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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 6 (October 2, 1933)

Variety in Brief

page 49

Variety in Brief

Will Rogers, noted film comedian, and leading American humorist, writing in the “Peoria-Journal Transcrip” (U. S. A.), says, inter alia: “I was with Wirth Bros', circus, and we played everything from Wyapuckerou in New Zealand, to Killgooly, or something like that away out in the West of Australia.” The rolling syllables of Waipukurau have long caused the name to be a subject of humour among visiting stage comedians touring the Dominion, but this is probably the first time on record that an American writer has jested about it. But perhaps Rogers really couldn't spell the name? —C. H. F.

* * *

One of the most interesting caves I have come across is at Nugget Point, roughly half way between Dunedin and Bluff. About four hundred feet below the lighthouse, the cliff slopes off to a horizontal ridge, in which is a little crater about forty feet deep. From the bottom, a cave runs along parallel to the seafront. Next, a side cave opens on to the sea, and farther on there is another huge opening at sea level. Since both these side caves are wide, they catch the air when a sou'-wester is blowing so that, being compressed by the wind behind, it passes through the caves and rushes up the funnel. Any sand which falls from the side is whisked into the air. This is the only explanation I can give of the formation of the funnel. After the caves had been formed, and had reached the layer of sandstone above, huge waves, by dashing into the entrance compressed the air inside, and this air was forced through a crack in the standstone. The crack would eventually widen into a funnel. —G. S. McAuslan.

* * *

Timi, from the Hawke's Bay back-blocks held the floor.

“Mere an’ me visit te friends in Wairarapa,” he said; “an’ we ride in a train for my first time. Py Chove, I puff out te proud puku when a porter man take our suit hamper at Napier station and say: ‘You want this checked?’

“No need to check it,” chip in Mere, with a grand grin. ‘It can go fast as you wish.’

“Te ferra wink an‘ say: ‘We fix it, missus;’ an’ after asking where we going for, he take te hamper off to sit in te guard's carriage.

“Py korry, I notice everyone in our fine carriage dressed up very toff, an’ Mere jaw me very fierce for wearing te dusty 1914 suit, when a new one going rusty in te hamper case. ‘A train not dusty with grime juice like a service car,’ she say, pefore starting to open our kai cases.

“Soon after we start, a ticket man come, an‘ after he nip ours he gaze at me an’ say: ‘You change at Woodvirra’ (Woodville).

“T'at give me a great shock, an’ soon as he go Mere say: ‘You never wait for Woodvirra. You change record quick at Waipukurau’; so, soon as we reach t'at city I hurry off to te guard carriage an’ ask for our suit hamper.

“‘But it is checked to Carterton,’ te guard say: so I point out what I peen warned about changing te suit, an’ t'at guard very near ruin his neck organs with mirth quakers.

“‘He mean for you to change trains,’ he say, when he can speak.

“I never want to change,’ I say. ‘This nice one suit te missus an’ me from Port Cape to te Puff.

“Te guard stage more mirth, an’ t'en point out that our nice train turning up another track at Woodvirra, an’ if we won't hop out, Wairarapa never see us t'at day.

“Py Chose, understanding come over me t'en, an‘ I grip te guard's fist an’ say: ‘Sometime Coates crown you stationmaster chief with honours,’ an’ off I hurry to give Mere te news.

“She rock te carriage with joy quivers.

“‘This more fun t'an a mischievous hike,’ she say, an’ chew into a fresh fish cake to shoo off te hysterics.”—“O. W. Waireki.”

* * *

Mention of Captain O'Brien's description of Mount Egmont as set out in the May issue of the New Zealand Railways Magazine, reminded me of a very uncommon view I obtained of the cone from Golden Bay. Some miles away from Takaka, along the direction of Separation Point, I sat down for lunch on the roadside. The day was a glorious one, and the clear blue sea and golden sands below me were wonders enough. But far away on the horizon lay a long low bank of white clouds, and rising above it, clear, distinct and unmistakable, shone the white top of Mount Egmont. Of course I was thrilled. I had not been in the South Island very long and, between Nelson and the Sand Spit at Cape Farewell, I believe this sentinel cone is the only portion of the North Island visible; and this is seen only on very rare occasions. What O'Brien wrote of the cone was made clear to me that day: the immensity and perfection of the mountain is never so realistically presented as when we view it across many miles of ocean and view it standing alone and absolute, as it were, in space. —“Pumice.”