FRANKSTON was en fete today, when the people of the district were given the opportunity to meet General Sir William Birdwood, as he passed through the town en route for “Marathon” where he is spending a quiet day as the guest of Brigd General Grimwade.
The day was perfect, and the streets, gaily decorated with gum boughs and bunting, presented a beautiful picture.
The Frankston brass band played several pleasing items.
The school children turned out, en masse, and altogether over 1000 persons assembled around the impromptu dais erected at the end of the Bay Street gardens.
The popular General arrived about midday, and was received by Crs. Oates, Mason, Wells, Major Conder, Capt. Maxwell and others.
A guard of honor composed of local soldiers, formed up, and before mounting the platform the “Boss Digger” greeted each “comrade” with a firm hand clasp, and a few characteristic remarks.
Cr Oates, on behalf of the citizens, extended a hearty welcome to the distinguished General.
It was a great honor and privilege to meet the great soldier who had led our boys to victory.
This visit was another honor which the shire would include in its cherished records, which included an enlistment of ever 500 men sent over to help the Empire, and the entertainment, in Frankston alone, of about 9000 returned soldiers.
He called for three cheers for, the General, which were given with great spirit.
General Birdwood, in a short pithy speech, acknowledged the welcome, which, he said, was on a par with what had greeted him everywhere in Australia.
He gloried in the reception he had received from his old comrades. What better could anyone have than the hand of the A.I.F. in friendship.
He congratulated the citizens on their determination to win the terrible struggle so happily ended.
The morale of the people was as much a part of the victorious force as the fighting men.
Addressing the children the General said they would carry on the work of making a great nation, which was begun on Gallipoli and in France.
“As the ‘boys’ had kept their promises so would the children of this great land keep true to the traditions laid down by their fathers and their brothers.” (Cheers.)
On leaving the dais, General Birdwood was borne shoulder high to the car by returned men.
Although his stay in Frankston was only of about 30 minutes duration, this great soldier has left lasting impressions on the minds of all who met him.
The spirit of comradeship, which made him by far, the most popular British member of the A.I.F., is apparent from the first moment of acquaintanceship.
THE monthly meeting of the Shire of Frankston and Hastings takes place next Thursday.
Tenders returnable on that date are advertised in another column.
THE annual statement of accounts in connection with the Shire of Frankston and Hastings has been printed and will be presented to the Council at next meeting.
The auditor’s report, already received, bears testimony to the excellent work of the Shire Secretary (Mr. John E. Jones), and in referring to this consistent reference to the ability of their officer, Cr. Oates, at last meeting, said the Council should deem itself fortunate in possessing such a painstaking shire secretary.
This view was cordially. endorsed by other councillors.
IT seems probable that sugar is likely to cost the house holder more in the next few months.
When the present season’s output is disposed of, the contract made by the Commonwealth for the Queensland crop comes to an end.
At present no further arrangements for the purchase of future crops has been arrived at, and the Minister of Customs indicated recently that it was impossible at present to say what the future position would be.
But the fact remains that growers are asking for an increase in the price paid to them.
In addition, it will probably be necessary in the future, as in the past, to import sugar in order to make up the requirements of the Australian public; and overseas sugar is now fetching tremendous prices, which do not appear likely to fall for some time.
Last year by forward buying, the Commonwealth was able to obtain a large amount of Java sugar at about £22 per ton, even though the prices of Java sugar had risen to three times that amount.
Now, however, Java sugar is worth something like £77 per ton, and its import on any large scale into Australia to make up any deficiencies in the Queensland crop may therefore affect the price of sugar to a notable degree.
A royal commission inquired fully into the whole of the sugar position recently, but its report has not yet been made available by the Government.
In view of the possibilities of increased prices in the future, its recommendations should prove of interest to the householder.
ON Monday next the law passed last session to make the 6 o’clock closing of hotels permanent and effective will come into operation.
Regulations framed under the Act will make it very difficult for the keeper of licensed premises to traffic in intoxicating liquor after 6pm under the cover of a permit to sell “soft” drinks.
Similar regulations must be observed by proprietors of billiard saloons who take out the necessary authority to trade in non-alcoholic beverages.
At the next elections the people will be called upon to express their desire on the questions of continuance, reduction, and prohibition.
The Licensing Act provides for a local option.
To be effective, a decision in favour of prohibition must represent three-fifths of the voters in any district.
Before the elections come round, however, the whole question will be once again thrashed out by Parliament.
An opportunity to discuss the Act has been promised by the Ministry.
An endeavor will be made to substitute a simple majority for the three-fifths majority, and to give state-wide, instead of local option.
The decision of Parliament will be determined by the question of compensation. During the debate last session it was clear that if the payment of compensation to hotel-keepers was provided for, the objects of the temperance wing in the House would have been achieved.
A SUCCESSFUL sale of town allotments was held at Frankston on Monday by Messrs Cranny and Sambell, in conjunction with Messrs Brody and Mason.
There was a large attendance, and bidding was spirited.
Allotments fronting Young Street realised up to £3 14s per foot.
SERGEANT P. C. Statten, V.C., M.M. of the 40th Battalion, (Tasmania), has been enjoying a quiet holiday in Frankston, as the guest of Mr and Mrs Chas. Tait, whose son, Elrick, met the distinguished soldier in the war where they were mates together.
On Monday Sergt. Statton was motored to Melbourne, and dined with Miss Butler, the “Mother of Blighty,” at the Grand Hotel.
Miss Butler will re-visit Frankston tomorrow, and will be the guest of Mrs C. Tait.
FROM the pages of the Mornington Standard, 30 January 1920