THAT an incendiarist is in our midst is the contention of many local residents.
Recent conflagrations seem to point that way.
Fires at Seaford and Frankston have destroyed much valuable ti-tree, but their origin seems to be clothed in mystery.
But, just as from the tiny acorn grew the mighty oak, so do devastating fires in most cases have their nefarious birth in the flame of the little match.
And the origin of recent fires seem to be the work of one who has lost his mental balance.
Evidence of this was obtained on Sunday last. While out walking, a young couple observed a man light a fire among decayed bracken fern close to The Fernery.
They put the fire out.
The man, it is stated, wore a black suit, and was respectable in appearance. He carried what appeared to be a well-bound book under his arm, and this was believed to have been a Bible.
As the young couple thought the man was bent on evil, they followed him.
Hurrying along William Street, the man attempted to light a fire on two occasions, but failed.
The assistance of residents in the locality was then sought, but the man they sought was of the elusive type and made good his escape.
But, on Monday afternoon, about one o’clock, it is stated, a lady was astounded to see the same man walk up Kars Street towards Gweno Avenue.
Whether he originated it or not, the fact remains that shortly afterwards a fire broke out in that locality.
With an easterly breeze blowing, the fire soon increased in volume, and Mrs Nolan, who resides close to the Bon Vue Estate, sent the alarm to the fire station for assistance.
The response by the members of the fire brigade was prompt.
Willing workers were quickly on the scene, and promptly dived into the ti-tree to give battle to the fierce enemy.
But, despite their efforts, the flames, gathering force, strength and area as they went, swept on like a huge wall towards George Street, where some 30 houses lie in the course of the flames.
The scattered houses in the Woodland Grove, right in the very midst of the fire, were saved, and it was only by super-human effort and a plentiful supply of water that the houses in George Street were saved from destruction.
The danger at one time was indeed great, and many residents realised this by getting all their valuables into the street.
After about three hours’ strenuous effort, the fury seemed to have been well tamed, and most of the men departed.
After their departure the fire broke out in the gullies, about half-mile away, and soon had a fierce hold.
By the efforts of a few men, the fire was beaten back on its own track, and at 7.30 was quite under control.
The members of the brigade rendered yeomen service, and deserve much praise for services rendered.
The same applies to that band of willing unattached workers who toiled like trojans throughout.
Some of the workers were incensed at the unmanly action of a number of men who watched the fire from Kars St; men who clung to the safety of their young ladies’ skirts and enjoyed the fire as a spectacle!
They seemed to be disappointed that no houses were burnt or greater damage done.
An example to these soft-headed nincompoops was set by two young ladies and a middle-aged lady who helped to fight the flames in earnest, and by those young ladies who followed the men into the heat and smoke with supplies of drinking water.
DR. C. Maxwell, who has been ill for over a fortnight, and compelled to keep to his bed, was able to resume practice this week.
MR George Barnett notifies by advertisement that he has commenced business as general carrier in Frankston and all parcels or goods received by him will be promptly delivered, or orders by post or phone attended to at once.
ON Sunday last, at Frankston, a collision occurred at the intersection of Bay Street and Mornington Road, between motor cars going in different directions.
Fortunately no one was injured, and although the cars suffered somewhat they were not put out of action.
The scene of the mishap is acknowledged to be a most dangerous spot, and many hairbreadth escapes from serious catastrophes are already on record.
The Shire Council at its last meeting had its attention drawn to the position by Cr Wells, and it is understood that Major Lazarus, the shire engineer, is now arranging for the widening of the road.
In the interests of all concerned it is hoped that the work will be put in hand at once.
R. BILLINGTON & Son, who have purchased the dairying business of W. & A. Lewis in Bay St, Frankston.
In another column thanks is expressed to the public for the liberal patronage bestowed to the retiring firm, and the information is given that the milk from Mrs Lewis’s dairy farm will be retailed by the new firm of R. Billington & Son.
THE ordinary meeting of the Frankston Branch of the Returned Soldiers League was held on Monday evening last, the president, Mr W. M. Hanton in the chair.
It was decided to entertain the Fathers at a smoke social on Monday, 6th March.
The League’s new badges are now on hand and all financial members can obtain some from Mr D. Dodd, the branch secretary.
MR A. Lisle, dentist, of Collins St, advises that be will not be making his usual visit to Somerville on Thursday next, 16th inst.
MISS Rene Galt, teacher of pianoforte, notifies that she will resume tuition on the 20th inst.
SISTER Campbell announces in another column that she is still carrying on St. Pancras Private Hospital, in Frankston.
THE Frankston Private Hospital is now open for midwifery and general medical and surgical cases.
It is under the management of Miss Creswick, and a trained staff.
The premises are those near the Mile Bridge recently occupied by Mr Ben Baxter, and are eminently suited for its present purpose, the spacious verandah and garden, making it very attractive.
All patients are under the care and treatment of Dr C. Maxwell.
HOWELLS store, Seaford was entered by thieves on Saturday night last, and a sum of £15 stolen from the cash register.
A robbery is also reported from Mr J. Finch’s residence, in the same district.
THE petition, lodged by Jessie Sheridan, of St Kilda, for judicial separation from her husband, John Sheridan, of Melbourne Road, Frankston, came before Mr Justice McFarlane in the Civil Court on Tuesday last.
On the grounds that Mrs Sheridan was of alleged nervous disposition and given to exaggerating things, the petition was dismissed.
From the pages of the Frankston and Somerville Standard, 10 February 1922