to (some of) us, which prevents from being able to cope with the difficulty; or which causes us to look upon it as a difficulty at all. Depend upon it that in nature at least there is no wrong without a reason and a remedy, and generally the reason and the remedy are neither far to seek. We may lack the time or the sense to find them, but they are all none the less there. Everyone cannot be a genius or a man of leisure, but he can hope himself in touch with the most advanced thought in his particular branch by joining himself to an association established for the protection and guidance of the particular branch of industry to which he belongs, and the man who, through neglecting the opportunities thus held out to him, is stricken in his purse or person, has himself alone to blame.34

 
S Bourke Morn Journ16 Aug 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. The parish of Pakenham again to the fore ! It was not long ago I had the pleasure of noting that some of our neighbors had carried off the honors at the Imperial Institute in the matter of fruit producing and packing, and now again I am highly gratified to be able to mention the success which has fallen to the share of the plucky little village in the poultry line. The prizes carried off by Miss Doxat for Andalusians, and by Mr. J. W. D. Robinson for Wyandottes (or as they are phonetically called "Y and .") should prove an incentive to other poultry fanciers in our midst to go and do likewise. To enable the reader to fully appreciate the fraternal interest taken in the success of the friends and neighbors alluded to, it may be well to state that part of Upper Beaconsfield is situated in the parish on which such fame has fallen.
Mr. W. Warrington Rogers, one of the candidates for the vacant seat in the Berwick Council, who has been personally canvassing in the district, explained his views on main roads and other matters of importance to the district at a meeting hold at Mr. Lennie's Pine Grove Hotel a few nights since. Not having been apprised of the event until it had taken place, I cannot speak from personal knowledge, but am told that under Mr. Beatty's chairmanship the evening passed off without any untoward incident, and, indeed, the candidate seems to have been well received. Of course it would not be politic for me to display any symptoms of partisanship, and therefore I refrain from commenting on the presumed chances of success of the respective competitors. In any case we need not envy the winner, for there will be troublous times enough in store, we may rest assured, to take all the gilt off the gingerbread.
(Our correspondent's letter has been unavoidably curtailed.)35

 
S Bourke Morn Journ23 Aug 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. What a blessing it is in the country not to be bound to bother oneself about the burning questions of the hour. In town everything is at fever heat, and, like the Athenians, the Melbourne men and women are always running after some new thing, and getting terribly excited because some abuse of their own discovering is not abolished forthwith by Act of Parliament. Of course we have plenty of parochial opportunities of exciting ourselves, if we so wish, from simply burning our fingers to plunging headlong into hot water. In fact it is not altogether easy, unless one is gifted with a phlegmatic temperament, to steer entirely clear of trouble. But we are not compelled to trouble ourselves about the tittle-tattle of the township, as the city man is forced to do about the talk of the town.
And so I saunter with a calm conscience this bright spring morning, down the side of a neighboring gully, to enjoy to the full the Sabbath's stillness of this sunshiny morning. What a glory of gold there is over the forest, as the sun beams down upon it out of a cloudless sky, from palest yellow to a tint of orange. Every bush seems to have suddenly caught the yellow fever, but above all, and taking precedence of the rest in its stately magnificence, is the silver wattle, with its wondrous wealth of flowers. Many tall examples of this most beautiful of bush trees may be seen in some of the gullies of our immediate neighborhood, but these now, before all, are easily first. With their feet bathed in the ice cold waters of the mountain burn, amongst the lovely varieties of mosses and lichens which my little girl loves to collect and carry home, they rise straight and tall to a tremendous height, and laughingly seem to shake their myriad little fluffy yellow balls e'en in the very face of old Sol himself.
And down below there, in the calm and cool depths of the gully, when, one has forced a way there, through the tangled mass of wire, sword and ribbon grass and other obstacles, which in some parts form a wall impermeable to any ordinary un equipped mortal as a solid wall of masonry. What an awesome stillness prevails, as in some holy temple, with its "dim religious light," its pillars with their leafy capitals, its incense which is wafted by each breath of air-for no rude winds reach here-and e'en the tinkling bells the water counterfeits, which bring the faithful to their knees. And where is the Almighty more manifest than here, amidst the mighty memories of a time, in other lands so long since past that man can only trace its history imperfectly in fragments here and there of coal. Here all around we gaze with awe upon the self-same types, or some of them, as there existed countless æons ago-the banksias, tree-like ferns, and a thousand other forms are faithful reproductions of that ago-long buried past. And so the young est of the peoples of the earth, the future ruler of the Southern seas, comes face to face with these tragic forms that lived upon this globe ere man was made.36

 
S Bourke Morn Journ6 Sep 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. Todea Africana. It has gone very hard with our old friend Jack the Digger during the past week. When last writing no hope could be entertained of his recovery, and until the end of last week his life was, humanly speaking, not worth an hour's purchase. Mrs. Tyson, of Wood Grange, who had kindly given him shelter, has been indefatigable in her attention to the sick man's wants, and the neighbors have watched by his bedside day and night. In fact, nothing that careful nursing and nourishing food could do has been left undone. Notwithstanding this, had not the ancient miner been blessed with an iron constitution, it would have been impossible for him to last out the week. On Friday morning, however, a decided change for the better was noticeable, and as the day promised to be mild and warm it was decided to remove him to the Melbourne Hospital. All arrangements have been previously made in the hope that this might prove feasible, he was despatched in a covered waggonette to Berwick, and thence, accompanied by Constable Roberts, to his destination. News has since been received of his safe arrival, with the cheering additional information that the doctor thinks his recovery quite possible. Something more than a word of praise is due to the constable for the kind and humane manner in which he carried out the arrangements connected with the transport of the patient from Beaconsfield to Melbourne.
Spring has come at last. Cherry plums are a blaze of white blossom and apricots are beginning to bloom. The lovely pink of the peach flower is at present the most strikingly beautiful object in our orchards hereabouts, soon to be followed by the crimson glory of the nectarine. Plums and cherries, decked out with that reckless extravagance so characteristic of glorious old Dame Nature, will soon follow suit, in their turn to make way for Mother Eve's favorite, in the adornment of which the same general disregard for anything like ideas of retrenchment or economy of any kind will be sure to be displayed. But—"never a rose without a thorn," and Nature, who is so benevolent in the matter of blossom, seems at the same moment to offer an inexplicably ill-timed invitation to the insect world to feed upon that which man, in the, innocence of his heart, had fondly imagined was intended solely for his benefit. Thus it was not only the human race that suffered through the inquisitiveness of our misguided maternal relative, a blight fell on the apple too. Not only does man now have a struggle for existence, but the war is carried on even with the vegetable world, and not a plant that grows but is a living example of the Darwinian law- the survival of the fittest, or rather say the strongest.
Although our main roads, considering the sparse population of the shire, are by no means so bad as some would fain make them out to be, no one can say that there is not room for improvement. Not to put too fine a point upon it, they would cause Macadam to remark that we make a-mess of it. The fact is that where the highway is not formed in the delightfully primitive fashion of just digging two ditches a chain apart and throwing the earth into the middle to form the crown, the stone used is not hard enough and consequently soon becomes pulverised. The difficulty seems to be to find the right material within reasonable distance of the scene of operation. To the unsophisticated understanding it would appear that the great granite rocks that crop out here and there all over the higher parts of this district, would be just the very thing that is wanted. It is easier to bring such stuff down a hill than to take it up, and notwithstanding I am well aware that the cognoscenti consider it by no means a perfect material for the purpose, the millenium may be a long way off yet. Let it be tried in a few places ; it will certainly not prove worse than what we have. Apropos of this subject, an indefatigable councillor told me the other day that he had been on an exploring expedition and, in one of our gullies had chanced upon "metal more attractive" than any that has been used yet. Let's hope we may hear more of this anon.37

 
S Bourke Morn Journ13 Sep 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. There has been great commotion in the poultry yards of late on account of a fowl crime cr-i:l:itted by that hereditary enemy of the hen-house-Mr. Reynard. Although t:'.a rvd.s 1:)lbie gentleman is no stranger in this district, having often had a brush with our fethered friends, now carrying off a few ducks in broad daylight from neighbor A., after honoring the hennery of farmer B., and with scarcely, a decent interval to recover our breath "laying Sut" the gobblers of Mrs. C; still as we know. " All men think all tramn mortal but theta.... And so it is easy to understand how Mr. D. assured himself, that while there pe., l. hid i, pay for ithir lihihnei in Srletti tlhir trls run wild. he oas !i?ll| iikrely-t s tufr in the same way. With yards well warded by wire netting and poultry kept under careful corr-, lie can aflurd t, l: urh to sccrn the maclirib of the alnial tiiilisplhieIts u the stren"lh of ii caiulli i its i*rakst Iuk ann' a f*; triss :nay. all thrn -h ai a, the wr.ll. Andi s, it camne alb'ut theler dar.--ir wvvi it nighr-that Master Reynard was rewarded for his patience by finding that one weak place in or under the wire - possibly scratching with the innocence of her heart, by some fussy hen in search of a dust bath-which for weeks he had been watching for. And it would have been well worth his while had not the enemy got early on his trail and so robbed him of nearly all the fruits of his victory. For had he not-but let us go down to the yard with the owner who, had left them, as he thought, so secured only the night before: "But, oh ! what a difference in the morning."
Feathers all over the place and many marks of a terrible tussle, but where and oh ! where is the poultry gone! "Away in die Ewigkeit !" For alas! not far from forty fowls were on the perch last night, and now but five or six post frightened scare-crows crouching in a corner are-- "All that are left-left of the plundered. But there is no time to bewail the untimely fate of the victims. While the scent is fresh we must get on the track of the murderous marauder. With several volunteers, including a good dog or two, we aren't ing in coming up with some traces of the treacherous villains march. Here a couple of hens hastily concealed under the shelter of a log by some earth and leaves lighty scraped over it; there one or two similarly disposed, and so on until the greater part of the spoil has been retaken. Several of the rest find their way back alive, and at length it is found that the only one of the whole yard which must still be r:ep ,ed missing is good olf " BamI a " as our litle one usle to ca him, he originally having been nicknamie "Bombahtes Fu.io-, " on account of hi absurdly ferci,u. ldeeanour. Thedeep lylamentedd cesed as abi oi f "anrient lineage," one 'f 'he get old sort of gatin who were iisihtin rc.. ~a "to the backbon' and spinal marroi- " Many a time an! oft has he made a m-.est determined an slaught at the inr: der, man woman or child, who dare" d:sturb the sacred preo. cincts O is his ha . and at such times nothing bu: a cap:tre by surprise and a sound thrsiang c .,id im.atlant any nfiat of the superi,rity t.i his opponent. Andt even then, hIarelyhad his fee dqearad. than the old bird's acs .nt would rin.-out for the benefit of his hens. " Just iet him do it to.:in, that's all :" Aid so th, good old fighte --w as " gm.e" - nt. the end ! For t,!in_- '' ili conice :oe .c that this doughty "-, arri,r precr-rel like Colonel Quac-'s clnverteo, to tdo his droobing ti.ritin insteo:d ,f lyinge lt? a lamb : and that it was not until he l demolished ceverr rnss of this 'e ! - valor. from his comb to his Opurs. ih: Mr. Fox could proced to iurther hEi's, and even then. such wsa te s nit 0f tl pride of the Gallee-icix that I willaw, you mOight saiely le.ieF his diselne?r fragments as the hearty British fmar 'was content to leave tel rather hbeto gencous stock of victuals he waso wirt take aboard, viz.: "t.' fiht i outinsio' And, as the Duchess said to Alice in Wonderland " The moral of it is -
Our young men are not behind their contemporaries in other districts in their love for the national games of football and cricket, but hitherto they have labored under the great disadvantage of having no local club. Some attempts have from time to time been made to form one, but from one cause or another no success has attended the effortt put forth. There is again some talk of doing something in this direction. Let us hope that this time " our boys " will carry the intention to an issue so that it may not lose the name of action. No doubt there are various difficulties in the way, but difficulties were made to be surmounted. The weather continues very changeable and we have had a good deal of rain since last writing. The weeds seem to be the only vegetation which under the circum stances grow with any luxuriance, and these do undoubtedly show an amazing amount of vigor. The more you knock them about the more they seem to like it, as for killing them, that is out of the question unless one pays a quite dispro portionate amount of attention to the root ramifications of each individual sprig of sorrel and chickweed. I speak feelingly as one who "has been there."
[part of this article is not readable]38

 
S Bourke Morn Journ20 Sep 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. "When the stormy winds do blow !" And on the hills, as on the sea, they know how to blow. As the NIL ADMIRARI tourist is said to have remarked of the great Niagara, when his despairing guide, that at last he had got some thing to show which must compel the wonder of the British Philistine, gave vent to his feelings with.-" There's a fall of water for you !" Well, what's to hinder it ?" And so it is with us. There, is nothing on our own level which can stop the winds of heaven which come careering across the Great Southern Ocean until they catch the tops of the forest trees, which stand like sturdy giants guarding the outposts of the ranges. Then there is a rushing sound as of breakers on an ironbound coast, with here and there a crash, as in the mighty wrestling match some veteran tree is laid low. And, as if to take the likeness to the ocean more distinct, the rain is driven athwart, the hills and valleys in great billows, wave after wave, until water streams down every hillside, and all the gullies are turned into raging torrents, whose force is such that mighty monarchs of the bush are lifted on their bosoms and driven with the force of battering rams against fences, fern trees and every object coming in their way, so that nothing can stand against them.
Yes, there has been a good deal of weather about lately. And only to think that in four or five months time we shall probably be crying out for water; and blaming Providence, if not openly, at least in our heart of hearts, in that he does not drop it into our mouths just when we happen to be athirst, or into our particular potato patch at the scientifically correct moment, regardless of the needs of neighbor Jones' who at that time will be praying for fine weather.
This reminds me of a conversation which took place between a squatter friend and myself a few years since, anent the great drought in Queensland and New South Wales, which was carrying off sheep in countless thou sands. After lamenting his losses, and graphically-depicting the misery to the myriads of poor dumb sheep-a point of view from which one seldom sees the matter regarded the squatter remarked that at times under such distressing circumstances, without any wish to he profane; he could hardly help questioning the providential decrees which doomed those poor animals to a miserable death and their owners to little less than bankruptcy. The answer, which was obvious to an un biased person, resolved itself into a question, "Did Providence decree that you should place them there? and knowing that the region you selected had its years of famine following periods of plenty, why didn't you take a lesson from Joseph or old ?" Before we blame Providence let us make sure that we have rightly used our brains. In ensilage and artesian wells God has given us the possibility of peopling the waste places of Australias vast interiors. And even here may we not from Spring's plenty provide for Summer's scarcity.
The Beaconsfield cricket club is an accomplished fact. "Between twenty and thirty menmhers have actually been enrolled. On Saturday last, when the new flegded members and their friends assembled in Mr Shorthous's paddock, a good game was played, giving promise of grander things in the near future, when a better pitch shall have been arranged.39

 
S Bourke Morn Journ27 Sep 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Mr. Ellery's department is running into extremes. After heing deluged for an indefinite period with rain sufficient to soak any soil for the whole of the summer season (so one would think), we get a week of weather which seems tropical by comparison, accompanied by winds of such a drying nature that the surface of our garden beds is baked into the consistency of a Collins street pavement; the clay and gravel forming concrete which would stand a contract for some ocean breakwater in good stead. Excuse the sore feeling which is h... (beg pardon ! owing) in a measure ... extra exertion which gardening ... such difficulties have entailcd up ... who is more accustomed to wield a pen than the humble, though to ... arduolus, not to say awkward .... of torture. And now, as I ... flood gates are once more opened, there will be a speedy resurrection of ... sorrel we had so fondly hoped had gone unto death through our mere ... treatment. But not for our .... sent us with the knighted apple when ... gates of the weedless garden were for ever closed against the human race. When sorrow found an entrance into this valley of tears, then sorrel entered too. That it is amongst the chief of the vegetable seeds of the serpent I am firmly convinced. The lahors of Sysiphus and Hercules rolled into one were but as child's play compared to the torments which a new-chum-sod-shifter suffers in his war against the weeds.
All who have seen the young brother and sister together and noticed the tender affection which so evidently existed between them, observing also the pathetic solicitude of the girl on account of the young man's evidently fast failing strength, must feel deep sympathy for Miss Doxat and her mother in the loss they have now sustained. Several of our residents paid the last tribute of respect to the young Enghlishman's memory, when the poor frail body was carried to its final resting place in the beautiful Berwick cemetery a few days since. May he rest in peace !
Rio the entrancing! What remines cences does the very mention of the name call up to me who has had the rare privilege of gazing upon that fairy harbour. And now to think of the con trast—Rio in revolution! with a possibility —nay, a probability of Rio in ruins. Never shall I forget the first sight of the, then, Imperial city, with its glorious a background of tier upon tier of mountains. Mountains of all shapes and sizes, with every conceivable contour; some so near as to be positively overhanging the town (as the Corcorado) and others many miles distant, but owing to their great height and the transparency of the atmosphere being clearly visible. And then the harbour itself, before which Sydney and Auckland must pale their ineffctual fires (or waters.) What a wealth of tropical foliage. What a moving and twisting and winding of the ever changing shore. But you will say that I have got rather out of my latitude in wandering so far away from our village. However, with a little patience you will see that the association of ideas brings the Brazilian Republic closer than one might think. Rio as the great port whence by far the largest quantity of the world's supply is shipped, naturally suggests coffee, and this again, sugar with the famous sugar-loaf mountain, in Rio harbour, and sugar brings us home again with a vengeance. Most of us Beaconsfielders would prefer the Income Tax for reasons which are obvious. However, it is not much use splitting hairs—they are both taxes on sugar. Besides if you don't want to pay you needn't. For my own part porridge must in fact be accompanied with salt, tea be ample ... with honey, and treacle pudding takes the place of honour amongst the condiments.
For "Though a young man from the country, They can't get over me."40

 
S Bourke Morn Journ4 Oct 1893 UPPER BEACONSFLELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Like poor Mr. Dick with King Charles' head, so I with the weather; I can't keep it out. Perhaps the sarcastic critic (and they are that or nothing generally) will suggest that there may be a similar rea son, viz., that there is a tile loose. However, such a person would himself not be the worse for a good slating.
By the way, when in town I was a consistent contemner (with a "t," not a "d," if you please) of galvanised iron as a roofing material. Not on account of any structural imperfection, but solely on asthetic grounds. Times have changed since then, and I have changed with them. Common sense now comes to my aid, and points out that as a roofing material it has no equal, whilst really, from a picturesque point of view, the delicate French gray tint which the iron assumes after a few months does not har- monise at all badly with the rather sad colored green of the gum forests.
Well, with regard to the present meteorological conditions of the atmosphere (to introduce the matter under a disguise) the behavior of the elements just now is of such an exceedingly erratic nature that Beaconsfield, at least, can hardly be said to possess a climate, so much as "samples of all sorts of climates," as the Yankee remarked of England. Not that I would be thought to animadvert in the slightest degree upon the dispensations of Providence. Heaven forbid ! only it must be admitted that the situation is somewhat puzzling, to put it mildly.
It is curious how, in spite of the proverbial uncertainty of barometric changes, some people to this day persist in clinging to the old, exploded, ideas of our forefathers. What commoner notion is there than that the condition of the atmosphere at the change of the moon is an indication as to what we may expect for the follow ing month. Then some people will aver that if the orb of night be at her first ap pearance, discerned in a recumbent position, it is a sure sign of wet ; and readers may recall a hundred other equally reliable prophetic guides.
There was a tremendous storm of wind on Saturday night, followed by a heavy downpour of rain. I am not at present in a position to say if Mr. Ellery was aware of what was going to happen-all he said was, tending to unsettled weather. Our local prophet, however (after the event), was fully equal to the occasion. It would appear, according to this gentle man, that the unwonted proximity of a certain star (not named) unto the chaste Diana convinced him that trouble was brewing, and it was so. But what in the world was our astronomer-royal about that he took no note of such a suspicious circumstance. It is evident that our chief star-gazer must be on the look out or he is like to lose his laurels.
Altogether the moon is made responsible for many matters which, according to the best scientific opinion of the present day, have no more to do with her than her proverbial man. I was consider ably amused once by the kind concern which the captain of a steamer, on which I was travelling, expressed when he found me reclining in a deck chair fully exposed to what I should have considered the purely sentimental influences of the lunar luminary. Of course I am aware that a person with any tendency to insanity is likely to become dangerous if exposed to her rays when at the full, more especially if accompanied by an eligible member of the opposite sex; but I had never met, until then, with anyone who seemed seriously to believe that the Queen of the Heavens was liable to be the cause of any permanent contortion of the features. A temporary drawing together of the lips, accompanied by no means unpleasant sensations, being the only thing of the kind that has ever happened to my know ledge.41

 
S Bourke Morn Journ18 Oct 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. By TODEA AFRICANA. Some excitement was caused in Upper Beaconsfield on Monday afternoon about 1 o'clock, when it was discovered that the residence of Mrs. Tyson, "Wood-grange," was on fire. "The neighbors were soon on the spot, but from the first it was seen that no hope could be entertained of saving any part of the building. Every ones', energies were therefore concentrated on rescuing as much of the furniture as possible. So rapidly did the flames spread, however, that not many articles could be salvaged, and in about half an hour from the first alarm being given, the place was completely gutted. There is little doubt that the conflagration had its origin in the kitchen. Mrs Tyson and her grand-daughter were in the garden when the latter's attention was suddenly arrested by an extraordinary amount of smoke and flame issuing from the neighborhood of the kitchen chimney. The two at once hurried back to the house, but by the time they arrived, access to that part of the house was barred by the fierceness of the flames issuing therefrom. Mr. Noble, whose house is situate on the opposite side of the road, was soon upon the spot to render any assistance that might be in his power. However, it was at once evident that all that could be done was to rescue some portion of the furniture and a few valuables, from the other rooms. With the ready aid of his four sons and some of the other neighbors, who had already been attracted to the spot by the smoke and flames, a partial clearance was soon effected; but, such was the rapidity of the fire-fiend's advance, that even the wearing apparel of the inmates (excepting such as they actually wore) had, for the most part, to be abandoned to his rapacious maw. As one stood helplessly by, watching the giant tongues of flame lapping up the walls of the building as eagerly as a dog would a saucer of milk on a summer's day, it was pitiful to see the poor young girl trying to console her grandparent for the loss of their little home, whilst herself struggling to restrain the unbidden tear. And yet, amidst all the excitement, one could not avoid being amused at the touch of comedy presented by the eager question of the sturdy little boy of six, "Grandma! have you saved my overcoat ? there's a penny in the pocket!" and again shortly, "'Grandma! have you saved the chaff for Peter (the goat)?" And yet, on consideration, these matters would naturally be as important to this young hopeful, as her diamonds to the lady of fashion, or his haystacks to the farmer. But there is not much time for indulging in such cogitations; for, although the building is lost beyond recall, there are others across the half chain road which the all devouring element will quickly appropriate given the slightest opportunity. We are soon on the alert therefore, ready to dash a bucket of water over any spot of the neighboring house or outbuildings which may ignite by the flying sparks which the westerly wind is carrying across the road. It was fortunate that such readiness was displayed, as by this means further devastation was certainly prevented on more than one occasion. Anxious were the glances that were cast up at the handsome pine trees adjoining "The Steyne" (Mr. Noble's residence), as they visibly shrink and shrivel under the deadly breath of the scorching sirocco. Thankful are we now for the heavy rains, which it has pleased Providence to send of late, and which now stand us in such good stead ; for had such a fire followed on a prolonged period of drought, good-bye to the pines and the contiguous property. To one whose acquaintance with the destructive element has previously been confined to the fires of a great-city, accompanied by the furious rush of the fire brigade with the shouts of their jehus, the roar and crash of tailing beams and masonry, the hissing of the water as it descends in streams on red-hut bricks and iron, and the din and confusion generally. To such, I say, there seems something unreal, something stage-like, to be compelled to stand by and let things take their course; to watch the woodwork quickly consuming in the bright flames, and then falling, almost without a sound, its substance gone, a mass of charcoal. So bit by bit the building goes; a little smoke forces its way between the weatherboards, then is visible an orange streak, a hundred streaks, and then the bare uprights are left amidst the bright glare, to follow a few moments after. The galvanised iron roofing comes down like so many sheets of cardboard, and the galvanised iron tanks, filled now with boiling water, are the only objects which cause any material sense of excitement to the uninvolved onlooker, as they descend with something like a crash, precipitating a huge volume of scalding hissing fluid over the incandescent embers of what was but half an hour agone a dwelling place-a home. And thus in a few brief moments disappears, like " the base less fabric of a vision, that about which a thousand memories and old associations may have twined themselves, and leaves us-ashes.
And he too-poor old Jack the Digger has shuffled off this mortal coil. Twas not so many weeks ago that he lay sick within those very walls, which, like his soul, have vanished into æther. Since leaving here some weeks ago he lingered on twixt life and death in the Melbourne Hospital The Little Sisters of the Poor—whom let us honor—visited him almost daily there, and not many days ago, took him, a dying man, to the kindly shelter of their home, the better there to tend him. And so, his pillow smoothed by the tender hand of woman and, let us hope, his soul benefitted by the prayers of the saintly sisters, the last few days on earth of this rugged old pioneer were passed. Better by far thus than to have perished as he was, like to have done in his lonely life, falling down some digger's hole, or - dying like a dog in his hut.42

 
S Bourke Morn Journ25 Oct 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. "New Beaconsfield!" That is how some of us will always think of it, supposing that it turns out a success, and there seems no reason why it should not. Let me explain that "our village," always in the van of progress, has just sent forth some of its youthful bone and sinew to make new homes for themselves in the wilderness. Beloved by all her sons as is our worthy hamlet, yet we must acknowledge that the amount of land available for cultivation is strictly limited, and that not of the best quality for ordinary farm crops. In Gippsland, on the other hand, is an inexhaustible supply of soil of the very best description only waiting to be "tickled with a hoe to laugh with a harvest." The spot which has been selected for the new venture is one that seems almost bound to succeed; consisting of rich bottom lands within easy distance of a township on the line of Gippsland railway. So far as water supply is concerned there can be no anxiety, as an ever-flowing river passes by one end of the settlement. The pioneer party only started on Monday morning, carrying with them, besides the pots and pans and other para phernalia of camp life, the heartiest good wishes of friends and fellow neighbors. The settlement is to be on the "Homestead" principles, each member being allotted about 50 acres of land, with one acre each additional for a residence or homestead. The development of this and kindred experiments will he watched with the keenest interest by all of us, and I shall not fail to report anything worthy of note in connection therewith that may come under my notice.
It is gratifying to be able to report that most of the houses in the neighborhood are now let for the next few months at fair rentals. Amongst others, I notice that Mr. Walford's beautifully situated residence, with its magnificent fernery will soon be tenanted. We may therefore look forward to quite a lively summer season.
After a most boisterous week, with trememsdous gales and deluges of rain, culminating in a sharp hailstorm, we seem to have settled down to a period of fine weather, which if it should only last for a short time, will make a marvellous transformation scene in our garden crops, especially the more needed ones.
This year, for the first time in this district, our orchardists have been making use of the much-recommended Bordeaux Mixture for syringing their fruit trees, as a remedy against various fungoid pests. It is early to give any idea of the efficacy of the experimnent, but judging from ex perience elsewhere, we are justified in being hopeful.
Slugs are very plentiful this year, hav ing made their appearance in gardens where their visits hitherto had been happily missed. Alas, we find now that we have no longer any reason to crow over our neighbors in this respect. They are a great scourge, more especially as they seem to have not only a large, but such a widely ranging appetite. Besides the coarser kinds of vegetable food, they seem to develop, a taste for fruits, and the delicate and delicious strawberry is a sad pray to their depredations. What a pain fully picturesque contrast, the exquisitely luxurious strawberry, and the loathsome slimy slug. Beauty and the Beast!
Hospital Sunday has once more come and gone. It has come to have the bad reputation of being a rainy day, which this year it has made an effort to retrieve. Notwithstanding the clouds made a very praiswortly effort, they could not succeed in squeeging more than a few drops of moisture out, and the day so far as we were concerned remained fine throughout. Three services were held during the day. Sunday school in the morning, Church of England in the afternoon, and Presbyterian in the evening; at each of which understantd a collection was made—the results have not yet been made known, but I think will not be far short of last year's contributions.
It is to be feared that the newly formed cricket club will suffer severely from the enforced defection of some of the most sturdy champions of the game, in connection with the "outwandering" of which I spoke above. Those who remain, however, must endeavor to supply the loss so far as may be by putting extra enthusiasm into the game so far as they are concerned. Other recruits will doubtless come forward and on no account must the game be allowed to languish.43

 
S Bourke Morn Journ1 Nov 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. At a committee meeting of the Beaconsfield and Gembrook Fruitgrowers Association held on Saturday last a matter of more than ordinary impotrtance was brought forward in the shape of a circular from the newly established Chamber of Rural Industries. It only needs that the object the chamber has in view should be made public in order to enlist the sympathy of every intelligent Australian. Take for instance, the first, vix.: The collection and dissemination of the latest information concerning agricultiual products and markets. To have an agent in Melbourne who can and will undertake such an important task as this, in a faithful and efficient manner, is a consideration of the very highest value to all whose livelihood depends upon the soil and that which can be raised therefrom. In these days of Unions, Trusts and Corporations, the farmer is at a serious disadvantage from the fact that he stands isolated. Combination followed up by Federation will give to the rural producer a power which, wisely wielded, will lead to permanent prosperity. Advice to intending settlers in the country, coming from a body of such undoubtable standing and so well informed as to the requirements of the various districts, as this chamber is likely soon to become, will be eagerly sought after by those interested.
Again, the public generally, are not so well informed as to the importance of our agricultural wealth as not to need any further enlightenment, and the lectures, conventions, &c., which it is proposed to organise, will certainly do a great deal of good. Then, if information regarding our resources were only properly broad cast in Europe, we should in all probability be able, as the Chamber hopes to do, to attract the right sort of population to our shores, to till and irrigate the waste places which are so many and so extensive in this great southern land.
Legislation also, which undoubtedly is required in the interests of agri and hor ticulture, cannot be suffered to pass unwatched by some responsible body duly accredited by those who have so much at stake. For Parliament is often impulsive, and with the very best of intentions may perpetrate great injustice through sheer igno—(but I have no wish to appear at the Bar). However, we all know that—
" Wrong is wrought by want of thought,
As well as by want of heart."
An intelligence office or labor bureau, by means of which the farm laborer, may the better and more surely be brought into juxtaposition with farm labor, and that free of expense to either party, is, I take it, a very happy idea, which if well carried out, in conjunction with the other objects of the institution, ought to do much towards removing the impression which at present very extensively obtains, at least with the individuals most con cerned, that—
"Taking one consideration with another,
With another.
The farmer's lot is not a happy one.
The new "Homestead" settlement of Somerset, for such is the name by which it has been formally registered—they may call it what they like, but I call it New Beaconsfield—has been approved by the sturdy young pioneers who were des patched by the association to drive the first peg (not pig!), put up the first post, or whatever is the proper ceremony in such cases made and provided. Not only can they grow everything vegetable, from potatoes to peaches, or animal, from pigs to poultry, but even in the human line they can surpass anything that can be shown elsewhere within a hundred miles of Melbourne. A famous family of giants, some of whose members were first introduced to the public by the Barnum of Bourke street; have for years resided in the immediate neighborhood. There where the river flows which bears the dreaded name of Bunyip, is the ancestral home of the Gippsland goliaths.
Spite of the severe loss which our cricketers suffered in the defection of the " Homestead" men, the Upper Beaconsfield team was able to score a victory again last Saturday against the Lower village. As I have not been favored with particu lars, I must refer those anxious for fur ther information to the redoubtable captain, Mr.William A'Beckett.44

 
S Bourke Morn Journ8 Nov 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Guy Fawkes Day and strawberries and cream don't somehow seem to go well together. The former connected in the mind of the Englishman with fogs and fireworks, and the latter with garden parties, river parties and junketings in general. Poor old Guy! you lived before your time. Had your advent but been postdated—but a little matter of 300 years or less, your somewhat drastic remedy for the wrongs of your co-religionists might have been looked upon as a quite defensible, if not altogether legitimate way of drawing attention to the matter. Only, had he lived in our day, he would have done the deed with dynamite and thereby have made such a noise in the world as to be elected a member of the Legislature.
Talking of strawberries, reminds me that the new plantations are looking very well. The fruit, owing to the Wet and cold of the spring season, is rather backward, but we shall (according to all appearances), have a pretty full crop.
Although the season now commencing finds us minus our principal hotel, the accommodation will to some extent be supplied to visitors by the enterprise of several residents who are offering board and lodging to the body-and-brain fagged denizen of Melbourne. Already the influx has commenced, and from now until well on in the new year our village will wear its holiday aspect. Well, let us hope that the visitors will leave us, enchanted with the beauty of our scenery and taking with them a good stock of health and strength.
One who has to purvey news from a place where everything and everyone pursues the even tenor of his way from years end to years end, is often tempted to wish that something startling would happen, if only to give him the chance of recording the fact. But we must not tempt Providence in this way or we may be startled, in a manner that we least expect. The poor people of Santander were no doubt congratulating themselves on being able to vary the monotony of existence by assisting at a naval bonfire, when the explosion occurred which sent so many to their last account. Santander, like Sydney, has a "beautiful harbour." About four miles long with an average width of two, it can well be said that the combined navies of the world could comfortably ride at anchor on its land locked waters. The quay or muelle, as the Spaniard calls it, is the busiest portion of the town. Here are situated the principal business establishments, and here also is—or was at the period of my visit in 1875—the fashionable café Suizo; the resort of everybody who was anybody in the town. Here the business man in summer, after having worked hard at his office since 7 a.m., takes his luncheon at 11, after which his cup of coffee or chocolate and his game of dominoes extend the siesta until 3. He will then return to his office and work steadily on until 5, 6, or even 7 p.m. Surely this is a more sensible arrangement than the stereotyped 10 till 4, or 10 till 5 of our fellow colonists. What an appalling picture to contemplate—that of the idlers of the quay, the habitude of the café, the business men from the adjoining warehouses and counting houses, all watching, the burning ships, unconscious of the awful impending catastrophe which was so shortly to launch them into eternity. After this we may well rest content with the not unpleasant monotone of our arcadian existence.45

 
S Bourke Morn Journ15 Nov 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. The "Cup" that cheers the few but saddens the many, has come and gone. The natal day, too, of England's heir apparent, and which, like loyal subjects and hankerers after holidays, we feel bound to celebrate, has passed into the limbo of the has-been. A little mild speculation on the former event, and a little, a very little, of the mildest possible dissipation on the latter occasion, is the extent to which, so far as my horizon extends, my friends and fellow villagers have participated. An insuffiency of funds rather than any spartan spirit of rectitude is per haps the most nearly correct explanation of this apparent excess of virtue on our part.
On the 7th inst. a cricket match took place between a team from Malvern and our local eleven, in which the former gained the victory by an innings and some odd runs. Without wishing for a moment to detract from the prowess displayed by the suburban team, it is only fair to the Beaconsfielders to point out that they have only just lost some of their best men and must consequently expect to be a little time before tley can replace them.
Mining has a tendency to revival. I am told that one of the oldest and deepest shafts in the neighborhood is being intelligently explored with a view to future operations by a Melbourne syndicate. Let us hope that if no Mount Morgan or Coolgardie lies in store for the enterpris ing adventurers, at least a fair return for their outlay may encourage them to per severe in their search for the ever precious metal.
By the way! why didn't we, in addition to our already respectable library, inau gurate a Museum of Geology and Natural History? Readers may feel inclined to smile at the temerity of such a suggestion, but everything must have a beginning, and although our commencement may be but a small one, there is no reason why we should not, even now, be able to bring together specimes enough to prove in teresting to the visitor, and at the same time, form a neucleus for a collection of a much more ambitious nature. People may say, what do we want with a museum when within an hour's ride or so we can feast our eyes on such a collection as has been got together in the great city of which all Victorians are so justly proud? My reply is that I have no intention of running the Melbourne Museum and Na tional Gallery off the road ; a statement for which the trustees will, no doubt, be duly grateful. What I believe we want, and would meet with the appreciation of both residents and visitors, and prove of no mean educational value for both old and young, is a collection of—1st. Geological and mineralogical specimens, gathered from the surrouiding districts. 2nd. Botanical specimens of any plant peculiar to the district, or calculated to be of spe cial interest to the residents. 3rd. Examples of animal or insect life affecting the settler, prejudicially or otherwise. Some specimens such as I name could soon be obtained, and might from time to time be added to until a very complete and valuable collection was eventually formed. Of couree it is of the greatest importance to have all specimens correctly named. This, no doubt, could be readily done by the instrumentality of the curators of the Melbourne and other museums, who would, I doubt not, gladly supply from time to time surplus examples of various objects, such as must inevitably be now and then at their disposal. Once started it would be found that residents and visitors would gladly contribute curios and specimens of interest, and all in the dis trict would soon take a pride in the institution. No fear need, I think, be enter tained in connection with the housing of such a collection. In the rooms connected with our assembly hall (where also the library has a home) is ample accommodation for any collection that may accumulate for a considerable time, and there is little doubt that the trustees would inter pose any objection.
It may be of interest to those who took a kindly interest in poor old Jack the Digger to learn, as I have, on good autho ity, that the few worldly belongings which the old hermit left, have been disposed of, and the proceeds, together with a few shillings he had entrusted to the care of Mr. Mackley; handed over to the Little Sisters of the Poor. It will be remem bered that these devoted women visited the aged pilgrim in the Melbourne Hos pital, and out of pure love of God and pity for the poor old Frenchman, took him in a dying state to their home, where for the few days of life remaining, body and soul were tenderly cared for. The arrange ment above-mentioned had the entire approval of the authorities, and it is gratifying to learn through a letter from the Sis ters that the amount received by them (£1 13s.) will gladden the hearts of some of their aged children with much-needed comforts.46

 
S Bourke Morn Journ22 Nov 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. "Settle the people on the land." "Double the freight on fruit." The latter announcement seems at first sight to be entirely opposed to the policy enunciated in the former. On examining the matter more critically, however, you will see that however diametrically opposed the policies of the Government and the Railway Commissioners may in this particular instance appear to be, they are really identical! It only turns on the in terpretation of the word "settle!" Really this last stroke of our gifted Trium virate is a veritable stroke of genius. Though after all the reference to the usage of railways in England rather spoils the effect. We had thought that Providence had decreed we should carve out our own destiny in this new country on lines not altogether applicable to an old one, and our foremost men of all parties have hitherto acted on that idea. It has been left to our fin de siecle Solomons to argue that the conditions, which render a certain course desirable in a country with a population of many millions, may safely be ignored in advocating a similar line of conduct in a colony of one. Apart altogether from the intrinsic value, either to the authorities or the victims, of the individual im post, the mere fact that such sudden changes may be lightly contemplated, not to say carried out, must have an extremely disquieting effect, to say the least of it, on the person liable to be experimented on. It is the evident want of finality, the fatal facility for vaccilation displayed by the great department, "conducted on conmercial principles," which is, as Dick Swiveller would say, "such a staggerer." Another instance of the great encourage ment which is offered by the Department to the small country producer, whom one might call the Premier's protégees, has lately come to my notice. Two crates of poultry each containing say 1 dozen pairs of fowls, can be sent, so I am told, to Melbourne for the small sum of eighteen-pence. So far so good ! But would you imagine that if it pays the department (or at any rate suits their book) to carry two crates for 1s. 6d., they would carry one crate for 9d. Not a bit of it ! Eighteen pence is the minimum charge. By what mysterious law of nature or the Medes and Persians we are not told—but Solomon hath spoken—the minimum it is—sufficit. Had it only been announced that one crate was the minimum one might understand. Then the misguided indi vidual who endeavored to smuggle through a half or a quarter crate might well de serve to be mulcted in the minimum charge plus the loss of the poultry.
Glorious rain, and plenty of it, has fallen since Sunday morning. It was badly wanted in orchard and garden here, as well as elsewhere, and will save an in finity of labor to the already overworked tiller of the soil, besides doing more than he could possibly effect by his utmost exertions.
Fruit promises well, and in some de partments has already performed. Strawberries are plentiful and good; gooseberries if not gigantic are satisfactorily succulent, and by no means scarce; cherries are no means chary in their appearance, nor disappearance either, for that matter, thanks to the unremitting attentions of the sparrows, et hoc genus omne, I had seen feasting on them (the cherries, not the sparrows) myself, but only in anticipation, which may be better than realisation, although I must confess to a weak ness for the latter state.
A cricket match took place on Saturday last between our club and the doughty men of Macclesfield, on the ground of the latter. In the present weak state of the Beaconsfield battalion it is not surprising that they suffered a defeat, depressing but not disgraceful ! Next week, I under stand, there is to be a return match, by which time I trust the local men may have had time to pull themselves to gether.
I hear rumors of a very encouraging nature with regard to mining in our neighborhood, but prefer waiting until something definite is done, on the principle of. "Never prophesy unless you know."47

 
S Bourke Morn Journ29 Nov 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. On Saturday evening last a meeting of the Fruitgrowers' Association was held, at which the action of the Railway Commissioners in respect to the proposed increase in rates on fruit was discussed. It was unanimously decided to enter a most vigorous protest, as being prejudicial to the interests of fruitgrowers in the district. I see that this objection is pretty generally entertained throughout the colony. It would almost seem that the Commissioners are like that unfortunate young man who could never open his mouth without putting his foot in it.
The devotion of our local young men to the ancient game of cricket is quite touching. This week I have to record a match between the two "fields," viz., Beaconsfield against Macclesfield. This was a return match, as on the previous Saturday "our boys" had visited the latter place, on which occasion they had been defeated. Nevertheless they were not cast down, whilst paying the visitors all due honors, to do their level best to beat them this time. However, the Macclesonions again proved too strong for our champions. From the point of view of one who is not an expert in these matters the ground seems to be very well selected, and without much trouble might be well adapted to sports and recreation generally. I have always thought (but then I am an arch-Philistine) that cricket to the uninitiated onlooker was not one of the exciting entertainments, and was there fore grateful, as were evidently the youngsters around me, for the unrehearsed interludes, in which exemplifications of the human Catherine-wheel and walking on the hands formed the most amusing part. I am told that the wants of the inner man were by no means neglected, and that in this respect our visitors were sent away well pleased. On their arrival luncheon was provided, and previous to their departure they partook of tea with its conconmitant etceteras.
As midsummer approaches, the tide of humanity sets in this direction. Most of the houses in our neighborhood which are not in the occupation of their owners, are now let for periods extending over the Christmas holidays. "On dit" that the "Tower," formerly belonging to one of the family of the Kitchens, and one of the most beautifully laid-out, as well as situated, places that one would wish to see, has been sold to the widow of a late Melbourne merchant. It is a relief to know that at last these lovely grounds will have the care and attention, they so sadly needed. It really made one's heart sad to see how quickly a place might go to rack and ruin when the fostering care of an owner is once removed.
Rumors of revelry reach me in connection with the fast approaching Christmas tide. Good times or bad times, as long as people have any money at all, so long will some of them be not easy until they have got rid of it. And so long as there are young men and maidens on this mun dane sphere of ours, so long will they make merry with the dance and song, regardless of the morrow. Already the Assembly hall has been engaged for a dance on Boxing night, so I suppose the young people concerned are determined to have a good time, come what may.
Bell ringing is an art that has been carried to a high state of perfection. Tho' not dating from remote ages it has quite a respectable antiquity. Even hand-bells have been shown to be capable of affording much enjoyment to the musical enthusiast in this direction ; and companies of ringers have delighted large audiences over the greater part of the civilised world.
Although I can tolerate, I can't say that I hanker afier this particular form of dissipation. Personally, it captivates more by its cleverness than by its inherent livelihood, and the furious frellity with which the performers handle their instruments of torture has a fatal fascination for the fettered gaze of the unhappy onlooker.
The preceeding paragraph was provoked by the appearance in this neighborhood of an amateur company of ringers. Now, although life in these parts may occasionally degenerate into the calmness of monotony, I am not prepared to say that the majority of the inhabitants if polled to that effect would not be found to be in favor of absolute stagnation rather than submit to a continuous course of cow-bells, even in the hands of such skilled execu tants as the band alluded to. It may argue want of appreciation, but for my part I must confess to a neglect of early opportunies for education in this direction.
The dwellers on the heights will on the 15th have an opportunity of showing their sympathy with their Berwick friends, on the occasion of the Cake and Apron Fair, in aid of the Church of England in that township, which is greatly in need of aid. In this connection it may be well to state that, in addition to the ordinary services held each Sunday in our assembly hall, there will be, during the summer months, an evening Anglican service, alternating with that of the Presbyterians.48

 
S Bourke Morn Journ6 Dec 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Judging from his manner towards some of the members of the deputation which interviewed him on the question of the proposal to increase in freights for soft fruits, I should say that our new Minister of Railways was a man of an autocratic turn of mind. The reasons he gave to justify the threatened action of the Railway Commissioners might be good and sufficient according to his ideas, and justifiable from the point of view of the Wandin jam factory ; but for the fruitgrower and the much abused and tormented general public it is harder to see where the fun comes in. Certainly such a development of the protective policy which has so long been pursued in this colony has magnificent possibilities in the dim "vister of the futer," as Artemus of immortal memory hath it. Rural industries will spring up all around us like mushrooms in the month of May, until not a township in the colony but will have its own jam factory, its own flour mill, its scandal factory, (although this is already a very promising industry in places I might mention, not a hundred miles from here) and its emporium of etceteras all home manufactured. True, if conducted to a logical conclusion, each individual may in the end be left in the rather unenviable state of the Parisians during the long siege of their fair city by the Germans in '71, viz., that of "stewing in their own juice," a brutal remark attributed to Bismarck, although some say maliciously twisted out of an innocent observation that "the poor beggars must be in a juiced stew." But there is such a sad want of humor about the average human being that I am afraid Mr Richardson will not be permitted to have his little joke out, for although we are blessed with a Ministry, in the possession of a backbone, experience has taught us that the same is like that of the acrobat, trained from the earliest infancy to a flexibility which will enable it to undergo considerable contortions with the minimum of inconvenience to the body of the owner. And such forcible arguments will doubtless be brought to bear that Mr. Patterson must see the prudence of repressing his too enterprising subordinate. Of no little importance in this connection is the fact that the genial little doctor, (as the press paragraphists and his admiring constituents familiarly dub the irrepressible), has been requested by the Beaconsfield and Gembrook Fruitgrowers Association to represent their views of the situation to the powers that be and has cordially consented. Let the recalcitrant Richardson tremble!
The Beaconsfield social club partake to a great extent of the inexhaustible spirits of our Parliamentary representative. Not that I would for worlds impute an undue familiarity one their part with the L. L. liquors, or compare the L. L. cellars for capacity, with the bottomtless pit (although from the princely way, in which, the contents were placed at the disposal of the L. L. guests such an inference might be pardonable, "I have been there.") ; but some people will be so painfully liberal in their interpretation of one's remarks. What I would say, if the reader, would only let me, is that it is as difficult to depress our young men and maidens as to administer an effectual damper to a duck. The teachings of adversity seem to have no effect on them, and they altogether fail to see why, because we are so austerely virtuous, there should be no more "cakes and ale" for them. Well, we were all young once, although our youthful exuberance may long since have evaporated, and if the young people are prepared to pay the piper, which in this instance means to settle the bill for Boxing Night, when the ball is to take place in the Assembly hall, I don't know that any of us have a right to grumble; at any rate the evening's dissipation will not be of a bank-breaking description so far as the actual expenditure for the entree is concerned, as the charge for double tickets has, I am informed, been fixed at the moderate rate of 3s 6d.
The Anglican establishment is not strong in Beaconsfield, either, numerically or financially, but the few representatives that we have of the church of our mother country are loth to let her languish here for want of adequate support. The ladies, ever to the fore in works of religion and charity (and some say at the bottom of everything else), have had a meeting to consider ways and means, with a view, I believe, of conjuring (emphasis on the "ju," please) some much-needed coin into the ecclesiastical coffers about Christmas time. Qui vive?
I am told that this is also the motto here in mining just now. An air of mystery hangs over the whole affair, but from what one does hear it might be imagined that a veritable Mount Morgan had been discovered. However, everybody interviewed is so "Cool-guarded" in his replies that nothing definite can be recorded at present. I only know (by hearsay) that the "syndicate" has been up-in a body, and two traps-to view the enchanted spot. Incidentally it was let drop that one of the number, called the Silver King of Broken Hill, was met by two or three residents, who drove to the station specially to meet him and escort him up the ranges.49

 
S Bourke Morn Journ13 Dec 1893 UPPER BEACONSFELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. A day excursion train to Beaconsfield at 2s return, must be a tempting bait to many who are toiling all the week in the hot and dusty city. How many are long ing, as they sit for hours at the desk or work in the warehouse, for a breath of fresh, mountain air, and, a ramble among the fern gullies. Such a boon, thought many, had been offered to them, on the announcement being made by the Railway Department. Poor souls ! they little thought how far their hopes would be from realisation on being landed at the Beaconsfield platform. Saturday last was a beautiful day, and the trip up the hills should have been a delightful one for the excursionists. However, the ordinary trains arriving shortly before the special brought a full complement of visitors, and all the traps, or most of them, that had come to the station were loaded and away before the "trippers" appeared on the scene. The consequence was that the majority had the delightful experience of exploring the immediate neighborhood of the station, which would certainly not overwhelm the stranger with an idea of magnificence, either of scenery nor any thing else. It is unfortunate that no ar rangement had been made for coping with this emergency. Those who urged upon the Commissioners the desirability of granting the extra facilities should have made sure that the visitors would be able to reach the hills, for without this the venture was bound to end in a fiasco. Evidently we are not quite prepared for the cheap tripper as yet. Whether we shall find him an unmixed blessing when we get himn is another question, the an swer to which-but no matter!
"On information I had received," as Robert before the magistrate would say, I interviewed a lady who attended a meeting held at Mrs Craik's, of Kincraik, on Thursday last, and who informed me that the ladies, who had set themselves the task of raising funds for the expenses in connection with the conduct of the Church of England services here, had determined on holding a garden fete or fair in the grounds of Ttekceba, kindly placed at their disposal for the occasion by the owner, Mr E. A'Beckett. The function is to take place on New Year's Day, and in their capable hands, which in the face of the most adverse conditions last year, se cured success where failure seemed inevi table, it only wants fine weather to make things hum. The programme is of course in an inchoate state at present, but I can promise when the time comes round, to point out "the place to spend a happy day," and what to do when you get there.
Hot weather, I should think so! why, it was 102 deg. in the shade on Sunday afternoon on my verandah; thus beating Mr Ellery of the Observatory by two— not in it, I assure you ! But then of course we're so much nearer the sun. About midnight it was 80 deg. in the open air, and by nine o'clock on Monday morning was again at 90 deg. However, heaven had mercy on us by mid-day, and, although we only had a few drops of rain, the temperature gave up playing tricks and the thermometer got back to serious, everyday business. Personally I am grateful, as such a day has a most demioralising tendency.
A cricket match was played on Saturday on the local club's ground, between Beaconsfield and Muddy Creek, resulting in a victory for the boys of Beconsfield against the men of Muddy-Creek The result of this contest should encourage the local team to persevere in well-doing.
The "Big House " land was told a few days' since; it appears that there is no intention to rebuild the place at present.
Besides the syndicate shaft in Welcome Gully there is some activity in mining in Mayfields Gully, where good prospects have been secured.
The second crop of strawberries, which is now coming on, promises to be a very large one, and as for the raspberries, I am afraid we will be tired of picking before they are tired of bearing. Some of our ladies are busy making jam from the fruit as it comes fresh from the garden ; in this way the full flavor of the fruit is returned, and those city people who are fortunate enough to secure any of this for their own use will doubtless be led to make com parisons, to the serious disparagement, of the town-made article.50

 
S Bourke Morn Journ20 Dec 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Rain has fallen copiously since last writing. Not before it was much needed though. However, the ground has now received such a thorough soak ing,that we can well hold out for another month or so without another downpour ; more especially those of us who are plentifully provided with waterholes and tanks. On Saturday we were visited by rather a sharp thunderstorm, accompanied by a heavy peppering of hail. As to the stinging propensities of the latter I was an un willing witness, having been out in it. Undoubtedly Victoria can boast of a choice variety of climates ; in fact an assortment to suit all tastes ; unfortunately when you have found one to suit your own particular idiosyncrasy you are not allowed to stop there, but get somebody else's climate foisted on you—willy nilly ; or else you get so much of what you had been longing for that you are "sorry you spoke." Like the parson who, as a remedy for drought, was induced to pray for rain. Thereupon came a week's heavy down pour. The river rose and overflowed its banks, washing himself and half the parish out of their houses, besides spoiling all the crops. Our poor par son could scarcely propose to receive such a visitation with humble thank- fulness and under the circumstances we may hope that his un-Job-like utterance was blotted out by the merciful tear of the recording angel. "It's true we prayed for rain, but this is main ridiculous." Without wishing to be profane though you can hardly look upon it as a serious sort of climate where you have it one hundred and two in the shade, and suffer from heat apoplexy on one day and next morning wake to find it down to fifty, put on furs and sit with your feet in the fen der. You are lucky though if the change doesn't catch you when, having under the torrid influence of the north wind donned a spotless suit of white duck, with Indian helmet to match, you sally forth to town, looking down with a contemptuous pity upon the poor, sweltering crowd, who don't know how to suit their habiliments to the climate. But oh what a difference in the evening, when you return like a drowned rat, with those dazzling con tinuations bedraggled and bespattered with mud. Hot grog, blankets, and—a sadder and sorer man next morn !
New Year's Day, 1894, is a date looked forward to with a considerable amount of interest just now in our little-community. The garden fete at Mr. a'Beckett's bids fair to be a success, weather only permitting. Everybody is entering into the scheme with enthusiasm, and, whatever you may say in some cases, you can't have too much zeal in an affair like this. Last year, it may he remembered, fancy dress was a feature of the fair held for the same object. Unfortunately the bad weather gave no opportunity of judg ing the really charming effect that would have been produced. This part of the programme will be reproduced, as far as the stallholders are concerned, and we may be sure that there will be something worth looking at. Sports also are to be included in the bill, and the name of Mr. Willie a'Beckett, who has undertaken this department, should be a guarantee that something good will be done for the amusement of both old and young. Refreshments under the same able management as on the last occasion are not likely to fail in their primary object, and as they are to be dispensed, I understand, at the sign of the South Pole and provided over by Aunt-arctic, will, no doubt, be more than ever wel come should the day prove warm, es pecially as there is to be real ice (cream).
There is quite a little tent-town now in Mayfield's Gully, which is about the best evidence one can have that there is gold to be got there. To enter into further details were not wise, as the miner does not, as a rule, wear his heart on his sleeve.51

 
S Bourke Morn Journ27 Dec 1893 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. "Christmas comes but once a year"—and quite often enough too, say the elders, to whom plum pudding has long since proved a delusion and a snare, and whose lot in life now is to give, not to receive, Christmas boxes. The Yule-tide season here has so far proved rather moist. The eventful day was ushered in with rain, which continued in heavy showers the greater part of the morning. As it cleared up after midday I was tempted to make an excursion, with some young friends, down the gullies, only to get a thorough drenching in a very heavy thunderstorm, against whose fury no shelter that rocks or trees could afford were long of any use It is to be hoped that Heaven will have dispensed sufficient of its aqueous blessings to allow of New Years' Day being fine. Entertainments are not too plentiful in these parts, and the Garden Fete at Mr. a'Beckett's on that day promises to afford some rational amusement, for everybody, whilst bring ing in a fair amount of siller to the coffers of mother church. The programme of athletic sports to be held on that occasion has been handed to me, and as the con tents are likely to personally interest many of the young folk of the district, I herewith give the substance of same, with the proviso that I was not to be bound to the entire accuracy of my copy, as some alterations and extensions have since been made, I believe, and of course may still take place. I may specially point out that in case of some, of the events, inclu ding the 100 yards race and the high jumping, a junior division has been added, which should give heart to those who come under that category. The original copy of programme then, as handed to me, is as follows:—Beaconsfield Handi cap, 120 yards, entrance 1s; Handicap Walk, ½ mile, 6d; Potato Race, 6d; Sack Races 75 yards, 6d; Siamese Race, 100 yards, 6d; Tug-of-war (married v. single, 6d; Tug-of-War (Beaconsfield v. World), 6d; Blindfold Race, 6d; High Jump (open), 6d; Obstacle Race, 6d. Half the entrance money to be divided in due proportion between the first and second man, the balance to go to the church fund. The handicappers named are Messrs. T. C. Mackley; E. Willoughby and W. A'Beckett, and, the onerous office of starter has been allotted to Mr. C. S. Crouch. The fete will commence at two o'clock. The sports will occupy a considerable time during the afternoon, and in the evening there is to be an al fresco concert and dance. The grounds will remain open until ten o'clock and visitors will thank me if they accept the advice to stay as late as possible. The feast of lanterns will be a revelation to the majority. If the scheme be only carried out as I believe is the intention of the committee, the effect will be most charming, and one not easily forgotten; the manufacture of the lamps employed, which are of an entirely novel and liter ally undreamt of construction, are at pre sent the monopoly of a man in our district, who, being of an unpredecentedly benevolent disposition, has refrained from seeking that protection to the work of his brain which a grandmotherly Government is ready to extend, and will, on this occasion, give the public the benefit of his labors, confident that his contrivance will soon chase the cheap but evanescent Chinese lantern clean out of the market, and so leave the field open to native industry to manufacture these beautiful beacons to their heart's content, without being haunted by the fear of such unfair competition as the cheap foreign labor of the Flowery Land.
Ere this appears in print the fate of the match between the cricket clubs of Beaconsfield and Malvern, to be played on Boxing Day, will have been decided on our ground. Unfortunately the rain has made the ground very soft, and therefore the best play can hardly be looked for. I regret that I must also defer until next week giving any account as to the dance to be given by the social club on the same evening, One thing is certain, weather permitting, the affair will go off with éclat—that goes without saying.
It is now a year since I first had the honor of addressing your readers, and what a year that has been for poor Australia, no longer Felix, but alas, in Dole ful Dumps. It has been a year of suspense for the great majority. Would they in the end have to sink in their efforts to buffet with the waves of adversity and be compelled to join the mass of hopeless humanity composing the submerged tenths, or could they compass it to keep their heads above water until some friendly vessel should rescue them from their predicament. What will the New Year bring us ? It is not for us to raise the veil, and mercifully so for many reasons. But let us only bear in mind the message brought to men on that mem orable morn from which our chronology was reconstructed, and each of us endea vor earnestly to put into practice the teachings of the Syrian Carpenter whom we call Master, and then, whatever Fortune has in store for us of good or bad, be only sure of this, that we shall look back and say it was a
HAPPY NEW YEAR.52

 
S Bourke Morn Journ3 Jan 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Bright was the dawn of the New Year. The skies that had been shedding floods of tears, during the last week or so, over the impending dissolution of the decrepit old 'un, had evidently come to the conclusion that the old reprobate was past praying for. Therefore, having accorded him a decent funeral, they, on the principle of Le roi est mort !-Vie le roi !— determined to devote heart and soul to giving a fitting reception to the royal in fant that must henceforth occupy the throne of his ancestors. Let us only hope that the brightness attending his birth may be a happy presage of a brilliant career. Well ! brilliant we can hardly expect it to be, for, according to the doctrine of heredity as set forth in the Great Book, we must award that the sins of the father be visited on the child. However, we may hope that the warning of old ninety-three's terrible example will never be lost on his offspring.
The promoters of the Church of England Garden Féte must have cast many anxious glances at the barometer and at those truly Delphian oracles, the weather forecasts of our able astronomer royal. As it was, the day was almost all that could be desired so far as the skies were concerned. True the solar greetings were a trifle ardent, but this could well be borne after the old-world Christmas we had had, and being accompanied by a pleasant wind, tempted the holiday-makers to drive to the breezy heights. There could be no mistake as to the direction most of the people were taking for their day's pleasure, for some miles around; "Ttekceba" was evidently the order of the day. And very gay and festive did Ttekceba look in all the pride of flapping flags of many hues and multicolored, strange devices. First of all we came to the imposing entrance gates, and were appropriately greeted by a gorgeously painted standard, held high aloft by a young sapling, wishing "A prosperous New Year, to all," a sentiment which no one could take exception to, as little as to the execution of the lettering, which shows clearly that we have no need to go to Melbourne for a signpainter should we require one. The banner is connected with the gables of the side gates by ropes of flags, and underneath are lanterns, each bearing a figure of the New Year's name.
The stalls or booths of the various ladies of the district, who have self-sacrificingly consented for the time to act as saleswomen, do every credit to their task, and the ingenuity and industry of themselves and their male coadjutors. I am strongly tempted to give a detailed account of these cunning erections, each with a pronounced individuality, in due accordance with the respective occupiers, altered as they are in the costumes of many countries. Alas ! the exigencies of space more than any hard-heartedness on the part of my editor, whom, indeed, I have to thank for a liberal indulgence to my prolixitical tendencies (is he luring me on to my destruction ?) prevents me from being as discursive as the subject seems to demand. A mere glance as we pass is all that can he afforded. The first stall, presided over by Mrs. Mauger and Miss Craik, and temptingly stocked with the choicest of strawberries and other things comes first in point of order, and certainly not second in any other respect. Next on the same side we come to a tent, tenanted by a shocking example, who, if you have not quite rendered up the ghost, will give you fits, and then hand you over to the celebrated medical man, whose ser vices he has retained for the occasion, who is death on fits. Crosssing over the drive we espy the produce stall, under the energetic management of the Misses Glissman and Clarke. The supply of vegetables seems plentiful, and in point of size as well as quality could not easily be surpassed. Let those who alliteratively aspersed our ranges as the Barren hills of Beaconsfield, hide their diminished heads after they have gazed on the giant turnip of eleven pounds and a half, and calcu lated the solid contents of the cabbage weighing ten. Who can be so unsentimental as to be uncharmed by the pretty little bower devoted to the sale of flowers for the button-hole. Surely it must be a very Eden which will produce such speci mens als the Misses Hollow and Seaward so tastefully arrange or winningly offer you. Proceeding on our way we are arrested by the sight of a Japanese um brella with what appears to be a veritable Japanese maiden and attendant country man, demurely seated under its shade. This quaint little picture, with the back ground of cunningly embroidered cloth of gold arras, exists for the benefit of those who may wish to indulge in the wand of enchantment. Attracted by a crowd of children who are gathered like flies round a honeypot, we must perforce investigate the next stall that comes in view ; there we find a stalwart, six-foot, young peasant, evidently by his bronzed southern visage, his scarlet beret, knee breeches, and red lapelled coat a Pyrennean peasant, gallantly assisting a charm ing maiden who, unmistakably Italian in costume, has, like her companion, sus piciously fluent English. Leaving this young couple to cope as best they may with the exigent crowd of youngsters so impatient till they got served, and in such a state of extatic enjoyment of the long dreamt of pleasure, we come to Miss Wil liams with her tempting works of fancy and of art, who has a share, as she de serses, of the visitors attention, all of whom are glad, and some of the younger ones specially so, to welcome her back, if only for a short time. The once popular bran pie does not seem to exert quite its ancient charm over the too sceptical ris ing generation, and even the winning smile of Miss Ingram, and the assurance that there is money in it, cannot win the pennies from one boy who smirkingly remarks, - "Oh yes ! I know, bran-pie, put in a penny and pull out a pincushion; not if I knows it, oh no." Will this Socrates of seven profit by his early experiences, painful as they must have been, and so avoid the pincushion in the bran-pie of future land booms and bogus building societies. And echo answers, Will he ?
Those who by this time have acquired a thirst may have an opportunity of quench ing it under the agreeable superintendence of Miss Margie a'Beckett and Mr. Fowler, who do a roaring trade all, the afternoon near the sports ground, where running, high jump, obstacle races; and other athletic delights attract a large crowd. To do justice to the young athletes who competed is impossible in the absence of a reliable record of the results, which as yet has pot reached me. Suffice it at present to say that there were some very respect able performances in each department. Both competitors and onlookers will be glad at the conclusion of this entertain ment to be regaled with one of a different but by no means less delectable character, which they may readily have by adjourn ing to the sign of the South Pole, hard by, where, under the anything but Arctic influences of Mademoiselles a'Beckett, Brunt and Anderson, all clad in snowy white, with snowflake headgear, assisted by their able henchman, Mr. Laurie, and presided over by the beneficent providers of most of the good things there, the Mesdames E. a'Beckett and Mackley, they may have a refreshing yet inexpensive tea with the appetising etceteras, while gazing at the enchanting, snow-covered lolly stall opposite, with its dangling row of cut glass icicles and its charmingly attired attendant, Miss Fowler, who, alone in her glory, dispenses the delightfully de lectable sweetmeats so dear to the days of our youth, to her admiring young clientelle.
When dusk comes on there is a display of lanterns, of many kinds and patterns, and although the somewhat boisterous breeze is otherwise pleasant enough after the heat of the day, one is tempted to wish it otherwhere, as it hinders the en joyment of what would otherwise be a perfect feast of lanterns, of all shapes, colors and sizes, artfully contrived and artistically fashioned. But more than ever do we regret that the evening is not more calm when Miss Craik's concert commences, as an otherwise excellent and altogether enjoyable entertainment is rather marred by the effects of the wind. Time fails to do justice to the excellent singing and playing which was so kindly volunteered by the ladies and gentlemen who figured in the programme, which did every credit to Miss Craik's selection.
After the concert a little dancing on the tennis court was indulged in, and then an adjournment was made to the refresh ment stall, where raffles were drawn and the remainder of the goods unsold sub mitted to auction. And here let mention the poultry and livestock stall of Mrs. A'Beckett and her daughter, whose charming and energetic advocacy of the excellence of their lively wares all through the day did not merit such a slight. As to the results of the day I must speak in my next, and rectify any other faults or omissions which post haste now present.53

 
S Bourke Morn Journ10 Jan 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. The New Year which began so joyfully has been in tears almost ever since. Winter clothing, with a warm fire in the evening, are not only a comfort but a necessity at present. There seems to be a leak somewhere so that the severe winter they are experiencing on the other side of our little planet is percolating through to our portion of the globe.
Amongst the visitors who honored the Church of England garden fete with their presence the other day, I noticed Mr. Francis, the Railway Commissioner, and some of his family. I understand that he is staying for a month in the rsidenee of Mr. L. L. Smith. Although the chances of a railway seem at present somewhat remote; the sight of such a concourse of people as were collected on the ranges on that day cannot but have farorably im pressed our railway magnate.
The numerous friends of the Misses Brache will regret to hear that, through a fall from her horse, the elder one has dislocated her arm. The young ladies were staying with Mr. Francis and family, but have, in consequence of the accident, returned home. Those who had the pleasure of witnessing their really excellent terpsichorean performances on the evening of 2nd January, will not soon forget the pleasure they experienced. What ever may be thought of the temptations to adopt a stage career which such a training may engender in the youthful mind, there can be no doubt that the term poetry of motion is more applicable to this style of dancing than the gyrations of the dozen or twenty couples whom we are accustomed to see painfully pirouet ting in a crowded ball room in momentary danger of a collision with their neighbors. They seem to be snatching a fearful joy, but, to the onlooker at least, it does not give a sensation of pleasure.
It will be good news to all concerned, and they are many, to learn that our fete on the first was a financial, as well as a social success. Although, as I understand, accounts are not yet closed, it is stated, on good authority that the nett proceeds will not be less than twenty pounds. This will extinguish all debt, and leave a surplus towards the services of the ensuing twelvemonth. The ladies, whose inidefatigable efforts had such a large share in bringing about this devoutly desired consummation, deserve the thanks of our small coimmunity for their devotion to the cause. Without enthusiasm, little can be accomplished in this world, and as the average fin de siecle man is hoplessly blase, having been every where, seen everything and come to the conclusion with regard to life generally, that "there's nothing in it," there is an open field for the ladies.
On Monday the 22nd inst., there is to be an entertainment in the assembly hall in aid of the Presbyerian services. The Rev. Mr. Rocke, who is so deservedly popular, not only as preacher, but as a man, will narrate some interesting scenes in the life of the great temperance re former, J. B. Gough, and the Cranbourne quartette club will make their first bow to a Beaconsfield audience. The admission is fixed at 1s. 6d. for adults, and half-price for children. It is to be hoped that a crowded house will result, and the hopes of the promoters be fully realised.54

 
S Bourke Morn Journ17 Jan 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Perpetual spring with an occasional fla vor of winter is what we are experiencing on the hills. All vegetation luxuriates in the moisture of soil and atmosphere ; only those plants with a penchant for the tropics find themselves somewhat out of their element in the absenee of thy genial temperature they are accustomed to. April showers again are not exactly the conditions most favorable to haymaking, as a neighbor found out who nearly had a good crop spoiled after cutting.
Raspberries have yielded very well this year, and the vigorous young canes give good premise for the next season. Strawberries have fully shown the suitability of our soil to that class of fruit, but the sorrel and the sow-thistle have also made themselves no strangers, and chickweed has certainly come home to roost. Rooting them out seems an impossibility, and, although one might have the patience so proverbial in Job; cutting them down, however persistently the practice may be persevered in, seems to have the same effect that haircutting has on the healthy human subject. Like some acquaintances, however much you may wish to cut them dead, they won't let you do it. Sisyphus wasn't a circumstance to it.
Young Victoria is having rather a roasting at present in the columns of the Argus. No doubt there is much to de plore in the speech of the State scholar, but his faults are not altogether peculiar to this country. Speaking from personal experience, I may say that it was matter for surprise to me when a new chum, that, taking the coast round from Port Darwin via Sydney and Melbourne to Albany, there was only one dialect for all Australia, and that the dialect of London. Now, the Cockney pronunciation is not perhaps the purest that you can procure, but I have yet to be informed that either the Scotch or Irish is an improvement, and although our cousin from the United States maintains that the Britisher must go across the herring-pond to hear English spoken, I think that some might feel inclined to doubt it. The language of London may be all that could be desired, but since to seek absolute purity of pronunciation is akin to crying for the moon, we had better have our youngsters murdering their mother tongue with a respect able majority of some millions than hear that "tha koo's gotten inter the watterhool" or some equally intelligible gibberish. By all means let us have the "well of English undefiled" if we can get it, but whilst we are straining at the gnat of com parative pronunciation, let us be careful that we swallow not the camel of positive inaccuracies. "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." The same person who will be horrified at 'Arriet for saying that "me and 'im went down the bai" will next minute inform you that "John promised to take you and I to Melbourne to-day, but will we be able to go." The Scotch are generally credited with considerable will power, but in the matter of speech they certainly abuse it. They invariably use the word will where shall would be the correct term, and it is lamentable to see how frequently the writers of the leading articles in our daily papers and others who should be better informed alow themselves to lapse into the same slipshod style of speaking. The fact is that in grammar pronunciation and enunciation as in speech generally we require to keep con stant watch over the unruly member, or the most careful of us may be guilty of a lapsus linguse.
The Hon. Thos. Loader and family have been staying for a few days at Kincraik. The inclemency of the weather is accountable for their early departure, but so pleased are they with the beauty of our scenery that there is little doubt they will return in the course of the season.
The Baby Nicholls' tourist party are announced to give their entertainment "for one night only" at the Assembly Hall, and as an amusing programme is promised no doubt a full house will result.
'Ware snakes ! A black one about three feet long was killed the other day amongst the vegetables in one of the gardens here. Green peas are very nice, but if they are to be had at the sacrifice of our peace of mind we had better be without them.55

 
S Bourke Morn Journ24 Jan 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Whereas the barometer was our princi pal care last week, it is the thermometer now which almost monopolises attention. A shade temperature of 102deg. is one not to be sneered at. It has the effect of laying you out almost as neatly as Colonel Price's men could do, though as for firing low, I think, the fires must have been pretty high to make us simmmer as we have been doing for the past few days.
Talking about fires! that was a pretty clean sweep, as these things generally are with wooden houses, at Primrose Park, Lower Beaconsfield. It appears to have been discovered about two o'clock a.m., by which time the flames had made such headway that there was barely time for Mr. Gower and family to escape with a few articles of clothing. The public will recognise the place better when informed that it is the site of the celebrated prize poultry farm of Miss Doxat, who holds the premier place as a breeder of Andalusians, and whose numerous friends will sincerely sympathise with her and her parents in the loss of home and household goods ; for although the insurance office may give us back a house and furniture, they cannot replace the treasures, per haps of small intrinsic worth, but which time and old associations have rendered inexpressibly dear. Even in these most painfully practical days one cannot altogether eliminate the element of sentiment from poor human nature. Poor indeed the nature, and human not at all where sentiment is conspicuous by its absence.
Sentiment of the right sort was the backbone of the Rev. R. W. Rock's able lecture on the life of the great temperance reformer, J. B. Gough. The popular preacher of Cranbourne has the happy knack of at once enlisting the sympathies of his audience, and making anything he has to say to them a matter of individual interest. So, whether the practical or the sentimental predominiate in your economy your attention is enchained from intro duction to peroration. What a pity that so few attended the hall on the night of the 22nd. True the heat of the day had been tremendous, and the idea of being cribbed, cabined and confined within the four walls of a building not pos sessed if a sliding roof, shoulder to shoul der with crowds of perspring humanity, such as might fairly have heen expected under the circumstances, for perhaps two solid hours, was a prospect in itself calculated to cause one's not too solid flesh to melt. Then again it was unfortunate that the temptations of a travelling variety troupe had assailed the youth of the village; they had really intended to attend the lecture, but the fatal fascinations of "Bow-wow-wow"—well the result was that when the time came round they were in a worse position than the boy who had saved up sixpence to visit the gallery of the theatre, and who, having placed it in his momuth for safety, had it jogged down his throat in the jostling crowd at the en trance, so that on arriving at the ticket office he could only explain that although he had the money with him, circumstances over which he had no control prevented its prompt presentation. However, those who were privileged to hear the masterly manner in which the subject was treated and to listen to the faultless rendering of the appropriate musical selections by the Cranbourne quartette party and Miss Anderson, the able young pianiste, felt themselves more than repaid for any little sacrifie of purse or person that may have been necessary, besides having the com forting conviction that if pecuniarily the good cause does not greatly profit by the entertainment, morally it must.
The wild dissipation above gently hinted at as having been the possible approximate cause of the village youth not being in a position to profit by Mr. Rock's able lecture; was a visit to the hall on the oc casion, "Baby Nicholls" and party per forming for one night only. The visit of the party was an unexpected one, inasmuch as they had been disappointed in not obtaining the hall at Berwick, and so had substituted this place. Although not personally present I was there by proxy, add my proxy informs me in language more laconic than classic that the whole thing was "cush" (pray excuse if the spelling be incorrect, as my education has been somewhat neglected in this direc tion). From this I am led to believe that the performance was pleasing to the children, both young and old, and as I am told there were some niggers and an acrobat, besides other attractions too numerous for my juvenile informart to men tion, I can fully account for the delight which expressed itself in the general, though rather mysterious verdict that the show couldn't be packed.
Ancient history records that long ere our village had a local habitation or a name, the hardy pioneer was pretty familiar with our principal gullies; and where the rude axe was never heard till then, the gold searcher laid the mighty forest giant low to furnish him with timber for his shafts. Pity it is that our ancient history is of the traditional or unwritten order, consisting of rumors more or less vague, according to the memory of one's informant. Our eyes present us with evidence that considerable activity must have been exhibited in the exploration of the Haunted and other gullies in the district, and we can well believe the report that years back there were no less than five hundred men collected at one time about Scotchman's Reef. "'Alas," as Hans Breitmann says: "vhere is dat barty now?" Another rush, and like the baseless fabric of a vision the busy crowd was gone, although we can hardly say that they "left not a wreck behind." The ground they most affected is like a gigantic rabbit warren,' as I personally proved when unintentioally I explored a shaft which nature, anxious to conceal the ravages cruel man had made inher domain, had carefully covered over with a network of grass and undergrowth.
Curious if now, in these latter times, we should witness a return of the feverish excitement which must have existed in those days. That this part of the ranges is not played out yet must certainly be the opinion of the syndicate who are now calling for tenders to deepen the already lengthy shaft which they are anxious to further extend into the bowels of the earth.
The Agricultural department seem determined to do their best to encourage the fruit industry? I am told that the secretary of our fruitgrowers' association has received a circular requesting that samples of the different varieties of fruit grown in the district be forwarded from time to time to the horticultural gardens for report. The prinicipal object is to put the nomenclature of fruit, which at pre sent is in rather confused condidition, on a proper basis. It is also intended in March next to hold an exhibition in Melbourne, for educationial purposes only, to which contributions of fruit from all parts of the country are cordially invited. Let us hope that that the response in both instances will be equally cordial.56

 
S Bourke Morn Journ31 Jan 1894 Bush Fires, School Sports Day, Fruitgrowers' Association
UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Bush fires will soon be the order of the day. They have already commenced in this district. Last week the Gully opposite Mr. Goffs house was all ablaze, and I am given to understand that a quantity of wood cut and stacked there which had been purchased by him was destroyed. Upwards of five pounds worth of damage must have been done in this way alone. The conflagration came unpleasantly near to Mr. McKenzie's house, in fact had it not been for the prompt action of some of the neighbors the building must have been consumed. The present occupants, who are renting the place for the summer months, alarmed by the near approach of the flames, hastily adjourned to Kincraik, to return when the fire-fiend should have somewhat sated his voracious appetite. People who come up from town for change of air do not, as a rule, anticipate such sensational episodes in a country life as this. Such incidents may serve to con vince them that the bush is not always so insufferably slow as some people would have them believe. When we do have any excitement it is something worth experienceing, rising occasionally to the dramatic and even, alas, the tragic order.
Excitement of an altogether pleasurable description was the lot of those who were fortunate enough to be present at the sports organised by the energy of the teacher, Miss Audsley, and her able coadjutors at the State school, Stoney Creek, on the the 26th inst. A good programme was well carried out under the efficient man agement of the Misses Glismann,Schlipalius and Deeley. The greatest number of honors was carried off by W. Dale, who was chronicled as first in the boys' race (over 12), pole vaulting,(5ft. 9in.), high jump (4ft.), and last, but not least, in the obstacle race, which as usual caused much amusement to the onlookers, with a maximum of inconvenience to the performers. A pleasant feature in the programme was the care that had evidently been exercised in order to give the girls a show. Not only were there races for girls over eleven and under eleven, but competitions in skipping and bouncing the ball and other feminine athletic accomplishments of the youthful order. The little boys also (under eleven), were not left out in the cold, so that, as far as such things are humanly possible, the promoters must have accomplished the difficult task of pleasing everybody. But although athletics are all very well in their way, and worthy of encouragement, still it is well we should always bear in mind that they should only be indulged in moderation, and as a means to an end, and that end, the healthy mind, which can only exist in fullest efficiency in the healthy body.
And this brings me to the mention of the school work, which should have had precedence but for the natural perversity of human nature, which prompt ed me to give undue prominence to that which should be kept in subordination. For general progress, prizes were awarded to Misses N. Pither, E. Beatty, N. Deeley, M. Malthouse, M. Beatty and H. Mason, and to Masters C. Shorthouse, S. Mason, H. Lewis, H. Albers and R. Shorthouse. Special prizes were awarded to Miss Jessie Schlipalius for the best examination paper, and to Miss E. Beatty for the best and most neatly-kept exercise book. In the evening a dance was given in the schoolroom, the festivities being kept up until the small hours. I am not credibly informed on the latter point, but it is always safe to say when the young here go on the hop, that they won't go home till morning. A more pleasure-loving, and indeed pleasure will-have-ing lot of young people than we possess it would be hard to find in the whole circuit of the globe. Town people need not imagine that because we have no theatres in the bush we are bound to die of ennui. The dance and the song satisfy the primitive tastes of our unsophisticated youth, who take no thought for the morrow.
At a meeting of the Fruitgrowers' Association, held last Saturday, it was decided to send some specimens of locally grown fruit to the curator of the horticultural gardens, in response to the invitation issued by the Agricultural Department. Fruit is not very plentiful, thanks to the black spot, brown rot, and other pet abominations of the orchardist. The bot-fly, of which we hear so much, has found a lodgment in this district. Fortunately he does not seem to be quite as dangerous as some would have us believe, and succumbs to one or other of the numerous remedies which are in vogue.
We have been tantalised at times during the week with delusive hopes of a change in the weather, which would save us the trouble of watering and do infinitely more good. A strong east wind, rising at times to the rank of a respectable half gale, has been blowing for several days, evidently under the impression that the sun could not manage the work of drying up the ground-after the recent rains single-handed. At the timte of writing the sun has it all its own way again, and the rain seems as far off as ever. Happily the thermometer has not been quite so ambitious during the last few days, so we survive.57

 
S Bourke Morn Journ7 Feb 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. By TODEA AFRICANA. The weather, always a safe topic to start on, has continued provokingly fine throughout the past week. On Sunday the thermometer got above 90 degrees in the shade, and Monday bade fair to become one of those soul and body tortures to which, we ought to be, although we never do become, accustomed at this time of year ; however, in the afternoon a welcome change of wind set in.. whereas we were simmering at a shade heat of 94 at 9 a.m. in the morning, we could indulge in the luxury of a shiver when the mercury dropped to 50 degrees by 7 o'clock in the evening.
In response to the invitation sent out by the Agricultural Department to the various fruit-growers of the colony, our local association has despatched some fine samples of apples, plums, &c., from some of the principal orchards hereabouts. Judging from some of the specimens of both kinds which I had the priviledge of inspecting, Beaconsfield need not fear to pit herself against all comers in some of her special products. It is a pity that such an opportunity as is offered now by the department for correcting, or assuring ourselves of the correctness, of the nomenclature of our fruit trees is not much eagerly embraced by the owners of orchards in the neighbourhood. However, when they become more fully alive to the advantages thus offered, we may perhaps see more energy displayed. It is to be hoped that our district will be fairly represented at the Exhibition to take place in March next, when fruit from all parts of the colony is to be gathered together in Melbourne.
It is gratifying to learn that our young men are not only gifted with energy, though we had always credited them with, but also, in some instances, with a more than ordinary amount of intelligence. It is easy to do what every one around you is doing, but it requires a little courage to initiate an industry new to the district. We ought therefore to wish every success to the party of young men, who have lately erected a plant and commenced the distillation of eucalyptus oil in the neighborhood. I understand that the factory (if such it may be called) is situated about two miles beyond the store of Mr. Schlipalius. Here, having purchased the right to remove all the leaves from the peppermint trees on a certain block, they commenced operations a short time since. Already they have distilled a marketable quantity and have orders for as much more as they can produce for some time to come. The peppermint being the tree most valued for its oil, they are not likely to want customers for their product.
Mining in Mayfield Gully seems to be prospering, at present, and, although things are kept pretty quiet, one may judge from the number of men working that there is something more than "tucker" in the inducements that nature holds out. The syndicate shaft in Welcome Gully, I believe, progressing, but no startling developments have as yet come to light.
It will be a good thing for our roads if the quarry of stone which Mr. Richards has pointed out to the council turns out to be good metal and plenty of it. Some however, aver that it is only a "blow" not on the part of any human being concerned in the matter, be it understood but of nature herself.
"Familiarity breeds contempt," and we are coming to look upon the Bot-fly by no means the Bons-fly he made himself out for a while to be. But what about that champion high jumper—the grasshopper. Somebody sapiently observed somewhere or another (I can't give you chapter and verse) that "the little things of life are the greatest." At first sign "a most amusing paradox," on second thougths a most serious matter—the more we look nto it, the truer we find it. The bee does more to sweeten life and the mosquito more to make it miserable than any other infra-human agent be he many thousand times their bulk. The men who will boldly face a tiger or a lion, will be a hasty retreat when confronted with the bayonets of a battalion of wasps. I may inform you that he only performed precipitate retrograde movement, but this only spells skedaddle after all. And so we return to our muttons, I may essay to eject a mad bull or even an elepahnt from my "compound." The effort may result in ignominious failure but at least I know what I have to do. But tell, oh tell me where I am to begin with grass hoppers. And yet the grass hopper, multiplied by millions is clearing my fruit trees of their leaves. When he has finished them he will no doubt discover that there is a vegetable garden—but let us draw a ve.. Edison, the mighty magician to whom nothing seems impossible, has even though of this. By one ingenious application of wires and galvanic batterings, he—well the slaughter, they say, is shocking. But some victories are more expensive even than defeat, as many a pleader in our courts can tell, and besides they have got such a start now that before I could bring the battery to bear up to them they would have left—a howling wilderness. No I think it is more encouraging the natural enemies of those noxious insect that we shall get deliverance than by any efforts, however well directed, that we can bring to bear against them direct. We know how useful the Americans have found our Australian ladybird in clearing their fruittrees of caster blights or apples: let me now give but those instances which have come under my own notice of insects which ought to be encouraged. One was a big handsome black spider with a scarlet band down the centre of his back. I seized him as a "specimen," and found on examining his web that a large number of grass hoppers had been captured by him and nothing but the empty carcases left. The other was a beetle with a projection like that of the word fish. He was discovered busily en- gaged with a party of young caterpillars who had partly skeletonised a fruitle.. On being closely watched it was found that he facetiously digging his ... basics into the ribs of the creepers. Each in turn semed very much struck by the beetle's brilliant joke—at least, judging by the way they collapsed.58

 
S Bourke Morn Journ14 Feb 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. With Mercury brought back to a due sense of decorum, and become quite temperate in his habits ; with the barometer as steady as a rock, so much so, indeed, that it reminds one of the anecdote of the farmer who nailed the hand of his to "net fair" during the harvest, and afterwards returned it to the shop in disgust for a d—swindle, as it didn't prevent his crop being ruined by rain. With just enough gentle Zephyr's company to prevent Sol's ardent attentions from becoming embarrassing ; with all this, I repeat, or, at any rate ; I'll say it now, we ought to be contented ; and so we should, no doubt, if we hadn't to live by the sweat our brow. But knowing that Jupiter Pluvius sometimes takes a nap of three months duration between Christmas and Easter, makes one just a "little" bit anxious about such vegetation as cannot yet, like the native gum tree and the boyonet grass, exist indefinitely with an imperceptible supply of moisture.
The merits of our mountain region as an attractive home are becoming more appreciated, as the weary tradesman finds that, in waging the battle of life in the crowded city, he is but fighting the air—and very vitiated air at that. Even those who have had the opportunity of travelling all over the colony, and are under no compulsion to choose one place more than another, elect to breathe the invigorating atmosphere and gaze upon the charmingly varied scenery of the ranges, rather than submit to the fatal fascination of the fertile, though miasmatic and mosquito haunted river flat or plain that is in winter a swamp.
The retiring chairman of Railway Commissioners may fairly be considered one of the most travelled men in the colony and therefore capable of intelligently deciding on the rival claims as a residence of the various beauty spots within reasonable distance of Melbourne ; therefore, the fact that Mr Francis has deliberately chosen to make his future home on the hills, having lately purchased some land in North Beaconsfield with that object in view, may be taken as a distinct score in our favor. I understand also that the late manager of one of the Tucker Settlements is on the look out for an eligible spot near here, as the climate of the plains is not found suitable to his wife's health.
Although willing to welcome any well accredited newcomers none of us like parting with old friends, and as such Mr. and Mrs. Lenne were certainly regarded by many, if not most, of the residents of this district. But the bad times which have hit us all hard, did not leave our sturdy host untouched. However, he has had many a hard tussle with fortune and doubtless now that another round is called, he will be found to "come up to time." Mr Sykes, who has lately taken possession, has our best wishes, but I am afraid that is all he can expect from many for some time to come.
At the sale of the late proprietor's effects, there was not a very large attendance on Saturday, and it hardly required a prophet to foretell that things would be all but given away. The most pessimistic of prophets, however, would hardly have ventured the "tip" that a "spanking" pair of spirited horses would be "knocked down" for 30s.—No I didn't make a mistake and write shillings instead of pounds, although the former owner at one time refused the latter sum for them. 360 pence was all they realised ; and buggy and harness went for about £3 sterling—some any less. After we cease to be surprised at bricks being thrown at the hand of anyone who was not too thick skulled to be forcibly struck by that article at the ridiculous price of 9s. per 1000. You would think that not a landed proprietor present, even on his last legs, but would be tempted to give nod or wink as such a chance offered and be everlastingly grateful to the auctioneer for being down upon him like—or with—a 1000 of bricks. Not want them! Why, what's that got to do with it! a bargain's a bargain and if he doesn't want a mansion let him build a mausoleum.
Talking about building, I understand that somebody is building opposite to the Pine grove hotel ; no further particulars have reached me at present.
There are times and seasons for everything, and this is the season for bush fires. We have them up here, quite regardless of expense. You don't generally have the trouble of lighting them on your own property. Somebody generally saves you the trouble ; of course you can return the compliment if so disposed. A day or two ago I received an invitation to an entertainment of this description. It wasn't on gilt edged note paper, but I went all the same. On arrival I considered my neighbor, a lady, had been rather hasty in sending the summons. However as I was there, it was as well to go down the gully and have a look at the fire. Assuring her that there was no danger for hours yet, and giving instructions that I should be called if it got anywhere near after nightfall, I went, and soon found there was work enough to occupy myself and a few more. With the wind coming up the hill and the dense mass of dry undergrowth, the fire marched on like a deputation of umemployed intent on interviewing an obnoxioous minister. And as the minister, if he be wise, will employ one of their own kind to properly slang them—unless he himself should be proficient in that, which, alas! with parliamentarians is almost a lost art—so it is policy to get a thief to catch a thief, or a fire to meet a fire. On this principle we act, and get the enemy under control in time to save the house fence.
I learn that we are to be favored with a lecture by Mr G. W. Hall, late Government whip, who has lately been on a visit to Europe. The exact title, I am not aware of, but understand that it is to be on similar lines to those which this gentleman has delivered in various parts of the colony and accompanied by lantern views of the various places he has visited in the old world. Those who can afford the popular, though all too evanescent shilling, will doubtless find amusement and instruction hand in hand, although they may suffer from a temporary lack of enlightenment during the magic lantern scenes.59

 
S Bourke Morn Journ21 Feb 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Dry—very ! Not even a change in the weather to vary the monotony of existence now. Happy the man who has a waterhole with a plentyful supply of the precious fluid therein. Let him guard it jealously, for it may yet acquire a value that may flavour of West Australian goldfields.
Last Saturday night we were treated to a lecture by Mr. G. W. Hall, formerly a member of the Lower House of the Legislature in Melbourne, and still entitled to a seat (or a bed for the matter of that) in the Upper (if not "uppeat") house of Beaconsfield Upper, viz., the "Mountain House," as his residence is called. And here, I may as well admit the soft impeachement that not the least treat some among us had anticipated on that coming was the first public appearance in our vicinity since his return from Europe, of "our member." Could it be true, or was it a mere invention of the enemy, this rumour of the haughty air apparent in the man so recently petted by prince and peer and looked up to with reverent awe by the people of the old country. And what about the tie now, said to bind him who never acknowledged one before, unless it be the proper-tie of country and of kin. Whether he had suffered some sea change or was still the only Smith, would be put to optical and aural proof on that eventful evening. But we were doomed to disappointment. Mrs. Smith had unexpectedly been called away to Sydney; we were told, and therefore our "L.L." was compelled to disappoint us. In the absence of an intermidiary, Mr. Hall boldly took the bull by the horns, and (to make another bull), plunged at once in media res. Although the matter was not made prominent by advertisment, it was generally known that the lecture was to be lubricated by means of lantern views representing places and people visited by the hero of the evening. In this the promoter displayed true diplomacy ; for the lecture, pure and unadulturated, whilst it might have an attraction for the sober minded few (alas, they're all too few), would effectually scare away the many wedded to frivolity ; whilst the promise of the pictures, with the certainty of a congenial twilight during the greater part of the evening proved an irresistible allurement to the youth of both sexes, some of whom considerately brought their elders to play propriety. Seeing the quality of the audience, the lecturer wisely determined to abridge the more solid and, from a business point of view, instructive portion of his discourse, and after a short animadversion on the iniquities of the metropolitan middleman; a drastic diatribe anent the truculent tradesmen who mixed those butters up (in London) so that you could not tell the virgin Victorian from "inferior Dosset" or that detestable Danish; a cut at the canny Scot, who at Glasgow was detected by our indefatigable traveller in trying to deceive the public by labelling inferior American mutton as choice Canterbury lamb, and winding up with a pathetic picture of his weary wanderings all over London-town in search of some scrap of comfort in the shape of something Australian ; compelled at last to content himself with flattening his nose against the dingy window of some small suburban shop at Brixton, where was displayed a tin of spiced beef from the far-famed works at Euroa. After these few prefatory remarks, I say, our traveller's other views were brought before the meeting. The great buildings of London were faithfully and beautifilly portrayed, both inside and out, with many a witty anecdote of experiences, which, although they might cause a judicious Londoner to grieve, were evidently highly appreciated by the colonial audience, who displayed a most painfully irreverent attitude towards the time-honored customs and manners of the English as criticised by the colonial legislator, a native of Brighton, Sussex.
Time and space would fail to tell all that might be said on the subject, but let it suffice that a pleasant, and I hope not altogether unprofitable evening, either to narrator or narratees, was passed. At the conclusion the usual vote of thanks was moved by Mr. Brisbane, who contended that Mr. Hall had displayed such conspicuous capabilities in that direction as to indicate him, in the most undoubted manner, for the post advocated by the Premier of general agent in London for the colony of Victoria. Mr. Noble, who seconded the vote of thanks without committing himself to the general agent question, kindly put in a word for our local Fruitgrowers' Association, now, like so many other good institutions, rather crippled for want of cash.60

 
S Bourke Morn Journ28 Feb 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Mr Neilson's faith in the suitability of the soil in the Beaconsfield Ranges for fruit growing is evidently not easily to be shaken.
With reference to the samples of various sorts of apples, pears and plums, sent lately by the Beaconsfield and Gembrook Fruitgrowers' Association in compliance with a request sent out some time since to the carious Horticultural Societies of the colony, that gentleman reported that the board of Horticulture were particularly pleased with the very fine samples of fruit received from this district, as also with the correct naming of the varieties. With regard to the soil, the Government expert remarks that—although the surface is of somewhat inferior description, the sub-soil is distinctly of superior quality and particularly well adapted to the rearing of all kinds of hardy fruit trees. The strawberry should, in his opinion, prove a success provided it be carefully cultivated, and fairly manured, which treatment, indeed, should be adopted towards all other fruits grown. The interpretation whereof is, that we were foolish to weep at our inability to grow wheat (at 1s. 10d. per bushel) with the men of the Mallee, or to wring our hands and rend our garments (they don't last too long as it is!) whilst we grizzle over the growing capabilities of further Gippsland in the matter of maize and hops. Neither need we begrudge Mildura the Murray, nor Macedon her Mountain. "Distance lends enchantment to the view" in more senses than one, and when we come narrowly to weigh the pro and the con we find that there is not a place in this wide world in which the one is not fairly balanced by the other. Or, if we cannot put it quite as strongly as that, at least we may say that each place has advantages of these local peculiarieties or ignoring them, wherein lies success, or—failure.
Simple as the statement seems, it is the recognition of this simple fact that has to a large extent landed us in our present difficulties. We could not be content as a people to do what we could accomplish better than those elsewhere, but must needs set men to make boots and shoes who ought to have been growing cabbages. The success of the experiment has been as great as might that of Mackennal had he been doomed to chip stone on the roads instead of in his studio.—We have been trying to gather grapes from thorns, and ..gs from thistles.
Miners here, as elsewhere in the colony, are specially on the alert just now (no allusion to the boa—their heads are still above water). I hear that good gold (it's always good when there is any) has been got in Walker's Gully lately. Rumours of a small rush come to me from the one set of informants, and then the other set say there is nothing in it; for my own part I think there is truth, as usual, "in the middle of the way," but there ! as a loquacious lady boniface used to say when relating the gossip of the place—"but where, you know its hard to tell." Perhaps I shall be told that under the circumstance a personal inspection might tend to enlighten the public. Pardon me for making leave to doubt it I for although I ..ney I know a nugget when I see it—notwithstanding there are some remarkably good counterfeits in the Technologial Museum, Melbourne—still, I am a novice in mining (some people beneath contempt say ignoramus), and, although I can conjure sometimes sufficient to deceive the unwary for a while with my leaders and reefs, my cappings and hattings, my adits and underlays and such like; I have a haunting suspicion that the honest miner can see through me sooner than I can see through the quartz, so I prefer to sift my information and do the .. blow" at a distance, rather than come down to the lovel of the "cradle" or the spot.61

 
S Bourke Morn Journ7 Mar 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. It has been proved to be no empty boast that our well beloved (by most) though much abused (by a few) ranges can grow fruit second to no other place in the colony! Now modesty is a quality never to be sufficiently admired—in private life. In the hard, matter of fact business world however, we are taken at our own estimate (rather below in fact) until our intrinsic worth can be clearly demonstrated. It does not do therefore to underestimate our capabilities. The apathy of Beaconsfielders towards everything but the latest local scandal is proverbial. A dance will delight the young for a while and a picnic is not despised even by the middle-aged, whilst a nigger entertainment or a magic lantern will draw a crowd of all ages. These, however, all offer excellent opportunities for retailing the latest gossip and, at the same time are not intended to be taken seriously. On the other hand the mere hint of a lecture, pure and unadul terated is enough to create a scare. On Saturday evenings we are accustoamed to submit to serious discourse, but then we can pay for our entertainment according to our estimate of it's worth tempered by the powers of our purse, besides displaying the latest town fashions.
An example of the neglect which is the fate of these matters which are generally thought to demand the attention of people who seriously regard their responsibilities towards themselves (first of course) and their neighbors (afterwards), is not far to seek. The local library, with several hundred volumes of entertaining literature, is neglected to an extent; which is a disgrace to the district.
The Fruitgrowers Association is another instance of a similar nature. Although the matters with which it deals, or should deal, are of the greatest importance to the prosperity of the district, it languishes for want of that support which should be accorded by every resident within its sphere as a matter of course. It cannot be said that the expense of membership offers any obstacle, a merely nominal subscription of half a crown per annum is all that is required. The good that has already been done, though not to be despised, is as nothing compared with that which must result if only the owners of orchards will see their own interests and strengthen the hands of the society. Singly we grope in the dark, combined we walk in the light of day with all the resources of a Government anxious to help us, at our back. Information on every possible point in connection with the horti—or agri—cultural industries is freely at our disposal so far as the latest discoveries of science allow ; to say nothing of the means of marketing our products which can be managed with infinitely more ease and economy by means, of combination. A chance is now offered of showing what our orchards are capable of. Will the inhabitants take advantage of it? It was some time ago announced through the local association that an exhibition of green and dried fruits would take place in March. The date is now fixed for the 29th and 30th inst., and it is to be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m on those days. All persons intending to exhibit should send a list of their fruits to be shown, to Mr. T. C. Mackley, Upper Beaconsfield, the hon. secretary of the Association, not later than the 16th inst.
Our cricketers took a long jaunt on Saturday last to play the Macclesfield Club at their own ground. It is not far short of seventeen miles from here, say some; so that as mere test of endurance it as no mean thing to ride there, play a match, and ride back in a day. On the way there, one of our members was thrown from his horse into a post and rail fence. Which got the most damage is not recorded. The owner of the pad dock has not I believe, made any applica tion as yet, but the unfortunate, who took a fence when his horse deserted him, has had to make several—in the shape of bandages to the damaged wrist. It is a mercy his nose was not broken, as it is, his beauty suffers but a temporary eclipse. To show the pluck of our hill-men it may be mentioned that the sufferer took his place at the wicket, notwithstanding the hurt to the right hand, and did some slogging too. Our local, Spofforth (Mr. W. A'Beckett) distinguished himself more than usual by his swift bowling. In one instance, I amt told he sent the bails spinning along a distance of forty yards— a feat that was recorded of an English cricketer last season as a marvel. In spite of these Demon-strations our boys were defeated that is to say, the match could not be played out, but on the first innings totals they were seventeen behind. May they have better luck next time.
Two houses belonging to Mr. Dale, were put up to auction a few days since but only one reached the reserve.
The weather of late has been varied by occasional light showers ; sufficient to tempt one into sowing turntips and such like—but leaving the larger vegetation without much permanent benefit.62

 
S Bourke Morn Journ14 Mar 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. St. George and the Dragon—is the subject of a statesque group which some enthusiastic residents of Upper Beaconsfield have in contemplation to erect on the beautiful parade named after the patron saint of England. The redoubtable knight will, for time only, be represented by Mr. Patterson, contstructed entirely of cast-iron. The good serviceahle looking steed which he bestrides, one of sound metal bears the name in letters which all may easily decipher—"Straight-forward." In his right hand the horseman wields neither sword nor lance but a bludgeon of portentious proportions labelled "Commonsense." The Dragon, whose head bears a curious resemblance to that of a prominent member of the Trades Hall party, is beautifully constructed out of beaten brass (hollow). Although great pains have evidently been taken with the manufacture of this portion of the group, the modelling leaves much to be desired. The expression of baffled hate, expressed in the countenance of this monster of the imagination, is well caught. Evidently but for this truncheon the cavalier would be in eminent danger of being dragged from his steed by the ugly jaws of the beast—the artist would have us believe, are bilching forth fire and fury from his inflated body, but there is so evidently nothing it it, that the effect is ridiculous. At the same time, the tail, which should add to the awe inspiring nature of the brute, has seemingly been curtailed for want of sufficient funds. Altogether, this portion of the group is a very unsatisfactory and a distinct contrast in it's evidently flimsy construction, to the solid nature of the dominant figure. It certainly would on this account not long survive the disentegrating influences of mountain climate, and the yellow metal, which even now is by no means highly polished, might possibly soon become even more badly tarnished.
"Settle the people on the land." Is justice to the Trades Hall a protest should be entered against the present Government taking any credit for such a policy. We of the country were under the impression that the party of protection, and isolation had pretty completely settled us long ago.
But I am wandering into generalities, which, under the circumstances may per haps be pardoned as locally we have lapsed into a slumbering state, which is peace. That is so far as news of interest to the outside world is concerned; for in the matter of mere personalities a kind of guerilla (not gorilla, if you please) warfare is maintained in a desultory fashion.
Since last writing I learn that there is to be a conference of fruitgrowers to be held in Melbourne on the first day of the Fruit Show, viz., the 29th inst., at 11 o'clock, in the Board Room of the Lands Office. The subjects for discussion will include— "Insect pests and how to exterminate them" (or as near as that may be). All the Associations are expected to send delegates, and the august (no allusion to the month) will be presided over by the Minister of Agriculture. Some rumour of the meeting maybe accountable for the agitation which has lately been apparent in the insect world hereabouts. The disappearance of the apple blight may however (in my own case), be due to an earnest application on the part of a subordinate. So sensative do they appear to have proved that, in his own words, "the emotion killed them."
Going down the other day to inspect the progress that had been made by some of the miners, who are eternally digging pit gullies for the unwary, as if there were not enough of all sorts already, I fell in with one of the order who very courteously explained, in language more or less intelligible to my unacknowledged ignorance, the nature and import of his latest discovery. Of course I am not quite so innocent of the ways of the world as to believe that these gentlemen are more accustomed to wearing their hearts upon their sleeves (or their brains either) than other humans, so I take what I can assimilate with a grain of chloride of sodium to prevent indigestion. But I am not now going to impart any mining news. What pleased me most was to find in this man, not only one who could win from Dame Nature the treasures subterranean which she only yields to these who can read her hieroglyphics aright; but who could discover what is equally hidden to the majority, who, "having eyes, see not"—the manifold beauties of earth, air, sea, and sky. Equally at home is he in the Beaconsfield Ranges as in the grander and more awe inspiririg scenery of the Blue Mountains, which, for upwards of 10 years he made his home. For miles around Katoomba, there was scarcely a mountain he had not scaled, nor gorge or gully that he had not sounded the depths of. The hill resounded to the crack of his rifle, as with true sportsman's ardour he gave chase to the game in which those regions abound; and the rivers yielded up spoil to the rod. His services as a guide to all the country round was gladly availed of by every vistor from Sydney, and his studio was a resort of every art lover who could spare however short a time for the "beautiful upon the mountains."- In fact, a household word was that of Sid. R. Bellingham, in the southern part of New South Wales, and not without pardonable pride does this versatile knight of the gun, pick, and palette, display an old envelope addressed to, "Sid., Blue Mountains."63

 
S Bourke Morn Journ21 Mar 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. By TODEA AFRICANA. Autumn has come at last. The drought that had lasted so long that "the memory of man runneth not to the contrary," has broken and genial rains have refreshed the parched soil. Of course we are not satisfied, discontented race that we are. Whatever Heaven sends us is seldom exactly what we require. Either there is too little or too much, and so, whatever happens, we can still exercise the Briton's proud priviledge of a good "growl."
Water is as necessary for the cultivation of gold, it would seem, as of cabbages. With copious rains falling all over the parched areas of Western Australia, Coolgardie ought now to go ahead with an added impetus. If it goes on much longer as at present, we shall soon find the eastern colonies depopulated. In the unsettled state of business it is almost a pity that our banks, shops and those Brobdignagian piles of offices which beautify (?) our metropolis, cannot be moved at will from one part of the continent to another. We have been in the habit of congratulating ourselves on not being as other men (viz. the Wellingtonians) are ; but really if the fear of earth- quakes would prevent people from pitig up monstrosity on monstrosity in the shape of bricks and mortar, those uncanny earth-tremors will perform a useful office indeed. I remember an old Maori woman stopping before one of the few tall brick buildings in Wellington. (I think it was the only one then, the capital being mainly built of wood) and gazing with curiosity not unmixed with amusement on the lofty pile. At length she began to shake her head and as she moved away was heard to mutter to herself in her native tongue—"Very good, very good —for the earthquakes."
A good many of our young men are talking of transferring their not sufficiently appreciated energies from the present sphere (nobody is content with less than a sphere—a hemisphere is beneath their notice), of their labors or idleness as the case may be, to the wonderful Eldorado of the West. Whether talk wilk be translated into action is another matter. For young and active men with £50 or a £100 in, their pockets and a sound practical knowledge of mining in their heads, there may be something to say in favor of the outlook there ; but without money and without knowledge, it seems to my limited intelligence the height of folly to venture so far afield. Better go down into our own gullies, where by dint of hard labor they may hope to earn enough to supply them with the necessaries if not the luxuries of life, and at the same time not get too spoiled by fortune to take employment at their ordinary avocations, when better times conme round—as with a turn of the wheel they are bound to do. For anyone who is inclined to look upon the miners life as anything remotely resembling that happy state, commonly known as "all beer and skittles," a walk along some of our gullies would he of an instructive nature. I myself was surprised the other day when exploring Mayfield's Gully to find that, for not less than a mile the banks of the creek were like a gigantic rabbit-warren. The ground was literally honeycombed with holes of all sizes and depths, and one cannot but be struck with wonder at the indomitable energy of men, who can continuously carry on such arduous toil for such comparatively poor results as are generally obtainable. One contemplates with sadness the immense amount of labor absolutely wasted in this employment, which if diverted to the cultivation of the soil would feed a large population. However, that is only one way of looking at this question.64

 
S Bourke Morn Journ28 Mar 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Easter is the only season in the land of topsy-turveydom wherin a true born Briton can feel thoroughly and unaffectedly at home. True, it is autumn instead of spring; but either in the streets of Melbourne or in the heart of the bush this does not affect the matter a great deal. It is the showery weather which strikes a sympathetic chord in his soul (and eke an unsympathetic on in his body). Holiday makers can hardly be said to have had it all their own way—unless their way was rather inclined to moisture, which is not unusual.
The concert in aid of the local Church of England services fund took place on Easter Monday evening. Miss Ethel Craik was the principal promoter and chief organiser of the affair, and it may as well be said at once that the congratulations of the audience were richly deserved for the manner in which this musical event was carried through. Whatever may be the pecuniary results—and it is to be hoped that in spite of the meteorological influences, which proved adverse to a full attendance—the success in an artistic and social sense was one, not merely of esteem (as the French have it), but of genuine "enthusiasm." The following formed the programme of the evening:—First part.— piano solo, Miss Ingram ; song, "Off to Philadelphia," Mr. Adelt ; vocal duet, "The wind and the harp," Misses Craik ; banjo duet, Miss Ward and Mr. Wyncoll; song, "The bridge," Miss Hindle ; zither solo, Mr. Louis Adelt ; song, "The Garonne," Mr. Wyncoll ; song, "The ship's fiddler," Mr. Waters ; duet, "Tell us, O tell us," Misses Craik and Hindle. Ten minutes interval.—Piano solo, Miss Ingram ; vocal duet, "What are the wildwaves saying," Miss Craik and Mr. Hope; song, "Queen of the earth," Mr. Waters ; zither solo, Mr Louis Adelt ; vocal duet, "Life's dream is o'er," Misses Craik and Hindle ; song, "An evening song," Mr. Wyncoll ; song, "Old and new," Miss E. Craik ; song, "Anchored," Mr. Adelt ; banjo duet, Miss Ward and Mr. Wyncoll; "God save the Queen," full company. Miss Ingram, who, though appearing for the first time before a local audience, performed her part at "the instrument" so efficiently as to convince one that audiences elsewhere must have already had the privilege of listening to her excellent playing. Equally expert performers were Miss Ward and Mr. Wyncoll on the banjo, an instrument which, although known to be so fashionable in the great world of London, and ergo in Melbourne, had not yet penetrated to these mountain fastnesses (which in some respects might be called "slownesses"). Although I cannot say that I have ever greatly hankered after the banjo—I speak as a Philistine, and not as one of the Elect —the audience, my humble self included, certainly enjoyed this particular exemplar of its capabilities. Perhaps, like the icon- certina, its Ethiopian antecedents have had something to do with prejudicing the average intellect against it.
I remember well, how, on the occasion of some special festivities in my old house, a friend, the son of a great sculptor, offered to bring his concertina, an offer I would have firmly, though respectfully declined had not "en politesse" forbid den. With many misgivings as to the reception of the item he was placed on the programme. Received with polite for bearance, dictated by a scarcely concealable disbelief is the capabilities of the machine. However, it was not long ere indifference gave way to interest, which was soon translated into enthusiasm re sulting in a vociferous encore. Of course there are concertinas and concertinas, as there are no doubt banjos and banjos, but some people could glorify the penny whistle, like the great artist's secret of mixing his colors they put brains (other wise soul) into it.
Of all the instrumental music, that which seemed to take the fancy of the audience, as well from its novelty as from the sweetness of its tone or the mastery evidenced in its management, was that of the zither, admirably played by Mr. Louis Adelt, whose surname might well for this purpose change the "l" into a "p." There were only two items, the first of which was loudly encored, "The last rose of summer" being beautifully rendered in a response. In the second part a Tyrolienne, composed by the executant and dedicated to Miss Ada Crossley, was really admirably played. The zither may be said to be the national instrument of Tyrol, and vividly did the performance recall memories of an old-time sojourn in that second Switzerland, especially a scene in old Innsbruck. A group consisting of some English visitors and their brother, who is now a resident, the lady whose guests they are, and a young girl playing the zither in such a manner as to make it utter the native melodies like a living thing. From the window is visible a lovely landscape of peaceful fields and frowning mountains, with snow-capped peaks, and living streams to complete the enchantment of the scene, where the greet patriot Andreas Hofer lived—died for that "'glorious land, Tyrol."
But I must ask pardon of the vocalists, and first of all the ladies, for having allowed myself to be led so far afield. So far as old friends are concerned, the names on the programme will speak for themselves when it is mentioned that all the ladies were in good voice, Miss Ethel Craik more especially distiguishing herself. Of the male singers Mr. Adelt and Mr. Wyncoll may be singled out as having particularly fine voices when all were good. At the conclusion a cordial vote of thanks was passed and acknowledged. I should not omit to state that Mr. Hope, although suffering from severe headache, not only acquitted himself well in a duet with Miss Craik but obligingly filled the arduous positions of chair and general utility-man to the admiration of all.65

 
S Bourke Morn Journ4 Apr 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. By TODEA AFRICANA. The great fruit show was, according to all accounts, a pronounced success. Instead of being held in the horticultural gardens at Burnley, where it would have been a strictly technical, hole-and-corner affair, it was held in the great Exhibition building, the home of all popular shows. The fact of its being kept open until Saturday night, instead of closing on Friday as originally intended, shows sufficiently that it "caught on."
Under these circumstances it is gratifying to know that Beaconsfield made an effort to be represented. That the effort was successful I am credibly informed by several eye-witnesses. Our display, they say, if not big, was good, and Beaconsfield, if it has not earned especial distinction, has certainly not been disgraced in its friendly rivalry with, other districts. It must be remembered that most of our orchards are small, and some of them not in full bearing yet. However, now we have found out we can grow fruit that will compare favorably with what have hitherto been considered the most favored. regions, we may reasonably expect that it will not be many years ere we are able to gaze upon a forest of fruit trees in place of the weird, and, to some, wearisome gum tree which for countless 'centuries' has kept watch and ward over the treasures concealed amongst the hills.
We were well represented at the conference of fruitgrowers by Mr W. H. Goff, a member of our local association, who tells me he was much pleased with the interest, amounting to enthusiasm, which the Minister, Mr Webb, displayed in the industry. There is little doubt, it would seem, that if the present Government is, allowed to work out their schemes, the fruit industry will be placed on a footing not far beneath that of dairying if, indeed, it do not soon outstrip butter and cheese in the race.
When out the other day on a cow hunting expedition, the form of sport most popular in this hide-and-seek country, I stumbled across some really respectably-sized orchards in the neighborhood of Pakenham. The one I passed by, and whose owner I could not resist interviewing, is about fifty acres in extent. Of this about ten acres is planted with plums, the rest being occupied by apples and a few pears. The freeholder is Mr Hutton, who has leased the land to the present occupier (Mr Hadfield) for a term of years. The orchard is kept in admirable condition, and with its trees planted with mathematical precision, forming avenues in almost every direction, trained in the shapliest of forms and loaded (the latter kinds at least) with a harvest of ruddy fruit, forms a picture which is not easily effaced from the mind. Large quantities of fruit are sent to market every week, and some sorts are even exported to England. The Jonathan seems to be the favorite at present ; how long the fickle public will continue to patronise it no man can tell, but at present it certainly obtains the best price in Melbourne. I was glad to learn that the cases required for packing the fruit at the orchard were obtained in the neighborhood, giving employment to the men at the Salvation Army settlement.
With the commencemeut of April the rainy season seems fairly to have set in, and autumn operations in orchard, garden and field can be carried on with some satisfaction.66

 
S Bourke Morn Journ11 Apr 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. If there is one thing more than another that, climatically speaking, we pride ourselves on being free from, it is fog. Morning after morning the sun rises clear and crisp as if he had just had his morning tub after a good night's rest, instead of doing the eternal ceaseless sleepless round that he is doomed to. Of course I know the wise-acres will have it that it is WE who do the ground tour, whilst Sol just turns on his heel—I mean axis—but "you needn't be so — particular" as the sailor justly remarked to one of his auditors, who officiously inquired how, in that heroic encounter with the shark, he was happily able, at the critical moment, to whip out his jack- knife and give the brute his quietus ; when according to his own showing the incident happened whilst he was out bathing. The moral of which is that if some poetical license were not permitted, life would not be worth living—at least to the story-teller. pardon me for so specifically pointing it out, as I was afraid that from the haziness of my style the application might after all be only mist. But really you cannot call the etheral substance which has to a greater or less extent wrapped us round for the last few days, by any such vulgar name as fog. At night, when asleep in the gully, it looks like the ghost of a great snowdrift, solid enough to hide all but the hill tops on the further side, but on the slope nearest us proclaiming it's spectral nature by allowing the weird forms of gaunt gum trees to loom larger than life through the veil of vapour. The morning comes, and kissed by the Solar rays the mass begins to move in billowy waves, until the rising tide has reached our own particular standpoint, but the flood in which we are submerged is not a fog—oh no! We are only in the clouds—that's all. I, have been there, and the INFLUENCE—Sir, remains.67

 
S Bourke Morn Journ18 Apr 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. The Horticultural Board have conveyed their thanks to those members and friends of the Beaconsfield and Gembrook Fruitgrowers' Association who contributed to the late Fruit Show at the Exhibition Building, Melbourne, in his communication to the hon. secretary, on the subject, Mr Geo. Neilson, adds:—"Many thanks for the interest you took in the affair. It passed of very satisfactorily; you made a good display when arranged, Personally, I am pleased to know that fine fruit can be grown in your district. I sent the fruit to the Childrens' Hospital." If our detractors don't change their tune now, may they be d———ynamited. In a very few years fruit and flowers will flourish far and near, on lofty hill and in sheltered dale, on a scale that hitherto has not been dreamt of. It will be no fault of the soil, for the phrase "barren hills" in connection with Beaconsfield is henceforth, in the language of Josiah Biglow "an exploded idee." The ultimate disposal of our exhibits could not, in my opinion, have been more happily planned. What became of the exhibits from other districts I know not, but if in future the Beaconsfield idea could be adopted and the charities to that extent benefited, so much the better for the best of causes.
Our mining population is certainly on the increase ; Goolgardie notwithstanding. You see, the West Australian goldfield has its decided disadvantages. Although distance does no doubt, in some cases, lend enchantment to the view ; it doesn't lend you the money to get there; and from Beaconsfield to Bailey's Reward is, it must be admitted, a far cry. And a cry in the wilderness—if, relying on the thirst assuaging at insanitary "soaks," we have toiled for many sites through the dismal desert of dust only to find that the longed for saturation is still a torture of Tantalus for us. And so it comes about that we have now a little army (well! a regiment if that will suit you better) of human ants in our gullies at present, turning up the earth in every diection. From a picturesque point of view the gullies will certainly not benefit; and from a practical—well, a cow coming unexpectedly on any of these excavations may be—pitted.
Whilst rejoicing that in this manner the unemployed of Melbourne have lost their right to such an appellation, we had better not forget that whilst nominally staunch eight hours' men, some of them may have been doing a stroke for that arch non-unionist, the successful tenderer for the supply of Mischief throughout the universe. Whether one is justified in entertaining such a thought may be a moot point, but those whose larders have lately been lightened to an extent which the ordinary rules of subtraction will not account for, may perhaps be pardoned for a temporary deficiency in that heaven-born Charity, which "suffereth long and is kind."
Talking of—well, "CONVEY the wise it call," a fearful sense of insecurity hangs over all at the present time. Accustomed to looking on house and grounds as one's own in perpetuity, it is a crushing blow to discover that, so far from this being the case, the enterprising miner may some fine morning be found pegging out a claim in your backyard, or putting up a poppet head just opposite your portico, in the middle of your front lawn. They tell me that unless he arranges to pay you a royalty you have the power of making things a bit unpleasant for him—for a while. But tell me, what satisfaction is there in kicking the cur that has just taken a piece out of your calf. And as for royalties, what matters it me if I am made a duke or wedded to a princess of the blood, so long as I am subjected to the wormwood and the gall of doing aught—even to becoming a Crœsus—on compulsion.68

 
S Bourke Morn Journ25 Apr 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. A mining mania is like to be heir to the land boom. What with Daylesford here and Bayley's Reward in the Golden West, it is difficult to concentrate one's, thought; on the humdrum work of the day. And here lies the great danger to our population. After the fever—one might well call it delirium—through which our poor country has passed; the great hope of salvation seemed to lie in the lesson which it might teach: That there is no royal road to permanent prosperity. But now we seem destined to again have those ravishing visions of "wealth beyond the dreams of avarice" dangled before us as in the days gone by. Why should I dig all day in the garden in order that—please the slugs —I may eventually raise a few paltry cabbages, or wage a continual warfare against an army of birds and the countless hosts of the insect world for the prize of a few pears and plums, which after all may prove but Dead Sea fruit when brought to market? Why indeed? when by wandering at large I may happen any day upon a spot where one stroke of the pick will prove the "Open Sesame" to a treasure cave that would make either Ali Baba or Monte Cristo die of envy. Fortunately for the interests of every day occupations all is not "beer and skittles" for the miner. There is a seamy side even to this enchanting occupation, and could the young bank clerk, with his faultless shirt front and immaculate wrist-bands, as he shovels up the sovereigns whilst dreaming of the far distant Tom Tiddler's ground, only see himself a few months hence, dirt begrimed, tubless, drinkless, penniless, would he not think "a bird in the hand." Let those who are inclined to undervalue the labor required in gold, getting, take a trip to these hills at the present time and see for themselves the strenuous efforts that are required to win the least reward. The hardest work of a railway or road navvy is comfort compared to that of the majority of the miners at work in our gullies at the present time, Lisyphus and Hercules might make light of it— which I doubt—as for me, I return to my crust and my cabbages—a wiser, if a sadder man.69

 
S Bourke Morn Journ2 May 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. The Beaconsfield to Gembrook Railway, one had come to look upon as one of those pleasant dreams of the Golden Past, which together with International Exhibitions, Victorian Orchestras, Fours'-in-hand to the champagne luncheons at the land sales on Saturday afternoons, and such like Bacchanalian extravagances, was, "away in die ewigkeit." What then had possessed our Lord Chesterfield of the Railways to allow himself to be lured by the Vere de Vere of our aristocratically named township into a trip to the mountains? Be that as it may, we may be sure that once the autocrat of Spencer street was confided to the care of two such ardent Beaconsfielders as Mr. Craik and "the genial little Doctor" he was in safe hands so far as the credit of the district was concerned. The immense increase in the population of late years, the crowds of diggers in the gullies, the extraordinary development of horticulture, agriculture and dairy-culture, not to speak of berry-culture (both goose. and straw.) in our thriving district would receive full justice at the hands, or from the tongues, of these juvenile veterans—believe you me! I can picture the macchiavellian simplicity of the redoubtable Richardson as he absorbed all the information (not con veyed in too dry a form either, you may depend on't!) that was tendered to him as the magnificent cyclorama rolled by. I can imagine the piecrustic promises couched in Sybilline sentences extracted under the influence of the hospitable board. And then, ah! then————Oh what a falling off was there. "You can have your railway where you like; IF (much virtue in an IF) you are prepared to guarantee the interest." Shades of the prosperous past ! What an insult this, to haunt us with our impotent impecuniosity. In short, what a metaphorical "slap in the face!"
Whilst the Government is excogitating a plan for resuscitating the faded glories of the neglected gold fields of the colony, let them not overlook the fact that WE can boast a glorious past in this connection. Anyone who takes a walk along our numerous "gullies cannot fail to be forcibly struck with the evidences of an erstwhile mining popultion, as he falls in with (or, not unlikely, in-TO) the multiplicitous diggers holes or shafts which honey comb the alluvium brought down by the ancient creek. The prospect of interesting if not sensational discoveries seems to the unbiassed observer by no means discouraging. Almost in every gully in the district there are miners steadily at work from weeks' end to week's end, and though few, if any, besides themselves are favored with in formation as to the quantity which re wards their labors. The fact remains that they persist in their efforts and live fairly well meanwhile, as the local store keepers can testify, to whom their gold is given itn exchange for necessaries, aye and even little luxuries. And good coarse gold it is, with here and there a larger lump which one might almost dignify by the name of nugget. Depend upon it, if we cannot look confidently for a Cool gardie we may at least hope with some amount of assurance for—well ! a Daylesford, if our gullies and hill sides be only intellegently explorited.
A special meeting of the Fruitgrowers' Association was held on Saturday evening last at the Beoconsfield Assembly Hall, when a very interesting report of his visit to the Fruit Show and what he saw there, was read by Mr. Hans Glissman. Evidently this a gentleman who goes about with his eyes and his ears open and follows Captain Cuttle's sage advice "When found make a note of" One thing I more especially noted in the report, which was I understand most emphatically endorsed in the subsequent discussion, viz.: the statement that Beaconsfield fruit did not suffer, so far as quality is concerned, by comparison with the most renowned fruit-growing districts of the colony. What about our "barren hills" after that!70

 
S Bourke Morn Journ9 May 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. By TODEA AFRICANA. "I see you have the autumnal tints hereabouts already" remarked a wandering artist to an old country woman, "Lawks-a-mussy-me sir, you don't say so! And be they catchin'?" And over all the ranges, orchard and garden, are beginning to clothe themselves in their many hued garments of gold and crimson, ringing endless changes with the more sober minded brown. This evening of the year how beautiful it may be, they only can fully realise who see the glory of the old world forest or of that land the Pilgrim Fathers learned to love. But even here, where the primeval bush maintains its monotone throughout the year, no eye that has learnt to see can fail to be touched by the loveliness of the effects that are produced whenever the class of trees yclept deciduous are wont to congregate. And with th crimson glory of the creeper called Virginian and rivalling the colour of the yellow leafed vine come the serried ranks of army of chrysanthemums.
And as I write, a picture comes to mind of a garden where this flower is represented, or rather I should say where it is in great force. Not the miserable little specimens that are so often made to do duty, but really handsome flowers that need not be ashamed to meet their fellows even in an exibition. The owner of the garden has one of the neatest little shops you ever saw, built in one corner of it near the high road. And the door of this model emporium is guarded by a Golden Dragon of magnificent proportions. But he is a Dragon of benevolent disposition, who nods at you in a friendlly manner as much as to bid you welcome, instead of incontinently devouring you. A course which would certainly not tend to increase the circle of the clientele. Such a handsome creature is this dragon and so tempting in appearance withal, that I caught my little child the other day devouring HIM—with her eyes. And with the autumnal tints, which are not catching in the sense that not everyone seems to catch them—or even see them, come the long evenings which, were it not for the gregarious instincts of the human species would be rather all too long for many. As it is, the "socials" which have become an institution, here, again hold away and the Assembly Hall is once more gay with song and dance. On other nights young men and maidens meet to practise singing for the church. There may result some special service IN as well as TO the church from this, but —— no matter.
With the approach of winter, too, football replaces cricket, in our midst, and judging from a group of young athletes whose photograph I saw the other day; our erstwhile cricket team need, with a little training, not fear to meet the enemy between the goals.
Amongst other entertainments in view for the winter evenings, I am told of one which will no doubt enlist the sympathies of many. It is to take place, I believe, on the night of Her Gracious Majesty's natal day, the 24th inst. Being in aid of the local services of the Presbyterian Church, of which Mr. Rock of Cranbourne is the popular local reprcesentative, it should not be neceesary for me to add one word of further inducement.71

 
S Bourke Morn Journ16 May 1894 Sugarloaf Hill Quarry, Mining, Railway,
UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Now that the Coolgardie fever has somewhat abated, there may be a better chance of our goldfields attracting their legitimate share of the public attention. That 600 miners from New Zealand, newly arrived in Sydney en route for Western Australia should decide to try the goldfields of New South Wales in preference to continuing their journey to the much vaunted Western Eldorado, is a pretty substantial indication that the tide is at least on the turn.
So far as our own particular treasure store is concerned, I can only say that the men who are here do not seem inclined to grumble, and that those who patronise the stores have plenty of the precious metal to pay for the provisions they procure. The opinion seems growing that some more systematic, not to say scientific, search for the Root should be made than has hitherto been attempted. To this end it is not unlikely that the Government will be approached with the request to test the district under expert supervision ; preferably, by means of the diamond-drill. Under such circumstances it is strongly opined that ere long the reef from which the gold now got is evidently derived must certainly be discovered, and that at no great distance from the present alluvial workings, judging from the appearance of the dust.
Apart from our golden dreams there is not much that interests us here at present. I need scarcely say that dreaming is not our sole occupation, but our ordinary work we do without trumpeting forth the fact to the world.
Outside of the ordinary routine, we appreciate in a laniguid way the efforts of our admirable Crichton of a Railway Minister, to supply the pressing needs of the mountain ranges by means of narrow gauge railways. Of course nobody seriously supposes that we shall really attain to even this attenuated luxury, at least for many years to come ; but on principle of giving a child a lolly to keep it quiet, the idea is not a bad one.
While on this subject, it always has a fatal fascination for us who have been promised a railway on the solemnly pledged faith and honour of successive railway ministers from a time to which the memory of man runneth not to the contrary, what do you think of the Aerial Tramway such as may be seen in actual operation at the famed Jumbunna coal mines or pictorially set forth in one of our illustrated weeklies? I must confess that when I saw the picture of those coal wagons being lightly wafted from one hill to another at a giddy height above the gruesome gullies of the Gippsland bush, a dream that I have indulged in for years past seemed to be one step at least nearer realisation. Who, that has ever stood on these heights and gazed across, the great gum forest, with its numerous gullies, at the plains beyond, has not longed for an etherealised switchback that should smoothly and silently transport him from his lofty standpoint direct, as the crow flies, to Beaconsfield or Berwick railway station. Being a reasonable man, no one would ask to be carried in this way further, but it did, and does seem hard that you are obliged to adopt the circuitous not to say painful means of locomotion which a hard fate provides in the shape of a buggy and a winding road, taking nigh an hour in the transit ; when the power which caused Newton's apple to fall to the ground, is still in reserve, if only an inclined plane were provided, to carry you smoothly, gently to your destination in less than half the time.
Footballers are talking of a challenge which has been given to the local team by the miners. In case of a match being arranged, it will take place on Queen's Birthday on the Beaconsfield ground.
On paying a visit to the quarry which was lately opened near the site of the "Big House," I was pleased to find that a good many tons of what I should call really excellent material for road metal, had been got out. I am informed, how ever, that an alleged difficulty as regards gradients is likely to interfere with the successful carrying out of the contract for supplying the council's requirements from this source. Should this be the only stumbling block, the roads need certainly not go unrepaired, as equally good stone of the same kind can be got in other and more accessible situations.72

 
S Bourke Morn Journ23 May 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. The gold seekers have not given up the quest yet. Indeed, their ranks have received some additions during the past week. The speak also in a cheerful strain, notwithstanding the halejul influence of having to "bucket" the water out of their shafts, before beginning to work each day. Haunted Gully seems to be the favourite ground at present, there being quite a little tent-town down towards the Scotchman's point.
Poor old Jack the Digger! One cannot help thinking of him, who was for so long the Hermit of Haunted Gully. For years did the sturdy old French sailor play a lone hand against fortune, with no companion but his faithful dog. Through good report and evil report he steadfastly held his course, with a firm belief that his perseverance must eventually be rewarded if heaven only granted health and strength. And now that he has been called to his long home, his faith is shown to have been justified ; for the Frenchman's hut, as his little log cabin in called, is now the centre of most of the mining activity in the neighbourhood, some twenty men or more are making a decent living where one then well nigh starved. But so it is with many of us; we go blundering through life from the cradle, on until we suddenly stumble into the next world ; our only success having been in showing conclusively "How not to do it." Proof positive that our story not ended in this world but will be "continued in our next." Otherwise we might well ask, with the epitath on the baby's tombstone
"If I was so soon to be done for"—"What was I ever begun for."
A great deal of flutter was caused in clerical circles by the abandoned conduce of the military on the Sunday (Sabbath, as some erroneously call it). And doubtless it is wrong that the Government should in any way countenance, still less pat ronise a breach of Sabbatharian law. But to go to church first and play after wards would, I take it, be in the eye of Heaven less harmful than to render any portion of the service that we tender to the Diety ridiculous by reason of our levity. The remark may seem superfluous but "the moral lies it the application of it."
We hear a great deal of the prowess of the young Australian native, and our manly bosom never fails to thrill—as thrill full well it may—whenever it is made known to us that some young Victorian (the other's don't count so much, only producing a mild tremor) has worsted one of those effete Englanders. Sometimes it is the account of a boatrace, at others cricket causes confusion in their ranks, but the period of palpitation extends to a column of the Argus when we have proved our superiority over all the world in the noble art of puncing a con temporary's head. After such a wild excitement, the announcement that the highest honours of the old world universities have been won by our sons, or the laurel wreath of fame has crowned the brows of some devotee of the three sister arts, falls necessarily somewhat flat; still it may be just as well to show the old world that even THERE we are not to be depised. But can we wonder at the feats that our young men perform, when our young women will without hesitation undertake a trudge of five to ten miles to a dance or dressmaker, without escort, not even counting the darkness a hindrance, and next day will go on with their work as usual.73

 
S Bourke Morn Journ30 May 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. It can hardly be expected that the favorable meteorological conditions which in England are so traditionally associated with functions graced by Her Majesty's presence or allied to her name, as to have originated the phrase "Quen's weather," should hold good in all parts of her world wide dominions, and as the Merry month of May of the dear old land with eyes sparkling in sunshine and lap full of flowers is here transformed into a something as near as the old world November as they make it in these latitudes (a glorified edition truly), it is hardly to be wondered at that the anniversary of the Queen's birth was celebrated under weeping skies.
The cricket match between the heroes of Haunted Gully (alias the diggers) and the pick of our players, was one that had been looked forward to with pleasurable anticipation by both parties and their friends. Of course the bad weather prevented the numerous attendance which otherwise would have been a dead certainty ; however, those who were there, amongst whom I regret to say I was not, had some fun for their trouble. I am told that the Gully eventually won the day after a gallant fight on the part of our club, reinforced pro tem by that veteran player, Mr. E. F. A'Beckett and several young friends.
In the evening at the Assembly Hall there was an entertainment in aid of the Presbyterian Church services, which drew a large audience and resulted in a substantial surplus for the good cause. Here again I must plead guilty to being absent, though "through circumstances over which I had no control" but am informed on credible authority that everybody was very pleased with the evening's amusement. The Dandenong quartette party who were then heard for the first time in Beaconsfield, sang to an appreciative audience. The Cranbourne quartette party were only represented by two of their number and thus the evening was shorn of at least one, or should I say two attractions. Mr. Rock was in great force and brought down the house with "The tale of a pony." Of the other performers I cannot speak with any certain sound owing to my envoy having paid more attention to his fair neighbour than to taking notes of the performance. I am sorry if I do him an injustice, but the scribble he has handed in can hardly be taken as anything but the disjointed ravings of a love-struck lunatic. Every credit is due to the promoters of the entertainment for the way that all the arrangements were carried out, not forgetting the refreshments at the conclusion for the special benefit of the visiting artistes. Of course votes of thanks of the usual nature were passed, in which the names of Mrs. Noble and Mrs. Renfree were duly honored. Barely had the concert personelle adjourned to the supper room when the hall was cleared as if by magic and dancing commenced. Not, be it distictly understood, under the auspices or with the sanction of the church, although I am not aware that Mr. Rock has any rooted objection to his flock indulging in such relaxation occasionally from the strain imposed by the constant round of daily toil, as the practice of the terpsichorean art affords. It is a question of' Presbyterian propriety which I have not had time to enquire into. Be that as it may the dancing in this instance was under the patronage of the Social Club whose scances have in the past proved so successful. Though if "seances" be taken in the strict sense of "sittings" one cannot truly say that they have been otherwise than a failure as the members are evi dently not followers of the fashionable cult who have drunk the cup of so called pleasures to the dregs and can only say with the blase aristocrat when he had "done" Vesuvius, even to looking down the crater, "There's nothing in it." This particular species of the genus homo whose energy will only suffice to "sit out" a waltz on the verandah (and, under the rose, you might do worse, on occasion), are scarcely represented in the life giving atmosphere of the hills. Your natural inclination in the mountains is to dance and sing and shout for joy. And, apart from the "shouting," which is sometimes for something less ethereal, the young people have opportunities not few no far between for indulging in such natural inclinations to their hearts content. One is irresistably reminded of the light hearted Tyrolese or Pyrenean peasant to whom to sing and to dance is as the breath of life itself. Although a large number was not present, it is needless to say that those who were, had an enjoyable evening. We must not expect to enjoy ourselves under any circumstances unless we carry the capacity for enjoyment with us—this capacity most members of the Socials seem to possess to the full extent. It is a bad case indeed that will keep some of them away when a dance at the Hall takes place, and so long as they continue to be conducted as well as they have been hitherto, who would say them nay?74

 
S Bourke Morn Journ6 Jun 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. By TODEA AFRICANA. The winter is now in our midst, and wind and rain are our daily companions. Happily we have rarely a day without sunshine and although it rains heavily at times, it is principally by night, so that only the minimum of hindrance is offered to the operations of planting and preparing the ground for the spring. The talk is still of gold and although there are no startling finds, still, those who are digging in the various gullies, seem to be fairly satisfied with the results of their labors. Doubtless the situation by no means warrants a rush, but we must be thankful that in times when employment is so scarce, the men of the district can turn to an occupation which, at the worst, seems to provide them with the proverbial "tucker."
What an inestimable blessing such a situation is we may form some idea of when we turn to Melbourne, where even now, the bitter cry for bread is rising from the lips of many of the poverty stricken inhabitants. Driven to desperation by the starvation which stares them in the face, the courage of some fails them. To them, the old time proverb which Hamlet tried to solve, is again presented— "To be or not to be."
To the true soldier the situation does not exist. He will stand by the colours till the last, facing the fiercest tide of the battle. But there are those who, under the stress of adverse circumstances, are ever ready to listen to the voice of the revolutionary. If the present state of society does not allow them to live comfortably, then so much the worse for society. These are they who run after the Socialist, as if the trouble were not that we have too much government already, without inviting the state to take each individual in charge from the cradle to the grave. Although there is certainly some danger of our drifing into that infantile condition of things, wherein all the energy and enterprise, the liberty, nay even the very life of a people is liable to be sapped. Thank heaven, there does not seem much chance of the anarchist ; for after the manly display of the people in Hyde Park, London, the other day, it is evident that the Anglo-Saxon knows what to do with the man whose one idea is to abolish the policeman. It is a pity to see that even some of our clergymen are so imbued with the notion of recon structing society that they are in danger of forgotting the plain duty that lies under their noses. Let them follow the example of the master who so far from incultating the duty of pulling the house of state about one's ears, recommended the restless spirits of those days, rather to "render unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's." 'If they only teach the people to be good men and women, they may leave the rest to work itself out.
The case of my wandering at large upon such unaccustomed ground as this, may be more apparent when I explain that I was treated to a sermon by a so called Christian Socialist, some short time since. Fortunately, the dangerous doc trines with which the talented lecturer seemed to be in sympathy, were not too clearly enunciated, as evidenced by the remark of one of the congregation after wards. "Well, I didn't understand much of it ; but what I think is, that when you go to church you go to hear about Christ."75

 
S Bourke Morn Journ13 Jun 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA.
We don't want to act,
But by Jingo if we do,
We've got the girls,
We've got the boys,
We've got the talent too;
We said 'twas so before,
But now we KNOW it's true,
The youth of Upper
Beaconsfield is NO fool.
Such is the enthusiastic verdict of our local poet, dramatic critic and general diner out, after witnessing an amateur dramatic entertainment not a hundred miles from the place where this is indited. Unfortunately owing to the supersensitive shyness of some of the performers (it is our mountain way), the edict went forth that the press (with a big P if you please) was to be rigorously excluded. But is the fourth estate of the realm to be thus ruthlessly muzzled and the public deprived of the privilege which the new personal journalism has given them of prying into private matters which can concern them not one jot? Personally, I am of opinion that the line ought to be drawn somewhere — I have not quite decided where, but it is positively certain that a very stringent line of some kind, preferably a triple one of barbed wire, should be drawn—after me. In this instance the interests of the district demanded that the duties of the demon reporter should he fearlessly performed at all risks, so, disguised as a gentleman, your representative gained entrance with the crowd and fortunately escaped detection, and the inevitable painful consequence of immediate expulsion at the hands of the "chucker out." The play modestly entitled a charade, called Eversleigh Hall, was divided into five acts, the scenery of which as in the time of the great Shakespeare, being left largely to the imagination, a delicate compliment to the audience which such gross realists as Henry Irving fail to understand. Programmes were thoughtfully provided, but the excellent acting of the heroine in Scene V. of Act I., so transported the writer that, being unprovided with a bouquet, he impulsively projected his Bill of the Play towards the proscenium, his example being incontinently followed by the majority of the more susceptible young mushers in the front rows of the Hall. This impromptu deomonstration was gracefully accepted (together with the programmes) by the fair debutante, and thus, should my account of the entertain ment prove rather confused reading, it must be put down as the result of my young enthusiasm, which all worries of these latter times have not been able to crush. On dit that not only the acting but the authoring of the play was done by local talent, and much should I like to give some of the choicest bits, but time and the exigencies of space would fail me. Of the plot, which is an extensive one and includes a jewel robbery and a murder, not to speak of sleep walking and such like minor phenomena, I will not stay to say much except that one wonders how much incident could be compressed into such small space and time. The wonder of all to the friends was that the chatelaine of Castle Ttekceba should have such a hypnotic charm (for it could be nothing else) over these raw recruits, as in a short space to have transformed them with her wand into very passable young actors. Who would have recog nised in the distracted heroine pathetically deploring her inability to oblige both claimants for her hand, the madcap Margy of a few short months ago, or in the rival lovers, 'twere too cruel to name names here, the boys that not so long ago hated the sight of a girl. As the heavy father the mercurial son of our hostess acquitted himself to admiration in an unaccustomed part. The other parts were all well filled and the piece went off without a hitch except when the curtain closed the piece.76

 
S Bourke Morn Journ20 Jun 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. The annual meeting of the Beaconsfield and Gembrook Fruitgrowers Association took place on Saturday, 16th inst., at the Assembly Hall, when the committee and officers for the ensuing year were elected. Messrs Noble and Mackley were re-appointed chairman and secretary, respectively, and Messrs Hollow, Goff, Robertson, and Glissman members of the committee, the other members with the exception of two who had left the neighbourhood, being re-elected. The secretary read a resume of the years events, which certainly showed that the society has not been without its usefulness during this early stage of its existence. Mr Neilson's visit, with its results of proclaiming the district to the world, as one of the best in the colony for the growth of all the hardiest fruits, and the consequent extension of planting in orchard and strawberry plantation. The protest in combination with kindred societies against the proposed increase in the freight on soft fruits. The correspondence with such societies in other colonies resulting in valueable information as to treatment of insect pests &c., &c. Last, though not least, the first public exhibition of fruits from this district in the Exhibition Buildings, Melbourne. Surely if any justification for the existence of such an association were needed, such in stances of its usefulness must suffice ; and if such result can be shown during the first few months with few members and a plentiful lack of coin in the coffers, what might not be done with the power that numbers and wealth would give. No man with an acre of orchard but should for his own sake be a member of such societies as these. Joined to them he is in touch with the whole worls of fruit culture, in effect "up to date"; apart from them he is a kind of Crusoe, a position which in spite of its independence, has its disadvantages.
The chronic impecuniosity, of the Church in country districts has the advantage of preventing the piously minded from subsiding too much into the contemplative state. Unless they are constantly up and doing, the possibility stares them in the face, of having to forego the spiritual pabulum to which they have been hitherto accustomed. The members of the Anglican denomination see already the necessity for another effort, and are consequently taking steps to organise an entertainment—this seeming to be the only means in these times of dearth by which the money can be tempted from the pockets of its pro tem, proprietors. Rumour says that the excitemnent this time is to take the form of a tea-meeting with a concert to follow In the impossibility of finding anything new in these days, it seems positively refreshing to contemplate a reversion to the customs of our grand mothers.
"I remember, I remember, in the days when I was young," that the tea-meeting was a great power in the land. Whether my estimate of its influence for good is unconsciously founded on the fatal fascination which the ample proportions of the penny bun had for the then infantile mind, or the cordial appreciation we had for the currant cake—too often, alas, of the coo-ee order of architecture as to the disposition of those juicy morsels—it is im possible now to say. Ah, me! that was in the days before the deluge—of life's troubles came, o'er me, when neuralgia was as yet a negative quantity and dyspepsia as yet a demon unborn. Although, by the way, the toothache or the thousand other aches including birch-ache; plum-pudding-ache, not to speak of the untold agonies of sour-apple-ache (the last named of which had for obvious reasons often to be borne in bitter silence) wore not bad substitutes lacking of course the prestige of latinised language, but none the less real to the victim for all that.
But to return to our muttons, or rather to our tea and muffins, some of the ladies of the district have had a conference on the subject and it is definitely decided that such is to be, the date alone being at present an open question—so rumour has hit it for once. Somewhere about the com mencement of next month will witness the consummation of this grand cor roboree.
They sing Hey ! for the chicken and ham
And the gay Sally Luu.
And sing Hey for the strawberry jam
And the rollicking bun.
N.B.-Please take the poetry as such, and NOT as a bona fide Bill of Fare.77

 
S Bourke Morn Journ27 Jun 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Midwinter holidays ! and .. a little more excitement than .. and ordinarily uneventful .. accustomed to for the greater part of the year.
Some of our friends who li.. life, will with their families .. become Rangers. Compelled .. exigencies of business to spend up to ten months of the year in town .. which time—I take their own .. —they sing "my hearts' in the .. lands," they are evidently .. breathe once more the unpolluted mountain air.
Accustomed as the majority of folk are to take their holidays during the hottest season of the year, few are aware, how really enjoyable the einter months are on the hills and in the gullies. True it is that one must be prepared for an occasional wet day; but so long as these come ".. spies" and not "in battalions" .. enforced idleness thereby occup.. only gives increased zest to the .. days ramble. And then after one of those heavy down pours, how enhanced is the beauty of the gullies. Let those, who are true lovers of nature, di... the croakings of their all-too-proud friends and descend to the hav.. the wood nymphs. there will .. instead of the solemn and p.. calm that in the height of summer seems to brood over the depths of the forest, a scene of tumultuous lik.. action. True the gale whose mighty voice may be heard far o'er head in the tree tops, only sends occasional .. into the recesses of this fairy land .. agitating the fern fronds, rattling bark that hangs from the white ... and causing the dead leaves on ... ghostly "rung" trees to rustle as .. gust goes by ; but at our feet, ru.. and roaring and tumbling and .. is a torrent, in which it is hard to recognise the tiny trickling rill .. tinkling music was so soothing to the ear when last we visited it in summer time. With what a show of pas.. it rushes at all and sundry hindrum sweeping them along in its course if they prove too strong to be tree.. thus, foaming and fretting and chaf... aye, and swearing at them for damming the path. And after a week's downpour you will find a mighty stream which will carry fern trees and fences and aught else save the sold ... anchored rock, away down the gully no one knows whither.
At the time of present writing .. bids fair to give us an instance in point as this is the second day of steady downpour, with slight intervals of heavy driving mist, when we are veritably in the clouds.
The tea meeting and social evening which I alluded to in my last, as projected in aid of the fund for conduction of Church of England services in Upper Beaconsfield, is now fixed to take place on Saturday the 7th July. Tea will be on the tables at half past six, which will be followed by vocal and instrumental music, readings, recitations, which should altogether make up an enjoyable evening. It is only to be hoped that Mr. Ellery can give a fine evening, when it may be expected that a good assembly will result.
It is also on the cards that the Cricket Club are arranging an evening at the same place. The entertainment to take the shape of a concert and ball, about a week later than the above.
As regards gold digging I may say that things have settled down to a steady jog trot state of prosperity. No startling finds, but those who come mostly stay ; at least, I hear from time to time of fresh arrivals, and the number of departures which come up my ken, are few and far between.78

 
S Bourke Morn Journ4 Jul 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. All the world was one, as it stood transfixed with horror at the diabolical dagger thrust which laid low the universally respected, and by his compatriots well-beloved, Chariot.
Countries, like individuals, are generally so immersed in their own concerns that they have no time to devote to those of their neighbours, except in so far as conflicting interests compel: but an act like the slaying of the late President, at the very moment when he was being feted by the people of one of the most Republican towns of Republican France, must rouse the blood of the meanest creature who has a spark of human nature in him.
The man who is opposed to all government—good, bad or indifferent, may exist as a theorist ; but when he comes to put his theory into practice by attempting to forcibly remove the safeguards against crime which the wisdom of centuries has seen fit to erect, then it is surely time that he should be recognised for the pestilent reptile that he is, and hunted down like a tiger snake. It is not sufficient that the heel of authority only be firmly planted on the neck of such a monster. It is the people that must speak with no uncertain sound. Let the mere utterance of such treason to the commonwealth as falls glibly from the tongues of the cowardly villians, who egg such mad brained youths as Sauto on, be met with treatment like that dealt to the would-be instigators of an outrage on the Prince of Wales, a day or two since, by the enraged crowd on Tower Hill.
It was a meeting of the unemployed—but they soon found work to do—and God's work too, believe me ; for I hold that in the sight of Heaven it may sometimes he as pious to punch a fellow creature's head as it is at others to put a penny in his pocket. True to the conservative instincts so natural to a village with such a sponsor we are of course highly gratified at the announcement of the birth of England's future King. Were it not for the never-too-much-to-be-vituperated want of cash, which with us, in common with the colony generally, is becoming chronic, we might compass a cable message to our Empress-Queen, congratulating her on the auspicious event, and taking the opportunity to assure her of our continued loyalty to her throne and person, coupled with the encouraging intimation that at the first sign of danger we are prepared to flee—to the rescue of Old England. As it is we must be content to convey our sentiments through the medium of your columns, trusting that this may meet the eye of Victoria Regina et Imeperatrix, not to speak of her Royal son and grandson and their respective spouses. "Home papers please copy."
Of purely local interest there is little to record. The place is becoming once more populated with those who have come to spend their winter holidays here for strange as it may seem to some, this favored spot is quite as popular in winter as in summer. In fact many look upon it as far, the more enjoyable season when March flies have ceased from worrying and mos quitoes are at rest. Then is the time to explore all the hidden beauties of our ever-new and ever green gullies, with their lordly tree-ferns and modest maiden-hair. What a wealth of beauty awaits the stranger, few even amongst ourselves are fully aware. Then is the season too for the flowering of the lovely Epacris—the Heath of the Southern Hemisphere—gorgeous crimson, delicate pink and purest white, and all the shades that lie between are the colours of the carpet pattern with a groundwork of sober greens and browns of varying hues.
The ladies of the committee concerned in the success of the tea meeting and concert that is to take place on Saturday evening next at the Assembly Hall, have been by no means idle, and it is now predicted with confidence that the affair (weather permitting) will be a success. From all that I hear, the programme of music, both vocal and instrumental, varied, by readings and recitations will be as well calculated to satisfy the mind, as the preceding tea to comfort the body.
As to the Cricket Club concert and ball to take place the following week, I hope to give further particulars in next week's issue.79

 
S Bourke Morn Journ11 Jul 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. "An unqualified success!" is the unanimous verdict on the much talked of tea meeting and social evening in aid of the local church of England services, which was held in the Assembly Hall on Saturday evening last. Seeing that there were not wanting, those who from the first mention of the project went about Cassandra-like, prophesying disaster; and others who, having in the first instance with enthusiasm embraced the idea as "the very thing," soon found sufficient reasons to satisfy their own minds that it was undesirable to continue their connection with a venture foredoomed to failure from the first ; it must really have been extremely gratifying to those who remained true to the last, to find that Job, on the night in question, could cheerfully afford to forego the consolations which his would be comforters had selfsatisfactorily resolved to render him despite the inclemency of the weather.
Under such miserable meteorological conditions as prevailed on the last day of last week, not the most exigent person could quarrel with any one who preferred to spend the evening by his own fireside. Nevertheless, not less than one hundred souls—with bodies attached; for we are too solid as yet to resolve ourselves into a Psychical society—must have turned their backs upon home comforts and resolutely trudged along and through the country roads, now ankle deep in mire.
They were rewarded for their heroic fortitude. Nothing could have looked daintier, nor more enticing either from an æsthetic or gastronomic point of view than the tables presented, fully furnished, by Mesdames Goff and Robertson, Mesdames Manger and Mackley, and Mrs A'Beckett respectively. In each case it had been the intention of the donors to personally preside over their hospitable boards; but illness, in the case of Mrs Mackley and unavoidable absence on the part of Mrs E. F. A'Beckett, threw the responsibility of management on the shoulders Mrs Manger and the Demoiselles Estute and Christine, of which they acquitted themselves to the admiration of all comers. More neeed scarcely be averred and less, in justice certainly could not in respect of the ladies Goff and Robertson and their charming daughters. A word of praise should not be omitted for the indefatigable aid rendered at the feast by Messrs Goff, Mackinnon and Wm. A'Beckett and others, without whose assistance the ladies must inevitably have suffered from the strain.
It was not the least pleasurable part of the evening's entertainment to watch the enjoyment of the ciildren, of whom there was a goodly number present. As we note with interest the unsuccessful efforts of these youngsters to appease the inward craving, what time they flit lightly from currant cake to bread and butter by way of jam tart and conversation lollies, with an occasional excursion with the sandwich plate accompanied by copious libations of tea, we are irresistably reminided of the remonstrance of an obese yet—or should I say therefore—amiable alderman, who, after enviously observing the reckless conjuring tricks performed with the comestibles by a young and hearty neighbour at a dinner given by one of the great city of London com panies, gravely remonstrated : "Young man, you are throwing away an appetite that I would willingly give a thousand pounds to possess!"
Having thus mercifully pandered to the pleasures of the palate which, how ever the philosopher may affect to despise them, form no mean path of the enjoyment of life to all who can afford to tickle that delicate and too often caprocious organ—having, in short, disposed of the tea, the visitors were invited to amuse themselves with cards, dominos and other games dis tributed at the various small tables scattered with artistically studied irregularity about the hall.
The absence of that painful stiffness observable at the ordinary concert was agreeably conspicuous, and the music both instrumental and vocal, with which the audience was favored, together with readings both comic and serious, were none the less appreciated on account of the listeners not being compelled to sit for an hour at a stretch in a constrained attitude, gazing intently at the back of his neighbours head.
As the names of ALL the performers were not included in the programme, it would perhaps appear invidious to single out a few of those who were— even the peace of mind of a newspaper correspondent has an appreciable value, not to speak of the possible sacrifice of a piece of his body. "Caparisons are odorous."
Pressure on space compels me to hold over a thrilling account of the great golden nugget that was (not) found in Beaconsfield last week by J.H. (not of the "Argus.")
I must not close my letter without reminding all whom it may concern of the concert and ball, a combination dear to the hearts of our German cousins, to take place at the hall on Friday evening next, under the joint management of Messrs W. F. A'Beckett and H. Glissman. Although following rather too close on the heels of the aforementioned entertainment to suit the depleted pockets of most residents in these depressing times, I run no great risk in prophesying a moderate success at least. Where the song and the dance are provided, there will the young men and maidens of our ranges be gathered together. "It is their mountain way."80

 
S Bourke Morn Journ18 Jul 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Last week it was my pleasing duty to record the success of the Church of England social evening. On this ocasion it must be made known that our cricketers have had their innings and, although the particularly adverse weather might not in one sense be said to preclude the possibility of an overflowing audience, there is no doubt that there was sufficient moisture about on that special evening to make the expedition one of an extremely uncomfortable nature. Nevertheless a numerous assemblage had gathered together by the time advertised for the commencement of the concert.
The entertainment proved to be of a thoroughly popular nature. The christy minstrels, composed of some of the picked men of the club, afforded great amusement. Two of the number dressed in female costume were especially applauded and, what with good songs, humourous anecdotes, ridiculous riddles and original gag, this merry company scored a distinct success.
An attractive programme—singing and playing, independent of the party of "colored persons," had been arranged. Several ladies and gentlemen came from town specially for the occasion, and it must have been gratifying both to them and to the local talent which notwithstanding the notorious modesty of the "natives," they are not inclined to let the public ignore the existence of—"No fear!"—to know by unmistakable signs that their self sacrificing efforts were by no means unappreciated. As before hinted at, it was what your new chum would call "A beastly night dontcherknow." Raining in torrents with just sufficient intermission at intervals to tempt the unwary into the fallacious idea that there might be a possibility of getting a few hundred yards "between showers" and then if necessary, taking the advantage of some friendly verandah or other handy shelter, await a temporary surcease of the deluge, only to descend with redoubled vigour the moment the unfortunate had got well in the open where no possibility of shelter existed. Under these untoward circumstances the fairly well filled room was a great conmpliment to the cricketers.
The ball planned by the same energetic committee, would—nay must have been—a success under ordinary circumstances ; but who can fight against the gods, and Jupiter Pluvius evidently meant us to recognise under whose rain we were that night. As it was, the dancers no doubt duly appreciated the extra freedom of action which they enjoyed, and as the refreshments were good and the quantity unlimited, there was really nothing left to grumble at—for the visitor. No more satisfactory mark of the appreciation in which the affair was held by the participants in the benefits to be derived from it than the fact that the party did not break up till some where about 4 o'clock next morning. At least so rumour says, for the accuracy of whosoe reports Heaven forbid that I should ever be held responsible. So far as I am concerned, mid night may be said as a rule to find me peacefully slumbering the sleep of the innocent, and it would take a stronger inducement than has of late years been offered to keep me from my couch till such unearthly hours. There was a time—but no matter, I—
Some of our gold diggers are getting disheartened at long continued non-success. The labors of Sisyphus, whose laudable efforts to persuade a palæolithic particle of Brobdignagian proportions to peregrinate an inclined plane in a direction opposed to the eternal laws of gravitation—in short, to roll a rock uphill, are now being emulated by the indefatigable J. B. P. and Co.—
J. B. Patterson—he—Says old Sisyphus wasn't a patch upon me.
I say the labors of Sisyphus alone could be compared with the task these poor men have been attempting to cope with during the late rains. Those who have not "been there" do not know the delights of dig ging a shaft for several days and then, when near bottom, coming one morning to find that a ton or so of earth has tumbled in during the night and the hole is filling rapidly with water. Like the settler "out west" when the cow tumbled for the fiftieth time through the roof of the hut, which thoughtlessly he had built at the foot of a precipitous mountain pasture, one would feel inclined to exclaim: "This is getting monotonous."81

 
S Bourke Morn Journ25 Jul 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Beaconsfield "bangs Banagher" in the matter of weather. the stormy winds have had things very much their own way of late, and coupled with perfect deluges of rain, have contrived to make things generally uncomfortable for residents in this neighbourhood, not to speak of the visitors—the fag end of whose mid-winter holidays have been spoilt by this untoward state of the atmosphere.
Undeterred by the warning of Ellery, backed to their probable ultimate justification by the evidence of their own senses, our footballers determed to brave the elements in order to take up the challenge which had been thrown down to them by the sturdy sons of New Beaconsfield.
That this was no light matter to undertake, may readily be gathered when I mention that the distance to be travelled was somewhere about five-and-twenty miles ; that some part of this lies along (or through) cross country tracks—such tracks !—and that even when on the main Gippsland road, where one would think he might make himself tolerably at home, a tract has to be passed which has probably been the direct cause of more hair-raising, bloodcurdling, soul-destroying profanity than any spot on the map of Australia. This is the gruesome quagmire which in the old coaching days proved a veritable Slough of Despond to many a poor passenger, who having made himself as cosy as circumstances in a coach will permit, was suddenly called upon by that imperious dignitary, the coachman, to "lend a hand "; and forth- with had to dismount in wind and rain and literally "put his shoulder to the wheel" axle-deep in mire of the consis tency of a———church-warden.
Whether it was it this particular place, that the incident occurred which I am about to relate, I cannot undertake to say, but that it actually occurred can be no manner of doubt, as I read it myself in a newspaper.
A traveller was carefully sktirting round a notoriously bad spot on the highway, when suddenly he descried a hat in the very middle of the worst bit. Being a brave man he did not hesitate to risk his life by an effort to reach the "boxer" which seemed moreover to be in a good state of preservation. Having thrown a few saplings across, he at length reached the spot. Imagine his surprise on raising the hat to find a head underneath. Noticing signs of life in the features, he began frantically to tug at the hair, when the mouth took up its parable and said:— "Stranger, keep your hair on and don't scalp me. Your intentions are doubtless good but your actions air loonatic. You best look after yourself—I've got a good horse under me and I guess he'll pull me through.—So long !"
It appears that Longwarry (the N.B. referred to before we all got stuck in the mud) was mostly under water (we all have a difficulty now-a-days to keep our heads above it—but I mean literally) and our enterprising youth had to reach the scene of action by means of doing Blondin on the fences, with an occasional cold plump by way of variety.
Exhausted by those super-human exertions, it was not to be wondered that the courageous ten could not successfully stand against the furious fourteen that were brought fresh from their firesides to fight against them. If not quite amphibious by nature, the dwellers by the brawling Bunyip are more tolerant of the unstable element (except as a beverage) than we hillside men. Be this as it may, my informant was of opinion that either for sliding, sledging or boating the country could not be "packed !'' but regarded as a field for the outlet of the footballers superfluous energes, he would prefer to suspend his judgement on the place until——after the Deluge. His actual words were perhaps more striking and picturesque but possibly less parliamentary.
The Rev. Mr. Lord, a missionary from Madagascar is at present on a visit to the Rev. James Wilson, by whose kind invitation some friends had the opportunity on Monday evening last of making the acquaintance of his guest. No doubt my enforced absence through the inevi table influenza, was the means of missing some interesting anecdotes of experiencese amongst the inhabitants of this magnificent island. Mr. Lord has, I understand, brought some highly interesting curios with him, ilustrative of the manners and customs of the Malagasy, who by no means justify the curt and not too courteous description of his experience of native races generally in barbarian lands, given by the middy to his father.—The latter it may be remembered had chided his son for the angel like intervals which he allowed to elapse between his all too brief epistles, and the utter absence of any allusion to the appearance and habits of the various peoples he had seen. Oh! if that's all you want, says the youngster, it's soon summed up : Manners—none ; costumes—beastly.82

 
S Bourke Morn Journ8 Aug 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. "Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife," as the poet hath it, there is seldom aught of world wide interest to disturb the even tenor of our way. Though for the matter of that, however easy it may be to escape the "maddin crowd," a man would have to flee to the sad solitude of the sphinx deserts in search of surcease from "ignoble strife ;" only perhaps in the end to feel the weight of a waddy on his devoted skull, proving, let us hope, a key to the gates of that paradise where alone peace dwelleth evermore.
Not that people begin by meaning to be ill-natured, but gossip is as the very breath of our nostrils, and we must either talk about our neighbours or—perish of inanition. We have no wish, bless you ! to pull anyone to pieces, and would as lief, far rather in fact, discuss their good qualities than their bad. But that's where the very mischief of it is. You wouldn't believe the scarcity of virtue (in its broadest sense) in these degenerate days—present company of course always excepted. To tell our friends their faults to their faces, would, we are aware (from painful experience), do them no good whilst involving ourselves in considerable risk of purse and person. There seems to be a rather general prejudice against the candid friend. I remember reading somewhere a saying on the subject which somehow stuck in my memory; it was: "Heaven preserve me from my friends, I can look after my enemies." Though I am sure I should only be thankful for people to tell me my faults—that is if I had any.
In default of direct denunciation, if we only discuss our neighbors delinquencies in a delicate and discriminating (not incriminating) way ; pointing out to each other what we would have done in his case ; dissecting his character and holding up to the light any microscopic germs of good (if such exist) and debating what might have resulted had they been left to fructify instead of chilled by the cold breath of criticism ; if we only sacrifice our valuable time to the consideration, from the kindliest motives, of his affairs, letting our opinions reach him in a roundabout fashion so that they have become public property before they reach him, and any odour of individual origin has been knocked out of them——ought he not to be grateful for the gentle hint that may be the means of setting him on the right track. Undoubtedly ! But he is'nt!!
I was thinking of starting a Society Journal here, but I am afraid that from some of the foregoing reasons it would not exactly act. You see we are ALL prominent personages here, and as everybody would be bound to be pilloried (solely for their own good and the general example) from time to time, it is to be feared the atmosphere of the office would become too sultry for the occupants ere long.
"It does make me so wild," as the immortal Toole has it, to think of the things one could say that would make copy to "catch-on" anywhere ; but you daren't senid it to the uttermost parts of the earth for fear that, boomerang fashion, it might return.
Now there's that scandal about——There is really too much weather about just now, I think—don't you—.83

 
S Bourke Morn Journ15 Aug 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. The Agricultural Department is doing good work in publishing the pamphlets which from time to time issue from that quarter, and their dissemination, through the agency of the various Horticultural Societies is likely to effect considerable good. The subjects are widely varied, amongst them being—the diseases of fruit trees, Mr Wilson's visit to Europe, the fruit conference and monthly lectures delivered at the School of Horticulture by various specialists.
The secretary of the local Fruitgrowers Association has, I believe, received several copies of each pamphlet issued, for distribution amongst the members.
To show the value of some of the work done it is only necessary to enumerate the titles of some of the monthly lectures to the students of horticulture at Richmond. Here they are:—"Botany in its relation to horticulture," by R McAlpine. "Our indigenous plants in relation to horticulture," by Baron von Mueller. "Undeveloped sources of wealth," by Joseph Harris. "Manures and Manuring," by A. W. Pearson. "Economic ento mology—some advantages to be derived from its study," by C. French. "Victorian land in its relation to cultural effort," by Ambrose C. Neate. "The commercial aspect of bee-keeping," by L T. Chambers. And last, but by no means least in interest for the general reader—"Glimpses of some British botanical gardens and their conservatories," by W. R. Guilfoyle.
One can fancy as he reads the enthusiastic, albeit enlightened account which the last named gentleman gives of the glories of imperial Chatsworth, with what keen sense of enjoyment the director of our botanical gardens must have wandered through the enchanting grounds of the Duke of Devonshire; with what ecstasy he must have gazed upon the luxuriant tropical growth in the great world famed con servatory—the precursor of that Palace of Glass with which Paxton astonished the eyes of the world at Hyde Park in 1851, and which, transplanted to the congenial soil of Sydenham, was destined to be the wonder of the rising generation long after succeeding exhi bitions had sunk into the oblivion which their unadulterated ugliness had earned. But in all this enjoyment what feelings of envious regret must have mingled withal, at the thought of how his own efforts were cribbed, cabined and confined—not by any lack of genius on his own part—not by any lack of adaptibility of the territorial situation. No! but, with shame in the presence of such ducal magnificence be it confessed, by a vulgar lack of CASH.
Of the other subjects referred to in the above list, that of bee culture is certainly deserving of the most serious consideration by all who are resident in this district. Personally, I must confess to only a bowing acquaintance with these proverbially industrious little animals, and am rather afraid that any ill-considered attempts on my part to advance beyond that initial stage of intimacy, might bring me into anything but amiable contact with what has been defined with painful accuracy as the "business end" of the insect. But, in the person of our esteemed follow resident, the Rev James Wilson, we have a man who is hail-fellow-well-met with the whole tribe, and whose pertinacity in ascertaining "How doth the little busy bee!" is likely to receive a more amiable if legs striking reply than yours or mine. Seriously, it is one of those undeveloped sources of wealth which I am always reproaching myself for not having attempted more earnestly to exploit. Not that I have made no efforts at all, but that the efforts have suffered from lack of intelligence in their direction. I don't expect the gentle reader to unreservedly acquiesce in this state ment; it is only my native modesty which impels me to advance it as an explanation—the fact of the failure remains, however.84

 
S Bourke Morn Journ22 Aug 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. "Flowers without scent and birds without song." Such is the glowing description given by some garrulous globetrotter, whose name, to use a gullicism, I am happy to say I ignore. Whoever he was he only represents a class long ago faithfully described in the Book of Books—"Eyes have they but they see not, ears have they but they hear not," and it may be added, noses have they but they smell not—unless it be something particularly malodorous, when they forthwith make a note of it. Who that has for the first time breathed the exquisite perfume of the Boronia, will not readily admit that nowhere has he experienced such a subtle sense of enjoyment through the organ of smell, as is afforded by the bouquet compressed into this modest flower—this violet of the Southern Hemisphere; who, that has had the scent of wattle blossom wafted in at the open window some fine morning at this time of year, and has seen the blaze of golden yellow presented by the trees in full bloom on the banks of the Yarra—will not say that only Boronia can beat wattle blossom. Need I speak of the wild clematis, of the snow white Iris, or the thousand other innocent emblems of Paradise so basely aspersed. Must I refer to the note of the magpie, most musical on these bright spring mornings, as he crows on the fence, his voice gradually swelling to the full liquid ripple to which Australians are so accustomed that they are apt to think lightly of it. Must I name—alas I cannot, but they exist all the same—the hundred species of so called Whistling Jacks and their brethren, whose melodious notes would make the fortune of any bird dealer in London, who could persuade them to repeat their song in captivity.
No ! people who can say that our country is devoid either of the sweet song of a feathered minstrelsy or the sweet smells of the flowers—is either ignorant or vicious, or possibly a little of both.
It is a great pity that such of us as care for an orchard—and who in these parts, is not the (more or less) happy owner of one—must either banish the wattle from his grounds or keep it at a very respectful distance from his fruit trees. A friend who has long been seized of an ambition to possess a whole avenue of these lovely trees, went to the trouble of raising a number of the broad leaved kind from seed. This is the first year that they have bloomed, and imagine his chagrin to find his infant avenue beginning to fade away already. A short time since, one of the tallest trees began to show signs of decay in the leaves of the topmost branches. Rapidly they extended, until the whole tree had withered. A second and a third followed suit, without any explanation occurring to the owner.
Chancing to glance one day at the report of the late conference of fruit growers, he read an account of some of the insect pests with which Victorian fruitgrowers have been troubled for years past. Amongst these is the apple root-borer, indigenous to the colony and supposed to be identical with that which infests the eucalyptus and various members of the acacia tribe. This information, offering a possible clue to the nature of the injury, an investigation is at once entered upon, resulting in proof positive that the Borer has been the death of the trees in question. Of course, out comes every affected plant, and in each case, the damage is proved to arise from the same cause.
The owner has not the heart to tear up every tree—after all those years of waiting. He promises himself to watch the rest narrowly, but it is to be hoped that his tender-heartedness may not result in the destruction of his orchard.
I may add that the identity of the intruder with the much dreaded scourge, is established beyond a doubt by the aid of the admirably executed and faithfully colored drawings contained in the handbook of the Insect Pests of Victoria, by, Mr. C. French, Government entomologist.85

 
S Bourke Morn Journ5 Sep 1894 Inebriate retreat
UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. On Friday last an old land mark of Beaconsfield disappeared. I don't know how long Mrs. Craik's old boarding house has been in existence. It was certainly flourishing when I first became acquainted with this famous health resort. Situate on the foothills, as it were, of these ranges and looking across the valley, the position was a very, pleasant and healthful one if not so pictluresque nor commanding such a grand view as its successor on the Hills, Kincraik. As Upper Beaconsfield was growing more and more in favor, it was decided by the proprietor to build a more extensive establishment, and a site was chosen which is certainly second to none on the hills, near the post office. After remaining unoccupied for a period the old premises were let to the Government as an inebriate retreat, and under the efficient management of Mr. Charles Williams, formerly of Adelaide, bid fair to fill a long felt want, so far as the general community was concerned. As touching the local residents, be it observed en parenthese, whether from their inherent sobriety or from that familiarity with the evil which breeds contempt, they could have struggled on without one. But notwithstanding Mr Williams' expert knowledge and the re-vivifying qualities of the mountain atmosphere, the retreat, commonly known amongst the inhabitants as the "Nib," was doomed to an untimely end. The Boom burst and the Government began to feel the pinch. The ship of state was too heavily laden and some thing must be thrown overboard. In time of prosperity it might be all very well to take charge of those who had "exceeded the bounds," whether "gold top," whisky or beer, but now that the depleted pockets of the people no longer afforded any temptation to over-indulgence, what need for a Drunkard Hospital. The argument might be fallacious but any stone is good enough to throw at a dog, and it is hardly worth while adducing five-and twenty reasons for not firing a salute, when you haven't got the powder. So Mr Williams and his protiges had to go, and the old house was once more vacant. It was next occupied as a dairy farm, but in this character had a short lived existence, and latterly has been let to a lady who was sent to Beaconsfield for her health, as so many are, but alas, at too late a stage of her disease. Her death occurred but recently, and it was whilst the house was being cleaned out that the fire occurred. As in the case of all wooden buildings in the country, once the fire fiend had got a grip, he did not let go until the tenement was purified out of existence, and nothing but a heap of ashes and charcoal with a few dozen tortured and twisted shoots of iron corrugated with agony, remained to tell the tale. I am informed that the buildings were insured for £700, but in what office this deponent knoweth not.86

 
S Bourke Morn Journ12 Sep 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. The monotony of country life, with its routine of daily duties and its few and simple, if not always wholly innocent pleasures, is at an end for awhile.
The parliamentary member is on the war-path, and time whole colony is divided into two camps—the Ins and the Outs.
"'Tis true 'tis pity and pity 'tis 'tis true." But let us not wholly despair, for in the sturdy Anglo-Saxon race, there still remains something of the virtue which existed in the men of early Rome, when "None was for a party, but all were for the State."
Surely if ever there was a time in the history of this erstwhile happy, but now "most distressful" country when it behoved her sons, aye and daughters too (for vote or no vote the women can ever make their influence felt), to put all other considerations aside, all petty provincialisms, all parochial hankerings after bridges, post offices, and even local railways, and to take a clear and conscientious view of their duty towards the State as a whole—surely, I say that time is NOW. Let us remember that this is but an enlightened selfishness after all; for if the whole body of the state prosper, then, of a surety, must the members of that body partake of the general health. If on the other hand the legs and the arms take the course of starving the stomach in order that they may receive the nourishment direct, it hardly needs a prophet to foretell the result.
Plain as this would appear in the abstract, still, either from the painfully defective nature of human vision or the inordinate length of our own noses, it seeuns difficult for most of us to see beyond the end of them. "Humanum est errare" and even in enlightened Beaconsfield (Upper), our footsteps are liable to wander.
I understand that the meeting of Mr L. L. Smith's supporters which was to have taken place last Saturday evening, was, owing to the inclemency of the weather, postponed until Tues day the 11th inst.
Certainly, no blame could attach to anyone for preferring his own fireside to the alternative of braving the terrors of the bush on such a night as the former. Indeed the denizen of our towns, whom the sailors in the storm at sea so pitied on account of the dangers they incurred from falling slates and tumbling chimney pots, dwells in safety compared with the dweller in the forest "when the stormy winds do blow."
More trees were blown down during the recent gale, than ever before within the memory of that mysterious individual, the oldest inthabitant.
One practical man, impressed by the lamentable amount of power thus being wasted, thought to turn the Storm King to account as a forest devil. There were several trees which he had long wished to level with the earth, but lacking time, or energy, or both, had still left standing. Now or never was the time; so armed with an axe he sallied forth, and forthwith attacked the roots which anchored the giants to the soil on the windward side. It was a perilous task, but your bushman and fear are not on speaking terms. However, I cannot but think that our friend must have had rather a bad quarter of an hour between the time when his own part of the work was completed and the moment that Aeolus dealt the final blow.
Poultry breeding has entered upon a new phrase of late, and the pamphlet lately issued by the Agricultural De partment will be welcomed by all who are interested in the industry, as a practical guide, which may smooth the path to success of many a beginner.
Orchardists will be interested in the pamphlet lately issued by Mr Knowles, the patentee of several spraying engines. Besides many other matters of importance, there is a complete spraying calendar for fruit trees and vegetables, with formulars for the various insecti- and fungi-sides required. Mr Mackley, the hon. secretary of the local Fruitgrower's Society has a number of copies, which he will be glad to forward on application.87

 
S Bourke Morn Journ19 Sep 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. The Doctor has spoken and the country is cured. That is to say, having felt the pulse of the patient, he has made up his prescription, and the rest lies between the chemist's shop and the victim. Some may doubt if he has correctly diagnosed the disease, and even so, whether the remedy is not rather calculated to aggrevate the sympoms. For when a patient is manifestly suffering from anemia, some are rather opposed to blood-letting even by the medium of leeches.
Be this as it may, it becomes not the faithful chronicler of passing events to offer an opinion, but simply to record the joyful fact that the Doctor is at his post with pill, blue draught, and lancet.
Will the patient trust still to the good old school of medicine to which he belongs, or rendered restive by the apparently poor results of past treatment, think it best to try a new course of treatment under other auspices.
There remain only a few days to decide, therefore let him now make up his mind for or against. But before coming to any decision it is well to know what course of treatment our medical man proposes. And here let me abandon the convenient but at times delusive form of allegory and take stand on the terra firma of fact.
To begin with then let me state that in order to get a clearer view of the matter I stayed away from the meeting that took place in the Asssembly Hall on Saturday evening last. I knew very well that had I gone I should either have been compelled to take the chair or to propose a vote of want of confidence or something else especially calculated to upset the equa nimity of an essentially modest man, who only asks, like the modest peony, to be allowed to blush unseen, whilst following Captain Cuttle's advice "when found make a note of." Any action for libel that may arise out of my mis-reporting the candidate, will, of course, fall on the other fellow who obligingly took notes for me, and whose name is herewith forwarded to the Editor, not necessarily for publication, but as a guarantee of good faith. Having thus cleared the decks for action, I may state that the meeting was well attended. Mr. Beatty, now our much respected J.P. and erstwhile mayor of a fair suburban city, was voted to the chair, and he must be a captious critic indeed who could find fault with the rulings of such a past master of the position. Of course "the genial little Doctor" has "such a way with him" that his more devoted admirers, whilst hanging on his honeyed lips and drinking in every word, couldn't tell you for the life of them five minutes after wards what he has said ; only with the "Northern Farmer" of Tennyson "a thowt 'e said wat 'e owt to a said and a coomed awar". My trusted friend and deputy reporter is however not so overpowered with this hypnotic influence, and tells me I may rely upon it, that stripped of super-abundant verbiage (which as editor and reader are equally aware I carefully avoid myself), the Doctor's prescription amounts to this : He is not prepared to support either Sir James Patterson or Mr. Turner, blindly, pinning his faith not so much to (other) men as to measures. DUTIES.—He would be ready to accept the report of the Tariff Commission. At the same time, with a view to encouraging the federation of the colonies, with free trade between them and protection against the world; he would retain the stock tax and put 2s. 6d. per ton duty on all imported coal. He also recommended that the Government should raise money for public works, through the agency of a State Bank, who should be autholrised to issue paper money to the necessary extent. The speaker here enlarged upon the superiority of paper money generally over the effete and clumsy gold and silvercoinage, worthy only of an age of barbarism, but as I cannot pin myself to his exact words I prefer to say nothing, more especially as my informant being a strong opponent of what he irreverently calls kite-flying, cannot be called an unbiassed observer. However, I think he intended that the money thus "conveyed" from the public to the State coffers, should at some time or other be repaid out of the profits of the public as works aforesaid or in some other fashion, but of course this is merely a matter of detail. Magnanimously did our veteran member offer to vote for a reduction in the number and payment of. M's.P., doubtless like the brave Quintus Curtius (wasn't that his name) of old, being ready himself, in case of necessity, to leap into the awful abyss. He also recomended the colony to send State paid conmmercial travellers and agents to Europe to promote trade. Narrow-gauge railways he considered well adapted to these hills; and no doubt if they are to be adopted, the Doctor will put in a word for us. A vote of confidence was proposed and passed unanimously.
Of the other candidates we have seen nothing as yet and it seems are not likely to, time now being so short.88

 
S Bourke Morn Journ26 Sep 1894 UPPER BEACONFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. "How are the mighty fallen"! Well, it is no disgrace to be beaten in fair fight—and a good fight it was. So close a contest is not often seen. The fact was that the views of the three cadidates were so nicely calculated for the tastes of their constituents, that it really seemed a matter of little importance which got .. and the whole matter might have been decided in the favorite fashion for converting an undecided juryman—the turn of a coin.
It could hardly be that the Doctor's welll known Protrectionist prescriptions were beginning to pa..on the palates of the patients who had so long been accustomed to this course of treatment. His successful opponent is equally favorable to the protecion of NATIVE INDUSTRIES, judginig by his willingness to vote for a halfcrown duty on imported coal. Compel one native industry (regardless of expense) to patronise another native industry and the secret of national prosperity is solved. But Mr. Downward enjoyed the protection to HIS native industry, afforded by the win of the Central Reform Committee, who recognise in him one who might—they thought—be trusted not to go beyond 25 per cent; whereas the veteran Doctor was not to be bound down by any hard and fast rule. He must be as free as the mountain air or—perish in the attempt.
Let us hope that with a new representative and a brand new policy we may get a Ministry that will do some thing really good for the country.
Palaver, at even the reduced rate of £200 a year, may be all very well, but while the physicians are consulting, the patient is perishing, and if they make not considerable expedition, their famous remedy may come too late.89

 
S Bourke Morn Journ3 Oct 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. The agitation that for a time ruffled the surface of society during the elections has disappeared, and, subject to an occasional qualm, when we think of the poor deserted and betrayed Doctor, there is nothing to disturb the celestial serenity which is the normal state of the bucolic mind (or that which stands in place of it.) So long as there is no immediate prospect of a second Coolgardie developing in the neighbourhood, and the railway which has been promised us by successive Ministries from time immemorial, is still as dear old Artemus hath it "in the dim vister of the futer"—so long shall we perform the impossible acrobatic feat which our Teutonic cousins refer to as "sleeping on one's ears." Although with sufficient of poor fallen human nature in his composi tion to have a leaning towards protection, with a vague notion somewhere in the background that, on the principle that you scratch my back I scratch yours, there might be a possibility of HIS one day getting a finger in the pie, your average Beaconsfielder would with equal equanimity see the Chinese wall of pro tection, against the pauper labour of the outside world built a few feet higher, or fall before the trumpets of the free trade party as in Jericho of old.
And is not this placidity of temperament a thing to be envied. In times of "Sturm and Drang" like these, a too active brain is liable to be driven to distraction by the apparent impossibility of squaring the circle or causing two parallel lines to meet. The atmosphere has something to do with it, doubtless. As I sit at the open window and gaze on the sunlit landscape stretching in cycloramic expansiveness all alround, and the balmy morning air comes wafted over the glittering gum leaves laden with the balsamic odours of hundreds of square miles of forest, as I gaze on the lovely blossoms of the cherry and the quince trees and the tender foliage that is bursting into life in every direction, I cannot but bethink me that "God is in His Heaven yet," and not a sparrow falls without his knowledge. The mystery of the struggle for life which permeates all Nature, from the highest to the lowest of her organisms, it is not given to us to know the why and the wherefore of. In the great hereafter, this with the myriad other matters which mystify us here, will perhaps be ex pounded. To understand the wisdom with which the world was made requires an intellect more etherealised than is possible while it is wedded to the grossness of earthy matter.
The patriotic desire to fight his country's battles does not seem to altogether absorb the mind of our celestial fellow colonist. John has made his appearance of late in our gullies as a gold seeker, and from all accounts more of his compatriots are like to follow. Equaninmous as the Beaconsfielders are admitted to be, this seems to have a slightly disturbing influence on them at present.
The many friends and well wishers of Mr. Herbert Crouch, in this neighbour hood, were pleased to hear of his appointment as shire engineer to the Berwick Council. May this only prove a stepping stone to greater things.90

 
S Bourke Morn Journ10 Oct 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Is it not a good sign so far as the golden future of the district is concerned that, with returning spring, the diggers who deserted us during winter return also. "One says," that where a few weeks ago there were only four or five miners, there are now twenty added on.
The threatened Chinese invasion is now an accomplished fact. I suppose we may henceforth look upon ourselves as a full fledged gold field. Possibly we shall soon be initated into the mysteries of Fan-tan, and even learn to boast a Chinese vegetable garden.
The new broom sweeps clean, and of course the new Minister of Railway calls a paragon of perfection. At any rate as he seems to be in favor of narrow-gauge railways for hilly districts, it appears that we must take ne.. or noue, why of course we shall .. condemn the new man too ... Whether we shall feel that the sun of human bliss has been attained when the railway is once in actual operation seems at present such abstract a position anent a very remote contingency that the discussion thereof may well be adjourned sine die.
The storm that we had here a few days since, seems to have been partly general throughout the major part of the colony. Fortunatley we seem to have escaped any serious damage.. then we don't take much stock in trade up here.
Our fruitgrowers ought to be cheering up, as by the appearance of the orchards, one would say there is a very good prospect of fruit. But isn't it a curious and rather depressing fact to those most concerned, when I come to think of it, that just when fruit is most plentiful and you have calculated on making a good profit, which would pull you out of the ... that several bad seasons have sunken you into, down go the prices and the pro duce of your orchard scarcely pays for the picking. Surely here is a matter that is worthy the time and attention of our friends of the Trades Hall ... coursey our heroic Freetrader will tell you that it has to do with the eternal law of Supply and Demand (... letters please) or some such antiquated nonsense, which Sir Graham Berry and Co. knocked into a cocked hat years and years ago; but we know better than that. It merely wants a nicely adjunct system of protection duties, and ... could increase the producers profit to any (by them) desired ... There might be required a law which would compel each man, woman and child to consume a proportional larger quantity of fruit in years of plenty, in addition to the prohibition of all imports of bananas, oranges, &c., from foreign countried (... which heading would of course have included the neighboring colonies. These, however, are mere matters .. detail which could safely be left to a commitee of such distinguished ... men as Messrs. Trenwith, Har..., Moloney and Co., with power to add to their numbers. Believe me, if you would only allow these gentlemen a free hand, you would be surprised to see what a country Victoria would become. At any rate a most interesting experiment would be demonstated to the world free of cost. Well... exactly that, but the example might in the end save money—to the rest of the world.
The Presbyterian services, hitherto conducted in the Assembly Hall each alternate Sunday evening, will in future be held in the afternoon. It is to be hoped that the change will .. greatly militate against the attendance, but judging from the congregation of the Church of England there will in the first instance at least be a considerable falling off.91

 
S Bourke Morn Journ17 Oct 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. In these latter days, when we of the country are called on to rescue Miserable Melbourne from the Slough of Despond into which she has fallen, it behoves us to consider our position somehat narrowly. Certainly, it is rather a big contract to undertake, and may easily prove beyond the united strength of all the sturdy yeomen of Victoria. Marvellous Melbourne, as but a short time since it was the fashion to call her, is a city of mushroom growth. Like Aladdin's palace, she seems to have something more solid be attempted soon than the change from Governor Tweedledum to Governor Tweedledee, we may soon see our would-be Queen City of the South degraded, to the third or fourth rank. We cannot live for long by making slop clothes, shoes and whisky for one another, any more than we can hope to earn the most precarious livelihood by taking in each others washing. It is only bounteous Dame Nature who can be of any real use to us at the present juncture. What is drawn from her breast is the only milk which can maintain and increase the strength of her children. The wool, the coin, the oil, and the wine, are the true wealth, with which in hand we can buy what we will from the world.
How can we thus best increase the yield of this mother's milk? This is the question we must keep ever before us. And in this connection we of Beaconsfield may well ask ourselves, "Are we doing all that can be done even with the small capital at our disposal." And in speaking of capital let us understand not merely cash, but brain, muscle and sinew in com bination with the acreage at our disposal. Let us make sure that we are getting the most we can out of all these, consistent with their permanent health. It seems to me that it will no more do for the country 'culturist to indulge in a doze than for the Melbourne man of culture. Now, apart from the ordinary business of the farm and orchard, there are certain industries which form excellent adjuncts of a sub sidiary nature. Poultry-rearing and bee-keeping are old and well-known instances, but so old and well-known that they are apt to be treated with the contemptuous indifference bred of familiarity. Do we get as much out of our poultry as possible, especially with London for ouf market ? Do our bees, that cost us absolutely no thing to keep, and are of incalculable benefit to every tree, and herb, and flower in the garden and orchard—do they yield as good a return as they might?
These things must be studied, and will well repay the study. Do not look upon these as things which the wife can attend to in her spare time. A pleasant fiction that, which seems to possess the minds of most writers on the subject—that of the spare time which the farmer's wife always has on hand. Spare time of a truth has she, for even such mild forms of dissipation as these. Her town sister may be dying of ennui, and it is our town brother who writes about these matters. If he lived in the country he would see that it is not the farmer's wife who is overburdened with leisure. She knocks off work to carry bricks. Her husband may find time to have a think over the paper in his armchair, her boys may just have energy enough left to indulge in a game, or read a book—to themselves, but the mother's amusement consists of patching and darning old garments or planning out new ones. It helps to fill in her spare time. Rest! did you say? Yes, a long rest—some day.
Then there is scent-farming, which also is pleasantly relegated to the wife and the children by our facetious town friend. Well, a great deal can be done with children—by those who know how. I tried it myself—not the children, but the scent making—and it was (not to put too fine a point upon it) a fiasco. I diligently fol- lowed the matter up, according to Cocker, until near the end of summer, carefully gathering the scented petals and treating them as directed, and then forgot about them for a day or two, and all was spoilt. Scent requires to be made as the old master's colors were mixed—with brains.
The latest device (or an old one revived) for filling in the "spare time" of the wife and the children is silk-growing, or as our town friend has it, Sericulture. It is the easiest thing in the world. You get the cuttings of the white mulberry from the Government ; they will grow in any well- drained soil ; you get the eggs and hatch them while the leaves are growing ; give the leaves to the worms and they will do the rest; the cocoons have to be baked and shipped to England. Of course your grub has to be cooked, too ; but that's nothing new, except that it generally takes a different route afterwards. I am afraid I have treated these matters in too flippant a fashion, but if my mention of them only serves the purpose of drawing the attention of more serious people than myself to the subject, the turn is served. Anyone sincerely desirous of learning more may easily do, as the local Fruit growers' Association would readily ar range for lectures by experts on any of the subjects, provided only that sufficient interest be manifested to guarantee a good attendance, and not "a beggarly account of empty benches." The secretary of the Association will readily give any information in his power.92

 
S Bourke Morn Journ24 Oct 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. By TODEA AFRICANA. The ninth of November, sacred to the Prince of Wales, the great Lord Mayor of London, the lesser Lords Mayor and common Mayors of high or low degree throughout the British Dominions, associated in my mind (which suffers from an abysinal ignorance of such matters) in some vague way with the great Cup carnival; although they tell me that the great race can only be run on that date, under some happy combination of circumstances which only happen together once in the course of a blue moon. The ninth of November (as I was about to remark when interrupted) is approaching, and with its approach everybody, even in our notoriously great neighborhood begins to put on a festive air—a sort of a "what's the odds" attitude of looking at life.
Now I am a quiet man, who "cares for none of these things," and rather resent the alternative of discussing the merits of the favorite or being doomed to waste my sweetness on the desert air—anglicé, "sent to coventry." It reminds me of the time, in the dim vista of the past, when as a now chum staying, at the famous hostelry in Collins street yclept "Scotts," the cardinal points by which conversation was bounded were cattle, cricket, the Berry blight, and the turf. Innocent of all but the most elementary knowledge of any one of them, my life was soon rendered unbearable, and I only avoided being driven to Drink by plunging into—matrimony.
I suppose it is a matter of courtesy to keep up the old world appellations for the seasons, but really you must admit, that like other things in this land of topsy turveydom, they are somewhat mixed. It is really only on account of our old world associations that we can keep up the ancient fiction of dividing the year into four quarters each allotted to its distinct season. Barely have we begun to rejoice in what we had fondly hoped was spring, when we are suddenly plunged back into the middle of winter. We get our great coats and wraps out again and lay in a stock of wood, when lo—the top bursts out of the thermometer and in a demoralised state of shirt sleeves and sodawater, we become a ready prey to the influenza.
Much has been said and sung of the joys of a country life, but both prose and poetry on the subject have for the most part emanated either from the Cockney who knows nothing or from the cultivated countryman who has not to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow. There are, of course, exceptions like that of the immortal Burns, which only serve to prove the role. But we are sadly in want of a poet to sing of of the uphill fight which must be waged by the unhappy towns man, who, under the present DISTRESSFUL circumstances of, the colony, is pitchforked into the middle of the bush. If after six months wrestling with the forces of nature, he has not had all the poetry knocked out of him, then he is one of a thousand—thousand. Fancy the feelings of our village settler, who, with the idea of showing them how to do it, has the previous day planted out a plot of cabbages, worm comes, and—lo, the place knoweth them no more—and he goes home to compose a poem on "The slug and the sluggard," in which the exciting struggle and ultimate victory for the man is powerfully pourtrayed. The picture of the slugguard, sleeping with one eye open, a weapon in hand, the cabbage without blemish arrived at maturity, the slimy trail of the enemy in the distance, and finally the pathetic passing of the exhausted settler at the moment of discovering the cow camped in the midst of the cherished crop, chewing the cud of sweet and bitter fancy, will be something to make an angel weep—when it is written.93

 
S Bourke Morn Journ31 Oct 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. A wide circle of friends will be grieved to hear of the death of Mr. Swallow of Berwick. Those who were not acquainted with him in his private capacity, knew him well as purveyor of the staff of life to a large and scattered district. Who that saw him apparently hale and hearty only a short time ago, were greeted with his cheery voice, could have imagined that he would so soon be numbered with the great majority. All the sermons that could be preached from the pulpit, however eloquent, could not speak to us with such trumpet tones as this one sad event. And yet it tells us only the old old tale, that the race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong, and that the only matter that should be of abiding concern or interest to us poor mortals is that of the great hereafter. But as Shakespeare hath it—"All men think all men mortal but themselves"—and doubtless as it hath been from the beginning so it shall be until the end of the world. We are most of us engaged in chasing bubbles whose charm exists only so long as they do not come within our grasp, or we are carefully cultivating a crop of Dead Sea Fruit, and until we have had personal experience of the futility of either pursuit, we shall not learn to say of the affairs of this world, with the preacher of old. "All is vanity and vexation of spirit."
Hospital Sunday, when all may hold out the helping hand to their suffering bretheren, has come and gone. Our little community, at least the church-going portion of it, contributed its mite to the general fund. I am told that, considering the population, the amount will not disgrace us. But how comes it that we have no Hospital Saturday here? everybody does not go to church ; but nobody, be he adherent of Priest or Presbyter (which we know is but priest writ large), Salvationist or Christian Socialist, nay even be he an Anarchist of the Anarchist—can wish to abolish the Hospital. it is not too late even now for those who have missed giving, to rectify the error by enclosing a few stamps to the secretary of the fund, or to the editor of Age or Argus. But by this time next year we ought so to have organised matters, as to catch contributions from the conscientious church abstainer.
Our cricketers, last Saturday, were jubilant at the result of the match played on the new ground, near Mr. McLean's, against the men of Clyde. Some of our braves got knocked about a bit, but what reck they when they can point to their scars and tell how they were won in that great victory. But the Clydesdales mean to have their revenge yet, they say—we shall see! I believe that next Saturday we are to see a match between Our Own and the merry men of Macclesfield.
"They say" that a concert and hall in aid of the Annual Sports Fund of the Stoney Creek state school, is to be held in the Assembly Hall on the night of the Prince of Wales Birthday. Such attractions, combined with such a worthy object in view, should draw a crowd. "So mote it be," as they Vagabond says. What I want to know is, why something of the same sort is not done for the local Sunday school. This is a custom which can scarcely be said to be "more honored in the breach than in the observance."
With all the wonderful profusion of flowers both wild and cultivated which flourish with almost tropical luxuriance in these parts, it is a pity we cannot institute a Floral Exhibition which might be combined with Fruit, and held during the approaching midsummer holidays. it is not that the love of flowers does not exist in our midst.
These lovely gifts of God are not allowed to waste their sweetness on the desert air. One sees them arranged with more or less (alas too often it is less) of taste in every home among us, and one has only to pay a visit to one of our local stores to see how charmingly they can add to the attracting of a shop. Our young people, too, are very fond of decorating their button holes with posies, which, whilst demonstrating beyond a doubt their great appreciation of the bounty of nature, sometimes tempt one to think if the superficial area and the variety of the contents of the bouquet were a LITTLE more in restraint the effect would—not to put too fine a point upon it—be no wit diminished.94

 
S Bourke Morn Journ7 Nov 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. The season for strawberries and cream has arrived just in time for the great Spring Meeting, otherwise the Cup. Strange co-incidence is it not, that all the good things come about the same time. Should the weather during the next few weeks prove propitious, quite a nice crop of the Queen of Fruits will be harvested and marketed.
Of course the influence of the great carnival is felt by every one here, more or less. "It is not unknown to me that one horse can go faster than another," said the Shah, when politely declining to be bored by a visit to the Epsom meeting. And really if, as in my case, your knowledge does not extend beyond this, it is really hardly worth while to trouble yourself about the matter. But all of us are not in such a lamentable state of darkness. In fact some of my young friends I'll wager—note the insidious influence of evil communications on an otherwise blameless life—know more about the performers in the contest than the owners, jockeys and trainers combined. Unfortunately the obdurate, and—not to put too fine a point upon it—obstinate parents of the majority of our youth will not see things in the right light. Not content with insisting in tiresome iteration on the comparative unimportance of the market price of the favorite in the general scheme of life—a point which, with many like unreasonable demands on the intelli gence of their offspring, might for the sake of peace and quietness, be Galileo like conceded—they with cruel consistency carry their pretended ideas to the logical conclusion of withholding funds for a visit to Fleminigton. Now every school-boy knows that horse racing is as necessary a part of everyone's education as—well, let us say—smoking; and as the State is so absurdly anxious to ensure unremitting attention to the three R's, why don't they adopt the only sensible course of illustrating their chief application in life by adding to the curriculum of the schools, their corollary, the R of racing. How anxious would every boy be to learn to read, write, and sum, when shown the necessity of these as a preliminary to getting the correct tip from the sporting papers, calculating the odds and making up a book.
Unsopihisticated as we are, we had never had a floral service before. But our young Reader is an enthusiast in all church matters and thinks we want waking up a bit, so he told all the children to bring flowers to Sunday school and requested their elders to do the like to the evening service. I am told the decorations looked very well—good enough for a ball some irre verently remarked—and a good number of the congregation brought bouquets which were placed on what serves as a communion table and were afterwards to be forwarded to the Alfred Hospital, to gladden the eyes of the weary sufferers in the wards.
It appears that we are to have an increase in the number of our religious services. Hitherto the Church of England has occupied the hall on the 2nd and 4th Sunday's in the month and alternated with the Presbyterians in the evening. Since, however, the latter denomination have been compelled to alter to the afternoon, an endeavour has been made to fill up the blank evening. It is understood that the Rev. Jas. Wilson has been ap proached and is likely to consent. Whether the attendance will, from a mere worldly point of view, justify such increased advantages, time alone can show. Spiritually, we should surely be the gainers.95

 
S Bourke Morn Journ14 Nov 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. We don't hear much about the success of our local turfites on the great Cup Day, and I am inclined to think that, for a while at least, they are what they would in language both graphic and poetical describe as "full up" of racing. As in life it is not always the favorite that wins, and there is nothing certain but the unforeseen, and there is so much of the unforeseen element in racing, that your money is really hardly much safer on the back of a horse, than it is—well—in the bank.
Our cricketers, who were rather inclined to be depressed after their defeat on the previous Saturday by the Macclesfield men, nevertheless came up smiling to the encounter on the Prince of Wales' birthday, when they entered the lists against Cardinia Creek, and taught them that although the ranger might not be invincible, he was still a man who was not to be trifled with even in the absence of his captain and chief. In the absence of Mr. Willie A'Beckett, Mr. Belgrove was quite competent to cope with the tactics of the foe and lead his forces on to victory.
On the night of the ninth, we were treated to a concert and ball in aid of the Prize Fund of the Stoney Creek State school, by which that laudable institution must have substantially benefited, as the Hall was "packed" in both instances. Not to such an extent in latter case, however, as to render dancing impossible. Trust the youth of Beaconsfield for that indeed, for they could almost satisfy the old schoolmen, in one respect at least, of their affinity to the angels. Those philosophers at least, for it was a moot point in those days, who contended that these ethereal entities, or one of them at any rate—for here again there was a difference of opinion—could dance on the point of a needle. Regarding the ethereal of my own nature, I have found the point depends on the difference of a pin—in the chair.
Modesty, to put it mildly, is not generally reckoned a distinguishing feature of the average Australilan youngster. It is all the more refreshing, therefore, to record the following veracious instance of such a rare virtue in a youth who formerly had his home amongst us:—
He was looked upon by his father as somewhat of a slow-coach, not to say a dawdler, so far as his lessons were concerned; but his mother knew better. There was no complaint about his rising, that very weak point in boy nature—I have been there myself! No, he would rise early enough, milk the cows and perform sundry other duties—not enquiring too carefully whether his brothers might not equally well have been called upon to do the work, and well rewarded by his mother's smile. But he spent such an unconscionable time over his school tasks of an evening.—"You leave Jack alone, father (we'll call him Jack to save his blushes), you'll see," said the more far sighted mother. the examination came and went. "Well, Jack, how did you get on." "Oh, better than I expected, father;" and so the matter passed. He hadn't made a fool of himself; thought the parent, and that was after all the most that could be expected. "Aren't 'you proud of Jack," said a lady to the mother a day or so later—"Proud of him! of course I am"—but why specially so? "About his school of course" "What about his school?" "Is it possible you haven't heard what the whole place has been talking about—that that small boy is dux in a school of several hundred!" "Never a word;" and it was so.96

 
S Bourke Morn Journ21 Nov 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. "You know my count'tym'n?" Go-diggy dow'gully."
Such was the enquiry, and the clear and concise explanation of his reason therefore, given by a Celestial, with anything but a celestial appearance, the other day. Poor fellow, he was evidently tired of his "go long way, no find him" tramp in the veritable maize of gullies which surround us. A pot-hat—a world too wide for the comfortable accommodation of celestial cranium and queue combined—a blue cut away cloth coat and trousers, whose cloth had had many a hard buffet with the world, since in its pristine beauty it came forth from the far famed mills of fair Geelong. A pair of strong leather boots and a couple of carpet bags completed his equipment. But SUCH carpet bags! Carpet bags such as they used to construct before the era of portmanteaus and Gladstones. Carpet bags such as were dear to the hearts of our grandmothers and were not disdained even by our grandfathers. Carpet bags whose like I had never thought to gaze on in the world again, whatever might be the case in the Celestial hereafter. Often and often had I pondered the problem of the mysterious disappearance of the carpet bag of my younger days, and the inseparable companion the umbrella or everlasting gingham immortalised by Dickens in connection with "Sairey Gamp" and ever since known by the honored name. Sam Weller's theory regarding the otherwise unaccountable scarcity of dead postboys and defunct donkeys ; viz., that the one rode away to the next world on the back of the other, would hardly hold good in this case. Still spiriting of some sort has been done. The Gamp shall be discovered in the land of the Mahatmas where it has blossomed out in all the colours of the rainbow, is one of the most cherished emblems of Imperial State and a fact altogether glorified. But the carpet bag it seems had been wafted even to far Cathay and thence to "Lilly-Buck Sleet." I said the bags completed his equipment, but I was wrong. A piece of wood about four feet long and two inches wide, straight, flat and flexible, knotched at both ends, is the famous balancing pole which enables the Chinese coolie in his own country, and the hawker in ours, to carry weights which would appal the stoutest while man's heart. And carry them cheerfully at a kind of jog trot for mile on mile, on the hottest day of summer. Well, I trust he found his compatriots, of whom there is now quite a little colony in one of the gullies. An informant tells me that it was a funny sight to see some of them coming across the gully from their diggings, groping their way amongst the various pit-falls by the aid of candle ends, with an occasional spill of more than the candle. They were coming to take delivery of a cart load of rice which from the nearest point that could be reached by road way, would have to be transported on their backs or shoulders.
The magic lantern entertainment given the other evening by the Rev. Mr. Welch, at the Assembly Hall, in aid of the funds for carrying on the Presbyterian services, was very well attended. The subject, "A trip up the Thames," gave the opportunity, both by word and picture, to impress upon the young colonial, that the affection his parents feel for "the old country," is not entirely unjustified, as he is too often inclined to believe.
The strawberry season is now in full swing, and it is gratifying to see that several of our residents are sending regular consignments to town.97

 
S Bourke Morn Journ28 Nov 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Everything but the thermometer becomes a matter of indifference when that instrument of torture registers the century as it has done this week, and that in the shadiest shade that could be desired by the most fastidious heat measurer.
It is as futile to attempt to keep the thermoemeter down as the verger found it in the opposite direction. It was in England. The time was winter, and be the new system of warming the church by means of hot water pipes had not turned out the success that had been fondly anticipated. Jones, says the clergyman, just before service, look at this thermometer! Didn't I tell you to keep it up to 64 degrees, and here it is down below 60. It was the same last Sunday, and everybody nearly frozen. What does it mean? Well sir, replies the crestfallen verger, I'm sure as I does my best, but it's my opinion that that thing ain't not a bit o' use, sir. Why, bless your art sir, if I 'avent taken that thing to the stove 'arf a dozen times a'ready this morning and warmed it up just right, but just as soon as my back's turned, down it goes again.
I hear that the prospects of mining at Mt. Misery are improving. Rumour reports that the company which has been working the reef there, has struck rich stone and that several bullock drayloads have been sent to Footscray to be crushed. Sanguine people judging from the triad crushing with pestle and mortar, anticipate confidently as much as two ounces to the ton. Others, myself included, think Josh Billings advice the soundest, on the whole, "Never prophesy unless you know."
I have always had a great respect e for the bee keeper as well as for his pesky little charges. There was always such an atmosphere of supernatural power about the man who could open the hive, take out the frames of comb and do a hundred impossible things with them, eventually returning them to the hive, without suffering a single sting (so he said). In a moment of enthusiasm I invested in a hive myself. Two days afterwards a swarm came out and settled in a tree close by. I sat down to watch that swarm while some one went to fetch a kindly neighbour learned in the ways of the insect. He came, and considering that they had no right whatever to have adopted such a line of conduct, incontinently shook them into a box, hopped over to the hive, and in a trice had uncovered it and dumped them in again—like a sack of potatoes, as an observer remarked. Not unnaturally, as I thought; the bees resented this unceremonious treatment. Of course the hypnotic charm exercised over them by the bee-man (not to mention that the shades of eve were falling fast) prevented any overt act of rebellion there and then—they slept on their revenge. Forty-eight hours had not elapsed when the cantankerous creatures once more sallied forth—this time settling if possible more conveniently than before for hiving. Again did I take up a position of masterly inactivity, whilst a special messenger was winging his way to the friend in need. He did not linger long en route, but, scenting the honey from afar, made a bee track for it, and soon everything was in readiness for the re-capture of the recalcitrant swarm, which it was decided should this time be humoured by being housed in a new hive. My assistance was called into requisition to place the box in position under the bees, which with fear and trembling having accomplished naturally thought my active part in the business was over. This comfortable state of minid however was destined to receive a rude shock. A man may hesitate to shake a bough on which a few pounds weight of venomous stings with bees attached are hanging, and still, in my opinion, he allowed to retain some shreds of self respect. However, the order being given, I felt that it would not do to show the white feather, so—merely leaving a message for my wife and family in case of accidents—I grasped the bough firmly and shook. This ordeal happily accomplished, it remained to dump the living freight (I had well nigh written fright), into their new house. This I should surely be spared ! But, no ! I must go through with it to the bitter end, even if that be the bee-end. Like Mr. Tupman when shooting, I shut my eyes and—dumped. Still apparently under the charm of my friends presence, the busy bee by great good fortune, seemed to ignore mine—still, I am not selfish and readily forgive them. Since then, emboldened by impunity, I have ventured a more intimate acquaitance with my charges, which has served to convince me that the bee-man, as the young man said of Shakespeare, a vastly overated individual in respect of his courage. So far as the bee is concerned I am fairly puzzled. He is certainly gifted with intelligence above the average, and yet with such a magnificent weapon as it possesses, why does he exercise such more than Christian forbearance. Perhaps, unlike most of us, he can even see beyond the end of his sting.98

 
S Bourke Morn Journ5 Dec 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Great sympathy is felt with Mr Roberts in the sad bereavement he has suffered through the death of his son, a promising lad of twelve years of age, from inflammation of the lungs. it does not seem so very long ago that the worthy constable's wife had her leg broken by a fall from her horse. Some people get their share of troubles all at once.
Reluctant as I am to talk about the weather, it so forces itself on one's attention as to compel some notice of its vagaries. From 106 degrees in the shade on Tuesday week, the mercury has sunk to shameful depths. To be frizzled one day and frozen the next is no uncommon experience of the hardy Australian. The heat did a good deal of injury to the small fruits. Gooseberries, especially were cooked on the bushes.
Our Chinamen gold-diggers seem to be going on steadily. With the plodding industry so characteristic of their race, they have already effected a great deal; but with what results the outer barbarian is not allowed to know.
I have not heard anything further of a definite nature with regard to Mount Misery; but the rumour that stone had been sent to Footscray to be crushed is confirmed.
Last week I wondered at the more than Christian forbearance under provocation of the bee. This week I can honestly say that he has excited in me a more lively interest than ever. I little thought that such a mite could arouse such intense feeling in the human being. In future I shall feel inclined to have a greater respect for the privacy of their homes, and wear gloves when I pay a formal call. I notice that there is a very good crop of cherries this year, which the parrots and other feathered monsters seem to appreciate vastly. I sometimes think I should like a few myself. But 'tis the early bird gets the fruit as well as the worm, and by the time I arrive at the tree the feast is over and only a few cholera-iniviting berries left. Now, I am naturally a humane individual, and would not willingly harm a feather of the lot of them, but it must be confessed that this sort of thing becomes monotonous.99

 
S Bourke Morn Journ19 Dec 1894 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Following on the famous fight between the Long worriers and Upper Beaconsfielders, came the match between the latter and the men of Muddy Creek, last Saturday, in which the latter proved that however clouded might be the waters of their beloved stream, its influence is not felt so far as their vision is concerned. Our men, though conquered are not crushed, and with the glorious example of the Australian team in Sydney before their eves, are determined to distinguish themselves in the near future or perish in the attempt.
I made mention in my last of some eight or nine bullock dray loads of stone that had been sent from here to Footscray to be crushed. The estimate made from some hand crushing done up here was, I understood, about three ounces to the ton. The actual return from the bulk is not of quite such a roseate hue. I am given to understand that this is about the quanity of gold obtained from the whole lot of stuff.
Strawberries are having a rest for a few weeks, but bid fair, with the present favorable weather, to make a good show for the second crop.
Raspberries are becoming plentiful and the local supply having far outstripped the demand, some of our growers are sending consignments to town.
Of Yule-tide festivities not much mention has been made, and I am afraid that nothing is being attempted. With all the will in the world to make merry it does require a little of the wherewithall, and that is just precisely what is wanting. The fashion of wishing one a Merry Christmas, seems to have completely gone out in these miserable times. Some indeed, soar as high as to wish you a happy one, but with most, the extent of their ambition on your behalf seems to be a Comfort able Christmas. And, surrounded by the crowd of croakers who swarm everywhere, it would seem that even this can only be attained by a select few. But, thank Heaven, the race of Mark Tapley is not yet extinct. Their family is as respectable and their lineage as ancient as that of Job's comforter. They are indeed closely related (in spirit) to one who could rejoice though he walked through the Valley of the Shadow.
And, after all, we know that "what has been shall be and there is nothing new under the sun." Periods of in flation and periods of collapse (other wise "boom" and "bust,") alternate as regularly almost as summer and winter, or as day and night. The time is numbered by decades instead of hours, weeks or months, but the recurrence is almost as regular. If we are under middle age we may only remember one, but the statician will tell you that there is an ebb and flow almost as sure in financial matters in the tide of ocean.
In normal times the human species amass wealth as the bee stores honey. A time of expansion comes when the accumulated wealth finds an outlet by the legitimate channels of commerce. Money makes money, and soon comes the time of the Wild Oat Companies who, like the medicine man of old, bleed the plethoric capitalist until he is in a condition to start DE NOVO with the magic half-crown in his pocket, but alas, rather, handicapped by the grey hairs on his head. We have undergone the process of bleeding and are as yet somewhat weak from the inevitable effects. let us hope that we have learned a lesson—that with that bad blood the evil spirit has been cast out of us forever, so that we may cry with good old fire-eating Denis in the "Cloister and the Hearth"—
"Courage mon ami,
le diable est mort!"100

 
S Bourke Morn Journ2 Jan 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. The King is dead ! Long live the King ! The old year with all his imperfections on his head has gone forever, and the new year reigns in his stead.
Well, without wishing to he ill natured, I might say a good many hard things against old ninety-four, but, DE MORTUIS NIL NISI BONUM is a good motto, and as it is no use whipping a dead horse, we may as well give him a decent burial and look to young ninety-five to remedy the wrongs his pre decessor wrought.
In conformity with the rest of the year, Christmas has been a dull time for most of us. In former years there has always been some sort of excitement at this season, whereas at present actual stagnation is the order of the day.
The cricketers seem to be the only people with any life in them. During the Christmas week our men played the visitors and the Cardinia Creek Club respectively, in each case. I understand, scoring a win. On New Year's Day they are engaged to contest a match with Muddy Creek, but as our best men will be absent on the occasion, it will searcely be surprising if Beaconsfield fails to secure a brilliant victory.
Professor Gosman, who is at present staying here, is announced to give a lecture on New Years' Night, the subject being "Then and now," or a contrast between the opening and the closing years of the century which is now fast fading away. As the end of the last hundred years saw the great French Revolution and we now seem to be on the very brink of a new upheaval, the subject cannot be said to be barren of suggestion for the thoughtful.
I should have mentioned that a surprise party of the open secret order with which a good many of our residents had something to do, took place at Lower Beacopsfield on New Year's Eve, and that another party though of a confessedly more premeditated character at the Upper township, saw the old year out and the new year in, in the good old fashioned manner. So far as gold mining is concerned the New Year finds nothing startling to report.
The Chinamen do not find in our gullies the Eldorado which they were apparently led to expect, and notwithstapding their proverbial ability to live on next to nothing, or as it has been graphically put by a China-phobist "the smell of an oil rag," it is not unlikely that ere long they will seek "fresh woods and pastures new."
My efforts at interesting the public in agriculture have hitherto resulted, so far as I am aware, in impressing my wife with the firm conviction that I have a bee in my bonnet. Stung by the base ingratitude of a cold and heartless world (not to speak of the poisoned darts of the sweet innocent insect most concerned), I have turned my attention to the gracefully acrobatic grasshopper. Although not so useful to man—by what I have hitherto observed—he seems equally persevering, and gets through an astonishing amount of work in the twenty-four hours. Beginning on the potato leaves, which he soon skilfully skeletonised, he proceeded next to the raspberry canes, and having found the leaves rather dry varied the diet with occasional excursions to the fruit. Developing thus a taste in a new direction, he hopped over to the adjacent strawberry bed and has by this time become quite a connoisseure in this fruit. He can tell a margeurite from a Trollope, and a captain from a christy ; but tastes vary with grasshoppers as they do with christians, and consequently I find that no sort of strawberry goes free. I have thought over many ways of getting rid of these undesirable visitors, but all to no effect. Direct attacks upon the animal by shot gun and dynamite prove tedious and ineffective, besides being expensive. Spraying the fruit with Paris green and kerosene, either in combination or separately, have drawbacks which need scarcely be set forth. In short. I am at my wits end. The leaves of the apple trees are beginning to go now, and when at length this mephistopheles in miniature has worked his wicked will in laying waste garden and orchard and every green thing that groweth therein, we MAY, perchance, hope for a surcease from his attentions—not before, I fear.
In spite of this and a few other drawbacks which loom very large at present, I still have the hardihood to wish all and sundry A Happy New Year.101

 
S Bourke Morn Journ9 Jan 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. A lecture and a cricket match is all that your faithful chronicler has to report as events in the opening week in '95. Oh, by, the bye, a ball, too, at the Assembly Hall on New Year's Day. But the ball had been punctured by the dance on New Year's Eve, and, consequently, thus sat upon, went flat.
The lecture by Professor Gosman on "Then and Now, or the Early and Closing Years of this Century," was duly appreciated by the more seriously disposed portion of the community; but the majority of us live, and only care to live, in the present ; therefore, it is not to be wondered at if the affair did not go off with the ECLAT of a Christy Minstrel entertainment.
The cricket match between our own ever victorious and the old Narre Warren teams came off as we have learned to expect. The rumor that some of the more prominent members of our team have already attracted the notice of Stoddart and Co. needs confirmation yet, but no matter.
We have often been amused by the relation of instances where a printer's error has given an unexpected and sometimes extremely grotesque turn to a sentence. If the public only knew what intelligence the said printer has to exercise in deciphering the hieroglyphics of some writers they would wonder that mistakes are not more prevalent. With this amount of preliminary "soft sawder," I may proceed to remark that granting some possible connection between apiculture and a bee in one's bonnet, the association of ideas scarcely applies with like grace when api is changed to agri-culture. I trust this small personal explanation in connection with my last week's lucubrations will be pardoned, when it is considered that my writings hitherto have not established such a reputation for sanity as to obviate the necessity for any care on my part in its defence.
Last time I had a growl at the grasshoppers, now I am in a fit with the parrots. I sincerely pray, however, that the green apples which they are consuming in such quantities and with so reckless a disregard for the claims of anyone elso to ownership of the pro perty attacked, may cause them a little of the uneasiness—not to their con science, for they acquire that later—but to another part of the economy of boy nature, which overtakes the adventurous youth who aniticipates the apple harvest.102

 
S Bourke Morn Journ16 Jan 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Snake stories are proverbial for their veracity. There is something about the very sight of the reptile that frightens all thought of prevarication at once out of one's brain. I have been there myself, and can testify that the slightest temptation to add to the length of the vermin, by so much as an inch in the subsequent relation of any adventure, is immediately checked by a thought of those terrible poison fangs. Snakes are becoming rather too common about here, and snake stories still more so.
Some of them are so long that they would have to be continued in our next (not the snakes, but the stories). But, the truth about them is not to be measured by the length of their tales, and the fact remains that the crop this season is plentiful. Several have been killed in this neighborhood within the last week. Shooting seems the favorite mode of killing them, and has a good deal to be said in its favor—from the point of view of the killer. Two have been despatched in this fashion on my own place, one in the stable and the other in the orchard. The one in the stable was no doubt performing a useful role as mouser, as evidenced in the course of a post mortem examination, but on the whole I think I prefer the harmless, necessary cat in this capacity.
Apart from snakes, parrots and grasshoppers, to whom certainly the credit must be accorded of trying to make things as lively as possible for us, I cannot truly say that there is anything calculated to cause the least excitement to even the most sensitive of organisations. The sun still rises in the morning and sets in the evening, though why he should continue to do so with such meritorious regularity I am sometimes tempted to wonder. In the present state of stagnation a six month's night would be rather an ad vantage than otherwise to most people.103

 
S Bourke Morn Journ23 Jan 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. The circular issued by the Trustees of the Assembly Hall, is a step in the right direction. With a library such as we possess here, it has always seemed a pity to me that nothing less than a quarter's subscription would entitle one to the privilege of taking a book home with him.—Now Beaconsfield is distinctly one of the great holiday resorts of the colony, with people coming to stay in the place for a week or fortnight, although they may have every admiration for the scenery, must inevitable find the time fall heavily on their hands, unless some amusement can be found for wet days and the evenings, which even in summer may prove long enough to be irksome to those, who like Leonard are accustomed to the gaieties of time. The reduction of the minimum to .. in price and a week in point of that ought to popularise the books with our town friends, more especially as we have a collection which no country library need be ashamed of.
In the same circular is given a list of the Divine Services held at the Hall on each Sunday of the month, from which it will be noted that we are ministered to by three distinct denominations, and have the choice of afternoon and evening ; although there is nothing in the Act to prevent an ardent devotee from attending both if "so disposed."
The benevolently disposed visitor need not have his mind greatly exercised with any fear of demoralising the inhabitants by any handsome donation either to the funds of the Hall or the Services. As the letter truly states, there is no fund at present in existence from which the money can be drawn for the support of the Hall and, as for the Services, the coffers are I believe, in each case, in a sad state of depletion, and unless some method of replenishing be speedily found, some of them at least will have soon to be discontinued.
So the "genial dear little Doctor" is to have another chance after all. Supposing he should get in this time, we may be sure that he will have profited by his untoward experience. In any case the electors are not likely to suffer from neglect of local interest where chances are shown to be evenly balanced. it should not have ever be forgotten tlat then only .. the locatity have assured prospect, when the colony as a whole is prosperous, and that the colony cannot well go forward if Australia be going back. Let us for once, even if it is only in a spirit of enlightened selfishness, put our own petty affairs in the background, take for our motto: "United we conquer; divided we fail".
Let us apply the sentiment to the relations with the other districts of this fair but most distracted colony and let us as a colony apply it to connection with the other provinces of our great island continent. Such seeming temporary advantage may result front the triumph of the strong over the weak, but depend on it .. house divided against itself will fall. Let us hope that the successful candidate will listen to the words of the preacher and by abandoning the .. that he can assure prosperity to Victoria by shutting out coal from New South Wales or bananas from Queensland, shows that he possesses at least one of the qualificationns necessary to him .. would aspire to the command of a craft called statesmanship.
Between the Old Beaconsfield and the New, there is evidenty not much to pick in the matter of cricket. The strength and prowess of the one be taken for the sake of argument as we may fairly represent the other seems as half a dozen. The two teams met in mortal combat last Saturday at Longwarry, and after a severe t.. victory was at length declared in favor of the mother colony by the .. majority of one. Our men were treated very well by the Long-wary-uns and I am told that—
"They wanted them to stay,
But they said they must get away,
For they always came home to tea."
Although, as a matter of detail, it should be stated that some arrived about .. p.m., and others the following day.104

 
S Bourke Morn Journ30 Jan 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. That was an accident which had like to have been something more than awkward that happened the other day on Crouch Hill, as we call it at this end. It appears that Mr Charlie Anderson, with his sister and a young lady friend, had just set down Mr. Harry Laurie, jun., at his gate, and were driving round the rather awkward bend between Mrs. Crouch's and Mr. Noble's, when one of the reins broke; the horse got restive, and, kicking violently, dashed his hoof through the splash board, inflicting a nasty wound on Miss ——'s leg. The young lady was carried into Mr. Noble's house, and Mr. Harry Laurie was soon in attendance. Fortunately this gentleman, who is studying medicine at the Melbourne University; proved fully equal to the occasion, and Dr. Bennie, who reports favorably on the case, bears testimony to the skill with which the deep flesh wound was sown up by the young disciple of Æsculapius. "How happy could I be with either, were t'other dear charmer away" seemed to have been the mood of the elector at the former polling. But the brave little doctor was not going to have the question Bourked in this fashion. He must have a more decided No before he could finally accept his congé. This time it must be no three-cornered affair, but a straight forward duel. Well, the numbers are up, and the half-hearted supporters of the old member may yet discover that in the low eat depths there is a lower still. If Double L was at times a bit too 'ot, now they have got Downwards they may find it a little 'otter.
Talking about heat, I don't think that Thursday night could well be matched, at least, not as we experienced it here. The day was well enough—100 degrees in the shade is not bad—however, you can stand it with the assurance of cool breezes such as we generally get after sundown. But when the mercury absolutely declines to shrink before the most menacing attitude, allied to language (over which we must draw a veil), but remains obstinately at 90 in the shade—well, house, I mean ; you needn't-be so particular—and 83 in the open, now don't you think it a thing that ought to be enquired into, and if Mr. Ellery can't find a remedy let us lose no time in finding someone who can. And don't limit him to expense, either. Retrenchment is the order of the day, and I don't hold with extravagance in temperature more than in anything else. There's really enough surplus heat in Australia alone to comfortably warm the south polar continent and melt all the icebergs in the circumambient seas, if it were only pro perly economised. Perhaps they will manage these things better when we get Federation. But even now I don't see why we couldn't put a tax on breezes from Central Australia. Surely we have wind-bags enough in our own colony to start a modern Æolus with a complete outfit, and, as most of them can blow hot or cold with the same breath, there is no reason why the local article should not be protected. "Circumstances over which I had no control" prevented me from assisting at Miss Audsley's gala, and I am indebted to a friend for the subjoined notes, which will doubtless be of interest to many in the district:—The annual picnic and sports meeting in connection with the local State school was held in the grounds adjoining the school on Friday, January 25. A good number of scholars, with their friends, were present, and a pleasant day was spent. At noon lunch was served in the schoolroom, after which a capital programme of sports was gone through, under the management of Messrs. Deeley, Glismann, Baker and Galsworthy. At six o'clock tea was served, after which the prizes won by the successful competitors during the day, and the scholars during the past year, were distributed. The following scholars were successful in ob taining prizes :-For best map (special prize presented by D. McLean, Esq.) Ethel Beatty and C. Shorthouse, equal. Best kept exercise book--Ethel Beatty. Best examination paper—Alf. Schlipalius. For progress in studies, prizes were won by Albert Sykes, Mabel Beatty, Alice Renfree, William Renfree, Ernest Pither, Richard Noble, Charles Shorthouse, Norman Galsworthy, Nellie Deeley, Fred. Lewis, Ethel Hollow, Ethel Beatty. After the prizes had been distributed three cheers were given for the teacher, Miss Audsley, and the correspondent of the local board of advice. The room was then cleared, and those who had worked during the day to amuse the children spent a few hours in harmony and dancing, winding up a very pleasant day by singing "God save the Queen."105

 
S Bourke Morn Journ6 Feb 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Although perhaps not in advance of the times, nobody can now twit us with not being "up to date" since we have put ourselves in line with the latest chrono logical craze, the New time. We cannot, like Joshua, make the sun stand still, but we can do the next best thing by altering the hands of the clock—by Act of Parliament. There has been some amount of argument amongst our village debaters as to the propriety of allowing our legislators to take such liberties with our time. From meddling with the clock they may proceed to interfere with the calendar. And in this they would have that which is so beloved of the parliamentary mind a precedent in the extra day of leap year.
It would not be so bad if urgent individual cases could be met in this way. If we could only jump over that unknown settling day, or prolong an enjoyable evening and save our consciences by putting back the hands of the clock, say over an exciting game of billiards towards 12 on a Saturday night. Other occasions when it might appear highly desirable to elongate the enjoyment will readily suggest themselves to the young (as well as to the old) of both sexes.
Apropos of the subject I shall never forget the tricks that were played upon myself and fellow travellers, on a certain memorable voyage by one of the splendid steamers of the Shaw, Saville and Albion Company's line, from Port Lyttleton to London via Cape Horn. After the closing of the general saloon at 10.30 it was the custom of the Nicotians to adjourn to the palatial smoking room on deck, and settle down for a comfortable half-hour's chat and smoke and—well, yes, I admit the soft impeachment—something in the shape of a nightcap. Dearly prized was the titme devoted to this little symposium at the close of the day, and dire was the wrath that overwhelmed the devoted head of the steward, whose duty it was to turn the light and ourselves out simultaneously at 11 o'clock punctually. It would not have been so bad if he had adhered to his instructions, but to insist upon it that our half-hour was up, the evidence of our own senses—your base insinuations to the contrary notwithstanding—was a little too bad.
We tackled him one night, and deman ded an explanation of this extraordinary, and, to our minds, indefensible conduct on the spot. " Well, you see, gentlemen, it's this way. You know, when the captain takes the sun at noon we put the clock on?" We did, and never was such a welcome abbreviation of time as that which brought the luncheon hour so much nearer. "It's about half an hour we gain, but we only take a quarter then and the other quarter——" The chill truth flashed upon as. We must either tear ourselves away from the fascinating so ciety of the ladies earlier, and thus con fees our divided allegiance, or submit to the tyranny which ruthlessly curtailed half the most precious period of the twenty three and a half hours which formed our day. The fact that the time of which we were thus deprived was added on in a lump did not at all console us.
One Day of Rest in the seven satisfies most of us, and when you are aboard ship the desirability of two Sundays in the week hardly suggests itself to the most exigent church goer. Yet such was our fortune on this remarkable trip. Those two 2nds of May will be indelibly im pressed on my memory so long as reason holds her sway. The things that I had promised me as a youngster, in view of such incontingency, would have made my fortune, only that having, even at this time, had a lurking fear of the insincerity of the conditional offer, I failed to make a note, and so was not in a position to claim a fulfilment, which doubtless would have been as readily accorded as those of the king in the fairy tale, who promises his daughter and half the kingdom to the performer of some feat hitherto supposed impossible; although in the latter case, it is true the penaglty for failure was usually rather severe, and could scarcely apply in my case.
I was told that the only reason the captain could allege for thus meddling with the calendar was the passing of a certain parallel. All I knew was that it sur passed any that I had any knowledge of, and, in fact, was completely without a parallel in my experience.
To return to our case, I hardly fancy our legislators could have looked at the matter from one point of view that ap pears to me of some importance in con nection with capital and labor, viz., the right of every man to do as he likes with his Zone time.
Beaconsfielders are beginning to awake to the necessity of finding a bigger market for their fruit than can be found in their midst. It hardly pays to grow pears and plums for the pigs, and I am therefore glad to note the fact of several of our residents sending a quantity of their fruit to Melbourne. It is a pity that no one is enterprising enough to erect an evaporatore in our midst, so that our surplus of fruit could be dried, and in this form either preserved for home use or exported. There is certainly an opening in this direction.106

 
S Bourke Morn Journ20 Feb 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Twenty degrees below Zero in London and one hundred degrees above here. England is perishing with cold whole we are being parboiled. It really seems a pity that protection to native industry should be carried to such an extreme as this. it will be seen at a glance that the London temperature is as much below as the Melbourne is above, a comfortable working atmosphere. Now if only a fair interchange could be arranged, we could be refrigerating ourselves and our exports to our hearts' content, whilst the stay at home Britons were warming their fingers and toes at stoves cheaply charged with Colonial caloric. "There's a medium in all things," as the parson remarked when his supplications for rain were followed by a deluge. But we live in an age of extremes, and whilst our weather prophets (whom we pay to look after these matters) are squabbling as to the probable whereabouts of a lost cyclone, we are left to stew in our own gravy. Thank Heaven, in spite of all their bungling, something like a christian temperature has returned at last, and personally I don't care how long it remains, having really no ambition to qualify for exploring regions whither I have frequently been recommended to travel at short notice by friends whom I had vexed.
Bush fires have of course been raging all around us, as indeed seems to have been the case all over the country. There is nothing very beautiful about a bush fire by daylight, however fascinating—and a fatal fascination as of the arch- fire-fiend there certainly is. But at night a forest in flames is a glorious sight, and one never to be forgotten by those who have once witnessed it. Any artificial attempt at pyrotechny must pale its ineffectual fires before the majesty of Dame Nature's own fireworks. Against the black background of the night, the flames flash out in all their lurid grandeur, lashing even the highest branches of the giant gum trees into an agony of excitement with the furious whirlwind of hot air, and carrying myriads on myriads of golden stars dancing aloft in a mad frolic. Here we have the crackling fire of infantry and ever and anon the big boom of cannon as some monarch of the forest is laid low. And so the tide of victory sweeps on to leave behind a fairy scene of twinkling lights interspersed with pillows of fire in the shape of the trunks of trees still wrapped about with flame and sending forth an occasional cascade of golden sparks. As I sat on my verandah a few nights since it was easy to imagine, over yonder, such a city as Naples on a gala night. There were the thousand lights of a populous city, dotted about up and down the slopesof the hills, with bonfires and pyrotechnic displays innumerable; and far above and behind it all, the awesomne crater of dread Vesuvius belching forth fire and smoke and threatening to engulf the unthinking thousands like to the twin cities of old of fair Pompeii and and Herculaneum. But as gold is refined by fire and man purified by pain, so is the forest rejuvenated by the terrible ordeal through which it has to pass. Far from the blackened hideous mass the fire has left behind, rises ere many months have passed, a herbage soft and succulent. The scorched and blacked trunks of fern trees put forth fronds of tenderest green, and fed by the subtle essence of the ashes of the past, soaked in by tears the leaden sky has shed, a new generation of herb, shrub and tree arises to gladden the sight and nourish the frame of man and bird and beast and all the insect world, and give to those who grieve, a new born hope of life and happiness hereafter.
I am glad to learn that the lecture that the Rev. Mr. Lord, a Madagascar missionary, delivered last Monday week at the Assembly hall, resulted in an addition to the funds of the london Missionary Society which has done such an incalculable amount of good in that grand but all-too-little-known country, now to be distracted by wars alarms in the unequal contest it seems destined to wage with France.
In cricket I have to record that our local club met and conquered, after an exciting contest, the Cardinia Creekers—whereat much glorification is evinced on the one side and tribulation on the other, as this is the third time of beating.107

 
S Bourke Morn Journ27 Feb 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Mr. Murray, the goveronment geologist and mining expert, has been paying a visit to us en route for Gembrook, where there is at present a small mining boom on, according to all reports. This was an opportunity not to be missed, and some of our energetic residents embraced it. The great man was taken to the gold- diggingest gullies and introduced to some of our most prominent miners, including the Chinamen about "Scotchmens Point," or the "Frenchman's Hut" as we call it since poor old Jack the Digger died. In fact everything was done that could be done with the materials to hand to convince the august visitor that, if not a positive Coolgardie in esse there is at least a Ballarat or bendigo in posse lying latent under fern fronds and bracken and defended by legions of mosquitoes and March-flies, snakes and such like local representatives of the Gnomes and Kobolds and other legendary guardians of mother earth's most treasured stores.
But, no! you never can convince a man with a pre-conceived notion that "there's nothing in it;" unless you bring him into actual contact with those nuggets, which unfortunately in this case, we had omitted to borrow for the occasion. The skill of the celestials in timbering their shafts, building their huts and in other directions where deft handiwork is required was duly observed and praised. The men who had found two ounces in three days were encouraged to persevere. The man who had crushed some quartz, from the surface of a promising looking leader or reef, or whatever you call it—I don't set up for being an expert—and failed to find a trace of the precious metal, was dissuaded from venturing further, whereas he who had discovered some golden specks under similar circumstances, was informed that it might be within the range of possibility if he went further that he might find more. In short, although confidently of the opinion that there was gold to be had for the searching, it was at present difficult to say where or in what quantities—this, time alone could show. Please bear in mind that this is not to be taken as a report verbatim et liberatim of what occurred. All that I am prepared to claim is "fair comment" on the account given to me by an eye and ear witness of the events, on whose shoulders must rest the onus if there remain on the mind of the local reader the impression that the district, in a gold-mining sense has been "damned with faint praise." (Please don't omit the quotation marks).
The fatal fascination that "the store" has for the male population of the bush must be seen to be appreciated. In the absence of "the pub" it is at any rate the club, and may e'en be termed the hub round which society revolves. In summer this is all very well, and in the lazy languor begot of a combination of hot days with hard labour the monotone of the "sweet do nothing" is anything but unpleasant to the majority.
But loafing itself is too much like hard work to some, with whom a little goes a long way. It is but few who have made laziness a science like him who found that "life would be tolerable but for its pleasures" ; or was he an inverterate worker? Well, whether we be inveterate workers or invertebrate idlers, it is a change of occupation which is the essence of recreation, and our young men having eventually tired of acting as supports to the piazza of the local post office, have sought a local habitation in the Assembly Hall and formed themselves into an association for—well let us hope it may be mutual improvement.
The bent bow must sometimes be unstrung, and quoits and cards and dominoes are not inconsitent with civilised Christianity ; but if as has been suggested, the brains—for they ARE there—of our young men could get a little more of that healthy exercise which is to be obtained in the well ordered discussion of matters of contemporaneous interest; political, social and general, it were a consummation devoutly to be wished, firstly on their own account, secondly on that of the society in which they live, and thirdly tho' not lastly for the sake of the country, which may have to look to them for future guidance—of Australia.108

 
S Bourke Morn Journ6 Mar 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Cricket-crazy is the diagnosis of our disease at present. Everyone who has or can invent an excuse to get to town during the last few days, has taken eager advantage of it; and those whose inventive faculties have failed them or who are in the happy independent position, pecuniarily and socially, of not needing the aid of such all-too-transparent subterfuges, have gone all the same.
No wonder we have "record" attendances at the M.C.C. ground when all Australia is agog like ourselves to see how "our boys" will behave in the great test match with the champions of Old England. And not Australia alone, but all the English speaking world.
Foreigners, and by this I mean all who are not of Anglo-Saxon blood, are sorely puzzled at the fanatical devotion we display towards the game.
I remember well, discussing the matter with the Captain of one of the Netherlands India Steam Navigation Company's boats on the wayrom Java to Sydney. Whilst lazily lolling under the double awning, sailing over the still waters of the tropial seas that lie between the coast of Northern Queensland and that marvellous break water, which for upwards of a thousand miles extends along the littoral built up through countless ages by the coral insec- —the Great Barrier Reef ; too lazy even to leave your seat for the purpose of lighing your cigar whilst there is a possibility of your "Kasi api" (bring fire) attracting the attention of that rascally Malay-boy whp should be (but is not, worse luck to him) always in attendance at the casket which holds the (theoretically) ever-burning fire stick, too lazy in fact almost to think, it does strike you that Mynheer Kapitain Van Smidt has reason in his diatribes against people who allow their mental equilibrium to be for a moment disturbed by a mere game of Bat and Ball—good enough and praiseworthy enough for indulging the superabundant energies of a few schoolboys; but for MEN——and in this dash, please understand a rising of the eyebrows with a contemporaneous corrugatiin of the superincumbent epidernis, a but slightly perceptible the while exceedingly expressive curl of the upper lip and that elevation of the shoulders to which only a course of continental training can give its true colloquial value.
But we need not waste our time con sidering what the benighted heathen who do not boast the name of Briton, like or don't like. This we know and know full well, that what bayonets and breech-loader have failed to do for other nations, our British games have largely helped to do for us. They have built up a spirit of self reliance of, pluck and daring in emergencies, of give and take amongst contending friends, and I might add enemies. And now in these latter days they are helping to do what all your paper schemes of Imperial Federation must fail in—to cement the various portions of the British Empire into one harmonious whole.109

 
S Bourke Morn Journ20 Mar 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. What a blessed relief from the glare and heat, from the pitiless summer sun shining for ever out of a brazen firmament, drying up everything on the face of the earth to such an extent that one little spark of fire, one match heedlessly cast away, is enough to set a whole district in a blaze and render desolate a hundred homes. What a blessed relief is the rain that gently soaks into the parched up soil, that fills the tanks and dams and waterholes that had long since forgotten to perform their office, that brings a fresh lease of life to man and bird and beast and makes a second spring time in the land. To see the rain mist hanging round the hill tops and driving in great waves across the gullies and to hear the sighing of the wet west wind, is a pleasure which, however it may pall ere winter pass away, is keenly enjoyed by the dweller in the country when following upon several months of drought.
Our local Social Club is to he con gratulated on the endeavour to develope the debating faculty in its members. I understand that last Wednesday a discussion took place on the influence which the visit of the English team of cricketers was likely to exercise on Australians, more especially with reference to the great test match which was lately played in Melbourne. The few speeches made were characterised by a generous recognition of the merits displayed by the "t'other-siders."
That our young men "unaccustomed as they are to public speaking," made any show at all, is an encouragement to persevere. If they can only be got to take an interest in the live questions of the day, such as Federation, Free Trade, and the hundred and one other problems that are perplexing the minds of men in these latter days, when experiments are rashly tried by the ignorant, which the student of history can confidently predict are foredoomed to failure from their very inception, for what has been shall be and there is nothing new under the sun "—if, I repeat, they can be persuaded to take an intelligent interest in questions on the solution of which depends the making or, unmaking of the "Land we live in," then there is hope for Australia.
Cricket and football are excellent in their way and worthy of all encouragement—as amusements: but they are not the business of life. There are a thousand ways in which we might be worse employed. Let us even admit, which we my readily do, that both for body and mind they are an excellent discipline, touching courage, coolness, decision, subordination and many other admirable qualities; but the cricket field is not the field of life and there be other goals to aim at than those that the football knows.
Young men who have, or will soon possess the privilege of a voice in the management of the country should study, for themselves the needs of that country and how it is proposed to supply them.
And although it is undoubtedly an aid towards this end to study the daily papers (not the sporting column only), there are so many desiging demagogues and mad brained enthusiasts abroad each with some pet nostrum which is to be the sovereign cure, that to avoid the danger of falling a victim to one or other of them, it behoves the intelligent citizen to study what has been done and suffered elsewhere in the world both in these and former times in the course of good government.
The experiments we are trying or proposing to try in Protection, State Socialism, Federation and so on, are no new things, and although the stage on which the play is performed is as new one, the audience, depend upon it, is composed of much the same elements as elsewhere, for wherever you go in the world you may safely say with the American philosopher—
"There is a great deal of "
"human NATER in man."110

 
S Bourke Morn Journ27 Mar 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. We have been quieter than usual of late, not that we are of the type called harem-scarem as a rule. Perhaps it is the reaction after the excitement caused by the great cricket match ; however, be this as it may, things are of that class of dullness generally compared to ditchwater. In our case, however, ditchwater is not a circumstance to it. in fact, so far as my investigations have gone, I have found ditchwater remarkably lively. But then, the makers of proverbs did not always trouble to go beneath the surface, and because they did not observe the ripple dash and gurgle of the shallow brook, came to the conclusion that there was "nothing in it."
In like manner may the superficial student of humanity be deceived by a cursory study of this peaceful little community. Although we may not say or do much worthy of being recorded in the chronicles we, like the sailor's parrot, think a good deal.
The thoughts of many of us are at present occupied with rumours of an entertainment to be given at the Hall on Easter Monday I believe. Some of our enterprising young men are very busy, and if it should not be the success which we all anticipate, you may be sure it will not be their fault. What it's all about or the nature of the entertainment, would require a bribe of greater value than my position in the "upper suckles" of Beaconsfield "Upper" society, to drag from me; and in the present depressed state of the public finances, such a price is scarcely to be expected. Failing this, I shall only divulge the time and object together with the programmne of the show, at such time as it may please the promoters to permit.
We want some livening up now that several of our prominent residents have deserted us. "Ben Earg" is desolute and "Ttekceba" forlorn, and the kind hearts and cheerful faces we knew so well, are missed by those amongst us who only now begin to recognise fully how much they meant to them.
Enlivenment of a sort we could well dispense with however, is supplied by the Commissioner of Taxes, and many a bad quarter of an hour will be spent by our fellow villagers over the documents so thoughtfully provided through the medium of the local post office.
Those amongst us who have neglected their bookkeeping, will begin to tear their hair and cry, "alack-a-day as they contemplate the formidable array of schedulers which it would require an accomplished accountant to correctly fill? With a cold perspiration overspreading his manly brow and a per ceptable bristling of the hair (à la Lange), will the worthy farmer learn that "a false declaration will be punished as perjury and therefore that in the absence of correct data on any given point the inadmissibility of "making a shot at it" be self evident. Let us hope that driven to destruction he may not cut the Gordian know by making a shot at himself.111

 
S Bourke Morn Journ10 Apr 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Thank heaven that's done with ! as Micawber used to say when he had given another promissory note for the amount of some long outstanding account.
My gratitude, need I say, refers to the Income Tax-nightmare, which has been affecting Her Majesty's subjects for some little time past in this most distressful province of her world-wide empire, and causing more profanity than can be wiped out in an æon of purgatory.
The prostrating effect of this course of cross-examination one is put through by means of the infamous instruments of tor ture yclept schedules 1, 2, and 3; must be experienced to be appreciated.
After a fortnight of foraging amongst old bills and check-blocks, hunting up antediluvian memoranda, and generally turning his house out of windows in order to arrive at some glimmering of the receipts and expenditure sum total for 1894 you complete your statement of affairs, and, having posted this fateful blue envelope, which a benevolent post office carries gratis for you, await with fear and trembling the awful penalty of the crime of perjury which you are certain you had incurred through some reckless statement or another, only to find that you might have saved yourself the trouble, as your modest increase was not within the range of the Commissioner's curiosity.
The entertainment which our young men are busily engaged in preparing for the delectation of the public on the evening of Easter Monday is likely to prove a success, as it certainly deserves to be.— Through some misapprehension, help which has been promised them will not be forthcoming, but our boys will rise to the occasion and file the bill with costs and sundries. Rumors reach us from the rehearsals of this excruciatingly side-splitting nature of some portions of the programme. Several cases of fits are said to be engaging the attention of Dr. Bennie as a consequence, and the performers have been seriously enjoined for the future, for fear of provoking an epidemic, not to be as funny as they can. Therefore the audience, on the evening in question, may rest assured that while their cachinatory propensities can't be indulged within reasonable limits no serious results need be apprehended. But, to make assurance doubly sure, our worthy Health Officer will be in attendance, weather and other engagements permitting, to take charge of any cases that may be sent to this ambu lance department. I only need add that the proceeds will go towards supporting the building in which the franchise is to take place, to enlist the support of everybody.
On the same day, from three to five in the afternoon, an exhibition of fruit, un der the auspices of our Plant Growers' Association, is announced to take place. This must be the first show of horticultural—or indeed of any products—which has taken place on the ranges; and al though it will probally be of a very modest nature, and confined principally to mem bers of the association and their friends, still it is a good beginning, and as such to be encouraged.
There will be no competition, con sequently no prizes, the display being snugly designed with a view of acquainting the public with the class of fruit which is, and may be grown in the hill country around us. At the same time it should have a distinctly educational nature for the members. If they have failed with a particular fruit, they will be able to judge whether such failure may justly be laid at their own door or whether they hare been attempting what, under the circumstances, is an impossibility in their district. If, on the other hand, they have been successful, they may find that even a nearer approach to perfectioun may be possible.
In any case, all who are within range of the Assembly Hall on Easter Monday, should not fail to visit this modest little show, which in years to come will be looked back to as the progenitor of many displays of a much more ambitious nature.112

 
S Bourke Morn Journ17 Apr 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. We have been favored with splendid weather this Easter, and are correspondingly grateful.
Of Easter attractions we cannot boast much, but Easter Monday has not come and gone this year without finding some effort made to enliven the somewhat monotonous existence of the bush, for the many visitors who are now within our borders.
We have broken out in (to many) a quite unexpected quarter. It may be that we are too modest, be that as it may, it is certain the suggestion to hold an exhibition of fruit, had hitherto met with so little support, the idea was well nigh abandoned. However, a short time ago it was revived and has now been carried into effect.
So modest were the promoters ideas that they would not charge the public for admission, fearing that they might not consider the show worth even the popular shilling. "Nous avons changè tous cela" and the public next year will certainly not get off so cheaply.
As explained in a former issue, no long time has elapsed since the various growers in the district were first approached in regard to this matter, otherwise a more important display might certainly have been awaited. As it was, however, the affair was very creditable to all concerned.
The show was held in the large room to the rear of the main hall, and the crowd which thronged it throughout the afternoon, proved conclusively the necessity on any future occasion of securing the largest space available. The principle exhibits were arranged on three long tables running the full length of the room, in addition to which were some smaller tables and one exhibit had a small room to itself.
On entering the room the first object to catch the eye was an observatory hive kindly lent by the Rev. Jas Wilson, our great bee-man, who has also some frames of honey, and over in the far corner a nice collection of apples and pears. Wishing we had more leisure than is ours at present to watch the busy little workers, we pass to the fruit tables. And here, it may as well be at once confessed, that where the great majority of the exhibits were of a such excellence, is becomes an invidious task to select any group for special praise. Certain it is that very few of them need fear competition with the fruit, of any other portion of the colony, or one might even say colonies. Whether for beauty of colouring, freedom from blemish, or size, the samples shown left little to be desired; and, taken as a whole, I have the authority of a gentleman who visited the fruit show at the Exhibition last year for saying we need not be ashamed of comparisons which might be made even with that.
Refreshments were thoughtfully provided for the delectation of visitors by the kindness of Mesdames Wilson and McArdle, who with Miss Nancy McArdle efficiently presided over this department. A small charge was made which was destined to swell the funds of the Hospitals, together with the proceeds of most of the sales of fruit which were made at the close of the show.
The same ladies also kindly provided refreshments for the concert which took place in the evening, when the main hall was crowded with an audience who were soon put into a state of the highest spirits by the performances of our only christies. Some of our young men surpassed themselves (which it must be admitted is saying a good deal) in their efforts to arouse the audience. That they succeeded, there could not be a doubt in the mind of any one present. I am sorry that I cannot give any details of the entertainment, but time presses and I must therefore reserve such for next week.
Gold mining seems to be looking up in Gembrook. I am informed that there is one crushing plant on the field and that another is on the way. I was shown a small cake of retorted gold the other day, said to be worth about £28, which having once handled I was loth to part with. Even the temporary possession of such a sum seemed to send a cheerful glow through one's veins.113

 
S Bourke Morn Journ24 Apr 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. The patient miner out west, simply said he thought it was getting a trifle monotonous, when the cow tumbled through the roof of his shanty for the fiftieth time from the superincumbent side of the mountain.
A trifle monotonous, too, it must have been for George Christy, when time after time he returned from his toilsome and not all too profitable labor in the gully, to find that that ——— well, that to-ears polite-all-too unpronouncable cow, had once more paid a visit to his quarters and cleared out all that to her Wemmick-like instinct appeared a "portable property, having shown her profound contempt formerly human ideas of valuable possessions by tossing her head and, said possessions about simultaneously.
But surely the patience of a Job would have been tried, had he returned to his tent as did our miner last Saturday, to find all his worldly goods again scattered far and wide and the tent itself a torn, and scattered wreck of its former shapely self.
Among the debris was a quantity of gun powder, and it was while gathering this together that a spark from his lighted pipe caused a fearful explosion which blackened and burned one side of the poor man's face, but fortunately, and one might almost say miraculously, did no further damage. Perhaps, however, but so far as I can learn, the sight of the eye is not destroyed and it is to be hoped that beyond the temporary shock to the system, no further harm will result.
We have had a welcome downfall of rain since last writing, which will enable the farmer and orchardist to conduct the necessary operations in their respective holdings, with a better prospect of success.114

 
S Bourke Morn Journ8 May 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. The terror caused by the ubiquitous Tantanoola tiger is scarcely a circumstance to the widespread alarm which might well possess people if such wild beasts as that we heard from Berwick the other day, were allowed to roam at large. One cannot help thinking, however, that there must be something more than has come to the ken of the public, to account for a gog of a noble breed, like the St. Bernards, attacking any one in such an unprovoked fashion as seems to have been the case.
From all the stories one reads of, the noble, and sometimes almost more than human (nay, super-canine, and that "goes one better") devotion dis played by some members of the race, amongst the peaks and passes of the alps, where the Monks of Mount St. Bernard have for so many years trained them to seek out and render timely aid to the toil worn traveller, who, perchance erring from the snow? hidden track, had else miserably perished from cold and hunger, one is apt to attribute to these giants, reasoning powers which even they do not and cannot possess.
The mastiffs, to which branch of the canine family the St. Bernard belongs, is one of the oldest and most aris tocratic of the race. In England they can be traced distinctly as far back as the year when the Battle of Chevy Chase was fought, in which action they even took a part. Beyond this the pedigree becomes somewhat hazy although it is confidently asserted by some that the breed was cultivated by the Romans and was employed by them in the arena, where they were thought not unworthy to contend against the King of Beasts himself. In spite of the favor which has of late years been shown to his cousin, the old English Mastiff is still held in the highest esteem in his native country.
Well do I remember one noble specimen, of which as a youth I was the proud owner—more years ago than I care to recall.
Grandson of the champion Turk, who was the winner of thirty first prizes, and possessed the proud distinction of having had £500 offered for him and refused, and son of Paris the tallest dog in England, he was not a dog to be ashamed of. And you may be sure that I did not attempt the impossible feat of hiding this dog (or his bark) under a bushel.
I must admit that I sometimes could not help sympathising with that poor soldier of Napoleon's who had caught a Tartar, which by the way, was the name which, after much painful excogitation, I determined to give him, ere yet his baby-character was formed. But, and here comes the connection, the name suited him to a T; for although to me and mine he was as mild as mother's-milk he was the very cream of Tartars to all the world besides.
As he grew (and he did that rapidly) so did my cares increase. First he had to be housed, and never was such a dog kennel as that which was necessary to accommodate this very Goliath of growlers. Then he had to have a constitutional every day, which of course must he superintended by his master, who had the very greatest difficulty to keep the peace between his protegè and the rest of the dog world, which he was strongly inclined to gobble up "pour encourager les antres."
If I went away from home, the dog was bound to be my companion, for the very good reason that no one else would undertake the responsibility of tending him in my absence. In fact, I might as well have been the keeper of a juvenile white elephant. Not that he absolutely declined to be ruled by any one but myself, I could delegate my authority so long as the dog was a party to the arrangement.
I shall never forget a trip that I had with him once to the sea side.—"That dog must go in the dog-box, sir, if you please," said the guard. "Two into one won't go, my man." "Well, I wouldn't like to have such a fierce looking animal in the van." Why! he's as gentle as a lamb. However, I'll ride with him if you prefer." "All right, sir; jump in. Train's off!" They soon became great friends, and I was enabled to rejoin my friends in their compartment. A few stations further the guard came to the window with—"Well, sir, we're getting on famously ; but he is a caution and no mistake. Why ! he won't let a porter put a thing in nor take nothing out without I'm standing by. Roars at 'em' like a lion, and they're frightened out o'their lives to go near 'im."
And so it was at the stables where I put him up. The ostler could attend to him, but not meddle with him, whereas if any one else came near in my absence he simply raved.
He was not a dog to be trifled with "on guard," and indeed on all occasions he seemed to be impressed with a great sense of his own dignity. It was a sight to see him encounter one of his own size, or near it, in the street. Dog etiquette must be strictly observed or the offender must pay the penalty. I have seen him take a big retriever and shake him like a rat. And at such times one might (and occasionally did) break an oak stick across his back without taking the slightest effect. And yet he would not touch a little yelping cur that frequently annoyed him. One day the little brute was more worrying than ususal. Tartar waited his opportunity, and when the youngster was busily engaged at his heels, suddenly confronted him! Result—the mongrel turned turtle and the giant, holiding him between his two fore-paws, gazed on him more in sorrow than in anger for two seconds and then —released him. A flash of lightning with his tail between his legs and a howl which rapidly died away in the distance, was all that was seen or heard of this nuisance for ever more.115

 
S Bourke Morn Journ15 May 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Such was the success of the concert-cum-Christy minstrel entertainment given at the hall a short time since, in aid of the funds of that worthy institution, that the promoters have been encouraged to attempt a second. This time one of the Melbourne charities will be the recipient of any surplus there may be after payment of expenses. The balance handed over from the last was somewhere about L5.
At the Wednesday night's meeting of the Young Men's Club (I am not aware that it has yet received any more definite appelation) some entertaining readings were given by the members. Apart from the charm which variety always has, the club is to be congratulated in thus early recognsing the desirability of giving an intellectual trend to the social instincts of menbers. Amusement, unless it enlist the higher faculties, must soon end in that which is its main object to avoid—boredom, if nothing worse. I understand that it has been proposed, aye, and carried too, that the ladies be admitted on such evenings as are de voted to reading and discussion, and, let us hope music. Of the interest that may be added to the movement by the last named it is unnecessary that I should speak.
There are members of the association who have a distinct taste in that direction, and are capable of affording to their fellows and others a great deal of pleasure. But here again let me, as a well-wisher and not as a mere caviller, be allowed to point out the two ways open—the one offering permanent pleasure and profit in the highest sense both to performer and audience and the other which, in the language of the immortal Bard of Avon, may "tickle the ears of the groundlings, but will cause the judicious to grieve." Let there he no mistake—I am not of that school which is nothing if not classical. People may have an ear attuned to music and yet not be able to appreciate the subtler mysteries of a Wagner, but between this extreme and the other is a wide field in which a man may wander a long time and ever find something that is new and beautiful. Therefore, although we may heartily sympathise with those 500 poor Armenians who, during the late atrocities in the East, were immured by the unspeakable Turk in a theatre and treated to three solid hours of unadulterated Wagner, and not on that account be classed as hopelessly lost.116

 
S Bourke Morn Journ22 May 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFICICANA. The Arcadian innocence of this rural community has received a cruel shock.
Altogether unspotted by the world we could scarcely claim to be, but if vices we had, they were but virtues in excess. To tell the truth is good, but the truth about ourselves, when told to us, is apt to lose some of its attractiveness. Self-sacrifice is a virtue rare and precious, but when it leads us to immolate ourselves on the altar of friendship, through sheer inability to say "No!" when we would rather not have "Just one more"—is a virtue more honoured in the breach than in the observance. Nobody call question that it is our duty to love our neighbour, and ordinarily the temptation to exceed the bounds is not great ; but they may be overstepped notwithstanding.
'Whatever thus may have been our foibles we prided ourselves, like Truthful James, that "we were not up to small deceit nor any sinful games." As in Erin, of old "a maiden fair to see" could (not that it has been tried, mind you ! but there was nothing to hinder her) travel from one end of the district to the other, laden with jewels rich and rare, and no man molest her. Similarly, could we leave our houses unguarded, except by the faithful friend of man, secure in the belief that our Lares and Penates were as sacred to our neighbours as ourselves.'
But as our New Caledonian friends would say "nous avous changè tout qa," which being freely translated means that we sleep with one eye open now. For the "enterprising burglar is a-burgling," and Arcadia is now a vanished dream. Who the exploiters of our neighbours' premises are, who have been thus in dulging their passion for "portable pro perty," we must leave it for the police in due time to find out.
There are several minor cases to be investigated I believe, but the principal—so far as I am aware—is that of Mrs. Crouch, whose picturesquely situated country house, Fassifern, was broken into on the Tuesday of last week, and property to the extent of between £30 and £40 stolen. The property consisted, besides table and house linen, of sundry articles of furniture, of personal wearing apparel and jewellery belonging to Mr. Herb. Crouch, who has been sleeping on the premises since the former raid some weeks ago. It would seem that the miscreants must have watched this gentleman's movements pretty narrowly, as on the night when the rob berry occurred he was detained in Berwick by stress of weather. I believe that a reward of £5 has been offered for the apprehension of the person or persons concerned in the affair, and it is most devoutly to be wished that no long time may elapse ere the delinquent is laid by the heels.117

 
S Bourke Morn Journ29 May 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. It is most sincerely to be hoped that the strain which the past week of self denial must have put upon the popula tion of Victoria will not result in per manent injury to the constitutions of the majority. The contributions, as shown in Monday's paper, tot up to the enormous sum of two pence amongst every ten people—something under a farthing a-piece. Surely there is room for further retrenchment here. A people with so much surplus wealth can well afford to bear another turn of the screw. Let Mr. Turner look into this, and, a la Mr. Cuttle, when found make a note of.
What did I give myself for, did you say ? The question is irreverant—as Mrs. Malaprop would say. What I give is nothing to nobody.
I cannot help thinking that had the concert on our good Queen's natal day been in aid of the Melbourne Hospital instead of the Sewerage Disaster Fund the result might have been of a more gratifying nature. What the result is I have not as yet been informed ; but, judging from the attendance, there cannot be a large sum to hand over. This is the more to be regretted as the promoters had taken great trouble to provide an attractive programme, and the performers certainly carried out their part of the contract, with a zeal worthy of the highest praise. To the strict classicist the music might leave somewhat to be desired, but we are not all built that way, and it must be said that the entertainment was like its predecessor popular—very ! In the first part, Mr Rollins cornet solo "The lost chord," calls for especial mentions as being a really fine performance, besides which there were songs by Miss Orgill, and Messrs Martin, Beatty, Upton, and Campbell, the names of which, having, like the belle of the ball, 'lost my programme,' I must be excused from giving, suffice it that the rendering thereof left nothing more to be desired. Herbert GoffMr , whose performance on the instrument par excellence, was most enjoyed by those best qualfied to judge, is said to be also a very promising organist. In the farce, which was the special feature of the second part, Mr Jack Travers was again to the fore where everyone took a spirited part. A real, practicable property tramcar was the triumph of the evening. We shall look to our young men for further amusement in the fast approaching winter holidays, and if, whilst helping us to spend an enjoyable evening, they can help some of the desserving chari ties in Miserable Melbourne, the gift will be "twice blest."
Anent the burglary reported last week nothing further, so far as I am aware, has as yet comet to light. The search has, however, by no means been given up, and the culprits may rest assured that there are those on the alert who will leave no stone unturned to ascertain the rights of the matter.
We are certainly advancing—if not by leaps and bounds, at any rate step by step in the march of civilisation. Some of the ladies here, during the winter months, have had the happy idea to found a new institution in the shape of the social evening. Held once a week in turn by the members of the guild, and enlivend by cards, reading, singing, etc, these little foregatherings are already voted a decided success, and promise to do much to wards ameliorating the conditions of bush life as it has hitherto obtained in these regions.118

 
S Bourke Morn Journ5 Jun 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. "Orthodoxy is my doxy, Heterodoxy is everybody else's doxy," and so it follows, as the night the day, that if there is to be any "union of the churches" you must come to me—not I to you. Of course we bushmen have no right to meddle in matters which should occupy, as they do, the intellects of our foremost controversialists, but it may be that, living as we do face to face with Nature, we learn to look from Nature up to Nature's God, often without the inter mediatian of even the humblest member of the cloth. Howe'er it be it seems to me, that we should not have long to wait for the true union of the Churches, if all the sophistries which men have hung about the grand and simple teachings of the Nazarene, were cleared away. He who could narrow down the law with "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God—and thy neighbour as thyself," Whose sermon on the Mount could, without hurry, be preached in 10 muinutes and the prayer be taught in one, could hardly approve of the elaborate ritual, the lengthy petitions and the anything but considerate treatment of his fellow man, which characterise the Christianity of his professed believers.
The Association of Ideas must be pleaded as an excuse for trenching on such very debatable ground as the foregoing. We here have had our union of the Churches, in so far only (be it however said) as consists in holding the services of the several denominations in the one hall.
The attendance, however, was so small that the Presbyterian authorities were obliged lately to recall Mr. Rocke, whose ministrations were so well appreciated, and abandon the services. We have now left to us the Anglican services, and the Rev. Mr. Wilson of the Congregational body. What views the latter takes I am not in a position to state, but so far as the Church of Old England is concernced; it is an open secret that the contributions of the (more or less) faithful, do not any thing like pay for the modest bill which inevitably must be met. It can hardly be said that we have arrived at that degree of perfection where religion is no longer needed—if such a stage can be imagined; but unless some very determined, and in a small community like this it means a UNITED effort be made, the long and uphill fight against adverse circumstances which the Church of our Fathers has hitherto made must sooner or later come to an end. It is a pity, but it would really seem that, so long as we are in the enjoyment of health, we take small concern what may become of our own or other peoples bodies when pain and sickness rack the brow, and as for the soul, well!
"All men think all men mortal but themselves."119

 
S Bourke Morn Journ12 Jun 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Although from most points of view we cannot he said to progress at railway speed, socially it must be said we have lately had an awakening. It is true that at midwinter and Christmas in days of yore we used to have a spasmodic breaking out, which corresponded closely in point of time with the schoolastic breaking up. The momentary pyrotechnic coruscation however only served to render the succeeding gloom the more intense by contrast, in short, and "not to put too fine a point upon it," at such times we went up like the proverbial rocket, only to come down in the ignomious fashion of the once useful, but now no longer necessary stock. But we have changed all that. No longer can our gaieties be compared with fairy like but fatuous fireworks: No longer do we set our light upon a stick, nor hide it under a bushel. It is now more of the steady-going sedate street-lamp order. The weekly card party and social evening is now quite an established institution among the more prominent residents, that is, amongst the elders of the community. So far as the younger members are concerned, the club at the Assembly Hall provides them with the excitement which is the salt of life to so many. On Wednesday last a little variety was added to the ordinary aspect of delight. Ladies were invited, and with readings, songs and recitations, the evening was very pleasantly passed. Such reunions are certainly a very commendable feature in the programme. Anything like this that will bring the various members of our small community together on a footing of perfect equality for purposes of recreation and mutual improvement should be encouraged by every one who has the welfare of the people at heart. On the other hand anything that can militate against the perfect harmony of such gatherings, should be nipped in the bud.
One fruitful source of disruption need perhaps only be pointed out to be avoided. It seems absurd, but while human nature is human nature we may preach equality as much as we like and still not succeed in convincing some people that the man who has no grandfather, is as good, or may be, as he who has two. And even in a community of half a dozen, this feeling will creep in. Now there is distinctly no room for that sort of thing amongst ourselves, that is if anything like sociability is to prevail. We have heard of a time when each man will have his own church, but here he would have to be his own club too, unless he is prepared to accept as an axiom of club life that.—"Every man is as good as his neighbour," without wanting to add—"And a good deal better too."120

 
S Bourke Morn Journ26 Jun 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Gembrook, if it has not entirely justified as yet the expectations of its sponsors, as implied in the name it bears, is at any rate not going to quietly remain inthe back ground, however elevated that may be. If precious stones are not to be picked up in plenty it would appear that precious metals are. Gold mining is becoming quite an important industry there, and we who have been wont to talk of the possibilities in this direction of our own gullies begin to feel small beside our cousins of the Emerald, who can boast of their quartz reefs there — I don't know how many head of stampers, and their crushings of unheard of ounces to the ton.
True, our men are still bravely contending against adverse fate, and some of them have been doing what might under ordinary circumstances be sonsidered fairly well, but still we are cast hopelessly in the shade by our neighbours.
Now is the chance for our budding Trenwiths and hancocks to devise a scheme for protecting and developing our native industry. What form, however, the protection should take, it is difficult for a Philistine to see. If it were potatoes, now, we might have them on the hips (not the potatoes but the Gembrookites), by clapping a prohibition duty on the harmless necessary tuber. But they manifest no desire to send us their gold (worse luck). Cold we—but no, I must leave the matter to cleverer heads than mine to elucidate, merely suggesting with the greatest of diffidence that perhaps a bonus, if it were only sufficiently large, might make things boom a bit—while it lasted.
Like most other things with us that do not belong to the Ill-weed order, our religious services lack life and its consequent energy at present. The convenient but diminutive coin which was specially invented for the collection plate will, even in these days of depression, not go so far as a sovereign. It takes a good many three-penny-bits to pay for the hire of the hall for an afternoon, let alone an evening, in spite of the liberal terms on which the trustees have consented to accommodate the faithful. Of course the hall charges are not the only expenses to be taken into consideration. The labourer is worthy of his hire and the clergyman can hardly be expected to live without a stipend. The position which the man of God occupies in the country districts is no sinecure. Many a weary mile must he cover on horseback or in buggy in all sorts of weather, wet or fine, in summers sultry heat or winters biting cold, in order to preach the Good Tidings in turn to the various sections of his widely scattered flock. No rich endowment has he to render him independent of the free will offerings of the few, the all too few, who form his often microscopic congrega tions. "When two or three are gathered together" would often aptly describe the audience on whom he invokes the divine blessing. Can he look beyond the borders of his cure for help. He can—to the scanty pittance which is all that the Bishop of Melbournes' Fund, the Presbytery, or other religious body can spare. It is not without a struggle that the fight of these pioneers of faith is given up, but ever and anon one or other of the outposts of the Army of Light has to retreat, it may be only for a time, but ground is lost nevertheless which it may be hard to regain.
But to abandon generalities and return to the hard facts before us. Of the denominations which have been represented in Beaconsfield, we have witnessed the discomfiture of the Wesleyans, and lately the Presbyterians ; the Church of England has struggled on the longest, beginning before any other and fighting the good fight still. But how long will it last. Sad and sordid as it may seem to speak of pecuniary considerations where the fate of the immortal souls is at stake, a church—like a chandlers shop—must, humanly speaking, pay its way or—succumb. The Congregational services of the Rev. James Wilson are well attended, but in their financial aspect, I am told, do not differ greatly from the experience of other denominations. In each and all of these cases the great difficulty in the way of making both ends meet is the expense of hiring the hall ; the small proportion of the minister's stipend being easily met out of the contributions at the services, together with sundry small donations.
Now could not some means be devised by which those denominations represented, together with those people not directly interested in either but who recognise the importance of efficiently conducted religious services, could join together in meeting these liabilities, at least so far as the hall is concerned. The expense of maintaining the buildings, which are the pride and boast of the district, in a state of efficiency, must of course be met and the charges made for the use of the rooms both for services and entertainments does not, I believe, more than barely meet the liabilities.
Surely some scheme might be thought out whereby the religious services could be freed of the heavy charges now incurred, and the hall be thrown open, as some maintain was the intention of the original promoters, for all religious services alike. The club which meets bi-weekly in the building pays no rent, and no one grudges them the priviledge, for it is well known that they have already contributed liberally by means of theor entertainments towards the general funds. Why could not the people interested in the religious services be trusted to do likewise? Surely it would not be argues that, desirable as the objects of the Club may be, the services of the Church have an aim less worthy of attainment. I have spoken.121

 
S Bourke Morn Journ3 Jul 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. "How to make poultry pay." This is a problem which has puzzled the brains of many. It would seem a simple matter, and one that could soon be set at rest. Nevertheless it seems still a moot point. It is all well so long as you keep a few birds for your own use, both for eggs and the table, but begin to rear on a larger scale with an eye to the market, there are many matters that must be taken into account. Let the best ... and there may be a small surplus paying all expenses : provided one does not put an extravagant price on his own time. But unless the ... specially propitious, it will be that the success attainable is ... that exhilarating character which might be presumed, to pervade the ... of the man who broke the ... of Monte Carlo.
The opening up of the ... market to poultry, hares and rabbits, for which we have to thank the ... of the great L. L., has not so far been an unmixed blessing to all who ventured shipments. A friend of mine has just received account sales from his agent in Melbourne, which show the handsome return of "two and half-penny" per fowl. Now, considering that the birds were all young roosters of which none weighed less than six pounds avoirdup.. result can hardly be called over ...ingly successful. I should explain the above 2½d. is the amount of ... after payment of all freight... expenses and sundries, but did not include the cost of rearing, food, attendance, &c. It is impossible to ... the charges so as to ascertain .... the principle leakage is to be f... all are included under the pretty heading of "consolidated charges"—get it! "Oh, Mr. I. thank thee for ... word.
Our doctor has always "consolidated" his charges into "professional attendance," our lawyer might very soon do the same for all that most of us make out of the legal jargon in .. his bill of costs is compiled ; the butcher, and our baker, our tailor, grocer and our local storekeeper are yet to learn the trick of it. Hey by the end of that century which is by now so near at hand, we should no longer be appalled by the insane length of their bills. We shall then receive a neat little note requesting to pay their—"Consolidated costs."
The numerous friends of Mr Sykes of the Pine Grove hotel, will have learned with much regret of the death of one of his sons. Much sympathy is felt for the bereaved family.122

 
S Bourke Morn Journ17 Jul 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. "The good old times" of some score of years ago will have been recalled to the minds of the pioneers of this district, by the death last week of Mr. Souter. Amongst those who paid the last tribute of respect to the memory of an "old identity," were men who might well be called the Pilgrim Fathers of Beacconsfield. They have certainly suffered for their faith—in the district. May their memory be kept green by a grateful posterity. As a rank new chum in these parts, compared to these most potent grave and reverend signors, it would ill become me to venture on any reminiscences at second hand of the deceased's career. Suffice it to say here that those who had occasion to frequent the Gippsland hotel in the seventies, retain a kindly memory of the genial host of those days, who, not only did his best to make his guests comfortable in the house, but was ever ready to act as cicerone (so far as his duties would permit), in their excursions among the ranges. The extent and composition of the cortége which conveyed the mortal remains to their last resting place proved, if proof were required, that the esteem which had been gained in days of old, had not been forfeited during the times of "Sturm and drang" which followed.
The social evening to which the lady-friends of our Beaconsfield Club members was pronounced by the majority of the visitors a decided success. So pleased were some of the friends from Berwick, that they expressed their determination to take the pattern of it and form an Acclimatisation Society for the express purpose of hatching something as near like it as possible. Readings, recitations, songs, cards, and other games, when associated with agreeable young fellows, rendered stills more agreeable and anxious to please by the presence of other fellows' sisters, whose altogether too distracting tendency albeit is duly restrained and held in check by the salutary influence exercised by prudent mothers and often over anxious aunts—this happy combination, I say, can afford as pleasant an evening as most folk care to spend. Of course it lacks the often fatal fascination of the dance—but there! you can't please everybody. I will not attempt to give a synopsis of the entertainment, merely remarking en passant that the Rev. James Wilson's reading from the Biglow Papers, and Mr. Nounan Robertson's rendering of some of Chevaliers coster songs were generally singled out for special praise. Some people are notling if not classical, and disciples of Marshall Hall affect to wonder at our simple, not to say archaic tastes in music. They talk in slighting tones of Philistines and Paynims and broadly hint that, musically speaking, a mission for the conversion of the heathen of the hills is sadly needed. But let them know it is our mountain way, that "time was made for slaves" and we but show our manly independance by refusing a servile adherance to professional rules.123

 
S Bourke Morn Journ24 Jul 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Undoubtedly THE great event of the week and one that cast all else into the shade—if such an atrocius bull can be pardoned—was the snowstorm of Monday the 22nd. Storm it can sarcely be called as it came upon us like a dream. The temperature had been very low all night and was not above forty degrees over freezing point at midday. Shortly afterwards it began to rain, and the more observant among us (under which category comes as a matter of course your watchful correspondent) detected particles of snow in a state of demi-dissolution, which in the Old Country are well known, and by the profane better execrated as sleet.
It is not pleasant to be caught in a storm of rain ; hail is still more highly objectionable; snow is picturesque but by no means comforting or comfortable to the belated pedestrian whose eyes are blinded with the dancing downy white feathers which effectually prevent his seeing more than a yard or so ahead of him, and whose feet are painfully trudging through an ever thickening mass of it, to find perhaps at the end of his journey that he has to dig his way by the aid of a friendly shovel to his own door way. But of all forms of disguised blessings which we poor mortals have to suffer for our sins, at least, of blessings of this nature, surely the most carefully disguised is sleet. It flops on to you with the express purpose of remaining until the minutest particle of its execrable icy moisture has dissolved and percolated through every obstacle to the surface of your shivering goose-skinned carcase, and is not content until you are saturated even unto your backbone and spinal marrow, what time your weary pedal extremities, bereft of every vestige of human feeling save a dim consciousness of having preceeded the rest of your body in a gradual transmigration into the soul of an iceberg of super-arctic frigidity, trudge mechanically with a slish-slosh accom paniment through the semifluid snow-mud which in English towns is by the kind thoughtfulness of the intelligent civic mind, seasoned with salt to hasten its dissolution and presumably by the artificialy superadded intensity of cold your own too.—No for unmitigated human misery of a minor kind, commend me to sleet.
But it is only in imagination that I have suffered this time, for our sleet soon changed to real and unadulterated snow-flake. Oh how they danced and curvetted waltzed and pirouetted, and executed a thousand and one saltatory combinations undreamt of by the devotee of Terpsichore, or the pupils of Mrs. Green. And how glorified the whole landscape soon became with this frosting of heavenly purity. Sinful it seemed that it should be desecrated by human touch. So, doubt less thought the Australian youth, but the devil of temptation was too much for him and as I was wrapt in exalted contemplation of the weird loveliness that surrounded me on all sides———squash, and a cold—oh! so cold — trickles down the back of my neck and I was recalled to the contemplation of human misery and—a human boy. I went for that boy!124

 
S Bourke Morn Journ31 Jul 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Prohibition as opposed to Free Trade pure and simple is a policy which, as a rule, only the most advanced of my Protectionist friends advocate. For my own part, speaking merely as a consumer, I am really too modest to ask even for that share of the parental ægis that would shield my head, when the stormy winds do blow, with a "dusted" hat, and my body from the cruel blast with a flannel- lette under-garment—not to speak of the evanescent character of the nether-garments which I had fondly fancied were "all wool." I am loth to pursue the argument to the pedal extremities, it is a painful subject for "things are not what they seem."
But if in these matters I must shame facedly confess to being neither a true follower of the prophet Trenwith, nor a hearty supporter of the sapient Hancock, still there are some things which even the greatest Philistine will hardly say should enter this free and glorious country in an unrestricted fashion. Now, I suppose none other than a germ-grower would grumble at the rigid exclusion of small pox, and even he, might smilingly acquiesc as pace Canon Potter with his cargoes he could easily run the blockade in those marvellous air ships, and whilst laughing the customs to scorn, secure a practical monopoly of the business. En parenthise should Maxim succeed in his schemes for aerial navigation—and he means to got there, mark my word ! what an increase in the army of customs officials there will be. I am a little puzzled as to how we shall manage. At present I can see nothing for it but to enclose the country in wire netting. Good business for the wire-drawers if not for the wire pullers. Unless some such scheme can be devised I am afraid that success to Maxim means ruin to Protection, and with Free Trade will come Free Labour. But, personally of course, I have no concern with this consummation, which, however devoutly it may be wished by some, is still and for some years is like to remain, in the air. Far be it for me to add to the scare which any Protectionist friends are suffering from at present, I am content to leave it to such professional gladiators as Max Hirsch and Co. to work this Free Trade Maxim.
But "Stop, please ! I'll get out here." I declare that air ship had nearly run away with me. What I really meant to say when I began this letter was that I think the customs officials are perfectly justified in strictly enforcing the law prohibiting the importation of hydrophobia. It was only a short time ago that we had a case of a lady being bitten by a St. Bernard dog at Berwick. Now, it's bad enough for a timid person to be barked at by a ferocious looking aninmal as strong as a lion and with limbs like a tiger. But just suppose for a moment, that in addition to the mental fright and physical agony which you experience as the brute's teeth penetrate your epidermis, you have the added horror of madness in the distance.
[Our correspondent's letter has been unavoidably curtailed].125

 
S Bourke Morn Journ14 Aug 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. With the advent of the wattle blossom, we may fairly look upon winter as a thing of the past and sweet joyous spring as "come to stay." Some people are even looking so far ahead as to make arrangements for the summer season, one house at least in this neighbourhood being already secured for visitors to arrive in November.
Mine host of the Pine Grove, Mr Sykes, is offering himself for election as a member of our Witenagemot, otherwise called the Shire Council. Councillor Brisbane, whose seat is to be the bone of contention in this case, may have something to say on the matter, and the humble aspiration of your judicious correspondent, who would perish rather than prophesy before he knows, is that the best man may win.
Our club is prospering in a quiet way and although the world at large has most persistently ignored us as yet, we are not of a spiteful nature and have not yet "cut the painter" by which the rest of the globe is attached to us. To instance the large hearted interest we take in the affairs of people who concern themselves as little as they can, avoid (to use a notable Hibernicism), about us, we held a debate the other night on the causes of the Depression (with a capital D), with an enquiry into the means which should be adopted for its cure. The Bi-metallists were conspicuous by their absence, or more cautiously I should say their arguments were so, and the weight of opinion seemed to be that our old friends Protection and Free Trade had a great deal to do with the situation. Of course when once the speakers were ranged under the old familiar business, it was seen that a battle must be fought, and accordingly it was arranged that the next dis cussion should be on these lines. It is true we have no native industries here to tremble for the result, but nevertheless considerable interest is mani fested amongst the more thoughtful of us (need I say the majority), as our people have for many years magnani mously supported the settled policy of the country, as represented by our late spokesman, Mr L. L. Smith. Why he was deposed was a mystery to many, as the difference on such matters between him and his late opponent was as between Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Howe'er that be, it seems to me that the champions of the traditional orthodox political creed of the country have hitherto had an easy time of it here. Let them now furbish up their weapons—they may need them.
Will the editor pardon one word of comment on my letter of the week before last. Far be it from me to complain that my too prolix lucubra tions should be at times subjected to the pruning knife. But in this instance the part of my communication which was inserted was but prefatorial to the part excised. However, that which was thus lost to the world was but the "tale of a dog," so that it would have been all the same—"curtailed" whichever way you take it.126

 
S Bourke Morn Journ21 Aug 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. We have been revelling—positively revelling-during last week, in glorious spring weather. One asks no more at such a season than just to live like the birds of the air—though that is asking a good deal in these times, seeing that so far as the investigations of naturalists have gone (as I at credibly informed) up to date, they (the birds, not the naturalists) have no butchers or bakers, neither tailors nor dressmakers and their concomitant corollories. Al- thongh naturalists probably do not know everything there may be a hun dred drawbacks to the ovarian existence of which adulterated threats and the unerring aim of the Collingwood holi day sportsman are amongst the least. We must remember, too, that although a bird who no longer finds himself in conformity with his environment (this is only a roundabout way of saying that he is unhappy) can incontinently transfer himself to fresh woods and pastures new, he cannot, when he has struck a patch of country after his own heart, immediately proceed, like us happy mortals, to surround himself with a cordon of customs houses and agitate for the passing of a bill to re strict why it is necessary to prohibit the influx of undesirable aliens. In this way they must suffer a good deal, from undue competition. But all the same I have reason to believe that Trades Unionism, or something that is first cousin to it, is not unknown in birdland. Have you never watched a tame magpie, when his quondom com panions of babyhood pay this neighborhood a visit. The positively hostile at titude they assume towards each other says as plainly as birds can speak that he has lost caste. He is not of "ours:" in fact no better than a "blackleg." Then look at the woodpeckers. I have a very strong suspicion that trouble would ensue if any that had not been duly admitted into that craft were to attempt to practice the trade and calling. And no one but a jackass would attempt to issue a caution to snakes. He would simply be killed—with ridicule. For anybody attempting to infringe on the prescriptive rights of this ancient order of jackasses is invariably repulsed with great (s) laughter.
But I am no bird, and am afraid that there is not the sign of a wing even sprouting, so that it is better not to attempt any flights just yet, even of fancy. To come back to the point, then, of News, it is like the chapter on snakes in Ireland. I must proceed to explain that there are none.127

 
S Bourke Morn Journ28 Aug 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. The contest for the vacant seat on the Berwick Shire Council resulted in a fight between the Gembrook and Beaconsfield divisions of the Beaconsfield Riding, the respected champions being Mr Crichton and Mr Sykes—our old representative having magnanimously retired in favor of the latter candidate. In this neighbourhood, as might have been expected, there was a substantial majority in favor of the local man, and the same applies to the Gembrook man and his vicinity. For whatever may have been the case in ancient times, in regard to the relationship of a prophet in his own country, it is certain that nowadays a man has only to show that he has the necessary qualifications for the post and his friends and neighbors are only too ready to make a prophet out of him, on the principle of "You press the button we'll do the rest." At Lower Beaconsfield there appears to have been a pretty close contest. Well, we can't each have our own man ; and if the new member only does his work as well as our old and tried representative, we shall have no cause for grumbling. Le roi est mort—vive le roi!
An important circular has been issued from the Agricultural Department, addresses to the fruit growers of the colony. I understand that the Secretary of our local association has received a copy, which will doubtless in due course be laid before the committee. I am informed that the matter dealt with is the export of fruit for the coming season.
The Department strongly advocates the shipping through groups of growers; the various Horticultural Societies throughout the colony contributing good machinery ready to hand for the purpose. Uniformity, both in size of cases (so far as possible in each case) of fruit is possible, and other matters important to both exported and imported, are touched upon.
This circular evidently forms an important point of departure for the fruit industry, and now that the Government has fairly taken the fruit industry by the hand we may hope that, like butter, it will begin to boom. We know what the Government stamp has done for the dairying fraternity, but the Government cannot do everything. Let combination followed by federation be our watchwords. Let the apple—which both in the Christian and the Pagan world has ever been the symbol of discord—be in future but an emblem of unity of clear and far sighted self-interest, which, after all, if we will only look at in the true light, is not only compatable but synonymous with the greatest good of the greatest number.128

 
S Bourke Morn Journ4 Sep 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. The war has been carried into this hitherto peaceful country, and the battle now rages—that is, as much as anything can range under the hypnotic influence of our fern gullies. A few nights ago, Wednesday I think, the great debate was opened. The hall was well filled as became the occasion, and from start to finish the audience showed a becoming appreciation of the fitness of things, by giving attentive ear to the several debaters. Mr Noble opened the debate with a doleful picture, the colours of which (more's the pity) were only too true to nature, of the present state of our erstwhile glorious colony in general and of Marvellous (?) Melbourne in particular. In it painfully antithetical paraphrase of the once popular Jingo song, he called our attention to the only too obvious fact that—"We've lost the men, we've lost the ships, We've lost the money too"—and he might have added, as some of his hearers did for him—"We've fought the wolf before and be sure we'll pull you through if you only arm by arm can-stand-to-Noble. Where have the men and the million gone to. Of the former we have lost 18,000 since '90. Some of the sturdiest have gone over sea—some alas have gone "under"—others have gone to the place despised Cinderella of the West and are now known as "t'other-siders"—some are mining in our own country and some are "on the land." And, asked the speaker, is it not from the land that must come our help. Can we hope to conquer the markets of the world with our boots and shoes, our slop clothes and our colonial sofas? Some amongst the audience thought (but their medesty prevented then from giving voice to the idea) that this consummation so devoutly prayed for by the disciples of Trenwith, might happen if we only had patience to wait for that time when, as Macauley so prophetically foretold— "the Maori shall sit on a ruined arch of London Bridge, sketching the ruins of St. Pauls'". Is the absence of any utterance from this enthuisiast, the audience offered no reposition to the orator's opinion that it is only by increasing the natural production of the soil, that we can permanently add to the wealth of the country. The world in effect is crying out for our wine and our wool and our oil and we offer them—a "colonial sofa." They demand of us beef and butter, mutton and honey, and we call upon them to admire our really superior Bluchers and our slop made Reach-me-down sac-suits "In this style only £1 1s." It is all very well for the person who pockets the plunder, but why should we, who are by no means too christian in our ordinary life, reserve .. these licensed robbers that meek and submissive demeanour which prompts a man smitten on the one cheek to turn to the smiter the other, and being robbed of his cloak to beg the robber kindly take his coat also. But, as the speaker picturesquely put it in an eloquent peroration in a no less able speech of upwards of an hour's duration—"When night is darkest the dawn is nearest," and already his prophetic soul could hear the tramp of the victorious army which was cre.ling to strike off the galling fetters which prevent the use of that freedom which is the birthright of us all. I am sincerely sorry that the exigencies of space, com bined with that lack of notes prevents us from dealing as it deserves with the ... reply of Mr. Munger, in whom the opposing forces certainly found a doughy champion. From the experience mere of continental nations and more especially of France, he drew the inference that Protection if only handles with due caution may be the mainstay of a nation, or of all events of a nation in its nascent stage. Mr. Herbert Crouch, as became a student of our University and the consulting engineer of our Shire Coucillors, inparted words of wisdom from the Fathers of Free Trade. He can give you chapter and verse from Adam Smith, from James Stuart Mill, and a host of lesser lights not to speak of the New Men. I shouldn't wonder that if you even had the curiosity to consult the Laws of the Medea and Persiaus on this point he could tell you in what volume the question was dealt with. In him Max Hirsch and Mr. Noble have an able ally, perchance some day a rival.
Space fails me to recount the success of the "social" at the ball on Saturday night. A crowded company and pleasant evening with music instrumental and vocal, recitations and ventriloquism, in which the inimitable Frase excelled himself, and plenty of refreshments—were the many features.
Other matters are crowded and must stand over. Things don't always "boom" in the social way, and some day we may have time to hark back.129

 
S Bourke Morn Journ11 Sep 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Our local Fruitgrowers' Association met in solemn conclave on Saturday night last, when there was a good at tendance of members. Amongst other matters which came under consideration was a circular from the Lancaster and District Wine and Fruitgrowers' and Special Products Association—a very commodious title. This important document urged the desirability of establishing some central association on the lines of the Dairymen's Association. This body, with members elected by the various horticultural and allied societies throughout the colony, would, it is hoped, form a representative body which could effectually deal with all matters affecting this most important industry. The Government statistics of 1893-4, we are told, represent the area for orchards as 34,584 acres, and our vineyards is 30,227 acres, and this is constantly and rapidly being added to. Few will be found to oppose the cotention of Mr Gallagher, hon. sec. of the Association in question (the Lancaster) viz, that co-operation is urgently demanded for the development of markets, in order to dispose of sur plus fruit which must remain after supplying local wants. What has al ready been done for butter must now be done for fruit, and if it is only taken up the right way a grand future awaits this young industry.
The Fruitgrowers' Association de termined to give their adhesion to any effective scheme that might be designed with this most desirable end in view, and there and then appointed one of their number to attend a meet ing which it is proposed to call in Melbourne.
Another matter which engrossed a good deal of the attention of the meet ing, was a circular lately issued by tlhe Department of Agriculture. Co-operation is the leading note in this also. It is stated that the fruit expert has reported that all through the colonies a considerable lack of energy on the part of growers to push forward their produce exists, and it is thought that were each district to co-operate in making up consignments under the name and brand of their different association and secure shipping space, much good would be done. The prices received for Victorian fruit in the London market have been satisfactory, and this should serve as a great inducement to export, besides which our local markets would be relieved and improved thereby. A uniform case is recommended and a uniforml size of fruit in each case, and other recommendations are made in order that the fruit may receive the imprimatur of the Government expert before being shipped. The Government brand secured, the top price at time of arrival may be looked upon as a certainty, provided there be no mis-handling or mistake in the cool chamber. Now that we have it on authority that "Isolation" is almost synonymous with "Condemnation" and that "Co-operation" is equivalent to "Salvation," surely the fruit growers of this and the surrounding districts will flock to the standard of the local association, which has deserved so well for the plucky manner in which it has struggled to obtain recognition for these ranges as a fruit growing country par excellence, in spite of the apathy so long displayed by those who one would think were most concerned.130

 
S Bourke Morn Journ18 Sep 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. President Goff has the hearty congratula- tions of the majority of us on the event of his elevation to that .... by the members of the Berwick Shire Council. The manner in which he has .... filled the simple, yet sinecurial office as Councillor for the Riding is a ..... of what we may expect. One member of the Council is reported to have said that he hoped the new president, would not make too many jokes; certainly those who are best acquainted with the Goffian repertoire, and the discretion with which it is dispensed to the privileged few, will hardly look upon such a con... as possible. Mayhap the gentleman in question has suffered the same in kind than less in degree than Oliver Wendell Holmes' footman, who, as we know, came to an untimely end through a surrepticious perusal of one of his master's side-splitting ... on its way to the printers—
"Since when I never care to write, As funny as I can."
Let the new president, always be.. such a dire possibility in mind, take h.. of grace and remember that whatever .. be the opinion of some of the most .. and reverend signors on the subject would be a great relief to the general public to find that the otherwise not too bilaterating proceedings of their local parliament were occasionally relieved by a gleam of humor. As our friend the Vagabond hath it—"So mote it be."
A fancy dress ball which is to take place at Berwick on the 2oth inst. is causing some slight commotion among some of our young people. We are the children of a larger growth, as someone somewhere has sapiently remarked, by looking into the "dim vista of the p.. I can see myself on such an occasion well! not perhaps exactly as others see me, but as I fancied myself—and I do fancy myself I can tell you. But it seems there cannot be the fun in any thing where your adornment res... itself into a question of cash and a visit to a costumier, that is evolved abroad to where ingenuity in the adapatation of chance materials to hand is the ... factor in your debut. However, in these times and it these parts, a little ex- perience of the latter kind is like to .. the would be reveller of limited means .. good stead.
Spring with its smiles and its tears and its occasional naughty tempers, is after the season which is to the lover of the country the most charming of all. ... we have not the great contrast between death and resurrection which is so profoundly impressive to the thoughtful ... in the old world, and even the new in the Northern Hemisphere. There, Nature seems veritably to give up the ghost which is laid to rest wrapped in a snow ... shroud. Here, on the other hand, it barely seems to doze—indeed it ... winter that we have some of her lovely handiwork in the exquisite Eparcis, commonly called Heath. But in spring she breaks into a dazzling bloom of splendour. The natural flower, the white blossom, in all its varied forms but .. to one colour in whatever varied show that may be presented, is surely just a ... of solidified sunshine with the perfume of Paradise, But even the wattle bloom cannot blind us to the beauties of the almond, the cherry, the plum and the apple. True to their traditions they somewhat reluctantly cast their leaves during the season which by courtesy we call winter, only to break out with a doubled vigour on the first p... excuse, as if to show their appreciation of the genial climate in which they can rejoice.
Summer is the time when Nature takes her siesta, and "The flowers that bloom in the spring" have vanished before the furnace heat of the scorching north wind and during January and February any blade of grass that has a spark of life in him will keep it dark for fear of the proverbial fate of boasters. About the... of the latter month things are about ready for the Fire Fiend, who makes a clean sweep (though rather a black one) preparatory to the lying of the new green .... It s a pity that our visitors select these barren time of all the year, when all is ... and lost and bare, and the most ... inclination is to lie on the broad of one's back, and mutter maledictions against the mosquito and the marchfly et hoc .... ne. But after all we may as well be ... to death in a natural way, as to be an... ered by the Dust or asphyxiated by the Drain Demon.131

 
S Bourke Morn Journ25 Sep 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Bushed! What a world of meaning lies in that one short word to any one acquainted with the rural life of Australia! The citizen in his native haunts can hardly go far astray, and it is therefore hard for him to form any adequate con ception of the meaning of the term. Let him imagine himself alone on a rudderless hulk without a compass under a sunless sky in the middle of the great Southern Ocean, and he may gain some faint idea of how he would feel when fairly "bushed." For taking the conceit out of one and opening one's eyes to the absolute impotency of the unassisted human unit when suddenly separated from his customary environment, there is nothing that I know equal to it.
As you sit by your own fireside, or lolling on your own verandah, it all seems so ridiculously easy that such it thing as losing your way could not happen to you. You visit the Black Spur, Lorne, Beaconsfield—when you will ; you take a stroll into the forest along a well marked, track, and tempted by the beauty of the weather and the charming woodland scene wander on and on, now slipping aside to secure some rare orchid, anon to gather some sprays of maidenhair. The sun begins to sink and you bethink yourself that it is time to wend your way homewards. You will not take the circuitous route you have come latterly, but will make a short cut over the bend of that hill and cut the track a little further up. You make the cut and reach the track, and as the sun has already sunk behind yonder hill you put on a spurt. It can't take long now, just round that spur and something more familiar must strike your sight. . . . A haunting doubt begins to oppress your mind which soon resolves itself into certainty, in so far that the track is not the one you came by. Still, it must lead in something of the same direction. You coo-ee and a faint response comes wafted on the evening breeze. Is it the welcome sound of another human voice? Is it a mocking echo, or is it the far off note of the magpie carolling its evening hymn ? You hurry on a few yards—again you make the welkin ring with your cries and again the magpies or the cattle or the echoes or is it all combined reply in faint and in- definite tones. It is dusk, the track exists no longer—the gaunt forms of blackened stumps and the pale skeletons of departed gum trees rise around you on every side. Irresolute you stand. Which way ? A startling peal of demoniac laughter tells you you are . . Bushed.
When such things can happen to an adult (and, with Mark Twain, "I have been there,") what must be the feelings of a Babe in the Wood, of five years old, not to speak of the distracted parents, when the "dusk of the twilight " comes on and no boy returns to gladden his mother's heart. Such a scare we got the other day—but "all's well that ends well," and by seven o'clock p.m. the youthful wanderer was safely housed, and I am informed is none the worse for his wanderings.
On readinig my last week's letter in print, I was rather shocked to find that by the omission of the small but not altogether unimportant word not, I was made to say with regard to the present President of the Berwick Shire Council, that from the manner in which he had acquitted himself is his simple yet sinecurial office of councillor, &c., &c. I am only too well aware that my caligraphy is apt to prove rather a tangled web for the printer to unravel, but had I dreamt there would have been any such a troublesome not as this, be assured that I would not have run the risk of its being cut——out.
The fancy dress ball at Berwick the other night was a great success, and those of us who went returned with glowing accounts thereof.132

 
S Bourke Morn Journ2 Oct 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Our Debating Club — or rather our club's palaver department, for it's func tions are by no means confined to talkee-talkee pure and simple—is developing powers which, if some of its members are not very careful, will sooner or later land them in——Parliament. Last Wednesday the debate commenced about a month ago was resumed. The eloquence of those who had figured on the former occasion was such that, should this early promise be maintained, the promoters began to fear a good sized telescope might be required to discern the other end of the discussion. It seemed prudent therefore, altlough savouring of cruelty to the disputants, to adopt a time limit within which each aspirant to fame should confine his oratorical efforts. Now, ten minutes seems a long time to sit and listen to what any other fellow has to say on the subject, even if you be a sympathiser ; but when it'is quite the reverse, any time outside of five minutes is obviously wasted. But when you feel called upon (whether you really be so is another question) to dilate on the subject, such a time doesn't really suffice for an introduction, and an hour does not give you time to turn round in. However, in a discussion which might last until Doomsday, and so far as the general public is concerned probably will, without converting anybody unless through the medium of their pockets—some limit must be fixed.
Oh ! Ah ! About the debate ! Well, I am sure you won't thank me for giving a verbatim report. Besides, unless you heard the whole thing viva voce it would only unsettle you without any contra balancing advantage. As for myself, I have now a most decided opinion that — there is a good deal to be said on both sides. Mr. Glissman, in his usual careful and conscientious manner, had prepared a most exhaustive (pray printer note this word or trouble may ensue) paper on the protectionist side, fortifying his argument not with musty-fusty, instances drawn from the experiences of Ancient Greece or Rome, nor did hale his helpless hearers to France and Germany or Hail Columbia for wise saws and modern instances, but like a true Australian drew his facts and figures from the land we live in. I say "facts," but of course you know (without offence) each side has its own "facts," and with figures you can notoriously prove anything. This was the last gentleman who was allowed to have the rein; the curb being mercilessly put on the last of the debaters. I should dearly like to tell you how the brave warriors on both sides comported themselves in the fight that then ensued. Such was the melée and the unfortunate consequences likely to be entailed on any ill balanced intellect, that I call only account for my being now enabled to give any connected narrative of the proceedings by an accident which is sometimes said to stand one in better stead on such occasions than presence of mind. They tell me though, that amongst others who deserved well of the Trades Hall, was one whom an opponent described as "simply soaked with the Age," but on the other hand a humble but not unintelligent follower of the great Trenwith, insisted that "Age could not stale nor Customs pall his infinite variety." Time being up a vote was taken and with the aid of a good contingent of the local infantry, the forces of Protection scored a win by the narrow majority of two.
The next burning question to be reduced to ashes will be the important one of Female Franchise. As already two of our sister colonies are in the full enjoy ment (or otherwise, as the case may be) of this extended political liberty, it is a matter the development of which it is incumbent on us to carefully watch—some hope that we may keep on watching it— at a distance. It is to be hoped that those ladies amongst us who are known to hold rather pronounced views on the question, may be induced to let us have the benefit of their ideas.
Our diggers I hear are having a little better luck lately, some of them making quite respectable wages at this somewhat precarious occupation.
From Gembrook we learn that Mr. Murray has reported well of a reef lately discovered by some Beaconsfielders, who are consequently sanguine of success.
Some land has lately changed hands—which is something in these days of stagnation, and most of the residences are occupied or rented for the coming season, and with the promise of a good yield of fruit of most kinds, we ought to take heart and sing— There's a good time coming.133

 
S Bourke Morn Journ9 Oct 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. There are some apparitions which although of anything but a ghostly nature are apt to prove a little startling when casually encountered in a state of dissociation from their habitual environment. The Tantanoola Tiger was a case in point and notwithstanding the fact that he turned out to be only a wolf ; even a wolf (unless in sheeps' clothing) is calculated to jar a little upon one's nerves.
And now we hear from Gembrook of a native placidly proceeding on his homeward way as the shades of eve' were falling fast, encountering a creature whose unfamiliar form might well cause his mind some temporary perturbation. The animal, on closer inspection, turned out to be an Emu, and, not being in a position to give a satisfactory account of how he got into the vicinity, his encounterer took upon himself the, one would imagine not altogether too easy task of arresting the intruder on the charge of insulting behavior. I regret much that no record has come to hand, or at any rate to my knowledge, of the heroic conflict ending in the defeat and ultimate capture of this truly fearful wild-fowl, suffice it to say that caught at last he was, and ignomiously haled to the lock-up. Unfortunately his captor was apparently not well versed in the peculiar anatomy of this choice ornithological specimen, and, made a mistake which in itself pardonable enough, proved fateful to his prize.
It is no doubt a proud position to be the owner of a white elephant, but he must be housed and fed. Now, an Emu may be dieted for an indefinite period on rusty nails, broken crockery and such like with an occasional bonne bouche should opportunity offer (see Bret Harte) of a diamond scarf pin or other elegant article of bijouterie or vertu that may offer itself on the person of his attendant as a prey to the pilferer. But you can't always have a cage at hand sufficiently large for a bird of this size, and a back yard is not the most convenient place of confinement in such cases either.
Well, to make a long story short, our friend, evidently not trusting to the honour of his acquisition, but fearing an emeu-te, sought to secure him by a rope. For this purpose, to the innocent mind of the embarrassed owner pro tem., the lofty continuation of the cervical vertebrae formed a point d'appui self evident and not to be neglected. The bird being duly lassoed and attached for the time being, was left to his own devices whilst the perspiring victor in the fray went to his well-earned evening meal, little wotting of the denouement his adventure was destined to have. Next morning a mass of feathers with two legs and a neck that was tied in a knot were all that remained of this noble aboriginal, who, although by nature adapted to assimilate anything from a "needle to an anchor," was unable to swallow the indignity of being thus unceremoniously "annexed."
Rumours have reached me within the last few days of a union in the holy bonds which is said to have taken place quite recently between a lady engaged in schoolastic duties not a hundred miles from here and a gentleman not unknown to our local cricket club; nor indeed to its social contemporary. It is scarcely necessary to say here, that they have the best wishes of our little community for their future welfare.134

 
S Bourke Morn Journ16 Oct 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Samples of various kinds of climates is the sort of thing we have been treated to by "Old Ellery" during the last few days. One day shirt-sleeves, sofa and soda water, and the next top-coat, toddy and toes in the fender.
But really, if one is in search of a consistent, self-respecting climate, one has but a choice of the two extremes—the equatorial or the circum-polar regions. I don't know that either of them are much to hanker after; but at least you know what to exptect there.
I was at Singapore for a fortnight once and my memory retains a lively recollection of this Noaic deluge which descended every morning to be succeeded by an afternoon, a faint conception of whose delights could only be obtained by a happy combination of the Turkish bath and the domestic wash house on a Monday. An old resident informed me that in his opinion it was one of the finest places in the world —— to keep away from. And certainly a place where your boots will gather green mould in twenty-four hours ; where the mosquitoes are murderous ; where, with the thermometer always at the utmost degree of exasperation, varying almost as little as the time of sunset and sunrise, which remain at 6 o'clock throughout the year, added to which there is absolutely no escape to the mountains nearer than Buitengery in Java (about the same distance practically, as from here to New Zealand); certainly, taken altogether, as my friend seemed to think such a tropical climate has its disadvantages, which are scarcely counterbalandced by the convenience of being able to dispense with the weather-forecast and the uniformity induced in ones daily habits by a fixed hour for rising. Indeed he characterised the life as "monotonous."
So far as the polar regions are concerned, my investigations have not made much progress, but judging from hearsay they have a very fine summer—while it lasts. And then there is no "eight hours" day nor any such like annoying curtailment of the liberty of the subject to get as much work out of himself or any one else as he can. The most, as I am incredibly informed, that a Lapp or an Eskimo stipulates, with the "Boss," is that he shall not be compelled to work more than three months at a stretch. But then, you see, if he does have a long day, when the work is over he CAN "make a night of it!"
Really it wouldn't seem such a nuisance getting up in the morning if one could feel that he had a good long day before him, and then it would be worth while taking the trouble to go to bed—say for "six months." However, we must take things as they come, and after all, with the exception of an occasional three years drought in the Back Blocks or a flood that carries all before it, we might do worse.
The fruit trees are looking well and there should be an abundant crop, but then Providence has such inconveniently Freetrade notions that we are not likely to have a monopoly of the benefits accruing.
At the sale by auction of Mrs. Mackenzie's furniture, &c., on Saturday last (that lady having left the district), there was a fair attendance, and although business was not very brisk, nor prices very good (for the seller), most of the goods were sold. The cattle, comprising a team of bullocks, several cows, and some horses did not change hands so freely, the buyers being conspicuous by their absence.
The cricket season for us, is to be inaugurated, I hear, by a match on the local ground, between "our boys" and the Macclesfield men. Success to our side!
The diggers seem to have been doing pretty well lately, but authentic information on this point is proverbially hard to get. However, when the same men remain for months in the gullies with occasional accessions to their numbers, there can hardly be "nothing in it!" In spite of all that has been rumored to the contrary, our only boarding house will, it appears, be continued in operation under the, old management for at least another season.135

 
S Bourke Morn Journ30 Oct 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. "When a woman will, she will, Depend on't; And when she won't, she won't. And there's an end on't."
Such is the conclusion drawn by the would-be Tyrant Man after the lapse of centuries, during which he has (according to some authorities), been mainly occupied in the heroic attempt to enslave her whom the Deity designes as his helpmeet. Be this as it may, the male sex (of maturer years) have long since, like sensible men, resigned themselves to the inevitable. They know that if a woman wants a thing, like the infant and Pears' soap, "she won't be happy till she gets it." The only doubt is, do the "weaker sex" — that was — want a vote for Parliament? This moot point was the subject for debate at the Assembly Hall, Upper Beaconsfield, on Wednesday night last, when some very able papers were read by ladies of the district and the matter as well threshed out as time would allow. There was a very good attendance and much interest was manifested in the proceedings.
Mrs. Kerr, as an advocate of the rights of woman, read a very well thought out paper. Stating fairly the objections urged by the other side to her fitness for political and public life generally, she proceeded to prove to the satisfaction of everybody (on the same side) the fallacy of such arguments. The production of Lord Salisbury's testimony to the fitness of women is electors, gave the finishing touch to a speech which had already well nigh pursuaded us to swear allegiance to the womas' standard.
Unfortunately for our peace of mind, Mrs. Manger put the opposite side in such a persuasive manner that all previous arguments seemed as nought. She artlessly reminded us that some one (was it one William Shakespeare or was it in the Bible--no matter ! ) some where had said "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world." - I don't think she alluded to the advice of one Paul in an old fashioned book that I remember to have read years ago, wherein he enjoins woman to be subject to her husbanld—but undoubtedly if she had the other side would have only retorted with—
J. P. Robinson——he Said they didn't know everything down in Judee.
But I know that she did seem to think that there was a pretty considerable amount for women to do already, of course in an old fashioned way, in training a child in the way he should go and attending to the wants of father, brother, husband or son. As to her equality with man in the various walks in life, she challenged her audience to mention any woman whose name could be placed side by side in the first rank of the other sex in the sister arts of poetry, painting and music, all of which have been freely open to women from time immemorial, and the last named especially cultivated by her.
This lady having reconverted us to the old fashioned ideas on the subject, Mrs. Wilson comes to retake the sitadel of our reson, and with a most vigorous onslaught carry it by assault. We are now utterly demoralised, and ready to fall an easy prey to the next speaker, be he or she whom they may. In fact, our state reminds us very much of that which the horse thief was in when the judge asked him whether he had any reason to allege why sentence should not be passed upon him:—"True, your Honor," says he, "when I came here first and heard my counsel state the case I could 'a sworn I was innocent as the babe unborn. When I heard the gentleman on t'other side I could 'a sworn I was guilty, but now, your Honor has put the case so clearly before me I'm hanged if I know who done the trick."
Messrs. Noble, Crouch, Glissman, Manger, Brown and others served to swell the ranks of Mrs. Manger's supporters. The majority of speakers, it was noticed, were in favor of giving the franchise to our female friends under more or less strin- gent conditions—some to the unmarried only, others to widows with property (a most dangerous class, according to Mr. Tony Weller, whose advice to his son, "Samivel, my boy, bevare of Vidders," has prevented many a would-be rash adventurer from taking the fatal plunge. Some again were for ——. But there, space and time would fail me were I to attempt to do justice to all the arguments pro and con. One thing was specially noticeable, that no MAN was rash enough to recommend the refusal of the franchise in case the majority of women really demanding it. And yet, with all the talk that was indulged in, it is curious that one argument which goes to prove the intellectual equality, may, superiority of woman over man, and, ergo, their claim to the franchise, was never so much as mentioned. There is an old hebrew legend, the scene of which is laid in a certain garden, in which lived a man and woman to whom we can trace our ancestry (with less or more of missing links). The two were in the depths of simple ignorance (which some synonimise with ignorance). To them entered the first advocate of woman's enfranchisement. He showed her most cunningly that the thing which she had held to be forbidden was a thing to be desired to make one wise. She stretched forth he hand and grasped the knowledge of good and evil, but—she lost her Eden.
It is necessary for me to add that the Rev. James Wilson, as chairman, was all that could be desired in that capacity, qa va sans dire. But it may be as well to say that on a show of hands being demanded it was found that the opponents of the proposed new de- parture were conquerors by four, although in justice to the other side it is only right to state that, in a spirit of true Radicalism, they had gone one better than even their own proposal.136

 
S Bourke Morn Journ13 Nov 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. My fair friends are much exercised in their minds as to the new post cards. The most advanced of them are hardly prepared unhesitatingly to advocate the unlimited use of tobacco and beer, still less are they prepared to figure as the apostles of Havelock and Foster. As for those who have not, in spite of the active propaganda recently instituted, yet been converted to the cult of the New Woman, they may be said (without exaggeration), to look upon the new paste-boards with detestation and abhorrence. One lady of my acquaintance intimated, that "wild horses should not make her use the horrid things," a picturesque though somewhat involved metaphor whose meaning seems to me to be somewhere about equivalent to the masculine "I'll be hanged if I do." But thus the people of Beaconsfield are clearly not up-to-date or they would not be so squirmish. The advice that the father gave to his son—" Make money, my son ! Honestly if you can ; but make money ! "—is evidently the motto which the Government has adopted in this direction. And if people can only be persuaded to agree with this method of working the state machine, what magnificent possibilities would open out before the advertiser.
Why should the grand facades of the Law Courts, the Houses of Parliament, and even of Lord Brassey's residence, all of which have cost the State a mint of money, remain as they are—have and uninteresting—when there are hundreds of people who would only be too happy to pay us handsomely for the privilege of providing us with a perfect National Gallery of magnificent fresco paintings in the style of art in which the Messrs Pears first succeeded in popularising the works of the New Masters. Then we should have some thing wherewith to shut the mouths of those blatant socialistic and anarchist orators who haunt the Yarra bank. For we could with confidence point out that if we do spend a lot on Go vernment house, we at least got some return for our money—besides, look at the saving in print alone. And the same with the chambers in which the collective wisdom of the colony loves to congregate. Would it not be a consolation to consider that, if some time and money is occasionally wasted inside the building, that which has been expended on the exterior is bring ing in a handsome return, and in addi tion, that at least from this point of view—for a judicious censorship would of course have to be exercised, and the naughty tobacco people kept strictly within the bounds of propriety—from this point of view, at least, I say, the world has a chance of being made wiser and better and more worthy of the FIN DE SIECLE for having a Parliament.
I will pass lightly over our Law Courts, as it is a place, one should be careful how he meddles with, or, if wise, will let severely alone. But I cannot refrain fromt hinting that the white helmets and jackets of our guardians of the peace would offer a mag nificent opportunity which ought certainly not to be lost, to men of "light and leading," for inculcating the virtues of cleanliness and cheap clothing among the poorer classes of our town population, and thus materially assisting the revenue whilst improving the morals of the multitude. For is not "Cleanliness next to Godliness?" I have other ideas on the subject, but I am begin ning to think it is foolish to throw away good ideas, and unless I am handsomely rewarded by the State for these few hints shall sell the rest to the Japanese Government, or same other State capable of appreciating genius.
The weather, apart front a few showers, has continued painfully dry, and everything, including liquids, is suffering in consequence.
The floral service held at the Assembly Hall on Sunday evening last went off with éclat; the attendance was good and the decorations were very much admired. I have not heard whether the flowers ultimately found their way to the hospital or to the dust-heap.137

 
S Bourke Morn Journ20 Nov 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. "All men think all men mortal but themselves." So, more than three hundred years ago, said one William Shakespeare, and never a truer word, though many a true word he uttered and spake the great Bard of Avon. And so unconsciously does each of us wrap himself up in a warm mantle of imaginary immunity from all the greater ills that flesh is heir to, until this very mantle trailing on the ground trips up his feet, he stumbles and lo ! his place knoweth him no more. The uncertainty of life is such a trite subject that people get tired of listening to sermons thereon. As a general thing applying to humanity at large they admit it as an axiom—but as regards their individual selves, they have taken a long lease of life—their wethers are unwrung. So it is that when such a misadventure as that which happened on Friday last, occurs in our midst we shudder as we awake to the barb possibility that there may be such a flaw in our lease that, may justify an ejectment, at a moments notice.
Hugh Cameron, a hale and hearty a young fellow as you might care to meet in a day's march and as popular among his companions—was looking for his bullocks amongst the maze of hill and gully which characterises the ranges about Beaconsfield—he had discovered some of them and was endeavoring to prevent their escaping through an open panel when his horse stumbled and threw him prone upon a stump. A bushman is always prepared for such accidents, although he cannot always guard against them, and in an unconscious state (for he seemed not to remember the fact) he must have struggled again upon his steed and ridden some distance only to come once more to mother earth. Here he was fortunately discovered by some diggers later in the day and carried to the house of Mr. Noble, where he was carefully attended to until a vehicle could be secured to carry him to his home in Lower Beaconsfield where his poor wife scarce twelve months wed and his poor innocent babe, in blissfull ignorance of the disaster awaited his home coming.—What a home coming. He who went forth in the morning full of health and spirit, is brought back to her with a great ugly scalp wound and his ear nearly wrenched from the socket. Fortunately the latest bulletin from the Melbourne Hospital, whither he was at once ordered by Doctor Bonnie, report him as likely to recover, although it may well be imagined that with a fractured skull and other injuries of a serious nature, his life has been trembling in the balance.
Our fruitgrowers are determined to make their mark in the Melbourne Mar kets even if they be not yet in a position to make much impression on the 'tothersiders of Little England. Several consignments of strawberries have already been sent from here, cherries are now being dispatched, and arrangements have been made to put raspberries, which grow here in profusion, also on the market. Beaconsfield has made a step forward, and you may be assured she doesn't mean to go back.
Our cricket club is concocting some very deep scheme for the amusement of the residents and visitors about Christmas time, and incidentally to replete their exhausted exchequer. "So mote it be," but may a well wisher to all healthful sports be allowed to drop a gentle hint that there are other enterprises which are languishing for want of funds. That there are religious services which have been held for years here, which I am ashamed to say for wants of support must soon be discontinued if some great effort be not made. "It is not all of life to live," and while we are thinking of ans wering ourselves, have we not cause enough to give some thought also to the great hereafter. Surely to put it in no higher grounds, our amour propre—our self-love—should prevent the possibility of the finger of scorn being justly pointed at us as a community which, whilst it can cater so well for its own amusements, is incapable of seeing the necessity for the higher life.138

 
S Bourke Morn Journ27 Nov 1895 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. That floor off which it would be a postive pleasure to eat one's dinner off, that counter which positively became whiter every time you saw it, that nosegay of flowers arranged with as much taste and displayed to as great advantage as if the shop were a drawing room--where are they now? Alas, like the snows that fell a few short months ago, like "Hans Breetmann's 'Barty," in fact like all things else of a beautiful but all too evanescent nature, they, are "Avay in the ewigkeit." Einsiedel's store is no more.
Last Thursday morning about half past four, the wife of Mr Einsiedel, whose house is situated about a hundred yards or so from the store, became conscious of a glare which soon turned out to be caused by the flames which even then had got a firm hold of the building. By the time that anyone could get there it was quickly discovered that the task of saving any thing from the wreck was more than mortal man could undertake. When once a fire gets a hold of our wooden buildings, there is really nothling to be done but stand by and watch the progress of that element which is so good a servant but such a devil of a master.—Fortunately the premises were insured, but the stock will be a total loss.
How the fire arose is as yet a matter shrouded in mystery. The erstwhile owner of the promises, now a blackened heap of ruins, promptly secured the services of the Berwick constable by telegraph, to enable him the better to investigate the causes of the catastrophe. Certain indications induced this officer of the law to call in the aid of the black trackers from Dandenong. Whether these bi-pedal sleeth hounds have hunted up a scent, I am unable to say. They have such a reputation, as man-hunters, as to have become a perfect terrror to the evildoer. But are we not a little apt to over estimate their powers. Clever as they are, their talents are hardly of the miraculous order and I have yet to learn that they can evolve the where abouts of any possible criminal out of their own inner consciousness. However this may be we are all awaiting the denouement with anxiety. — If people who lives in glass houses, shouldn't throw stones, people who reside in wooden ones, ought not to play with fire and should come down like the proverbial "thousand of bricks" on the head of any one who is caught doing so.
Our cricketers visited Macclesfield in force on Saturday last to try conclusions with the champions of that remote region of the world. The Beaconsfield contingent returned, defeated but not dishonoured, trusting another day may tell a different tale.
Snake stories are again coming into vogue with the approach of summer. ON DIT that Mr Hollow's cow died recently from the bite of one of these reptiles, and somebody else is said to have lost a dog recently from the same cause.—Another tale is that a man in this neighbourhood had a very narrow escape, as he actually trod on a snake which turned and fastened its fangs in his leg. That he is now alive to tell the tale is probably due to an accident which, however regrettable in itself, may under these circumstances be considered a fortunate one. The limb attacked by the fearful poison fangs was of wood. As we cannot all count upon immunity from similar causes it behoves us to have a care.
The fearfully dry weather we have experienced for a long time past, has acted very prejudicially on the crops of fruit now in season. Strawberries being, of course, great sufferers. Raspberries will also be prejudicially affected no doubt, and I hear that apricots and other fruit are falling off the trees for want of the necessary moisture.139

 
S Bourke Morn Journ11 Dec 1895 Upper Beaconsfield. All the world and his wife are going to the Dandenong Show to meet and welcome the Governor to the district. We are nohing if not "up to date," and you know "you might as well be out of the world as out of the fashion." Every animal that can pull or carry will be called into requisition on that day (and perhaps some that can't), and every bone-shaker with a sound wheel to start on and with a strap or a rope to hitch it on by to the unfortunate beast that is doomed to draw it, will be on the road betimes with more than a full complement of passengers. The great thing on such occasions is to make good start. Whether you get to your destination or not is a different story —once on the road, a break down is only looked upon by the ordinary worldly minded traveller as belonging to the usual chapter of accidents ; by the devout as a dispensation of Providence ; and by no of apparently as a natural consequence of the gross neglect of all proper precautions.
Cirumstances, as the time honored phrase goes, over which I had no control, prevented me from recording the fact of the last so-called ''social" being held by the Beaconsfield Club, at our local Assembly Hall. These evenings are planned on a truly democratic basis, for on such occasions, the blue blood of our highest society mixes freely with the more crimson fluid which flows in the veins of Tom, Dick and Harry, not to forget Harriet. There was a tendency, at first, on the part of some towards a tip-tiltedness of the nasal orgin and all elevation of the eyebrows and shoulders (which were expressive if not elegant), at the mixed, nature of the assemblages. However, when it was pointed out to these exclusives that they were quite at liberty to inaugurate a club on their own exclusive lines, the incipient rupture was avoided and all has since gone merrily as marriage bells.
On Saturday night last the hall was taken possession of by "a man wot reads your bumps,"as he was graphically described to me by one who had been there. By this I understood him to imply that he had assisted at the phrenological, theological, and many other logical entertainment given by Mr. Johnstone to an admiring audience consisting of something under twenty. There were a good many more outside, but with the bashfulness so notorious in the native of the ranges they preferred to remain outside, to the alternative of paying a shilling with the chance of being wheedled on to the plat form and the weak points of their character brought prominently before the public. Doubtless it is trying to have your cranium overhauled and your character more or less correctly diagnosed for the amusement of an audience which is as a matter of course disposed to — "Be to your faults a little blind, And to your failings not unkind;" or words to that effect. Some however are found perfectly equal to the occasion, as witness that boy the other night who, when the bump-reader was descanting at length on the noble future which lay before this extraordinary youth, whose capacity for brotherly love was such according to the phrenological chart that given the means he was bound to become a philanthrolpist of the first water, interrupted the professor's flow of eloquence by a sudden exclamation 'Stop it! that hurts; why it's the bump as the old man give me for whacking my little sister."
Our cricketers last Saturday played a match on the local ground against the Narre Warren (Railway) Club in which I understood the latter were victorious. Amongst our men Mr. Rowley Beatty made the best score, viz., 53. In aid of the funds of the club, it is proposed to give a concert on Boxing night which ought to be well attended.
No entertainuent or other scheme for raising funds in aid of the services of the Church of England, which are so badly in need of assistance, has yet been formulated and it is feared that owing yo the apathy displayed by many of those who should be most interested, Divine worship will have to be discontinued after the commencement of the New Year.
All things considered, it would seem to an outsider that, we might fairly be entitled to write "Ichabod" over the entrance to our village. We don't intend to do it all the same. "Never say die is a motto more to our liking, but you can hardly blame the stranger when he sees that our once boasted "Big House," burnt down so long ago, has not yet been restored and now our big boarding house "Kincraik," is tenantless. True, Mr. Sykes of the Pine Grove hotel is still ready to welcome visitors, and the Misses Hedrick, at "Ben Eay", have accommodation for a limited number of guests, and there are, in addition, various furnished and unfurnished residences which may if not already bespoken, be engaged for the season; but still the supply is not equal to the demand, and it will be a distinct calamity should the building which Mrs Craik and her daughters have made so widely known, remain unoccupied, for long.140

 
S Bourke Morn Journ18 Dec 1895 Upper Beaconsfield. BY TODEA AFRICANA. The Dandenong show, with the additional attraction of the Governor's visit provided a grand attraction for the surrounding districts, and Beacons field turned out EN MASSE in gala costume to do honour to Lord and Lady Brassey, their village, and last, but by no means least, to themselves. Everything with four wheels, four legs, and a good many with only two, deserted the place for that day and although some of the quadrupeds as well as the bipeds came back a trifle dis comforted, they had their outing.
The following communication in connection with the local cricket match (kindly furnished by a member of our team), I give VERBATIM ETLITERATIM, having been prevented from assisting at the function in person. The Beaconsfield cricketers met the Macclesfield team last Saturday on the ground of the former. The visitors were entertained at luncheon, after which a start was made. Beaconsfield winning the toss went to the wickets but were all disposed of for 58 runs. Macclesfield then went in and by careful play they had knocked up 98 runs before the fall of the last wicket. In the half-hour left for play Beacons- field lost 2 wickets for 52. Both teams were invited to tea, kindly pro vided by two ladies of the district. Macclesfield then left on their return journey, after having expressed them selves well pleased with their day's outing.
On Sunday a feeling of gloom was cast over our small community at the news of the sad bereavement sustained by Mr and Mrs Manger in the loss of their youngest child, barely a twelve month old, who died in the early morning of that day. The sincerest sympathy is felt by every one for the sorrowing parents.141

 
S Bourke Morn Journ25 Dec 1895 Upper Beaconsfield. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Nineteen centuries agone the angels broughlt the sweat message of peace and goodwill to this distracted world of ours. The sacrifice of self, which was, I take it, the centre round which the whole teach ing of the "carpenter's son" revolved, was a doctrine whose practical application was not unknown, even at that time. The beauty and truth of the doctrine, however, have through the succeeding ages been more and more (theoretically) recognised. Its practical application has also exten sively obtained, but as a rule it is some body else's "self" that is generally sacrificed on—"The good old rule, the simple plan "That he should take who has the power, "And he should keep who can."
Yes, there has been a trifle of bloodshed since then, and what with Anarchists, Nihilists, Turks, Japs, and Yankees, not to speak of French and Russins, we do not seem like to have the milenium—just yet. I say nothing, it will be observed, of the British as possible disturbers of the peace, as it is universially admitted (by unbiassed people, of course), that your Britisher (hateful Yankeeism) is the most peaceable person in the world—if you only give him his own way. Well, let us thank Heaven that we Australians are not as other men are, are that although we lack the last link in the encircling chain of Federation, which is to bind us together into a nation, still it is notorious that the various colonies which comprise the Australian group have (more or less) long obeyed the Divine injunction to "love one another."
Well, let the world wag; we of the hill country are a self-contained, not to say self-sufficient community, and concern ourselves not much about the outer world. Let it roll on—we are content to stay where we are. But, unfortunately, content as we are to let the risk of this little sphere alone, we have not yet alto gether succeeded in cutting the painter, and, consequently, when the good ship Victoria, to which we are attached, gets into troubled waters, we cannot altogether escape the "wash." Even Mark Tapley would be hard put to it to spend a Merry Christmas under the circumstances which hamper most of us at present. For all of us who have reached the period of man or woman-hood there is more or less of the carking care of life, for "some are sick and some are sad, and some have lost the friends they had."142

 
S Bourke Morn Journ1 Jan 1896 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Christmas, with its message—old, but ever new, of peace and goodwill, has come and gone, and now we stand upon the threshold of another year. What it may hold in store for one or the other of us, who can tell? Let us at any rate hope that it may be a happier and brighter one than the past.
In my last letter I made reference to the festivities which it was intended to hold here on Boxing Day, but I presume that the exigencies of space prevented the insertion of that portion of my communication. The crowds which ought to have been attracted by this announcement were, of course, conspicuous by their absence, but, not withstanding this drawback, there was quite a respectable attendance at the fancy dress cricket match and athletic sports competition held by the Beaconsfield cricket club on their ground.
The Refreshment department was provided by some of the ladies of the district, and, as it was well looked after by some of our fair maidens, it may "go without saying" that it did not want for patrons, and materially tended to swell the receipts and thus benefit the funds of a deserving institution.
The scene presented on the field of battle was a very animated one, the varied costumes of the cricketers adding materially, to the effect. Amongst the numerous characters represented it is an invidious task to choose, but if a selection, may be made I think the prize, by public acclaim, would be given to the clown, the character of which was not only dressed, but sustained thronghout in such a realistic manner that one could imagine himself transported back to the days of his youth, when this gentleman and the young lady equestrian were the two personages who shared with the horses the ardent admiration of the enthusiastic schoolboy. Of the other costumes, those of the schoolmistress, schoolgirl, black cook, negro parson, and nun call for special mention, but in an up-to-date place like Beaconsfield I must not omit to mention the appearance of the new Woman in appropriate apparel, even to the abbreviated continuations which are so much affected by the advanced members of the cult.
The principal winners at the sports were A. Mummery, E. Sykes, and H. Noble. The weather was all that could be desired and the afternoon passed most pleasantly.
In the evening an entertainment in aid of the same fund, was held in the Assembly Hall and was very well attended. The first part of the programme consisted of lime light views of Venice, followed by a number of comic slides which were highly appreciated. The second part was devoted to comic and sentimental songs, followed by a display of ventriloquism in which Mr Alex. Fraser is such a well known proficilent.
At the conclusion of the evening, the Rev J. Wilson, on behalf of the cricket club, proposed a hearty vote of thanks, as well to Mr Fraser for his able management and valuable services as to the ladies and gentlemen who assisted him.
With their appetites for amusement only wetted by the preleminary canter of the afternoon and evening, the more energetic spirits soon cleared away all impediments, and whilst most of us were wrapped in slumber, were footing it gently to the strains of some mazy waltz tune or not less bewildering barn dance.
On Saturday last our cricket club met Pakenham on the ground of the latter club. Through some mistake, however, the Lowlanders were not fully prepared, and some of their men being absent the Rangers gained an easy victory.143

 
S Bourke Morn Journ8 Jan 1896 Upper Beaconsfield. BY Todea Africana. The New Year has had it's baptism of fire. Sunday was one of the hottest days that have been experienced this season. It would appear as if the sun on such a day were a veritable live coal (as some believe), or being as others have it merely surrounded by a fiery atmosphere had, oppressed by the heat, torn off his blazing envelope and flung it on our earth, and that the fragments alighting (good word), on the tindery material provided by square miles of scorched and blistered territory want only the bellows of a good north wind to make a furnace worthy of the attention of Nebuchadnezzar the King. Be that as it may there was a good deal of blazing country in this neighborhood, which some found in rather inconvenient proximity to their hearths and homes. One resident I learn has lost a large quality of wood, cut and stacked, and another was nearly left lamenting his new house, now in course of erection in the vicinity of the post office.
This is not the only country that is in an inflammable state at the present time, for look where we will on the wide surface of the globe we find material ready to hand for a monster conflagration. Well ! we Australians have learnt at least that playing with fire is a dangerous game, and which none who know the sturdy sons of the great island continent would for a moment accuse them of any lack of courage, they have a sufficient stock of sound common sense to see that it is somehow "better to hear the ills we have than fly to others that we know not of." And this will partly explain the attitude of our fellow countrymen in the Transvaal at the present moment. But above and beyond that feeling, which after all has a smack of short sighted selfishness about it, is that loyalty to constituted authority which has made the Briton, in spite of such apparently awkward incidents as King Charles's head and King James' back. The most unpromising revolutionary material that Socialist or Anarchist, Nihilist or any other I'st could have to deal with. No doubt it is very annoying to the Uitlander that he cannot have it all his own way, but when we look at the History of the State which he does the honor of patronising, we can hardly be surprised at the reluctance of the Boer to hand over the government to the intruder. We want reminding that our colony at the Cape was taken by us from the Dutch (or perhaps, more correctly, from the French, who themselves had taken it from the Hollanders).
The Netherlander, not appreciating the benefits of British rule, determined to trek, and trek he did with his wife and his children, his men-ser vants and maid-servants, his ox, his ass, and everything that was his. If I remember rightly he eventually settled down in Natal. We took possession of Natal, and still obstinately blind to the manifest advantages of Queen Vic toria's rule, he trekked once more. At last he has established a government of his own. He has had to hold his own even by force of arms against us and has proved no mean antagonist—we should not like to admit that he has beaten us, but would rather not men tion Majuba Hill—and now that we can conquer him in no other fashion, the magic watch-word "gold" draws down upon their devoted heads a per fect rain of Uitlanders from the four quarters of the globe. Can we consci entiously blame them for failing to see the force of the contention that they should forthwith change their constitu tion to suit the new comers or even to present each man with a vote on his arrival. Dr. Jameson expected a warm reception and he got it, and although he would doubtless have been lauded to the skies had he succeeded, he must be content to suffer the fate of many others who have been "a bit previous."
Some people might fail to see any connection between the affairs of the Transvaal and those of Upper Beaconsfield, but there are those whose vision does not extend beyond the extremity of their nasal organs. Might it not be just within the range of possibility, for instance, that the gold mines of this district should so far develop as to attract a large population ! Then how shouldwe like them to force their out landish views upon us in respect to, say, of the management of our social evenings, our cricket club, our debating society, or even lay sacrilegious hands on our Assembly Hall. No ! a thou sand times no ! Our views on things in general and on those things in par ticular may be of the pre-poaching order, but it's a way we've got; but, with Boer-like tenacity, we cling to time-honored institutions without troubling ourselves about any such new fangled notions as the Radicals of the day would foist upon us if they could.144

 
S Bourke Morn Journ15 Jan 1896 Upper Beaconsfield. BY TODEA AFRICANA. "Thank Heaven for the change" is is the feeling experienced if not expressed by every human being, and even by those we relegate to a lower order in the scale of nature when the thermometer was at last persuaded to listen to reason. I don't know what the temperature of the lower regions averages, and I am not anxious to test it in person but certainly if Sunday's heat is anything remotely resembling the coolest corner of that empire where it is always high noon, where the dog days last for ever and you are denied even the momentary solace of sitting under the shelter of your own shadow for the reason that the light as well as the heat come from the glowing pavement beneath your blistering feet. I say if Sunday's simmering is to be taken as a sample of what we may have to suffer—not WE, but those who don't believe as we do—then surely the most hardened sinner will feel tempted to put the break on while he reconsiders his route and its ultimate destination. The transition from 104 in the shade on Sunday to somewhere about 59 on Monday was pleasant one to those who had a roof over their heads and a plentiful wardrobe at hand; but one could hardly help being thankful that he had not been tempted to start on a Saturday to Monday excursion merely provided with a linen suit with straw hat and puggaree, in which on the latter day he would have made the proverbial drowned rat in a thunderstorm, die of envy.
Talking of thunderstorms, what a grand one we had last week; quite tropical in its magnificence. The constant cannonading, the big boom of the heavy artillery, the rattling of the musketry, the volleys, the file firing, with which the forces of heaven were waging war, were simply awe inspiring. The flashes whose blazing light shed far and wide, and bringing out with photographic distinctness for an instant, every detail of the landscape, only by its withdrawal plunges us into a darkness that might be felt, would shame the combined efforts of the world's electric companies. In the tropical parts of Australia such celestial dis plays are more frequent, although not more needed than they are here, reckoned only as manifestation of a power which the worshippers of the "almighty dollar" have failed to take into account.
That facetious printer is always having a dig at my contemptible caligraphy which is evidently at times a conundrum: whose solution is, to say the least, doubtful. My natural modesty—a family failing—makes it hard to refer to the matter, as too personal but truth is great and must prevail and therefore I feel compelled to state that the era of Beaconsfield history alluded to in my last as the "pre-poaching," and was intended, by me, and as I could have sworn (which I should have done on seeing it in print but for my early training), was written "pre-Noachian," which in the archives of our family, always means before the flood.145

 
S Bourke Morn Journ22 Jan 1896 Upper Beaconsfield. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Some months ago our peaceful hamlet was roused from its normal state of placidity by the startling information that a robbery had been committed in our midst. True, the crime did not take any more alarming form than that of a burglarious entry at night into a dwelling house during the temporary absence of the occupant. Still this was of a sufficiently alarming nature to awaken us to this conviction that something must be done. We com municated, or rather the immediate sufferer did, with the guardian of the peace who honors Berwick with his presence, and this done relapsed into slumber. It was not the first time that this house had been robbed, nor was it the only house that had suffered, yet, in spite of the proverbial clue, the mystery was destined to remain a mystery until a few days since.
Our constable, whether in his official capacity or merely in mufti is a matter on which my informant is silent, was attending an auction sale in the neighborhood of Berwick when his attention was called to the peculiar pedal envelopment of one of the audience. People do not as a rule, when attending at a sale in the country, think necessary to attire themselves as if bound for a levée at Government House, therefore it can hardly be wondered at if Mr Roberts opened his eyes to see the extremities of a hardworking and otherwise apparently unsophisticated resident of the district encased in a pair of dancing pumps. Now, this of itself was enough to make one "wonder and doubt." But there was more in the incident, even than met his optic organ; for deep engrave on the the tablets of the mind was a list of the property stolen from a certain residence in Upper Beaconsfield to one item of which these shoes exactly corresponded. The man was shadowed (I think that is the correct technical slang), and followed to his home. An examination of the dwelling discovered a good deal of the property which had been so long missing, not to mention other which had been abstracted from various dwellings about the same time. Even some of the pictures on the walls are said to have been recognised as belonging to a well known resident of this district. I am told that matters looked suffici ently grave to warrant the representa tive of the law in securing both the man and his wife pending an investigation. It is sincerely to he hoped that the present possessor of the pro perty may be able to prove an innocent ownership. During a residence of several years he has borne a good reputation for honesty, and it would be sad indeed to see such a good name dragged in the dust.
From Harkaway we hear of a two-storey house being burnt a few days ago. At the time of writing, particu lars have not come to my knowledge. It is indeed a sign of the times being hard when we hear of potato stealing. I heard the other day of a whole land of the tuber being, dug and carted away withouth the knowledge or con sent of the owner, and that not many miles from here.
Apart from these little excitements matters in a general way, are decidedly dull. It must be so when some of our most volatile spirits are driven, as a means of mild dissipation, to indulge in all night fishing excursions. Speaking personally, I have found a little angling go a very long way. It seems to me to be taking one's pleasure sadly, indeed, But to sit waiting for a bite all through the weary watches of the night—No thank you! However, I ought not to complain, as my friends occasionally let me sample the products of their skill, and it must be admitted that one night fare worse than to breakfast on a freshly fried blackfish.146

 
S Bourke Morn Journ29 Jan 1896 The Beaconsfield Robberies. The Beaconsfield robberies, as we anticipated last week, have developed into no less than ten separate charges against Eli Harris, whilst an additional three are preferred against his wife. The police paid a visit to Harris' house on Thursday last, when a lot of valuable evidence was collected. The sheeting identified by Mrs. Smith as her property, and which was recovered from accused's house, had previously been marked. When the police got possession a neat parcel was found in the house containing the clippings from the sheets, on which was the Smith monogram. In fact, the mass of evidence that has accumulated is almost beyond credence. Constable Roberts has been be seiged with visitors during the week, and anyone in the district who has lost any thing in the shape of household goods, lately, will have a very good chance of recovering it from amongst the olla podrida stored at the Berwick courthouse. We append a
LIST OF ROBBERIES.
Francis Ryan's house was looted 18 months ago, there being removed a duchesse table, movable top washstand, pigskin riding saddle, floor cramp, axe, augur, &c. valued at £15.
In March 1895, Mrs. Mary Crouch, of "Fassifern" Upper Beaconsfield, suffered the loss of cutlery, blankets, sheets, counterpanes, bedding, scales, washing machine, saucepans, &c., valued at £30.
A fortnight later, a second visit was paid by thieves, who further removed a dress suit; the property of Herbert Crouch, valued at £12, a Gladstone bag, gold pins, studs, dress shirts, pyjamas, sheets and blankets, valued at £30.
Mrs. Mary Smith, wife of Dr. L. L. Smith, received visits from robbers no less than four times, commencing in July 1895. The total value of goods stolen was £50, and comprised:--Furniture, pictures, blankets, bedding, dinner set, ornaments, pump, fender and fire irons, saucepans, carpet, flat irons, baths, tubs, and other articles.
Mrs. Flanagan, of Richmond, who has a country residence at Upper Beaconsfield lost in November, 1895;-Door from wardrobe, 400 gal. tank, iron piping, aneroid, shovels, forks, &c. A sledge had evidently been used in the removal of the tank as tracks were discovered outside of Mrs. Flanagan's gate.
F. Harris' store, Officer, was entered on the night of the 13th November, 1895, and the proprietor lost sugar, rice, tobacco, cigarettes, pills, combs &c. valued at £5.
Wm. Grieve is a builder at Beaconsfield and his wife keeps a store. In November 1895, it is alleged that Harris called at the store, where he was served by a lad. A bunch of keys, one of which would open the builder's shop, were missed shortly after Harris left, and a similar one found in accused's possession. The builders' shop was robbed of paint, sheet iron, T hinges, colonial oven (the property of the Rev. Webb, of Armadale, which has been twice stolen), rope, tin of ironmongery, and a crowbar. .
In addition to the above, which have been identified, the police have also in their possession the following goods, for which owners are awaited:-Clothes wringer, stewpan, nickel-plated garden syringe and sprayer (new), workbox, lady's silver watch, gold seal, silver snake bangle, silver watch chain, lady's new night dress, richly embroidered, large box of carpenter's tools, box of jewellery, lady's Indian silk dress and jacket, cambric handker chief with " Ever thine " in colored letters and flowers; linen handkerchief with a large "C" in corner, coffee mill, lady's chemise, marked "S.W." glass epergue, pink lustres, gold pendant earring and brooch with doves, the dove on the brooch holding in its beak a tablet on which are the words "Forget-me-not," mail bag, coils of flexible wire used in connection with telegraph instruments, small compass, double magnifying glass, and a host of other articles.
Harris and his wife were brought up at the Berwick police court to-day. Inspector Smyth prosecuted on behalf of the Crown, but the prisoners were undefended. The cases had not been completed when the court adjourned for the day. Harris, who pleaded not guilty, said his wife had no connection with the robberies, and she was discharged. Harris was committed for trial on four charges, and the remain der of the cases will be heard to-morrow (Thursday).147

 
S Bourke Morn Journ5 Feb 1896 Upper Beaconsfield. BY TODEA AFRICANA. "Live and let live," is a golden motto whose very essence, though, is the idea of reciprocity. Self preservation is nature's first law; you yourself must live although an unfeeling world does not seem to see the necessity for it, before you can carry, out the latter part of the injunction. Now, sadly as the world has failed to live up to the precepts of the founder of our earth, still it must be admitted that whilst practically the most important of them may be ignored by the bulk of humanity, that influence is nevertheless felt to be a power for good. But whilst we have the gospel of mercy preached to us, the lower animals (as we considerately term them) are still under the ancient dispensation where as it was in the beginning, since those happy days in Eden, so it is now, apparently ever shall be, until time shall be no more. VÆ VICTIS, is, is the war cry, and woe to the vanquished it is. Instead of "live and let live" we have "eat or be eaten," and so there is a wild struggle for existence which would astonish those off us who find life the hardest. Sad as this may be it would perhaps have little interest for most of us as applying merely to the beasts that perish. If the birds and beasts and fishes, likewise the insects and we might include the snakes, yes, I would decidedly include snakes, would only confine themnselves to banqueting on each other, nobody I think, but the victims would complain. When it comes however to preying upon us then it is certainly time to interfere. Lions and tigers we have not, except an oc casional visitor from Tantanoola, and snakes scarcely do more harm than the good natured gossip, but he who de vours that whereby we live eats us—out of house and home.
And this brings us to the plague of the grasshoppers, the pestilence of par rots, and the thousand other ills that flesh in these parts it heir to. In the spring time when the first green shoots of the cabbage, the bean, and the lettuce with suggestions of succulence which appeal to our most tender feelings, appear above ground, there is the sleek and solemn slug smacking his lips in anticipative relish of the appetising morsel so providentially provided for his sustenance. Whether, in the absence of such epicurean fare, he would have been fain to content himself with sorrel, sow-thistle, ET HOC GENUS OMNE would be vain and profitless specula tion, which does not trouble the head (has he one ?) of our slimy fellow sojourner in this vale of tears. Our place in the scheme of creation, from his point of view, is to cater for his capacious appetite. We are too lavish, however, in our providing arrange ments, so we are allowed to finish what he has left until such time as it pleases the grasshopper to make his appearance. Then we must possess our souls in patience and manage to subsist on such things as he hasn't a fancy for—which are not many—hoping to snatch a bite of something good when he is gone. But no such luck ; he has come to stay—at any rate for the summer season.
However, he will hardly eat all the fruit up ! No, but there is an army of parrots, not to speak of regimnents of other native birds which have been told off for this particular work, and I can personally testify that, they are admirably suited to the task.
I am by no means a greedy man, at least that is my own opinion, and I don't begrudge a few plums or an apple or two here and there, although I must say that it doesn't tell much for a bird's training in this fruit tasting business when he has to dig his beak into a dozen apples before he can get one to suit. I repeat, I am not a greedy man, but having only one nectarine tree I did hope that my feathered friends, taking into account my truly christian behavior towards them, would have, let me have a fair share of this. All went well to within a few days of the time when they should have been ripe, when my mind became uneasy and I determined not to wait any longer. the next day they should all be picked ! Alas, too late, the tree that was laden the day previous, held no more than would go in a soup plate. Moral: "Delays are dangerous."148

 
S Bourke Morn Journ12 Feb 1896 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Our cricketers—I mean our very own, of course—are not always as fortunate as their talents deserve. But with a sturdy resolve to excel in the glorious game of Old England, they keep "pegging away." We shall hear from them yet. On Saturday last they played a match against Old Narree Warren, in which they acquitted themselves very creditably. The principal scorers on the Beaconsfield side were W. Noble 27, Nesbitt 18, and W. R. Beatty, 18 ; whilst on the Narree Warren side E. Nott with 15 and J. Edehohls with 12 gained the greatest number of runs.
Appended are the scores from official sources:—
BEACONSFIELD.
Nesbitt, b Edebohls ... 18
W. R. Beatty, c and b Nott ... 18
Mohr, b Nott ... 0
P. Beatty, b Edebohls ... 1
Anderson, b Nott ... 0
W. Noble, b Nott ... 27
Caldsworthy, b Edebohls ... 1
Manger, b Nott ... 5
Baker, run out ... 1
Brady, run out ... 0
Milne, not out ... 9
Sundries ... 9
Total ...89
OLD NARREE WARREN.
E. Nott, b W.R. Beatty ... 15
Asling, b Nesbitt ... 2
H. Edebohls, b Nesbitt ... 1
Barr, l.b.w. b Nesbitt ... 1
Sinclair, b Nesbitt ... 1
J. Edebohls, c, b Nesbitt ... 12
Winter, b Mohr ... 9
T. Esson, not out ... 0
Asling, b Nesbitt ... 2
Lewis, b Nesbitt ... 3
Sundries ... 12
Total ... 58
The holiday visitors are turning their backs upon us as the school terms commence and the summer season is drawing to a close, although to judge by the heat, which for the last few day has been most oppressive day and night, one would hardly think so. We must now be prepared to settle down into the hum-drum routine of daily life.
We were threatened with an extra-ordinary breaking out in the shape of the Baby Nicholls troupe at the Assembly Hall. Some people who are still in the blissful possession of a small quantity of loose cash determined to see life or perish in the attempt. But whether the "baby" was fractious, or was suddenly attacked by one of those numerous infantile ailments which juvenile flesh is heir to, or whether it was out of "sheer cussedness on the part of the management, is a moot point that I am not in a position to settle for various reasons, one of which being that—I really don't know.
I understand that there is quite a little colony of Beaconsfielders who have migrated or are contemplating doing so, to the neighborhood of Bairnsdale. Attracted by the glowing reports of gold finds there, the bread and cheese results of our gullies lose all charm, and they are drawn as by a magnet.
From Longwarry, where is the earliest of our off shoots I am glad to hear good accounts. The soil seems to be something superb. Potatoes yield unheard of tons to the acre ; pumpkins grow to fabulous proportions. But the maize is what astonishes most people. It shoots "away up in the hivens," and a settler informs us (though this I cannot vouch for) that the stalks have to be grubbed by a "forest devil."149

 
S Bourke Morn Journ19 Feb 1896 Upper Beaconsfield. BY TODEA AFRICANA. It's not the correct thing to talk about the heat, I know, but really, what is there in life at present that can compare with it in importance. We are used to topping the century in the day time, but rely upon the night season to recover our breath in. Last night, however, the mercury got stuck somehow and in spite of the WELL meant exertions of a young person who lowered the heat measurer into our underground tank, refused to remain for much more than the period of immersion, below the exasperating level of 80 degrees.
The parrots and parraquets and a thousand and one other varieties of feathered nuisances, who shall (for obvious reasons) be nameless, continue to give us their attentions. At present they seem to have tired a little of their pomological diet (charred apple), and are watching with interest the progress towards maturity of the grapes. We have been endeavoring to save some of the fruit, for ourselves by means of muslin bags in which the cherished bunches are enveloped, but the vines are many and we can only hope to save a few. Better far if there were some way of muzzling the enemy.
Evidently there was a council of war at day-break this morning, in which I could distinguish the magpies musical carrol, the ear piercing teeth setting squark of the parrot, and the beyond endurance irritating war cry of the "cheeky-jaw-choke-jaw" (Heaven grant he may !) to give him the name he always announces himself by. I cannot readily describe the impression of a savage determination for ruthless slaughter which the last named gentleman's note conveys to my mind. There is clash as of butcher's knife on butcher's steel about it which is peculiarly blood curdling. It is GUERRA AL CUCHILLO with him for a certainty.
And this reminds me of the proposed fruit show at Easter, for which there will not be much left unless we are very careful. A meeting is announced to be held at the Assembly Hall, to consider what arrangements can be made for an exhibition which shall be worthy of our beloved village.
The display of apples which was made last year makes us easy on this most important point, although, of course, the season is not so favorable for a good development of the fruit. In other departments we have yet to show what can be done. The date (Easter Monday) which falls this year I believe on the 6th of April, will be rather unfavorable for many vegetables and all but a few fruits, but it is to be hoped that we shall be able to muster a creditable display of autumn flowers. Besides fruit and flowers, jams and preserves of all kinds will be displayed, and cakes, scones and other varieties of the pastrycook's art in which the ladies are such great proficients, ought to have due prominence. Needlework, too, should come in for a share of notice, and in connection with flowers the not by any means to be despised art of table decoration and arrangement of button hole bouquets should be exemplified. Of course there must be prizes, however small in amount, the honor being the great reward aimed at, and although the funds of the association, as a matter of course in these times, are in anything but a flourishing condition, it might not be a difficult matter to arrange.
Naturally everyone entering for a competition will pay an entrance fee, and it is hardly to be expected that the society will not have learnt a lesson from the success of the last show and charge the public a moderate sum for admission.150

 
S Bourke Morn Journ26 Feb 1896 Upper Beaconsfield. By Todea Africana. We have been suffering a perfect delirium tremens of weather since last writing. One day we have been gasping for breath with windows and doors open all night and the next sitting before a roaring fire with our backs freezing. Really it does look as if something had gone wrong with the works. You know it used not to be as bad as this in the times of "Old Ellery," and it is just within the range of possibility that he may quietly have played up with the machinery so as to give his aspiring junior a bad quarter of an hour or two to take the "consate" out of him. You can hardly expect the supercilious new chum to take this as a serious climate. Of course we know that folk who live in glass houses should not throw stones, and Heaven knows Old England has not much to boast of, but she really does not claim anything more than to be a sort of permanent exhibition for the display of samples of the different sorts of climates to be met with in her world wide possessions from Labrador to Rockhampton, from the Falkland Isles to Sierra Leone.
But if any of those consumptives who come here to patch up their broken down constitutions come any nonsense over us on this point we can silence them by pointing to our go ahead little Britain of the South Seas —New Zealand—where I hear they are going to treat phthisis as we treat small pox.
Oh yes, I can tell you they are going to do the thing thoroughly, and ere long if you want to enter Maori land you will have to be prepared to show your bankers pass book, your doctor's certificate, and a passport for Heaven signed by your clergyman.151

 
S Bourke Morn Journ4 Mar 1896 Upper Beaconsfield. By TODEA AFRICANA. Although like all the world, at least the world we know—and what's the rest to us, although, I say, like them in doleful dumps, we're never quite reduced to that state of desperation which drives a man to do some thing for a living or—perish in the attempt.
But we must relieve the monotony of existence somehow, and fortunately, to relieve us of any anxiety on that score, our enterprising Fruitgrowers' Association has come to the rescue with the proposal for an autumn exhibition of fruit, with the possible addition of flowers and certain adjunct of vegetables, with the usual giant pumpkin of the proportion of cin derellas coach, and the glimmering of a hope of fairy table decorations, ex quisite "button-holes," and last but not least, the remote contingency of a department for cakes and scones, in separately connected with a fluttering hope in the hearts of many that they may be the happy ones selected to the heavenly honour of judging the latter in their hot and buttered state. Young and still in a state of innocence, these latter (the people, not the scones) to whom the demon of dyspepsia has not yet revealed himself in all his dire proportions. This brings one to earth again, and the hard facts of the situation. The show, it has been decided, is to be held on Easter Monday at the Assembly hall, and will be open in the afternoon and again in the evening, and the public, who are at perfect liberty, as poor Artemus had it, " to pay without going in," will not be allowed, as on the last occasion, to go in without paying. However, the small but necessary sixpence which will be demanded on each occasion will hardly affright the most timid-minded.
Sub-committees of both gentlemen and ladies have been appointed who will attend to the various matters of detail, and as these assume a more definite shape (the details, of course, I mean), I shall find it my delightful duty to acquaint the palpitating public with all particulars that may be submitted to the profane (no offence) gaze. Mr Downward, "our member," has, I understand, been requested, to open the exhibition. Other notables will doubtless appear on the scene. Oh, I can assure you that we are going to show them that Beaconsfield does not take a back seat if she can help it.152

 
S Bourke Morn Journ11 Mar 1896 Upper Beaconsfield. BY TODEA AFRICANA. The Fruit Show is devoloping infinite possibilities, and at present it is really hard to say what may, to use a journalistic expression, "eventuate." So far as one can see, a happy combinations of an agri cultural show, an athletic meeting, an industrial exhibition and a school examination is what vaguely presents itself to some of those concerned. Practical pos sibilities will, however, narrow the airy schemes of the more ambitious, and doubtless the "committee of the whole," which is to meet on Saturday next, will be able to present to the local public a plan of campaign which may commend itself to the judgment of the majority.
I think we all of us feel rather relieved since the see-saw between tropic and arctic weather has given place to a more normal state of things. A charming season of the year is this—our Autumn of the Southern Hemisphere—with its cool nights and bright, sunny days, so long as the Demon of the North can be kept at bay.
Our cricketers, who were to have met Old Narree Warren, were disappointed. For some reason, which has not reached the writer, the visitors were conspicuous by their absence, a fact the more to be regretted as the matches already played made the opponents even, and this was to be "the conqueror."
The universal eraze for bicycling has, from the nature of things, not taken much hold up here, but we are occasionally startled out of our usual state of lethargy by one of those Mercuries who think nothing of running up here from town after midday to spend a few hours and return the same evening. A couple of hours amply suffices to land an average "biker" comfortably in the ranges from the heart of Melbourne, and this would knock most of the trains we are acquainted with completely out of time. I was in quiring the other day what was considered a fair speed, and was told that fourteen or fifteen miles an hour was thought nothing of now, whereas a a few years since ten miles was considered a good performance. There is a very good point about such a mode of conveyance in these times—it is not liable to be affected by the price of horse feed.153

 
S Bourke Morn Journ25 Mar 1896 Upper Beaconsfield. By TODEA AFRICANA. Everybody in Beaconsfield will have heard with regret of the accident which happened on Saturday last to our esteemed fellow-resident, Mr W. H. Goff, of Harpfields. It appears that whilst riding in the neighbourhood of Melbourne he had occasion to dismount in order to tighten the girths, and was about to remount, with his foot already in the stirrup, when the horse started off. Unable to disengage the foot he was dragged for some little distance before the animal could be stopped. However, he was thus enabled to regain his seat and return to his residence, Williams road, Windsor. We trust that no ill effect, beyond the severe shaking which is inevitable from such a contretemps, will result.
With regard to the fruit show which is to take place on Easter Monday I have not much fresh to report. The sub-committee in whose hands the arrangements have been placed, are, I believe, busily at work preparing a programme for the day's proceedings, the details of which I shall have much pleasure in making public so soon as it may reach my hands. In the absence of rival attractions there ought to be a good attendance both afternoon and evening, more especially as a concert or something approaching it in importance is contemplated. If only dancing could be added a bumper house might be predicted without fear.
The weather lately has been behaving in a much more becoming manner, and we have been enjoying for the last few days quite respectable autumn weather.
My enemies, the cheeky-jaw-choke- jaw, the parrots, are still stripping what apples and grapes they can lay their hands-no, their beaks-on. But, naturally, as they see their prey becoming less and less, they get despondent.
Amongst the minor miseries of life in these parts is the perennial one of cow-hunting. I have been indulging in it lately, so can speak with authority. Under an outward semblance of meekness and long-suffering patience there is a perfect mine of cow-cunning hidden. If your cow is not absolutely starving for a feed or incommoded by about a week's accumulation of milk, there is no accounting for the vagaries which it may enter her head to play upon you. And when it comes to playing hide and seek with such kittle cattle amongst the hills and gullies of this delightful country you will be surprised what a long game you may have. I won't say that it does not get slightly monotonous after two or three days of it-that is to, the biped-but the cows seem to appreciate it, and that is some thing after all. There is not a doubt about it that the benighted dwellers amongst bricks and mortar little reek of the joys that are in store for them if they could only tear themselves away from the pavements.154

 
S Bourke Morn Journ1 Apr 1896 Upper Beaconsfield. BY TODEA AFRICANA. The Easter Monday fruit show seems to have excited considerable attention, even beyond our borders, and we must be prepared for quite an important function on that day, at which "our member" will lend the light of his countenance and an eminent auctioneer not unknown to Melbourne fame although more particularly identified with the history of our hamlet since its first conception, not to speak of its birth, will add to the attractions of the gathering, even if he do not assist (which it is likely he may) at the dispersion. It is a pity that Mr Neilson cannot come, and, failing his company, it is to be regretted that some effort had not been made to secure such an educational exhibit as emanated from his department at Wangaratta (or one of those long winded places), in the shape of a splendid exhibit of correctly named fruits in season, in addition to dried and otherwise preserved fruits. I daresay the possibility of securing such a valuable annexe only occurred to those interested (if at all) at the same time as the announcenoment met my eye, when it would probably be too late to act.
Apropos of the exhibition, I understand that the gentleman who has filled the post of honorary secretary since the inception of the association, tendered his resignation some time ago to the committee. He was, however, begged to retain the position and consented to do so as it seemed that there was no one else at the time who could con veniently be detailed for the necessary work. It seems that as these con siderations in his opinion now no longer apply he has again pressed the point upon the attention of the society. The matter, I believe, was to be brought forward on Saturday night last, but up till the time of writing I am unfortunately in ignorance of what occurred, and and therefore unable to state who, if anyone, has been appointed to fill the vacant post of honor. Mr Hans Glissman, who has been most indefatigable in the somewhat arduous work lately devolving on him as secretary of the sub-committee in connection with the forthcoming display, is considered by many as the most likely to be chosen. So mote it be.
Although in the almost total absence of excitement, apart from that which seems to be the heritage of Little Pedlington, where you can never sneeze at one end of the village without being heard at the other; I say, notwithstanding that amidst the enervating ennui which exhausts one's energies of this Sleepy Hollow of the hills, one may be tempted to hanker after the delights and sensations which we fondly believe to be the daily lot of those who dwell in the busy haunts of men, still, we may, as some here know to their cost, experience under favoring circum stances, an agitation of the soul which would suffice many humdrum inhabitants of a city for a life time.
Man being man, must have excitement somehow, and in this aphorism I by no means except woman. In town it is the business of a certain class to cater for the craze in a more or less harmless fashion, and thus provide a safety valve to the profit of both parties. In the country, where this outlet is absent, the task of providing for the passions often devolves on the unaided individual, and his blundering efforts to maintain the balance between mind and body, are not always pleasant to contemplate in their results.
But I am wandering from the point I had in view, which was, that excitement sometimes comes to us here in the most unexpected, not to say appalling shape. Witness the occurrence on the Gembrook road where, in the late storm, a gentleman attending to his sick wife, was startled by an awful crash which turned out to be a tree struck by lightening close by the house. He opened the front door and barely escaped a crushing blow from all that remained of a monarch of the forest, which had fallen a prey to the irresistible force of that power whose effects alone we know, but whose nature, in spite of all the wonderful discoveries of our time, still remains a mystery to the foremost men of science. Like most of the simplest forces of nature, we fail to tell what it is and can only say what it does.
Since the above was written I am informed that the resignation of the late honorary secretary of the fruit association (Mr. T. C. Mackley) was accepted with expressions of regret, and, as I anticipated, Mr Hans Gliss man appointed to the vacant position.155

 
S Bourke Morn Journ8 Apr 1896 Upper Beaconsfield. There was a large gathering of those interested in fruit growing and preserving at the Assembly Hall on Easter Monday, the occasion being the holding of a show under the auspices of the Beaconsfield and Gembrook Fruit Growers' Association. Mr Downward, M.L.A., opened the exhibition, and the large assemblage testified to the interest taken in the movement. For apples, Mr Wheeler took three firsts and Mr Noble one first; for pears, Mr Glissman took two firsts and Mr. Noble one first; dried fruits, Mr South first; vegetables, Messrs Beatty, Goff, and Noble; preserves, Mr. Sykes. dairy produce, Messrs Sheard & Care; champion prize for the best collection of fruit, Mr Wheeler.156

 
S Bourke Morn Journ15 Apr 1896 Upper Beaconsfield. BY TODEA AFRICANA. A personal explanation is not one of the pleasantest tasks, whether it involves exculpation of oneself with the corollary of inculpation of others, or vice versa. In the present instance however "I am in the place where I am demanded of conscience to speak the truth and therefore the truth I speak impugn it whoso list."
Having been unavoidably prevented from visiting the Easter Monday fruit show of the Beaconsfield and Gembrook Fruitgrowers' Association, I wrote a note to the newly appointed honorary secretary requesting him to favor me at his earliest convenience with the names of the prize winners in the various classes, accompanied with such further particulars as he might deem of interest to the public. This note was sent by hand on Monday afternoon, and a reply was returned by the same messenger which would have been in ample time for publication in last week's issue. However, as it only contained the information that the writer (the said hon. secretary) was too busy to attend to my note but would do so in two or three days time, adding that as I must be well aware the copying out of the lists would take from two to three hours. I did not think the intelligence of sufficient importance to trouble the public at that stage. En parenthese I may say that I was not anxious to fill several coluns with minute down to the item of infantile excellence in the execution of pothooks and hangers which I believe was exemplified under the ægis of the ladies sub-committee by this truly comprehensive exhibition. It would have amply sufficed had the officer alluded to been able to spare the time requisite to have jotted down the few particulars which I am glad to see have nevertheless reached the public through your columns, doubtless through some unauthorised source, as I cannot bring myself to believe—in fact, can see no cause for believing that after witholding the information from your representative, any officer of the association would forward, the same to you direct without one word of explanation or apology. Unfortunately, I have received no further communication whatever from the association, and it is partly in the hope that it may lead to the amende honorable that I take the trouble to enter now so at length in what might otherwise be looked upon as belonging more to the domains of ancient history. Of one thing I am certain; viz., that the courteous Chairman of Committees who has so ably presided over the affairs of the association since its inception will be ineffably shocked when it comes to his ears that such a breach of professional etiquette has occurred. I will only add that the JOURNAL is in good company, as to my certain knowledge the same information was requested on behalf of the Argus representative with a similar result, only that the latter paper, apparently, was not even favoured with a direct communication. I learn on reliable authority that the circulation has since decreased alarmingly in consequence of this inefficiency of the erstwhile pride and boast of Marvellous Melbourne.157

 
S Bourke Morn Journ29 Apr 1896 Upper Beaconsfield. BY TODEA AFRICANA. The Fruitgrowers' Association held a meeting at the Assembly Hall on Saturday evening last, at which the report and balance sheet in connection with the late show was presentetd. The finances of the society seem to be in a flourishing condition, as, after payment of all expenses in connection with the exhibition, including the awards to prize winners and the pre sentation hereinafter mentioned, a sum of no less than five pounds sterling remains to the good.
The election of officers for the ensuing twelve months also took place. The chairman was unanimously elected for a fresh term of office, whilst several old names and a few new ones appear on the new committee list. Mr. Hans Glisman, who was appointed pro tem. on the resign ation of the late secretary, Mr. T. C. Mackley, who had held the seals of office since the inception of the Association, was confirmed in his position. And a proud position henceforth it must be for him. Paraphrasing a well-known proverb, I may say, "the opportunity makes the secretary," and Mr. Glissman has certainly not been long in winning his laurels, his spurs, or whatever may be the correct metaphorical appendage of such an officer. To descend from the picturesque to the practical—the exact award for the eminent services doubtless rendered by this gentleman in the short time which he has as yet had to distinguish himself, did not take the poetic but uncomfortable form of a wreath of foliage, nor the more practical though hardly up to date appendages of gold or silver rowels where with to prick the sides of steeds "wot wouldn't go," in place of the proverbial "walloping." No; the committee, com posed of men of sound common sense, decided that they would have none of these things, and lit upon the convenient, if not original notion of a silver medal, suitably inscribed, which any gentleman may be pleased to wear on his watch chain, or by means of ribbon and clasp append to the coat lappel. Accordingly a guinea was subscribed, and the presen tation was made and becomingly acknlowledged.
Now that the Association is in funds the committee might consider the propriety of also recognising in some appro priate form the great service rendered to the community by the founder, viz., Mr. Beatty, senr., J.P. The chairman too, who, through good report and evil report has metaphorically stood to his guns, should certainly have a testimonial, and there might possibly even be found others who have done yeoman service in the times which, with the quick march of events, will soon belong to ancient history.
One thing I should like to mention, subject to cerrection from the authorities. It is admitted on all hands that the success of the show was in a large measure due to the indefatigable energy displayed by the ladies committee, yet, I have not noticed that they have received a testimonial or even a vote of thanks. In case I am wrong I shall in company with many others be thankful to be set right.
The people here are mildly speculating what the Parliamentary Committee will think of Beaconsfield (Upper) in connection with a railway—when they pay their promised visit on the 30th inst. They will doubtless find pace the inhabitants that better means of intercommunication are urgently needed and that if we don't get them, well ! — so much the worse for Victoria.
[Owing to pressure on our space we are compelled to excise part of our correspondent's letter.]158

 
S Bourke Morn Journ6 May 1896 Upper Beaconsfield. BY TODEA AFRICANA. We had just been learning to resign ourselves to the inevitable, and along with other fond foolishness of the past to abandon all hope, at least for the present generation, of seeing ourselves in closer touch with the great centres of civilisation. Of course the centres would be the greater losers, but that is their look out—there must be give and take in these matters and you can hardly be expected to meet people more than half way. Some foolishly philanthropical, people fonder of meddling in other folks business than of minding their own, will occasionally burn their fingers by endeavouring to pluck their neighbours' children — or more hazardous still, their reputations—out of the fire. Not so your philosophical Pharisee (much abused name for one who is after all but a type of the most reputable and respected of our citizens, strict observers of the law—in the letter), let others go the broad way if they will, he, thank God ! is on the narrow (oh, so narrow!) and not a yard to the right or to the left will he swerve to lift some less fortunate mortal from the ditch, for fear some one should overtake him on the road to that destination which he is so sure of reaching (so very sure) and secure a better place.
This may appear to be somswhat of a digression, but if it only serve to show the conviction that my friends and fellow villagers had come to the paramount necessity of caring first for No. 1, I have not written in vain. We are very well as we are, said they, then why should we put ourselves out of the way to afford the miserable Melbournites an easier mode of access to our mountain fastness, and after that the deluge of cheap trippers.
"Mais nous arons change tout ça." The announcement was made that the Parliamentary Standing Committee intended making a jaunt to these parts and all the district was at once agog. The old war of the routes was revived—so many men so many routes—each man being convinced that those who could not see with him must be struck for his sins with mental blindness. How any sort of approach to unanimity was ultimately arrived at I am quite at a loss to imagine. A notice, it is true, was posted at the store to the effect that the Committee would take evidence at the Assembly Hall on the 30th April, but beyond this nothing, to my knowledge, was done until the day or rather the night before they came, "is according to information which I received," to quote this worthy guardian of the peace, a meeting of some of the resi dents was hastily convened for the evening of the 29th ult. Whether our member, Mr. Downward, was summoned by telegraph and provided with a special train this deponent knoweth not, but Homocea cally he was "on the spot" when the meeting opened. Not having received any notice of this meeting myself, I am regretfully compelled to acknowledge my ignorance of what passed. Some 20 resi dents, I am informed, were there, but had greater publicity been given to the notice (if any) I would guarantee that at least three times that number would have at tended, and many of them certainly not of less importance (at least in their own estimation, let us say), than the magnates who may or may not, as the case may be, have decided the fate of Beaconsfield. However, whatever was done neither hastened nor retarded the march of time, and the day came round, likewise the hour. But the Committee attended in advance of that, and several of our most influential people, according to their own account, were too late to have much say in the matter. Five or six residents gave evidence with regard to the importance of the fruit, wood, gold, gossip, and other local industries, but most of them agreed that the most feasible route, and let this be said to the honour of Beaconsfield, was not that within coo-ee of our Post Office, but rather that which had been proposed to commence at Oakleigh, continuing past Black Flat (cheerful name), and Stony Creek to Gembrook. This would leave the nearest point of the railway, I should say, about a mile from our Charing Cross.159

 
S Bourke Morn Journ13 May 1896 Upper Beaconsfield. By TODEA AFRICANA. Our local debating society, under its worthy president and his efficient vice, both of whom the members have honoured themselves by re-electing, will not have far to cast about for debateable subjects. Of course I don't allude to those highly spiced scandals which may and do go down with those horridly fast Melbourne people who don't hesitate to play, fast and loose with their neighbour's reputations, or to the more innocent if not less irritating gossip, (to those helpless victims) as to what so-and-so had, or might, could, should, or would, have had for their Sunday's dinner; or still worse, what they didn't have on one day in order that they might give a dinner to somebody else or another. These matters, however instructive and entertaining strictly entre nous with the afternoon tea, do not accord with our Arcadian ideas of fit subjects for public discus sion even under the verandah. What may be the case in the new era Heaven only knows. But what I mean is that apart from such fair game as our evergreen railway scheme, gold in the gullies, autumn fruit shows, afternoon versus evening Sunday services, there are such burning—not to say flaring—questions of the day, as "Has the new woman come to stay," "Are the respective climatic conditions of the two countries responsible for England's marked inferiority to Australia in athletics—not to speak of science and the arts," "Ought we to assist the mother country in the army struggles in Africa, and if so, whether in the Soudan or M. S. A. B. or both." (Personally and parenthetically I think we can't do less than offer to take the Transvaal trouble off her hands, with Matabeleland thrown in, while she grapples with the Khalifa at Khartoum.)
Naturally, what are we to do with our land is subject (literally) beneath our notice. What are we to do with our boys is a question which solves itself for us, and as for the girls—will the boys take that (and those) off our hands to a certain extent and the rest of them become doctors, telegraph clerks, type writers, and (looking forward) members of Parliament.
So far as our boys are concerned, some of them whom I have before mentioned as having settled in the New Beaconsfield at Longwarry are beginning to show substantial results. I have very solid reasons (half a ton of them), for stating that no better potatoes are grown between here and Warr nambool (and that's a far cry) than those that come from the farm of Mr. Norman Noble. Soil that can grow such tubers as those produced without manure can produce anything from a gumtree to a grapevine. I have care fully preserved some of the soot-like humus at the bottom of the bag as an example to my own garden.160

 
S Bourke Morn Journ27 May 1896 Upper Beaconsfield. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Our local debating club has announced its intention through its hon. secretary, of opening the season on 27th inst. with a "Mock Shire Council." Surely this is striking evidence of the icoloclastic, not to say anarchic tendencies of the present generation. Nothing is sacred to them. The most cherished institutions of the dear old mother country we have by long use and wont learned to listen to abuse of without a shudder. Even to hear the name of our beloved Queen mentioned without a capital Q no longer prompts us to floor the base offender ; and our dear old Lord Mayor of London we have allowed without a protest to be disparaged and his show to be contemptuously com pared with the glories of our own Eight Hours Day. We know the fatal tendencies of such things, but who, Horatius like, shall keep the bridge as in the good days of old against the army whose relentless march bears down everything before it. Our own Parliament even instead of being spoken of with bated breath as the witanagemot—the assembly of our wise men—is flippantly alluded to as if it were merely an aggregation of mediocrities, and our youth seem to be quite of opinion that we should in all probability be much better ruled by a dozen of the foremost footballers than by any Cabinet chosen under the present conditions. But we must draw the line somewhere, and every thing else be allowed to go by the board, as go full well it may, let us to the last man rally round our Shire Councils.
"Onlooker" and his admirer, the worthy correspondent of one of your admirable contemporaries together with your humble servant (if indeed he may be permitted to link his name with theirs), have to thank some mutual friend whose identity unfortunately ignore (in the French sense only, be it understood) for kindly rescuing them, so far at least as I was concerned from a most unmerited oblivion. Vague rumours, it is true, had of late reached me that somewhere or another someone had said something which in some way reflected upon my unworthy effusions. It being rather a sore point with me ever since I had the honour to pen a line for these columns that my lucubrations seemed to be most severely let alone, I would have courted even the notice which the little street arab got who boasted that King George the Third had spoken to him, but, not knowing when or where the allusion had taken place I was seriously contemplating buying up all the back numbers of both your would be rivals, for several weeks past, when, my mind was at length relieved by the receipt of two copies containing the criticisms referred to. As regards, the matters referred to therein they belong too much to ancient history to be dragged again into the light of day, but the letters themselves remain and will be treasured by me as models of literary taste amid elegant diction, but above all, the all too flattering estimate of a humble slave of the pen as capable of writing "the quintessence of sarcasm worthy of his Satanic Majesty" is a gem that requires a casket to itself. ''O, Jew (nothing personal), I thank thee for that word.161

 
S Bourke Morn Journ17 Jun 1896 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. "All is not gold that glitters," as many a new chum—aye, and some old ones, can sorrowfully testify. Still each of us must test the matter for himself, and so, in spite of the repeated warnings of the dis appointed ones, there are still found spirits courageous enough to tempt fate and start out to wage warfare with the gnomes and Kobolds who keep guard over the treasures of the great Earth Mother. Our own gullies, although a very good training ground for the gold seekers, do not seem to offer any great prizes, and therefore it is not wonderful to see our sons from time to time tempted to wander further afield. Distance ever lends enchantment to the view, and Coolgardie bears the palm at present for its magnetic power of attraction. South Africa having been found a trifle too exciting—thanks to Kruger and his burly Boers—but the charms of our own colony are not quite exhausted yet, and some of those who formerly were the life and soul of our little society have now, after somewhat varied experiences and prolonged wanderings, settled down for a time at least on the banks of the homely Yarra, whose (more or less—mostly less) golden sands enable them if not to live an altogether luxurious life at least to eke out an existence, which in these times and for those who still consider life worth living (a doubtful matter to many), is something.
Apropos des bottes thus did say "on change," that the Government geologist was expected up here to give his dictum on a leader in Mayfield Gully; perhaps one of my esteemed fellow correspondents who is always "on the spot" knows whether he came, and if not why not, and how otherwise. Of course I dont expect him to enlighten me much—that is not the way of the rivals of the press—to whom items of news are as grains of the precious metal itself, but perhaps some mutual friend might take pity on the unavoidably absent one and post a copy of the precious periodical containing the desideratum.
Our orchardists are giving evidences of life in the district which must gladden the heart of the local Association, unless, as a corporation is said to have neither soul to see nor a body to kick, a cardiacal organ must also be denied them. Be that as it may, its members must rejoice that the proof already given of its excellence of local pomological and other horticultural products has induced several residents of the ranges to extend the boundaries of their orchards. Amongst those who are planting fruit trees more or less exten sively this season may be mentioned the names of Messrs. Goff, Noble, Glismann, and Johnson, the last-named is, I believe, putting in several acres of apples.
The Beaconsfield Railway League, with Mr. H. E. Martin as its secretary, do not intend that our light should be hid under a bushel, and if we don't get a railway it will not be for want of asking. A meeting is announced to be held at the Mechanics' Institute (better known as the Assembly Hall), on Wednesday, 17th inst., to ar range a deputation to the Minister of Railways, which doubtless will duly set forth the superior claims which our dis trict undoubtedly possesses to a share of anything good that may be going.162

 
S Bourke Morn Journ24 Jun 1896 Upper Beaconsfield. BY TODEA AFRICANA. The Beaconsfield Railway League held a meeting on Wednesday night last, at the Assembly Hall, when the leaguers were present in force to the number of seven, viz., Messrs. Noble (chairman), Martin (secretary), Sykes, Beatty, Wheeler, and McLean. The business of the meeting, after the for mal reading of minutes, &c., appeared to be the making of final arrangements a for a deputation which it had been determined should wait upon the Minister of Railways, to urge upon that gentleman—not the construction, oh no, we don't go quite so fast in these days—but the survey of a route, not from Beaconsfield, but from Dandenong or Oakleigh via Upper Beaconsfield (or as near thereto as may be) to Gembrook. It appears that a survey was made about the year 1890, under the auspices of some syndicate, and this, with some variation as to the starting point, it was proposed to take as a basis to go upon; but this foundation did not, so far as I could see, partake of the nature of the Medes and Persians' laws, but was rather skin to the proposals made from time to time by our revered Premier in the " 'ouse." So far as anything of a fixed nature could be ascertained, it seemed that Black Flats and Narree Warren were to be benefitted, and that in spite of the accusation of embroidering the truth (only he didn't put it quite, that way) which one of your Dandenong contemporaries preferred against me there anent the statement made by me that the nearest point of the proposed line would be about a mile from the Post Office store, Upper Beaconsfield, was substantially correct. There was a becoming modesty displayed by the members present when it was proposed, first by one and then by another, seconded by a third, that the honorable post of delegate should be conferred on somebody else. By a process of natural selection, or rather, of elimination, which forcibly reminds an observer of the invités to the wedding feast who all with one consent began to make excuses. At length the party was made up of Messrs. Noble, Sykes, and Schlipalius. These gentlemen were, according to promise, to be backed up by Cr. Jago and a posse of local notabilities from Dandenong, and a noble company from Oakleigh. And here, like Mark Twain with the French newspaper, just as I come to the hub of the thing, my tale gives out. With Mark it was for want of some jaw breaking word which he could not for the life of him make out, and which left him in painful uncertainty whether the party of navvies on whom several, tons of earth had fallen had been smothered en bloc, or maimed, or just simply been scared. With me it is all "along of" Saturday's paper having got mislaid. Some imp of darkness sets himself to thwart me sometimes, and although I am the most patient man alive, it does sometimes become———monotonous. However, I suppose the " Man on the spot" knows all about it. In any case, it is safe to prophesy that it will be some months before we get our railway yet.
Before parting with this subject, which in spite of the conscientious efforts which I have made to he correct I cannot but feel is painfully incomplete, I should like to be informed, for the benefit of the community generally, who constitute the league beyond those whose names have been mentioned. It would seem strange to ask such a question were it not that I have it on the authority of one of the property owners of the district that he has never been made aware of its existence until now, a state of ignorance in which I myself was blundering along until a few weeks since.
I mentioned several names of those who were enlarging their orchards. I have to add the name of Capt. James, who is, (I am given to understand), clearing a large acreage to plant with fruit trees.
Two further items of news I have to announce. Firstly, the large boarding house formerly known as "Kincraik," so long under the management of Mrs. Craik, has been taken by the Misses Hedrick, of " Ben Eay," Upper Beaconsfield, and will shortly be re-opened. Secondly, I hear that our host of the Pine Grove has it in contemplation to leave us sorrowing for the want of a place where so many have ever got their kindliest welcome "au Inn."163

 
S Bourke Morn Journ15 Jul 1896 Upper Beaconsfield. BY TODEA AFRICANA. With the midwinter holidays we begin to rouse up and put ourselves in order for the expected influx of absentee residents (if the paradox may be pardoned), and the visitors they may bring in their train. Unless the weather brightens up considerably we are not likely to impress our company very favorably, or to send them home again enamored of the delights of a country life. Given fine weather any city man might do worse than put in a week or two at this time of year among the hills; and, as there is a bright side to most things in life, we can under such circumstances manage to furnish a reasonable raison d'etre to justify our extra urban occupations.
But amidst the noise of the waterpipes when Æolus is blowing his bellows and old Sol has withdrawn to Coolgardie; when he who has a taste for tobogganing (and also he who has not) may enjoy, if he can, the involuntary slither he is like to get from his own door on the hill to the depths of the gully, there to console him self that "he that is low need fear no fall"; when to go cow hunting in the dull grey mist and drizzle of the early dawn makes milk appear a liquor that might well be done without, and butter, too, a needless luxury——— well I take it all in all this time of year one cannot honestly say that life is an unmixed joy.
No ! not the naturally most exhilarating news seems to stir one's blood into quicker action, nor raise its frigid temperature by even one degree under such depressing circumstances. Not even the exciting news that two surveyors from the Railway Department have been seen to arrive, have been ascertained to have put up at Miss Hedrick's hospitable house and have afterwards been tracked by curious folk for miles o'er hill and dale, can cause a quiver of the pulse; and e'en the vouched for information that someone, who shall be nameless, had said they thought that some one else haid said he overheard one of these functionaries remark that if the line were granted and should it come that way, many things more unlikely might happen than that a station should be erected near "the Hall" can scarcely raise a smile.
The unseemly, not to say ungrateful, behaviour of my own entourage gives me vastly more concern at present than the contemplation of the possible chances of a hypothetical railway. By entourage let it be clearly understood that no allusion is intended to the human. In that direction blessed indeed is he who expecteth nothing, but with animials you DO expect some recognition of efforts constantly and consistently exerted for their behoof.
Only a short time ago a pig who had been as happy as a porker well could be until a casual visitor had carelessly in the spirit of a connoisseur to a novice (a humble attitude I always adopt under such circumstances, while secretly convinced I know as much as most) hinted that his (the pig's) quarters might be more commodious, his couch more soft and warm, and the Saturday night's tub an accessory which might conduce to his well-being, got discontented and was not satisfied until he had broken bounds. Long time I tried to lure that pig back to his early home. Not he! The sweets of liberty were not so easily to be relinquished. Neither threats nor cajolery-allurements known as "tig-tig-tig" and other tender names—had any more charms for him. The enticements of the toothsome morsels he was wont to roll so lovingly under his tongue had still some hold on him, but he would come warily, with one eye on the trough and the other on his would-be captor, and at the slightest suspicious movement of the latter, sweet piggy's interest in the meal would vanish together with the principal. It was dark long since ere he was led captive and by lantern-light to a place of greater security, thence to be transferred on the following morning, with grunt and squeal, to a snout-proof stye, a sadder and a wiser pig.
Would time and space permit, I might tell many a heart-rending tale of abnormally athletic cows, to whom neither gates nor fences offer any obstacle when inclined for an occasional caper amongst the cabbages, who in a night will damage and destroy the results of weary weeks of toil, and whose capacious maws, like unto the daughter of the horse-leech, still cry "give." I could tell of perils undergone in the pursuit of errant cattle, who, trespassing on neighbours' property, were threatened with the pound ; of Amazons enraged encountered in pursuit and warning one off with weapon high in air and threatening mien, and who, because the threatened one conveyed his cattle undismayed away, revenged herself by lying reports to his amazed and distracted family of disaster happened him through her in the dismal depths of the gully. This and much more might I relate to show that even Arcadian life has got a seamy side.164

 
S Bourke Morn Journ22 Jul 1896 Upper Beaconsfield. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Coolgardie, Golconda, Eldorado, and Tom Tiddler's ground are synonymous, and therefore convertible terms in the minds of those who have not that famil iarity with any of them, particularly the first-named, which, proverbially, breeds contempt. But proverbs, as we know, are mostly but half truths. They are the wisdom of the people, and the public, as we know, is "a hass." So although there may be some, aye, doubtless many, who unsuccessful in the short time they have allowed themselves in their search after fickle fortune, turn round and vigorously abuse the new country, telling us in effect that they have travelled "from Dan even unto Bethsheba," and found all was barren. Still when all is said and done the great majority stay and if they do not find the walls paved with nuggets as they expect- ed, blame rather their own too fertile fancy than the hard facts against which they are all continually bumping their heads. Transplanting, as we countryfolk know well, is a critical period, and it takes time for either tree or man to accus tom himself to new environments.
If we may judge by the experience of our own small community, the outflow from this country towards the Golden West is as powerful as ever. During this week no less than five of our number will say adieu to the Ranges, leaving their friends to look longingly in the same direction whilst they wish them a hearty God speed.
All our young men, however, are not so adventurous, or being so are chained to the spot by the unyielding chain of ad verse circumstances, and it is an ill wind that blows nobody good. The other sex "lately our inferiors, now our equals," have perhaps some cause to rejoice that it was not a case of the girl he left behind him.
Be that as it may, the social evening—the opening one of the season by the way—held by the Debating Society at the Assembly Hall on Saturday evening last, did not seem to suffer to any serious ex tent, but was carried off with a success which must have been gratifying to all concerned. Music instrumental and vocal formed, as usual, the pieces de resistance (though there was little of the "re" and much of the "as"sistance) to be observed on the part of those present), and a pleasant evening was (in the opinion of most of the young men and maidens at least) appropriately brought to a conclus ion with a decent interval of half an hour to spare before the most unco guid could take exception to the boundary line of the Sabbath being overstepped; which reminds me of an anecdote of a painfully conscientious young curate, who having been in veigled into billiards one Saturday night, and was so absorbed by the varying fortunes of the game that midnight had well nigh overtaken him ere his attention was accidentally drawn to the clock. It was a trying moment indeed. The opponents were fairly matched. The record stood game and game. They were playing the conqueror, and he of the white choker was nearing the century a full neck ahead of his adversary. Sharp but short was the struggle with the tempter, and with a sigh the cue was replaced in the rack. "Play it out man, play it out. He was about to retire with a sad and solemn shake of his head, when a happy thought flashed across him. "If you put that hand back twenty minutes I don't mind if I do."165

 
S Bourke Morn Journ29 Jul 1896 Upper Beaconsfield. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Whether we are to have a mining boom up here or not, there is certainly more life in the gullies than there has been for some time back. We have all heard of the stone that was sent to town from Mayfield Gully and went 2oz. to the ton. A considerable sum of money has already been spent by the syndicate concerned, and the prospect seems good enough to warrant them in spending a lot more.
Haunted Gully is still haunted by the hardy miner, and does not seem in the least likely to "peter out"' for many a long day. The latest I hear is that a posse of twenty Celestials, having previously spied out the land by means of an advanced guard and thus ascertained that Chow-Chow at least is to be made by the venture, may shortly be expected (I had almost said ex-spectred) to land in that gruesonme spot. Having a hankering for horrors of the penny dreadful type, and being fully convinced that if properly conducted, an investigation into its mysterious, not to say blood-curdling title, would, if carried far enough, disclose at least "a terrible tale of horful murder." I questioned digger after digger. I button-holed the hardy pioneer who could tell me of Batman, of Johnny Faulkner, of the blacks and the bush-rangers, but nothing of the Gully. I waylaid the oldest inhabitant, who could yarn to me of Sumner, of Gissing, of Souter and other old identities with many a tale of flood and field, but like the man in the fairy tale I couldn't raise a shudder. I inter- viewed the innkeepers (hotels they call them here) within a five mile radius, and although amongst their customers I found more than one who had experienced "the horrors" they didn't seem to appertain peculiarly to this particular gully. At last I lighted on an old man whose heart—after judicious treatment—seemed to warm towards me, and at the oft repeated question an intelligent twinkle illumined his near side optic, what time his eyelid quivered, though whelther with suppressed emotion or in eloquent sympathy with a still, more acute agitation of the membrane which temporarily obscured "t'other eye," I nevermore shall know. Suffice to say that, without further ado, he took up his parable and led me to understand that "wot he didn't know about these yere gullies warn't worth the knowin.' Warn't 'o yere when they fast broke out (i.e. the diggings), and 'adn't he bin yere off an' on ever since." "But about that name?" "O, ah, jisso ; well, don't yer know this yore gully was the most run upon of any of 'em. Why, there was four 'undered of 'em down there at the point at one time." "Yes, but how did it come by the name ?" "Name" !' Yes, Haunted, you know." "'Aunted! 'twarn't no such name as 'aunted in them times—"unted," yer mean. They called it 'unted gully cause o' the 'huntin' up an' down it for gold. Wot's the 'urry, boss; faint sick, aire yer ?"-and I went.
Our rustic peace and quietude have received a rude shock of late through a disturbing rumor of evil-minded marauders being at large in our midst. We are accustomed to hear without emotion of henroosts robbed in town, but when we hear of our neighbor's poultry yards being ransacked; as was the case not many nights ago, it somehow seems, to come home to one-at any rate nearer home and shows that we should keep a Waterbury on our fowlhouses. At the same time it were well to be more wary in respect to our dwellings lest we entertain a burglar unawares, I am no alarmist, but it is better to be sure than sorry, and if any of you are caught napping don't say I didn 't toell you.
I hear that a requisition is being signed by some of the numerous admirers of our old friend Mr. Brisbane, requesting him to allow his nomination for the next vacancy for this riding in the Berwick Shire Council. Few, methinks, will be found to deny that his past performances point him out as a worthy candidate for the post, which formerly he so long filled with honor.166

 
S Bourke Morn Journ5 Aug 1896 Upper Beaconsfield. BY TODEA AFRICANA. "Yez thought we weren't comin' back again, didn't yer, now? Well, you're just—jolly—well had !" Thus the irrepressible though neglected children to their crestfallen neighbor, who had in the innocence of his heart imagined that this trouble at least was at last off his mind. But it was not to be. They were to have been sent off to the Industrial Schools, but when brought up at court it was found that they could not be taken in unless someone on their behalf was willing to pay 2s. 6d. per week each towards their support. Their father, a hardworking man and hard-worked, too (for he is in pretty constant employment), stated that he was not able to support them at this rate, and the court accepted the statement. And so on payment of the fines, minus the costs, our young friends leave the court to return in triumph to their former haunts. Their report of their ex periences is not without a touch of humor—" Sure enough we was in gaol, but we had every comfort 'ceptin' a bed. Let us hope that neighbor's last state is not worse than his first—it would appear pro blematical, to say the least of it. Any way, to some it might hardly seem that the majesty of the law had been upheld. No doubt it is all correct, but to an unsophisticated person it would almost seem that—but no matter.
It is to be hoped that the orchardists and others in our neighborhood who are interested in the culture of Mother Earth will attend at the lecture which is to be given shortly by M. Renard at the Assembly hall, under the auspices of the local Fruitgrowers' Association. The sub ject of Artificial Manures and their application is one certainly not without inter est in a community like ours. There is such a variety of fertilisers that the would be purchaser is confronted at the outset by an embarras des richesse, and even when he has fixed on the most appropriate combination for his particular crop it is not all plain sailing. So many things may tend to modify the rules which are laid down in the books and pamphlets on the subject which only an expert can answer. Altogether, for a ready means of sending an intelligent bushman crazy in the shortest possible space of time, commend me to their study, from the books and pamphlets of the various manufacturers, of the relative virtues apper taining to their special fertilisers. I have been there.167

 
S Bourke Morn Journ26 Aug 1896 Upper Beaconsfield. BY TODEA AFRICANA. The glorious spring time has come The golden glory of the wattles, the blossoms of the cherry plum, the green of the weeping willow, all p with no uncertain voice that winter had its day and that we may now look to the enchanting procession of the fruit bedecked seasons. Surely now .. times, the dweller in the country need no man. Nature seems to positively in steeping all his senses to saturation lavish wealth of beauty. It is not h.. if the prodigality with which she showered her treasures upon him fail appreciative acceptance. Beauty, as strange as it may appear, exists only in imagination (only don't tell the girl if you value the peace of your mind and want a piece of hers), and although the organ of each amongst a dozen persons register on the retina the same objective mind only sees what it brings the .. for seeing. It is the same with how everybody cannot appreciate a symphony of Beethoven, and Wagner to many midsummer madness. There be some who can only recognise two tunes "God save the Queen" and the other. Still they are happy in a vegetation. As for odours, well, the difference of the supersensitive nasal organ which supercilious sniff of the tip tilted differentiates without difficulty the scent of a dozen pocket handkerchiefs and tell as you enter the house, 'ere the door is closed behind you, whether you indulged in the extravagance of yean or frangipanni, jockey club or ess be and the machine of coarser make to smell's a smell (only he uses another with only a difference of degree scientifically is not without some of excuse) is a far cry indeed.
The airing of my sentiments on the subject brings me by an easy, though so circuitous route, to the subject of manures andd M. Charles Renard, who recanted on Saturday night to an app.. though eclectic audience on the advice of adopting the manures of which he was the agent. I am afraid that, apart from inveterate Philistinism which seems almost ineradicably implanted in the temperament, and which induced .. lish farmers to oppose the introduction of the iron plough share on the place encouraged weeds, and on equal founded notions impelled them to tooth and nail for awhile the imported Peruvian guano, though, thank heaven are not as these men were. Apart from .. there is, even to the most ardent a.. the new manures, an ever present .. ful consciousness that they cost more there's the rub. As to their effect and economy, compared with many of a similar nature, there is little doubt although it may seem a small matter certainly no drawback that they .. and handy to use, and so, for as the famed Thomas phosphate is concerned not possibly offend the tip-tilted organ alluded to.168

 
S Bourke Morn Journ9 Sep 1896 Upper Beaconsfield. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Topics of more than euphemeral interest, even to ourselves, are not "as plenty as blackberries," and to the world at large I ween the most abiding of them have not the substance of the morning mist.
The fact that our candidate was unsuccessful in his candidature for the Berwick Council and his opponent gained the day, although a subject of regret to some and congratulation to others on the spot, may not have caused a ripple to ruffle the smooth surface of society in Dandenong and the serenity of St. Kilda in all probability was wholly undisturbed.
But it is a defect inherent in human nature, this want of appreciation of the true perspective of things. It renders a dyspeptic attack of more importance to ourselves than a massacre of Armenians in Constantinople.
Now I have a quarrel with Tompkinson about his acrobatic cow, who has an altogether unholy and inordinate appetite for my cabbages. Tompkinson doesn't seem to see the matter in the light of reason, and points out that cows will be cows and that it is the insufficeiency of my fences which is usually at fault and that he has a per ..entra in my howling dervish of a dog who, according to his account, bays the moon (and when there is no moon about—the stars), from dark to dawn and effectually prevents him from getting a wink of sleep. Now, although I cannot deny (and the dog collar kindly provided by the tax collector would bowl me out if I did), that I am my canine's keeper, still, you know every dog will have his day, and his night too if he wants to make a night of it, and if people would only keep their digestive organs in good working order, in fact, if they were as Shakepeare says "fat men and such as sleep at nights, "they would not worry themselves (and other people) about such ... as seem to vex the souls of some cock-crowing, caterwauling and the rest.
And besides, returning to the ... of a fence, why should I be compelled to put up a six foot path paling fence around my property because it suits my neighbor to keep an abominally active animal to whom a post and chain is no obstacle and who laughs barbed wire to scorn. And even so is where any finality at that point or will .. next of his kine that "comes in" be ... to a step-ladder, or like many ... go from bad to worse, begin by ..rrowing.
But although my own life and doubt less (at least I have cause to hope) my neighbours also is rendered a burden, I have sufficient sense of perspective to perceive that this presents no sufficient reason why the world should not con .. to go round, and with the immortal bard I am thankful that I can resignedly apostrophise the mighty with the sublime words—
"What though I suffer toothaches ills; What though I swallow countless pills; Never you mind, Roll on!"
.. in spite of our microseoptic state of society, where as in a magnified glass of water, we are devouring or being devoured, or endeavouring to .. and where our neighbors .. are to us as the spice of life .. own the gall, we do recognise .. the rest of the world at least does roll on."
Some of our number who have at .. managed to disentangle themselves .. the charmed circle and have gone where all the world goes—to Coolgardie, have been able to reassure us on that very point—they say the world does move, over there, and not backwards either. They say that over there it is not even necessary to utter an encouraging gee-up "Advance ..ern) Australia). It goes they .. over there, with kangaroo strides, what is better than all, our friends here seem going with her. Good ... them from the less fortunate .. siders they have left behind, when they come across the monster .. "Forget-me-not."169

 
S Bourke Morn Journ23 Sep 1896 Upper Beaconsfield. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Victoria and her sisters of the South having been set on their legs, for I presume we need not in this democratic atmospheore be bound by the super setsitive courtly etiquette of Castile, which so sternly forbids all reference to the lower limbs of La Reyna that it has passed out a proverb that the Queen of Spain has no legs; well, let us say (to be on the safe side), placed on a proper understanding, by the recent rains, I suppose we may consider our selves as a community on the up-grade once more. And very up-hill work it is for most of us at present, so much so indeed for some that the exodus still continues to lands which are fondly fancied to be more favorable, often only on the principle that "distance lends enchantmeht to the view." Of course Coolgardie, Kalgoorlie and minor Golcondas of the west still take their lion's share of our bone and sinew, and it is gratifying still to receive good reports from those who have gone from here. Spite of the jeremiad which the secretary of the Plasterers' Union publishes in the Leader (and which, when all is said, can hardly be said to come from an entirely unbiassed source), work seems plentiful and those who get it do not seem to be inclined to complain, at least to those they have left behind, however they may growl (and after all this is a British privilege) amongst their more fortunate companions.
One would have thought that South Africa, as a possible outlet for the divine discontent which is the motive power of human progress—let our teachers talk never so glibly of con tentment, continents were never con quered by its aid—was a country that for some time to come, at least, was like Bret Harte's Caucasian, "played out." But from the accounts which some of the returned Australians bring to their friends, the recent little fiasco in which Dr Jamison so prominently figured has only served as a steadier, and the people generally, especially the Uitlanders, having taken their bearings and got a chart, if not a charter, are not so likely now to run on a reef, that is a reef of the wrong kind. "They say" that if things do not actually boom again shortly, at least a fairly prosperous time is well within sight. For my own part, however, for choice I would rather run the risk of "doing a perish" or being knocked on the head by a blackfellow within the limits of the Australian continent, where I am, so to speak, at home, than be treated "assagai" fashion in far away Africa by some unfamiliar Kaffir fellow, on the principle of "a devil you know is better than a devil you don't." Not to speak of course of the trifling inconvenience that might result in case of my some time wanting to leave the country with my illgotten gains of, in the latter case, through some previous trifling indiscretion on my part, running the risk of being detained against my will by somne horrid old boer (it wouldn't much matter under the circumstances where you place the E), it would, how ever, be of vital interest to know what would be done with ME, as result of the ennuyant discussion that must result with the inevitable HE.
I had intended, time permitting, to have hunted up some few items of news, but really there is so little of a startling nature to report, and the other kind is generally carefully conserved by the manufacturers, and is of such a nature that it will keep for an indefinite length of time.170

 
S Bourke Morn Journ14 Oct 1896 Upper Beaconsfield. BY TODEA AFRICANA. The national game has not yet al together been snuffed out as so many other amusements bid fair to be by the re-volution which has taken place AU FIN-DE-SIECLE, which bids to be but the beginning of the cycle. When we hear of Young Australia reduced to extremities (his own) being able to accomplish the distance between Warrnambool and Melbourne in a little under 20 miles an hour we may well say that for weal or for woe, but scarcely the latter, barring a spill, the new machine (whatever may be said of the new woman) has come to stay.
This by the way, en parenthise, as my original intention was to discuss cricket, but when a novice mounts the magic circles they are liable to run away with him, and however appropriate it may be that his Humber should be thoroughly Tyred, it is not well to experiment on the reader.
I was about to remark, when in terrupted, that our Beaconsfield boys at least have not yet abandoned the good old game and, if one may judge by the form displayed in what was, I understand, the first match of the season, against Pakenham, we are like to hear of them yet. It must have rejoiced the heart of a former member of the team to witness the victory of "our side." I don't think this same member has much time for cricket now, but otherwise it is pleasing for his old friends to see that the transfer of his energies from the Ranges to the banks of the Upper Yarra have not been able to quench the indomitable gaiety of manner which always characterised him whilst here. Indeed, from all accounts, a very fair living is to be made by men of the right stuff, without going quite so far as the Transvaal or even Coolgardie to seek it.
Whilst the butterfly flutters from flower to flower, the bee sucks the honey from under his nose; and our friend who has resisted all the blandishments of the Westralian syren, finds that the wood nymphs of our own wattle groves and fern bowers can show treasures as solid if not quite so dazzling amidst surroundings which painters and poets might rave about—a charge which so far as I am aware has never been brought against the dreary deserts of dust which charac terise the Far West.
Besides, in Victoria you CAN occas ionally indulge in a wash, not to speak of a bath, which, however, incompre hensible it may appear to a Svengali, who can only acknowledge the reasonableness of removing the more obtrusive smudges from the exposed portions of his epidermis, has long since ceased to be a luxury to the Average Australian native, true to the traditions of the tub more or less tenderly inculcated in his youthful mind by his hardy progenitors. Now, in Westralia, as I am credibly informed, a clothes' brush often performs the double duty of tub and towel, not to speak of the soap. Be this as it may, for my own part I would rather waste the extra time and water where possible, in a due observance of the rites of the toilet as understood by the scion of civilisation, than approximate to the condition of those dusky denizons of the interior portions of our island continent, who, according to the accounts of the Horn Exploring Expedition, destitute of house, hut, tent or mia mia; innocent, in spite of the abundance of furred game, of the smallest vestige of clothing beyond the hirsute article which a compassionate nature has provided them with, can, in addition, proudly boast that they are the only originals of the Great Unwashed, being absolutely and unequivocally unacquainted either by practice or tradition with the art of ablution.
Surely we have here stumbled upon a race of philosophers whose attain ments in the way of minimising the wants of this poor human frame must kill the most saintly Fakeer of India with envy and cause a Grecian Stoic to turn in his grave—that is if that were physically or historically possible, which is more than doubtful. And when we add to this that he is an agnostic, not a positive atheist who has a cordial and abiding horror of bad spirits, even the most cultivated disciple of Comte, one would think, might shake him by the hand, or whatever might be the agreed equivalent to interpret their feelings of fellowship.171

 
S Bourke Morn Journ4 Nov 1896 Upper Beaconsfield BY TODEA AFRICANA. Sunshine is a very good thing in its way, and if we could only bottle it for export there would, as for many other of our productions—the Quibbler may query its being a local product but none other than an ignoramus could question for a moment that the settled policy of the country has something to do will it, for isn't England free-trade and sunless; of course there's Sydney to be thought of, but, as the sailor remarked to his super critical mate who questioned how he came by the Jack knife with which he said he had ripped up the terrific shark he encountered whilst bathing, "you needn't be so darned pertickler"—a practically unlimited market in London alone, to say nothing of Manchester, where it rains every day of the year and sleets the remainder, to say nothing of the other manufacturing towns and most of the agricultural areas of England, with the whole of Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Why! look at that poor clerk whose master on arrival found him walking to and fro in front of the office during a brief watery gleam from the blear-eyed god of day and plaintively urged that he was only "letting it soak in." Wouldn't HE and thousands like him buy a bottle or a cake of "Sunlight Soak." But what boots it to pursue the matter further; we are bound by the irony of fate to take our own protectionist medicine and suffer with what grace we may under a sky of burnished brass while the soil of our dear old mother land is saturated to the point of solution, only upheld in her hour of despair by an occasional momentary glimpse of the rainbow of promise and her policy of marine insurance—which brings me to what I was about to remark—I do hate people who won't come at once to the point; that we seem to be having rather more fine weather (as people euphemistically and optimlistically are apt to call it) than is like to be profitable to the community at large, however pleasant it may be to the turfite and the tourist.
Of course for the Cup such weather is all that can be desired; those wicked gamblers (however they may have to suffer in the next) always seem to me to have an altogether disproportionate share of the good things of this world. In fact the "green bay tree" is not a circumstance to the way in which they flourish. How ever, I suppose that we, who ARE virtuous however deficient our larder may be in the much to be desired "cakes and ale," must lay the flattering unction to our souls that according to the doctrine of compen sation these riotous revellers will "catch it hot" hereafter.
I shall not be forgiven I suppose by my compatriots, if I fail to mention that on the fateful ninth is destined to take place a grand function yclept grand concert and ball in aid, I understand, of the somewhat attenuated funds of our "hall." The useful place which this building occupies in the service of our local public, needs no words of mine to impress upon all concerned, it is self-evident. As church, as library, as mechanics' institute, as social hall and theatre and lecture rooms, we all feel we could not do without it. But, and this is an important word, we must do what Mrs. Danbey died for lack of making, and that is an effort. A building like ours, despite its foundation well and truly laid, or as in this case driven, and its erstwhile solid beams and rafters, will not support itself for ever. Like ourselves it wants an occasional new coat (of paint), not to speak of periodical renovations of interior economy. Let us look to it my masters, and show as the Quaker practically put it " How many pounds do you sympathise"?
There is nobody in this district and for miles around who does not know at least the name of Walford. The property, with its magnificent fernery is a point of pilgrimage for every visitor to these parts. In the death of the owner Beaconsfield has lost an old and much respected "identity."172

 
S Bourke Morn Journ25 Nov 1896 Upper Beaconsfield. BY TODEA AFRICANA. We are experiencing a "scorcher" here during the last few days. When the thermometer rises to the century, or thereabouts, as was the case on Monday, one may well expect the judge to take a lenient view of his case should he be hauled along by some misguided guardian of the peace for braining the fiend who goes about at such times facetiously inquiring "can you keep yourself warm." Surely, in any case, homicide under such circumstances is excusable if not, capable of being justified.
"It goes without saying" that the prolonged drought will not benefit our fruit growing interests in this district much, but we have the great consolation that our fellow soil scarifiers both near and far are in like case. It is gratifying to notice, however, that something at least is being done in the shape of fruit export (to Melbourne), cherries, strawberries and gooseberries forminag at present the PIECES DE RESISTANCE in our bill of fare. I see that some Cape gooseberries have also been sent to market. This is a fruit which is not nearly so much grown as it should be, excellent whether in its natural state, stewed, dried, or as a jam, carrying well—keeping well and coming in at a time when no other fruits can compete it would seem one's beau ideal of a small fruit. It is true that it won't grow everywhere and when you have grown it beyond the limits of home consumption you find that the pecuniary results will not pay for the labour expended in production; but this is a matter of detail, so common to fruit growing generally as to be hardly worth mentioning. Fruit growing, like virtue and poultry raising, seems to be its own reward.
I see by a notice displayed at the general post office, Charing Cross—our Charing Cross be it understood, not that paltry imitation of our centre of activity which, by all accounts, exists somewhere in London Town—that it is in contemplation to give the young folks a treat during the Christmas holidays in the shape of some entertainment at the hall. Rumour, which with its thousand tongues is always busy in such cases, says that a Christmas tree is like to be one, if not the chief attraction. What memories of one's youth the mere mention of the magic plant conjures up. Although kindly taking root in England under the fostering care of the late Prince Consort, Germany is the country to which the Christbaum is indigenous—without it there no Christmastide could take place—and the observances in connection therewith seem almost to have attained to the dignity of religious rites.
I have heard, and I do not think it by any means an isolated instance, of an old and childless couple in the Vaterland consoling themselves in their loneliness with the evergreen boughs and the fairy lights, not for getting the mysterious little packages which are so much more precious than the coin that purchased them or still better the material which deft fingers prompted by a heart whose love nor time nor storm and stress could fret away, and aided by eyes which though dimmed by many a tear, can still see with a vision born of Heaven, the boy, the girl that won the others love "long long ago," have fashioned into forms combining use and beauty.
Our cricketers met their Pakenham rivals on Saturday last at the latter place, when, I understand, a good game was contested, resulting in the ultimate victory by a small majority, of the other side.173

 
S Bourke Morn Journ16 Dec 1896 Upper Beaconefield. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Truly Australian, isn't it ? But all the same, if it wouldn't appear impious, one would feel tempted to remark that the process of desiccation may be carried too far, and end—not in dissolution, where there must be something to dissolve—but, at any rate, annihilation. However, we must, as the captain in the storm remark ed to the missionary tortured with fears of shipwreck, in reply to the latter's anx ious inquiries, as to the outlook. "We must trust to Providence," and avoid the apparent want of faith conveyed in the rev. gentleman's rejoinder, "Good heavens, captain, you don't mean to say its come to that?" And yet its curious to think how we are ever, as it were, walk ing on the edge of a volcano, or, as in the hot lake district of Maoriland, treading on a thin crust of earth which at any time may collapse and precipitate us into a cauldron of boiling water. A little more rain, a little more drought, a few degrees more "enhaut," of that provoking little column of mercury and where should we be ? Ah, where indeed ! but "avay in die ewigkeit; We may be profundly thankful that the meteorological depart ment, at least, is safe beyond the control of Parliament and the Trades Hull, who would cheerfully, and at a moment's notice, undertake the custody of Peter's keys, and at the same time, with a light heart, supply a staff of stokers under entirely new management, to engineer the furnaces of Hades.
To change the subject, which after all is scarcely fit for warm weather, it may be well to call the attention of all whom it may coucern to the concert which the cricketers are organising for Boxing Night. It is to be hoped that all and sundry, and who is not a cricketer at heart, will support the boys who have so worthily upheld the honor of "the district" on many a well fought field. Like the patriachs of old it may be said that they are not ashamed (although be it said not on the same account) to talk with the enemy in the gates. It might perhaps be better if they could talk with their friends of "the gates." But with every victory the prospect of such sources of envolvement increases, and who knows but that some of us may even live to applaud the prowess of some future Grace or Spofforth of the southern hemisphere from the coign of vantage of a grand stand built by our own club on our own ground. Nil Desperandumn.
I learn that a buggy accident occurred on Sunday morning in the neighborhood of the Tower—a beautifully situated residence formerly belonging to one of the Kitchen family—to a party from Dandenong. One of the ladies had her nose injured and a gentleman was rather severely injured, all being considerably shaken by the upset which occurred at rather an awkward part of the road, not far (as I am informed), from the scene of a former contretemps of a similar nature.174

 
S Bourke Morn Journ30 Dec 1896 Upper Beaconsfield, By TODEA AFRICANA If we cannot boast a Reign of Ter ror we have at least experienced a Rain of Blood—and surely that is worth having lived for. Not that we are superstitious, or afflicted with any vague fears of what such an unprece dented occurrence may presage. We are not given to consulting the oracles (except in the shape of our Argus or our Age), and as for omens, we laugh them to scorn. Neither does the damage done to our clean linen distress our souls to the same degree as it would those of the dwellers in the city, to whom collars and shirt cuffs are a circumstance. But what we do find cause for complaint in is that, after waiting patiently and uncom plainingly for many weeks, I might say months, praying for rain, which we had scrubbed out our 400 gallon tanks to receive—and a fine job that was, too; after many of us had been reduced to beg a drink of our neigh hors, Heaven sends us—dirty water. Whether the coffee-colored fluid contains dust from the country of the germ growers of Central Australia, or whe ther the contribution comes from Bro ken Hill or was collected in Coolgardie is a matter of small importance to us compared with the chargrin with which we contemplate the Yarra-like fluid, and think of the mess it has made of our tanks. It's true we prayed for rain, but had it so pleased Providence we would have preferred it neat.
Christmas has brought a large influx of visitors. From Salisbury House down to the most unpretentious cot tage every roof shelters a full comple ment, and, as the weather has been of the good old (Australian) fashioned sort, when for safe keeping you have to put the thermometer in the under ground tank, it is needless to say that everybody has enjoyed himself. I may venture to remark, EN PARENTHESE, that whilst writing this I am shivering under a temperature of about 50 de grees, but that only serves to show the total absence of anything like mono tony, which is the great charm of our southern climate. Although not fully recovered our normal state of gaiety, still we are " picking up " a bit, and no doubt, in the course of time, shall be able once more to paint the town red as in times of old.
Meanwhile the members of our cricket club have been doing their best to cheer us up—for a consideration. Their concert, which has now become an annual affair, was duly held on Boxing night and proved an unqualified success. The hall was simply crowded, or as the natives have it, "packed," and the secretary, or I think I should say the "joint" secretary, for they are twins, Mr Tom Noble informs me that the financial results are satisfactory. Everybody seemed pleased with the performance in which there was some thing to suit all tastes, as may be judged by the following programme: Overture, Miss Aaronson; song, Mr Kerr, encore, "Kitty Tyrrell"; song, "The Kerry Dance," Miss Griffiths; song, " Queen of the earth," Mr Elcoate, encore, "Vanity"; song (comic), "Three individuals," Mr Fraser, encore, "Over the garden wall "; violin solo, Miss Aaronson ; song, " Off to the Rio Grande," Mr Egglestone. Interval. Song, "To-morrow will be Friday," Mr Baker; song, " Bid me to love," Miss Aaronson; song (comic), " Accidents," Mr Fraser, encore, " Trotted me off to church"; song, " Home they brought her warrior dead," Miss Atkins; song, "Will o'the Wisp," Mr Elcoate; song, " Whisper and I shall hear." Miss Gritfiths; song (comic), "To be there," Mr Martin; reading, " Love in a balloon," Mr Kerr; ventriloquism, Speaking Dolls. Mr Fraser. It goes without saying that the last named performance as usual brought down the house, and this, together with his songs which were each time encored, showed clearly that our Berwick patissier can cater for the minds as well as the bodies of his customers. But it must not be thought that the comic portion of the programme met with an undue proportion of attention. The more classical numbers, although perhaps more keenly appreciated by the few, can yet scarcely be said to have been "caviare to the general." The ladies, need I say it, acquitted themselves A MERVEILLE, and without making invidious distinctions amongst the gentlemen, the mere mention of male names as Eggleston (composer and poet), and Elcoate (scholar and musician), will serve to show that some appeal was made to the "high toned " portion of the audience.
Seeing the success, in every way, of such evenings as these, is it not a pity that the dose is not oftener repeated. Another entertainment, how ever, awaits us, to usher in the New Year, which, let us hope, may be a happier one than the old. We might bear it without a murmur !175

 
S Bourke Morn Journ6 Jan 1897 Upper Beaconsfield. BY TODEA AFRICANA. In the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety-seven we look back with a tender pity upon the dear departed who began life with such good intentions, which from inherited weakness of backbone he so lamentably failed to fulfil. But if '96 had not all those virtues which one could wish a decent self-respecting year to have we must admit that we have seen worse amongst the Sons of Old Time that have preceded him and has even this negative merit (if merit it be) that save and except a little extra bleaching he has left us unmolested whilst mowing down many of our neighbours.
However, we are not given to moralising much, nor demoralising either for the matter of that, in our small community, but there is a large leaven of young people in our midst who must make things hum or perish in the attempt and youth, be it understood, cannot always be counted by the calendar; "one has the age of his heart " says the Frenchman, and spright liness is not the monopoly of the mature Gaul. So the youth of all ages, seeing that Beaconsfield has once more shaken off the torpor which had afflicted her since the collapse of the Boom, agreed once more to sing "Begone dull care."
There was no midnight service on New Year's Eve, but Salisbury House had a meeting which undertook to see the old year out and welcome the young one in— which I believe they did in the old time honored way with dance and song and many a Quip and Crank (not in the Yankee sense be it understood).
And another time honored, not to say hoary old English institution, was revived and must have gladdened many an old heart in its "re-nascence." What can I mean but "The Waits" ! And "if this should meet the eye" of the lively little Alsatian soldier who in '70 went through the Siege of Strasburg fighting for his native land and who, with his sturdy yeomen friends and neighbours, regaled us with the Trumpet's Sound to usher in the dawn of the new year—let me thank him then once again for the pleasure they afforded to the sick in body and for their kindly office of soul also at this time of many a sad and solemn memory as from the pinnacle of time we gaze upon the past ere plunging into the mist of the unknown future.
From the Emerald and back on a moon less night is not exactly a pleasure trip and it must require considerable en thusisam to undertake it when you are not altogether assured that the object of your journey will be appreciated in the nightlight.
New Year's Day was especially distinguished by a—to quote the card of admission — grand entertainment and Xmas tree in aid of the combined churchs, afternoon and evening; childrens tickets 3d. (under 12) "entitling holder to one chance in Xmas tree"; and now, apart from pressure of time and the not unimportant fact of my "unavoidable absence"—a fact which, however I might attempt to dissemble, one of my lynx-eyed (I can't say "Argus") contemporaries would be bould to establish—I cannot do better than let the notes kindly handed to me by a responsible eye and ear witness speak for themselves, without addition, subtraction or multiplication by me:—The hall was opened at 3 o'clock until 6, during which time the children were presented with toys and other articles from the Xmas tree, and more than value was given for the small charge (3d.) that was made for admission. Pianoforte and violin solos, and songs by Miss Crouch and Miss Newson, and Mr. Lynch, were given in the afternoon which were much applauded, and the young people appeared to appreciate the good things provided for them in the way of amusement and refreshments, the latter of which were ably managed by Mesdames Goff and Galsworthy, who were well patronised most of the time; the well ordered tea room and moderate charges being a great attraction. Miss Goff's lollie stall was much appreciated and during the evening a brisk business was done at it. Miss Atkins had charge of the lucky cake which drew much attention from the young people. Mesdames Brady and Sidney Smith superintended the Xmas tree, the fulfilment of which rather tiring task seemed to give general satisfaction. The sale of cakes and fruit was under the superintendance of Miss Beatty, and the Misses Isa. Brady and Saittie Smith managed the penny dips and bran pie which were much dipped into by the little ones, as well as those of a larger growth. Mrs. Robertson had a large and attractive stall of dolls which were all disposed of. The stall of fancy and useful goods, attend to by Mesdames Wilson and Noble, was well patronised. There was a large attendance in the evening when the great attraction was the tableaux presented by Mr. J. Robertson and Miss Robertson, assisted by Miss Newson, Miss Dickenson and Mr. Lynch. The stage was well arranged and decorated, and ably set forth the following scenes:— "Joan of Arc," "Solitude," "You dirty boy (Pear's soap)," "Before and after marriage (two scenes)," "The sailor's return," "St. George and the Dragon;" these were all received with loud and well merited applause. ''The songs of Messrs. Eggleston and Kerr and also those of the Misses Crouch and Aaronson were much applauded. A vote of thanks, proposed at the conclusion of the evening by the Rev. James Wilson to those ladies and all others who had assisted to make the whole affair so great a success, was well received by the crowded company present. The financial result, was the addition to the funds, for the combined services, of £23 10s.176

 
S Bourke Morn Journ20 Jan 1897 Upper Beaconsfield. By TODEA AFRICANA. There has been considerably more weather about during the last fortnight than we have quite known what to do with. I do not profess to have made a study of meteorology, but, judging by analogy, it would almost appear as if there had been a block on the line somewhere and when this was removed the quarter's allowance came through all at once, for, dividing the three days or thereabouts of deluge into the three months of drought, you get an average of very decent water throughout. If not as satisfactory to Mr. Baracchi as might be wished, this explanation of this extraordinary phenomena we have been favored with has at least the ad vantage of being more intelligible to the average lay mind than that a certain low-lying bank of bar-meterological depression, launched somewhere in the region of the germ growths of Central Australia, was pursuing the even tenor of his way southward, when he was met by an antipathetic cyclonic anti phone wandering in an aimless fashion from somewhere about the south pole, via the great Southern Ocean, without any definite destination in view. Why, in the name of goodness, they couldn't just pass the time of day and go on their several ways rejoicing, is beneath the dignity of our astronomer royal to explain. It seems that under such circumstances the merest schoolboy should be aware "there's bound to be a row," and, apparently; a row that can only be terminated by a Brobdignagian bucket of water. Of course this is all clothed in scientific language, which makes it very convincing when you can get at the hub of it, but would be much more consoling if it afforded any guide for the future. Anyhow, there has been a lot oft rain—which can't be gainsaid—and the south pole, for the time being, has come off decidedly the best of the two contestants, for the temperature during the last few days has been decidedly wintry, and the stock of light tropical clothing which I had been tempted to lay in may now be had at a discount.
The boisterous winds which have blown down so many of our apples has also, with the rain, been unfavorable to pic-nics and other open-air extravagances, so that just as the country is beginning to live again in a second spring time our numerous visitors will be saying good-bye to the bush, carrying back to town with them reminis cences of a barren, burnt-up, drought tortured wilderness, where the glare of the hill sides could only be escaped by plunging into the depths of the beautiful fern gullies, there, whilst maddened by myriads of mosquitoes, mopping up the moisture from their brows, to medi tate on the famous monologue of Ham let, "To be or not to be."177

 
S Bourke Morn Journ17 Feb 1897 Upper Beaconsfield. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Rather a striking experience that recent thunderstorm, especially for the boy who was under the blasted tree. I understand that beyond the temporary shock to the system no injury resulted. And let it here also be stated that so far as can be ascertained, the remain ing youths of the neighborhood escaped unscathed, notwithstanding, it seems that the usually fairly well-informed "Argus" correspondent intimated that a like experience had befallen scores.
Ajax defying the lightning is a well-known group of statuary, which as in now its modern counterpart for us in the postmaster switching the electric fluid out of his telephone room. Seri ously speaking though, it was a narrow shave. Mr. McKerwin and family were, it appears, at dinner when the great thunderstorm of Thursday week occurred. Coming into the shop after an extra size crash had occurred, he observed a considerable quantity of smoke, and thus became conscious of a few playful young thunderbolts cavorting around the instruments. Although no objection is made to cycling on the road, scorching on the premises is strictly against the rules, and therefore the attempt of Jove's emissaries to make a record on the partition was promptly quashed. However, although serious damage was prevented, the frisky fluid left, like Brooks' soap, a good impression behind.
Apart from these incidents several trees were struck and transformed in a trice into very good kindling wood. Judging by the few examples I have seen, wood splitting by electricity is a decided success, but, as Captain Cuttle hath it, " the moral lies in the applica tion of it."
The thunderstorm had for sequel on the Saturday following, a twenty-four hours steady rain. Fortunately, from our situation we could afford to regard the deluge without apprehension of floods, and indeed for anyone who cared or was compelled to breast the inclem ent weather the gullies with the streams in full spurt were a sight not easily forgotten.
Although the weather has to a rather overpowering extent occupied our thoughts, we have not been unmindful of other matters which may form an epoch in our not at all too eventful history. I think it was Friday week that two of our lady residents for the first time took their places upon the Board of Advice for the district. In London we know it has long been a recognised privilege equally open to both sexes to supervise the training of youth, and the example has been fol lowed in many other places. Now that our ladies have at last claimed similar rights, it is to be hoped—indeed, we have no doubt—that the gentlemen who have hitherto had the monopoly will do their best to make the " Board" comfortable for their fair co-adjutors.
I hear that Mrs. Longmore, of Berwick, has passed to her rest at the ripe age of three score years and ten. Every one will sympathise with the bereaved husband, who after forty-eight years of wedded life, finds himself left to travel the rest of the weary road alone.178

 
S Bourke Morn Journ10 Mar 1897 Upper Beaconsfield. By TODEA AFRICANA. We don't seem to take much stock in Federation in these sylvan solitudes. I suppose the fact of the matter is that our sturdy mountain independence will not brook the idea of subordination to any thing or anybody. True, we are popularly supposed to be a part and parcel of Vic toria, just as much as Tasmania is part and parcel of the ocean, we are surrounded by it but we are a little above it. Of course everybody who was anybody went to Lower Beaconsfield to vote (at least I was there) and just as naturally every body, whether anybody or nobody ex presses himself (with a few reservations mental and otherwise) as perfectfully satisfied with the result attained by (or in spite of) his able assistance. How are the mighty fallen though! when our genial little Doctor L.L.'s. £50 is trembling in the balance. Vanitas vanitem! However, although we cannot each have his particular shade of opinion represented, I trow we are all agreed—that the business of the men we have sent is to knock down the Chinese wall that we have in times past been at such labour and expense in building up between one colony and another—that henceforth we are to ex tend the right hand of fellowship to our brothers in arms and in labour. Remove the dam (and many a damn there has been) and the water of trade will flow far and wide over all the land-like Niagara, " what's to hinder it." True, it may in the first impetuous on-rush sweep some of the petty obstructions and rank un wholesome growths which a period of stagnation has allowed to pollute the soil and injure the health of the people; but as sure as sunshine follows rain and spring gives way to summer, su will a period of hitherto undreamt of prosperity succeed the inauguration of the reign of free intercourse between the colonial communitieis.
Advance Australia ! A few members of the Fruitgrowers Association visited by invitation the orchard of Mr. Grant, some week or so ago. The party would doubt less have been larger but that through some inadvertence several associates were allowed to remain, in ignorance of the proposed expedition until too late. Those who were present say that both the sight of the orchard of some 120 acres of trees in full bearing and busy scene of the fruit packing which was an education in itself, were well worth a much longer journey than they had taken. A few such jaunts like this occasionally would do a great deal of good both socially and educationally. But it should be carried further and the fruitgrowers as a body should visit some of the neighboring associations and so get a practical notion of what is being done outside our borders. Now, what a favorable opportunity it would have been if our Association had arranged with President, Secretary and all the paraphernalia of office with band and colours flying, to visit the Somerville Show where, I understand, several members are exhibiting the products of this district.
Of the weather I had intended to say nothing, although it would certainly fill a volume (of many tons capacity), but it is so obtrusive that one must be devoid of feeling indeed not to notice it. Sun, rain in torrents, winds, gales, and hurricanes, hail, ice bergs—in fact all the seasons of the year in a few short hours--such is our experience lately. Talking of ice bergs, perhaps those now cruising about between here and the cape have something to do with the case. What they want wander ing aimlessly around in this ridiculous fashion I suppose Messrs. Barrachi, Rus sel, and Wragge can tell us. Perhaps there has been a collapse of a local land (or ice) boom, which has cast them adrift on the ocean of life, or is it that, having through the medium of the " Southern Cross," read of the visits of ceremony which it is proposed to pay their Aunt Arctic, the nephews and neices have determined to forestall the projected polite atten tions and forthwith incontinently projected themselves for a picnic over this way, of course, when starting, not forgetting to take their launch.179

 
S Bourke Morn Journ17 Mar 1897 Upper Beaconsfield. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Melbourne is migrating and no mistake about it. We have got used to hearing of the thousands who have left the metropo lis during the last few years, and we have sometimes thought of the desolate rows of empty tenements that must have been left behind. But that the houses themselves should ever be seized with a fit of wander ing hardly entered the minds of the majority of us. And yet, as Macbeth lived to see accomplished the weird and apparently altogether impossible prophesy that his end should come when "Birnam wood doth come to Dunsinam," so we, who wit nessed all the world and his wife coming to see our great exhibition, and, impressed by what they saw and heard of our won derful country pouring their wealth (subject to interest) into our pockets—resulting in the boom fever; have witnessed, also, not only the bursting of the bladder and dispersion of the population over the face of the earth, but have lived to see Melbourne itself on the march.
I am told that it is by no means a new thing—but then even in Solomon's time there was nothing new under the sun and that in the neighborhood of or great city it is the commonest thing in the world to see the houses taking their promenade. In fact, one is almost led to believe that some people, like the Gypsies, live upon wheels, and that when they want change they merely hitch on a team of horses to their suburban villa and off to the moun tains or the seaside as the case may be. Of course I don't believe everything I hear—unless it's in print—but when one day in my walks abroad I casually encounter an eligible town residence tootling unconcernedly along the highway, and a day or two after, having barely recovered from the shock, espy a second edifice just popping its nose over the tip of the adjacent hill road as I canter out after breakfast on to my back verandah. I say when such things occur what am I to think!
"Do I sleep; do I dream; Do I wonder and doubt ! Air things what they seem, Or is visions about ?" On further investigation, of course, all mystery vanishes.
We have heard (some of us say—too much) of the new woman. Well, here we have "The New House." The practial man now does not build a house. He just goes to Foy & Gibson's, or someone like that "doncherno," and picks out the sort of house he wants and has it sent home. Some say that they will send home for you ready furnished if you like but I don't like to volunteer any state ment myself that I cannot vouch for.
The houses alluded to, it turns out, are for our new resident, Mr. Collins, and have been successfully piloted through all the difficulties of navigation between Melbourne and here, the one arriving safely last Friday and the other on Monday morning. The task of removing them from the gigantic trollies (or what do you call them) and depositing them on the piles which are to be their permanent (to be safe let me say present) resting place proved to be one of great interest to the onlookers-apparently an impossible feat. Under the superintendence of Messrs. McLennan Bros. able foreman, assisted by a staff of four sons of Hercules, it proves to be as easy of accomplishment as to make an egg stand on end—when you're been shown how. The great key, the "Open Sesame" in fact, is the screw jack. With this simple instrument a couple of men can raise or lower one side of the house at pleasure, and when at last on the right level the same implement push it along as far as required. It is a a positive education to see the thing done and although I won't go so far as to say that I am now prepared to take a contract to remove houses, I can confidently criti cise any one who does.
Beaconsfield is once more to the front in fruitgrowing, for I notice that at the Somerville show the other day the only two from here who exhibited carried off prizes. Mr. Glissman gained 1st prize for the heaviest three pears in the show; and the Messrs. T. and H. Noble carried 1st prize for heaviest three apples, 2nd for best collection of six varieties of same, and certificate of merit for three varieties of pears. Not so bad, eh !180

 
S Bourke Morn Journ24 Mar 1897 Upper Beaconsfield. BY TODEA AFRICANA. The Fruits of the earth have monopo lised the attention of the greater part of our small community during the last few days. Apart from the gathering and despatching, of apples and pears, with which many have been busy, we have hald the Fruitgrowers' meeting and the harvest thanksgiving services, which have taken up the time and energies of not a few.
In so far as our orchardists are concerned, Saturday evening was given up to the discussion of ways and means for the forthcoming Easter Exhibition. I am given to understand that the show bills will be out in a few days, giving all necessary particulars, but meanwhile I may say that a substantial prize fund is already in hand in additibn to the trophies of seeds, spray pumps and such like- articles of value to the wrestler with nature.
On Sunday a thanksgiving service was held in the Assembly Hall. The Rev. Jas. Wilson was unable to officiate on account of sickness in his household, but the service was under taken and sermon preached by a brother Congregational minister, the Rev. J. J. Halley, to a numerous congregation. The display of fruit and vegetables was an exhibition in itself, which served to foreshadow the possibilities of the Easter Show, and a glow of pride, which, under the cir cumstances, let us hope will have been leniently passed over by the pen of the recording angel, must have mingled with the humble thankfulness of those worshippers who were the donor cultivators of the colossal carrots, the majestic marrows and the turnips that must charm the heart of the most callous cow.
On Monday, to follow up my truth ful chronicle, a social evening, which was largely attended and to which the smallest silver coin was the open sesame, although the lock was so admir ably adjusted that a larger key of the same metal, or a golden one for the matter of that, would answer the pur pose equally well, attracted a crowded company whom the Reverend Messrs. Wilson and Hatley delectated with an address, and the universally popular form of lecture known as the lecturette, touching upon the horrors of starvation, which, heaped on that other night mares;horror of the black death, our fellow subjects (albeit of another colony), have now for months past been suffering in the territories of the Kaisar-i-Hind, our Queen Empress; and giving also some interesting information as to the missions to the heathen Chinee. The vocal and instrumental music, especially the renderings by the Berwick Glee Club, was much appreciated. And the subsequent sales of fruit and vegetables appealed to the practical as well as sentimental, not to say comical sides of human nature. It is pleasing to note that the amount forwarded to the Mayor of Melbourne in aid of the Indian famine relief fund as a result of the Sunday and Monday service andentertainment, is, according to the most reliable information obtain able, the substantial sum of £4 8s. 2d.
I hear that the "Tower," formerly belonging to Mr. Jno. Kitchen, has been sold, and that the residence of the late Mr. Walford, known as "The Fernery," is let on lease for eight years.181

 
S Bourke Morn Journ31 Mar 1897 Upper Beaconsfield. BY TODEA AFRICANA. In connection with the forthcoming annual show of fruits, flowers and vegetables, to be held on Easter Monday, by the local Fruitgrowers' Association, I must mention that the .. have now been issued and the programme list therein set forth will be .. worth the attention of orchardists and others. Amongst other trophies there is a "Gun" spray pump value £10, the gift of Messrs. Cobb and Co., Ironmongers, Melbourne, for the best varieties of apples; a Thompson's .. trifugal sulphur bellows value ... given by Messrs. Davis and Co., Franklin-street, Melbourne, for the best 3 varieties of pears ; also £1 .. from the Australian Wine and Fruit Association for best case of desert apples packed and graded for export. Besides the foregoing there are po.. for chemical manures, from Messrs. Renard and Co. for potatoes and a collection of seeds from Messrs. A.. son aud Shenin respectively for .. tables and for flowers.
The appeal to the Women of Victoria in connection with the proposed .. hospital by women for women and children, is meeting with an encouraging response, and those ladies who have taken the matter in hand here are cheered by the practical sympathy evinced by all who have yet been .. to contribute. I understand that .. is intended (if indeed this has not already been done) to exhibit a .. at the post office, requesting the women of Beaconsfield, whether new women or old women matters not, to .. to the extent at least of one .. their sympathy with a really worthwhile object, at the same time that they .. vent to that feeling of loyalty .. all feel towards that bright ex... woman as wife, mother, and a.. as Queen.
Beware of the butcher birds, for those who have pet canaries or other cage birds. Few of us are prepared to be guided by the experience of others and although we had had word from those who had lost their birds in Berwick and elsewhere by similar causes, there was one person in our establishment who was a veritable Thomas a Didymus of the Derwent Jackass, or the W... Jackass (I know not by how many other alias's he goes), has lately given our pets a fright by perching on their cages and, after a few rattles of the staves, began to belabour the .. of the cage, thereby causing the poor prisoner to quaver for fear his poor life should be prematurely abbreviated by being cleft with the base beak from a great assassin ; but the shrill ... of the victim's cries always brings .. and latterly, there having been alarms; the birds were hung on our verandah for an airing. The .. ment and wild despair of the delinquent who was responsible for .. hanging may, as the newspaper ... "be more easily imagined than described," on being called and h.. tion directed by a condemnation to two cages, the one containing .. broken-legged, broken-hearted .. palpitating feathers, and the cages ab- solutely empty. This last was ... a "staggerer," as Dick Swiveller would have it. However murderous and bloodthirsty the attack might have been, one would have thought it abso- lutely impossible to drag the ... corps through the narrow wire .. cage. There's magic in .. "between you and me and the lamp-post (to quote a .. German friend of mine) nothing to convince me but that for some had done in some previous existence that poor bird was by somebody, with a tail—to be continued in our next.182

 
S Bourke Morn Journ21 Apr 1897 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. Beaconsfield, like a good mother, always welcomes her children home for the holidays, and, together with the nucleus of permanent residents and a more or less numerous sprinkling of visitors, they generally make things hum for a while.
With a fine Easter and Federation, with its hoped for accompaniment of returning prosperity looming large in (let us hope) the near future, there was nothing to hinder the majority from giving themselves up to the mild dissipation offered them in the local festivities provided for the holiday season.
These consisted, in the first place, of a concert on Saturday last in aid of the prize fund for the show, and a very enjoyable evening was spent by a crowded audience with the comforting corollry of a well-filled till. That the entertainment afforded was both varied and amusing may be easily gathered from the programme presented to the audience, of which the following is a faithful copy:--Duet, Miss and Mr H. Goff; song, "Three old maids of Lee," Mrs Titcher; violin solo, "Bragus Serenade," Miss Nansen ; song, "I couldn't, could I," Miss Charlesworth ; recitation, "Parnassius," Mr Thompson; descriptive song, Mr Fraser; song, "Tell her I love her so," Mrs Smith ; piano solo, "Minuet, Paderewski," Miss Goldstraw." Interval of five minutes. Violin solo (Schlunmurlied), Miss Clair Nansen ; song, "Darby and Joan," Mrs Titcher; ventriloquism. Mr Fraser; song, "The old brigade," Mr Lynch; duet, "Whispering hope," the Misses Hedrick; song "The carnival," Miss Charlesworth. The evening concluded with the presentation of an amusing farce called " Irish justice,"the rollicking fun of which fairly brought down the house, its reconstruction being now under the consideration of the committee.
The fruit show held on Monday, although held too late in the season to do justice to some of the departments, was, all things considered, on the whole a pronounced success. The apple was, of course, the "piece de resistance," and this, the most useful of all the fruits, and in its wonderful variety of form and coloring, really the most beautiful, was worthy to compete in any show whatever.
I give annexed the prize results of the principal fruits shown: Apples--12 varieties, Wheeler, 1; P. H. Stone, 2; J. Brunning, 3. Six varieties, Barnard, 1; Wheeler, 2 ; Brunning, 3. Three varieties, Mrs Ede, 1; Wheeler, 2; S. and H. Noble, 3. One variety, S. and H. Noble, 1; W. H. Goff, 2; Mrs Ede, 3. Four heaviest, S. and H. Noble, 1; Barnard, 2. Pears-3 varieties, S. and H. Noble, 1; Glissman, 2. One variety, Hollow, 1; Noble, 2. Four heaviest, Glissman, 1; Orchard, 2. Case dessert apples packed and graded for export—Noble, 1 ; Glissman, 2; Brunning, 3. Case cooking apples suitable for marketing—Barnard, 1; Wheeler, 2; Noble, 3. Case pears suitable for marketing Noble, 1. Passion fruit-Brady, 1; Glissman, 2. Quinces—South, 1; Noble, 2. Apart from these there was a nice show of vegetables in season, especial notice being attracted by the giant pumpkins and some colossal onions which made one's mouth (or should one say one's eyes) water. Besides beans and peas, &c., &c., there were also some really mammoth cabbages. In flowers, the names of Mesdames a'Beckett, Nansen, and de Soyres were prominent. In jams and preserves those of Mrs Noble and Mrs Shorthouse figured; in honey Messrs F. C. Brown and Messrs T. and H. Noble. So far as the pastry and bread are concerned I can personally say little, the temptation to a closer examination was all but overpowering, but time was scarce and as there was a considerable crowd opposite these exhibits I was reluctantly compelled to hasten away without even so much as a taste of their quality, nor even a note of other people's opinion thereon. I did hear however that Paternoster gained the prize for home made bread, Mrs Shorthouse for scones and Mrs Kerwin for pastry, and that Mrs Aurish of Harkaway secured the first award for butter. Of course those who did not get first prizes are apt to be a little disappointed in many cases, but as the awards seem to have been made with care and impariality there should be little to cavil at. Perhaps the most pleasing feature from a practical point of view was the show of apples and pears packed ready for export. Many can, out of a small orchard, or even from one tree, show four apples which will compete favorably, but the prospective buyer would prefer to see carefully graded and assorted fruit in larger quantities. Certainly the neat cases and almost faultless packing and grad ing of the competitors in this class were a credit to the district.183

 
S Bourke Morn Journ12 May 1897 UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA. There is no doubt about it that as a community we do not intend to take a back seat. We have shown the world what we can do-no, that remains to be seen-but we have given them a glimpse which for those who have brains may serve as a slight indication of the possibilities of the future of our fruit industry, and now those who call may see that although we may have a shrewd eye to the main chance our minds are not wholly occupied with the utilitarian affairs appertaining to the everlasting struggle for existence, but can equally turn at times to the contemplation of the beautiful. Well is it that this should be so, for life would be but a dreary desert but for its amenities.
Need I explain that my remarks are intended to have special application to the modest little show of chrysanthemums which was held at the Assembly Hall on Saturday last. Everything must be done for the first time, and nobody would expect the first effort at a flower show to result in a full-blown success, but, like the flower itself in question there is no doubt that the thing will develop.
In the first place, the matter had not been given a very long or serious consideration, but seems to have naturally arisen out of the small display that was made of this class of flowers at the recent flower show.
There were no prizes offered, and the exhibition was purely local—at any rate not extending beyond Berwick. Next considerations, the short notice and the late inclement weather were also adverse to a good display. Taking all this into account, those concerned need certainly not be discouraged by the result.
Some of the exhibits need not have feared comparison in much more ambitious company, and those who were "not in it" on this occasion will have had their eyes opened to the necessity of making an effort, which, with the fair wrinkles they will have obtained from benevolent competitors, will be the more easy to accomplish.
From a cursory view of the exhibits it would seem apparent to me, who is not of the cognoscenti, that for an all around display of fine blooms Mrs a'Beckett, of Berwick was facile princeps. Of the others, some might be selected for their great variety e.g. Mrs Galsworthy, or for the individual excellence of some of the specimens as with Messrs T. and H. Noble. Mrs Searle too had a very nice collection, and if others are not noticed it must not be taken that they were not noticeable, but put down to absence of notes and natural weakness of memory.
I am afraid that through want of practice in the chronicling of exhibitions my notice may not be quite a model of reporting, but, at least I can lay the flattering unction to my soul that individually I am wiser for my visit. First of all I intend uprooting all the pre-adamite specimens at present disfiguring my compound. I shall then, regardless of expense, lay in a stock of the latest importations. Having duly installed these I shall supply them with liquid nourishment until they can't rest but want to be "way up in the hivens," and then when they are fairly bursting with ambition I shall on the "one plant one bloom" principle cut off all ways of escape but one. The only thing that will then remain, I won't say to command success, for well do more Sempronius, well deserve it, will be to look out for some linen drapers bank rupt stock of umbrellas.
To the uninitiated this might appear sheer midsummer madness, but to those "in the know" it will only serve to prove that I am gifted with the very acme of intelligence. Providence will do a lot for you, a lot more than you deserve, or for the matter of that desire, but Providence won't furnish you with umbrellas, and as the rain falleth upon the just and the unjust so it may, at least for show purposes, ruin your chrysanthemums and unless you have a goodly stock of ginghams they will answer the purpose, even for the finest blooms, as well as the most expensire ivory handled silk Compactum, you may find at the last moment that all your efforts have been in vain.184

 

Citations

  1. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal.
  2. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 21 Dec 1892, p3.
  3. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 28 Dec 1892, p2.
  4. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 4 Jan 1893, p3.
  5. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 11 Jan 1893, p2.
  6. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 18 Jan 1893, p3.
  7. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 25 Jan 1893, p3.
  8. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 1 Feb 1893, p2.
  9. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 8 Feb 1893, p3.
  10. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 15 Feb 1893, p3.
  11. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 22 Feb 1893, p3.
  12. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 1 Mar 1893, p3.
  13. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 8 Mar 1893, p2.
  14. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 15 Mar 1893, p2.
  15. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 22 Mar 1893, p2.
  16. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 29 Mar 1893, p3.
  17. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 5 Apr 1893, p2.
  18. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 12 Apr 1893, p3.
  19. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 19 Apr 1893, p2
    Todea states that Mr Hall was a late government whip (George Wilson HALL). In July in the announcement of an auction he appears to talk about the same property "Mountain Home", but the property for auction belonged to an Alfred John HALL, who had a property on Collyer's subdivision.
  20. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 26 Apr 1893, p3.
  21. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 3 May 1893, p2.
  22. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 10 May 1893, p2.
  23. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 17 May 1893, p2.
  24. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 24 May 1893, p3.
  25. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 31 May 1893, p2.
  26. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 7 Jun 1893, p2.
  27. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 14 Jun 1893, p2.
  28. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 21 Jun 1893, p3.
  29. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 28 Jun 1893, p2.
  30. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 5 Jul 1893, p3.
  31. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 19 Jul 1893, p3.
  32. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 26 Jul 1893, p3.
  33. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 2 Aug 1893, p3.
  34. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 9 Aug 1893, p3.
  35. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 16 Aug 1893, p2.
  36. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 23 Aug 1893, p3.
  37. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 6 Sep 1893, p3.
  38. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 13 Sep 1893, p2.
  39. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 20 Sep 1893, p3.
  40. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 27 Sep 1893, p2.
  41. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 4 Oct 1893, p3.
  42. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 18 Oct 1893, p3.
  43. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 25 Oct 1893, p2.
  44. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 1 Nov 1893, p3.
  45. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 8 Nov 1893, p3.
  46. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 15 Nov 1893, p3.
  47. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 22 Nov 1893, p3.
  48. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 29 Nov 1893, p3.
  49. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 6 Dec 1893, p3.
  50. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 13 Dec 1893, p3.
  51. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 20 Dec 1893, p3.
  52. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 27 Dec 1893, p3.
  53. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 3 Jan 1894, p3.
  54. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 10 Jan 1894, p3.
  55. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 17 Jan 1894, p3.
  56. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 24 Jan 1894, p3.
  57. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 31 Jan 1894, p3.
  58. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 7 Feb 1894, p2.
  59. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 14 Feb 1894, p3
    It was not the Railway Commissioner who bought land in North Beaconsfield, but another Mr Francis, a chemist, who bought GEM-E-24+25 in North Beaconsfield.
  60. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 21 Feb 1894, p3.
  61. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 28 Feb 1894, p3.
  62. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 7 Mar 1894, p2.
  63. [S11] Newspaper - Argus 14 Mar 1894, p2.
  64. [S11] Newspaper - Argus 21 Mar 1894, p2.
  65. [S11] Newspaper - Argus 28 Mar 1894, p3.
  66. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 4 Apr 1894, p3.
  67. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 11 Apr 1894, p2.
  68. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 18 Apr 1894, p2.
  69. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 25 Apr 1894, p3.
  70. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 2 May 1894, p2.
  71. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 9 May 1894, p3.
  72. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 16 May 1894, p2.
  73. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 23 May 1894, p3.
  74. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 30 May 1894, p2.
  75. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 6 Jun 1894, p3.
  76. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 13 Jun 1894, p3.
  77. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 20 Jun 1894, p3.
  78. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 27 Jun 1894, p2.
  79. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 4 Jul 1894, p3.
  80. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 11 Jul 1894, p2.
  81. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 18 Jul 1894, p3.
  82. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 25 Jul 1894, p2.
  83. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 8 Aug 1894, p3.
  84. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 15 Aug 1894, p3.
  85. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 22 Aug 1894, p3.
  86. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 5 Sep 1894, p3.
  87. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 12 Sep 1894, p3.
  88. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 19 Sep 1894, p3.
  89. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 26 Sep 1894, p3.
  90. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 3 Oct 1894, p3.
  91. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 10 Oct 1894, p2.
  92. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 17 Oct 1894, p3.
  93. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 24 Oct 1894, p3.
  94. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 31 Oct 1894, p3.
  95. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 7 Nov 1894, p3.
  96. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 14 Nov 1894, p3.
  97. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 21 Nov 1894, p3.
  98. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 28 Nov 1894, p3.
  99. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 5 Dec 1894, p3.
  100. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 19 Dec 1894, p3.
  101. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 2 Jan 1895, p3.
  102. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 9 Jan 1895, p3.
  103. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 16 Jan 1895, p3.
  104. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 23 Jan 1895, p3.
  105. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 30 Jan 1895.
  106. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 6 Feb 1895, p3.
  107. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 20 Feb 1895, p3 - (not appearing in the edition of 13 Feb 1895).
  108. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 27 Feb 1895, p3.
  109. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 6 Mar 1895, p2.
  110. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 20 Mar 1895, p3 (no letter appeared in the issue of 13 Mar 1895).
  111. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 27 Mar 1895, p2.
  112. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 10 Apr 1895, p3 (no letter appeared in the issue of 3 Apr 1895).
  113. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 17 Apr 1895, p3.
  114. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 24 Apr 1895, p3.
  115. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 8 May 1895, p3.
  116. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 15 May 1895, p3.
  117. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 22 May 1895, p3.
  118. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 29 May 1895, p3.
  119. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 5 Jun 1895, p3.
  120. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 12 Jun 1895, p3.
  121. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 26 Jun 1895, p3.
  122. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 3 Jul 1895, p2.
  123. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 17 Jul 1895, p3.
  124. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 24 Jul 1895, p3.
  125. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 31 Jul 1895, p3.
  126. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 14 Aug 1895, p3.
  127. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 21 Aug 1895, p3.
  128. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 28 Aug 1895, p2.
  129. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 4 Sep 1895, p2.
  130. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 11 Sep 1895, p3.
  131. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 18 Sep 1895, p2.
  132. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 25 Sep 1895, p3.
  133. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 2 Oct 1895, p3.
  134. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 9 Oct 1895, p3.
  135. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 16 Oct 1895, p3.
  136. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 30 Oct 1895, p3.
  137. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 13 Nov 1895, p3.
  138. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 20 Nov 1895, p3.
  139. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 27 Nov 1895, p3.
  140. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 11 Dec 1895, p3 presumably by Todea Africana.
  141. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 18 Dec 1895, p3.
  142. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 25 Dec 1895, p3.
  143. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 1 Jan 1896, p3.
  144. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 8 Jan 1896, p3.
  145. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 15 Jan 1896, p3.
  146. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 22 Jan 1896, p3.
  147. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 29 Jan 1896, p3.
  148. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 5 Feb 1896, p3.
  149. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 12 Feb 1896, p3.
  150. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 19 Feb 1896, p3.
  151. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 26 Feb 1896, p3.
  152. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 4 Mar 1896, p3.
  153. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 11 Mar 1896, p3.
  154. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 25 Mar 1896, p3.
  155. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 1 Apr 1896, p3.
  156. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 8 Apr 1896, p3.
  157. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 15 Apr 1896, p3.
  158. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 29 Apr 1896, p3.
  159. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 6 May 1896, p3.
  160. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 13 May 1896, p3.
  161. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 27 May 1896, p2.
  162. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 17 Jun 1896, p3.
  163. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 24 Jun 1896, p3.
  164. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 15 Jul 1896, p3.
  165. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 22 Jul 1896, p3.
  166. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 29 Jul 1896, p3.
  167. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 5 Aug 1896, p3.
  168. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 26 Aug 1896, p2.
  169. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 9 Sep 1896, p3.
  170. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 23 Sep 1896, p3.
  171. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 14 Oct 1896, p3.
  172. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 4 Nov 1896, p3.
  173. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 25 Nov 1896, p3.
  174. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 16 Dec 1896, p3.
  175. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 30 Dec 1896, p3.
  176. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 6 Jan 1897, p3.
  177. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 20 Jan 1897, p3.
  178. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 17 Feb 1897, p3.
  179. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 10 Mar 1897, p3.
  180. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 17 Mar 1897, p2.
  181. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 24 Mar 1897, p3.
  182. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 31 Mar 1897, p2.
  183. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 21 Apr 1897, p3.
  184. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal 12 May 1897, p3.
Last Edited11 Aug 2019

Patrick Fairbairn

M, #7006, b. 1862, d. 28 Sep 1921
Birth*1862 
Marriage* Spouse: Elsie Pearl Barton.1
 
Land-Note*1916 GEM--21A.B: 47a N35.2 
Death*28 Sep 1921 Prahran, VIC, Australia, #D11714 (age 59) [par John FAIRBAIRN & Mary Ann HOUGHTON].1 
Death-Notice*29 Sep 1921FAIRBAIRN - On the 28th September, at the Alfred Hospital, passed peacefully away, Patrick, the beloved eldest son of Mrs. M Palmer and the late John Fairbairn and grandson of the late Principal Fairbairn, D D , of Glasgow Scotland, and loved brother of Mrs. E G Webber, Melbourne, and J H Fairbairn, of Wellington, NZ; aged 59 (Interred privately.)3 

Electoral Rolls (Australia) and Census (UK/IRL)

DateAddressOccupation and other people at same address
1909Drouin, VIC, AustraliaOccupation: farmer. With Elsie Pearl Fairbairn.4
bt 1914 - 1919Gembrook South, VIC, AustraliaOccupation: farmer. With Elsie Pearl Fairbairn.5,6

Newspaper-Articles

  • 23 Mar 1916, Mr Fairbairn, of Upper Beaconsfield, had a serious fire, the whole house and contents being destroyed. The fire was probably started by sparks, from a copper. At the time of the outbreak Mr Fairbairn was away with fruit, and only one man was on the place, he being in the packing shed. When one of the little children drew his attention to the fire it was too late to do anything of moment, and he was only able to save the sewing machine. All personal effects were lost, including jewellery and money.
    The house was an old but valuable one, being one of the most picturesque and largest in the district. The loss is considerably over L700, and is only partially covered by insurance. From the outbreak of the fire to the time when only a portion of a chimney was left standing did not exceed half an hour.7
  • 27 Jun 1919, Mr P. Fairbairn, of Upper Pakenham, met with an accident a few days ago. He was splitting posts, when a small limb fell from a tree and struck him on the head, causing a painful wound.8
  • 7 Oct 1921, Bereavement Notice
    Mrs FAIRBAIRN and FAMILY desire to tender their sincere Thanks to their many friends for letters, telegrams, cards, and for personal sympathy expressed in connection with their recent bereavement.9

Citations

  1. [S5] Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages Death Index Victoria 1921-1985.
  2. [S66] Berwick Shire Rates, 1870-1965 1915/16 1916/17 1917/18.
  3. [S11] Newspaper - Argus The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), Thu 29 Sep 1921, p1
    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4646733
  4. [S109] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1909.
  5. [S114] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1914.
  6. [S119] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1919.
  7. [S14] Newspaper - Dandenong Advertiser and Cranbourne, Berwick and Oakleigh Advocate, 23 Mar 1916, p2.
  8. [S82] Newspaper - Pakenham Gazette and Berwick Shire News (Pakenham East, Vic. : 1917 - 1918)
    "27 Jun 1919, p2."
  9. [S82] Newspaper - Pakenham Gazette and Berwick Shire News (Pakenham East, Vic. : 1917 - 1918)
    "7 Oct 1921, p2."
Last Edited29 Jun 2018

Frank William Allen Stickland

M, #7020, b. 1891, d. 1961
Birth*1891 Box Hill, VIC, Australia, #B20019.1 
Marriage*1918 Spouse: Florence Elva Hall. VIC, Australia, #M8760.2
 
Death*1961 St Kilda, VIC, Australia, #D23497 (Age 70) [par Frank STICKLAND & Ida Amelia TODD].3 

Electoral Rolls (Australia) and Census (UK/IRL)

DateAddressOccupation and other people at same address
1914Pembroke Street, Surrey Hills, VIC, AustraliaOccupation: coach painter.4
1919Upper Beaconsfield, VIC, AustraliaOccupation: storekeeper.5
1931The Quadrant, East Malvern, VIC, AustraliaOccupation: mechanic. With Florence Elva Stickland.6

Newspaper-Articles

  • 12 Dec 1919, Dissolution of Partnership
    Notice is hereby given that the Partnership heretofore subsisting between THOMAS PETER KRÜSS and FRANK WILLIAM ALLEN STICKLAND, carrying on business as Storekeepers at Upper Beaconsfield under the style or firm of "Krüss and Stickland" and "Upper Beaconsfield Stores" has been dissolved by mutual consent as from the thirtieth day of November, 1919. The said Thomas Peter Krüss will receive and pay all debts due to or by the said firm.
    Dated this first day of December, 1919.
    THOMAS P KRÜSS
    Witness to Signature of Thomas Peter Krüss
    H. SUMNER MARTIN, Solicitor, melbourne.
    FRANK STICKLAND
    Witness to signature of Frank William Allen Stickland -
    L. L. BARRKMAN, clerk to Weigall and Crowther, solicitors, Melbourne.7
  • 8 May 1929, MOTORING ACCIDENTS. THREE CARS COLLIDE. ONLY ONE DRIVER INJURED.
    Only one man was injured in a collision between three motor-cars at the intersection of Rathdown street and Victoria street, Carlton, about midday yesterday. Herbert Kirsch, accountant, of Temple Court, Collins street, was driving west along Victoria street when he swerved to avoid colliding with another car driven by Woolf Davis, hawker, of Ames street, North Carlton, who was going south along Rathdown street. Kirsch's car, however, struck the other vehicle a glancing blow on the the front bumper and then ran head-on into another car, driven by Frank Strickland, aged 37 years, of Golden Quadrant street, Gardiner, who was going east along Victoria street. Both cars received the full force of the impact on the right side, and were extensively damaged. The only damage to Davis's car was a bent bumper. Broken glass from the windscreen on Strickland's car struck him on the head, lacerating his scalp. He was taken to the Melbourne Hospital for treatment. Kirsch and Davis escaped injury.8

Citations

  1. [S2] Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages Federation Index Victoria 1889-1901.
  2. [S4] Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages Great War Index Victoria 1914-1920.
  3. [S5] Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages Death Index Victoria 1921-1985.
  4. [S114] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1914.
  5. [S119] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1919.
  6. [S131] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1931.
  7. [S82] Newspaper - Pakenham Gazette and Berwick Shire News (Pakenham East, Vic. : 1917 - 1918)
    "12 Dec 1919, p2."
  8. [S11] Newspaper - Argus 8 May 1929, p8.
Last Edited11 Jun 2019
 

NOTE

Many family sections show only the children who were associated with Upper Beaconsfield.