Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Typo: A Monthly Newspaper and Literary Review, Volume 8

Monthly Record

page 2

Monthly Record.

It was not altogether a cheerful report that was presented by the board of management of the Wellington branch of the Typographical Society for the past half-year, as the following extracts will show: The board regrets its inability to submit that satisfactory record it could wish. Cheap labor is the main trouble. Peaceful efforts have been made to uphold the aims and objects of the society. The unsatisfactory state of things is not attributable to any unusual falling-off in the demand for labor at this time of the year—on the contrary, trade has been brisk; it is the natural outcome of the insane competition indulged in by employers. Cheap labor must follow rash tendering. Fair-dealing employers should endeavor to correct this evil; but it is a duty they shirk. The incoming Board will unquestionably cope with this difficulty, and it will be well for it to follow the lines laid down by the retiring board. On turning to the balance-sheet, it will be seen that the receipts this time exceed the expenditure by £34 12/0½. The item of unemployed and retiring allowances (£31) is again large, being only 30/- less than last half-year, a time when this item is usually at its highest point. Your board very regretfully has to announce that unfair offices are on the increase. There are now seven in this city. They are unfair because the adult employees in five receive less than standard wages; in one an exceedingly large number of boys and youths are employed; and in the other—being a family affair—all hours are worked. »

The Wairarapa Methodist Record, a penny monthly, has appeared in Masterton. The Revs. J. Dukes and S. J. Gibson are joint editors, and Mr R. E. Hornblow is the publisher.

Mr William Potts, who has for nine years held the position of artist and head of the lithographic department for Mr Willis, of Wanganui, has left the establishment, and intends also to leave the colony.

Mr Joseph Ivess has severed his connexion with the Paraekaretu Express. It has been taken over by two members of his staff, Messrs Wilson & Unwin. Mr Ivess contradicts the rumor associating his name with the paper which the liquor party contemplate establishing at Woodville.

We regret (says the Tuapeka Times) to announce the death of Mrs Pilling, wife of Mr Thomas Pilling, one of the proprietors of this journal, which took place at Lawrence after a brief illness on 2nd January. There is much sympathy expressed for Mr Pilling in his deep affliction. Mrs Pilling was a young woman, in the prime of life, and leaves a family of four young children. She was a native of Victoria, where most of her friends reside, and was related to the present minister of mines in that colony.

The suggestion that schoolbooks in this country should be all adapted to the regions south of the equator is bearing fruit. The principle being once accepted, it cannot stop at schoolbooks. All literature, sacred and secular, will require revision and adaptation to latitude 41° S. and longitude 172° 30´ E. This considerable task having been effected, the misleading originals can be declared contraband. A Wairarapa poet has already written a localised version of a familar carol. Two lines will suffice as an example:

Good King Wenceslas looked out, on the feast of Stephen,
When the royal thermometer stood at ninety-seven.

We commend this patriotic attempt to the special attention of the minister of education. It is not a conspicuous success; but it will probably compare favorably with much of the matter in the official educational works now in hand.

It is with pleasure that we note the enlargement of our valued exchange the Taranaki Herald. The editor thus reviews the past career of the paper: « Starting with four small pages of demy folio in 1852, and coming out once a week—the population in Taranaki then being under two thousand—we did not alter our size until 1862, when the Herald appeared on a double demy sheet, still being published weekly. On April 38th, 1869, the paper came out twice a week, continuing to do so till 1877, when it appeared as a daily in conjunction with the Budget, which was issued weekly for country readers, and is acknowledged to have the largest circulation of any weekly paper on this coast. We enlarged the size of the Herald on January 1st, 1883, and again on July 28th, 1892; but finding advertisements still encroaching on our news columns, we have felt compelled to again increase the size of our paper to its present dimensions. Not only have we added four additional columns, but our readers will find that the columns themselves have also been lengthened considerably. » The editor, Mr Seffern, has stamped his vigorous personality on every department of the Herald. So far as we know, it is the only general newspaper in New Zealand that thinks it worth while to record the doings in the world of colonial journalism.

A telegram in a country paper reports that one hundred « geological students » have been expelled from Constantinople.

Mr A. L. Muir, of the parliamentary press gallery, son of Mr A. Muir, proprietor of the Poverty Bay Herald, was married this month at Oamaru, to Miss Harriet Taylor, eldest daughter of Mr G. Taylor.

There are 174 newspapers registered in New Zealand. Of these 52 are daily papers, 15 thrice-weekly, 26 semi-weekly, 59 weekly, and 22 monthly.

At the late general election, one of the Maori candidates issued a placard which, being interpreted read, « Vote for—, the Saviour of all the Nations. » A rival of less lofty pretensions was returned.

The Wanganui collegiate school contributes its quota to the list of examination blunders. These are some late examples: Copt, a policeman. By-election, an election obtained by bribery. Monsoon, a bird found in Japan.

Of late some of our country papers have opened their columns to plate-matter from an Australian « journalists' association. » It is of the police gazette order, written in bad English and worse taste, with gory sensation heads and illustrations to correspond. There is surely no public demand for trash of this kind.

On the 23rd inst., Mr T. E. Fraser, printer of the War Cry and Prohibitionist, was fined £5 1s and costs for printing a slip referring to the Alcoholic Liquor Sales Control Act and omitting his imprint thereon. There had been no publication in the ordinary sense, the sheet being an office proof, sent out for revision, which had by some means fallen into the hands of an enemy. The court held that a technical offence having been proved, it had no course but to convict, and would have inflicted the minimum penalty, but at the request of counsel for the defence, the fine was made heavy enough to allow of appeal.

The vitality of an error, or of a false report when once set afloat, is remarkable. An example occurred this month. A gentleman, in looking over an early volume of the Wellington Spectator, found an account of an active volcano in the Kaikoura range, which had not been observed prior to the earthquake of 22nd January, 1855. He wrote a letter of inquiry to the Lyttelton Times, and in the Napier Herald, a « Pioneer of the Early Fifties » replied. In April, 1855, he set out in search of the volcano. He found a conical mountain, 2000 feet high, (now known as Ben More), which a few weeks before had been crowned with forest, blackened and bare. He also met the « rough-looking chap » whose fern-fire, kindled in a gully, had enveloped the mountain-top in flames, a phenomenon which, observed from a passing coaster, was mistaken for a volcanic outbreak.

The Dunedin correspondent of the Tuapeka Times writes, under date 12th January: Mr George Bell, the proprietor of the Evening Star, and the grand old man of New Zealand journalism, celebrated his eighty-fifth birthday on Tuesday, and was the recipient of a shower of congratulatory greetings from his numerous friends as well as from his employees. Mr Bell is a man of fine character, kindly and generous in thought and nature, a splendid type of the old school of gentleman—now a vanishing quantity amongst us. He is still, even at his great age, as straight as a lance, and seldom misses a day in putting in an appearance, even though it is a brief one, at the office of the paper, which his ability and splendid business capacity have placed in a foremost position among the press of the colony. I hope Mr Bell may continue to exercise for many years to come those ripe intellectual gifts that he has so long employed in the public welfare,

Mr Fish, late M.H.R. and present mayor of Dunedin, has been presented by his admirers with a purse of gold, to console him for his defeat at the general election. In response, he made a long speech, which has been very mildly described as intemperate. It was chiefly notable for its references to the press. The editor of the Prohibitionist he characterized as a surpliced ruffian — a foul clerical slanderer, with a vicious mind. Addressing himself to the « liquor ring, » he said there were times when anything was justifiable. They need not kill their enemies, but they must seek them out and boycot them. There were in Dunedin, in the Times and the Star, Robert Noble Adams and John Wesley Jago. Well, they must buy the papers and advertise in them, but if they wanted job printing done, while these men were employed there they should not go near the offices.—The whole tirade, as reported, fills more than a column. It is worthy of note that neither of the Dunedin dailies advocate prohibition. Being decent journals, they oppose Mr Fish, who apparently invites the liquor trade to fight his private battles. The two gentlemen singled out for abuse belong to the business departments of their respective offices, and have no control over the editorial policy. This public attack on private citizens was therefore peculiarly cowardly, and it has been very properly resented by the Otago press.

page 3

According to the report in all three Wellington papers, the steamer Ruahine on her last trip crossed the equator in 9° N. It is as rare as it is gratifying to find these journals thus unanimous, even as to matters of fact.

The Wellington Times lately announced that Sir Westby Perceval was the first young New Zealander to attain the honor of knighthood. Other papers having disputed the Agent-General's claim to be a New Zealander, the Times admitted that he was not born in the colony—but that was an unimportant detail. Then the Post pointed out that an earlier knight and undoubted New Zealander is Sir Walter Buller, born at the Bay of Islands in 1838. By this time there does not seem to be much of the original item left.

The following resolution, passed at a recent committee meeting of the Blueskin Agricultural and Pastoral Society, deserves to be placed on record: « The committee's attention having been drawn to the unfair manner in which some owners and exhibits are lauded in the reports of some shows, hereby resolve to instruct the several stewards of the respective classes not to give any opinions of their own to a reporter of the merits or demerits of any exhibits; but that it be a respectful request to the judges in each class to give their opinions to the reporters on being applied to for the same; and it is most urgently and respectfully suggested that the reporters attending the Blueskin show obtain the opinions of the judges, and not those of the stewards, exhibitors, or others than the judges aforesaid. »

The friends of the Melbourne Evening Standard (says Table Talk) will be glad to hear that the management has surmounted its temporary financial difficulties, and full wages are again paid throughout the establishment. This step also settled the difficulty which had arisen between the directorate and the employees of the Melbourne Evening Herald. Full wages are now paid in both offices, and a legitimate victory is claimed for the Typographical Society.

The subscribers to the Adelong and Tumut Times (N.S.W.) ought to be edified by the telegraphic news furnished by that enterprising paper, if the following recent budget be a fair sample:— « Latest Telegrams. London, Wednesday. Further conflicting reports are to hand about Captain Wilson and party. Lobengula's brother says that the party wiped out the Czar and ordered the construction of forty torpedo boats for the protection of the Baltic, and yet peace is preached.—Cicily is in a state of revolt over domestic reasons.—Mr Gladstone's health necessitates the attendance of doctors. It is said that he is suffering from humorous complaints. »

The first number of a new weekly organ, representing the social and religious interests of the Australian Jewish community, was published in Sydney on 5th January. It is called the Australian Hebrew Times, and is a well-written journal of sixteen pages, mostly literary matter. This (says Table Talk) is the third attempt to found a journal in the interests of the Jewish community. The first Jewish newspaper was called the Australian Israelite, and was brought out in 1870, the editor being Mr Solomon Joseph, a brother-in law of Sir Benjamin Benjamin, and who is now proprietor of the Tamworth News. Mr Joseph's eldest son is the chief of the West Australian « Hansard » staff, and is reputed to be the fastest and best shorthand writer in Australia. One of the writers on the journal was Mr David Blair. The second newspaper was the Jewish Herald, a fortnightly periodical, price 1s, started in 1880 by a Melbourne syndicate, which still exists, the present proprietor being Mr A. M'Kinley, M.L.A.

The jury in the libel case Speight v. Syme (Melbourne Age) retired on Thursday, 28th December, and on Saturday, 30th, they brought in a general verdict for the plaintiff—damages, £100. Mr Justice Hodges said that a general verdict could not be received, and required a separate finding on each of the eleven counts. The jury were then locked up till Tuesday, spending their New Year in durance. They were only able to agree on one count, and on this they gave £100 damages. The eighth count, on which the verdict was given, the Age did not attempt to justify. The paper had accused Mr Speight of ruinous incompetency, alleging that there lay at the Newport stores £250,000 of stock that should not be there at all, a large proportion of which was out of date and useless. The railway storekeeper swore that the total stock represented only £1200, and that not £50 worth was out of date or useless. In regard to working cost, the Age was shown to have arrived at its-results through egregious errors in its methods of computation; and whatever foundation there may have been for some of its charges, there was much animus displayed, and a good deal of reckless exaggeration. The defendants' costs amount to £21,000, and the plaintiff's to about half as much. The case extended over ninety sitting days, and certain points still remain to be argued. The end is not yet in sight, Mr Speight having already given notice that he will proceed to a new trial on the ten counts on which the jury disagreed.

Side by side in the Adelaide papers, during the race week, were printed one paragraph stating that the police intended to stringently enforce the Anti-Gambling Act, and another announcing that an ex-minister had won « the Assembly sweep. »

The Marquis of Lorne has read a paper before the Imperial Institute, in which he advocates the institution of a new order, to be called the « Star of Australasia. » The Marquis evidently understands the little weaknesses of colonial social democracy.

Mr Ellis, late of the Daily News, has been appointed city editor of The Times.

Joshua Barstow, compositor, at the patriarchal age of 85, still picks up type in a newspaper office at Norwich, Connecticut. He is the only surviving printer who worked at case with Horace Greeley.

A London telegram of 21st inst. reports that Mr and Mrs Zieren-berg, the plaintiffs in the celebrated libel action against Truth, have been committed for trial for perjury.

According to the Athenæum, there were about a hundred candidates—several of them well known in the world—for the editorship of the Quarterly Review, left vacant by the death of Sir William Smith. No definite choice has yet been made.

A lady who lately died at Newcastle has set an excellent example. She bequeathed her entire fortune to the editor of a newspaper, in recognition of the many hours of enjoyment she had derived from the study of its pages.

A pretty warm discussion in the Fiji press, between missionaries of the Romanist and Wesleyan churches, resulted in a libel action, the Rev. F. Nicoullan, priest of the former denomination, claiming of the Rev. J. P. Chapman £1000 damages. The case lasted ten days, and resulted in a verdict for the defendant.

The Pall Mall Gazette expresses the utmost surprise that the bill to incorporate the New Zealand Institute of Journalists should have been opposed by certain journalistic members of the House of Representatives, as tending to strangle free and open competition in the literary trade, and as likely to have the effect of squeezing out the smaller class of journals. Such, it says, has not been the effect of incorporating the Institute of Journalists at home.

The mischief that may be done by an incendiary press has been forcibly illustrated in Canada. A scurrilous sheet at Montreal has been working up an anti-British agitation, and had gone particularly frantic over the statue of Nelson in that city. Several youths thereupon conspired to blow up the monument with dynamite. Among them were a son of the ex-Premier and a son of the chief of police. The latter, almost at the last moment, seems to have realized the possible results of the contemplated crime, and divulged the plot, with the result that the conspirators were arrested in the act. Had their design not been frustrated, they would probably have had to undergo a capital penalty, for the dynamite they had provided was sufficient to wreck not only the monument, but the town hall and the buildings on all sides of the square. The principal offender, the editor, escapes scot-free.