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Nomenclature. A corruption of the Aboriginal wiltonga - 'place of the eagles'.
July 23. I daresay this will be the first letter you have received from this place. The Hundred of Wiltunga lies on the east side of the Hundred of Kadina, and the Kadina and Snowntown Railway runs through the south end of it. The Hundred was only opened for selection last year, so there is not a great deal of ground under cultivation yet. But what wheat is in is looking splendid ; indeed the best crop of wheat I have seen this year is in this hundred. As yet the farmers here have no permanent supply of water. Some are in hopes that well water will be obtained, though none have tried for it yet, The government tanks and dams have been well replenished by splendid rains.
SUICIDE AT WILTUNGA.
On Tuesday last Mr Mudge, of Wiltunga, brought word to Wallaroo that a man (name unknown) who had recently entered the employ of Messes Woodward & Curnow had hung himself that morning. Mr Bews, J.P., was informed of the circumstances, and with M.C. Farmer proceeded to the place, which is over twenty miles from Wallaroo, for the purpose of holding an inquest. Great difficulty was experienced in so sparsely populated a district in getting a jury together. The required number having been secured the last reached the place, a most lonely spot in the middle of a dense scrub, about 9 o'clock at night. After the jury had been sworn and elected their chairman (Mr Jas. Underwood) the body and the tree on which deceased hung himself were viewed, after which the following evidence was taken :
Jas. Henry Curnuw-I am a contractor, residing on section 233, Wiltunaa. Deceased was shown to our place yesterday. We employed him at 25s per week. Me and my mate were away from home yesterday afternoon. I got home at dusk. Decease was standing at the tank waiting for me. After watering the cattle we returned home and had supper. He complained of a headache. We went to bed. This morning I woke. He had just turned out. He asked if I was going to turn out. He went outside. Shortly after I heard a choking noise. I thought it was the dog. After hearing a struggle I went out and found deceased in an underground apartment with a rope round his neck. Asked him what induced him to try and do away with himself. He lold me he did it for devilment more than anything else. Shortly after he went in the north side of the hut. He appeared to be looking for a tree. I persuaded him to come back. Asked him if it was through the headache that I he was doing this. He said " No, it is through stability." He added " It must be done, if I don't do it someone else will. About two hours after he went out; towards the tree on which he was afterwards found hauling. As an excuse he said he was bad in his inside I followed him and tried to persuade him to come back. He said, " Mind you don't come any closer or I'll shoot you." I then ran over for Air Mudge. When I returned found him hanging to a tree quite dead. '
By Coroner-I don't know his name.
I have seen a bill that was found in his swag by M.C. Farmer. Thought I saw a rope with him, but it must have been the straps of his swag, with which he was hung. It was about 11 o'clock yesterday morning when he came here. He was I quite sober. And had a respectable I appearance. He was recommended to come here by Mr Stubbins. Never saw him to my knowledge before.
By Police-I asked him where he came from but he did not give me a satisfactory answer. I think he came along the cattle track from William Hall's.
By the Jury-I suppose I was absent for Mr Madge about an hour. I though he perhaps had a revolver on him. I saw him take something from his carpet bag and put it in the leather pouch on his belt. I think now that it must have been the leather straps he was putting in the back of his trousers. In the way be was acting be appeared as if he did not wish me to see what he was doing. Saw I nothing strange in his behaviour yesterday. He told me he was making along the road on the chance of getting work. Did not say where he was from.
By Coroner-I identify the body now lying in the hut as that of deceased.
John St. Jago Mudae-Am a farmer residing in Wiltunga. This morning between 9 and 10 o'clock the last witness came to my place running, and asked if I was in. I was just getting up. He asked if I would be as quick as I could, as there was a man down at the camp who wanted to hang himself. I came out and got the horse and came down. When we got to the camp be showed me the direction the man was going in. After we got into the scrub I saw him hanging to a tree. The body viewed by the jury is the same. I called out to Curnow to look sharp. We both ran up to him. Curnon' caught hold of him while I cut him down. Found he was quite dead. When I first found the body it was in a kneeling position, the knees nearly touching the ground. I then covered him over with a rug, and left him in Curnow's charge until I went for my brother. I brought my brother down, and we carried him in and laid him on the bunk where he is now lying. I then started off to acquaint the police of the case. Informed M.C. Farmer, of Wallaroo.
By the Jury-There was no appearance of a struggle of any kind. The tree was not more than three inches through. The fork on which the strap was fastened was about 6 feet high. Think I have seen the face somewhere, but cannot say where.
Henry Farmer-Am a mounted constable, stationed at Wallaroo. At 2 p.m. to day, Mr John St. J, Mudge reported that a man had hung himself in the hundred of Wiltunga. Proceeded to the spot. Saw deceased lying on a bunk in a hut. Searched the body. Found four pennies; and in searching his swag found a looking glass with the name " James Cronin" written on the back. Also found a receipt from " John Green, tailor, Leigh Street," also made out in favor of James Cronin," and dated Feb. 16.1884. There were several articles of clothing, but nothing to lead to further identification of the body.
By the Jury-In examining the body found no marks of violence. Have carefully examined the body but find no marks of any kind on it.
The jury found that deceased came to his death by committing suicide whilst of unsound mind.
May 4, 1885. The farmers here are put to great straits for want of water. The Barnoga dam being now dry. They are obliged to cart water from Snowtown, most of the farmers in the east of the Hundred, which means a heavy day's fork for man and beast, being about an average distance of about 14 miles. This together with the low price of wheat last year render a farming a rather unenviable occupation.
It is rumored that Mr Waddell has struck water at Baranga Gap, but a supply has not yet been obtained.
The farmers in general are about half done seeding.
POST OFFICE FOR WILTUNGA.
Thu 11 Jun 1885, The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858 - 1889) Trove
A public meeting was held at the Eighteen-mile Siding on Saturday evening, June 6, to consider of a the opening of a post-office. Mr. D. McEvoy, who presided, said the representative character of the meeting showed that the residents were determined to have their postal arrangements settled satisfactorily. The present state of things was must unsatisfactory both to residents and Postmaster-General. Two different persons applied to the Postmaster-General to hold the office. This showed that the residents were not unanimous, as some signed the first and some the second, memorial indicating a divided opinion. This was not desirable, as their interests were identical. He knew the Postmaster-General was anxious that the postoffices should be so established as to benefit all concerned, and it was their duty to assist him in doing so. It lay with the meeting to decide the matter. Mr. O. Rorke said it was time their postal arrangements were settled, as Mr. Alves bad been put to great inconvenience in receiving letters and papers merely to oblige the residents, and it was now their duty to remove that inconvenience. Mr. Axford concurred, and said they should have a post-office established there. Mr. Chapman proposed— " That the decision of this meeting shall have precedence over all other petitions and communications previously sent to the Postmaster-General, as such petitions and communications are not in accordance with the unanimous wish of the residents." Mr. R. McEvoy seconded. A petition should be presented to the Postmaster-General, embodying the views of the meeting, and asking that the matter be postponed until a person is suitably established to take charge of the post-office. Carried, Mr. O. Rorke moved—"That a standing committee be formed to act on behalf of the residents for communicating with the Postmaster-General when there is a suitable place established for the post-office." This was carried, and the committee formed. A vote of thanks was accorded to Mr. Alves for his kindness in receiving and delivering letters to their respective owners, and Sir. Graham received a similar compliment for his civil and obliging manner in the delivery of letters and papers.
July 7. The weather of late has been showery, with, occasional sharp frosts. Water-carting continues. The rainfall has not contributed much towards replenishing dams. — The selectors in the eastern part of the hundred are gratified at the prompt action of the Government with respect to the dam petitioned for at Baranga Gap. Men have been employed during the past week in sinking trial pits, and have found some splendid clay, and as the catchment area is good, operations will no doubt commence at once,— Seeding is almost finished. The wheat on the whole looks well, the early sown especially. Grass is springing up nicely; in fact all vegetation is in a thriving condition.
August 20. The weather is very changeable. — The dams are in a depleted condition, and unless heavy rain comes soon the prospects for scrub selectors will be deplorable. Mr. Waddell and party are still busy at the gap. The bore is at a depth of about 800 feet, the spring is improving, and altogether things are progressing satisfactorily. It is reported that the Government intend stopping boring operations. This would be rather an unreasonable step now that such progress is being made. A meeting is to be held at Mr. John Michael's on Friday evening for the purpose of considering the matter.— The wheat crops are growing fast, the improvement being most noticeable in the late sown.— Cutting shoots, carting roots and water, dam and tank sinking, with occasional fencing, are the chief items in the farmers' programme. — The Bible Christians intend having a place of worship in the township shortly. At present services have to be conducted in a private residence. Farmers are enquiring for laborers, and some of the unemployed about Adelaide would find work here at fair wages.
September 9. The chances of a good downpour in this locality have grown small. Although the crops wear a more promising appearance than this time last year the farmers are depressed. Scarcely a farmer in the scrub but will be carting water ere the harvest sets in, should dry weather continue. Even at distances of ten and twelve miles westward of the Barunga Range settlers talk of going to Snowtown. But that the supply there is inadequate is evidenced by the fact that it has run out in less trying seasons. A number of residents adjacent to the railway line are endeavoring to obtain water by train, and a meeting is to be held on the subject on Saturday evening, in the township of Bute. The wheat crops need rain, and a copious downpour would be acceptable. — A deputation of residents interviewed, the Commissioner recently with regard to the bore at Barunga Gap, and I understand the work is to be continued.
September 19. A shock of earthquake was felt on Saturday afternoon, accompanied by a loud rumbling noise, which seemed to be travelling from north-west to south-east. It was expected that the shock would be the prelude to a fall of rain, but hopes were disappointed. Should the weather hold dry for another week the result may be disastrous to the crops. — An entertainment was held at Mr. Micheal's residence, Barunga Gap, on wednesday. The performers were all amateurs, and the affair was highly creditable. The school children, under the supervision of Mrs. McCormack, of Percyton, contributed largely towards the evening's enjoyment. Over 100 persons were present, the affair being in all respects a success. — A meeting was held at Bute on Saturday for the purpose of forming a cricket club, and steps were taken in furtherance of that object.
September 22. Rain commenced yesterday and lasted about four hours. Farmers' dams were considerably replenished. Fully an inch has fallen up to the present, and it is still showery.
Oct. 26. I have some good news to chronicle this time, and that is that Mr Waddell has struck an abundant supply of water at Barunga Gap, good stock water, which means an imense benefit to this vast country of sand. This gentleman deserves great praise for the manner in which he has managed his affairs since he has taken charge of this well, he has had great difticulties to contend against slaughtering the bore that was previously put down by a Government party to a depth of something like 250 feet. Mr Waddell struck water at 350 feet but not a sufficient supply. But he says the main spring was struck at something like 750 ft.
The well I believe is about 1000 feet altogether, no other Springs being touched upon of any consequence. I believe the water now rises to within 300 and some odd feet of the surface. The well is capable of supplying close to two thousand gallons per hour. I would now advise the farmers on the peninsula, now that Mr. Waddell is here to write and get wells put down, and the long talked of Beetaloo Water Scheme will be a thing of the past Mr Waddell, I believe, will be leaving this vicinity in a fortnight's time, so farmers look out; now is your time; if you let this chance slip you will be sorry for it. Artesian Wells on the peninsula 15 to 18 miles apart is what I suggest perhaps one well would be sufficient if a good supply was struck to serve most of those really badly off for water, by laying pipes. In my humble opinios this is preferable to Beetaloo Scheme, and would be practicing economy. Now the Government are reducing Civil Service salaries. I would suggest that the office of surveyor of Roads outside of District Concils be dispensed with until the end of financial year 1885, that will be an enormous saving, as farmers and others could be willing to do the worst places perhaps at cheaper rates, as the present method of road construction under that office is rather high considering the high rate of wages that is generally given
October 27. The boring operataons at Barunga Gap have at length been successful. A supply of good stock water has been struck, and is being pumped at the rate of 1,400 gallons per hour. This test does not seem to have lowered the water in the bore to any great extent, as it still remains at about 300 feet. It is to be hoped that the Government will take advantage of the few weeks that remain between this and the harvest and have proper appliances fixed for raising the water. People here are of opinion ; that a windmill would be the most serviceable and the least expensive for that fpurpose. — A -circus visited Snowtown on Saturday evening, and was well patronised— The crops on the Snowtown side of the range are miserably poor. Hundreds of acres will never be touched by the reaper at harvest. The prospects on this side look more promising, but the result is by no means certain, as I fear the rust has made its appearance in several places. At present the crops in most places look well for eight or nine bushels, whitsh, considering the trying season speaks well for the Staying qualities of the land hereabouts. Hay cutting has commenced here, but in most cases the yield will be light.
Oct. 21. Nothing of importance bas transpired since my last. The early sown wheat is all out in ear. The late sown is not, but if the weather holds favourable it will be in a great many instances. It will be equal to the early sown, as it has improved wonderfully since the recent rains, but the yield will not be heavy owing to so much dry weather in August and September. Red rust has made its appearance, but as yot is confined to the flag.
Our local blacksmith, Mr Smith, seems to be up to his eyes in work, as the reapers and harvest machinery requiring repairs are beginning to flock around him.
Some farmers are busy rolling down scrub, which means more " hot coffee" about February.
The want of a general store is greatly felt at Bute, as farmers and others are compelled to send to Kadina orSnowtown for a great many things. It is a grand centre for business and bound to command a good trade. If some enterprising man would only step forward and make a start in the line suggested, it would prove a boon to the settlers of this part.
December 5. The pumping gear at the Gap is being erected with all possible dispatch, and Mr; Waddel expects to have it ready for use in a few days. Several farmers are watercarting already. We have had some very hot weather lately, yesterday being specially warm.— The new chapel at Bute is well attended, and is a neat building and a credit to the residents.
January 19. The harvest is nearly over, most farmers having finished. When reaping first commenced farmers were confident that an eigh tbushel per acre crop would be averaged thoughout the hundred, but the winnower has thrown a very different light on affairs. I have made careful enquiries with respect to the yield, and I think that the average per acre will be about five bushels. Although this is a considerable falling off from what was expected, yet I think it will compare favorably with other hundreds. Most of the wheat grown here finds its way to the Bute siding, at which there are three wheat-buying agencies. The price opened at about 3s. 6d., and has risen steadily to 3s. 11d. —The boring tackle used at Barunga Gap has been removed en route for Eucla. A large gang of over seventy men are engaged two or three miles north of the siding road-making, — Some very hot weather has been experienced here lately.
March 8. The harvest work is now at an end, and preparations are being made for seeding. — Meetings of creditors have been unpleasantly irequent of late, and we have also been treated to a cash sale or two. At present, however, things seemed to have settled somewhat into their old groove, and speculations are already rife as to the nature of the next harvest, and old hands seem to think a heavy winter is in store for us. — The Commercial Bank failure scared a few of the residents here, and one or two of the 'knowing' ones were out betimes in quest of stray notes, the market price being 10s. in the pound, and, if report says true, succeeded in bagging a few. — The overground tank at Barunga Gap is finished, and will be preferable to the iron tanks for storing water, as the latter impart to the water a rather rusty appearance. — Rain is much needed, and watercarting is causing a great loss of time and money.
Apeil 26. After a long spell of dry weather we have at length been favored with a soaking rain, but scarcely enough has fallen to replenish the tanks and damp, though the downpour will benefit the sown wheat. Seeding is well advanced considering that all hands with but few exceptions have had to cart water. The well at the Gap has stood the test well since additional pipes were put down, and an immense quantity of water has been carted therefrom. The tank, which has been constructed at the bore, is totally unfit for holding water. Several of the farmers received their water by train at Bute, the price until lately being 8s. per tank, but it has now been reduced to 6s. On several occasions, however, teams have returned home without water after having come long distances. The rain seems to have cleared for the present, and the weather is mild.
May 24. Since my last letter we have been favored with some nice rain for the crops, but the showers were too light to stop water-carting. Seeding is drawing to a close, a good few of the farmers having finished ; but the unusually long spell of dry weather experienced this year will throw some a long way behind. The bore at the gap with all its drawbacks has been a real boon to the neighborhood. Mr. McCullock, the man in charge, deserves great praise for his untiring efforts to give satisfaction to all, and whatever success has attended the affair is entirely due to his perseverance,— The early-sown wheat and grass is springing up nicely, and the face of the country is beginning to assume a more cheerful aspect. The nights are very cold, but with no frost as yet.
DEPUTATION. WANTS OF WILTUNGA.
Messrs. Hawker (M.P. for Stanley) and Bews (MLP. for Wallaroo), with Mr. W. Malcolm, waited (upon the Commissioner of Public Works on Thursday relative to the delivery of water and protection of goods at the 18-mile siding, Barunga line. Mr. Malcolm pointed out that at present there was no protection afforded for goods. He suggested that at a very small cost a small shed and platform could be erected, and placed under the charge of & local resident. The Commissioner said the General Traffic Manager, who was present, had recommended that something be done in the matter. Mr. Malcolm then asked that some arrangement be made by which those obtaining water could get a less quantity than 400 gallons. The local superintendent (Mr. Whitington) had issued orders that only tanks representing 400, 800, and 1,200 gallons be disposed of. Spome small farmers with German wagons only carried a 200-gallon tank, whilst others could carry a 400 and 200 gallon tank, but it required an unusually strong team to take 800 gallons. He asked that something be done so that either 200 or 600 gallons could be obtained. He also asked, seeing that there was a large supply of tanks and trucks idle, that water be sent to the siding and placed in charge of some one, so that people could get it in the daytime. It now arrived at night. Mr. Pendleton said, in explanation of what had been done by Mr. Whitangton, that that gentleman had not received any orders on the subject, but he (Mr. Pendleton) quite nnderstood it was not convenient to break the quantities when the tanks represented 400, 800, and 1,200 gallons. The Commissioner thought something might be done, and promised to take steps to meet the request.
COUNTRY NEWS. WILTUAGA,
August 2. Times are dull in this neighborhood, and consequently news is scarce. The crops and grass are coming on very well indeed, considering how extremely dry the weather has been till lately. During the past week we have bad some sharp showers of rain, which replenished a few of the empty tanks and waterholes. Although we have had a grand general ran for the wheat a great many are still carting water. Should the weather continue favorable foi the remainder of tbe season a much better return may be reasonably expected than we had last year.
A school has been opened at Bute, and is very well attended, the number of scholars being about 25.
A return match was played between the Bute cricketers and the Barunga Braves on tbe latter's ground, who, having won the toss, elected to bat, and succeeded in putting together only 27 runs — a rather unenviable score, The Butes then took possession, but in a short time five of their men were out, and only one run recorded. Things began to assume a sable appearance, but a stand was made at this juncture, and J. Hogan carried out his bat for 32. The sum total of the whole affair was that the Butes succeeded in defeating their opponents in one innings with two runs to spare. The miserable state of the ground, however, was anything but favorable to batting, which, no doubt, contributed greatly to the result.
November 25. The threatened water famine is now gone. May its ugly dark shadow never return. The commendable energy manifested by the Government in pushing on the pipelaying from Mundoora along the boundary of Barunga to the Snowtown line is greatly appreciated by the residents. Though now not wanted the efforts made to meet a possible evil, and alleviate it as far as practicable, will not be forgotten. Seven of the contractor's teams passed along the road from Percyton yesterday (Barunga Gap Station) heavily laden with pipes for conveying the precious fluid to these dry regions. A special train was, I am informed, also engaged laying pipes along the railway line yesterday. It is expected that the Betaloo water will be at Percyton in about fourteen days.
Dec. 13. I send you a few items from this district. There are several gangs of men laying pipes, &c., to Bute, and to all appearance the water will be into Bute by Christmas, which will be a good thing for the district. The men are working on Sundays. There is no need for that, and it ought not to be allowed. Reaping is in full swing. The crops are turning out bad—about a bag to the acre, although they, look good enough for two. Farmers are greatly disappointed. There are many dummy heads, no doubt owing to the light rainfall. Some of the farmers are talking of leaving the colony; they say they can't do worse any other place than they have done here the last three years. It is to be hoped the seasons will turn for the better soon.
April 4. On Friday and Saturday, continuing through Friday night, we experienced a most terrific duststorm. The wind was from the north, and the clouds of dust to dense as to bring to mind the account or Black Thursday of years ago. The glass was gradually falling during the two days, and on Saturday about 1 p.m. reached its lowest (29-20). By this time dark, heavy clouds had gathered and the distant rumble of thunder could be heard. About 2 p.m. the wind changed, veering to the north-west, and presently the welcome rain fell in heavy squalls, accompanied with much thunder and lightning. The total rainfall was 460 points. We were hoping for more, and certainly require a great deal more to be of much service. A fair quantity of water has been caught in some dams and will be appreciated.
Seeding operations are being pressed vigorously forward on all hands, many thousands of acres being already sown. Despite the failures of the past three years farmers are hopeful, and with a courage which must command respect, if not success, are putting in every available acre. A good deal of new land in these hundreds will be sown this season.
April 18. During the week we have had perfect weather, and the result is seen on all hands. The fields already begin to assume a beautiful green tinge. The grass is springing rapidly, and feed ought to be abundant before many weeks are over. A general condition of activity is manifest among farmers.
Mr. W. L. Young met with a painful accident on Thursday when putting the chain belt on his sowing machine. The belt being rather tight, he while presaing it on called to the horses, to stand up, when the top of one finger was crushed off just below the nail. He went to the hospital on Friday morning, and Dr. Gosse found it necessary to amputate to the first joint.
April 25. Seeding is general throughout the neighborhood. The late copious rains have given the farmers in most cases a plentiful supply of water. All the wheat sown before the rains is up and it looks nice and healthy.— Very little interest was taken in the elections here, and very few from this side took the trouble of recording their votes. This is mainly owing to the fact that the nearest polling-place to this Hundred is situated at a distance of some thing like 16 or 17 miles. The stock in this neighborhood is in very fair condition considering the amount of hardships they have been subjected to a fact that speeks well for the nutritious properties of "cookie's chaff." A few of the farmers here intend trying their luck on the diggings as soon as seeding is over. Some who have gone from this part have done very well.
June 14. Respectinig the Beetaloo Waterworks, the tax of 20 per cent, is objected to. In some instances the assessment amounts quite to a rental. On what rule the assessment on the properties along the pipetrack has been made is difficult to understand. Some sections are valued as high as 3s, per acre, while others better situated, and superior land, are only assessed at 1s, 6d. A most glaring instance has just come under my notice where two sections—unimproved, rough, sandy, scrubby land in Wokurna—are assessed at 1s, 6d. ; while a beautiful property and good land, well improved in every respect, and within 1 mile of Mundoora Station, is rated at 1s. 3d, per acre. In another instance, where a section in Wiltunga is divided in halves held by different owners, the unimproved half simply fenced, with insufficient grass to keep a wallaby upon it, is rated at 3s. per acre; while the other half, which is mostly cleared and in crop, and certainly the better half of the section, is rated at 2s.
ROAD IN WILTUNGA.
Mr. Bews, the senior member for Wallaroo, and Mr. E. W.. Hawker, the senior member for Stanley, presented a petition to the Commissioner of Crown Lands DrojaTthe residents in Wiltunga praying that the road from: Section No. 1 to Section 269 might be crabbed and the sandhills cut. The Commissioner promised to obtain a report ;
October 6. On Saturday last a cricket match was played on the Bute grounds, between the Snowtown and the Bute clubs, which resulted in a win for the home team. In the first innings the Butes made 11 runs, and in the second innings 72, or 83 in all. The Snowtowns' total was 66 all told. For the Butes the only batsmen who reached double figures were T. Dunn and E, Langmead, who scored 20 and 11 respectively. For the Snowtowns P. Cock with 13 and B. Williams with 10 were the most successful batsmen.
December 26. A serious accident happened to Wilfred W. Malcolm, a youth, son of Mr. W. Malcolm, of Lincolnfields. The lad slipped in the dark while getting out of a buggy on Thursday night about 3 miles from his home, and fell and broke his right arm badly. He had to be taken to Wallaroo Hospital the same night (a journey of 30 miles), where he now is doing as well as can be expected.
May 13. Tilling operations in this hundred will by the end of the present month be brought to a close by the majority of farmers. The early sown grain is fast covering the paddocks, and the settlers anticipate a good harvest.— The roads are in a very bad state in places through the heavy rains. — It is thought that the Land Board will have difficulty in placing the proper value on the lands of this and the surrounding hundreds, the good and bad land being in such close proximity. For instance a good section may join one which is almost useless, and especially is this the case in the eastern portion of the hundred of Wiltunga, where there are sandhills useless for cultivation.
October 23. Red rust has made its appearance in this hundred, but no serious results are apprehended, though I hear of several crops being spoiled. — Bute township is making a stir, some properties having been sold recently at high figures. — The hay harvest is in fall swing, and the weather, though hot and parching, is favorable.
WATER RATES IN WILTUNGA.
Mr. H. A. Grainger, M.P., waited on the Commissioner of Public Works on Monday morning and presented a petition from landholders in the hnudred of Wiltunga, asking that a rebate might be made on the whole of their water rate along the pipe line from the north-east corner of section 255, in the hundred of Wiltunga. It was urged that during the past two years residents, though they had to pay the rates, had been almost wholly unable to obtain a supply of water, and that it was not fair to ask them, as at present, to pay for what they did not get. The Commissioner of Public Works promised to obtain a report.
Our church at Wiltunga has been called to sorrow over the loss of one of its valued members in the person of Mrs. J. Watson. She died at her residence in Wiltunga in August, 1904. She was a colonist of 42 years, and took a deep interest in church and Sunday school work. At Cameron, where she lived for about 15 years, the people always spoke of her unremitting kindness and readiness in the time of need. Her departure from there was much regretted, especially by the Sunday school. Whilst living in Wiltunga she took a lively interest in the church. To her there was much meaning in the words, "Blessed are the peacemakers," for she never said or did anything which she knew would tend to hurt the feelings of any one: She fell asleep in Christ after patiently bearing her illness. The respect in which she was held was shown at the memorial service by the large gathering of people who came from many parts near and far. "I rest beneath the Almighty's shade, My griefs expire, my troubles cease; Thou, Lord, on whom my so.ul is stayed, Wilt keep me still in perfect peace."
On Wednesday Messrs. Allen and Tossell, Ms.P. (members for Yorke Peninsula) waited on the Minister of Education and introduced a deputation from the Wiltunga school committee. The parents are desirous of having a new school built. They are prepared to give an acre of freehold land and to cart the material and provide stones, lime, and sand free. The building now used is a rented one. The Minister said he would consider the matter.
The Wiltunga Methodists commemorated the jubilee of their Church on March 29 and 30 and April 1. Amongst the pioneers who returned were Mr. and Mrs. Sluggett, sen., Mr. G. Inkster, Miss A. Inkster, Miss M. Watson, Mr. F. Trengove and the Rev. F. Bullock. The festivities opened with a sports meeting on the Bute Oval, Mr. E. J. Axford being the convener. An old-style tea, held at the old hall, was convened by Mesdames J. and W. N. Trengove. The 3-storied cake was presented by Mrs. W. N. Trengove. The candles were lit by Mrs, W. Sluggett, sen., and Miss M. M. Watson, and the cake was cut by Mrs. M. E. Heinrich. A concert was held in the Soldiers' Memorial Hall at night, the convener being Mr. W. N. Trengove. Mrs. Dohnt, of Wallaroo, arranged the programme. The concert realized £20. Jubilee services were held on the Sunday morning at the Wiltunga Church, the preacher being the Rev. F. Bullock, of Glenelg. The afternoon service was held in the Memorial Hall, Bute. The circuit minister, the Rev. G. W. Parrott, was the preacher. The Bute choir sang special anthems. The evening service was preceded by community singing, under the leadership of Mr. A. Chase, and the Rev. F. Bullock officiated. The Willumulka choir sang anthems, and Miss Butler a solo. The collection for the Sunday services amounted to £13 10s. On the Monday evening a reminiscence meeting was held in the Wiltunga Church, when Mr. James Trengove presided. The church was crowded, many haying to remain outside. Apologies for absence were received from the Revs. A. M. Trengove, G. H. Paynter, W. J. Brasher, H. T. Rush, E. Smith, and A. J, Finch;, and Messrs. T. C. Cosh, T. C. Kitto, and Mr. and Mrs. Thomas, of W.A. The speakers included the Rev. G. W. Parrott (who welcomed the visitor), Revs. F. Bullock, E. Lawson, and Messrs. W. Philbey, F. Trengove, A. Otte, T. Trengove, W. .N. Trengove, Jas. Trengove, and Miss Watson. Special items were given by Messrs. A. Chase, H. Smith, Mrs. B. Coad and Miss R. Wheaton. A vote of thanks was moved by Mr. W. N. Trengove, seconded by the Rev. G. W. Parrott, which was carried. The meeting then closed with the congregation , singing "God be with you till we meet again," and the benediction was pronounced by the Rev. F. Bullock. The gross takings were iSO. The services were started at the home of Mr. Jesse. Stevens during August, 1884. Mr. William Nicholls, a local preacher from Wallaroo Mines, Conducted the services. The Rev. J. G. Martin, of Kulpara, was the first minister in charge. Services were continued there regularly for eighteen months, and then in the home of Mr. T. G. Cosh for nine months, when the church was opened on November 8, 1886. The foundation stone Was laid by Mrs. James Trengove on September 8, 1886. The building Cost was £120. The original trust was formed in 1886. The land was given by Mr. Jesse Stevens, surveyed by Mr. Jones (of Moonta), became the property of the trust, which consisted of Messrs. Jesse Stevens, James Trengove, B. G. Axford, John G. Pollard, William Murton, Edward Dinham, William Sluggett, William Westlake, and Thomas G. Cosh. The following ministers have laboured in this church: Revs, late J. G. Martin (2), Henry Mason, Frank Bullock, G. H. Paynter, S. J. Martin, late Charlies Martin, Ralph Lee, A. J. Finch, late Henry Trewren, H. T. Rush, E. Smith, H. F. Lyons, F. J. Barnes, G. W. Kendrew, C. G. Carvosso, W. J. H. Brasher, E. W. Lawson and G. W. Parrott. The Rev. A. M. Trengove, who was a local preacher here and received on probation in the Conference in 1901. Miss H. Heinrich, later Mrs. R. Barrett, has spent many years as a missionary among the natives of the Islands. Those who became local preachers in this church were:—-Messrs. Jesse Stevens, Maylands; James Trengove, Wiltunga; Samuel and Frederick Trengove, Spalding; W. N. Trengove, Wiltunga; A. Otte, Moonta; W. Philbey, Alford; W. Otte, Carnanah, W.A.; and Edgar Trowbridge, Lameroo. In connection with the church, splendid work has been done by the Sunday school during the 44 years of its existence. It has sent out a fine array of teachers and workers, who have been blessed by God and made a blessing to others. What caused these to do this work and make this sacrifice? Love to God and His children, not love of money or gain—but they put their love into action.
WILTUNGA SCHOOL JUBILEE. HAPPY FUNCTION.
The "Back to School" celebrations at Wiltunga, on March 17, were a great, success, though marred by Wind and dust. A strong committee with Mr,G. J. Read chairman and Mr Tod Dennis secretary, had been at work since last December, and was delighted with the result of its efforts.
Old scholars, many in school-day clothes, responded to the whistle of a former teacher (Mrs. G. J. Read) at 11:30, and were marched into school The roll contained 250 names, and 52 responded to their call. Inspector H. E. Flint then arrived, and stated that he had a complaint to make, some of the scholars he said; had been absent for more than 40 years, and had not brought an excuse for their absence. He continued in humorous- vein and soon had everyone in a happy mood. The chairman of the Bute District Council (Cr. W. N. Trengove) followed, and in a brief speech congratulated the school on attaining its 50th birthday.
A pilgrimage was then made to the site of the old school, some few chains north of the present building, and a tree was planted by Mr James Donaldson, who was the oldest scholar present. Four scholars were present who attended school on the day it was opened, fifty years ago, Mr J. Donaldson, Mrs Bermingham; Mrs Goldsworthy and Mr T. W. Read.
The next move was back to the school where luncheon was served. A handsome three-tiered birthday cake was cut by Mrs Bermingham. The secretary then read a number of apologies from former scholars and teachers who were unable to attend, including Mrs Gerlach, who opened the school half a century ago.
In the afternoon a sports meeting was held in a nearby paddock. Gordon Macdonald, of Bute, was the most successful competitor, winning the mile and two miles cycle races. Keith Gaston won the novice and George Dennis the old scholars' cycle races.
Other winnnesr were:- Sheffield handicap, Colin Arbon; sheaf tossing, W. Gehan; old Scholars' handicap, Bruce Read; cigarette race, Perc. Richards; bowling at cricket sutmp, Roy Hargreaves; wheelbarrow race, T. Roberts and G. Tancock; stepping the distance, N. Winen.
Evening saw the crowd back again at the school for tea, followed by a concert arranged by Mrs Thelma Coad and Mrs W. Smith, most of the items being by past and present scholars.
Prizes were then distributed to winners of events, including a pipe donated by the Eudunda Farmers' Society for the winner of the old scholars race. For best costume the prizes went to Mrs Arthur Sawley and Mr Bruce Read.
The school was cleared and dancing was enjoyed until midnight, the music being supplied by Mrs E. Janz and Miss G. Jamieson. Old Lang Syne closed a very successful and happy day.
The gross takings amounted to about; £20, the profit of which will be spent on improvements to the school.
SCHOOL JUBILEE. SUCCESSFUL DANCE.
The curtain was rang down on the Wiltunga School jubilee Celebrations on Wednesday night March 23, when a dance was held in the schoolroom, for the purpose of presenting to the school several articles purchased with money raised at the celebrations last year.
Despite a very hot night a splendid crowd was present, and tilings went with a swing, helped along by excellent music provided gratuitously by Mr and Mrs Eric Janz, of Bute, who brought their piano with them. A song by little JeanMcDofnald, who accomipanied herself, was much appreciated. Mr Tod Dennis, on behalf of the former scholars, then presented to the school a cast enamelled wash basin complete swith drain and tap installed in the shelter shed, and a neat book cupboard with a chromium plate inscribed "Presented by Wiltunga Old Scholars 1887-1937"; also, on behalf of Mr James Donaldson, an enlarged framed photo of the planting of a tree on the site of the old school. . Mr. Donaldson was a foundation scholar and performed this ceremony last year.
Mr John Read, chairman of the schodl committee accepted the gifts on behalf of the school, and presented a nicely bound hymn book to Mrs Thelma Goad for the assistance she gave during the jubilee. A tasty supper was provided by the ladies, and the M.C. was Mr Phil Ramsey.
During the evening mention was made of a remarkable fact gleaned from the school records. Every child now attending school had a parent who was a former scholar, as well as a number who had grandparents who were old scholars.
THE LATE MR. MARK STEVENS.
On Sunday, 12th November, a thanksgiving service was held in the Wiltunga Church in honour of the late Mr. Mark Stevens. It was noted with pleasure that his only surviving brother Mr. Jesse Stevens, was able to be present. The service was conducted by the Rev. L. G. Menadue, assisted by Mr. Jas and Mr. W. N. Trengove. The following tribute was given by Mr. Jas. Trengove on behalt of the trustees of the Wiltunga Church: "Today we remember with thankful hearts the work done in our midst by the late Mr. Mark Stevens. Shortly after the arrival in the district of Mr. Mark Stevens and his brother, Mr. Jesse Stevens, their home, when built, was thrown open to the Bible Christian Church for worship. At this time there were no buildings in Bute, and the Primitive Methodists were holding services in farm houses. The room from which the remains of Mr. Stevens was taken for interment was the room in which the first services were held. In the early days Mr. Stevens was an enthusiastic worker in the Band of Hope, and he was for over 44 years a member of the Independent Order of Rechabites. He set a fine example of sobriety. About the year 1890 he became a society steward of the Wiltunga Church. This office he held continuously for nearly fifty years. During that long term he was always keenly interested fn the work of the Church, and was seldom absent from the quarterly meeting. As a church member he was very regular in his attendance, though he took no audible part in the services. Mr. Stevens was a generous giver to the Church and kindred institutions. He was always loyal to his Lord and Master, and discharged all his duties faithfully. His strong sense of duty prevented pinpricks and trifles turning him from his course. After having passed the usual span of life, on 26th September of this year, he heard the Master's call, 'Come ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you,' and today, though we miss him, yet we rejoice in the very fine record of service he rendered through the grace of God."
EIGHTY-SIXTH ANNIVERSARY. EX - WILTUNGA RESIDENT HONORED.
Last week Mr H. S. Mackley, of Mangalo, West Coast, celebrated the 86th anniversary of his birth. Born in Nottingham, England, he arrived in Australia when 24 years of age. He was engaged in farming in the Hundred of Wiltunga, about seven miles north of Bute, for nearly ten years, and came to Franklin Harbour in 1897. He first engaged in share farming with Mr J. Nicholls at Blue Bush, north of Cowell, but after one year removed to Yabmana where he was similarly engaged by the late Messrs J.E. Watson and David McKenzie. About four years later he purchased his present farm at Mernittie. Mr Mackley, who still enjoys good health, has been spending a few weeks with his daughter Mrs A. D. Stocker, in Cowell, and on Monday evening entertained a few friends at her home, who took the opportunity of congratulating Mr Mackley on attaining his 86th birthday. Amongst those present were two others who are over eighty —Mr W. Stocker 86, and Mr H. E. Duncan 84.
Wiltunga Church Jubilee.
The Wiitunga Methodist church diamond jubilee services were held on Sunday, October 1, in the afternoon and evening. Rev. J. C. Oliver, Kadina, the chairman of the district, was the preacher and gave two inspiring sermons and special singing was rendered at both services. The church was again crowded out for the Monday night meeting when Rev H. White, of Bute, was chairman. Speeches on the past were given by Mr Jesse Stevens (an original trustee of the church), Messrs Sam and Fred Trengove, and W. Philley, Rev. J. C. Oliver also spoke and Mr Allan Trengove presented his secretary's and treasurer's report. Sacred, elocutionary and musical items were interspersed between the speeches. Mr T. H. Trengove proposed a vote of thanks to all who helped with the very successful anniversary. A supper brought to an end an important mile stone in the history of the Wiltunga church.