Faith, education and elections

Rev W H Wilson

Kihikihi was now able to support three hotels, five stores, two blacksmiths, one wheelwright, one saddler, two shoemakers, and one nurseryman along with a butchery, bakery and creamery.

Faith was also flourishing – the Reverend Wilson had drawn numbers of parishioners to church that had not been seen there for some time.  The reverend gentleman had the happy knack of making himself liked by all he came in contact with. He made a point of visiting all his flock at their homes and his visits were looked forward to with pleasure.

When Mr Sing, of Paterangi, was on his way to see Mr McNichol he noticed a large gaunt looking rat running about on the road with its nose to the ground like a terrier dog following a scent. Near the rat, lying perfectly still, was a good-sized frog.  The rat passed and re-passed the frog, turning when he lost the scent and each time coming closer, till at last the frog jumped; the rat immediately darted for it and ran off with it into a ditch. The rat took no notice of the man although he sat on his horse within six yards and bemusedly watched the whole proceedings before continuing on his way.

There was considerable agitation among the parents of Te Awamutu school children who were over or approaching 15 years of age.   The actions of the committee in turning out all such children was seen as harsh, especially as three children were preparing to be pupil teachers, and one specially smart boy who had lost a great deal of time in early life, was now rapidly making up for it.  One justly incensed dame went for a committee man with her umbrella; fortunately, he was able meekly to shunt the storm on to the chairman, so the matter did not come to blows. However, the school was threatened with the loss of several pupils in addition to those over age.

The shock of an earthquake was felt one morning at Alexandra a few minutes past eight, travelling from north to south.  The first vibration was a short one, but the second lasted some 20 seconds, and was felt very distinctly.

Also shaking up Alexandra was an election.  Polling was very quiet and although a few in support of candidate Mr Peacocke sported peacock feathers in their hats, they were not particularly enthusiastic.  After the close of the poll a good number of his supporters remained and more came from the out districts who had voted at other places but who were anxious to hear the final result when wired by the Waikato Times.  As the first returns came in – a majority for candidate Lang – the hopes of the supporters of Mr Peacocke fell lower and lower and few of them remained to hear the final result which was received by Mr Lang’s supporters with cheer after cheer. With mutual good night or, rather, morning, all retired well satisfied that the turmoil of the election had so satisfactory terminated.

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