Wednesday 18 October 1911, Kadina and Wallaroo Times (SA : 1888 - 1954) Trove

[By Mr J. P. Rooney.] No 1. Leaving Bute on October 10 reached Port Price in time for tea. The crops between these two places reveal that rain is needed very badly. There were some good crops in and around Kulpara, and with a fair amount of good luck, look good enough for twenty bushels to the acre all crops are, however, in the balance and rain or no rain means good or bad crops. The frosty nights that have been experienced are very dangerous to crops in bloom. As my countryman says, ''I hae ma doots" about the crops this year. Hay will be very scarce. Upon reaching Yarraroo took the ponies out and gave them a spell, and through the kindness of Miss Slatter had a most enjoyable stroll through the beautiful garden. Upon arriving at Price we heard that Mr D. J. Gordon was to address a meeting to be held under the auspices of the Liberal Union. Having heard and read a good deal about this gentlemen decided to hear him. He was quite up to expectations. For about an hour and a half he gave such a sound, plain, and straightforward statement of the Labor and Liberal platforms that the most illiterate could not fail to grasp the situation. After having heard such an explanation any person who, wanted to vote for Labor should go to Dr Cleland and get his head read. The hall was full. The explanation of preference to unionists by Mr Gordon was splendid, and showed how cruel and tyrannical such an act will be. It was pointed out that I we are about the most heavily taxed people in the world. If a change of bad seasons turns up our condition will be pitiable. During the past 75 years we have had cycles of wet and droughty seasons alternately, about 7 years of each. We have had 7 wet seasons, and in the natural course of events we must be on the verge, if this is not one, of the dry ones. Then we shall feel the pinch of our 'uplifter of humanity', but perhaps such a benevolent Government will then take off our taxes. About 2 o'clock on Wednesday morning a loud knocking was heard at the front door of the hotel, accompanied by shouts of "Fire." The laudlord jumped up and was informed that a man had been burned to death in a camp near by. All rushed to the camp, and brought the unfortunate man, who was still alive, but seriously injured, to the hotel, where the landlord made him as comfortable as possible. Police Trooper Wright of Ardrossan, who happened to be at Price, sent a man on a motor cycle for Dr Betts, of Maitland, who arrived about 6 a.m. After attending the sufferer arrangements were made to send him to the Wallaroo Hospital.


Leaving Price on Wednesday arrived at Ardrossan same evening. The crops along the road by the sea are very poor, but near Ardrossan there are some very good wheat crops. Was informed that the crops inland are better. Put up at the Royal Hotel, and was made comfortable by the landlord (Mr J. Graham). The hotel is kept very nicely and is scrupulously clean. On Thursday morning strolled around the town, and was surprised at the number of new shops and dwellings that have been erected since my previous visit, ten years ago. Visited Smith's Agricultural Factory, and was shown over the works by Mr Elphick, who explained all the labor saving machinery which has been installed. Years ago it was thought good work to turn out one plough per week, now they are being turned out at the rate of seven per day. Also met Mr Smith, who is a most unassuming young man, and appears very young to have worked up to running such a large plant of the most up-to-date machinery. There are 150 men employed at these works, and much of the prosperity of the town depends on them. Messrs Tiddy & Co's new and commodious store occupies a most conspicuous position, and reminds one of some of the shops in Rundle street. On the occasion of my previous visit the Commercial Bank occupied an iron room next to the hotel. It is now in the centre of the town, and is a good substantial stone building.


Left Ardrossan on Thursday after lunch for Port Vincent. Hugged the shore as much as possible all the way. Part of the journey is over rough solid rocks and sand ten inches deep. The crops along the track are enough to give one the 'D.T's" being from four to twelve inches high, with heads no larger than buttons. Was informed that the crops inland are very good, but everywhere rain is badly needed. In many places rabbits are to be seen in millions, many paddocks of wheat being eaten to the ground within a chain of the fences. About twenty miles from Ardrossan the land is better, the mallee being larger and the crops better. About six miles from Port Vincent saw the first binder for the season at work, which was cutting a very fair crop of wheat and oats. Port Vincent, seen from an elevation, about 4 miles distant, presented a very pretty spectacle. The bay reminds one of Sydney Harbor, being an almost perfect half circle, with rising ground all round. Beached Port Vincent in time for tea, and was made comfortable by the landlord of the hotel, Mr Ponder. The hotel is kept clean and comfortable, but should be double the size.


Saturday 21 October 1911, Kadina and Wallaroo Times (SA : 1888 - 1954) Trove

[By Mr J. P. Rooney-] No. 2. Left Port Vincent for Stansbury about 3.30 p.m. on Friday, October 13, after seeing the steamer Kooringa alongside the jetty, it having to stand out for about an hour on account of the tide. A number of passengers landed. Owing to having to load a large consignment of wool the steamer was about an hour late leaving the port. The country between Port Vincent and Stansbury is much better than that formerly seen, and the crops look very promising. There are also marked evidences of prosperity in the district, in the general appearance of the farmers' residences. The Stansbury hotel is too small for the requirements of the place, and if more accomodation was was provided wonld, in the summer, be well patronised by visitors from Adelaide. One of the mam products of Stansbury is lime. There are eleven lime kilns within a radios of five miles of the town. Pitt's limekiln, which is situated near the old jetty, turns out 1,000 bags per week. Mr Pitt, the proprietor, is at present spending a holiday in New Zealand. The Jetty Hotel, while not a very imposing structure, is very comfortable and clean. The landlord and his wife are exceedingly kind and obliging, and I was sorry to leave.


Leaving Stansbury about 3.30 p.m. on Saturday, after seeing the steamer Juno arrive, directed my course to Edithburgh. The crops between Stansbury and Edithburgh are looking splendid, and give promise of yielding from 20 to 30 bushels per acre. The central opinion of farmers in the district is that they will have a another good season. Reached Edithburgh in time for tea, and made enquiries about a visit to the salt works. Interviewed the manager, Mr Baker, who courteously offered to show me the works that evening. Was very much impressed with the immense floors, which cover an area of about three acres. The works are brilliantly illuminated with electricity. When in full swing, the company employs about 150 men. In addition to the factory inspected, there are two other salt factories, the Commonwealth and the Standard. Edithburgh is a very busy town, and prosperity seems to reign all around. The Troubridge Lighthouse looks very pretty from here with the sun shining on it. I put up at the Family Hotel, which is a commodious building overlooking the jetty. It is well kept, and the landlord and his wife (Mr and Mrs Cocks) are very anxious to make their patrons feel at home.


Leaving Edithburgh on Sunday about 11 a.m., arrived at Yorketow in time for lunch at the Melville Hotel, which is kept by Mr Stockings, whom I found very attentive, and who keeps his hotel well. Yorketown is the most promising town seen since leaving Bute. There are a number of new substantial buildings recently completed, also several in the course of erection. The crops between Edithburgh and Yorketown look exceedingly well, and with another rain should average from 20 to 30 bushela to the acre. In the summer Yorketown is a very busy town, wheat and salt carting then being in full swing. Was agreeably surprised to meet in Yorketown. Mr Moore, head teacher of Yorketown school, who was formerly head teacher at Paskeville, and who lived with me at the Railway Hotel, Paskeville for several years. Also met another old friend in the person of Mounted Constable Ewens, who was stationer at Snowtown for about five years. During the salt season Mr Ewens informed me that he often meets the 'cream' of society there, and many of the salt scrapers have tried to scrap him, but have not made much impression. The local manager of the Bank of Adelaide, whom I also met, is the son of the late Mr Burton, of Gawler, an old friend. He is an enthusiastic gardner, and I obtained from him a number of cuttings of choice plants.


Between Yorketown and Minlaton was impressed with the absence of the growth of mallee. For about 10 miles between these two towns there is not a mallee to be seen, which appeared strange to one so accustomed to these trees. There is a large stretch of country entirely under titree, which appears to be beautiful grass country, but too rocky for cultivation. When about 10 miles from Minlaton a traveller gets into mallee country again, with beautiful crops of wheat and oats, which give promise of yielding from 20 bushels to the acre. About three miles from Minlaton there are a large number of well-to-do farmers, judging from their large and substantially built homesteads. Minlaton is the prettiest town I have seen during my trip. The main street is wide and is planted with mixed trees on each side. The Town Hall is exceptionally large for a country town, and there are a number of large stores and dwelling houes. Heard that at Yorketown on Monday night there was a fall of 15 points of rain, but not a drop fell at Minlaton. Motor cars and vehicles of all sorts are to be seen making for the Maitland Show.

Mount Rat and Port Yictoria.

Left Minlaton about 2 p.m. on Wednesday and arrived at Port Vicioria in time for tea. The land adjacent to Minlaton is mainly grazing country, but near Mount Rat, and from there to Port Victoria, there is good agricultural land with fair crops, which with half an inch of rain would be transformed into first class crops. Was surprised to see such good land and crops around Mount Rat, having heard for the past twenty years that it was poor miserable stony country. Upon arriving at Port Victoria noticed a steamer, the Investigator, and a ketch being loaded with wheat, flour, and salt. On looking out this morning noticed that they had both left. A man has, however just come into the hotel with the news that the Investigator is stranded on a sand bank, and will have remain there until the tide rises. Port Victoria is rather a picturesque spot to a stranger. Coming over the hill near the port, one looks down upon the town, the large bay and jetty. Outside the bay is a small peninsula of land belonging to Point Pearce Mission Station Port Victoria is a very busy place. In the summer, as large quantities of wheat and salt are shipped from this port. There are two banks, the Commercial and the Adelaide, two stores and a very comfortable hotel, which has just been purchased by Mr Dobbs, who bustles about and makes his patrons very comtortable. Purpose leaving for Maitland, and will I call in at the Mission Station en route.


Wednesday 25 October 1911, Kadina and Wallaroo Times (SA : 1888 - 1954) Trove

[By Mr J. P. Rooney. No. 3. After spending a most pleasant time at Port Victoria, through the kindness of the officers of the Commercial and Adelaide banks, who showed me over the Recreation Ground, and in other ways made my visit an enjoyable one, left for the Point Pearce Mission Station. The crops between Port Victoria and Maitland are a pleasure to look upon. Many of them look good enough for from 25 to 30 bushels per acre, and as far as the eye can see the crops look splendid. At the Mission Station there are some fine wheat paddocks, and all the crops are particularly clean, and give promise of a very heavy yield. Having been given a I letter of introduction to Mr Garnett, the manager, by Mrs Edwards, wife of the manager of the Port Victoria branch of the Commercial Bank, was most heartily welcomed. Mr and Mrs Garnett did all in their power to make my vsit a pleasant one, and their explanations about the work of the Mission were intensely intesting. It is rather a peculiar sight, when passing along the street leading to Mr Garnett's residence, to notice the houses on each side, which look very comfortable, occupied by aborigines, who are apparently very much interested in visitors. I also noticed a large number of picanninies, many of whom are not so black as some I have seen. The climate has perhaps changed their colour. On the station which has an area of 200,000 acres, of which 1,900 acres are under wheat crop, 1,000 acres under oats and barley, and 1,850 acres fallowed for next season, there are 6,600 sheep. The wheat crop is looking splendid, but the barley and oats crop is looking bad, and Mr Garnett is wondering how he will gather it as it is to short. The natives crop 1,000 acres every year under contract, this method being adopted as a means to get them to work. A fatal accident occurred at the Station on Wednesday. Three native children, who had been left at home by their mother, who went to the Maitland show, lit a fire to boil some water, and by some means scalded themselves so terribly that one of them died in the hospital. After completing an inspection of the Station, and was returning to the manager's house for a cup of tea, met Mr Henry Lamshed, formerly Member of Parliament, who with Mrs Lamshed, and four friends had motored from Maitland to have a look over the Mission Statiou not having met Mr Lamsbed for about 15 years was pleased to renew his acquaintance, and to notice that he was looking as young as he was 15 years ago. We all had tea together and spent a most enjoyable time. After tea left for Maitland, the crops along the road looking ideal.