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Typo: A Monthly Newspaper and Literary Review, Volume 3

Our Correspondents

Our Correspondents

Wellington, 28 September, 1889.

Trade kept up the briskness which has been with us since Parliamentary session opened, but as soon as our legislators sought their homes so many printers received the notice which means to them a seeking after fresh fields wherein to try their fortune with stick and rule. Last Saturday 15 hands were discharged from the piece-room of the Government Printing Office, and to-day 9 more received a week's notice, so that next week the staff of the room will be composed of 8 hands. The session has been a very good one for the piece hands. Several of those discharged have taken advantage of the cheap fares of the U.S.S. Co. and taken passage for Sydney. Australia seems to be the El Dorado of the N. Z. printer, probably on account of its proximity to our colony—although I think the power of the craft in N. S. W. and Victoria holds out some attractions. I would recommend any young men who wish to try a good field for the engagement of their services to try Cape Colony. Our direct boats call there, and the demand for printers is great, owing to the impetus given to trade generally owing to the active colonising which is in progress. Our jobbing offices are busy, and promise to keep so for a few weeks.

Since my last letter to you, a reduction in the price per 1000 ens has taken place in the N. Z. Times news room. The old price was 1/-less 5%,—the price now is 8%. The reduction was effected without any opposition.

Mr D. P. Fisher, well known throughout New Zealand among printers, has been elected President of the newly-formed Lumpers' and Maritime Laborers' Union.

In my last letter a notice of motion put upon the report of this Branch having for its object the abolition of the Executive Council, N.Z.T.A. was quoted. Two special meetings of the members of the Branch were held and the subject was thoroughly threshed out in debate. Mr Mills put in a series of amendments suggesting a reform in the Council's constitution, but this gentleman withdrew the amendments on the substitution of an amendment for the appointing of a Committee to take up the lines suggested in his amendments. When the matter eventually came to the vote Mr McGirr's motion for abolition of Council only received two supporters, and a Committee was appointed to consider the best means for re-constituting the N.Z.T.A. The Committee will report to the Branch at a general meeting next Wednesday. The Committee consists of the following members:—Messrs W. P. McGirr, D. P. Fisher, T. L. Mills, E. D. Johnson, H. Webb, and F. Millar.

Our printers are bringing the fruits of their inventive faculties into the light of day, as the following notices in the list of patents applied for in the N. Z. Gazette of last and this week testify:— « John Cole Edwards, of Wellington, printer, for a game played with printed cards, to be called 'Quintets and Quartets,' being an adaptation of a well-known game called 'Quartets' to the purposes of an advertising medium.—George Percy and William Daniell Haggett, of Wellington, printers, for a new game or method of amusement, and apparatus for the same. »

The Executive Council of the N. Z. T. A. is taking an individual vote on the following important questions:—1. That Rule 5, page 6, General Rules, be altered so as to include bookbinders as members of the N.Z.T.A. (This alteration is suggested by the Auckland Branch in deference to the wishes of the bookbinding craft located there.) 2. That Rule 33, page 12, General Rules, be altered by the addition of the following words after the ninth line:— « A full member having received four pounds as out-of-work allowance, shall not at any time be entitled to any further benefit until he has paid twenty-six shillings into the funds of the Association in the way of ordinary subscriptions. » (The Executive Council's dictum as to the proper interpretation of Rule 33 having been questioned by the Board of Management of the Wellington Branch, the alteration is suggested by the Executive Council with the view to a settlement of the matter.) 3. That the New Zealand Typographical Association secede from the Australasian Typographical Union. (This step is suggested by the Wellington Branch, its contention being that very little can be gained by being affiliated, pecuniarily or otherwise. It is pointed out that in submitting any important trade dispute, first to the Executive Council, and then to the Australasian Typographical Union, for settlement, a complete waste of time and endless correspondence must result, and thus the main object—namely, a settlement of the dispute, which should always demand immediate action—would possibly be defeated. The Wellington Branch thinks the machinery too cumbersome and expensive, and is of opinion that either the N.Z.T.A. must secede from the A.T.U., or the Executive Council must bo dispensed with; and submits that, if the two bodies are allowed to continue as at present, it will be necessary to raise the subscriptions. Supposing the N.Z.T.A. secedes from the A.T.U., the Wellington Branch suggests encouraging Trades and Labor Councils, and in that way, if possible, bringing about a combination of all trades throughout the colony.

Christchurch, 23 September, 1889.

Trade is quiet, and some of the compositors are still on half-time.

Early in August the Pioneer Bicycle Club published a journal called the New Zealand Wheelman's Gazette, with the object of advertising prominently among wheelmen the proposed intercolonial race meeting. The first number met with so much support that the P.B.C. have now entered into a contract for the publication of the Gazette monthly for six months.

The War Cry is shortly to be enlarged to eight pages demy folio. I hear that no extra men will be employed, as the work is to be done by boys.

Messrs Russell & Willis are going to issue a new weekly publication to be called the Bazaar. It will be twelve pages demy folio, and is to be published at 2d per copy. The Bazaar is to be a home and family newspaper, of a distinctly literary character. I wish the enterprising firm every success.

A deputation from the Master Printers' Association waited on the North Canterbury Board of Education at its ordinary meeting on September 12 to urge the advisableness of having all school books and stationery printed in the colony. It was argued by the deputation that if the request were complied with, more work would be given to printers and bookbinders in the colony, and that it would also tend to the establishment of a national literature. It was also stated that the offices were fully equipped for the work, which could be turned out equal to the books obtained from home. After considerable discussion the following resolution was passed by the Board:— « That so far as may be consistent with the proper education of the children in North Canterbury, this Board will afford the utmost possible assistance in support of the objects set forth by the deputation. » This matter has excited some public attention, and I think the general opinion is that the Master Printers' Association has taken a step in the right direction. They should not stop here, but should see that the Boards in other large towns are interviewed and the question gone into thoroughly.

Owing to Mr Loughnan's retirement from the editorial chair of the Lyttelton Times, there is to be a re-arrangement of the literary staff. I understand that Mr W. P. Reeves will edit the Times, Mr J. Plunket the Star, and Mr W. V. Hamilton the Canterbury Times.

Mr Geo. Tombs, of the firm of Messrs Whitcombe & Tombs, was tendered a complimentary dinner by the employés of the firm on Friday evening last, on the occasion of his retiring from the active management of the two departments hitherto superintended by him. The toast of « Our Guests » was proposed by Mr J. P. Cooper in an excellent speech, in the course of which he referred to the loss the firm and its employés were about to sustain through the retirement of Mr Tombs after an experience in printing and newspaper work in Canterbury which commenced so far back in the early days of the settlement as June 1, 1856. At the close of his speech Mr Cooper on behalf of the firm's employés presented Mr Tombs with a handsomely illuminated and framed address, expressing their high appreciation of his sterling character, and a hope for his welfare in the future. Mr Tombs, in returning thanks, gave a humorous account of how, in the early days of newspapers in the Province, the publications did not bear the trim appearance they do now, but were a medley of mixed brevier and nonpareil, « leaded » out with strips of bonnet-boxes, pieces of wood, or any material obtainable. Messrs Wilkin (manager of the Times) and Geo. Hart (Press) also spoke of the trials and troubles of printers and newspaper men in Canterbury's early days. Mr Hart, who now holds a high position on the literary staff of the Press, was a fellow apprentice of Mr Tombs. An enjoyable evening was spent, all the principal printing offices in town being represented. Mr E. Hicks is Mr Tombs' successor.

At a special meeting of the Canterbury Typographical Association, held during the month, a resolution expressing sympathy with the London dock laborers on strike, and admiration of the manner in which they were conducting the struggle, was unanimously adopted.

On the 26th August Mr W. Chapman read his paper on « Slang » before the Literary Society of the Y.M.C.A. There were between fifty and sixty members present, and the paper was favorably criticised.