Typo: A Monthly Newspaper and Literary Review, Volume 3
Christchurch, 18 July, 1889.
Trade is still in a healthy state here, and the offices are kept in full swing. I hope it will continue so, for a change for the better is much needed. Some of the employers are, I am sure, glad to know that the hateful cry of « depression » is gradually dying out. I was talking to a member of one of our local firms the other day, and he expressed the opinion that when spring came round it would bring with it a briskness in trade of every kind. I sincerely hope so.
There is a rumor current in trade circles here to the effect that a new firm is about to establish a large job printing office in this city, with a plant large enough to compete with any of the present offices. I have been told it is intended to begin operations next month. I do not know if this is the outcome of the company I mentioned in my last letter as being in course of formation, as it is very difficult to glean any authentic particulars. However, I am given to understand that the new firm, if it starts, intends to work independently of the Master Printers' Association.
I may be pardoned for once more referring to the Master Printers' Association. I have cause to believe that the main point of disagreement between the members is that the new tariff has, in the opinion of some, been drawn up on too high a scale. If the tariff had been arranged on a fair basis, not too high, but at prices that would have given decent profits, no doubt the Association would have received the support of every employer, and I think every man would have stuck to his colors. I trust it is not too late yet for them to look to their interests.
I have not heard that any further steps have been taken in the Sommers-Lyttelton Times Company libel case, but from what I have been told privately I would not be surprised to see the case gone on with.
Another libel action is pending here, although no newspaper is implicated. This time two photographers have fallen out. Mr Eden George has instructed Mr Joynt to issue a writ for £200 damages against Mr R. W. Meers, a photographer, for publishing an alleged defamatory photograph during the late election for Christchurch North.
Mr W. Syms, the Press Company's engineer, has invented and applied to the Foster machine used for printing the paper, a highly ingenious attachment which performs the duty of pasting the leaves of the journal together so as to present the paper to the reader in a bound form. This improvement ought to prove a great convenience, and will no doubt be appreciated by its readers. The Press says:— « So far as we are aware, the Press and the New Zealand Herald are the only papers throughout the whole of the Australasian colonies which are issued in this improved form. »
I have been shown a copy of the syllabus of the second session of the Literary Society of the Y.M.C.A., and I see Mr Chapman's name down for a paper on « Slang, » on the 26th of August. I am given to understand that this Society has a number of members of the craft on its membership roll.
The first number of Zealandia, the new monthly magazine, has sold well in Christchurch. One bookseller told me that he had sold out every copy. The local press has also given the journal favorable criticism, but the Press is a little severe on its general get-up. Of the cover, it says: « Whenever anything supposed to be essentially New Zealand in its character is introduced, whether it be a banknote, a periodical, or a pot of jam, it seems to be considered indispensable to illustrate it by a picture of a moa, a Maori chief, a tree fern, and a kauri tree. These are all on the cover of Zealandia, depicted in unusually sombre colors. We would advise the conductors to banish all this doleful paraphernalia, and to go in for a bright attractive cover with the title in 'taking' type, and, if it is thought advisable, a list of contents. »
The Canterbury Typographical Society's Social passed off very successfully. A large number of youngsters sat down to the tea, and were afterwards well entertained by Mr Cook, with his dissolving views. The adults thoroughly enjoyed themselves at the dance afterwards. During the evening Professor Bickerton delivered an address, eulogizing these Socials as a means of engendering good fellowship among its members. The Society's half-yearly meeting will be held on the 20th inst.
The Thames Advertiser (a home rule paper) says very truly that the object of the leaders of the movement « is quite as much if not more to achieve the abolition of landlordism as to gratify a national aspiration. In fact it is very questionable whether in the absence of the former the latter would not cease to be assertive. »