MR. J. Jack, organiser in connection with the Peninsula Motor Ambulance Brigade, completed his campaign on Friday evening last, after spending a fortnight travelling the proposed area, between Aspendale and Portsea.
He feels confident that the brigade will soon be an accomplished fact.
In every place visited the people proved to be almost unanimously in favour of the proposal, and seed was sown which should produce a good harvest in the near future.
The final meeting held at Mornington on Friday evening proved very successful.
On 15th March the Bittern Progress Asosciation held the first of a series of concerts and dances to be held in aid of the Motor Ambulance Brigade, and was the most successful entertainment ever held in Bittern.
Almost every person in the district was present.
Nearly all the takings went into the fund, as artists, music and all the nice things to eat were provided free.
Mr. Jack presided, and apologised for being unable to compose words to sufficiently express the gratitude of the Bittern Progress Association for the manner in which the people answered the call, when appealed to, to help in a good cause.
The programme was as follows: Overture, Mr. Graham; song, “The Bandalero,” Mr. Ovens; recitation, Mr. T. Allen; violin solo, “Cavaleria Rusticana,” Mr. Jarrett; song, “The Swiss Mountaineer,” Mr. Prowse; song, “When the Great Red Dawn is Shining,” Mr. Edwards; comic, “Dance With Your Uncle Joseph,” Mr. Kirkham.
The same artists provided the second part of the programme, and finished about 10 o’clock.
In every case there were numerous encores. The singing was of the highest order, and Mr. Graham, at the piano, was the delight of the evening, as he is a perfect master at the piano.
The chairman gave a brief explanation of the ambulance scheme to a very attentive audience, and concluded with a hearty vote of thanks to all who assisted, which concluded the concert, after which the young people and a few of the middle-aged engaged in tripping the fantastic to the music of Messrs. Graham, Williamson, Rayment, McKone, and Mrs. Van Suylen, till the wee small hours of the morn.
Thus ended the most enjoyable evening spent in Bittern for many years.
AT the Frankston Police Court the other day the police magistrate dismissed the case against a local orchardist who was charged with shooting with intent a man who had entered his orchard.
It was proved that the victim had received a charge of saltpetre in the leg.
More than ordinary interest attached to the proceedings, particularly amongst district fruitgrowers, who may, or may not, at one time or another, have been tempted to indulge in a little pop-gun exercise.
Defendant in the case under notice admitted that he fired from a gun containing a saltpetre cartridge, but contended that when he got up in the middle of the night and made a tour of his orchard he was in search of stray dogs which had disturbed his slumbers.
It was in the course of his midnight peregrinations that he discerned a black object about 30ft. away, and thinking he had located one of his unwelcome canine visitors he discharged his little lot of saltpetre.
The bench accepted this explanation, which, in view of defendant’s irreproachable character, is no doubt the correct one.
The case, however, will serve to make many people think – particularly the gentry who are in the habit of paying nocturnal visits to outlying orchards and robbing the fruitgrowers of their livelihood, or a considerable portion of it.
The operations of orchard thieves have been carried out on a grand scale during recent years, adding materially to the sum of trials and difficulties orchardists are compelled to contend with in the ordinary course of their avocation.
To the fruitgrower, encouraged to use sprayers for the destruction and prevention of insect pests, a spray of saltpetre might naturally suggest itself as an effective remedy for the two-legged pest.
The grocer or the baker who discovers a midnight intruder denuding his shelves of goods, would be justified in protecting his property even to the extent of using a little cold lead.
On the same principle orchardists might be inclined to argue that the orchard is their shop and that recourse to firearms for the protection of their goods would be equally justifiable.
The argument may seem sound enough, but in actual practice it would work out disastrously to all parties concerned.
Orchardists must not shoot at thieves who steal their fruit and destroy their trees.
They may capture them and hand them over to justice.
The expert fruit stealer may consider this cause for congratulation, but he must also consider that he may at any time be mistaken for a dog or other stray animal, and a charge of saltpetre is not more acceptable to a man than to one of the canine species.
A DISASTROUS fire occurred at Frankston on Friday night last, when the house owned and occupied by Mr. Chas. Leadbeater was absolutely destroyed, together with its contents.
Mr. and Mrs. Leadbeater, with their six small children, were in the house at the time.
The fire was first noticed at about 7.30 o’clock, and although the local fire brigade was smartly on the scene, the flames had complete mastery in a very few minutes.
Mr. Leadbeater is unable to account for the outbreak, and considerable sympathy is felt for him in his misfortune.
CONSTABLE Phillips arrested a young man named Charles Swift in Bay Street, Frankston, on Saturday last.
Swift, who was drunk, was using indecent language.
He appeared at the Frankston Court on Monday morning, before Messrs. C. V. G. Williams and W. Armstrong, J.’s P., and was fined £5 or one month on the indecent language charge and £2 or three days for being drunk.
He went to gaol; Senior-constable Bray conducted the prosecution.
The Pier Hotel, Frankston, has undergone extensive renovations since Mr. Taylor took over the management a few weeks ago.
As indicated in these columns recently, Mr. Taylor hails from Williamstown, and he is now giving Frankston a sample of the progressive spirit which marked his residence in the port “where the big ships come in from places far away.”
He has the distinction of being the founder of the Williamstown Punt Club, an institution which grew from a very small beginning to one of the largest affairs of its kind in the state.
Mr. Taylor evidently possesses a high sense of the duties of citizenship, for his Williaimstown record shows that he was identified with all the leading organisations of the place, and, in many cases took the lead in promoting movements for the benefit of the town in which he lived.
He has made a good start in Frankston, and now that he has put his own house in order, we may expect to see him joining up with our various local institutions, which all count materially in the progress of the district.
Porter Len. Gray, while engaged in shunting operations at the Frankston railway station on Friday last, was struck by a tail rope across the stomach.
He appeared to be severely injured, but after being treated by Dr. Maxwell, he was able to proceed to his home in Melbourne.
He will not be able to resume duty for some days.
From the pages of the Frankston and Somerville Standard, 24 March 1922