Hastings residents shot by rabbiter


WHILE driving along the Tyabb road with their father in a buggy on November 15, 1919, Frederick Lewis Davis and Benjamin Shersby Davis, orchardists, of Hastings, heard the report of a shot gun from the bush on the north side about two miles from Tyabb, and felt the sting of pellets.

Both sons were shot in the eye, and received wounds in other parts of the body.

Subsequently a man came out-of the bush carrying a shot gun and a dead rabbit.

In the County Court last Tuesday the brothers proceeded against Hecter Henry Swann, carpenter, of Mornington, each claiming £99 damages for the wound he received, alleging that Swann was guilty of negligent use of the shot gun.

Mr. C. J. Lowe appeared for the brothers Davis and Mr Magennis for Swann.

For the defence Swann denied that he had caused the injuries, or that he had been negligent.

On a statement to the police Swann said that he had fired at a rabbit which was running between him and the road, a distance of about 40 yards.

Benjamin Davis was awarded $50 damages, and Fred Davis £25 damages with costs in each instance.


AT last week’s meeting of the Frankston and Hastings Shire Council the report of Messrs Coates and Co., as to the value of the Frankston Gas and Electric Light Works was laid on the table.

Cr Latham: What is the report about? I understood the resolution of the Council was to cancel the concession granted to the Gas and Electric Light Company.

Cr Mason said the expert’s report was obtained at the request of the council.

The Engineer: A sub-committee was appointed to deal with the lighting question.

Cr Griffeth: Is Mr Cook’s letter here today?

The Engineer: Yes.

Cr Griffeth: Well let us have it.

Cr Mason explained that the sub- committee consisted of the Frankston and Seaford Riding councillors.

Cr Latham was of opinion that the resolution to cancel should have been carried out.

Cr Griffeth said he would like to hear the minute read which gave the committee authority to go on with any scheme of the sort.

The secretary said he could not turn up the minute off-hand.

Cr Oates: We cannot waste all day looking for minutes.

Cr Griffeth: There is no waste about it. It is a question of procedure. I say this committee you talk about exceeded its powers, and I want the minutes to prove it.

When was the committee appointed, and with what powers?

The secretary read the minutes of the sub-committee meeting, which referred to the letter received from the shire solicitor.

Cr Latham: Where is that letter ?

The secretary read the letter, dated 7th April, which related to the draft application, contained under the same cover, to be sent to the Minister, asking that the Order-in-Council made in favor of the Gas Company, be cancelled.

Cr Jones: You have made no attempt to carry out the instructions contained in that letter.

Cr Latham: The letter holds out reasonable hope of success.

Cr Mason said in private conversation with Mr Cook he had been led to think otherwise.

Cr Jones: Don’t you think we are entitled to what we ask?

Cr Mason: Yes, I have always maintained so.

Cr Latham: It is time we looked somewhere else for legal advice.

Cr Jones: He holds out hope of success in his letter, and in private conversation says there is no hope.

Cr Griffeth: Where has that letter been for the last two months?

Cr Howell said it was time finality was reached. The Council had been trying to meet the company but without success.

Now that the Council had definitely resolved to have the Order-in-Council cancelled the shire solicitor should exert all his energies in that direction.

The electric light question was a big one and vitally affected the interests of the shire.

The people had put up with hardship long enough.

The company had warned Seaford that no other company could supply electric light within the shire and it seemed that Seaford had to wait the pleasure of the present company.

The Council had taken a definite stand and should keep things moving.

Cr Griffeth: It is not the solicitor’s fault. He wrote his letter two months ago.

Cr. Oates: It is his fault that we have no agreement.

Cr Griffeth: His letter is dated the 7th April. It was not produced at last meeting, and now the sub-committee have switched off and employed an expert to value the plant.

Cr Oates: It is easy to pick holes. I want to see others take some responsibility.

Cr. Griffeth: You have exceeded your powers.

Cr Oates: And jolly well time too. We have carried you quite long enough.

We could have arranged with the company as far as Frankston was concerned, but we stuck out in the interests of the Centre and East Ridings

We tried to make them take the light to Somerville and Hastings, and you did nothing.

Cr Griffeth: What about Seaford?

Cr Oates: Seaford is not in it. We tried to get the light pushed on down here.

Cr Jones: How could you push it down here when you have not enough for yourselves ?

Has not the company been trying to light Frankston without success ?

You were worrying all the time about us. (Laughter).

Cr Oates: I am glad to see you are awake at last!

Cr Mason said the Frankston light could not be called a lighting system.

The Council would never have given rights to the company if it was known that the electric light was to be available for a few hours only each night.

In reply to Cr Howell, it was stated that the Order in-Council related only to the electric light.

Cr Jones: When the committee got this expert’s report was it with a view to purchase or simply for the information of the Minister?

Cr Mason: For the information of the Minister.

Cr Howell moved, and Cr Griffeth seconded, that before the expert’s report is sent on to the Minister, together with the application for the cancellation of the Order-in-Council, that a special meeting of the Council be held.


THE Frankston College is now established, and intending scholars are advised to enrol at once.


LAST night Cr Oates, Mr Bradbury and Mr E. Barrett were elected trustees for Frankston’s machine gun.


LAST Sunday morning about 300 sailors of H.M.S. Renown were welcomed at Frankston by the Shire President, (Cr. D. E. Hoban.)

The ladies of the Wattle Club distributed fruit and cigarettes, and presented each sailor with a Wattle Club badge.

General Monash, who was present with Miss Monash, said he had long heard of the splendid work done by the Wattle Club, and he asked Miss Gregory (president) to convey his warmest thanks to members.


FROM the pages of the Mornington Standard, 11 June 1920

First published in the Mornington News – 16 June 2020


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